July, 2006 Archive

July 15, 2006, 10:32 am

I Know, It’s Only Rock and Roll, But I Like It


Ah,conspicuous self-promotion!

Hey, at least I’m honest…


First of all, the reason I used the Beatles as my photo du jour is that I now have iTunes in the Emergimall!!!!

Yes, I am such a Mac addicted geek that the fact that I am now considered worthy of being an Apple affiliate, like, totally rocks!

Now if Apple Computers can just make of deal with Apple Records and put the Beatles on iTunes I will have an acute coronary event!

(And yes, I know the title of the post is a Rolling Stones song, just in case you were wondering…..)


There is a new post over at Scared to Health where I discuss an event of momentous importance.

Turning 49.

And if the content of this post is any indication, one can be middle-aged but as that modern philospher, Bob Seger once sang, “…rock and roll never forgets”.

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July 14, 2006, 2:40 pm

Compassion For the “Frequently Flying”


Well isn’t’ that special?

She must have just returned from a transatlantic flight to Ireland

Not that that causes irregularity, mind you

I’m just sayin’


I’m sitting at Starbucks, continuing my boycott of Borders.

It was hard to boycott today.

The sent me a coupon for a free dessert at the coffee shop because it is my birthday.

Sneaky buggers…….


Oh geeze, Rascal Flatts is on the satellite radio here singing about a grandmother who has altzheimer’s so badly she is in a nursing home.

But ask her about Grandpa and she comes alive.

One of the lines goes:

“Tomorrow she won’t remember what she did today, but just ask her about Ellsworth, Kansas, 1948”

And I have a lump in my throat.

I must be extra sensitive. For some reason I miss my dad rather acutely today.

Well, it won’t do to cry in the middle of Starbucks, so let’s get on to our topic du jour.


She was young. Maybe 32-ish.

We saw her a lot.

Sometimes three times a week.

She had chronic pain.

The first time I met her I saw the staff roll their eyes when she came in.

Hmmm…..must be a regular.


As I got to know her during subsequent visits, it seemed to me that she was quite nice.

In fact, she was the kind of person who you would like to have lunch with.

Not your “typical” drug seeker, if there is such a thing.


As I do with everybody in her condition, I made sure she always had a dark room, private, quiet and with a warm blanket.

Some of my colleagues thought I was encouraging future visits by making her too comfortable and accomodating her needs.

So…..we’re supposed to not accomodate her needs because she was a “frequent-flyer”, as they phrased it?


What had this patient ever done to the nurses to deserve this kind of attitude, other than to be in pain?

She may have been a seeker.

How was I to know that? How was I to judge that she was not in agony?

I guess at this particular ER, you didn’t get compassion for that behavior.


One day she came in with wonderful news.

She had obtained the job of her dreams on the East Coast and was moving withing two weeks.

It was wonderful for her because she had to overcome some serious obstacles to get that job.

I wished her well at the end of the visit.

I’ll probably never see her again.


One day I was discussing her news with a colleague who informed me that our patient had a Master’s degree from Yale.

I was floored.

I was floored because it proves that we who work in the ER have no idea of what our patients are dealing with outside of their visits to us, or how they handle their suffering.

Some people can smile through pain.

I managed to count the number of patients in an ER where I was experiencing 8/10 chest pain because I could see the tracking board from my bed.

Some people double over at a hangnail and some display stoicism with a 100% blocked left anterior descending coronary artery.

You can rarely judge

I try not to ever judge, but I’m not perfect. Not even close.

But I try, and you get compassion from me no matter why you show up at the ER desk.

Guess I’m not burned-out!

And that’s a good feeling.

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July 12, 2006, 7:31 pm

Change of Shift: Volume One, Number Two


Welcome to the second edition of “Change of Shift”, a nursing homage, if you will, to the great tradition of Grand Rounds. An amazing array of wonderful stories from nurses, patients and doctors are here for your perusal this week. Enjoy!


What exactly constitutes a “nurse”? Mary presents a beautiful description of exactly what nursing is in her post, Nurses in Nontraditional Roles posted at The Mote in the Light.

Cassie exercises the epitome of self control in The Back Lady posted at Mommy RN.

When you have to prioritize, when you don’t have a choice…check out New Orleans L&D Staffing from the Navelgazing Midwife.


Mother Jones RN presents Finding Mr. Right, MD posted at Nurse Ratched’s Place. I bet there are guys out there looking for Miss Right, RN!

Marisa presents a look ar correctional nursing and understaffing at Stoned posted at Nursing Student Hell. By the time I was done reading, my adrenaline was pumping!

Keith at Digital Doorway enters this poignant patient encounter in a scenario that seems to have No Exit. Keith is also back from vacation and talks of returning to the minutiae of nursing in Of Vacation’s End and The Sisyphus Syndrome. Great advice at the end, and it comes at the perfect time for me!


Dr. Sid Schwab, author of “Cutting Remarks: Insights and Recollections of a Surgeon” presents an excerpt in Love Note To A Scrub Nurse over at Surgeonsblog, which I have to go link to immediately!

NPs Save Lives finds a future Nurse Practioner in The Resiliency of Children posted at NPs Save Lives. Fantastic description of a “dinger” repair! You can stitch me anytime!

Too Fat for Ponies is going to have a sore palm from all the virtual “high-fives” he will get as he talks about a different type of “nursing” in Eating In The Bathroom posted at Too Fat for Ponies. And while you are there, check out Too Fat for Ponies: Q & A of the Male Student Nurse and marvel that these questions are still asked of our male colleagues.


A reader over at Sunny Side Up: Dispatches From Paradise gives us a not-so-flattering look at nurses during an ER via the post entitled Nurse Wretched. Read and learn!

Hannah presents Milliner’s Dream: –Birth Conversations: A Doula’s Version of The Vagina Monologues posted at Milliner’s Dream. Oh, if I could have my kids all over again, things would be so different…..

Melissa presents an amazing story of “non-osmotic” common sense in I Am Not A Nurse, But I Play One On TV posted at The Adventures Of An Awesome (Sometimes) Mother. This Awesome Mom is wondering if she should be a nurse. I say we go and give her some encouragement!

NCLEX takers! Alec presents Some (hopefully) helpful advice posted at COWman’s Corner of the Web. Helpful hints and laughter at the same time!


Jo, at Coffee and Conversation describes some of the exciting things she has already experienced in her new role as an RN in Rites of Passage. She has even been yelled at by a doc for no reason! Girlfriend, welcome to da club!

Erica presents Let’s pretend. posted at Blissful Entropy. All I can say to this post is “Can I Get A Witness! Amen, honey, amen!” She also offers a philosophical look (and a quick inservice for the non-medical/cardiac reader)at the heart at Blissful Entropy: The pump. All I can say is if you’re gonna have an arrest, to it in the hospital!

I think I’ll chime in this week with a blast from the past wherein I bemoan my inability to work like I am 21 in Taking What They’re Giving ‘Cos I’m Working For A Living


Editor’s Additions:

There’s a new man in town, and he’s a nurse! He noticed there wasn’t a lot of blogs by male nurses and decided to chime in! Welcome Nurse Dan and his brand new blog!

My blogger colleague at Nursing Voices, Katie, is doing her clinicals in ER. Check out her blog at Confessions of A Student Nurse.


Next “Change of Shift” will be on July 27th, hosted here. Those who are interested in hosting – please email me. So far I have two offers!

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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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