Updated 2016 Med/Surg Unit Inventory Guidelines

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Med/Surg unit

It’s that time of year to take inventory of what’s on our Med/Surg units.  These things are required for the quintessential Med/Surg experience.  Bust out those pens, if you haven’t lost them!

  • 20 patients awaiting placement
  • 10 patients that should be DNR but aren’t
  • 5 patients in gowns walking the halls with exposed buttocks
  • 5 patients in contact isolation for unknown reasons (too lazy for anyone to check)
  • 2 elderly patients screaming out incoherent things
  • 1 elderly patient near the nurses station because she’s been troublesome
  • 1 sketchy patient stalking the nurses station constantly
  • 1 drug seeker that everyone knows all too well
  • 1 adult male who curses just a tad too loudly
  • 1 nice patient (no more)
  • 8 healthcare providers yawning
  • 3 healthcare providers on Facebook for all to see
  • 2 EMTs with an empty stretcher just standing there, looking bored
  • 1 social worker who has been on hold for at least 20 minutes
  • 1 physical therapist (PT) walking a patient who doesn’t need PT
  • 1 unit secretary that is calmer than everyone else on the unit
  • 1 healthcare provider with a bad case of resting bitch face
  • 1 healthcare provider looking for a chart that has gone missing
  • 1 male healthcare provider with a 5 o’clock shadow at 9 AM
  • 1 intern with earbuds on
  • 1 medical student who is using up a precious computer and not doing anything
  • 5 empty hand foam dispensers
  • 1 dining service cart that is blocking the entrance to the Med/Surg unit
  • 1 nasty stench of unclear origin but probably poop
  • 1 chair that cannot be lowered or raised
  • 1 chair with broken armrests
  • 1 updated crash cart
  • 1 old clock with the wrong time
  • 1 Heimlich maneuver poster still hanging from the 1970s
  • 1 fax machine on its last legs
  • 1 overhead speaker system that is either too loud or too soft
  • 1 random Latex glove on the floor
  • 1 puddle of bodily fluid
  • 1 incessantly ringing cell phone that some medical provider has misplaced
  • 1 overflowing garbage bin that really needs to be emptied
  • 1 loud cleaning object that is on that everyone has to yell over
  • 1 collected urine sample that’s sitting out
  • 1 open beverage container, ready to kill
  • 1 pen that no has claimed but everyone wants to claim
  • 1 well-hidden stapler only the secretary can find
  • 1 nurses drawer full of much-needed emergency candy
  • 1 other drawer that is a potpourri of broken pens, staples, ketchup packets, etc.
  • 1 bag of normal saline on the counter
  • 1 misplaced patient list
  • 1 printer out of ink, paper, or both
  • 1 pile of unsigned prescriptions by the printer
  • 1 landline that doesn’t work, possibly because of a worn down phone jack
  • 1 broken pulse oximeter
  • Infinite metallic sounds caused by pagers, phones, telemetry, and codes
  • Infinite supply of small N95 respirators
  • 0 regular-sized N95 respirators
  • 1 Dinamap with an error message on it
  • 1 random storage room that no one has ever been in
  • 1 bathroom that has no toilet paper, no paper towels, and has an insecure seat


If a paper chart-based unit:

If an EMR-based unit:

  • 5 missing chairs (ratio of desktop computers to chairs must not be 1-to-1)
  • 1 annoyed healthcare provider on the phone with IT yet again for help
  • 1 computer with a broken or sticky keyboard
  • 1 computer that has needed repair for at least 3 months
  • 1 computer with the blue screen of death
  • 1 computer that has a really f**king annoying mouse that needs to be replaced

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