March, 2007 Archive

March 22, 2007, 8:24 am

Change of Shift: Volume 1, Number 20


….is up over at Geena’s place!

A wonderful, clever edition of Change of Shift can be found at Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse.

The next edition is here at Emergiblog in two weeks. As usual, you can email me or send in through Blog Carnival!

If you’d like to host a future edition, email me and I’m happy to put you on the schedule!


I just found out (from a post on Change of Shift) that the acting Surgeon General is a nurse!!!!

Get out of town – this is so cool!!!!!

She should be confirmed as the Surgeon General.

You want someone who can turn around a mess in a heartbeat, you want a nurse!

Read »

March 21, 2007, 1:26 pm

Western Schools, Nurses’ Study Resource: The Emergiblog Review


Every now and then I get a request from a website for a review through “Review Me”. When the request comes in, I take time to check out the site to see if it is something I’d like to do.

This one I didn’t even have to think twice about!

And my usual disclaimer:  I have been compensated for this interview, but Western Schools is just now reading the review, just as you are now.  They do not know the content of this review until they read it.

I’m a Western Schools customer! When I needed some continuting education credits before renewing last August, I needed them, shall we say, in a timely fashion.

I took a 24 hour course on documentation. I did the entire course online, took the test and was able to print out my certificate! Immediately, if my memory serves me correctly!


The web site is easy to navigate.

Courses can be browsed by number of hours offered or by category, and every specialty is represented. They offer 30-hour courses, monthly specials and two particular categories that I am partial to:

  • the “Course of the Month” (this month is pain management) and
  • “Advanced Level CE” – perfect for us veteran nurses. In fact, I just saw an advanced course on clinical pharmacology…..see what happens? I’m supposed to be reviewing and I wind up shopping!

Now I chose to do my class online, but you don’t have to. You can order classes with the accompanying textbook and do them the “classic” way. But trust me, if you need those units like, yesterday, online is the way to go!

In doing the review, I also noticed a section on “Nursing News”! Now that I’m always on the lookout for something I can use as a resource for class, I checked it out. The articles are arranged by topic with a link for related CE courses right on the page.

I notice they now offer CE for social workers and counselors and have a small selection of reference books available for purchase.

The prices are reasonable and you can’t beat the service.

I’ll be using Western Schools again!


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12:42 pm

Nursing Advocacy: Where Do YOU Fit In?


Oh puh-lease!

This looks like it’s a late ’60s, early ’70s ad.

Did people really believe this back then?

Personally, it makes me want to use an emesis basis for it’s appointed purpose.

It’s not the nurse.

She’s totally cool.

Superb cap ( a real 10/10 on the ECRS*), great photograph.

It’s the thought that Blue Cross isn’t in business for the profits.

I’m not sure where they are putting all the money they make, but they sure aren’t giving it to my primary physician, who doesn’t even take patients with Blue Cross insurance any more.

Give me the proverbial break, here.

[*ECRS: Emergiblog Cap Rating Scale]


Are you a nurse?

Then you are a nursing advocate.

The question is: are you advocating for or against the profession?

To paraphrase an old Police song: every move you make, every step you take…

…someone is watching you.

What message are you sending?


Maybe you are a pro-nursing advocate.

If you’re like me, you write about nursing. No need to put a gloss on it. It’s a hard, demanding profession.

Perhaps you can’t stand to see nursing portrayed unrealistically and you write letters to television producers, advertisers and newspaper editors, telling it like it really is.

You might be insulted by nursing stereotypes. The sexy nurse. The old hag nurse. Nurse Ratched. Major Margaret Houlihan. The nurse-as-handmaiden. The nurse as doctor’s sidekick. The airhead nurse. So, you do your best to get your voice out there and get insulting advertisements pulled that stop ad campaigns in their tracks.

Political action may be your thing. You picket the state capitol and chant slogans to promote staffing ratios. You are active in your state nursing organizations and in your specialty organizations. You collect signatures on petitions that will put health care issues on the ballot. You debate the pros and cons of a single-payer system with everyone who will listen in your county, your state and even in Washington and you know what you are talking about.

And maybe you don’t do any of those things.

Maybe you have a smile for your patients. You make them comfortable. You might go above and beyond the call of duty for a patient. You demonstrate just by doing your job the amount of intellect and education required for the profession.

Got nursing students in your unit? You precept one. You make her feel confident about her abilities. Prove to her that nurses really do not eat their young.

You tell the ten-year-old patient in the ER with a laceration who says he wants to be a doctor to remember he could choose to be a nurse. And tell him why that’s a good thing to consider.

Any of the above are examples of advocating for nursing. We all have different styles, but all these things are important.


Then again, you may be advocating against the nursing profession.

Yes, you!

Every time you act like you are bored stiff with your job or act bothered when a patient, doctor or family member makes a request.

Every time you treat a nursing student like they are invisible, or an inconvenience.

Every time you let a doctor scream/yell/throw things and make sarcastic comments about you individually or nursing as a profession and you don’t take action.

Every time a young person mentions they might want to be a nurse and you answer, “Dear god, don’t even think about it!”.

Every time you just accept stupid management decisions without making your opinion known.

You are advocating against the nursing profession and decreasing the stature of nursing in the eyes of management, medicine, your future colleagues and the general public.

You might not even realize you are doing it.


A personal ancedote: my 17-year-old daughter is taking Anatomy and Physiology as a senior in high school next year because she thinks it will be interesting.

“Rebecca!” I said, surprised at this sudden interest in science. “You could decide to be a nurse, you know!”

Mom,” she replied. “Why? You hate your job!”

I thought I’d been punched in the throat.

Even with my increased enthusiasm for my profession, even though she is aware of my blogging and even though she sees me going back to school at my age for an advanced degree in nursing, that isn’t what the term “nursing” brings to mind.

When she hears “nursing” she thinks: frustrated, burnt out and exhausted.

Because she heard it. She saw it.

That’s the vibe I gave off.

I was not an advocate for my profession at times. Even in my own home

And that is what my daughter associates with nursing.


Are you for nursing or actively working against yourself and the future of the profession?

Your actions. Your lack of action. Your speech, both in and out of the hospital. Your expressions. Your responses.


You are an advocate for or against nursing every minute of your life, whether you realize it or not.

Which is it?

The good news is that it is never too late to change.

I can vouch for it.

Read »

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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