November 14, 2006, 1:01 am

Fly With Me, I Can’t Quite Make It Alone


I thought 1970 was going to be my year.

I’m serious.

I was thirteen…

With red glasses, crooked teeth, a pageboy hair-do, baby fat still in evidence and no particular talent to speak of.

Although I did get an “A” in “Modern Dance” in the eighth grade.

I did a dance to “Your Song” by Three Dog Night (This was pre-Elton John. He wrote it but we didn’t know who he was. Yet.)

I was most likely delusional, but in my own mind I really was Martha Graham.

Which shows what a geek I really was because who wanted to be Martha Graham in 1971?

I sent in for the admission form and I filled it out and everything.

But they wanted a picture. Dang.

I never did send it.


I guess I always had dreams. Still do. One of which is to be an author of a book.

Which I nearly pitched out the door today, along with the computer that held it!

Fifty-thousand freakin’ words in a month?

What was I thinking?

Well, how shall I put this…I didn’t exactly fly out the barn door on November 1st with The World’s Greatest Novel. I…procrastinated. Then I got the flu…..did I ever mention how much I hate vomiting?

I’ll spare you the details.

By yesterday I was at 2,084 words. Out of fifty-thousand. I had to get my butt in gear if I were to even remotely hope to catch up. So I did.

I am now at a more comfortable 10,084 words and counting. My secret?

iTunes! Yep. Forget sitting in a quiet house with the rain pattering on the roof whilst one plies ones trade and writes away for hours…

Phffft! I couldn’t even stay awake. But crank up the iTunes and oh bay…beee……

And so, when I write the dedication to my book, I shall have to thank, in order of appearance: America, Aretha Franklin, the B-52s, The Backstreet Boys, the Bangles, the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Elvis (yes folks, Elvis was IN the building!), Elton John, the Everly Brothers and Fleetwood Mac.

I wrote 8000 words in 1 1/2 days and I’m only up to the “F”s in my iTunes Library. My goodness, it could be War and Peace by the time I get up to Will Smith….

Only this time I will send it in.

Thank God they don’t require a picture….


I tend to be a solitary worker. I work very independently and I certainly don’t want any strange writing on my charts, god forbid!

In an ER, this isn’t always a good thing, as I sometimes tend to lose the overview of the department. I tend to focus on the world of my assignment and in an ER, that can be a weakness.

Well thank goodness I work with nurses who don’t share my short-sightedness.

The emergency department is truly a team effort, and I work with some really great team players.


To the nurse who discharged my patient in 8A while I was tied up in 8D with a conscious sedation, thank you.

To the nurse who essentially took on another room with their assignment when I got caught up in the post-arrest patient in Room 1A and never left that room for 90 minutes, thank you.

To the doctor who reminded me, “there is no such thing as a stupid question”, thank you.

To the nurse who medicated my patient in Room 10 while I was taking report on the ambulance patient in Room 7, thank you.

To the Charge Nurse who literally took me by the shoulders out of the room and said “go on break”, thank you.

To the ER tech who showed me the correct way to do a sugar tong splint when I’m hopelessly splint-phobic, thank you.

To the nurse who stayed over on a double shift, slept for four hours and then came back on the floor for another twelve when there was no one else at all who could cover, thank you.

To the ER tech who made the trauma room spotless in less than five minutes when it looked like a bomb had detonated inside, thank you.

To the staff who worked for me when I was sick last week, thank you.

To the nurse who shut the door so that I could sit with my dying patient and their family and listen to the stories of his life, thank you so much. You will never know how much that meant to me to have that time with them.

To all my colleagues who have ever answered a light, grabbed a Vicodin, tossed a warm blanket or grabbed a glass of ice chips…

Thank you.

For having my back,

For making my patients comfortable.

For being on the same team I am.

You rock.

Because you see, I’m not as independent as I think I am. I do what I do as well as I do because you help me pick up the slack.

For my patients.

For our patients.


And so, I will try to do a better job of keeping my eyes open and having your back, too.

In the meantime, if you are sinking fast, please let me know because while I may not be aware of it, I am happy to help in any way I can, to do whatever I can.

For your patients.

Our patients.

Because that is what team players do.

(And to the nurse who wrote the vitals on a paper towel so that I could write them on the chart in my special ink…thank you!)


See what happens when I procrastinate by watching videos on iTunes?

This post was inspired by the Foo Fighters “Learn To Fly”. It’s worth the $1.99 to download it off of iTunes; funniest video you will ever see.

The title of this posts is one of the lines in the song and it was an immediate inspiration.

I’m tellin’ ya, inspiration comes when you least expect it.

(Now if someone can just tell me when this baby fat is supposed to go away…….)


  • Candy

    November 14, 2006 at 7:04 am

    I have it on good authority that baby fat doesn’t go away until your last baby does…Since my baby lives in the city, but comes home frequently, she’s technically still here (my rules). This is what I tell my husband; so far he’s still buying it (poor confused dear). If you say it in a forceful medical way, it’s very believable!

  • Susan

    November 14, 2006 at 7:16 am

    Great post on teamwork in the ER! We’re only as good as the team we’re on, aren’t we? I wish more nurses understood that.

  • jen

    November 14, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    wow! you totally hit the nail on the head here! I love my ER, mostly because I love everyone I work with.

  • Andrew

    November 14, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    Has it been that bad of a week in the ER? I sometimes thing other folks around the hospital get jealous since the ER staff is such a family atmosphere. Take care Kim.

    PS have a good thanksgiving if i dont see you before.

  • Kerri.

    November 15, 2006 at 5:55 am

    My best friend (NurseBestFriend) is an ER nurse and I’m sure every single one of these posts would resonate for her. I think it’s time to introduce her to Emeriblog. 🙂

  • Artemis

    November 15, 2006 at 10:06 am

    Ummm, is it baby fat from when you were a baby or “baby fat” from your babies? My baby fat never really went away, it just rejoiced when my “baby fat” joined it! And now my baby is going to be 11 soon (years, not months!) with no respite from this estrogen-induced larditude in sight….sigh. I guess this isn’t really an answer to your question, but I’m letting you you’re not alone.

  • Artemis

    November 15, 2006 at 10:07 am

    Ummm, is it baby fat from when you were a baby or “baby fat” from your babies? My baby fat never really went away, it just rejoiced when my “baby fat” joined it! And now my baby is going to be 11 soon (years, not months!) with no respite from this estrogen-induced larditude in sight….sigh. I guess this isn’t really an answer to your question, but I’m letting you know you’re not alone.

  • Artemis

    November 15, 2006 at 10:08 am

    I can’t figure out how to delete post 6 (where I left out the word “know”). Sorry.

  • […] Team working is one of those things that all of us need but some of us try to do without, as we attempt to be that person who is all things to all people. Kim, founder of Change of Shift, from Emergiblog however is grateful that others know better and go that extra mile to care for her as I am sure she does for them. Team working also helps us to develop the commitment that is needed to juggle work and home life. Jo from Coffee and Conversation in a Smoky room tells of her life as a busy medical / surgical nurse which she balances with spending time with her daughter. She tells us that she only works 8 hour shifts when many have to work 12 but her schedule is as busy as any I have seen in a long time and made me worn out just reading it! […]

  • L

    November 16, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Ive never worked in the ER. I’m 24, I’ve been a nurse alost 2 years, and I’ve spent the entirety of my career working with elective orthopedic patients who are rich and who occasionally go into AF (that was about the extent of my excitement.. ALL DAY!). And I was bored. SO. BORED.

    And so I’ve applied to one of the biggest ER’s in Sydney, Australia.. and yesterday I found out I had the job.

    Im guessing its something i’ll learn along the way, and reading blogs like yours keeps it real for me.
    So thanks, for reminding me that I can learn enough, and work through enough, to survive in the ER (even if a am the token Newbie for a while).

  • JustcallmeJo

    November 17, 2006 at 3:38 am

    *applause* First and foremost for kicking out so much in writing. And secondly, but not less important for your recognition of the people on your team.

    I needed to hear that today.

  • frectis

    November 17, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    Here is the funniest video ever:

    Cracks me up every time.

  • Nurse M

    November 17, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    Great post!

  • Em

    November 19, 2006 at 1:41 am

    Go the nano! I broke 20k last night and I am going strong!

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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