May, 2006 Archive

May 6, 2006, 9:11 am

Send Up A Few Prayers For Mama Doc

Peanuts Hug

I may be the last one in the medical blogosphere to know this, but I just found out that Big MamaDoc has had some strokes and is at UCSF medical center.

Mr. MamaDoc is printing out our comments and taking them to her. Do go pay a visit to Fat Doctor and let MamaDoc know we are praying for her full recovery.

She was wanting a Diet Coke in the last post. Of course, I would recommend Diet Pepsi instead as I feel it is more theraputic, but if MamaDoc wants a Diet Coke, MamaDoc gets a diet coke!

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May 4, 2006, 5:25 pm

Anyway You Want ‘Em, That’s the Way You Need ‘Em!


I don’t remember doing this in anatomy and physiology!

Then again, it’s been so long I barely remember anatomy and physiology.

What if the “canvas” had a hairy chest?

What if the “canvas” was a woman?

It almost looks like he’s drawing Dilbert. Or Dogbert.

Hmmm….perhaps I should retake the class in the interest of nursing science.

Nah, forget it.

With my luck I’d get someone who looks like Woody Allen.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Woody Allen….

I’m just sayin’……

Many of the nurses I know, both in the world of bloggers and in my day-to-day work life either have or are pursuing advanced degrees in nursing, be it a BSN or an MSN.Some are actually entering the nursing field via a Master’s Degree (MSN).I say bring ’em on!We need nurses.

But exactly what type of nurses do we need?

Right now, at this moment, we need nurses who are:

  • Bedside nurses. Nurses who actually perform and work at the bedside with patients in hospitals.
    • This is most acute as the only reason one would need to stay in the hospital would be for nursing care. Nurses do the medication administration, the monitoring, the assistance with the activities of daily living.
    • Beside nurses are the eyes and ears of the doctors, who cannot be everywhere at once.
      • Trust me, if your heart goes haywire, it won’t be the doctor who does that first defibrillation that shocks you back into life.
      • Unless you’re in the ER, and then the doc watches the nurse do it.
    • With all due respect to my colleagues in the laboratory and radiology services, if you dropped every other service in a hospital, with the exception of doctors, the hospital could still function. Drop nursing and you have no hospital.
  • Younger nurses. Now lest I be accused of age discrimination, the fact is that according to a survey requested by the California Board of Registered Nursing in 2004, the median age of an RN in California was 47.7, with the median age of new graduates being 28.1 years. The nursing profession in this state was described as a “middle-aged, aging” workforce.
    • We baby boomers are booming right up the age charts and when we are elderly and too old or too disabled to keep nursing, who will take care of us?
    • We’re all going to be retiring around the same time frame. Who will replace us when we do?
  • Community health nurses.
    • For health maintainence via clinics and health programs
    • For health care
    • To advocate for the patients in the community for access to equipment and medications
    • To make sure those of us who are less able to access health care don’t “fall through the cracks”.
  • Nursing instructors.
    • We have more applicants for nursing in this state than we can handle because we don’t have the space for them in nursing schools. Some students are actually chosen by lottery. Lottery. Why?
      • Not enough nursing professors. Why?
      • Because the pay is horrible compared to hospital nursing.
        • These are the men and women with the MSNs and the PhDs who should be compensated for their education and experience.
        • Because educating the next generation of nursing professionals is hard work and it should be rewarded as such.
        • Think about it. Does the medical doctor teaching med students make less than those students will as interns?

So what do we do, as nurses, to encourage people to go into the profession?

  • Quit bitching!
    • Pardon my language.
    • Yes, the work is hard, sometimes back-breaking, emotionally draining and relentless. Paramedics, cops and doctors face the same issues and they deal with it, just like we nurses do.
    • Talk to potential students about the realities of the profession but don’t sit there and tell them all the reasons why they wouldn’t even remotely want to consider entering it.
  • This was a recommendation from a reader in one of my comments sections: encourage anyone who is interested in nursing as a profession (assuming they have no hospital background already) to shadow a nurse for a full eight hours and watch what they do, what they have to handle.
  • Make nursing attractive to young people as a viable profession.
    • Salary – raising the salary might help, but if you are not meant for nursing no amount of money will get you into it and no amount of money will make you successfull at it. If you are meant to do it, no amount of money will keep you out of it.
    • Decrease the workload – we now have mandated ratios in the state of California. When we can’t admit upstairs, we add staff to the ER to handle the overloaded department. The days of one nurse to a ward of 20 are long gone, my friend.
    • Keep the entrance requirements high and tough – get the best and the brightest.
  • Do not, DO NOT drop the Associate Degree as an entry level option for nurses.
    • The focus of their program is the basic bedside nursing that we need so badly.
    • You can obtain your ADN and work your way through to your BSN or MSN as you are actually gaining work experience.

Frankly, if I were to choose to get my BSN now, I would appreciate it much more than if I had gone directly into a BSN program.

I know so much more about nursing, meaning patient care.

I learned it through hands on experience, so my advanced classes would have more meaning. They would be reinforced by my nursing experience.

I’ve said before that I am an associate degree nurse (ADN) and proud of it.

My junior college was one of the first ADN programs to be accredited by the National Leauge for Nursing and maintains that accreditation today.

I work beside BSN and MSN nurses who are fantastic and I even have my colleague-who-is-PhD-candidate! I love ’em and I learn from them every day. But when push comes to shove, we all do the very same patient care. Some have more knowledge than I do in leadership and nursing models. Some have more knowledge in nursing diagnoses and have the gift of teaching in addition to nursing.

But I once figured out that if I worked full-time night shift (which would never happen in a million years, trust me), given my years of experience and where I’m at on the pay scale, I’d make well over six figures (before the decimal point!).

Not bad for a two-year degree, eh?

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1:40 am

Mind Your Manners! It’s Grand Rounds!

sitting around
Okay, who invited Walt Disney to Grand Rounds?

Probably to discuss the fact that this week it is being hosted by Scott at Polite Dissent , one of the more interesting of the medblogs.

It has comics!

Hey, you’re reading the blog of someone who lives for the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” DVDs to arrive, remember?

So put on your best eyewear, grab your fanciest china, remember to say “please” and “thank you” and to use your salad fork for the salad while you enjoy this week’s very well organized, ecclectic and oh-so-readable version of the ‘Rounds.

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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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