January, 2009 Archive

January 30, 2009, 10:07 am

Lord, I’m-a-Goin’ to NASCAR Heaven

Oh hai!

Actually, I have nothing of value to impart on nursing at the moment.

I must finish reading my Nursing Research text and the first chapter in my Intro to Muslim American studies text.

I would have studied at work but patients kept coming in.

How rude!

I really hate it when work interferes with my life.

And man, it’s really been a pain in the rear these last few nights.

********************

Take a good loooong look at the gorgeous hunk of male genes in this photograph.

Because that is who I get to meet IN PERSON in June.

You are looking (or reading) at the proud owner of a Platinum Freakin’ Pass for the Infineon Raceway Nascar race in June.

And they are only selling 200 of them, split between the KASEY KAHNE and another guy (Kevin Harvick, if you must know).

That means Kasey and Kim and only a few dozen other people in the same room!

I got work to do!

  • Get contacts. No glasses with Kasey Kahne. No way. No how.
  • Keep losing weight. Yes, I’m old enough to be his mother, but I don’t have to look like it!
  • Buy super stunning digital camera with mega zoom lens and practice with it before June so I can take so many photos I’ll put Flicker out of business (iPhone is nice, but this requires a pro outfit).
  • Buy cutest Kasey Kahne/Budweiser swag I can find to wear.
  • Find a way to sew bib into said swag so that drooling will not be noticeable.
  • Practice saying, “Hi, Kasey!” until it comes out natural and precludes me saying “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” when introduced.

I have met Steve Perry, three generations of Journey members and Jeff Scott Soto in person.

I managed to act like a normal, adult woman and did not embarrass myself.

As far as I know.

This is different!

It’s Kasey Kahne, people! 

KASEY KAHNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I now return you to my regularly scheduled blog.

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January 27, 2009, 7:22 pm

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – at Grand Rounds!

Well!

Maybe girls just wanna have fun, but obviously there is no fun to be had at this facility!

No Taco Bell or Burger King for anyone in this place!

Why are toys from home risky to the parents? Somebody gonna steal the Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em Robots?

And goodness forbid that the patients have any money! They might try to sneak out and buy food or toys!

Heck, these days you can’t even stop someone from using a cell phone as they stand in front of a “Please do not use your cellphone” sign!

Not to mention the patients who have had a Double Whopper with Cheese, a large fry and a Super-sized Coke between triage and getting roomed.

And we have immediate bedding!

Ever tried getting the “history of present illness” out of someone chowing down on a Chalupa?

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Grand Rounds is over at ChronicBabe.com this week and the theme is…

“Totally Babelicious!”

All women, all the time!

Because we all are Babes!

I, ahem, am the “studious” babe who just happens to have a crush on a Nascar driver young enough to be her son (Daytona 500 in 18 days, folks!).

So in honor of the guys who put not only the word “babelicious”, but “schwing” into our conciousness, I give you Wayne and Garth’s Top Ten Babelicious Babe list.

Seriously, if you have not seen Doc Gurley’s video about “The Lost Tampon”, you have got to get over to Grand Rounds. It’s the first link. It’s a classic!

*****

Speaking of studious, I decided enough of this school stuff!  I want my BSN ASAP.

I was fortunate enough to get into the Nursing Research class at UWGB and I do believe it is going to kill me.

Statistics was a Lindsey Buckingham concert compared to this class.

In addition I am taking “Introduction to Muslim-American Studies” and “Religions of the World” because sometime after 1978, they decided that an ethnic studies class and a world culture class should be required for the BSN.

Nine units total.

Ah, who am I kidding?  I love studying.  I am such a nerd.

The goal? Finish the BSN by December of 2009.

Then, if they will have me, go straight to the University of California, San Francisco for a PhD in Nursing with a focus on Health Policy.

You see, I want to study nurses. I have a theory about nursing vis-a-vis the retention of nurses through the career cycle. There is a lot of nursing research being done on patient care and best practices, but not as much on the nursing profession.

I want to study us.  Nurses can’t utilize best practices if there aren’t enough nurses to go around.

And so I will devote my academia career (as soon as I get one) to the study of the nursing profession itself.

Sounds rather hoity-toity, doesn’t it?

Okay, so I’m a hoity-toity nerd!

Time to crack the books, babes!

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January 24, 2009, 1:20 pm

Health Care for Lesbian/Bisexual Women: Did You Know?

Why is a nurse talking about dentists and tooth decay?

Nice cap, but I’ve never had an RN talk to me about tooth decay.

Wouldn’t an “ammoniated dentifrice” taste like, yuck?

3 out of 4 dentists recommend it?

I’ve had two dentists in my lifetime and neither one of them ever even said the word “Amurol” to me.  They must have been in the other 25%.

“Minty taste”? Try ammonia breath.

And, um, isn’t Amurol something that you put on your tires?

Oh, wait that’s Armor All.

Ah, tires!

Only 21 days until the Daytona 500.

You knew I was going to fit that in somehow, didn’t ya?

*****

Editrix Jenni of ChronicBabe.com is hosting Grand Rounds this week and her theme/topic is Totally Babelicious: A Focus on Women’s Health Care Issues.”

I wanted to look at women’s health from a different angle.

There are great blogs out there on living with chronic illness, breast health, heart health and women’s sexuality.

What I don’t see are a lot of blogs about health care for lesbian/bisexual women.

So I went to the Gay Lesbian Medical Association. And I downloaded their pdf: “Guidelines for care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Patients”.

*****

I honestly thought there was no big deal between the health of lesbian women and heterosexual women. We all face breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. We all face heart disease.

We are all women, after all.

But unlike those of us who are heterosexual, our lesbian sisters, relatives, friends, colleagues and partners have risk factors and face barriers to health care you may not realize.

And what I am about to tell you is pulled right from the GLMA pamphlet.

*****

Did you know…

  • Lesbian/bisexual women are at higher risk for chronic stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues because of the stigma, harassment and discrimination (or fear of same) associated with being homosexual. Fear of being judged or discriminated against often prevents a lesbian or bisexual women from seeking health care.

Did you know….

  • A lack of appropriate health care education could cause a lesbian/bisexual woman to forgo necessary screening, perhaps believing that pap smears and other tests are not required for homosexual women. Problems like cancer might not be caught in the early stages. If you don’t access health care personnel, you miss out on health-related education and information.

Did you know…

  • Lesbians have lower health insurance rates than their heterosexual counterparts? Why? Marriage and employment are the two primary routes to healthcare in the United States. (Some states recognize domestic partnerships, some do not). Your patient’s partner is less likely to be insured.  Less insurance means less money for follow-up visits or expensive medications.

Did you know…

  • Lesbian women are more likely to be overweight than heterosexual women. Let me quote directly from page 26 of the pamphlet because the studies behind why this is are interesting (italics mine): “There is evidence that lesbians are more likely to be overweight than their heterosexual counterparts, possibly because of cultural norms within the lesbian community and because lesbians may relate differently to, not accept or not internalize mainstream notions of ideal beauty and thinness. While lesbians as a group tend to have better body image than heterosexual women—a positive health characteristic—they may consequently be  less motivated to avoid being overweight.”

Did you know?

  • That smoking and substance abuse are found more often in lesbian populations, not only because of stress, but because of the “prominent role that bars and clubs have played in lesbian subcultures and as “women-only” spaces.

******

So what can we do to make it easier for our lesbian/bisexual patients?

  • Understand that there is no “unique” lesbian patient; that lesbians are as diverse as the rest of the     patients we care for in race, language, appearance.
  • Be accepting and non-judgmental in your care. An accepting health care environment is likely to lead to willingness to access further health care, leading to further health education. Discussing sexuality is never easy, but don’t be afraid to ask the right questions or just assume that your female patient is heterosexual.
  • Make sure your patients have options – remember that like any patient population, it is possible the lesbian patient may not have insurance. Access to many options is appreciated.
  • Education is key. Lesbian women need to know they are just as likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, COPD, and STDs as any other patient population.

If you provide a warm, welcoming and open environment for your lesbian/bisexual patients you
help promote not only sexual health, but their entire physical health. When they need information, they will gravitate to the health care environment that is most accepting.

And information is power.

The power to make the appropriate decisions for your health care.

Gee.  Maybe we aren’t so different after all.

*****

If you work in a practice with gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered patients, I really suggest you download the GLMA pamphlet. It’s full of good information for caregivers on how we can support  our GLBT community.

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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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