November, 2008 Archive

November 28, 2008, 1:32 pm

Change of Shift and Change of Season

Happy Thanksgiving from the Star Wars family, including Darth’s twin brother Garth!

Who knew?

My nephew brought his Star Wars figures and I couldn’t resist taking a “family” photo.

You have no idea how hard it was to get these guys to hold still. The Sand Person was friendlier than I expected but C3PO kept trying to run the show. Han was so full of turkey he kept “leaning” accidentally into Leia.

Yeah, right. A little too much wine for Han.

Luke insisted on brandishing his light saber despite Obi-Wan trying to reason with him.

Stubborn little bugger, but then every family has its quirks.

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This edition of “Change of Shift” can be found over at RehabRN.

Bless her for taking this on the week of Thanksgiving; many thanks to her and thanks to all those who took the time to submit during the busy holiday week.

The December 11th edition will be held at Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer. Submissions can be sent through Blog Carnival or to “marijke at medhealthwriter dot com”.

To read a bit more about Marijke, look further down this post!

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I’ll be hosting the second edition of the new “MetaCarnival”, a compilation of the best of all carnivals (medical and non-medical) here on December 1st. Administrators of all interested carnivals send in two of the best posts from their latest editions to be included in the MetaCarnvial. It’s my first time hosting, so it should be interesting!

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It’s time for the Canadian Blog Awards and Marijke over at Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer would like our support!

She is in the running for the Best Health Blog and you can vote for her in the first round by going here: Canadian Blog Awards: Best Health Blog. She would appreciate your vote!

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Remember the Toland family? SSgt. Robert Toland and his family returned from their trip to Disneyworld to a renovated home.

Kevin Haynes of the American Legion Post 1460 was kind enough to send me the link to the segment on the family that aired on “Hannity’s America”. If you didn’t see the episode, be sure to check out the video – it goes much further in depth into the work that was actually done on the grounds and the family’s reaction when they came home.

Many, many thanks to those who donated to help.

But it doesn’t stop there!

Meet the Warrior’s Wish Foundation. Think of it as “Make a Wish” for veterans. The motto of the Warrior’s Wish Foundation is “Make it happen!”:

Our Vision: To enhance the lives of United States Military Veterans who are battling life-limiting illness. We honor Heroes by helping to fulfill a life-long dream or wish. A lifelong dream or wish may consist of any realistic request that will make a significant difference in the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of the wish recipient.

Newly formed, the Foundation has two wish requests already!

  • A 48 year old Veteran in New Mexico wishes to be able to hunt moose in Canada
  • A 79 year old Veteran in New Jersey wants his daughter to visit him with his grand-children.

The Warrior’s Wish Foundation will “make it happen!”. You can help.

The donation page carries a Pay Pal button that makes it easy to donate, along with alternative methods you may choose to use.

The Christmas season is now official. What a great way to say thanks to our Veterans!

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November 24, 2008, 12:53 am

Nursing Clinicals: All-for-One?

A high school class tours a local hospital in the 60′s.

Future Nurses of America, you might say.

The girl in the middle has an expression that just cracks me up!

It’s like she thinks the patient is about ready to explode!

I had that same expression the entire time I was in nursing school.

Seriously.

But that does give me an idea…

We need to start a Future Nurses of America organization starting at the jr. high school level.

I wonder how you start something like that.

Well, well – a quick Google search shows that something akin to this already exists!

So much for my original idea!

(Photo credit: Life Magazine, 1966, Photographer: Leonard Mccombe)

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I’m wondering if I am out of touch of nursing education.

Back in the day, when we did our clinicals, we did them at different facilities. I had experiences in the county hospital, a free standing psychiatric facility, a medical center, a couple of community hospitals and a local hospital run by an HMO.

I learned a lot from experiencing different facilities. For one, I knew I sure as heck was not going to work in a county facility. No siree! I discovered I had an affinity for psych nursing and that there was no way in hades that I’d ever work for an HMO.

The point? I had been exposed to different systems, different ways of nursing, different types of patients and different attitudes along the way. Props to Ohlone College – I am the product of a great program that is still going strong.

*****

There is a local hospital that works with nursing students in a BSN program. The students get all their clinical experiences at this one hospital.

Now granted, it’s a decent hospital. It has a psych unit, an ICU, a medical floor, a telemetry floor and a maternity unit. The staff nurses act as adjunct faculty for the clinical students.

Many of the students are hired by this hospital after graduation.

But are they really getting a well-rounded nursing education?

Isn’t it important to experience different types of nursing, different types of facilities, different philosophies, different attitudes, different corporate cultures, different equipment, different ways of performing nursing functions?

Isn’t the ability to adapt something that should be ingrained in a nursing education?

*****

I do think it great that hospitals are willing to partner with universities in educating nurses.

I also think it is a great idea to have staff acting as adjunct faculty for the nursing students; who better to teach than someone who is actually walking the walk.

But I can’t help but think that nursing students are missing out of many learning opportunities by not experiencing nursing at a county hospital, a major medical center (and lord, do we have a TON of those here), a psychiatric facility that has both locked and open units, and a number of community hospitals.

I wonder if the nurses who are hired at other facilities have more “reality shock” than those who stay at the hospital where they did their clinical rotations.

*****

I know this was done under the diploma programs; one hospital for all clinical education. But I submit that nursing is more complex now than it was just 25-30 years ago and one clinical facility does not fit all.

The bottom line? It is expedient for a hospital to partner with a university in this fashion because, essentially, they are educating their future staff.

I wonder if they are really doing the nursing students any favors by limiting their exposure to different clinical situations.

Am I totally off the wall here? If so, please tell me.

Like I said, I may be out of touch with nursing education as it is practiced today and would like to know, especially from the newer RNs, what you thought about your clinical education.

What would you have changed?

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November 19, 2008, 3:58 pm

See Nurse. Nurse is Busy. Busy Nurse!

I never studied in my uniform.

I certainly never studied in my cap. But hey! I have it right here in the closet! I could wear it around the house!

You think I’m kidding, don’t you?

I just realized that the green and gold on the cap match my Notre Dame jammies!

Not that I would wear those things together.

Or anything.

When I study I’m sprawled out on the floor with texts and articles and computer and diet Pepsi and notebooks and my headphones on playing ocean sounds to help me focus.

As much as I love studying, I’d rather blog!

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In 1963-64 I was in the first grade. I loved to read.

These were my textbooks and I was so proud to “graduate” to the next color in the series!

I surmised that by the time I made it to college, I would be reading books that were much more difficult.

One would hope, anyway.

My suspicions were correct. When I began my nursing education, the textbooks could have been written in Greek, for all I knew. The concepts were complex, Sr. Roy’s nursing theory could cause semi-permanent strabismus, and I discovered that trying to study nursing theory in-between acts at a Day on the Green concert while drinking screwdrivers was not conducive to retention.

But I managed to absorb the material and I graduated (obviously).

*****

Then I decide it is time to finally get my BSN.

Three decades had passed since I laid eyes on a nursing textbook.

Oh, I would read journals of course. And take continuing education classes.

I even took a full year of art history, two years of piano/music theory, a semester of paralegal studies and a semester of literature during that time.

I was challenged in all these areas, but I loved it.

Hamlet rocks, by the way.

*****

So I begin my baccalaureate education in nursing. Heavy topics. Theory. Leadership. Public health.

Only I find myself wondering if there is something wrong with me, because with all due respect to Mickey Mouse, I have invoked his name on numerous occasions as I try to describe my texts.

I’m in a university. I’m taking upper division nursing courses.

Yet my textbooks read like they should be entitled “My Little Nursing Story Book”. Seriously, are these things written at the eighth-grade level?

In case it isn’t totally apparent, I am no genius, but I’ve read Cherry Ames novels that were more challenging.

Aren’t these texts written for professional nurses? Why are they “speaking” to me like I don’t know the nursing process from a hole in the ground?

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Then I figured it out.

These texts aren’t for nurses who have returned to school for a higher degree. They are written as basic texts to be taught in basic nursing courses to students who are just learning the profession.

This presents a rather interesting conundrum. As nurses flock en masse to RN-to-BSN programs, there will be a need for nursing texts that are aimed at experienced, professional nurses who have a baseline knowledge backed by years (decades!) of experience.

Do these texts exist? I haven’t seen them. Does anyone even realize there is a need for a tailored, advanced approach to those of us who already have “RN” after our names?

*****

Let me give you one example of what I am talking about. This is a partial first sentence of an actual text, from the chapter I am now assigned to read. The topic is home health.

  • “The purposes of home health services are to provide nursing care to individuals and their families in their homes…”

NO!!!!

That totally floors me!

I thought home health nurses were supposed to play checkers with the patients and let them win.

And then I can’t figure out why I have trouble taking the rest of the text seriously.

A basic nursing text is not appropriate for nurses advancing their education.

So….

See Kim. See Kim read. Hear Kim sigh.

No wonder I’d rather blog.

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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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