November 13, 2007, 1:03 pm

On Location With Grand Rounds!


Dr. Anonymous takes Grand Rounds on location!

The beautiful state of Arizona is the setting for this week’s compilation of medical blogging, and what a compilation it is!

(Check out the red-shirted cacti, while you are there!)


Talk about feeling totally out of the loop, it’s been a week since my last post and two weeks since I was last in Grand Rounds.

I’ve spent the last two weeks drowning in a paper on the Terri Schiavo case, coming up for air from the chaotic body of water known as statistics and trying to understand why a textbook on health and physical assessment would have this line in it:

The right atrium and the right ventricle make up the right side of the heart.

This is from a textbook being used in an assessment class for those who are already registered nurses!

I kid you not.

Never mind that my kids learned this around sixth grade. Never mind that every single RN I’ve ever known, from any state (or country, for that matter) had to pass Anatomy. Granted, I worked in Coronary Care for eight years so maybe I have a bit of background, but geeze!

I must admit that the text went on to provide a very detailed account of heart sounds….that was boring as hell.

And I paid $1,440 for that one class. Okay, I have become somewhat proficient at tympanic membranes, and I can see an optic disc with an opthalmoscope. A thrill a minute, my life is.

Screw heart sounds, though. I just bought an electronic stethoscope. Got an S3? Bring it on, baby! Go on and split yo’ bad ol’ S1 ‘cuz I am gonna hear it from the door!

Seriously, the price of electronic stethoscopes have dropped dramatically – Littmann has them for $300 and now on sale for $265 at Those of us who suffer from chronic rock-n’-roll induced hearing deficiency can now find a rale with the best of ’em!


Lest you get the idea that I am totally burned out with taking a full load of classes, let me assure you that I am so burnt I make the 1906 San Francisco fire look like a hibachi.

What the hell made me think a full load would be easy? Well…I’ve come to a drastic decision.

Only four units next semester. I would have taken seven but I didn’t have the money.

If ten is too many, and four is not enough, seven should do it.


Speaking of money for education, the Army Reserve is now taking nurses under the age of 55, with ADN degrees! A 13,000 – 15000 dollar bonus. My husband had to physically restrain me from running to the recruitment office. I mean, here is my chance. A baby during the first Gulf War – had to stay home. Too old for this war….until now! Hubby says no, said it was “stupid”.

There is one thing you do not say to me when I want to do something and that is, “It’s stupid.” Them’s fightin’ words.

They probably need us old war horses for stateside coverage while the young whippersnappers get to see action, anyway.

I haven’t given up.


Keep on sending in those Change of Shift submissions! You have until tomorrow at 1700 Pacific Time! Blog Carnival or email me, either way is just fine! It will give me a great excuse to get my nose out of a book!


  • JohnS

    November 13, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Kim, which e-stethoscope did you buy? I look at the page at AllHeart and can’t make up my mind…

    And, having that, how do you like it? Some EMTs I know recommend them, but there just isn’t any web presence for user reviews (yet).

  • Adrienne Zurub

    November 13, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Do you have time to do NaNoWriMO this month?

    I think you’re husband is right. Come on is 13,000-15,000 (hummmm) worth it? (I do need money for a book publicist!)
    NO! Your husband is right. Stay home. Do the boring work!
    I do mind projections in situations like yours (although I do not have a situation like yours)(Wait, writing and publishing my book would count)

    I imagine myself a year from now, a month from now, or even 15 minutes from now, just to get some control. I see myself as accomplished and finishing the mission. It helps…me.

    Good luck to grrl! Stay the course!
    My best friend is getting her degree also after being an intensive RN for, forever. The courses are frying her azz too. So, you have company!

    Grrl, you can do anything!


    Adrienne Zurub,RN,CNOR
    ‘Notes From the Mothership The Naked Invisibles’ due out JANUARY 4, 2008! Yippee!

  • sue s

    November 14, 2007 at 4:21 am

    Wow is the military desperate or what? Think they won’t send your 55 year butt to Iraq? Think again. Not worth the money. Take my word for it.

  • Candy

    November 14, 2007 at 7:59 am

    How long before the entertainment industry makes a China Beach-like show about this war?
    Seriously, Kim, much as it pains me to agree with your hubby, at 50, enlisting is not a good idea! Sue S knows what she’s talking about. This war is not going away any time soon, and there is no adequate way to protect yourself except not being there.
    You have a youngun at home and had two beautiful weddings this year, which means you might have beautiful grandchildren… Now imagine being in Iraq instead of the delivery room when they arrive. My good friend, a (now) 57 year old, 35-year RN, faced that same situation. He was in the reserve when this whole thing started and thought he’d be called up to fill in for younger nurses sent overseas. He was wrong — and spent 18 months on the ground in Iraq. He missed the births of 3 grandchildren, his wife divorced him and his old hospital told him his job was no longer there when he came back. Don’t go.
    If you want to work with injured vets, drive down the road a bit to the Palo Alto VA and do a shift or two there. Carol Valdon is the recruiter and she’d love to hear from you.

  • Ed Flinn

    November 14, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    This is from a textbook being used in an assessment class for those who are already registered nurses!

    Written by someone more used to ghosting So You Want To Install Your Own Shelving, Part II? Never assume the write knows more than you do!

  • Mother Jones RN

    November 14, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Here’s an idea, if you want to serve the good old USA, get a job in a military hospital. I just got a letter from Lockheed Martin yesterday. They are looking for a few good nurses to staff military hospitals here in the US. Email me if you want their contact information.


  • Doctor Anonymous

    November 14, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks for the link! We’ll talk soon…

  • gypsygrrl

    November 18, 2007 at 9:03 am

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~ the Army Reserve is now taking nurses under the age of 55, with ADN degrees! A 13,000 – 15000 dollar bonus.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    HONEST? up to age 55?????
    oh my. be still my Marine@Heart heart.
    i would LOVE to be an Army Nurse. ohmy.
    do you have a link you can email me? [i am only lazily asking, as i am i the throes of the end of my Fundamentals semester and trying to study, do laundry and pack for a 4-day trip to see my nephews on the left coast for turkey day]

    seriously. Army Nurse.
    wow. you totally made my day!!!

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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