May, 2007 Archive

May 16, 2007, 7:42 pm

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.


Fat Doctor and Flea are gone.

As of today.

This may be common knowledge, but I just found out about it and I’m devastated.

I don’t know why. Or how.

Cathy from “Cathy’s Rants and Ramblin’s”, NeoNurseChic and Doctor Anonymous have started a group blog called “I’m A Blogaholic“.

It’s for those of us who don’t/can’t maintain a regular public blog but want to keep a voice in the blogosphere.

Makes me appreciate my hospital and co-workers just a bit more today. It makes a difference when you can blog without interference.

I used to think that was just part of our first-amendment right to free speech.

Guess that isn’t the opinion of certain others of our professions.

Don’t get me started.

In my current frame of mind I just might go off; not a good thing to do when you don’t have all the facts.

I just know I’m going to miss them.

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12:35 pm

Bradley Isaac: Husband, Father, Brother and Trauma Nurse Extraordinaire


See that guy in the photo?

That’s a picture of my brother-in-law, Brad.

I hesitated writing any real information because of my sister’s privacy, but now it’s all over the papers!

This photo came from Medwatch Today, the Official News and Information Site of Community Medical Centers in Fresno, California.

The ER I described yesterday? That’s at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, as described by a couple of their RNs.

I stayed with my sister in the hospital on Sunday night. You would not believe the staff at CRMC – my sister didn’t have to even think about anything before it was done, that is how efficient they were.

She grieved, we grieved and everyone there was grieving, too.

The way I figure it, my sister has about 1,500 family members right now.

And Brad had that many friends.

Who knew? He was “just” my brother-in-law…


Remember when I wrote about how my sister’s family was so gung-ho about nursing that two of her kids were going into the profession?

Brad was the husband in that post.

Remember the post about CPR on my young family member?

Brad is the one who saved his life.

When my father died seven years ago, it was Brad who broke the news to me over the phone.

And it was Brad who read the Bible at Dad’s funeral.


We missed a chance to see him last November. My daughter was running in the state cross country championships is Fresno and Brad came to see her race. He had trouble finding the spot, and when he got to the school tent, we had already gone.

And we can’t get that back.


Hanging out with Brad meant laughing. A lot. It was always cool to pick his name at Christmas because he loved trains and was so easy to buy for.

Brad loved Jesus. He was a devout Christian.

Brad loved his family.

And he loved his job.


It’s hard to write this, so for those who would like to read more, the link to MedWatch is up top and the link to the Fresno Bee story is here. They say his death is ironic.

They have no idea. Twelve years ago Brad was broadsided while driving a Honda Civic and nearly killed. He fought his way through and got back to work and his life.

And the co-workers who are surrounding my sister with support and love? They were there twelve years ago, too.


I have never, ever seen a facility mobilize to care for a patient like Community Regional Medical Center did for my sister, her kids and our family this week.

I saw, and met many,many nurses and administrators.

This is a personal thank you to all of them for being the rock-solid support for my sister.

I am so sorry I can’t remember everyone’s name.

But….Richard, the night nurse on Third Step Down you absolutely rock!

And Loretta, RN, thanks for the hug that stressful morning. That meant more than you know (even if we did keep calling each other the wrong name! : D ).


My sister has her family (us) and then she has her family!

To her “other” family: thanks for all you did/are doing.

You make me proud to say I’m a nurse.

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May 15, 2007, 10:29 pm

First, Remove the Beam From Your Own Eye…


Well, here’s something you don’t see everyday.

Let’s all hop into bed and take a picture with the patient.

They don’t look any too happy about it, either.

I’m sure Florence would not have approved the resting of one’s person on the patient’s bed.

Showing cleavage through one’s crinolines was bad enough.


Never realized how theraputic blogging could be. It’s very comforting to have something productive to focus on right now. I can’t vouch for the quality given the current labile state of my emotions, but I have to write.

Got a 100% in my Leadership and Management class. That seemed very important last week. I’m happy I received it – worked hard for it – but in the scheme of things it’s just a grade.


There is nothing like a stint as a family member in a hospital to stimulate some blog posts.

The hospital I was visiting has an ER the size of a football field, and sees two hundred patients at a time. At once. Concurrently. In rooms.

Holy cow. In my ER if we see 75 in twenty-four hours, it feels like we ran our butts off.

This ER has forty nurses (40!!!!) on their PM shift.

We have four.


Imagine a private room with sliding glass doors in a large, spacious monitored unit.

The patient is post-op and has fallen asleep, hand on the PCA button which is mercifully infusing Morphine.

Visitors are talking with family outside the closed door. Family in the room are barely whispering, if they talk at all.

The patient’s nurse comes in with linen, takes one look at her charge and mouths “Sleep is more important right now….”

Nerves had been on edge, but as more family arrived things began to settle down.

The patient is stable, for now. Everything is quiet…peaceful..

And then it happened.


The door flies open and a different nurse makes an announcement. LOUDLY!

Very nice, very helpful and EXTREMELY LOUD.

It felt like someone had fired a shotgun in the room.

It was like those advertisements for speakers that blow your hair back.

Like a cheese grater to the face.

The patient shot awake. The family visibly jumped.


Have you ever wondered how you come across to patients?

I tend to have an outgoing, gregarious personality.

Do I sound like that nurse?


I think I come across as friendly, but I wonder if I come across as abrasive or LOUD. The nurse who came in with her announcement was a wonderful, wonderful professional. She just didn’t sense the vibe of her surroundings before jumping in.

I’m sounding all new-age-y now.

But it is something that never occured to me before.

This occured in an inpatient unit, but patients in an emergency department are also scared, in pain and sick.

I tend to be full of energy and it shows.

ERs are loud and hectic enough without having a nurse that sucks your energy.

There is a lot to be said for a soft voice, a gentle touch. A light dimmed.

For getting the “feel” of a situation and of your patient/family before you just barge in and take over care.

And so, before I go plucking the mote out of the eye of my colleague I’ll take the beam out of my own and make sure I speak softly and gauge my patients’ personalities before I jump in with both feet.

I think my patients will appreciate 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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