July, 2006 Archive

July 18, 2006, 4:25 pm

Don’t Be Resigned, A Petition to Sign!


I’ve written in support of the Office of the National Nurse before.

I’ve donated to the cause and I am awaiting my mug, bumper sticker and pin from their Cafe Press store.

Let’s hear it for online shopping!

You can see the button on my sidebar that will take you to the site.

But what we need, more than anything right now, are for people to sign the petition for the Office of National Nurse

Anyone over 18 can sign, meaning all adults in your household, not just healthcare providers.

And to make it easy, here is the link for the Petition.

Remember, this is a bipartisan effort. Healthcare knows no political affiliation.

A donation to the cause would be greatly appreciated.

We aren’t a big lobby group, just a few regular nurses of all educational backgrounds who:

  • want to see the growth of our profession through the education and recruitment of nursing instructors from whom increasing numbers of qualified candidates can realize their dream of becoming a nurse.
  • Like the idea of being able to volunteer our services to those in need in our own communities.

We are not nationalizing the nursing profession. We want one person to represent nursing to the citizens of the country and promote the nursing profession.

We need those kids out there to choose nursing.

Who will take care of us when we are too old for the wards?

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3:41 pm

Thar She Blows!


What on earth is she doing here?

Dancing a jig?

Fighting off a sudden urge to do the Macarena?

Throwing Santa Claus off a cliff?

What is around her ankles?

Did her underwear fall down?

Whatever is happening, that old man looks like he is ready to punch out his nurse!

And she doesn’t look too fond of him!

Perhaps he’s a wee bit too fond of his Depends changes.

Still a rather drastic response, tossing the poor guy off a hill…..


Calling all mid-life folks!

Dr. Peg at PegSpot and author Sheila Key are writing a book about mid-life entitled 50 Ways to Leave Your 40s and are looking for YOUR stories.

Ironically, I heard of this right after I wrote my post on Scared to Health about turning 49 and I sent that post to Sheila.

How are you handling this stage of life? See Dr. Peg’s blog or the book website linked above and let them know!


I lost it.

At work.

For no reason.

I ripped someone a new one, if you get my drift.

And they didn’t deserve it.

And none of the usual excuses/reasons apply.

  • Were we busy? Nope!
  • Was it “that time of the month”? Uh….no.
  • Was I feeling particularly stressed? No.
  • Did I have issues with this co-worker? Never.

It was a sudden rage that came from nowhere and surged out with a vehemence that still makes me shake when I think of it.

As you read the following, remember that the person I went postal on was doing nothing wrong….


The patient was a highly functional elderly woman, maybe in her late 80s.

But she was a very vague historian.

Lots of nice conversation and very little information. No question was answered with a “yes” or “no”, but with a five minute dissertation that went off on at least two tangents and never returned to the question at hand.

I’ve had root canals that were easier than trying to piece together this woman’s history or even why she was in the department to begin with.

But, if you pushed too hard, she became flustered and it was even harder to get information.

Of course, her grand-daughter had only given Granny a ride and didn’t have any info on what was happening. Can’t blame her, it wasn’t easy to figure out!

Oh, and let me mention here that the patient had a list of medications.

Two pages long.


Now that particular shift was not hellacious, so I didn’t feel particularly stressed or tense as the patient gave the 40-year history of her swollen legs.

And the reason why the shift was not bad was that two very fast, very efficient guys were running the show. One an MD, one an RN/PA who I had worked with for a long time. We’ll call my PA colleague “Dave”.

Now when “Dave” is on with one of the rapid-fire ER docs, our department moves. There is no backup.

You want to work when “Dave” is on.

Which makes what happened next all the more off-the-wall.


“Dave” came in to begin assessing the patient, while I was at the bedside trying to do the same thing.

This is not unusual.

We have this system called “rapid/immediate bedding”. It means that if a bed is available, the patient bypasses the usual triage area and is taken straight to a room where triage and registration are done, often at the same time as the ED doc (or PA) begins their evaluation.

When it works, it is quite efficient.

So, after a decent interval of 15 minutes or so, “Dave” joins me at the bedside, where he begins to assess the patient, asking much the same questions I did.

Only now the patient is confused by who she should be talking to and even when “Dave” realized this and turned to the patient’s grand-daughter, the patient was straining to hear what was going on.

I lost her attention and no way was I going to get it back.

The skin on the back of my neck began to crawl.

And then “Dave” did the ultimate no-no.

He had the audacity to reach over and write the patient’s age on the nursing notes.


My notes.


Mount St. Helens looked like a gas bubble compared to what happened next. I placed my pen down (a wee bit forcefully) on the chart and left the room.

No, I may have stomped out.

And then I began to seethe.

Unbeknownst to poor “Dave” who is now trying to get the info he needs to start the orders, Miss Priss here (me) is waiting for him.

Just like Mammy said in “Gone With the Wind”, waiting for him “like ah spidah!”.


“Dave” emerges from the room and I ask him if I can have a moment of his time.

No, I think I demanded it.

I go into the breakroom, kick a drawer shut, spin around and give “Dave” the “what-for”.

I said some pretty insulting things about being a nurse or a PA but not both and how DARE he write on MY chart and how DARE he interrupt my patient assessment and how DARE he enter the room while I’m working and how DARE he write on MY CHART and how DARE he take a breath and how DARE he write on my chart…..

Add a couple (or three) four letter words coming from a fushia-faced, sputtering RN and you have a pretty good picture of what was happening.

My chest hurts just writing it.


“Dave” stayed cool.

Thank god someone did.

But he was shocked, to say the least.

Trust me when I say I’m not known for my explosive rage. And while I admit to being a bit territorial about my chart, I’m not the type to hide it under my scrub shirt so no one can see it.

My usual attitude when a patient comes in is “the more the merrier” – let’s get as much done as we can as fast as we can.

The scary thing is that it wasn’t “Dave” that was the object of my irrational harrangue.

“Dave” is one of the easiest folks to work with, as an RN or as a PA.

It could have been anyone. Any doctor that had done the same thing would have gotten the same reaction from me at that time.


By the end of the shift “Dave” and I were “cool” as they say but I continued to be (and deserved to be) mortified.

Later that night I was telling the night shift what I had done and we were laughing that my psychotic episode from nowhere would go down in the annals of Superior Medical Facility’s ER history.

There are a million stories in that history. This is one of them.


I worked my first shift after vacation on Sunday and told “Dave” I had taken my Thorazine prior to coming in so he was safe.

He gave me a hug and laughed.

The only saving grace to this whole thing is that I did not erupt in front of the patient.

And I am of the definite opinion that I needed that vacation much more than I realized at the time.

And I hope never to experience that sense of anger or behave like that again.

Realizing you are human really sucks sometimes…….

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9:52 am

Off the Charts With Grand Rounds!


Ah yes, in our enlightened times we can now discuss graph paper!

How far we have come!

This is actually an ad for sanitary napkins.

As opposed to unsanitary napkins?

I love how in all these ads for “pads” – let’s call ’em what we really call ’em, the women are beautiful and active and happy and there isn’t a cramp in sight.

Some women just want to stay at home with a heating pad and blog!

(Guys, plug your eyes: we ladies know there is nothing worse than working on that “heavy” day!)

Women, we just plain rock no matter what time of the month it is.

And this week’s Grand Rounds , hosted at ChronicBabe and compiled by Editrix Jenni is a celebration of that fact.

This week it’s “..all about the ladies”!

Ah, coffee and a Grand Rounds Tuesday.

It doesn’t get any better than that…….

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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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