September 25, 2005, 4:44 am

The Write Stuff

I am so past tired I can’t even move, which is why this ad for K-Y jelly has me giggling. Look at the concentration with which our professional nurse applies the sterile, water soluble substance to the ice-cold metal speculum. Acknowledge the physician, who doesn’t trust her to apply it without direct observation. Pity the patient, for no particular reason. Pity me, who is so far gone, this ad is the epitome of hilarity.

Why is it that when I am not working I have a thousand topics for this blog fighting for prominence in my brain, but when I am working I get writer’s block? Maybe because I just finished actually writing for twelve hours.

Many, many years ago I took a class on the legal aspects of nursing. The attorney was discussing the importance of good nursing notes and mentioned that nursing notes, in a malpractice trial, would be blown up into the size of a poster for all to see. It must have struck a nerve because ever since then I chart as though it is going to be billboard size. I am a meticulous charter. To the point of being obsessive. To the point where my nurses’ notes are my masterpiece and it bugs me to have anyone else write on it. I have been known to re-write a triage because even one error drives me up the wall. I’d rather pile up my charts so that I can sit and chart without interruption rather than chart “on the fly”. I must have just right pen. A gel pen, with a smooth, even, medium-point flow. No scratchy feel. The perfect weight in my hand. And blue ink. I must write in blue. I will not work for a place that requires black. With the perfect pen I can put to paper the drama that is the life of each patient, recording for posterity their encounter with the unexpected that is the emergency room visit. I AM SHAKESPEARE.

Somebody help me…..

Actually, I reallly do enjoy charting. I must be a frustrated novelist. Either that or I get a strange rush from filling in boxes and blank lines on paper.

Speaking of watches (and I was going to any minute), the Cherry Ames watch that I displayed a few posts back is wonderful in person. It arrived yesterday and I wore it to work today. The picture did not do it justice. I get a kick just looking at it.

One more 12-hour shift and I’m a free woman for a week. If I wasn’t so numb from exhaustion I’d get excited about that.

(oh, and I really do hate to write in black……….)


  • kenju

    September 25, 2005 at 8:44 am

    What is it about black ink you hate? I prefer it.

    I am a little obsessive-compulsive about writing lists and proposals and the like. One error has me reaching for a new, chean sheet of paper. WHY??

  • Catherine

    September 25, 2005 at 9:26 am

    Had to laugh about your feeling compelled to rewrite notes. When I was in first grade, included in our packets of annual school pictures was an autograph book. We all eagerly exchanged photos for inclusion in each other’s books and signed our names (or rather printed them, since we hadn’t learned cursive yet). Well, if a friend’s handwriting didn’t meet my standards, I erased their signature and rewrote it myself.

    How obsessive-compulsive is THAT?!

  • Gypsybobocowgirl

    September 25, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    I understand the need for the right writing tools…New pens were what got me through nursing school. Sometimes pink, sometimes purple, not scratchy–just very satisfying. Colored paper was also a big turn-on.

  • I’m with you on the gel pen in blue! Thankfully, the tendancy these days is they like blue so can tell the original from copies.

    I just LIKE it better. 🙂


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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