September, 2005 Archive

September 12, 2005, 12:44 pm

The Tyranny of The Bed!

The most frustrating aspect of emergency nursing is trying to get patients up to their floor after they’ve been admitted. Back in the old days, when the ER called to say they were ready to bring a patient up, they came up right then, whether you were ready or not. But it seems that things have changed. Getting admitted patients to their rooms has become fraught with obstacles, delays and much gnashing of teeth. Over the years I have discovered that it is really no one’s fault. Every problem in admitting can be related to…….THE BED!!!!!!!Here are the top ten reasons why:

1. THE BED is not in the room. No one knows where it might be or when it will be returned.
The hospital “orderly” will be sent to look for it.

2. THE BED still has a patient in it. No one knows when this patient will be discharged or
why it was reassigned while still occupied.

3. THE BED is not clean. Housekeeping was called “half-an-hour” ago, but no one knows
who called and no one knows why they haven’t answered their page.

4. The nurse assigned to THE BED is at lunch.

5. There will be no nurse until 7:00 pm for THE BED. Please hold the patient in the ER for
the next three hours and no, there is no one to come in early.

6. The admitting doctor wants to see the patient in the ER, not in THE BED.

7. The nurse can’t take report because she is at THE BED of another patient.

8. The floor can handle only one transfer to THE BED at a time. The other four patients
waiting for their version of THE BED will have to wait.

9. The hospital is full. Each room has someone in THE BED.

10. It’s Change-Of-Shift and there is no one available to help put a new patient in THE BED
Never mind that report was recorded an hour before shift change and only requires the presence of the oncoming nurses.

As I’ve always said about ER, “The longer you stay, the longer your stay!” When you think about it, ER is the only department (with the obvious exception of Labor and Delivery) where you have no control over when your patients show up. In our world, THE BED is eternally ready…..

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September 11, 2005, 12:07 am


September 11, 2001


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September 10, 2005, 3:37 am

Degree Digression

If caring were enough….anyone could wear a cape. On a lark, I looked on eBay and there was a navy blue wool nurses cape with red wool lining!

I kid you not. Did I bid on it, you ask? You’re darn right I did! And if you’re looking for a cap, they are on eBay, too. Not used ones, either. Real, new ones that look just like my school cap before the ribbons are on.

Did I bid on one, you ask? Of course not. Not yet.

Look, I’ll do anything to dress up like a nurse from the 40s and I thought about wearing this outfit at work on Halloween. Everyone will think it’s a costume, but it will be a thrill for me. Stupid, I’m sure but at the moment it is almost 0400 and I’m somewhere between
too-awake-to-sleep and too-tired-to-function. I have no doubt that I will read this later this morning and cringe. But for now, I get a kick out of the idea!


I’ve come to terms with something recently; I have absolutely NO urge to get my BSN.

I used to think that I should, if I could and that I would. Eventually. Now the kids are virtually grown, I have the time, I could swing the funds and I don’t want it. I’m a bedside nurse. Always have been, with the exception of a foray into psych nursing and telephone triage. It’s what I love, when you get down to the core of why I’m a nurse. It’s what I am good at. It’s what my Associates degree prepared me for.

The thought of writing papers and researching and comparing differing nursing models while dealing with the obnoxious topic of nursing diagnoses makes me comatose. (Good ol’ Sister Callista Roy’s Adaptation Model was good enough for me in school and it is good enough for me now. And if you had told me in 1977 that I’d be saying that in 2005, I’d have said you were nuts!)

Ironically, I love learning! I read the journals, I love attending classes, and working in the emergency department requires me to keep up-to-date on all the specialties. I want to increase my fluency in Spanish, take a class on Shakespeare, pick up a violin – maybe even learn to play it, speak Japanese and, well, you get the idea.

But….I’ve no interest in managing a department, I respect those who can. Teaching is not one of my gifts. I enjoy the hospital environment; I’ve never been interested in public health nursing. I’ve never needed a BSN to accomplish what I’ve wanted in my career.

I work with a wonderful woman who is just short of getting her Phd. in nursing. I work with nurses with their BSNs, nurses who are Diploma graduates and some have their MSN. There is room for all. Everyone brings a different talent, a different ambition, a different perspective. When all is said and done, we’re all caring for the patients and my place is right at the bedside.

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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