January, 2009 Archive

January 21, 2009, 8:44 pm

Change of Shift: Vol. 3, Number Fifteen

Welcome back to Emergiblog, for the post-inaugural edition of Change of Shift!

If you didn’t get a chance to check out this week’s Grand Rounds, hosted by Dr. Val of Getting Better With Dr. Val and presented at MedPage Today, be sure to do so!

As is the custom on Emergiblog, since the “theme” is nursing, I’ll present the submissions themselves as the theme of the edition.

Also, the schedule for Change of Shift is now posted through 2009, so if you would like to host an edition, please shoot me an email (see Contact button above) and I’ll be happy to schedule you in!

Note: An important message follows this week’s submissions.


There are so many nurse blogs I am discovering for the first time. Although Shrtstormtrooper (gotta watch the spelling on that one!) has been blogging for over a year, I have just discovered this great blog from a blogger with “no verbal filter”. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a post written by our colleague after reading the book of the same name. The post will give you a lump in your throat, and is found at New Nurse Insanity: Fundus Chop!

Keith at Digital Doorway is concer. A new television show. “The United States of Tara” follows a main character with Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka: Multiple Personality Disorder). Will it lead to understanding or be used solely for humor? Keith muses over how mental health has been treated in the media and he doesn’t sound too optimistic about this latest foray into the arena.

Marijked is a nurse of many talents, and this week she is wondering Do You Have a Living Will? The post can be found on her Senior Support blog, along with a link to a survey she would love to have you complete. It takes less than a few minutes – I took it today!


Long time Emergiblog supporter/sponsor (thanks, guys!), NurseConnect has submitted three posts for Change of Shift this week.

In Career Transitions and Other Nurse Topics, Nurse Laura takes on Ratios and Reform. Are ratios enough to keep nurses at the bedside? Are there other aspects of care that need to be addressed? A though provoking post; weigh in with how you feel about ratios.

Nurse Kathy, in Nursing Dynamics and Clinical Issues, discusses The New Generation of Nurse. I have only one thing to say: I LOVE THIS POST! Being at the age I am now, I am so into giving back to the profession and my daughter will be one of the new generation in 3 1/2 years. Thanks Kathy, you have great insight into what the future of nursing needs, people like YOU!

NurseConnect also invites guest bloggers to weigh in on nursing issues, and this time the Nursing Guest Blog is written by Karen Siroky, the Director of RN.com. Karen asks What Does Specialization Mean to Nursing? It is a great post and has given me an idea for a post of my own. So, what do you think?


Now for the important announcement.

Or, more like an important discussion.

These were the only nurse related posts I received.

Oh, there were about 2/3 more. All from Blog Carnival, and not a single one from a true blogger let alone  nurse-related in any way. I try to be inclusive of everyone I can but enough is enough.

I was going to go out and find great nursing posts and include them in this edition (and I KNOW you are all out there!) but I wanted to get some feedback. What do you think should happen in a case where the majority of submissions have nothing to do with nursing?

  • If nursing-related posts are few, should the host go “looking” for some great posts by or about nurses?
  • If you run across a great post on another blog, would you be comfortable submitting it for the blogger?
  • If you are a blogger yourself, would you be comfortable having your blog post included in Change of Shift?  Would you prefer the post-er ask your permission?


I’ll be honest. I see “Change of Shift” as our (nurses) “baby”. Well, our “baby” has reached adolescence and is having an identity crisis.

IMO, we need to keep CoS as nurse-focused as possible.

That means we need as many nurses as possible to submit their posts, or have their posts submitted.


I need your ideas.

Do we need more aggressive marketing? Should we issue personal invites to submit? Should hosts be able to just “put in” posts that they think are great? Should we have a “Blog of the Week” selection, by the host?


Don’t MAKE me come OUT there…

Just kidding.

Change of Shift will be as good as the nurses who contribute. Nurse bloggers rock, ergo “Change of Shift” should rock.

So, all comments welcome!

Hit me with your best shot!

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January 19, 2009, 9:08 pm

Medblogger Meet-Up: Making Progress

Well, I am one happy camper today, let me tell you!

That is The King himself, Richard Petty!

And Petty Enterprises has merged with Gillette/Evernham Motorsports to become….

Richard Petty Motorsports!

The reason I’m so happy? Kasey Kahne is now driving for the team that bears Richard Petty’s name.

It’s hard to explain how totally cool this is to someone who is not into Nascar, but everyone knows the Petty name!

(This great picture was taken for NASCAR Scene by David Griffin)


This photo of my daughter Lillian and our cat Mork was taken in 1981.

I thought catching the smile on both of them was priceless.

I sent the photo into the “I Can Haz Cheezeburger” site with this caption, and it made the regular site!

I nearly fell over.

Between talking to Richard Simmons this week and then having Lillian’s photo show up online, what’s next? Is Ty Pennington going to tell them to “Move that bus!” in front of my house?


The work-behind-the-scenes of our first Medblogger Meet-Up is progressing.

First of all, there were six topics in our medblogger poll that stood out from the others.   After a total of 83 votes, these are the six topics rose to the surface, in order of popularity:

1.  Blogging for Change: Blogging as Vehicle for Change/Activism in Healthcare (55.4%)

2.  Blogger’s Block: Keep the Passion in Your Posting (55.4%)

3.  The Danger Zone: Staying on the Good Side of HIPAA (54.2%)

4.  Let’s See How Far We’ve Come: The State of the Medical/Health Blogosphere (50.6%)

5.  Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics:  Why You Want to Wear the Widget (48.2%)

6.  Blogging for a Living: Leveraging Your Expertise (45.8%)

So sponsors are now coming on board (Johnson and Johnson there from the start!), and the big decision is where we are going to hold the meet-up and how we can keep it affordable for our bloggers (us!).

The exciting thing is, it is no longer an idea and is quickly becoming a reality.

I promise to post more info as things become finalized.

I am stoked!

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January 17, 2009, 3:12 pm

Change We Can “Live” With

Dear Mr. President,

Well, it’s here.

The campaign has been waged, the victory scored. Tuesday will mark the beginning of a historic era in our country’s history.

You now know the minute details of what faces this country; things you could not know while campaigning and probably wish you didn’t know now.

We, on the other hand will now find out if promises made can be promises kept. Some will be. Some won’t be. Some can’t be.


“Change” was the theme of your campaign. I’d like to throw out some ideas for change we can “live” with.

Change that can help every single American.

Change that can save the health care system in this country.


At the risk of sounding like a Frank Capra movie, I believe America is the greatest country on Earth. I believe it. You believe it. So, even though I did not vote for you, we have one major belief in common.

Given America’s greatness, why is our health care system so fragmented, so focused on illness, so underfunded?

So sick?

There is no one answer. You may be President when the system improves or it may take you starting the ball rolling and a successor to complete. But, there are ways to begin looking at the system now to make it better.

This is what I believe:

  • Every American should have access to the same quality health care no matter where they live, whether they are employed, whether they are healthy, whether they are sick.
  • Health care is a need, not a right. Rights are not purchased (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness)…Rights are fought for. Needs are purchased. Health care will require funding and adequate payment to those who provide it.
  • The focus of any health care plan needs to be….health! This is the definition of primary care. Regular check ups. Immunizations. Screening tests. Public health is also the definition of primary care.
  • Public health is so much more than just making sure people have a doctor handy. Public health means working on the infrastructure. Decent housing. Good schools. Jobs. Good stores. Stable neighborhoods that invite businesses to invest.

This is what I believe:

  • Anything our government touches becomes mismanaged, misused, misfunded and bloated to high heaven.
  • I live in California, don’t try to tell me otherwise (and this is a Republican talking!).
  • Ergo, health care should not be managed by the government. Health care must be managed at the community level with input from physicians, nurses, other health care disciplines and lay citizens.
  • Drop insurance.
  • Employers pay a percentage of tax for the number of employees they have. Tiny business? Less taxes paid. Big corporation? More taxes paid. It’s got to be less than what employers are paying now.
  • Every individual worker pays a 2% flat tax for health care. Poor? You pay less. Rich? You pay more. But, this is all you pay. Ever. No co-pays, no medication costs. Just your fair share of taxes. On welfare? Then 2% of your welfare check is kept for health care needs. Yep, you pay, too.
  • Add this to monies already spent for Medicare and Medi-Cal. You can cover every person in America and those who can’t pay are covered by those who can. We are doing this already.
  • This is the plan of the Physicians for a National Health Plan – it’s already been worked out and debated and supported by California nurses. Check out the site. Why re-invent the nearly invented wheel?

Things we need to do now:

  • Change our focus to primary health care and not big-bucks disease management.
  • Study other countries’ systems. Learn from their mistakes. Learn from their successes.
  • Make medicine and nursing professions that attract the best and the brightest. It does not come cheap. Anything worth having never does.
  • People are your best investment in health care. Make it worth the time and effort to become a doctor or a nurse.
  • You can’t provide primary care without primary providers, nor can you expect someone to be willing to work for the same (or less!) wages provided to the local waste-management worker after 12 years of education leading to over $100,000 in debt. Let’s get real.

Mr. President, you are obviously able to communicate with the American citizen, or you would not be where you are today. Please:

  • Let Americans know that they are responsible for their health. Not the US Government. We each make our own decisions leading to good or bad health in the long run. What the government can do is provide the infrastructure that gives people the choice to make correct health decisions. That gives them neighborhoods that are safe and where businesses can thrive. Some will come crying to you that they are victims in the health care arena, that they should not have to pay for whatever reason. Don’t let them. Stand firm.
  • Make it clear that health care is not an entitlement. Make sure the patients know that they will be paying for their health care and that they are expected to pay for their health care. With that responsibility comes the knowledge that the health care community is accountable for the care they provide. That is no change from what we have now.

So, Mr. President, I wish you luck and will pray for your success in the office you have won, because your success is my success, and that is bipartisanship at its best.


Kim McAllister, RN

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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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