LOUISVILLE, KY – As punishment for not charting a respiratory rate other than 16, first-year nurse Randy Tolbert has been relegated from patient care to standing by the printer at the nurses station and shaking the empty toner cartridge every 5 minutes to make sure that anything that prints is somewhat legible.
“This is worse than manually disimpacting a patient without gloves,” said Tolbert whose shoulders, biceps, and triceps are exhausted from “shaking the bejesus” out of the toner cartridge, and he’s only been at it for 3 hours. “I have learned my lesson: Every once in a while, I really have to throw in a respiratory rate of 6 or 12 or 15 to keep other health care professionals and administrators honest. Charting 16 every single time is just irresponsible.”
Only moments after this comment, fellow nurse on the floor Erica Sanders printed out discharge instructions on a patient only to find that every other line was faded, with the final two pages being essentially blank. “Come on, Randy,” Erica said to Tolbert, showing her the poorly-printed documents, “I want you to shake that toner with all of your heart and soul. I can’t hand my patient this! This looks so unprofessional.”
When asked if he prefers shaking maracas, his toosh, or an empty toner cartridge, Tolbert said it was no contest: he would prefer to shake his toosh followed by maracas. He admits that he might “forever be scarred” by toner.
Charge nurse Beverly Winters, who was part of the committee that levied punishment on Tolbert, has not yet said how long Tolbert’s punishment will last. “I initially teased that Randy would have to shake the toner until IT comes by. But after realizing that this printer has had a work ticket since 1999 and IT still hasn’t come by made me think otherwise.”
Tolbert has been warned that if he charts 16 once more in future, then the next time the printer runs out of paper he will be asked to chop down a tree and make paper from scratch.