June 17, 2007, 10:11 am

Like Sand Through the Hourglass, So Go the Days of our Blogs


Medicated rubber undergarments?

Medicated with what?

It looks like something you’d find in the old “Frederick’s of Hollywood” catalogs.

(I remember thinking it was very risque to be looking at one of those when I was little…)

Supposedly it reduces flesh exactly where desired, but only if you desire it off your waist and hips.

A “corsage”? My handy dandy Mac Dictionary Widget says a “corsage” is the upper part of a woman’s dress.

Then why would a guy want it?

{Insert inappropriate joke here}

I only have one question – I could use this before my daughter’s wedding. I wonder if they still make them?


I’ve been having some blogging angst lately. Plenty of ideas in the pipeline but I can’t get the water to flow, so to speak. I need some “Brain Drano” (or Milk of Magnesia, depending on which analogy you want to use). For awhile there, Emergiblog was looking like Rockn’Blog (now there’s an idea!).

While the posts have been backing up, I have found some time to read a few blogs.


Read all about it!

Mental status questioned! Bloggers challenged for writing from (gasp!) their own viewpoint! Name calling that would make a U.S. Marine Drill Sergeant blush! Comments flying! Comments blocked! Anger! Activism! Frustration! Satire! Doctors! Nurses! Dogs and cats, living together….. (okay, that was from “Ghostbusters”)

You would think we were the political blogosphere!

And, of course it did what this sort of thing usually does.

It stimulated a blog post.


I blog because I want to give the medical blogosphere readership my personal view of life as an emergency nurse. This means stories from my vantage point, as a nurse. I can’t give the vantage point of a physician, or a respiratory therapist, a chaplain, a security guard or the administration.

I’ve never walked in those shoes.

But isn’t that true of us all? We can only speak to our own experiences and feelings on our blogs. Just because I write a post about what it’s like to be a nurse and I don’t mention physicians does not mean that I do not respect them. The same with respiratory therapists. Or the unit housekeeper. Or the security personnel.

To know what they are going through, to understand their viewpoint, to empathize with the stresses of their positions, I read their blogs.

That leads to understanding. It also leads to respect. Respect for the individual blogger and respect for the profession they represent.


Respect. It is important to our conversation as medical bloggers. It pains me to see negative epithets bandied about on public sites or communication prevented by blocking all comments.

Do not get me wrong! I love a controversial discussion as much as the next person and I can take it as well as I can dish it out (hopefully) as long as there is respect. There aren’t a lot of challenges here on Emergiblog, but there have been some and the comments stand as written by those who read the blog. They stay up because of respect for those commenting whether I agree with them or not.


I look at the health care team like a football team. There has to be a quarterback, and I have no problem with that being the physician. I see my job as a nurse through the eyes of a wide receiver. The nurse catches the “ball of healthcare” and runs like hell with it while the respiratory therapists, pharmacists, lab techs and nursing assistants, et al. join in to take care of any obstacles that might keep the patient from scoring a touchdown.

(Please notice I did not place hospital administration as the opposing team. It was sooooo tempting….)

Every person on the health care team has a specific position to play. They all went to different “training camps” but they come together for the game having a specific job on the “team”.


When I read a doctor/med student blog I don’t expect to see a nursing perspective. You won’t find the medical viewpoint on any nursing blog. As nurses, we can be proud of our profession and when it is appropriate we can engage other disciplines and professions in a discussion of nursing’s role in health care. If that is the topic of a particular post, then we should by all means engage our colleagues.

Nursing has its activists and its a good thing we do! Some of those activists are bloggers and I can get my adrenaline pumping just reading their posts. I may or may not comment, but I appreciate that they are there. I’d like to gently point out that there is a time and a place for nursing activism, a time and a place to fight for nursing’s place in the world of health care. That place is not on a blog where the topic revolves around the feelings of the colleague/blogger regarding a sensitive subject.


I would also like to gently point out that behind every avatar/pseudonym/screen name and blog there is a human being with feelings. This week we lost a very vocal, controversial and stimulating nurse blogger. Love them or hate them, they had something to say regarding nursing, albeit not always in the most appropriate place. Love them or hate them, there was a person behind the pseudonym.

Words are all we have as bloggers. Words are our stock-in-trade. We use them to make readers laugh, cry, hope, empathize, energize and even get angry. Nothing wrong with anger – it’s a legitimate emotion.

But our words can hurt.

May we never forget that there is a person on the other side of that URL.


Well! So much for the Milk of Magnesia for the brain, it looks like someone shot a Fleets through my cerebral cortex!


  • A Bohemian Road Nurse...

    June 17, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Good Post. And I will be the first to admit that I’ve frequently lost my temper and blazed away when I “disagreed” or was so floored by a remark that I couldn’t resist speaking my mind in my old “biker chick” way. (By the way, I have worked on that negative aspect of my personality for years—trying very hard to learn a better way of communicating other than just the usual “oh yeah??….” and then putting up my dukes. I’ve paid for it dearly sometimes, too.)

    So your post is a good reminder to me to….uh….keep on working on it.

    As far as the blogs that have been taken down, a couple of them offended me regularly. But I still read them because I do appreciate honesty, albeit if they worded it in what I considered an irritating, ridiculing, or whatever tone. I guess I have mixed feelings about honesty—I like it, but sometimes it irks me and brings out my “dark side”.

    (Yep, gotta keep on working on my attitudes…)

  • girlvet

    June 17, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    I blog because its fun. I consider the other bloggers I read everyday sort of like friends. They amuse me, challenge me, make me think. It makes the job easier to know others have the same thoughts. I don’t read people I don’t like. When blogging gets un-fun, I’m out.

  • Sean

    June 17, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Very well said! Great post!

  • A Bohemian Road Nurse...

    June 17, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks for your note, Kim–it made my day! I admire you (and your blog) greatly. Your philosphies and outlook give me inspiration and hope for this difficult profession of ours.

  • geena

    June 17, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    The name calling was very harsh and uncalled for.

    We are no longer in elementary school, when we were young and unwise and unable to form a coherent retort to words and viewpoints we didn’t agree with. Making up hurtful names to vent our frustration was immature, but so were we.

    I do want to make clear that I’m not directing my finger-wagging at the overall sentiments expressed, only the way in which they were.

  • Nurse K

    June 17, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    What is the proper thing to do when someone says they’re advocating for “nursing” and you think they’re doing everything but? I don’t want someone to say on a blog that they’re speaking for all nurses, especially on nearly every post that they write. No person nor organization will ever nor has ever spoken for nursing or all nurses. Nurses are more than a job; nurses are all humans who have different political backgrounds, different religions, different specialities, and different training.

    If you want to declare over and over that you’re advocating for “nursing”, that, to me, means you’re attempting to speak on behalf of all nurses. If you want to unilaterally declare yourself speaker of all nurses, be prepared for A LOT of people to be angry with you for speaking for them when no one has asked you to do so. For example, don’t say you’re an advocate for “nursing” then trash-talk the president or his policies. That’s highly bizarre.

    Speak for yourself only, or, if you’re an elected official or leader of a nursing-related group, speak for the group.

    I’m mainly a nurse/fiction writer who is playing around with different ideas and dialogues and vigniettes. But, if someone pisses me off over and over and over…Hell hath no fury….

  • Julie

    June 17, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks for that great post Kim, I couldn’t agree more. I didn’t see the blog or comments that you are talking about but I have witnessed what you describe several times. I have also had posts where I give my opinion on issues of nursing or healthcare from the position of the nurse taken and put onto a British Blog Carnival (you might be able to guess where) and taken out of context. Lets get on with speaking about what we know and lets give each other respect. That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree with each other!

    I have also been short on blogging motivation, and partly due to the kinds of things you talk about here.

  • […] of my frequent reads cover similar types of subjects, but boy do they take different approaches. Kim is a fantastic advocate for nursing, and she makes no excuse for writing about her own experiences and for giving her opinion, letting […]

  • MonkeyGirl

    June 18, 2007 at 1:43 am

    Kim, you’re right about remembering that there is a person behind the URL.

    But I maintain that if you are going to attempt to speak for a group of people that you have no right to speak for, in a manner that said group of people find offensive, you deserve the anger you stir up.

    Babs said it best when she said, “There is a difference between demanding respect and commanding respect.”

    We are very supportive of each other. But not if you don’t deserve it.

  • Jen

    June 18, 2007 at 1:57 am

    I always thought of Vandy as a “finely tuned symphony”, or a “world series baseball team”……..so it was nice to hear you sum it up as a “team” also!!

    I think if I blogged about the ER more i’d whine too much, and I don’t want anyone thinking i’m disgruntled, haha.

    Speaking of fleets………why are they kept in the supply room instead of the pixis? I’ve seen it this way at several places.

  • BabsRN

    June 18, 2007 at 6:16 am

    Unfortunately, unreasonable people cannot be reasoned with or dealt with reasonably. The very frustrated owners of the many blogs hijacked by the person in question can attest to that.

    If you, by your own admission, have been “unceremoniously booted and blacklisted from the healthcare profession” and then decide that you’re going to speak for everyone in that profession by continuously playing the victim card and attacking blog authors who don’t talk about that profession, and by deciding that a post simply disagreeing with you is “thuggery” and “copyright infringement” then you don’t *earn* my respect. Sure, some of us took that little “thuggery” comment and ran with it. By that time all respect for this individual was long gone.

    Everyone gets the minimum level of respect from me from the outset – the basic level afforded all human beings. That level goes up or down based on what you show me.

    I fully support all nurses who genuinely try to work well and do well and who act like they have some sense. I’m not the “eat their young” type at all. But ultimately, being a nurse – just like being respected – is a privilege, not a right – and both can be yanked.

  • medrecgal

    June 18, 2007 at 6:24 am

    If you can’t blog and express your true feelings and opinions, what’s the sense in blogging to begin with? I have always been of the mind, “If you don’t like it, don’t read it.” People are too easily offended. That doesn’t mean I excuse some of the vicious and mean-spirited things I’ve seen come out on blogs or in comments areas, but as I’ve watched what’s been happening to the medical blogosphere, I have to wonder why people come down so hard on those who dare express an opinion that happens to differ from their own. That’s one thing that’s kept me from starting my own blog… I don’t want to deal with the sometimes childish behavior I see happening out there.

  • Nurse K

    June 18, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Remember medrecgal that, as I said, the person-of-interest was not only speaking for herself, she was speaking for “nurses” or “nursing”. In other words, she was puting words in all our mouths, very few of which any of us agreed with. The only way to get something disgusting out of your mouth is to *spit it out*, noamsayne?

  • scalpel

    June 18, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    If someone throws poop, they should expect to get some thrown back at them. If someone fails at their chosen profession, how can they reasonably expect to demand the respect of those who are successful? While there may be some benefit to be gleaned from the insight of someone who was “unceremoniously” kicked out of nursing, perspective is important.

    Bitter rabble-rousing is not reform.

  • Ali

    June 18, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Very, very well said! I was surprised at the amount of drama that has been going on lately…

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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