March, 2007 Archive

March 30, 2007, 11:22 am

Topical Potpourri


I imagine these are my co-workers at the moment.

I called in sick the last two nights.

Not exactly conducive to exacting tender thoughts of mercy from those who had to scramble to cover me.

I’ve had a headache since Tuesday night.

Not a migraine, just a general ache.

Now I’ve had headaches in the past from both water retention and/or dehydration (go figure that one out!), but this isn’t either one of those.

I thought exercise would help and tried to Jazzercise yesterday morning.

Dumb move. About three-fourths of the way through I got dizzy and nauseated. But you don’t want to look like an idiot so you pretend to be okay. Ugh!

What was I thinking? Oh, yeah, that I was invincible and that exercise would carry my headache away with the final strains of “The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani.

No such luck.


Well, I know my brain is working because I have so many things rolling around in there that I want to write about.

So, in the manner of my favorite columnist, the late Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle, I shall make this a “…three dot blogpost”.


First off, I was terribly saddened to hear of the death of fellow blogger Colin Portnuff last February. Colin’s Journal was one of my first “Patients of the Blogosphere” links and Colin was one of the first bloggers I had “met”. Colin was a charming man who succumbed to the ravages of ALS. In the “It’s A Small World” category, Colin frequented a coffee shop where my oldest daughter worked after college, he was pretty sure they had met. Rest in Peace, Colin. You are missed…

…Logan Plaster is an editor of Emergency Physician’s Monthly and a journalist who is exploring the various facets of the U.S. nursing shortage. He is interested in collecting anecdotes about actual experiences nurses have had relating to the nursing shortage. He has started a blog (Nursing Life) where you can post these experiences. We’ve all come up against the shortage somehow, somewhere, so do send in any pertinent stories about how you are affected by the shortage and how you are dealing with it in your facility, city, state…


…It’s a darn good thing that I am not watching American Idol this season because if I was, I’d be really ticked at Chris Sligh being voted off before that Sanjaya dude…if, of course, I was watching the show…which I’m not…really…hey, I can’t help it if I can hear the singing from the bedroom and can tell who is good and who isn’t…

…Do you suffer from “stethoscope syndrome”? Do you answer your door at home, only to discover you have draped your stethoscope around your neck? Do you stand in the checkout line at the store, only to realize you took your stethoscope into the store with you and have been wearing it the entire time? Do you go to remove your stethoscope only to realize that you aren’t wearing it? No? Okay. Never mind…


…Why is it that I will proof-read my posts a bazillion times before posting them, only to discover a major typo or grammatical error hours later?…

…I’m loving my Leadership and Management class. We have to peer-review each other’s “Change Project” paper as we write it. It’s amazing what another pair of eyes will spot when you think you’ve covered everything! It’s really great because we can then take that advice/observation and tweak the paper or incorporate the observations as we see fit. Online learning is really interesting. I learn more from my classmates than any lecture I could attend…


…Speaking of classes, I’ll be taking three in the fall. Probably “Health Assessment” and an expository writing class plus a statistics course. That’s only ten semester units, all online. I live on the computer anyway, might as well be productive! I’m amazed I never took a critical writing course in all my academic travels, especially since I love English…

…Hey, does anyone know what has happened to the “The Truth Laid Bear” (TTLB) ecosystem? I’ve been in the same spot for months now. I’m not griping, I’m proud to be where I am in the system, but the “evolution” seems to have stopped cold.



And now, just because I can, I will embarrass my youngest daughter by including a photo of her with her date to the Junior Prom, taken last weekend.

This is my “baby”. The oldest two are getting married this summer within six weeks of each other!

And then to top it off, right smack in the middle of the two weddings, I will turn “50”.

I’m too young to be fifty!

In just a little over a year, when this one heads to college, I shall have an “empty nest”.

Some women might see it as ,”Oh, my babies are gone!”

Not this Mama Bird! I’ll be thinking, “All RIGHT! Now it’s all about ME (and hubby)! Whoo-hoo!”

And I don’t feel the least bit guilty!

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March 27, 2007, 10:50 am

You’re in the Grand Rounds Generation!


If you recognized the title of this post as an old Pepsi slogan it means just one thing.

You are old.

Is it just me or does Nurse Pepsi Pam have a major crush on Dr. Diet Pepsi here?

She looks like she hasn’t grown into her uniform yet, and I don’t think they make stethoscopes like his anymore.

Nice ad, except for her flat-cap syndrome. Drops the rating to a 7/10 on the ECRS*.

Not only is it “time out for Pepsi”, but it is also “time out” for this week’s Grand Rounds!!!

A veritable potpourri of topics and blogs to choose from this week, nicely hosted by Dr. Stuart Henochowicz at Medviews (newly added to my blogroll!).

I’m curled up on the sofa, got my coffee, got my cat laying on my feet and I’m ready for some readin’!

(*Emergiblog Cap Rating Scale)


And since I’m in the mood for “rounding” this morning, Radiology Grand Rounds X is up at MidEssexRay.

Two things stood out this edition: (a) actually seeing a myocardial infarct on a CT – I didn’t know that was possible and (b) the photo of Dr. Peng Hui Lee in the “About Me” section of the blog.

If that’s really him, it’s pretty funny . (How was I supposed to know radiologists had a sense of humor? I work night shift and never see them! : D)


Next: the weekly call for submission for Change of Shift!

The nursing blog carnival returns to Emergiblog on April 5th and submission will be accepted until 1700 on April 4th (Pacific Time). So….

…..if you are a nurse, a nursing student, have a story about a nurse, or just happen to have a friend whose Grandmother’s boyfriend’s daughter is a nurse, grab those posts and send them to me!

Use the contact button up top of Emergiblog or go through the always efficient Blog Carnival. Be sure to put “Change of Shift” in the subject line so I don’t miss it!


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March 24, 2007, 5:19 pm

The Medical Student’s Guide to Nursing


Nurse tells, mothers listen?

When was this golden age when words from the mouth of a nurse were heeded?

When a nurse could be accepted as the ultimate authority in an advertisement?

It was before my time, let me tell you!

But Miss Bonner Moore, RN took part in medically supervised trials showing the superiority of Vicks so who am I to question her credibility?

Ah, but you can’t get the Va-Tro-Nol nose drops anymore! At least without showing your ID, getting fingerprinted, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and putting on a “Just Say No!” pin.

It’s pseudoephedrine!

Sure to make a meth addict out of any child.

Why, just look at how this child willingly places his nose in position for the stimulating high he is sure to get.

All I can tell you is that Vaporub was just a smelly ointment that did nothing to actually cure or relieve anything.

And I’m a nurse, so you have to believe it!


I googled myself yesterday.

Trust me, I wish it was as racy as it sounds!

I was looking for references on the web to correlate triage time with patient flow and on the third page or so, I saw a title that looked promising and I clicked on it.

It took me to an Emergiblog post…..

Um…I don’t think I’m able to actually cite myself as an authority in a subject I’m taking a class to learn.

Athough it would be sort of cool to see Emergiblog cited in APA format!


All doctors come into contact with nurses, even if it is only in medical school or residency.

How many of them actually know what nursing is or what nurses do? That nursing, while related, is not medicine.

That nursing has its own science-based foundation.

That nurses do their own assessments, plan, carry out and evaluate their patient care based on those assessments.

That nurses have their own set of diagnoses that are made independently of physicians.

That nurses do not take orders from doctors, but use the orders written by the doctor to incorporate medical aspects of care into a plan that addresses all the needs of the patient. Physical, emotional and spiritual.



I used to joke that there needed to be a class in medical school called “The Nurse Is Your Friend”.

While relationship between medicine and nursing has become more collegial in the last few decades, I believe there is still a dearth of understanding in the medical field about the nursing profession.

I believe this can be rectified by addressing the issue in medical school.

The majority of doctors will spend their entire careers working in tandem with nurses in a variety of environments. Why not set the stage for a deeper understanding and appreciation of nursing at the very beginning?


I’m not talking about an entire semester. I’m talking about a few interactive lectures, by nurses that

  • Give medical students an overview of the nursing profession. The history. The educational background required to be a nurse. An overview of the nursing process. How this affects the student as a future physician.
  • Discuss how medicine and nursing are related. The importance of nursing documentation in preventing malpractice lawsuits.
  • Discuss how medicine and nursing differ, and not just the “Doctors Cure, Nurses Care” schtick. Doctors do care and nurses can cure/resolve and prevent complications.
  • Address nursing stereotypes. Medical students enter their profession with preconceived notions of what nurses are like. Some of those notions may be wrong.
  • Give the medical student an opportunity to ask questions about nursing.

This isn’t fluff, folks. This is solid information about a profession that will have 24/7 responsibility for the care of their future patients.

It would behoove every medical student to understand and appreciate the nurses and the education behind that care.

A collegial relationship between doctors and nurses makes working together a lot easier and much more pleasant.

It also promotes better communication which results in better patient care which results in better patient outcomes.

And isn’t that the goal of both nursing and medicine?


I have to give a hat tip to N=1 over at Universal Health for providing the inspiration for this post (here is her take on medicine and nursing).

I believe the partner to this class should be given in nursing schools in the form of “The Nursing Student’s Guide to Medicine”. Nurses need a strong understanding and appreciation on the medical perspective in order to communicate effectively with physicians.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll teach these classes someday!

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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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