November, 2006 Archive

November 14, 2006, 1:01 am

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

teenageamerica

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.

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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….

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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!)

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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…….)

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November 12, 2006, 2:29 pm

Grand Rounds: One Blogger, One Voice, One Opinion

110

Oh my…

Somebody went to the hoity-toity School of Thermometer Holding!

I remember how hard it was for me to get my pinky perfectly straight.

I’m not sure what has gotten her nursing cap in a wad.

She looks ready to fling that environmentally unfriendly thermometer any second now.

Am I the only one who remembers playing with mercury that came out of a broken thermometer when I was a kid? It was cool…like a tiny liquid bubble.

I certainly didn’t grow a second head or suffer developmental difficulties because of it.

I am, however, pretty sure I just cemented my reputation as a geek…

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I’m about ready to tread on sacred ground.

I’m pretty sure the fur will fly and the medical blogosphere will suck me underground, but I think it has to be said.

I certainly am hearing it through the grapevine known as e-mail, so I know I’m not the only one out there who feels like this.

Grand Rounds has changed.

And not for the better.

*****

I’ve been on all sides of Grand Rounds.

I’ve submitted, had submissions rejected, and been asked to modify submissions (one of which I actually did; the other was published as written). I’ve hosted twice: once in March and once last month; both large ‘Rounds with over fifty submissions.

Here’s what I think is going on. I may raise more questions than I answer, or state an issue for which I have no solution.

What I would like to see happen, in addition to the outcry I’m going to hear, is the start of a dialogue regarding where Grand Rounds has been and where it appears to be going.

It has a wonderful history of both literary and technical submissions of merit. It’s the future I am worried about.

*****

The first issue I’d like to address parallels something occuring in medicine outside the blogosphere:

The assimilation of “private practitioners” – bloggers in this case – into “conglomerates” for lack of a better word.

  • Maybe “communities” is a better word.
  • Communities that flood Grand Rounds with anywhere from 8-10 submissions each week.

(Okay, here comes the naming of a name and before you decide to hit the “next” button or delete Emergiblog from your rolls, hear me out.)

“Healthline”.

  • Now there are some great bloggers there. I know they are great because I read them before Healthline exisited.
  • Dr. Enoch Choi, Dr. Heisn Lei, Dr. Paul Auerbach…those are three right off the top of my head. Great bloggers, all, and I look forward to seeing their posts.

But…is Grand Rounds a place to have posts about back stretching? Nutrition? Is it just me?

  • When I read Grand Rounds I want anecdotal stories, technical information, literary works and not just something I can pick up anywhere else on the web!

When I last hosted, I had exactly eight submissions out of around 57 from Healthline alone. That is 14% from one source. I included all of them because, well, I hate to deny submission to anyone because I know what it feels like to not be included and I felt an obligation as the host to actually be a host and not an editor.

I was wrong.

One of the submissions came with a previous email attached that basically said, “Hey folks! Let’s get as many of our blogs in there as we can! Submit! Submit!”

Okay, I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.

So in this case Grand Rounds is being used as a venue for promotion.

Lest you believe I’m picking on Healthline, let me also throw out the name Dr. Fuhrman. I don’t know any Dr. Fuhrman. I certainly know of the gentleman who helps promote Dr. Fuhrman’s books and does most of the actual blog writing, using old quotes from the books.

  • Is this what we need in Grand Rounds? Constant, weekly columns of book promotion?
  • Yes, I’ve read the articles and some I found very interesting. But..again, in Grand Rounds?

But…don’t we ALL use the ‘Rounds as a venue for promotion? Don’t we all want that kick in “hits” that comes from being included? Don’t we all use our blogs to promote ourselves or our interests (Lindsey Buckingham, anyone? I’m not immune…).

The answer is yes, we do. Do I have an answer to the dilemma posed above? Maybe…there are three ways to approach this, in my view:

  • Let every host act as editor.
    • If you don’t think the post belongs in Grand Rounds, then leave it out, repercussions be damned!
    • This works because it levels out the playing field so that each individual blogger, even those in specific blogging “communities” have an equal chance of making the cut.
    • By doing this you are going to elevate the quality of what comes into Grand Rounds because people will try to write up to the standard and not just send in a post to be sending in a post. If you get my drift.
  • Blogging “Communities” – send in a “digest post”!
    • If you have many bloggers you would like to see represented, have one of them act as a “mini-host” and send in a post with links to all the submissions from your community for that week.
    • The Grand Rounds host only has to deal with one submission instead of 8-10 and your post would act as a “mini-rounds” for your area.
  • A Patient Carnival
    • Much of what I see coming into Grand Rounds now are posts aimed at patient education or patient information. Medical bloggers don’t need this and a lot of the patients who read Grand Rounds are pretty medically savvy as it is. So…
    • Start a patient-blog/information related carnival! Call it “Patient Parade” or “The Carnival of Health Consumers” or “HealthFair: Your Life, Your Carnival”. The readership will be there. And it’s an appropriate forum for many of the posts that Grand Rounds has been showcasing these last few weeks.
*****

The second issue I’d like to address is somewhat related to the first, but not necessarily

This issue would be “The Law of Diminishing Returns”.

Back in the “day”, I could get a cup of coffee and sit for two hours on Tuesday morning and read the entire Grand Rounds offering. In fact, I looked forward to it!

Now I’m lucky if I get through a third of what is written. And having a life (and I know it seems I live on the computer…), if I don’t get it read on Tuesday, chances are I won’t get back to it.

Having a post in Grand Rounds used to mean over 1000 hits for about two days running, now it means, oh, maybe 100- 200 hits over normal. Why is this happening? Well, in the case of Emergiblog, it could be that:

  • Depending on the location of the link, not everyone is making it through the entire Grand Rounds or…
  • Whereas we used to get an “Instalanche” from Glen Reynolds over at “Instapundit” when he would mention Grand Rounds was up, he rarely does that anymore or…
  • Less people feel like clicking on the Emergiblog link (hey, like I said, I’m not immune…if I’m dishing it out, I better be able to take it, too!)
The conclusion being that I am more likely to read everything in Grand Rounds if there are, say, 20-30 posts instead of 50-60.
  • IMO, including all posts regardless of merit (as decided by the “host” for the week) leads to an unmanagable number of links to read.
  • IMO, more posts means less readership, and Grand Rounds becomes a less desirable place to submit because of that. It becomes a viscious circle. People will tend to “pick and choose” instead of reading the entire selection.
*****

Now, the final issue I’d like to address is for the future hosts of Grand Rounds.

Themes are fun. You should have one. They are what make Grand Rounds interesting and creative.

But please, please when you add the posts, do these three things:

  • Make the links prominent. Don’t make the reader have to try and figure out what they are linking to.
  • Introduce the post by stating which blog it is from and the title of the post. I decided after my last stint at hosting that linking to both the blog AND the post was overkill.
  • Give a bit of a synopsis of the post in your introduction or a bit of an opinion on what you thought of it as you read it. Was it new and exciting? Say so! Did you disagree? Say so!
*****

Well, there you have it. I’m going to go hunker in my bunker with my new iPod and await either the onslaught of irate bloggers or the dead silence of a hundred blogs de-linking simultaneously.

But really, I want to know what you think. Am I totally off base or are these issue credible and worthy of discussion?

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12:14 pm

Now Who’s Top Gun, Air Force?

nd

Ah, you thought I forgot about my beloved Irish yesterday!

I did not!

Alas, the game was not televised and I only managed to catch the online play-by-play of half of the third quarter.

I blame my daughter, who required me to be her chauffeur for most of yesterday. And the never ending virus that reared its head again last night.

But….Hubby was actually at the game in Colorado, so I was there in spirit!

And it was a baaaaaaad week for allllll those teams above us in the BCS rankings.

The biggie this coming week will be Ohio/Michigan – someone has got to lose! I smell a Heisman trophy and it sure as hell ain’t going to Ohio…..

And then….and then….a week later comes ND vs. USC. I hate you, Southern Cal! With a passion reserved only for those who understand the intensity of college football.

In other words – USC? You goin’ down! You never should have won last year anyway – and you know what they say about payback….

And now to repeat what has become the Emergiblog tradition:

Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame
Wake up the echoes cheering her name,
Send the volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky,
What though the odds be great or small
Old Notre Dame will win over all,
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to Victory!

Alas, does anyone have a cure for the PCFSEB? That’s Post-Collegiate Football Season Ending Blues.

‘Cause I can feel it coming on and it’s a bummer.

I sit for hours each Saturday through at least February with my pom poms in my lap, fingering my rally beads and occasionally jumping up and yelling “Go Irish!” to some cartoon that is on where my football game should be.

Quite sad, actually.

But in the meantime,

GO IRISH! NEXT WEEK WE TAKE ON THE ARMY….AN ARMY OF ONE, LOSING TEAM, THAT IS!

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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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