February, 2007 Archive

February 13, 2007, 8:28 am

It’s A One-Pound Box of Grand Rounds!


It’s pretty sweet this morning over at ChronicBabe, where Ms. Jenni has served up a great collection of Grand Rounds morsels for our consumption!

Her suggestion to “give me some sugar” resulted in an amazing group of submissions.

Of course, I had to take it literally and write about chocolate.

As we are all aware sugar=chocolate=endorphins=happy campers!

Is it just me or does this nurse look like Princess Diana?


I made le boo-boo in my post announcing the next Change of Shift – the host is actually going to be Airway Control over at Protect the Airway. I’ve already forwarded the posts that came to me.

So….use the ever efficient Blog Carnival widget on the sidebar or send your submissions to airwaycontrol at protecttheairway dot com.

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February 11, 2007, 10:44 am

Pediatric Grand Rounds: Awesome!


It time for the latest edition of Pediatric Grand Rounds and Awesome Mom did an awesome job with this edition.

It’s Sunday, football is over, there is no excuse!! Grab that coffee and head on over!

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10:27 am

Sugar in the AM, Sugar in the PM, Sugar in the ER, Too!


What the heck is this supposed to do?

Hmmm…it gives you oxygen therapy by emitting electric pulses into a portion of your anatomy.

I guess it shocks you so you hyperventilate.

Then again, I guess it depends on which part of your anatomy you put it!


If anyone ever needed a rest in a comfy chair like the Electropoise lady, it would be yours truly.

Last night my subtly “Rubenesque” self ran, no sprinted the entire length of the hospital to retrieve something from the ER for a code upstairs.

Folks, I don’t run, I don’t jog. I might walk fast if I think it will get me a quicker table at the Cheesecake Factory.

It actually felt…dare I say it….good once I had a chance to recover my ability to breathe.

I did not run the item back UP to the Code. I threw it to the ER tech and yelled “RUN!!”

I mean, I’m not stupid. Just because I didn’t have an MI on the way down, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have needed coding if I ran back up!




The theme for this week’s Grand Rounds is sugar. I had no clue what to write and then it hit me! Literally.

I was hit by a piece of flying chocolate tossed by a co-worker.

I had an epiphany!

And a piece of chocolate in my lap.


Let me explain something about the culture of the emergency department.

Chocolate is to the the ER as hemoglobin is to oxygen.

We crave it. We grab for it. We hold onto it. We want 100% saturation.

And we have no shame.

We will eat a Hershey miniature with the same gusto as a Godiva delicacy.

We will lick the foil wrapper left over by the person who just ate the Hershey miniature.

Not that I have any personal experience with that….


I once worked with a nurse (Anna <--real name!) who would take an 18 gauge needle and make a hole in the bottom of each piece of See's Candy so that we could all see what we were biting into.

She thought she was doing us a favor.

I figured if you can’t tell what’s in a piece of See’s Candy by the type of swirl on the top, you have no place in emergency nursing.

I might have to look up a drug, but I can tell you what you’re going to bite into from across the room.

Another nurse who shall remain nameless (no, it isn’t me) would take each piece of candy and very neatly cut it into four individual pieces, thereby increasing the number of available chocolates and the mood of the ER proportionately.

How she managed to do that to the toffee pieces, I’ll never know.

One department I worked in got twenty-five pounds of See’s Candy during the holidays.

Twenty-five pounds!

We put them all in the freezer and pulled out a pound a week for half a year!


So. Let’s analyze the actual meaning behind the different brands of chocolate that are either found or given as gifts in the ER.

  • Bags of candy bars – your co-workers cared enough to pick up a stash to share. But you don’t bring it out at change of shift because the off-going shift will eat it all before you get a chance at it. Yes, you can be altruistic and selfish at the same time!
  • Russell Stovers – when you care enough to grab what’s in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart. Be careful of the sugar-free candy by this company. It’s full of sugar alcohols and they cause horrible intestinal cramping with the resultant production of what happens with horrible intestinal cramping. Again, not that I know anything about this…
  • Whitman’s Sampler – when you care enough to grab what’s on the candy shelf at your local drug store. Relatively taste-free but for the clueless, there is a map of which type of candy is where on the top of the box.
  • See’s Candy: Creams and Nougats – Blech! This is a passive-agressive gift because you think you are getting something good but the creams are smooshy and and “nougat” sounds like something a body produces. Dont’ be fooled by the See’s Candy wrapping: read your labels!
  • See’s Candy: Nuts and Caramels Your patient loves you, adores you, will write the administrator about you. They cared enough to select this delectible collection of chewy goodness and crunchy tidbits just for you! And it’s good for you – there is protein in the nuts! This is the gift to send to the ER at Christmas if you are a doctor’s office because we will remember and gosh golly you’ll get red-carpet treatment every time you come in. Failure to share is grounds for termination.
  • Godiva Chocolate Anything: Your patient is loaded, these cost a mint (no pun intended). I’m serious. I’ve had Godiva chocolate twice and both time it was a make-up gift from my hubby. He needs to screw-up more often. If you do get a Godiva Chocoate Anything, it will usually be a big basket from the local interventional cardiac group. They want to make sure their future patients are working on their blockages!

A personal note: My son worked at Godiva Chocolates as a part-time job.

They have chocolate-covered strawberries that must weigh a minimum of five pounds each. They are only good for 24 hours.

So….my son got to bring home for free all the ones they did not sell – 5 or 6 every night!!!! Then he quit the job.

I begged him on my knees to stay, but no, he had to go to college and now he’s in law school.

I’m telling you, kids these days really have their priorities screwed up….


Oh, and as a last note, may I clear up an urban legend?

M&Ms WILL melt in your hand if you hold them long enough.

Sorry, but someone had to say it!

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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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