October, 2008 Archive

October 16, 2008, 11:34 am

School Daze at Change of Shift!

And it’s time for Change of Shift!

This time it’s over at Nurse Ratched’s Place with a “Be True to Your School” theme, hence the photo of these studious student nurses in place of the usual CoS logo.

Nice cap there, Mother Jones! Seriously – that’s an 8/10!


Well, since Mother Jones had the guts to put up one of her yearbook photos, I’ll put an old shot of me up, too.

It’s the only proof I have that I was ever that skinny!

I tried wearing white recently and I looked like a walking drive-in movie screen.

I expected cars to start parking in front of me with speakers hanging in their windows.

If I had a nurse’s cape, it would hide a multitude of sins, much like navy blue scrubs.

Thank God for navy blue scrubs!


Google is stalking me.


Every night, around 0100, I get 2-3 visits from Mountain View, California. Each night, 1-2 different pages are looked at.

I’m not talking ‘bots. I’m talking visits from Google HQ.

I’ve also noticed that my unique visitor traffic has been down.

No matter how much I write or what I write, it’s dropping.

So I was very interested in PixelRN’s troubles.

Have I been hacked? I was hacked a few months ago but Shane caught that before I was even awake here on the west coast.

Hey Google! I’m not a spammer or a splogger, m’kay?

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12:45 am

When the Poverty is in Your Backyard

Well, I’m just a half-hour late to the show.

As everyone knows by now, yesterday was Blog Action Day, meaning over 12, 000 bloggers all blogged about one topic: poverty.

I was going to write yesterday, but maybe it’s better that I didn’t.

I have a little bit better perspective on poverty than I had yesterday.


I’m working on a paper for my Community Nursing class; I am in the process of conducting a “Community Assessment”.

Part of the assignment entails doing a “windshield survey” of the community. Drive through. Get a feel for it. Find out what you can from just observing.

Now I knew that the area I had chosen was an older, run down area of my city. Lots of ethnic groups represented, most without health insurance. High crime area. Lots of young families with lots of kids. Many, many teenage girls raising their babies without help.

I knew that because I worked in the small emergency department right across a busy thoroughfare from this neighborhood.

But I never really knew the neighborhood.


Before I left I finished reading a study on health inequities in my county of residence and then a report on the health of my specific city.

Seems the area I was going to survey had up to 40% of residents living at the poverty level.

The poverty level.

Forty percent!

Five miles away from my house.


Poverty means you have to work a minimum wage job at least 86 hours a week to afford the rent in my city

Poverty means you have to live in non-healthy areas, near industry and freeways and dumps and bus depots and in high crime areas full of drugs and meth labs because you can’t afford to live in the “nice” parts of town.

Poverty means that your children are stuck in a school rated 21/100 and it’s doubtful they will graduate from high school.

Poverty means that the odds of your children growing up to live in poverty are great.

Poverty beats you down, keeps you down so that you don’t see – or can’t take advantage of – the opportunities that may be able to give you a hand up, a way out.

A better way of life.


Essentially, poverty is THE health problem. Broken down living quarters. Poor nutrition. High stress. Depression. Substance abuse. Joblessness.

Universal health care sounds great, but if it doesn’t address health disparities at the financial, social and community level, then we are not giving those at the poverty level the same level playing field, the same foundation for a healthy life that those of us who are not impoverished enjoy.

Universal health care begins with healthy environments, strong community support, open space, freedom from toxins, good nutrition for children, good education opportunities, lower crime and the self-esteem that comes with believing that you deserve all these things.

I don’t ask for much, do I?


I read that “the choices we have are the choices we make”.

Poverty narrows the number of choices you have; it makes you doubt there is anything better.

Or that you deserve anything better.


I used to feel all someone had to do was pull-themselves-up-by-their-bootstraps and get their butts working hard and they could make it. And some of them can. Some of them have the strength to see beyond the walls of poverty and take the steps, make the sacrifices to get ahead.

Despite the odds.

But poverty perpetuates itself and affects multiple generations of families.

Is it any wonder that government assistance programs are needed? I know I’ll be looking at those a bit differently. Don’t tell my kids, they’ll think I’ve gone liberal on them….

Poverty is not just located in famine-devastated areas of far off continents.

Sometimes it’s right in your backyard.

Or in your emergency department…

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October 14, 2008, 7:56 pm

Time for ‘Rounds and Browns!


Any excuse for a Brady Quinn photo!

The good news is that the Browns pounded the Giants last night.

My thanks to those who put up with me live-twitting through the game! Where were all the Browns fans on Twitter? I was all alone!

The bad news was that Brady did not play because Derek Anderson decided to play really well. I shan’t comment further.

Oh well. Brady is only 24 so he’s got a loooong career ahead of him. Makes me wish I was 30 years younger.

(Many thanks to Barry at the Orange and Brown Blogs for the okay to use this AP photo from their site!)


From Cleveland to Casablanca…

Grand Rounds shows up with a bit of a movie theme over at Notes of an Anesthesioboist.

“T” quotes her favorite movies, one of which is “Independence Day”!

Would have been a great excuse for a Jeff Goldblum photo, but I didn’t want to overindulge in one post.

Bogart outshines them all, anyway!

His daughter Leslie is an RN.


Don’t forget!

Change of Shift will be at Nurse Ratched’s Place on Thursday, and the theme is education.

Send your nurse-related submissions to “motherjonesrn at yahoo dot com”.

She’s got some vintage nursing photos I’d kill for!

We just might see what Mother Jones looked like at her nursing school graduation!

Not that I’m I’m saying her photo is vintage.

Or anything…



Don’t forget to vote for your favorite topics for the Medical Bloggers track at BlogWorld09, to be held in Las Vegas next October (and don’t forget to request that vacation time!).

The poll will be up until the end of November, so vote early and often! Okay, vote once, but you get the idea!

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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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