December, 2007 Archive

December 19, 2007, 7:03 am

Grand Rounds in Haiku, the Flu and All That Jazz.

quilt

For all you quilters out there (and I know you are out there), this block is known as the “Japanese Flower”.

Grand Rounds was done in haiku this week by Shiny Happy Person at Trick-Cycling for Beginners. That has to be a first!

So here is my first haiku ever:

Grand Rounds comes each week

Many good posts to choose from

Best with a latte

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The fall semester is coming to a close this week. The finals are in, I have one paper left to revise and then it’s over.

What the hell was I thinking taking a full load of classes?

I’ve been stressed out of my gourd, my family now equates the word “statistics” with “bitch” and if I see the initials “APA” in the next month I will go commit myself to Mother Jones’ unit.

It doesn’t help that somewhere between graduating from nursing school in 1978 and today, I have developed a compulsion for a 4.0. As in straight A’s. I’ve not received anything under an “A” in any class I’ve taken since nursing school.

So what’s the problem? I’m sitting on the borderline of an “A” and a “B” in all three classes. I worked so hard and kept up so well until these last three weeks, when just opening a book was torture. I slipped. Now I’m sweating out the grades.

*****

Actually, I’m sweating out more than that because I am sitting here with a damn cold.

It started so innocently. A few body aches, a scratchy throat. Then BAM!, I was hit by the Emeril Lagasse of upper respiratory infections. Afrin is my bestest friend. I can’t even taste my coffee. I slept the last 22 of 24 hours.

Anyone got some cheese for my whine….?

*****

So, being a rational person, I decide to take only one class next sememster. No more of this self-induced hell of stress for me! Besides, I only have enough money for one class.

But….

I have to take an “ethnic studies” class for (that’s something you didn’t have to do in the ’70s) and the University of Green Bay is offering “Jazz Appreciation”!!!!

Granted, I wouldn’t know Blind Lemon Jefferson from George Jefferson, but what a great topic!!!

I don’t know diddly squat about jazz! But I’d love to learn! And this is just one itty, bitty three unit course that would go just perfectly with “Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice” (which sounds about as dry as a stale biscotti).

I explain it to my husband this way: with ten semester units I’m a basket case. Four semester units leave me twiddling my thumbs. Ergo…seven semester units should be perfect!

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Change of Shift will be hosted by none other than Caroline at Brain Scramble. You can sent the submissions through Blog Carnival or to “caroline at brain scramble dot org”. The ones I have received I will forward to Caroline for the December 27th edition.

*****

Now, pardon me while I cough, wheeze, cuddle up to my Afrin and generally spread misery about the countryside.

Like Roseanne Rosannadanna says: “I’m a real attractive guy!”.

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December 12, 2007, 10:57 pm

Change of Shift, Vol. 2, Number 13

cos

Welcome to the last-edition-before-Christmas Change of Shift!

I want to mention that the forum at Nursing Voices is picking up steam and your input is wanted! Click on the link and check out what’s goin’ on with other nurses from around the country and around the world!

Many bloggers responded to CoS’ request for stories about their clinical experiences in nursing school, a new blogger is introduced, some funny stories are told, a horrible tragedy unfolds …we run quite the gamut of topics this week!

Let’s get started!

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Before we begin, a big Change of Shift “Congratulations” goes out to Crystal over at Aunt Pickle, who graduates Friday at 1400! She submits a look back on her newly-completed nursing school clinical journey in Am I Really Ready? Time to bump Aunt Pickle up to the “Nurses of the Blogosphere” category!

Erica jumps in this week with a description of her BSN clinical experience and some opinions on exactly what information is needed in the real world of nursing. You can find Nursing School Clinicals: My Experience posted at Blissful Entropy. Hey, Erica – next semester I’ll get to learn Dorothea Orem’s theory, too! I can barely contain my excitement, then again it is the end of the semester and I’m all studied out!

There’s a new nurse blogger ’round these here parts! Katie Bee takes a different view on what is required during nursing school in Nursing Education – What is Real Time? posted at her blog, Young and Restless Nurse. Your blog looks great, Katie and welcome to Change of Shift!

*****

Wow! Disappearing John gives us the perspective of an ADN grad who is in the midst of a BSN bridge program and beautifully describes what he sees as the differences between the two. Find out what those are in Seeing the difference? I can totally relate to his observations.

I read a post today, old boy! Yep, I stole that from the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” because ICU RN literally presents a clinical day in the life of a nursing student in Clinicals posted at Heart Matters. My head hurts just reading the list of drugs, let alone knowing every single nuance! How nursing students manage to do this and run a family at the same time is amazing. I was 18 and lived at home!

Teresa over at The Beast…, describes a type of nurse you don’t see much anymore as she charts her path into the nursing profession. Meet this quickly-disappearing nursing style in My Path to Nursing or What I Finally Decided to Be When I Grew Up. Oh, and Teresa has contributed to the next generation of nurses, too……

*****

Mousie presents a vignette entitled A Little Premature…. Let’s just say that she isn’t talking about birth. You’ll find it posted at Mousethinks. And for this next post, also submitted by Mousie, I suggest you sit down. I’m a bit in shock and I’m already sitting. It will hit you that hard. Tragedy, Vol.2

Change is not always easy, even if it is for the good. Making the decision to change can be even harder. Keith at Digital Doorway sums it up beautifully in his inimitable style via Back to the Drawing Board, Wherein the Heart and Mind Discuss the Future.

From the “Oh-NO-They-Did-NOT-Say-That” file comes a memo from Sutter management about targeting nurses related to patient satisfaction scores. Read it for yourself here (pdf file). In view of this, ER Murse wants to know if the push to patient satisfaction has changed ER practice. Check out How Has the Patient Satisfaction Push Affected Your Practice? And I want to know, too: have you changed your practice to increase your Press-Ganey score? I feel a post coming on…

And if that weren’t enough, how badly do you think a hospital wants to be designated a trauma center? I would have thought “never”, but read Trauma Center Designation in Sacramento Gets Ugly. Indeed.

*****

Caroline at Brain Scramble learns a lesson about pain perception in Understanding Pain. In a (hopefully) unrelated vein, she will be hosting the next Change of Shift – many thanks in advance, Caroline!

Max E. Nurse is feeling the holiday spirit over at It Shouldn’t Happen in Health Care, complete with his very own lyrics to a song by Sir Cliff Richard. Who, you say? Time to catch up on your British music trivia, folks, he’s been around for decades! Have fun with this Christmas Cliff Hanger, complete with the original song on video! Oh, and have you heard about the new “super bug”? Here’s a little inservice: “New” Superbug.

There are more ways to combine an interest in law and nursing than just being a legal nurse consultant! Kate describes those other options in Alternative Nursing Careers: Law posted at Alternative Nursing Careers. The opportunities are out there!

*****

ER Nursey tells a story of a unique Christmas experience that she never wants to repeat! She’s one up on me as I have never had this experience and, God willing, will never will have! Let’s just say Prissy from Gone With the Wind and I have a lot in common. Check it out in A Holiday Surprise.

Beka, in her blog over at Medscape wonders if nursing is getting harder or if it’s a case of the nurse getting older. Give your opinion to the post Nurses – Getting Older and Feeling Tired at the Medscape nursing blog In Our Own Words.

[And just for fun, because there is more to life than nursing (and these guys are cool), Dean over at Rebuilding Your Back gives a good example of why you should not take your dentist's diagnosis at face value in I Found the Best Dentist in Springfield, Missouri 
and Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains interviews a specialist in The Positive Psychology of Gratitude.]

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That’s it for this edition of Change of Shift!  The next edition will be in two weeks and will be hosted by Caroline over at Brain Scramble!  Use Blog Carnival’s submission or send them to me and I will forward them to Caroline.

Until then, have a great and Merry Christmas!

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December 9, 2007, 9:47 am

Why Should I Be A Nurse?

nursead

I just love this ad.

Judging by the text, it looks like an ad from the UK.

I like it so much, I can’t even think of a joke to go with it.

I did this exact thing as a child, except I used my little sisters as my “patients” and the “hospital” was under the card table in my great-grandmother’s bedroom. Of course I always wore a paper cap!

My great-grandmother taught me to make the best nursing caps out of typing paper! I held it onto my hair with paper clips.

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Almost two years ago, I considered writing an e-book on why nursing was a great profession. I just found my introduction in an old “blog file” and realized I had never posted it. I do so now, because we can always use a reminder of what sent us into this profession. I now present, the intro to the e-book that never was!

**********

“You’ll always have a job.”

“You’ll always have something to fall back on!”

This is what I heard as a child when I first announced my decision to be a nurse.

It was (and is) absolutely true.

Nursing is the backbone of the health care industry in the United States.

Patients are admitted to hospitals solely for the fact that they require nursing care.

Advanced practice nurses (Nurse Practitioners) are needed to work in tandem with physicians in both rural and urban areas to ensure access to healthcare.

Nurses are needed to work with patients in the home, when hospitalization is no longer required but the need for nursing care remains.

*****

Only there aren’t enough nurses to meet the needs of our rapidly expanding health care systems.

Nurses are needed. Desperately.

Nursing instructors are frantically educating the next generation of nursing professionals, even as qualified applicants are placed on waiting lists or chosen by lottery.

Nursing professors are needed. Desperately.

Nursing will provide you job stability, a healthy (no pun intended) income, a flexible schedule and good benefits.

But there’s more.

*****

Nursing provides you a way to make a difference in your life, your patients’ lives, the life of the community in which you serve.

Nursing is, after all, a service profession.

You will serve by healing the sick and promoting health in the community. You will serve the disenfranchised of society and those who reside in upscale communities. You will see them as equals. They are your responsibility.

They are your patients.

*****

You will work hard. You will make decisions on the fly that will affect lives and make lasting impressions on those you care for. You will give of yourself until you have to dig from the depths of your soul to keep on giving. You will occasionally leave work exhausted, frustrated, maybe angry.

You will be present at the beginning of life and you will be there guiding a patient and their family through the process of dying. You will receive untold rewards from your patients. Perhaps it will be a heartfelt “thank you”. Or a shy smile from a toddler as you hand them a teddy bear. Maybe it will be the satisfaction of watching an anxious patient in pain relax and sleep for the first time in a day.

But let me tell you the greatest reason for choosing to be a nurse…

When you walk out of that job, whether it be a hospital, a clinic or a home, you will leave with the knowledge that you made a difference in someone’s life.

And you will be touched by those same lives.

In the end, even considering the benefits, the flexibility, the income and the respect you will receive as a nurse…

Making a difference in your patient’s lives is the best reason of all.

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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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