April, 2006 Archive

April 24, 2006, 10:11 pm

Give A Big Smooch to Grand Rounds!


Sometimes, as I peruse the ads of yesteryear, I think that all the world worried about was bad breath, feminine hygiene, constipation, and harsh toilet paper.

Nurses and doctors were used to sell everything from cars to detergent.

And insurance was not a four-letter word!

I wonder what future generations will think when they see the health care ads of today?

Will they laugh and marvel at the innocence of our age?

Will they find old collections of our blogs and stories and laugh and marvel at our “outdated” technology?

Not this week!

This week you can visit Health Business Blog where Dave has hosted Grand Rounds.

There are a wide range of topics that will bemuse, educate and touch your heart.

Check it out.

As for me, I’m off to read the post about sex and holter monitors.

That was not a mis-print.

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11:00 am

To the Nurses of the Class of 2006


I love all of my ads, but this is one of my very favorites.

The funny thing is, when I first saw it, I thought she was giving an obscene gesture!

Then I realized it was a Bulova Watch ad.

I rate the cap an 8/10, losing points for the pointy top which, while unique, must have presented a challenge when it came time to place the stripe upon it.

But the recipient felt like she had the world at her feet and wore that cap with pride.

I remember.

f5_12.JPG.jpgI had a severe case of writer’s block this week.

Oh, I had a lot of ideas in my “To Blog” folder, but nothing was coming together in my head.

Inspiration comes when you least expect it.

As I sat in my car waiting those last few minutes before going into my department (hey, Journey was on the radio, okay?), one word came into my mind.


What would I say to the new graduate nurses if I was a guest of honor at the pinning ceremonies instead of a worker bee blogger in the Hive of Health Care?

The thoughts began to flow.

And a blog post was born, right there in the car.

To my new colleagues in the graduating classes of 2006.

All the time, sacrifices, stresses, anxieties and insecurities of school are now behind you.

Or are they?


You’re scared? Still?

Afraid you didn’t learn enough? Wondering how you’ll cope with a full assignment, while having the ultimate responsibility? Will you even pass what we used to call “the boards”?

Relax. Those feelings are normal. You will pass the exam for your license. You have learned what you need to know to start your career.

Remember that 90% of what you need to know you will learn on the job. School has taught you how to learn. As a professional, you will learn.

Give yourself at least a year to feel comfortable in your new role. At first, everyday will bring new experiences. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll learn from them. We all will. We all have. Work as much as you can that first year. The more experience you accumulate the more confidence you will have.

Gradually, you will find that you have advanced from running to put out fires as they occur to recognizing the beginnings of a problem before the embers have a chance to heat up. (How’s that for a metaphor?)

Just wait until you act on your first “gut feeling” and save a life.


You are beginning your career in an age of technology unheard of when I graduated in the late ’70s.

You will join your older colleagues in addressing ethical issues unthinkable when we “dinosaurs” graduated.

You will share a collegial relationship with doctors that never used to exist between the professions.

You will work harder with sicker patients than any new graduating class before you; patients that 20 years ago would have been in an ICU.

You are walking into a market that is literally crying out for your skills. Your skills.

And when you look at the older nurses that you work with, remember that they have blazed a path for you in terms of better pay, better benefits and better working conditions. They have fought and are still fighting the good fight for the best working conditions and the safest patient care. Join them.

Ladies, wear that invisible cap with pride. You may not have one, but you earned it.

Gentlemen, you have so much to contribute to the nursing profession. You’ve earned your “cap”, too, but I bet you are glad you don’t have to wear it!

I am proud to consider myself your colleague.

So, as you finish your studies, go celebrate, party like it’s 1999 (not-so-obscure Prince reference) and bask in your accomplishments.

Then get to work.

We need you.


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April 23, 2006, 8:57 am

Another Successful Trauma Resuscitation!

Old Lady ViagraThis is exactly how I feel right at this very moment.

I was only supposed to stay for four hours last night but it turned into a full, busy, non-stop night shift.

Eight full hours.

When I was only psychologically prepared for four.

The funny thing is, this photo is actually from a Viagra ad!

I kid you not!

Just the thought of Viagra is enough to produce profound psychosis.

I’m more intererested in the coffee.

Of course, I don’t really look like this.

I have a blue robe.

Sulfa Band AidThe patient was an older woman.She had experienced a mishap in her kitchen.

Knife vs. finger.

Bleeding had been hard to control at home.

Pre-hospital care had included placing a band-aid over the laceration, which was fairly soaked with what was now dried blood.

She wasn’t sure if she needed stitches or not.

Well triage was full at the time, so I proceded to remove said dressing at the nurse’s station, very carefully so as not to re-induce bleeding.

The dressing was removed successfully.

No resumption of bleeding.

In fact, there was no cut.

“Where’s the cut?” I asked. Might as well have said “Where’s the beef?”

We looked all over that digit.

We pried apart what looked like a break in the skin, we prodded and poked and scratched out heads in wonder.

We did everything except amputate the finger and send it to pathology.

So we did what any self-respecting ER would do.

We sent her home with a baggie of anti-biotic ointment, bandaids and a few 2x2s in case it started bleeding again.

And a magnifying glass…..

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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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