December, 2008 Archive

December 11, 2008, 8:38 pm

Just Dropped In, to See What Condition My Condition Was In

Ah, the many talents of the registered nurse!

Apparently this facility was so short of funds, the nurses had to function as IV poles…

…while opening the airway at the same time!

Is it just me or does the patient look like he just had breast implants?

And do NOT get me started on the coffee filter cap on her head. It’s either that or a urine strainer!

I shouldn’t be so critical. I’m embarrassed to say I had glasses just like that in 1966. Fire-engine red glasses.

Hip and groovy, I was not !


I’ve been off work for long stretches the last couple of months and one of the problems with being off the normal routine is that you get lazy.

Writing a ten-page paper was absolute torture, but it’s done and I’m done for the semester.

Feel free to ask me questions on the health of the Hispanic population – that was my topic!

School starts again on January 20th and I will be taking my ethnic course (Introduction to Muslim-American Relations) and my world culture course (Religions of the World). I am aiming for a Spring, 2010 graduation, but for the next four weeks I can get back to blogging and enjoying myself!


The latest edition of Change of Shift is now up over at Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer ! It comes complete with a video introduction; a CoS first! Many thanks to Marijke for hosting!

The Christmas edition of Change of Shift will be hosted at Nurse Ratched’s Place, so send submissions to “motherjonesrn at yahoo dot com” or use Blog Carnival (button on right sidebar)

If you haven’t had a chance to read this week’s Grand Rounds, Alvaro does a great job of hosting over at Sharp Brains.


The poll for topics at the future medblogger conference/track is done; many thanks to all who voted for their favorites. We should have more information on a 2009 conference soon.

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December 8, 2008, 12:12 am

Keep Your “Clients”, I Have “Patients”

Ah, the “positive suitcase sign”

Patients who wanted/expected to be admitted used to bring their packed suitcases with them when they visited the ER.

I haven’t seen it for years. People aren’t admitted like they used to be and the public has gotten the message.

This guy is really efficient. Pajamas? Check. Slippers? Check. Suitcase? Check.

Looks like he’s playing “rock-paper-scissors” with the triage nurse.

What a great triage system! If he wins, he goes straight to a room. If he loses, he goes to the waiting room.


I’m restless. NASCAR is over until February. My Fighting Irish fought their way to…well let’s just say they fought their way. Brady Quinn gets finger surgery so it’s no fun watching my NFL team. I wonder if he needs a nurse.

(Oh… NEVER say that you wish a quarterback would sprain a finger so your back-up guy can play. That’s what I said about Derek Anderson last year and quarterback-karma came back and bit me in the butt.)

All I have to occupy my time is the ten-page paper on Hispanic health that is DUE ON WEDNESDAY! And all I can summon up the energy for is watching old reruns of Andy Griffith. It’s like comfort food for stress.

I have two pages done. Trust me, it was an extreme effort of the will to get that much on paper.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.

Hey, it worked for Scarlett O’Hara!


I’ve noticed something in my community nursing readings.

The term “client” is ubiquitous.

It drives me right up the wall.

You see, I don’t have “clients”.

I care for “patients”.


While clients purchase goods and services and while medical care is often referred to as a commodity, it is the only service in which people expose themselves emotionally, physically and spiritually, or share the most intimate details of their lives.

When they obtain medical/nursing care, they are looking for something more.

They are looking to be cared about while they are being cared for.

And that is the difference: caring.


When I am giving nursing care, providing patient education or making a home visit I am providing a service to my patients, but embedded in that service is caring.

You can be a competent lawyer and serve your clients without caring. You can be an competent accountant and serve your clients without caring. A nurse who doesn’t care becomes a technician.

Caring is the essence of nursing.

And that is why my patients will always be my “patients” and never my “clients”.

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December 1, 2008, 1:00 am

MetaCarnival: Volume One, Number 2

Welcome to the second edition of the “MetaCarnival”!

Brainchild of Alvaro Fernandez of Sharp Brains, the MetaCarnival seeks to bring together the best of the blogosphere by sampling the diverse topics collected in the carnival format.

Carnival administrators send in two submissions from their respective compilations and these submissions compose the “MetaCarnival” which is posted once a month.

Let’s get started!


“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulder of Giants.” (Isaac Newton, 1676).

This is the spirit of The Giant’s Shoulders, a monthly science blogging event about classic science papers.

The fifth edition of this carnival was posted at PodBlack Cat: Science, Superstition and Skeptical Life and included the following posts:

Why are there so many animals? John Dennehy at The Evilutionary Biologist looks at the classic paper on biodiversity.

Most of us awaken to the sound of birdsong each morning. At Living the Scientific Life, GrrlScientist describes research showing how a bird can be Singing in Slow Motion.


The Praxis carnival takes on all aspects of the scientific life, and edition number four was held at the “home” of Praxis, The Lay Scientist.

The first Praxis submission is written by graduate student Scicurious from Neurotopia v. 2.0, who discusses the importance of academic relationships in Warm Fuzzies and Getting to Know Your Profs.

Can the time change affect your heart? Bora at Blog Around the Clock gives a critical look at related research in “Spring Forward, Fall Back – Should You Watch Out Tomorrow Morning?”


SurgeXperiences is a bi-weekly compliation of stories revolving around surgery. Jeffrey Leow of Monash Medical Student and carnival administrator submits the following:

Cris Cuthbertson at Scalpel’s Edge finds out what it’s like to be on The Other Side of the Waiting Room.

Jeffrey Parks at Buckeye Surgeon describes the case of his career in The Fall of the Invincible One.


Encephalon is a blog carnival focusing on neuroscience.

Their contribution to this edition of the MetaCarnival comes from The Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation with principal interests in brain science, immunology, and arts education.

Music and the Brain discusses an interesting study using jazz musicians and brain imaging.


Regular readers of Emergiblog are no strangers to this carnival!

The last Grand Rounds was hosted at Canadian Medicine. Here are a couple of samples of the carnival of the medical blogosphere:

Bongi is a surgeon in South Africa. Here is a post on surgery in “Hell”, entitled Words, from his blog Other Things Amanzi.

Ever wonder what happens to the parts they remove in surgery? Find out in Surg Path Basics at PathResBlog!


The Four Stone Hearth is a blog carnival that specializes in anthropology in the widest (American) sense of that word.

From this compilation we get a submission from Neuroanthropology with the rather interesting title of Studying Sin. Absolutely fascinating…I’ve bookmarked this blog for further reading.


Lisa Emrich is the founder and administrator of the “Carnival of MS Bloggers“, a place where people living with multiple sclerosis can share their stories. I met Lisa when we were co-speaking at the Johnson and Johnson Global Communications Conference. She has submitted the following posts:

From her own blog, Brass and Ivory, Lisa gives us a little mini-carnival called Spasticity, Disability and Solu-Medrol. A little bit on each!

Diane Standiford takes a bit of the Wizard of Oz, Madonna and the “Yellow Sick Road” as she describes her journey to a cure for MS on her blog, A Stellar Life and the humorously entitled The Cure for Multiple Sclerosis, You Bowl Beepers!


Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t add a couple of Change of Shift posts to this MetaCarnival!

The nursing blog carnival was last hosted at RehabRN, and here are a couple of submissions:

Disappearing John discusses how he is Dealing With A Decision Made.

Strong One at My Strong Medicine gives some succinct advice in Act the Part and You Will Become the Part.


Thanks so much for checking in on this edition of the MetaCarnival. The next edition will be hosted on December 29th at Science Roll. Carnival administrators: send your submissions to “berci.mesko at gmail dot com”.

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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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