January 5, 2006, 1:23 am

It’s A Tough Job, But Somebody (Else) Has To Do It

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This poor man is trying to get in to see his wife. But no, the doctor has said the patient is to have no visitors.

Not even her husband?

He’s even brought his wife flowers, grown in her very own greenhouse.

Why, that’s wonderful, opines Nurse Sentry! They just might make her feel less depressed!

Umm…..maybe if she could have visitors she might be less depressed?

And so ends another chapter in the history of the nurse-in-advertising. This ad is actually for portable greenhouses! Go figure!

Do you even see nurses in ads anymore?

And how do you know they are nurses if they are there?

I miss my cap…..


My philosophy of emergency medicine is very simple.

If there is a patient in the waiting room and an empty gurney in the department, I believe that the patient’s butt should be on that gurney. Period.

The minute the gurney is clean the next patient is getting tucked in.

Not all emergency nurses share this view and some will go out of their way to, shall we say, divert the patient care to their department colleagues.

Here are a few behaviors I have witnessed over the years:

  • Selective Vision – there are five charts in the “orders to be done” rack, but they are not seen because the nurse is too busy reading about Brad and Angelina in an old People magazine.
  • Selective Selection – the nurse approaches the rack, assessess the work to be done and leaves the NG tubes and enemas to the next nurse. They are, however happy to adminster the ibuprofen and put a band-aid on the skinned knee.
  • Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness – the nurse develops an acute onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder as he/she is too busy to take another patient because the IV tray contents must line up perfectly. In every room. And if she doesn’t do it, who will?
  • The Waiting Game – everyone sees the chart for the patient in the waiting room, but no one makes a move, waiting to see if another nurse will grab it first.
  • Ambulance-induced Abdominal Discomfort – it begins with the ring-down and reaches its apex when the rig pulls up to the door. Immediate residence in the staff restroom is required. Spontaneous relief occurs as the patient is settled into the gurney and report has been taken, as demonstrated by the sound of a flushing toilet.
  • Tech Support – run your ER tech to the point of exhaustion, doing things you can actually do yourself, but why bother?
  • Helpless Hattie – oh dear, she just can’t seem to get that darned IV in, would you please help? At which point you immediately insert a line into a vein the size of a fire hose.
  • The Charter – the nurse sits at the corner desk, hunched over a chart and furiously writing. As she is known for her compulsive charting, no one questions her motivation.

In reality, she is making a list of topics for her next blog entry.

Hey…I never said I was perfect!


  • kenju

    January 7, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    Too funny, Kim, especially the last part. I think that this list could be adapted for every workplace in the country, because I know that everywhere there are slackers!

  • Moof

    January 8, 2006 at 9:13 pm

    Great list Kim! I was sure that last one sounded familiar … blue ink, eh? 😉


  • ICU 101

    January 9, 2006 at 11:31 am

    well, i just spit my water all over my keyboard… :Þ

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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