April, 2007 Archive

April 12, 2007, 3:40 pm

Workin’ On the Night Moves


Well, well!

I guess they had concierge medicine in the old days, too!

Can’t imagine they’d advertise on back tires these days.

But…the doctor is making a house call!

$29.00 for deluxe drugs sounds like a deal to me.

“Deluxe” probably meant instead of a basic, generic run-of-the-mill “mustard plaster”, you could get a “Grey Poupon mustard plaster”.

With a pickle.

Blue Cross would only reimburse $3.67 of course, so the rest would be out of pocket.

They don’t cover pickles.


Man, you know you’ve been blogging a long time when you have to google something to see if you’ve used the title before.


Where do you go when you want stimulating, up-to-the minute news on nursing issues and poignant patient care anecdotes that remind you of why you went into nursing?

Not here, that’s for sure.

I’m exhausted.

But, I am also a trooper. I said I’d blog daily and I shall!


Is it just me or has the night shift changed over the last decade?

In the days of yore, the night shift had a certain ambiance.

You would enter the land of bright lights and dive into the full-department chaos of the evening shift.

The goal: clear the department out as fast as possible.

By 0200, the department would be empty. The next patient would come in around 0530 or 0600.

There was time to read all the latest nursing journals, discuss nursing issues with your colleagues, discuss the various ways of improving the unit, updating all policies and procedures, debating the merits of JACHO and conducting staff inservices to keep each other abreast of the latest in nursing research.

Not that we did any of that.

Usually we would just balance our checkbook, read the latest bestseller, crochet (man, I made some killer afghans!), gossiped and ate our way to wakefulness.

If a patient did come in, they needed to be there and we were all over that case as a team until the patient was admitted or discharged.

At which point we would resume our pre-patient activities.


Things have changed.

Someone, somewhere told John Q. Public that we were open 24/7.

The department is still cleaned out by 0200.

But now the hits just keep on comin’!

Slowly they dribble in.

Patients with sore throats for five years. Patients with chronic alterations in their comfort level who have realized that a 0400 visit means no waiting. Patients we see so often we know their medications lists by heart.

Adults who vomited. Once. Ten minutes prior to arrival.

Acute soul-crushing toe trauma.

Extremely high fevers of 101.0 that, doggone it, keep coming back after the Tylenol wears off.

And then there are the really sick, the ones who absolutely needed to come in to the emergency department. For them it is the difference between life and possible death.

The ones who, for some reason, always come by private car when they should have arrived via Code 3 ambulance.

It’s not just my facility. Hospitals all over the area have had to increase their staffing at night due to the increase in census.


I don’t want to come across like I’m griping. I mean, patient care is why we are there. It’s what we do.

I love my job and I like my patients and I do the best I can for all who seek care.

But… every now and then it would be nice to have one of the “old time shifts”.

Especially when one has two papers due by the end of the month.

If you get my drift…..

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April 11, 2007, 11:26 am

The Emergiblog Book Review: Mystic Nurse


I received an email one day from a nurse author asking me if I would like to review his book.

He provided a link to lulu.com, so I headed over there to check it out.

That nurse was Pat Cowell and the book, Mystic Nurse, is pictured here.

Pat offered to send me a copy, but I believe in supporting nurses who write. I purchased a copy.

It looked like something I’d like to have in my collection.

I was right!


Pat took an interesting road, passing through engineering and computers before finally getting to what he had always wanted to be.

A registered nurse.

His first job as an RN was in an emergency department that sent my adrenaline pumping just reading about it. “Mystic Nurse” is about his four years as a staff nurse in this department.

Pat describes the sphincter-clenching anxiety of being a new nurse, the gradual growth of confidence in his abilities, his relationships with his ED colleagues and his spiritual journey through caring for his patients.

You will laugh.

A lot.

You will cringe at some pretty horrific cases.

You will empathize with the need for a change.

You will understand the bond that forms between people who deal with life and death struggles on a daily basis.

You’ll enjoy this book.

I did.


Mystic Nurse is now available at both lulu.com and here at amazon.com.

Many thanks to Pat for leading me to a great read!

(And for being so patient while I finished the “Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant”, which took me longer to read than the Civil War did to fight!)


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April 10, 2007, 9:32 pm

I Don’t Wanna Be Anything Other Than Me


Yes, I am chained to the calendar!

At least for the next 90 days.

I made a quick trip over to AskShane.org just to check out the latest post.

Lo and behold, it was a challenge to post daily for the next ninety days.


I cannot turn down a challenge.

I figure I wrote 50,000 words in a month, I can write a post every day.

Where the heck I’m going to find ninety topics is beyond me!

Anybody care to power blog along with me? If Shane gets ten people signed up he’ll link to the blogs.

Head over to this post and sign up!

Honestly, the things I’ll do for a link!


I’m often asked why I don’t blog anonymously.

It never occured to me to blog anonymously.

Emergiblog was conceived at work, my co-workers watched me set up my first Blogger template and three months later, when I actually began blogging, they would read what I wrote.

I use my first name on the blog. My last name is part of my email address, so I knew anyone who emailed me would see it.

I wasn’t too concerned.

I am more concerned about keeping my workplace anonymous. At least for now.

In fact, I’ve only told one person where I work.

Trying to keep the information out of print interviews was a different matter! Luckily I was able to see the interviews before they were printed because they had not only where I work, but where I live and every single hospital I’ve ever worked in!

Uh…I don’t think so!


So, why does blogging under my “real” name work for me?

I think there are a few reasons.

  • I like my job and the hospital I work for. It doesn’t stop me from ventilating over frustrating paperwork, nights from hell, the usual politics or other things I wish would change. I have co-workers stop me and tell me topics they would like to see a blog post about. They hang articles about Emergiblog up in the break room.
  • I’m personally accountable for what I write. It doesn’t change what I write about or how I write, but it keeps me writing responsibly. Once on the internet, always on the internet – it’s not like you can take it back.
  • I find trying to stay anonymous takes way too much energy.
  • I’ve been a nurse for nearly 29 years. I’ve worked in nine different facilities and in five different specialty areas. That gives me a lot of room for making “composites” of patients, co-workers, doctors, situations and facilities.
  • Nurses traditionally tend to be invisible – not wanting to give opinions or their names or go “on record” about issues or problems. I want to break that mold. Here’s where I should give an APA reference to Buresh and Gordon’s “From Silence to Voice”. I challenge any registered nurse to read the first five chapters of that book and not be energized to speak out!


A funny thing happened soon after Emergiblog became visible on the web.

I was taking a PALS class at one of my old hospitals when a former co-worker walked over. She said, “Are you the writer of Emergiblog”?

How did she know?

“It sounds like you!”

So, I guess what you read is what you get. I don’t want to be “Nancy Nurse” or “Blogging RN”.

I don’t wanna be anything other than…


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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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