June, 2006 Archive

June 9, 2006, 3:09 pm

Better Working Thru Tech-nology!


I really have to get a life.

This is what I have become.

An Adorable Rodent in the TTLB Ecosystem.

For months I was a Maurading Marsupial. I loved my little pouch. In fact, sometimes they would make a mistake and for a brief moment I’d be a Large Mammal.

Life was good.

Now I’m eatin’ nuts and livin’ in the trees.

This depresses me.

I really have to get a life.


Many emergency departments have ER technicians that work along with the nurses in providing patient care. My ER is one such department. We are fortunate enough to have an ER technician from 1800-0630, and believe me, we run their posteriors off.

So what makes a good ER tech? What are the qualities that make having an ER tech nearly as good (or even better) as having another nurse on duty?

  • The Patience of a Saint
    • A tech is at the beck and call of not only every nurse on the unit, but also the unit secretary and the doctor.
    • This includes those staff members who believe the tech is their personal assistant, if you get my drift.
  • The Ability to Prioritize
    • They are expected to: stock, transport patients, run specimens to the lab
    • irrigate wounds, clean abrasions, do CPR until their muscles ache, move patients (both large and small)
    • respond to psych emergencies (ie “take-down” situations)
    • dip urines, occasionally draw bloods, do EKGs, run to Central Supply
    • take bodies to the morgue
    • make beds/straighten rooms after discharge
    • and do all this when asked by the staff, sometimes 4-5 things at a time
  • The Ability to BE There
    • I don’t mean calling in sick, we’re all expected to be at work
    • I mean the ability to be active, in the department when needed, not do a chore and run to the break room.
  • The Ability to Splint
    • Orthopedic experience is a distinct advantage
    • Especially to MY patients because although I can splint you in the proper position, it won’t be pretty.
    • Let’s put it this way: do you want your splint designed by Fred Flintstone or Michaelangelo? I work with a tech who can splint so well Michaelangelo would be wanting to take lessons from him!
  • Muscles
    • Male or female – it doesn’t matter to me
    • The more they can lift/pull/drag the better because that means the more we can lift/pull/drag together!
  • Dedication to the Job
    • One problem with keeping a good tech is that they see the job as a “way-station”
      • Before getting into paramedic school or becoming a fire fighter
      • which means losing them, sometimes not long after they have started.
    • It’s rare to find someone who wants to actually be an ER tech as their actual, regular and dedicated job.
      • If you have one, you better treat ’em like gold or someplace else will snatch ’em.
      • They are hard to find.

And if you doubt the worth of having an ER tech, just try working one shift without one.

I have.

It was hell.

So here’s props to all the ER techs of the world. You may think you are underpaid.

You are.

But never, never think you are not appreciated.

You are.

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June 8, 2006, 5:30 pm

Blogger Hell and Grand Rounds Comments


I can be snarky and intend to be so in this brief, but snarky post.

Is this a freakin’ photo of Blogger’s server?

I have tried for two days to leave comments on the submissions to this week’s Grand Rounds.

Each time I have tried I have gotten the “Blogger is Down For Maintainence” bull.

Now, I may not have the most profound things to say in my comments, but I do like to make them now and again.

Having been freed from “Blogger Hell”, it is still frustrating that I can’t communicate with those who still use Blogger as their, well, blogger!

And I can’t even email some of the contributors because there is no email on their site.

Okay, I am taking a breath and my rant is over…….

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June 6, 2006, 5:38 pm

Scrub In for Grand Rounds


Long ago I made a personal decision never to watch any medical shows on television.

Too much like being at work.

Then son buys the first three seasons of “Scrubs”.

Immediate addiction.

This show can take you from split-a-gut laughter to full out bawling in thirty minutes.

The nurses are tough – there’s one nurse even the Chief of Medicine is afraid of! You go girl!

And I’ve started to talk like Dr. Cox – I had no idea I had such a storage of sarcasm just waiting to emerge at the slightest provocation!

And so I use this cast photo to “introduce” this week’s issue of Grand Rounds hosted by Dmitriy at The Medical Blog Network. Dmitriy was very generous and included a post from both Emergiblog and Scared To Health this week.

I used the new submission procedure this week, and while I think it can be simplified a bit, it worked well for me.

Great topics this week as usual!

Wear your best “Scrubs”!

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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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