June, 2007 Archive

June 25, 2007, 10:54 pm

Either Got It, or You Don’t…


Crepe paper?

The stuff I hang from my ceiling when someone graduates?

No way!

Let’s see what the advantages are…

Well, crepe paper can be used for 75% of all surgical dressings.

Okay. You’re totally out of luck if you’re one of the 25% that need gauze.

Hey! It saves fuel and labor! Way ahead of their time, they were! Had we stuck with crepe paper, why there would be no global warming!

It eliminates the washing of gauze! Uh…who washes gauze?

It also saves money. That’s the bottom line, isn’t it.

But I hope they didn’t use it on the, uh, bottom – that stuff falls apart when it gets wet and it can’t be comfortable if used in the nether regions.

I’m just sayin’

Wait a minute, doesn’t Dennison’s make chili? I’m going to have to look at the ingredients more closely!


What does it take to be a nurse?

In addition to education.

Nursing is comprised of every personality, temperment, gender, age and educational level.

The nurses in my own department form a kaleidoscope of these characteristics.

What is it that we share?

What about nursing allows people with varied backgrounds and education levels to come together and form a cohesive team?

Underneath all the differences, there are basic traits that form the foundation of the nursing profession. Those who have these traits will be nurses. Those who don’t will find that they are not drawn to the profession.



  • No matter what specialty you aspire to, a nurse needs to be flexible. Dealing with human beings is never an exact science. Even nurses whose jobs have a definite “routine” will occasionally have to accommodate a want or a need or take care of an urgent/emergent matter.

Work ethic.

  • Nurses work hard. If they slack off, their patients suffer and their co-workers have to pick up their slack. Nursing school will usually weed out the slackers, although I’ve worked with a few. Heck, I’ve been one a few times. Your co-workers will call you on it, trust me.


  • One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in my 29 years of nursing is the increase in older nursing graduates. Perhaps there are some high school graduates mature enough to take on a program right out of high school. I was not one of them. Somehow I managed to “grow up” along with my skills, but I sure think some life experience prior to nursing school is a huge plus. You are dealing with life and death on a daily basis. It helps if you bring some maturity to the table. If you don’t, you will gain that maturity “on the job”.


  • You need to want to know. You need to want to learn. Nursing school teaches you how to think like a nurse and you learn how to be a nurse on the job. When that uneasy gut feeling shows up and you somehow just know something is wrong, this is what will make you turn around and check that patient one more time.


  • Nursing takes a lot out of you physically and emotionally. You have to be able to “go the distance”. To put one foot in front of the other when you are exhausted. For example, in ER you have to mentally detach from the teenager who just died in one room to attend to the frightened mother of a toddler with a fever of 100 degrees across the hall. Which brings us to the next thing you will find nurses share…

Outside interests

  • You have to be able to tune in to something you love, turn on your ability to enjoy life and tune out nursing. And no, I’m not channeling Timothy Leary. It’s imperative that you have hobbies/passions outside of work. A successful nurse recognizes that all work and no play makes for a burnt-out soul. And they are NO fun to work with. Don’t believe me? I have some old co-workers you can meet!


I’m sure there are some traits that I am missing; this list is far from comprehensive.

If you aren’t a nurse and you see yourself possessing some of these characteristics, consider joining the ranks! We need you desperately! There is no job that will work you harder and no job that can give you as much satisfaction at the end of the day.

If you are a nurse, what did I miss? What traits do you consider indispensable to nursing?

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1:08 am

Nurses Lead the Way: To the Forum!


We most certainly do lead the way!

This has been an exciting week for the nursing blogosphere!!!

There are now three new nursing forums on the web!

Each one has its own unique personality and style.

I belong to all of them.

You think I’m going to miss out on the fun???


We all know Beth over at PixelRN!

She has teamed up with Affinity Labs to oversee their nursing forum NursingLink.com.

I have four friends already! I’m “EmergiRN” over there, so come on over and check out the neighborhood!


Terry Freemark is an RN and a CRNA who has put together a nursing forum called Everyday Nurses! Terry emailed me with this information last week and I’m happy to share it with you!

She has a blog called Counting Sheep that you have to check out.

If you run into me over there, I’m “KimRN!” Say hi!


And then I’ve already mentioned the Nursing Voices forum. I’m “Kim, RN” over there, too.

Apparently the powers that be have appointed me “Super Moderator” and I’m proud to wear the title!

I just don’t know what it means.

I’m hoping the Moderator Almighty will fill me in.

For the moment, I feel like part of the Fantastic Four and my power is moderating!


So there are three new places to learn, vent, commiserate, support and enjoy our fellow nurses. When I started blogging two years ago, there were but a handful of individual blogs.

Look how far we’ve come!

Nurses – we really are leading the way!

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12:28 am



In five minutes, my Grand Rounds submission will be late.

I’m tired. Sad. Home after two days of caregiving.


“Things that inspire me.”

That’s the topic for this week.

Except I can’t think of a thing. Notre Dame football, the Cleveland Browns, NASCAR, rock and roll…

Dear Lord, am I that shallow?

What about family? Why can’t I bring up patients or nursing or the fact that my daughter gets married in six days?

The mind is as dry as the ducts that won’t produce the tears that so desperately want to flow.

I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself.

It’s a regular pity-party and the only person invited is me.


So… I’m wandering around the blogosphere and I clicked on Sam over at Blog, MD. Haven’t been over there for awhile. Sam hasn’t been posting much.

But this caught my eye. It’s a photo from a Pulitzer Prize winning series by Renee C. Byer.

The boy is Derek. Mom is Donna.

Derek has neuroblastoma.


This is a great photo.

You need to see them all.

Take a box of Kleenex.

Here is the link: 2007 Pulitzer Prize

Go ahead and look at the photos. Be sure to read the captions. Then come back here.

I’ll wait.


Sam is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist.

Every year he rides in the Pan-Mass Challenge to raise money to help kids with cancer and their families. Last year he raised over $83,000.

He’d like to surpass that this year.

Sam rides for real patients so they and their families can get real, tangible help. You can read about his patients – the reason he rides – at Ride For Them.

Information on donating is here.


Sam has no idea this post is going up. No idea that late on a Sunday evening he provided the impetus for inspiration.

Football, racing, music.

They’re just leisure activities.

Inspiration is defined by women like Donna who find strength when they don’t think they can handle much more.

By patients like Derek.

And by docs like Sam, who care for these patients.


Inspiration is something that hits you when you least expect it.

I think I was meant to stumble on that site tonight.

The tears are flowing, and they are theraputic.

The pity-party is over, and those are never theraputic.


This isn’t the first time that a blogger has been an inspiration to me.

It won’t be the last.

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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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