July, 2008 Archive

July 18, 2008, 4:53 am

San Francisco Days, San Francisco Nights…at BlogHer08!


Yep, time to pull out my favorite photo of San Francisco, because not only am I visiting, but I’m actually staying here!

It’s the BlogHer08 conference at the beautiful Westin St. Francis at Union Square! I would love to tell you who I’ve met and what I’ve learned, but the conference actually starts in about three hours.

(Many thanks to Rob Halper and the folks at Johnson and Johnson as I am attending the conference as their guest! I met Rob through the J&J Discover Nursing campaign.)


This room totally rocks! Check it out, Starbucks in the in-room coffee machine, little itty bitty bottles of Jack Daniels in the fridge!

I have never had Jack Daniels in my life, but it’s just nice to know it’s there if I do want it!

I feel like the “Hick from the Hills”. You’d think I never stayed in a hotel before. And trust me, this place is so swanky I feel like Granny from the Beverly HIllbillies.

And check this out: I have Business Cards ! In thirty years of nursing I have never had a business card. Well, now I do and they are stunning. I listed myself as “Writer, Registered Nurse”.

I’ve never actually called myself a writer before.


There was a Newbie mixer last night (and this is my first conference, so I am a newbie) and I bet it was wonderful!

I slept through it.

I had been up for 24 hours and decided to take a nap a few hours before the mixer. Woke up at 10:30 pm.


Now in the old days (like, last year) I could do that without a problem.

So why am I up at 5 am blogging? Because I can’t get back to sleep.

Night shift sucks.


I have to laugh. I’m here with a MacBookPro, an iPod and my iPhone. Guess who one of the sponsors of the conference is?


Many thanks to them for sponsoring, but it won’t change that fact that I’m in love with Steve Jobs.

Also, iRobot is sponsoring! Can’t wait to see their internet cafe! There will be little robot vacuums cleaning the floors while we blog! I actually have one of the first models. I named it “Sonny” after the robot in “I, Robot”.

Yes, I actually named my vacuum! I told you I was a geek!


There are supposed to be lots of goodies and raffles…I’ll let you know if I win any raffles. I have what my dad used to call “The McAllister Curse”. We never win stuff. Ever. Not in Reno, not in raffles, nada.

I can’t even string five numbers together in Bingo.

Not that I play it. Or anything.

So if I win something, I’ll blog about it! Oh….the excitement is mounting! I can feel it!


So…I guess you can say I’m leaving my heart (and lungs, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder, etc) in San Francisco.

Actually, I’d love to actually leave my uterus here, but in addition to that being waaaay too much information, I’m sure no one else wants it, either.

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July 15, 2008, 6:21 am

Extra! Extra! Get Yer Grand Rounds! Hot Off Unprotected Text!

Grand Rounds

Extra! Extra!

It’s time for this week’s edition of Grand Rounds and HM, proprietor of Unprotected Text, is our editor.

Very nice, concise presentation, as only news headlines can be!

Do check it out! I wonder if there’s a comics page……

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July 13, 2008, 11:36 am

Beyond the Innocence, Your Youth is Gone

Does she look any older than about eighteen?

I had to laugh because (a) I was only 20 when I graduated, (b) her cap is similar to mine – except the wrinkle on the left is inexcusable!, and (c) I used Noxema!

Didn’t everyone use Noxema back then? I don’t even remember any other facial cleanser. You just knew your face was getting cleaner by the second!

I realized I was getting older when I found myself buying Old Oil of Olay instead.


I’m also at the age where I have a hard time understanding.

…Understanding why a young girl would drink so much she passes out, carried into the emergency department by ten of her closest friends who are so worried about her.

Where the hell were they when she was drinking herself into oblivion?

…Understanding why a young girl shows up in the middle of the night for the yeast infection that isn’t a yeast infection at all, but something that she will carry with her the rest of her life. And I’m not talking pregnancy.

What the hell was she thinking when she had unprotected sex with the loser who was cheating on her and brought home a little “gift”?

…Understanding why a young girl would toss a bottle of medication down their throat because they couldn’t stay out until midnight.

Did she really think that seemingly innocuous, ubiquitous pain reliever recommended by nine-out-of-ten hospitals wouldn’t kill her?

What is happening ?


Oh, I can empathize with the desire to be cool, to have fun with friends, to want to believe the guy really loves you, to be angry at what seems like needless restrictions.

I was a teenager once. Around the time Disco was King, in fact. Did stupid stuff in my time, like wear five-inch platforms and bell bottoms so wide you coudn’t see my feet.

But I am astounded at the amount of risk-taking behavior by adolescents I am now seeing in the ER.

And for some reason, it’s the girls that I see most often.


Adolescents think they are invincible, that’s understood.

How do you make them understand that what they do today can have a lasting effect on the rest of their lives?

I don’t know that, as an ER nurse, I can have much influence.

It helps to be non-judgmental, although that isn’t easy. A little kindness can go a long way.


When dealing with ETOH, I talk to the girls about how dangerous it is to be out of control of their behavior and surroundings; that it would be easy for someone, anyone, to take advantage of them in that state and they would never know it.

That usually does not cross their minds.

When it comes to sexual activity, I talk about trusting themselves when it comes to protection from pregnancy and STDs, that they need to take responsibility as they are the ones who will have to live, sometimes for a lifetime, with the consequences.

It never occurs to them that their boyfriend might be lying, or interested in his own pleasure at her expense.

When it comes to overdosing, depending on the situation, I will explain exactly what that non-aspirin pain reliever does to their body and I tell them what death-by-ingestion looks like. I’ve seen it twice, and I don’t spare the details. It’s too important that they know what can happen to them. I reinforce that (a) it was good that they told someone, (b) I am not being punitive when I tell them they have to take certain antidotes or that they are on a psychiatric hold and (c) all we care about is that they are safe.

They have no idea just how dangerous their impulsive action could have been.


Sometimes I wonder if the parents ever really talk to these girls. Or do they talk until they are blue in the face and the kids don’t listen?

They are so eager to grow up. Act older than they are.

They have no idea that beyond the innocence, their youth is gone.

And they can never get it back.


The title of this post was taken from the song, “Ballad of Youth” by Richie Sambora. You can see the video here.

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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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