May, 2007 Archive

May 4, 2007, 1:31 pm

Federal Safe-Staffing Law – It Could Happen!

The Service Employees International Union represents 84,000 nurses nationwide and corresponds with an additional 200,000 nurses via email updates.

Through their Value Care, Value Nurses campaign, they are working with Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, a leading nurse advocate on Capitol Hill.

This week Rep. Schakowsky plans to introduce a federal safe staffing bill: The Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2005 (H.R. 1222).


This Monday, May 7th, a National RN Conference call with Rep. Schakowsky will take place, and you can show your support by joining us and calling in!

Here are the details:

  • What: National RN Conference Call with Rep. Jan Schakowsky
  • When: Monday, May 7th, 12:30pm ET
  • How: Dial toll-free 1-888-428-4478 a few minutes before the call start time.
  • When the operator asks which call you are joining, say: “nurse conference call”
  • Duration: Approximately 30 minutes.

I’ll be blogging the call, with a post going up immediately after the call has been completed. If I feel adventurous I’ll try to live blog it, but I think concentrating on the content and then writing will be easier.

I’ve been a direct recipient of the benefits of safe-staffing laws passed here in California and I’m excited that this issue is being addressed on a federal level.

Please join us on Monday. This issue crosses all political affiliations and affects not only ourselves but our patients.

I’m proud to be a part of this outreach!

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May 2, 2007, 3:41 pm

Change of Shift: Vol. 1, Number 23


Welcome to Change of Shift!

This could be interesting. The “F” key on my computer is sticking badly. Sometimes it doesn’t work.

So what, you say?

Well, try looking at the logo of Change of Shift without the “F” in it and see what it says.

So, if I happen to leave out an “F” somewhere, I’m not intentionally being vulgar.

I’m just sayin’

And now, our feature attractions!


Christopher at Deacon Barry sends us a “visual” representation of what happens when a good thyroid goes bad in A Sight for Sore Eyes. Be forewarned, it’s not a photo for the faint hearted!

Geena at Code Blog muses on patient responsibility in It’s What You Signed Up For. Sometimes it’s the little things that cause the most frustration. Commiserate with Geena in New Links/Frustrating Events. Be forewarned, cute baby photo links available. If there is a rash of pregnancies in the nursing blogosphere after seeing those pictures, it isn’t my fault!

Disappearing John discusses something we have all experienced and maybe even perpetuated. Find out what that is at Lateral Violence. Are we willing to stop the cycle? We can’t afford not to.


Representing the hardest working people on the face of the planet, Kim Delaney discusses the miraculous changes appearing at nursing homes because it is THAT time of the year posted at Why can’t things can’t be like that all the time?

In the “For Adults Only” section this edition is the eminent Condom Advocate we affectionately refer to as Max E. Nurse. Max quips on at It Shouldn’t Happen in Health Care.

What example are we setting for our new colleagues? Muse presents What’s the Point of Policies? posted at Reflections of a Clinical Support Nurse. This one goes on my blogroll.


Mother Jones finds quiet time and a reflection of her influence in a most unusual place. Find out where in Target Therapy, over at Nurse Ratched’s Place. (Mine would be called “Michael’s, The Arts and Craft Store Therapy”…)

Volunteer ER chaplain Susan Palwick has a personal encounter in When to Call an Ambulance. I can’t tell you how many times we have pulled a cardiac arrest victim out of a car in front of the emergency department. The post is found at Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good.

By the way, did you also know that Susan is an author? Not only that, but she is heading to my area of the woods! Susan will be doing book signings in the San Francisco Bay Area this month for her new book, “The Fate of Mice”. The schedule can be found here!


Rita at MSSPNexus Blog writes about how to present oneself in Professional Demeanor Builds Confidence. Rita uses meetings as her focal point, but every single word works for the bedside nurse also. (I’m going to have to stop biting my nails, it seems! Yes, I know it’s a nasty habit!)

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s……MonkeyGirl! Okay, I stole that from an old Monkees episode, but indeed it is MonkeyGirl! She weighs in this week with A Letter to the Not Sick Man in Bed 1 posted at Musings of a Highly Trained Monkey. I think Mr. Not Sick Man was in my ER two nights ago. Don’t ya just hate it when you run out of Lortab?

Were you inspired by a television nurse? Neither was I. Beth at PixelRN discusses the influence (or lack of same) of television nurses in As Seen on TV, part 2. You must check out her link to the Wall Street Journal article. It’s like extra whipped cream on an already super sundae!


You all know how much I love the Joint Commsion (waiting for you to wipe the spit take off your monitor…)! Well, I’m not alone in my frustrations! ERnursey spells it out perfectly in Stupid Things That JCAHO Comes Up With to Waste Our Time. And I thought I had it bad! Check it out at ERnursey.

Ladies and Gentlemen! Start your leg crossing! Okay, just you women. Labor Nurse discusses a very delicate post partum issue in Stem to Stern at The Life and Times of a Labor Nurse. I think I just began to appreciate my C-sections. A lot.

In the “you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it” file: Laura presents Seriously! posted at Adventures in Juggling. NASCAR, yes. Notre Dame, yes. Cleveland Browns, yes. But Grey’s Anatomy? I’m speechless!


An object lesson in how not to act when a patient is out of control is presented by our resident hospital security blogger at The Forgotten Blue Line. Sometimes you just have to get out of the way and let security do their job! Check out Fake Florence Nightingale + Fake Gangster = Disaster.

Editor’s discretionary inclusion (how’s that for a mouthful?): Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains submits a post for us this week. If you are at that age where the term “senior moment” is too close for comfort, you might find this interesting also. Check out: Brain FAQ (Note: SharpBrains sells software to help exercise the brain. I am not involved in any relationship with SharpBrains, other than choosing to post this submission.)

We’ll close with a heart wrenching post from GirlVet at Madness: Tales of an Emergency Room Nurse. Read it here, at Protecting the Children. And no, it doesn’t get any worse than that.


Thanks for visiting the twenty-third edition of Change of Shift. Now that you’ve seen the best of the nursing blogosphere, try our radiology colleagues at Radiology Grand Rounds, over at Sumer’s Radiology Site! I saw an epidural bleed on CT a few weeks ago – it looks like a giant lens in the brain!

Mother Jones over at Nurse Ratched’s Place is up for our next Change of Shift edition, May 17th! Send all submissions via Blog Carnival or to nurseratchedsplace at

Guest hosts are always appreciated. Just send me postcard, drop me a line stating point of view (even if you aren’t sixty-four) and we can work it out!

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3:40 pm

The Top Ten Things That Every Patient Should Know


Ooooo….I like these!

Tailoring tells the story, alright:

(1) I don’t have the figure for them and

(2) My legs are not 3/4 the length of my body.

There’s a certain 30’s elegance about them.

Probably because they are 1930s uniforms.



In the interest of public education, there are ten things I’d like to tell the patients of my little part of the world:

  • Vomiting is not an allergy. It is a side effect, adverse reaction and bummer all in one.
  • One pain shot does not an addiction make.
  • When a sharp object, like a needle, pierces the skin, it hurts. If an injection of medication follows that pierce, chances are it will hurt even more. Ask not if it “will hurt” but ask “will this hurt a lot?”.
  • Telling us your pain is 324.8/10 is the oldest joke in the book. We will smile, but we’ve heard it before.
  • Showing up in an ER for abdominal pain and then refusing all diagnostic tests is…well….illogical.
  • If you are calling to see how busy the ER is, chance are you do not have an emergency. ER shopping and life-threatening emergencies are not concurrent events.
  • If you got someone into the car, you can get them out of the car. Unless they are dead on arrival, which means they probably needed an ambulance to begin with.
  • The wrong thing to say when asked why you called an ambulance for your hangnail: “Hell, I didn’t have to pay for it!”. This is guaranteed to make your nurse devoid of any and all sympathy. Chances are they join the millions of employed citizens who are paying to give you the right to a “free” ambulance. There isn’t a single sob story in the world that can change the fact that you have abused the health care system.
  • Vomiting a liter of bright red blood is a good reason to call an ambulance, whether the patient wants you to or not!
  • Please, please…..if your child’s pacifier falls on the floor of the emergency department, do NOT give it back to the child. I know the room looks immaculate, but the patient before you was a GI Bleed and blood flows downward, if you get my drift.

I’m just sayin’….

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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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