February, 2006 Archive

February 11, 2006, 1:34 pm

Mama Gonna Clock You Out!

This is wrong is so many ways.

First of all, the groovy early ’70s tunic. We’re talking Osmond Brothers era here. People were still mourning the Beatles. Bras were smoldering, but not yet burning.

I never knew that the purpose of a nursing uniform was to cause a disturbance in the cardiac function of anyone with an MD who happened to be in the vicinity.

I must have missed that lecture in pathology.

The ad also assumes the doctor this nurse will be working with is of the male persuasion.

The only good thing I can say about this ad is that it shows a woman of color in a professional capacity. If my memory serves me correctly, I don’t remember seeing a lot of that back then.

Of course, I could be wrong. It could be an ad for ensuring the health of our medical doctors by assessing their blood pressure every shift, and making sure that nurses act as “gatekeepers”, so the physician is never stressed beyond his capacity to cope.

Pardon me, I have a strong urge to gag.

With all due respect to my male nursing colleagues, we’ve come a long way, ladies.


A few posts ago I mentioned that the giant health conglomerate for which I (happily) work, decided to implement a new procedure that requires everyone to now clock in and out for both their shift and their lunch break. (Not the doctors; they are not hospital employees).

I find this to be professionally insulting.

There is a seven minute leeway in terms of signing in and out, which is good.

You can punch out at 23 minutes after the hour and still be paid in full or you can punch in 7 minutes after you are due into the unit and still be on time.

So, you’re thinking, what’s the problem?

Well, this seven-minute leeway does not apply to the lunch period. If you punch in one minute too late after your lunch break, you get docked 15 minutes of pay.

Being nurses, we have learned how to exploit the system.

Here’s how:

  • Rule One: Never pee on your own time. All urination is done while “on the clock” be it before or after your break is done.
  • Rule Two: One nurse must make coffee before actually swiping out. This is so the rest of us may enjoy our cups without having to make it “off the clock”.
  • Rule Three: All food is purchased from the cafeteria before punching out. Most of us just run down there and buy what we want during the beginning hour or two of the shift so that it is ready for us on our “official” break. Plus, the first nurse can report on what is being served that day.
  • Rule Four: all food is heated in the microwave on company time. Some of those meals take 10 minutes to heat up, allowing only 20 minutes to eat and digest, leading to acid indigestion and requiring us to sneak Maalox from the till. So you see, this is in the company’s best interest.
  • Rule Six: take the little timer thingy and time it to allow yourself 30 seconds to get to the clock to swipe back in.
  • Rule Seven: Don’t stand at the time clock waiting for just the right time to punch out. It makes you look like cattle waiting for the rancher to open the stall. Either punch out early and take the dock or keep working until it’s time to go.

So, as you can see, we pretty much have it covered. I personally like to do crossword puzzles or that damned new puzzle, Soduku on my break, so I make sure that I have the paper folded “just so” and my good pen and that the couch in the breakroom is clear before I punch out.

Gee, just what I thought my life would be like as a PROFESSIONAL REGISTERED NURSE.

Run by the clock.

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February 8, 2006, 6:46 pm

Bugged by Blogger

Quick note: you may see font changes in my previous posts. With the exception of the little ambulances, they are not intentional. I try to keep my font consistent, but it either makes it too big or too small, even though my font bar shows the right size. So either (1) Blogger has some bug that messes with fonts or (2) I am too stupid to figure it out.

Please bear with me as I plod my way through html hell.

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6:21 pm

Les Whining Miserables

Ahh, the famous Dr. Taillandier from France.

His patient had a headache and a feeling of tiredness. She also had bad skin and a severe case of the non-fatal, yet universally dreaded symptom of……coated tongue.

After a thorough evaluation and assessment, meticulously documented pictorally, the true problem was diagnosed.

Her intestines were unclean. They were tired.

The patient was constipated.

And our renowned Dr. T had the answer.

Fleishman’s Yeast.

Three cakes a day.

For a minute I wasn’t sure if you were supposed to eat it or shove it up the nether region.

You eat it. Blech!

Three cakes a day and your life will be pain free, your acne will clear up and your tongue will once again be presentable.

You will also auto-produce bread if you stand in a warm room.

(Disclaimer: Emergiblog is 99.9% apolitical. Any inference of an association between France and constipation is unintended. Thank you.)


It has come to my attention that a certain computer system used by our largest local EMS service will not allow my paramedic and EMT colleagues to access Emergiblog because it contains images of “intimate apparel”.

I had given my blog address to one of the medics in a shameless attempt to solicit votes for the Medical Weblog Awards. Hey, when you are a Maurading Marsupial you do what you have to do, okay?

So now, all of the EMS personnel in the county in which I work, should they attempt to access Emergiblog, will think that I am modeling “intimate apparel”.

This could make me very popular.

However, one photo of me in “intimate apparel” would be so bad that readers would actually take back their hits and my site counter would immediately hit -58.

My best guess is that when I ran, months ago, the old ad that showed a ’40s nurse in underwear, I crossed a delicate line. We can’t have our medics looking at that nasty photo while on duty.

So, hello to those EMS colleagues who are accessing from a different computer system, welcome, and I’m sorry I don’t have any intimate apparel for you to peruse. I do, however, have a very cute scrub top I will debut next week, so if you like Winnie-the-Pooh, you may not be able to control yourselves.

You have been warned.


I’m not really miserable, but I was last night.

Twelve hours of hell.

Now, please understand that I work in the best ER ever.

As an example, when we give patients a “GI Cocktail”, we put a margarita umbrella in it.

I’m not kidding! We really do! I even put one in the oral contrast for abdominal CTs. Makes the patients laugh, which is not easy when you have abdominal pain.

So it’s a cool place. Homeless drunks found on the street who don’t even know their own name request our facility.

Sometimes I wish we were not so popular!

So to put it in perspective, when I say I worked through a night of hell, in other ERs we are talking “business as usual”.

Anyway, in the patients came. Lots and lots of them. Very sick ones.

If we were lucky, it was by ambulance because, at least in our county, they are practically cured by the time we get them (good field protocols, and good medics/EMTs). But when the really sick ones walk in with chest pain or are wheeled in by relatives, it’s “starting from scratch” and it takes a lot more work to initiate their care. They came en masse.

The “walking wounded” have to wait, and they also came en masse.

And as luck would have it, I was Charge Nurse/Triage (we take turns).

Tensions were high. Meaning someone raised their voice once. No one had a chance to eat, let alone visit the rest room and they decided to remodel our break room so we had no place to retreat for even two minutes.

In the old days, the night would slow down after 2300. Not so these days. Up until I signed out at 0340 I was hanging blood and taking vitals.

I was so tired I wanted to cry but (1) it isn’t professional (2) I didn’t have the energy and (3) I was so dehydrated I didn’t have any liquid to spare.

Why is it when I’m at home, I must urinate on demand but when I’m at work I have the bladder of a camel?

I asked a colleague in her mid-60s how she did it. When I leave work, I ache so bad and my back hurts so bad that I have to go home and take ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer so I can move.

She has so much energy and moves so fast – I marveled at her stamina.

Turns out she has to take the same meds I do.

Oh, so it isn’t just me. But wait, she is 17 years older than me!

I have the same body as someone who is 65!


Ya know, sometimes ya just gotta whine.

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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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