July, 2007 Archive

July 15, 2007, 1:43 pm

Drama! Action! Humor! – or – How I Spent My 50th Birthday!


In August of 1957, American Bandstand went from being a small, local show to national prominence on the ABC network.

My mother was seventeen years old.

My dad was nineteen and stationed in Hawaii with the Navy.

I was three weeks old.

American Bandstand + Rock and Roll + teen-aged parents = rock and roll Me! How could I have been anything else?

My destiny was sealed at the genetic molecular level.


I turned fifty this weekend.

It didn’t seem like a big deal, so I didn’t ask for the day off.


I spent the entire shift feeling sorry for myself.

When I had the time…


My shift began at 2300 hours. In two hours we had signed in nineteen people, five arriving by ambulance. Now for some ER folks, that is just a drop in the proverbial bucket. For us it was a big slam.

Constipated kids. Febrile kids. Septicemia. Abrasions. Fractures. Chest pain. Abdominal pain.

And the ubiquitous chief complaint of “weakness”. I hate weakness. Nine times out of ten if you are over the age of seventy and you are weak, you are septic. I hate septic.


Then came the most interesting, uh….group.

HIPPA is such a, well, limiting factor when describing one’s duties in the world of emergency care. To protect confidentiality I shall simply mention a few concepts/descriptions/words and let you put them together in a story. Whatever you come up with will not match the actual scenario, trust me.

Multiple individuals. Female reproductive organs. Vomiting. Disinfectant solution. Pain. Giggles. Heat. Mucous membranes. Spacey. Family members. Heart stopping. Rapid speech. Medication. Something in the throat. X-rays. Breakfast food. Joint (as in “don’t bogart that…”).

I didn’t know whether to laugh hysterically or cry.

The shift ended with six patients coming during the final hour, three by ambulance. The perfect ending to the “perfect” night, and only the beginning of my birthday “adventure”.


I arrive home to find a pretty birthday card from my husband and a made-from-scratch cake made by my daughter.

I was feeling better already!

Later in the morning, my son had some information. Apparently my husband was going to purchase an iPhone for me! I’m an Apple fanatic and this would have been fantastic! I’d have that iPhone right now, except…

My son talked him out of it!!!!

Something about extra money every month, battery life and never get the first release of any new product until they work-out-the-bugs.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

My son is lucky he isn’t a soprano this morning and I mean the singer, not Tony.

I slept the rest of my day and treated myself to a Caramel Frappucino with whip at Starbucks on my way back into work last night.

With an add-shot.


My co-workers put on a pot luck for my birthday and another co-worker’s return from leave. We both had toy tiaras as it was our “special” day. I put mine on and went in to see the two pediatric patients, then I removed it.

It is hard to demand professional respect in a plastic tiara.

Later, when the department was empty I put my tiara back on and practiced my Miss America walk around the station.

Just having a little fun.

Two patients arrived, were triaged and treated.

I was still wearing the tiara!

Retroactive embarrassment. The worst kind!

That’s what I get for not acting my age!


I do believe that this will win an award as the most inane Grand Rounds post of all time. I could have written any number of things, but Vitus wanted Drama! Action! Humor! as the theme this week.

This should fit the bill. I ran all night = action. I didn’t get my iPhone = major drama. And female reproduction and disinfectant = humor. I even added pathos and embarrassment!

Do I get extra credit?

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July 11, 2007, 8:56 am

The Literary Project: One Photo, Five Stories


This is the photo.

The challenge?

A story of less than 1000 words, using this photo as inspiration.

Five bloggers took on the challenge posed by Maria at Intueri: to contemplate.

Here are the links to the stories, all based on this theme:

“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

Many thanks to Maria for this literary challenge!  This one definitely made ya think!

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July 10, 2007, 8:18 pm

The Aetiology of Grand Rounds


I love “Gone With the Wind” and whenever I hear the name “Tara”, this is the image that comes to mind.

But it’s a different “Tara” in the medical blogosphere this week, as Grand Rounds is hosted by Aetiology’s Tara C. Smith.

The topics are eclectic, the presentation precise. It’s a great edition, definitely worth a visit! I’m having my “morning coffee” at 1839, but I’ll be reading every submission!


It’s Change of Shift week and I’m hosting! I’ll be posting the nursing carnival at the Nursing Jobs. org blog, where my history and research columns reside. There is still time to get your submissions in. I’ll need them by Wednesday morning (tomorrow). Use the Blog Carnival widget or the “Contact” button above.


The Nursing Voices forum is up and running, now with new categories for advance practice nurses.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit, come on over and see what’s goin’ on!  Tell ’em Emergiblog sent ya!


Rita at MSSP Nexus sent me the following reminder via email:

This info came to my attention recently and I thought you might be willing to help get the word out – health care providers who applied for National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers need to login to NPPES and review their info by July 16th. It will be published by NPPES on August 1st. and could contain optional data that may have originally been submitted, like social security numbers.

This does not affect RN’s as they don’t bill independently, but could include Advanced Practice Nurses if they bill CMS independently and have applied for an NPI. RN’s may also want to pass this info on to the physicians they work with.

More information can be found on her post: NPI Registry Goes Live.

Thanks for the heads up, Rita!

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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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