December 15, 2005, 8:40 am

A Nursing Study: Chocolate Selection in the Emergency Department

It’s that time of year!

The breakroom table groans under the myriad of edible gifts sent in to the ER by the local doctors, the majority of them chocolate!

Whitman’s is the best box of chocolates because it has a map on the lid of what is in each section. No guessing. Nothing worse than biting into a “carmel” only to find out it’s a “creme”. Blech.

Of course, I’d still eat the chocolate around the creme.

Nurses have ingenious ways of figuring out what is inside a piece of candy. One nurse I worked with took the surgical route; I once discovered a full box of See’s candy with every piece perfectly sawed in half. Another colleague approached the problem laparoscopically; she took a 14 gauge needle and poked a hole in the bottom of each piece.

As a professional nurse, I believe in using the nursing process when choosing my selection:

  • Assessment
    • Shape – round, square, rectangular
    • Firmness
      • feel through the paper cup to maintain sterility
      • soft, hard, slight give
    • Texture – bumpy or smooth top
    • Swirly on top – big or small
    • Color – dark or milk chocolate
  • Plan
    • Eat now or later
    • Solitary or multiple bites
    • Place selections in mailbox so no one else gets them
    • Consider milk as adjunct
  • Intervention
    • Eat a small bite as a test dose
    • Take a second bite to confirm diagnosis
  • Evaluation
    • Satisfactory: consume entire specimen
    • Unsatisfactory: commence ejection into garbage and begin process with another specimen

I have pretty good success with this system.

I will say that, professionally speaking, nothing good ever comes out of a round, smooth, soft dark chocolate piece of candy that doesn’t have a swirly on the top. However…. I have been known to consume them when faced with a shortage of cocoa-based candy.

I don’t believe I’ll be facing that situation for a few more weeks, at least.

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6 Comments

  • Moof
    Moof

    December 15, 2005 at 10:05 am

    Kim … you make me want to find and break into your break room! *LOL*

    I never realized that eating chocolates could be approached so methodically. Hmmm … I wonder if anyone will notice if I add a box of Whitman’s to my Christmas shopping list, and then the box just … vanishes!

    I trained my ‘old man’ early – no flowers … you can’t eat flowers! ;)

    .


  • overactive-imagination
    overactive-imagination

    December 15, 2005 at 12:55 pm

    LOL. I love your tactical approach to the chocolates. I really DO hate having to guess what’s in there but truly there aren’t any that I wouldn’t eat.
    Dawn


  • kenju
    kenju

    December 15, 2005 at 4:09 pm

    My approach is somewhat more sloppy than yours. I open mouth, insert candy, chew and swallow. I barely stop to assess what is inside, and I like the gel ones!

    About docs and candy: I decorated a home for a doctor’s wife and she told me about some candy she had bought in NYC at Henri Bendel that cost $55 for a small handful of it. She had intended to have in on the sideboard during a Christmas party, but her husband ate it all!


  • John Cowart
    John Cowart

    December 16, 2005 at 5:18 am

    I think the best way to solve the problem is to eat the whole box…
    Yes, Whitman’s made me the man I am today!


  • Gypsybobocowgirl
    Gypsybobocowgirl

    December 16, 2005 at 11:21 pm

    Definately See’s candy–problem is finding that one rum raisen thing that I love. Or the caramel with the marshmallow on the bottom.

    We can’t get See’s here, so I’m a bit flabbergasted that you would settle for Whitmans that any Tom Dick and Harry can get!


  • Moof
    Moof

    December 20, 2005 at 7:19 am

    Just dropping by to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR Kim!

    Have fun, and make sure you take time to REST!


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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