Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for the ‘third shift oddities’ Category

More visions of night shift

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Every other weekend I work 3rd shift for the advice line and during that weekend my circadian rhythms are thrown off completely.  Such is the case again.  The night shift has one big fat hour to go… and it is done.  But the down side is that in 2 hours I start my regular job, and work all day.  I have been trying to learn better habits to prepare for the sleep deprivation, and the rebound…. But this weekend I was having problems.  Saturday night went slowly, and by 6:30AM  I was all but nodding off in my chair.  I came home hoping to stay awake to go to church, but once I layed down for a quick nap the hopes of church faded away and i slept until almost 4pm.  While I felt rested at that time, 13 hours later I am reallly longing for an hour nap…

All things work together for the good for them who are called according to his purpose – yes, even these crazy night shift hours, listening to people who refuse to take responsibility for their own health decisions and care…. this is all part of what God is doing in me.  He is reminding me that I have gotten myself into a financial pickle… and the only way out is through it.  Sacrifice now to begin to correct behavior, and bills.  So with each tick of the night shift clock I thank god for the opportunity to make a living, for breath, and for the wisdom that comes from him in all matters.


Written by Barbara Bloom

February 16, 2009 at 5:40 AM

Rantings of a tired 3rd shift worker.

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I try hard not to judge anyone, but sometimes I think that my “Beaver Cleaver” upbringing clashes drastically with the clueless entitlement crowd of our day.   I absolutely dislike wilful ignorance – in our day and age there is no reason to be ignorant.  There are opportunities to learn, to grow, to become something better all around us.  But some people prefer to expect that people will hand them everything on a silver platter.


I started this shift exhausted from 3 days of double shifts and very little sleep.  My heart was not really in this work tonight.  I must be frank when I say that fielding endless calls about babies that vomited, and grown people who have the sniffles – which seems to constitute near death emergencies in their mind and fill up our emergency rooms with unnecessary volume, dragging down the staff, depleting the resources that should be dedicated to caring for emergent health concerns like heart attacks, strokes, and the like is very exhausting work. 

So I am tired, and so I have grown weary of the ills of an undeucated, illiterate society that lives side by side with those of us who learned early in life to establish a family doctor, and call on him or her when our sniffles, coughs, and normal life maladies came along.  We took responsibility for our colds and made pots of chicken soup, and rested, and doctored ourself and we knew when to call our family physician.  In fact I can only remember one visit to the emergency room as a child and that was because I clearly broke a limb playing and rough housing with a neighbor kid. 

And when we got antibiotics we allowed them to time to get into the system and take effect.  Sometimes it was a week, or longer, but we knew that the only thing to do was go through the illness.   OK, Our moms went to a local pharmacy, where they were on a first name basis with the “druggist” and he usually offered guidance on over the counter helps. 

And we went to bed, or were put to bed early to rest, to get enough sleep so that we would feel better.  Not like those callers at 3am that have their wild band of indians jumping on beds, shouting at the top of their lungs while mom is trying to demand rediculous things of an advice line in the middle of the night.

We are the responsible citizens of a nation that is growing less functional, and giving way to the crumbling nature of a welfare nation overrunning and overburdening everyone else. 

If I could speak my mind on that phone I would say a few honest comments:

  • Read about what babys should be like, and find out about common illnesses of childhood before they are born. 
  • Find an older woman to mentor you as a mom.
  • Get a doctor – establish with one, call them when you are feeling ill or your kid is sick.
  • Learn about health issues – take some role in your health care.
  • Stop having sex with everything that lives and wonder why you have had another occurrance of a STD.
  • Stop naming your children after an STD, or something you don;t understand.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour.
  • Have reasonable expectations about your health concerns, and the process of getting well.

OK, Cathartic ranting is not always pretty, but it is out of my system for now.  Good night, and I am going to bed.

Written by Barbara Bloom

February 4, 2009 at 1:21 AM

3rd shift philosophy

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I have not written much about this because to some extent I don;t feel I have a solution for the societal problem I have been encountering –  As some of you may know I took on a second job, working several nights a month answering phones for a medical advice line.  I simply field the calls, and filter to the appropriate resource.  Interesting work for someone who likes to study societal trends.   But it is also quite depressing because there are several very significant trends that I am picking up:

  • More than half of the callers are repeat callers who choose to either call the advice phone or use the emergency department as their method of procuring medical care. 
  • More than half of these callers have either public assistance insurance or no insurance.
  • Many of these callers exhibit dangerous behavior that increases their health risk, such as engage in sex with multiple people, or call back about repeat STDs or are trying to source out where to go to get rid of their unwanted and inconvenient pregnancy.
  • This population appear to not work, or seem very uneducated, and at night the sounds in their home are loud pumping stereos, loud tvs, and loud people.  At 3am why are young children up and running around?
  • And then there is the psychiatric clientel that call with every imaginable oddity and exotic dillema.  From alien invasions to full blown anxiety… they all call and generally they call because they have not taken their psych meds or have noone who will listen.
  • And then there is a segment of the population that never does what they are told to do… from non compliant with their diet and medication to ignoring symptoms for weeks if not months before finally wanting to deal with them only after the symptoms have compounded into major health issues. 

Truth is so many of these people are desperate, and desperately exhaserbating to the system.  The advice line does serve a purpose, to reduce the numbers of these people flocking to Emergency Departments, but wow, my bigger question is how did a large segment of our population get to this point.  What broke down in the generational transfer of knowlege and why are so many lower socio economic people following this pattern? 

This said, I look at the staff answering these phone lines , and the medical professionals giving the advice and I am realizing that the callers are the bread and butter of the advice line, but that comes at the cost of exhausting and wearing these medical professionals down. 

So I have begun asking myself how I can play a role in educating these folks.  And the discouragement comes when I realize that few of these risk taking callers are willing to change their ways, or be redirected.  But every once in a while someone listens, and if there is one it is one less on the drain of the exhausted system.

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 4, 2009 at 1:04 PM