March 21, 2006, 3:55 pm

Tuesday Afternoon

I’m speechless.

And this is the improved version.

Does it come with stirrups?

Absolutely everything that comes to mind is totally inappropriate.

Oh, gee, my uterus is hanging out, I better go get a Mellier’s!

They’re on sale!


When will I ever learn to say “no”?

Today was supposed to be a day off but I am picking up four hours for a co-worker tonight.

No biggie, we help each other out at work all the time.

But I forgot….

Tonight is American Idol!


And it’s voting night, too and I can’t vote because I’m working until 2300.

I’m like an addict missing their visit to the methadone clinic.

If you are reading this, do a fellow blogger a favor and vote for Taylor, the grey-haired guy.
He is quirky and reminds me of Joe Cocker and quirky guys rock!

Thank you.


Speaking of people who rock, we have had nursing students in the ER for awhile now. They are a blast to have in the department.

Usually there are one or two which is perfect for our department size.

We have a great ER, so they get to see what a nice community department is like and not get freaked out at the “Super Famous Medical Center With Super Hard To Get Into Medical School Whose ER Was Last Remodeled In the 1950s”.

I don’t have a student with me, because teaching is not one of my strong points. I’m more of the “Run with me and observe, Grasshopper. When you can grab the Ativan from my hand, you will be ready” type.

I know what I’m doing (usually) and in ER it’s a combo of experience and instinct.

But students like to ask questions.

And I don’t think “Uh…duh….let me stop and think about that….” gives off a good professional impression.

It is, however, good for me to do that once in awhile.

It’s the “stop” part of the equasion that trips me up.

I decided I needed a make-over. So I cut my hair off.

We are talking Natalie Portman here, folks. Like if I was wearing a cap, I’d have a hell of a time finding hair to pin it to.

So short that parts of my face that had not seen the sun for a year were fluorescent white.

I had kind of an early John Denver thing going, with wire glasses and overgrown bangs that met them. Not attractive.

So I put on my contacts and actually wore a complete face full of make up. Eye shadow, the works.

Apparently I now look younger, which is great, but good lord, what DID I look like before!


I don’t often lose it at work. Usually I can wait, hit my mental “Save” button and open the “Emotion” program at a more appropriate time. But every once in awhile, there is a tragic case/outcome and I start to lose it.

They say you should take time to decompress after something like that, but there is no time in the ER to go in the back and sob for twenty minutes and then come back out. No matter what happens in one room, you have a department full of patients you still have to deal with, and you have to look professional.

Being female, here are some tips that work for me, personally. Take from them what you will.

  • Don’t dwell. Stop thinking about the ramifications of what just happened. If you aren’t directly involved in the care and came into scribe or be a “runner” leave the area and get back to your assignment.
  • Distract yourself – get into another patient’s room, bet back into triage. Get busy. Put on a smile and focus on the next patient, even if it takes an Academy Award performance to do it.
  • Don’t make eye contact with your co-workers for a few minutes after a tragedy/bad outcome. The last time I was faced with this, I glanced at my supervisor who was tearing up and I lost it.
  • Wear waterproof mascara. I’m not joking.

Well that was a rather disjointed post! From uterine supports to waterproof makeup.

Such is my life.


  • Moof

    March 21, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    Kim … I’m exhausted just reading this post. I don’t know how you do everything you do.

    I’m sorry about whatever the “bad outcome” was … but, I guess there usually aren’t words that help for that sort of thing. *comfort*

  • Third Degree Nurse

    March 21, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    It’s OK, hon. And if it’s not, well then, you can have a good cry now. Or a hot bubble bath, whichever serves you better.

    So where’s that photo of the new haircut? how about a before and after. . . come on…

  • keagirl

    March 21, 2006 at 9:21 pm

    I also went through an extremely short hair phase (one inch long all the way round) two years ago, and found out (the hard way) I really didn’t like it that way. Now it’s way past my shoulders.

    I know what you mean about dealing with bad outcomes and other emotional issues. Once, after diagnosing this huge bladder tumor in a 21 year old patient who was crying along with his mother, I had to lock myself in the bathroom for about 10 minutes to try to compose myself.

  • Flea

    March 22, 2006 at 2:23 am

    Those little cup thingies on either side of the supporter are stirrups…. aren’t they?


  • Mama Mia

    March 22, 2006 at 4:31 am

    Kim, I am more convinced than ever that you are my twin. Those are EXACTLY my strategies for getting through a bad event. And the “run with me and observe”… my standard line to students is “I do not talk and do well at the same time, so if you have questions ask them in between tasks, not in the middle.”

    Sorry you had a rough whatever.

  • Bardiac

    March 22, 2006 at 9:34 am

    I think I’ve seen things just like that “uterine support” on websites for… err…

    (I think the things on the side are extra attachments, maybe for positioning or something? I tried to expand the picture to see what it said under them.)

  • Kim

    March 22, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    I have two photos I would like to scan up, one is the new haircut with my cap on and the other is from my graduation in 1978. Both will make you split a gut laughing, trust me….I need a new scanner, though.

  • rnxmas

    April 3, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    Tired of my son getting his fat, little, sticky fingers in it, I cut off all my hair. Oh, my mistake, I had to wear much make-up and lipstick so as not to be mistaken for a little boy. Lesson learned. My hair is almost down to the crack of my butt now. Probably over compensating.

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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