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Conversation with Amy Mungo

Mungo, Amy
Carballo, Christian
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places; Tolerance and respect
Amy Mungo talks about working in the medical profession
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Christian Carballo interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
CC (Christian Carballo): Did you have a good day?
AM (Amy Mungo): Wonderful. I'm out of here. Well, that son, another son and the husband came, and Gillette told them that they wanted their mom, the lady to go to, um.
AM: Uh-oh.
CC: Rehability?
AM: Rehab in Lancaster or in ( ). There's something about the insurance won't pay for her to go down there and she'll have to go to Mercy and if she has any problems they'll just take her across the street to the hospital. You know, it worked out good. They were understandable, and I'm thinking they were hostile, had that attitude, because of probably what the son had told them. And see, this week we'd had problems with the nurse assistants lying about that.
CC: Yeah.
AM: And it looks bad on us because if they're not going to do, with like me, and they tell me that they're not going to bathe this person, I'll do it.
CC: Yeah, I mean.
AM: But see if they say that they'd bathe them and then two days later, we find out that they haven't been bathe and everything is just saying they'd bathe them, that's not going to get it, and Donna talked with them.
CC: That's what this. And he'd caught them lying. He said that he asked the nurse assistant Thursday, if they gave her a bath and they said yeah, and then his mom is not totally out of it.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: She's still, I mean, she can't talk but they know her so well they can communicate really well.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: She told them that she hadn't been bathed.
AM: You know, with all the help we had, especially with the nurse assistants, there's no excuse now. It is no excuse.
CC: They have seven a piece. We ran with seven a piece on days. More than seven a piece.
AM: I know it. And so, is no excuse for them. This-, and they were told Monday that this is would not, or Wednesday, Tuesday or Wednesday, this would not happen again. You see, the lady, Mrs. Workman, that we had, I shouldn't have called her that.
CC: It's OK. If I need to I'll just edit it out.
AM: The patient that was in one of the rooms. The family that was here that Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, she came and they wanted to know why her linen hadn't been changed. They said that they had changed it and she said, "Oh no," and when the girl had put that linen on Sunday, it had that writing on.
CC: That's, that's a shame.
AM: It is.
CC: I was just really honest with him. I told him, you know, that if they wanted her to be transferred, I could transfer her.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: If they're angry, I can't really fix what went on, but it concerns me that they're mad.
AM: Uh-hum. Yeah you're right. You want to know why.
CC: Not just because they're mad and they want to leave now, but because they're mad and there's something that made them mad, you know, if one bad thing happened with one person, chances are there's a couple more people that are mad.
AM: Oh, yeah.
CC: I don't mind talking to just one person, but if I had to talk to 10 people about the same thing, I won't be angry at the people I talked to I'd be angry at the ones that caused it. It's embarrassing.
AM: It really is.
CC: I've always felt that, I don't ever want anybody to go to the hospital and feel that they can have their family members be cared for better at home, because we're professionals.
AM: You're right, and if they can't do it, just ask. I mean, there's plenty of people out there.
CC: We've never had so many.
AM: I know it.
CC: I'm glad.
AM: I am too. I'm glad but you know, this, this has never been like this.
CC: I'm happy. I'm happy. I hope that this lasts.
AM: I do too. But things have got to get better all the way round. From the nurse assistants you know, they've got to do their part, we've got to do ours and the doctor do theirs.
CC: ( )
AM: I've noticed a lot of things that I wouldn't dare do or say. You know, I'm not going to say I'm not going to do this, you know, I'll try to find a way to do it, to fix it or just call the doctor. You know, he's just a human being like the rest of us and of course, yeah, if you don't do something, he's going to chew you out. So you just have to suffer with the consequences of it. You know, just like at night I, this girl told me she had hung-, and did something and I said, "Did you call the doctor?" And she said, "No," and I said, "You cannot do that on your own, you have to call the doctor." She said, "But in the middle of the night?" And I said, "Look, when they took that oath, they knew what they were getting, coming to get, so if you have to call them in the middle of the night, I'd rather you call them than do something stupid on your part and then you lose your license."
CC: And then they yell at you.
AM: Well-.
CC: If you call them, they may be upset but you did the right thing, and if you went on your own and did something.
AM: Then they'd be really upset.
CC: I think it's-.
AM: Call them, if you have to wake them up you wake them up, and tell them what you need but don't call in the middle of the night for something foolish.
CC: Yes, there was a nurse at Anson. I don't know if you know Dr. Niazi, but he's, they call him Jesus Niazi, he keeps everybody alive. [Laughs]
AM: Does he-? [Laughs]
CC: He's just like Jesus. [Laughs] Anyway, he's been down there for 30 years, he's the main doctor of Anson County. But, um, somebody called him because he ordered Rocephin, and she called him to see if he wanted a heplock. He was mad. The next day he was-, he likes men ( ). He's Iranian and unfortunately, ( ) just because I was a man, he still feels that I am somebody on his level just because I am a man, and that's just how he is. Unfortunately, he can't even say my name, because of his accent. He says, Cristin. He walked up to me and said, "Cristin, Cristin, they called me at three in the morning for a heplock. Incompetent."
AM: I know.
CC: And she was banned from calling him.
AM: Oh really. We've had that here in the past.
CC: ( )
AM: And that's bad, you know. You use your judgment, and it used to we could write an order, we knew the doctors well enough, that we could write an order say for Tylenol. Don't wake a doctor up in the morning for just a Tylenol, unless that patient is allergic to it.
CC: Or has a liver problem.
AM: Yeah, 'cause nine times out of 10, you've got to know the doctor enough to know that he is not going to be upset of I write this order. Some doctors don't give anything.
CC: ( )
AM: ( )
CC: I've only had one problem with a doctor and that's with Springs.
AM: And that's all the time.
CC: That was laughable, when he was threatening, you know ( ).
AM: He needs to quit, because he had a patient here, and then he consulted another doctor, which was good because the guy was having abdominal pain and they didn't really know what they were coming from. So he consulted a surgeon and the surgeon took him down did a scope on him and found out what the problem was and was going to sign off, as far as his part was concerned. But he didn't want to sign off in leave the man here not seeing a doctor, because his doctor who admit him, hasn't seen him since he had consulted the surgeon, and that's the way it is all the time. And it shouldn't be.
CC: No, it shouldn't be. They don't get paid a lot for what they do, that's why they have to do a lot. They get paid 20 bucks to admit someone. How much would you want to be paid to get up in the middle of the night to admit somebody?
AM: But you know what, it goes back to taking that oath.
CC: Yup. \\ I mean it's just like-. \\
AM: \\ You know, but you know OK, \\ some idiot would think, I'm going to make big bucks, you might, on one side of the fence. On the other side of the fence, there's people that being a doctor don't bring them, but don't have any money. So you going to lose.
CC: We did the same thing. We did the same thing. If somebody at Walmart or whatever clutches his chest and passes out, you know if you're not going to do anything.
AM: \\ Yeah.\\
CC: \\ Even \\ if you're not legally bound.
AM: You're right.
CC: You won't be able to live with yourself.
AM: You're right. You got to do what you got to do.
CC: It's like being a cop. You don't stop being a cop. I think nursing, being a doctor, being a fireman, being a cop, that's just one of those jobs that you don't really stop.
AM: That's in your blood, yeah.
CC: You know, that's just part of what you have to do. I remember, a, a girl passed out in my class and the only thing I could think of is that she was eating cookies. I was thinking, "If I had to do mouth to mouth on her, this would be bad." [Laughs]
AM: You're right.
CC: 'Cause you know, she had cookies in her mouth. But you know I, she wasn't, she just fell down then she was dizzy. I didn't have to do anything but I got home.
AM: You prayed all the way.
CC: What?
AM: I bet you prayed the whole time.
CC: Oh yeah. I got home and, um, I went and started digging for my old CPR mask and I've carried it in my bag ever since.
AM: Really?
CC: Yeah. In my school bag I have a CPR mask, bandages, some of it I borrowed form the hospital.
AM: I don't blame you. You can't take a chance nowadays.
CC: I'm in school so much, too, you know, some thing's bound to happen. Only one thing happened so far. When I fell of my motorcycle I didn't even have a tissue to wipe the blood off with.
AM: Did you not?
CC: No I didn't.
AM: Did you have a-, did you get your motorcycle fixed?
CC: Yeah.
AM: You still ride?
CC: Uh-hum. I have to do the, the maintenance thing right now, that's why I haven't been riding. I'm waiting until it gets warm.
AM: Today would have been a good day, to ride.
CC: I take the bike to go to school.
AM: You 'bout done, aren't you? How long?
CC: I have to take an exam in October, and then, then I'm done. I'm done with the course work for the English Master's this May, I just have to take one test. I want to go on to take a PhD in English so I have to take the GRE to apply. I've turned everything in, I just need to apply and, um, graduate so hopefully, I'll be in next year.
AM: Then what you're going to do. You still going to work here?
CC: Yeah, yeah, I like the people ( ).
AM: How far up the ladder can you move with your education, that you're getting now.
CC: Here?
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: Ah, well our VP has a Masters, I'll have a Master's Degree, so ( ). I mean, of course now, she's been in several levels, and it's not just her education but experience you know. I've still got a lot to learn. I just want, I want to teach. Eventually I'll try to teach.
AM: Really?
CC: But it's five years to my Master's, my PhD or at least that's what they've told me ( ). But I'll stay here for a while. It's hard to find a job where I get paid what I get working the days when I work, and as far as the place goes, I mean, I've never-. I know people have had problems with all the managers at one point or another and I, um, I don't wish to, to, I don't know I guess to make it seem like.
AM: Making problems.
CC: I've never had a problem. I've had two managers before, Kim Trotter and Penny, the Jennifer. I've never really had a problem. I've been very lucky so far.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: ( )
AM: I said I got to work somewhere, and it's got to be somewhere you know. And I tried to do what I need to do, and so what I need has to be, needs to be so I will be here. Even if I stay longer than they do.
CC: I don't know, I felt really bad, ( ) you know, when I got promoted.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: I felt bad, ( ) I don't know. I was still loyal to Penny. I still am at some level but, um, I didn't want-.
AM: You can't hold yourself back for what happened to her. Do you know what I'm saying?
CC: That's true. I really wasn't interested in advancing.
AM: Were you not?
CC: I was more interested in keeping the floor functioning.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: ( ) I care about the people I work with.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: I was in charge most of the time, and I didn't like it, but they kept on saying that we were working better with me running it and I don't know, maybe they were lying to me, maybe they didn't want the job. [Laughs] But you know what I'm saying ( ). I just didn't want them to hire somebody from someplace else.
AM: No.
CC: 'Cause nobody wanted to do it. I asked around if anybody else wanted to do it and-.
AM: Nobody did.
CC: That's why when I did it, when some people were kinda resentful and gave me a hard time.
AM: Really?
CC: A couple of people were.
AM: That's not good. They want it?
CC: That's the point. I asked, I asked if anybody else wanted it and nobody did. And then when I got it they were saying well why did you take it, you know, but you know ( ) we're all happy now. Although I was told by a CNA who was older than me, privately, I didn't make a big deal out of it because I said some bad things too, ( ) but she told me that it's going to be hard for her, for me to be over her because I was younger.
AM: Oh really.
CC: \\ I told her I can't-. \\
AM: \\ You know I have never thought of-. \\
CC: I told her I can't fire her because she's older than me. [Laughter] You know what I'm saying.
AM: I've never thought of it like that.
CC: She shouldn't have had a problem with me being over her. I don't know, she's just being mean. I think she's just being mean ( ).
AM: 'Cause really and truly, everybody is, Jennifer, Kim Trotter, and Penny, are much, much younger than me. And that has never bothered me.
CC: Yeah, but you do your job and you do it well.
AM: I try to do what I'm supposed to do, well, I made some mistakes \\here. \\
CC: \\ Everybody \\ does. Everybody does.
AM: It's been under stress or something. I don't know what it was, yeah, but it really bothers me. It might not show here but when I get, go out there and get in that van, you know, I'll think, "Why did I do that? What was I thinking of? Why did I do that? What was I thinking about?"
CC: I still give myself a hard time. \\ I try not to because I know-. \\
AM: \\ Some days, it's just the commotion or something out there at the desk, \\ you can't even think straight. With change of shift it's so noisy until an hour after.
CC: I can't wait until, I mean, I dread the fact that we're going to have construction. You've lived through several, but I've never lived through a floor going through renovations and I know that you're, you're a heck of a lot more seasoned than I am so you've lived through it and you know what to expect. I don't and I'm dreading it.
AM: It's going to be a mess.
CC: I want it to be over and done with 'cause we need it.
AM: So you want to go on vacation for like six months. [Laughs]
CC: I can't but I want to. [Laughter]
AM: Well the thing is, you won't really be out there in it. You know what I'm saying, like the people that are going to take care of those patients.
CC: Yeah.
AM: I mean you, won't be directly involved in it.
CC: I, I just get pulled to do everything though. That's what I'm worried about. If we can't find anything, you know. You're busy doing your thing to make sure that you know, you take care of your group of patients get taken care of and it's going to be my job to help you get through the day, and, you know what I'm saying.
AM: See some days, I, it depends on who's in charge. I try to do things, and not even, I have even had to go to the point of calling Penny to come up here and start an IV because I had nobody else to call on.
CC: Not when I'm working.
AM: I know, I know. But it shouldn't be that we need to, it should with the nurse. OK, two charge nurses out there but one can help us do what needs to be done.
CC: I agree.
AM: Now we work together among ourselves, sometimes I'll try an IV and I won't stick a person more than once. If I don't see anything, I'll go and get somebody. And Jeff is real good about pitching in, he is real good with that.
CC: ( )
AM: Yeah but then there is one person.
CC: Who?
AM: That is no need of you asking her cause she's getting better now she'll help but if that light come on, she will not. If she'll answer, she's not going to do not one thing and that is one thing that has always bothered me. If you answer the light, don't think that you are too good to go and put that patient on a bedpan. And I can't stand that, I can't stand a nurse being in a room and telling a patient.
CC: To go get a can.
AM: Turn the light on, 'cause I can't do that.
CC: That's a shame.
AM: I can see with the guys, you know a lady might not want him to put her on a bed pan.
CC: I ask, most everybody don't care. Most everybody don't care. I remember I had a patient, it was late in the night and she looked at me and she was like, "I need to go to the bathroom." She called me out on the hall, and she asked, "Are you a man or a woman?" You see, it was dark, and I was, "Does it matter?" And she was, "No, I need to go, well let's go." [Laughter] Most people are \\ like-. \\
AM: \\ Well, \\ it's the way you approach it. You know you could just go back in there and snatch the cover back and say, "Let's go," or you can make sure they're covered up and the pull the covers back. I do the men like that. I do the women like that, you know, make sure that their gown is pulled back and I get them up and it's nobody there but me and them.
CC: I ask permission with anything. Even if it's somebody who seems comatose, I mean, if I had to put an IV on them I'll say, "I'll put a needle in your arm." Because I don't know-.
AM: How much they know.
CC: And how horrible is it if you can hear and-.
AM: I know it.
CC: I ask, I ask ( ). If you ask, I'll get off my butt and do it.
AM: Yeah, if you're busy you'd tell me.
CC: And, I, but that's because, mostly because I respect you. I know that you won't give me the shaft. I've had people tell me that there's absolutely no veins, and I've put 18's on people, and I would tell them, "I put an 18 on that person." Now it's OK if people are busy and I'll understand. And it's OK if they just don't want to do it and you're just sick of that person, they want to chart or they want to sit down for a minute or whatever. I can live with that and that's OK. Gillette has told me, "I just don't want to walk into this room and I just don't want to talk to his person."
AM: She's quite frank.
CC: You know, I, I, I, I understand if felt the same way sometimes but, I don't like it if people would try to mislead me and say I can't do it because I've tired and I've looked and there's no vein. And then I walk in and \\ there's-. \\
AM: \\ Well, \\ I've had that happen, I mean, I stuck for a time or to and it wasn't-, it couldn't find anything and somebody went, go in there and put the tourniquet on and there's a vein. And it really makes me feel bad.
CC: I've seen people ( ), I've just had certain ones that you know, they wouldn't try. Some people I have respect for, and you know that.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: ( )
AM: Yeah, it is getting better.
CC: I do believe that with two charge nurses, we should be real ( ).
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: That's why I like, like today I was mostly in the back, but usually I like running it with I have this one person running the beds and then the other one, the other person doing whatever comes up, checking off charts, putting IV's and stuff. I pretty much don't care what I do, some people they have to be the ones with control.
AM: I know.
CC: I just want to be able to go home. [Laughs]
AM: I know, do your eight or 10 hours and go home, whatever.
CC: I don't really care how we end up doing it, as long as everybody's happy, I ( ) [laughs].
AM: You're right.
CC: I've never felt the need to ( ).
AM: Some people. Authority makes a big difference with them.
CC: It is sad.
AM: Yeah, it is.
CC: ( )
AM: ( ) But that's life you know. Life in the fast lane.
CC: I was talking to my classmate, she was, she was, um, working for an advertising company in Charlotte. ( ) I can't wake up everyday and know that ( ). All I did was write stuff to make people buy stuff they don't need.
AM: I know.
CC: I'm part of the problem. We, we considering the job that, you know, people do here we really don't get paid that much. But you go home knowing that you did a good thing.
AM: Yeah, you're right. You helped somebody.
CC: ( )
AM: If you have just one, if you had seven or 10 patients, if you leave one somebody happy and their family, you've accomplished something.
CC: I think that's why I like doing the patient rounds. I like talking to people ( ).
AM: And then you get to find out just what's going on. You know, 'cause where in-, a family might not come to the desk and complain, but if you could in that room, behind closed doors they will tell you a lot of stuff.
CC: Most everybody-, I, I, of all the times I have done the rounds, I've only had one person complain.
AM: Uh-hum.
CC: Most everybody has had nice things to say, which is, which is great. I mean, a lot of it is just small stuff.
AM: Oh yeah.
CC: I mean, can you do this, can you take my tray out. I just do it right then and there and it's over. I've never had anybody ( ). A lot of times they tell me that this patient is really upset and then I walk in and then they'll tell me ( ) and whatever happens happens and I'm just glad that I've lived for ( ) years. And there I am thinking you know, um, this assignment that I have is so hard, whatever, and I can't get through it, and my life sucks and this person who can barely move telling me it's OK.
AM: I know. [Laughs]
CC: I get embarrassed ( ), they are so much of a better person that I am. [Laughs]
AM: But that's life.