August 21, 2006, 6:03 am

The Answer Nurse Returns

Emergiblog is proud to announce that this post at Scared to Health has won the Bronze Medal post award in this week’s Patient Consumer Parade at Six Until Me.



Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time, once again, for a visit from our favorite repository of all things nursing.

Yes, The Answer Nurse is back!

The Answer Nurse would like to note that “repository” sounds like “suppository”.

She would like to make clear that while the former is a place of storage, the latter is something to be stored.


She hopes that we are aware of the difference.

Emergiblog duly notes that readers will be advised.


Question Number One: “If you weren’t a nurse, what profession would you seek?”

The Answer Nurse: A most personal question, but one which amuses me. I would seek the office of the lead singer of Heart, thereby dethroning Ann Wilson. The Creator of The Answer Nurse has seen fit to allow her the figure of Ms. Wilson, but has denied her the voice. This has kept The Answer Nurse from becoming The Greatest Female Rock and Roll Singer of All Time. Not that The Answer Nurse is bitter. Or anything.

Question Number Two: The Answer Nurse sounds very much like Miss Manners. Did she get inspiration from her?

The Answer Nurse: The Answer Nurse is inspired only by our wonderful nursing forebears: Florence Nightengale. Clara Barton. Dorothea Dix. Cherry Ames. Jessie Brewer. Dixie McCall. Major Houlihan.

Question Number Three: When would you advise a parent to bring a child to the ER? What don’t you consider part of the 70% non-emergencies?

The Answer Nurse: Ah, The Answer Nurse is not un-sympathetic to the anxieties of pediatric illness, having raised three (impeccably mannered) children herself. She isnot able, however, to give medical advice. She can, however, give you her opinion.

  • Breathing difficulties most certainly qualify.
  • Fever does not (with the exception of a first-time febrile seizure).
  • Basically, if your child is alert and talking to you without difficulty, call your Pediatrician first.

The Answer Nurse has a very high regard for Pediatricians. Unfortunately, when you do call them, 99% will tell you to go to the ER, unless your Pediatrician is Dr. Flea. The Answer Nurse appreciates Dr. Flea.

Question Number Four: How many times have you seen a patient shocked? not stacked shocks, but shocked before they die (intubated), and drips will no longer work?

The Answer Nurse: While difficult to give a number, The Answer Nurse can state that her longest “code” with the most actual defibrillations occuring during that time was during a pediatric arrest. The code lasted one hour after arrival with the paramedics. A very rare, very sad situation.

Question Number Five: How effective ARE compressions.

The Answer Nurse: The Answer Nurse feels that if the patient able to leave the emergency department for the ICU rather than the morgue, the compressions were effective.

Question Number Six: Why does my hospital no longer stock fracture pans?

The Answer Nurse: The Answer Nurse believes this will change once someone in the Purchasing department who wears a suit to work fractures a hip and comes to your facility. You will thereafter be innundated with three different styles of fracture pans in four different colors. The Answer Nurse suggests giving said administrator a foley catheter instead.

Question Number Seven: Was I truly expected to believe “I was walking drunk along the side of the highway and fell down, and that’s why I have a mid-shaft femur fracture.”

The Answer Nurse: Yes. (The Answer Nurse must often run to the bathroom to see if she has “STUPID” stamped on her forehead.)

Question Number Eight: Why does work call me when I have n/a after my name on the schedule?

The Answer Nurse: The Answer Nurse believes that a mere “not available” encourages your colleagues to call to inspire guilt. They could be desperate. Pity, really. Then again it may have been a joke at your expense and you are on speaker phone so everyone can hear you. The Answer Nurse is sorry that you have experienced saying “no” to your understaffed, overworked colleagues, but she is sure you must have done something to deserve it.

Question Number Nine: Why does no one read my blog on the weekend?

The Answer Nurse: The Answer Nurse can only assume that your readers are sneaking peaks at your blog on company time. This would explain their resumption of a regular life on the weekends, leaving little time for blogservation. The Answer Nurse just invented that word.

Question Number Ten: I confess, like many such young, inexperienced, greenhorn, of-the-all-thumbs doctors, I am male.…the nurses will thereupon commence to “train,” “educate,” “be-spine-ify,” and otherwise mercilessly and cruelly torture “The Intern”…

My question is, how does this process change if the doctor is female, single, and good-looking?

The Answer Nurse: It doesn’t. The Answer Nurse appreciates your need to ventilate and would like her readers to know the entire text of your amusing anecdote can be found at Wicked on your blog The Budding Emergencist.

And that concludes our most recent interview with The Answer Nurse. Emergiblog hopes she will grace us with her presence for a future interview.


  • Intelinurse2b

    August 21, 2006 at 7:21 am

    Funny! Glad to hear she makes repeat performances. I will look forward to her return. 😉

  • DisappearingJohn

    August 21, 2006 at 9:54 am

    I loved your answer to the question about compressions…

    Had an interesting experience a few weeks ago. Patient came in from a rehab, wearing a large compression vest, due to the recent removal of his sternum from a post op bout of osteomylitis of the sternum… heading downhill, and a documented full code. We were all drawing straws to see who got to be the person who did the first (and most likely last) compression on him (the ends of the ribs would surely shish-ke-bob the heart on the first compression. Luckily, drugs and a quick transfer to the unit made the contest a mute point…

  • Miss K

    August 21, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Hilarious! Can’t wait to hear from the Answer Nurse again! 🙂


    August 21, 2006 at 7:58 pm

    ROFLMAO… Jessie Brewer, Dixie McCall, and Maj. Houlihan.

  • Bob

    August 22, 2006 at 10:07 am

    With “…the figure of Ms. Wilson…” and being inspired by “Dixie McCall. Major Houlihan.”, oh my! It’s a very good thing my wife doesn’t know I read this blog!

  • PaedsRN

    August 22, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    I read Emergiblog on the weekend. But then, my concept of ‘weekend’ is a little skewed, it’s something like “Hey, I’m not at work today!” Be it Monday, Thursday… 😉

  • Sid Schwab

    August 24, 2006 at 8:04 am

    That answer nurse! She’s a peach.

  • Dex

    August 26, 2006 at 5:16 pm

    Hey Kim and Answer Nurse!

    Thanks for posting my question!

    Upon reflection upon the answer and remembered conversations from female Drs., I realize that Answer Nurse is right–there is no difference in treatment of n00bie interns depending on race, creed, sex, or good-lookingness. Doctors, of whatever shape, need to be salted heavily before they can be trusted on their own. And what better to salt a doctor than a salty nurse? !Que salada!

  • mem

    October 5, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    For the Answer Nurse:

    What is the correct response when a patient states “Something has to be done about this headache or I will come back with a gun and start shooting.”?

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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