April, 2009 Archive

April 2, 2009, 7:00 pm

Cutler Goes…Not to Cleveland

small_bquinnmugjpgPlease pardon my deviation from nursing for just a moment…

Okay, so this guy Cutler isn’t going to Cleveland.

So now, after Brady Quinn is supposed to be the starting quarterback for Cleveland, they tell Brady and Derek Anderson they will have to compete for the starting position.

Will someone, somewhere make Derek Anderson go bye-bye; surely there is somewhere else he can play.

Like a sandbox.

Oooo…I am snarky, but you do NOT mess with MY quarterback.

You just don’t.

(Photo credit: Chuck Crow/PD)

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2:33 pm

Apparently, I Don’t Exist

beautyI just could not resist this picture!

Seems the older I get the longer it takes me to make myself presentable to the outside world.

In the old days, a whip of blush, a slicker of Yardley lip polish (I’m dating myself horribly here…) and I was good to go.

Now it takes five layers of Bare Essentials over six layers of concealer, Skin Revver-Upper, moisturizer and a smooth silicone base.

I can’t smile, my face will crack!

I’d like to say, “Take me as I am world, what you see is what you get!”.

I think they’d return me for a refund.


This is a tough topic to tackle.

I have debated whether I should even try.

I’ll be treading a very fine line.

I don’t want to sound whiny.

I don’t want to sound judgmental.

I don’t want to sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself.

I’ll probably wind up doing all three.

I apologize ahead of time.


Apparently, I do not exist.

At least as far as financial aid is concerned.

The government has decided that I do not deserve any help.



Well, let’s see.

This list is based on what I have observed in my quest for scholarships.

I did not make these up.

(I am not making value judgments, so hold your fire.  I understand that “life” happens and we often find ourselves in situations we never expected.)

This is why I, personally,  am not eligible to obtain financial assistance from the government, at the BSN level of education.

  • I am not a person of color, although my cheeks tend to get a bit red.
  • I am a woman (hear me roar).

(You would think that would help, but in a female-dominated profession, I’m just “another one”.)

  • I have no ethnicity.  “American” doesn’t count.

(Although my ancestors came from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy, I am, at the very least, a good three generations away from that making any difference.)

  • I am not a single mother.
  • I am not unemployed.
  • I am an American citizen.

I’m willing to take on education loans, but I’m not even eligible for a Stafford, subsidized or unsubsidized.


So, according to the federal government I am not eligible for any financial aid whatsoever, despite the fact that I am back in school to obtain the education needed to fill the oh-so-vacant job of nursing educator/researcher.

I look to private scholarships and I am not eligible for the majority of the reasons stated above.

I’m not rich.

My cars aren’t fancy, my furniture shows wear and my house is no showplace.

It can be said that I have what I have because I am fortunate and there are those less fortunate than myself.

It can be said that I’ve even been lucky.

Yes, so far in my life I have been fortunate.

I spent my life making the right decisions at the right times,working through obstacles and hauling ass so that my family had what they needed to succeed.

It’s called the American dream and I work every day of my life to keep it.

I guess I’ll just bust my derriere that much harder to improve it.

Pull up the bootstraps, tighten the belt, rethink the spending habits, put the nose to the grindstone.

Because the government has decided that being a Caucasian, employed, married mother of three makes me undeserving of any financial assistance.

I guess I do exist.

I just don’t deserve any help.


Epilogue: Well, I did mange to sound whiny and sorry for myself.  Maybe a little judgmental, too, although that was definitely not the intention.

Despite all that, every single word that I’ve written is based on my experience.

They say that you appreciate things more when they aren’t handed to you on a silver platter.

If that’s the case, this education is solid gold.

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April 1, 2009, 5:14 pm

Change of Shift: Volume Three, No. 20


Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s already been two weeks since the last edition of Change of Shift!

We not only had an increase in submissions, but we have some brand new bloggers to meet this week!

Of course, the big news is the upcoming MedBlogger MeetUp in Las Vegas in October, under the auspices of BlogWorld/New Media Expo.  I’m excited, so expect to see a lot of enthusiasm emanating from this space!

Interested in hosting a future Change of Shift? Just check the schedule and let me know what date you would like!

Well, let’s get right to our colleagues’ submissions!


Okay, we’re going to start this edition off with a get-your-kleenex post by a new blogger and fellow nurse colleague, Midwest Woman.  There are diseases that take your life long before they end your life. In A Eulogy for Will, it becomes personal. The blog is called Not in Therapeutic Range and it’s a keeper!

The BSN-to-PhD debate continues with a contribution from Marachne at A Window for Your Home.  She is in the process of completing a straight BSN-to-PhD program and has just begun the research study for her doctorate.  “Experience” doesn’t have to mean decades of bedside nursing.  Read about  her perspective of this education pathway in Credibility.

Here in California, we are no stranger to brush fires, but the magnitude of the February fires in Australia is mind-boggling. To know that they were set intentionally makes is incomprehensible.  Nurse Ausmed presents A Community Devastated by Fire with updated information and news video video of the devastation posted at Nursing Handover.  A link to the Australian Red Cross is provided for those who wish to help in the recovery of the survivors.


The compassion of nurses recognizes no borders. All through the year, the members of  THE Mission: Tanzania Health and Education improve the health of patients halfway across the world through medical and school supplies that they personally deliver ! I see their passion for the citizens of Tanzania; they are my co-workers! Please check out their website and learn about their work. These women are changing lives, one trip at a time.

You don’t have to be a travel nurse to get burnout, so these suggestions on How to beat nursing burnout, part 1 posted by Jeff  at the Travel Nursing Blog can benefit all of us!  I’ll add one suggestion, though…start a blog! It works wonders on burn out!

President Obama Gives a Shout-Out to Nurses and Reality Rounds needs Depends! Seems as though POTUS is pro-nurse, which is a pretty good thing to hear! Check out the whole post (I love the way RR writes!) and give a thought to the question at the end.  What would you ask?


Keith at Digital Doorway ponders the multiple layers of public health and communicable disease prevention, where the smallest individual action can have a profound effect on the big picture in Surfing the Learning Curve.

Dreams isn’t just a song by Fleetwood Mac. RehabRN looks at the dreamers, the non-dreamers, the swear-I-was-awake dreamers and the nurses who dream about getting away from it all.  (Is it just me or is Ambien one scary med?)

Nurse Laura, also from Nurse Connect, takes a serious look at nursing care in the face of change.  It isn’t enough to dictate what must be changed, nurses need to be included in decision making and given feedback on how their individual care affects patient outcomes.  It’s a great post and it’s entitled Promoting Change Nurses Can Believe In.


Mother Jones is mad and she lays it on the line in a post that references her namesake: Lessons From Mother Jones.  Nurses have been historically treated like garbage and it’s time we stopped behaving like “good girls” (sorry, guys) and made some changes! Posted at Nurse Ratched’s Place.

Ha! I love this one! Nurse Kathy at Nurse Connect takes issue with being known as a nursing “pioneer”.  I’m with ya, girlfriend, I’m no “pioneer”, and we still got it goin’ on! Check it out at Am I Really a Nursing Pioneer?

Meet Barbara Olsen, another new blogger and Change of Shift participant!  Barbara writes Florence dot com.  In her latest post,  “Here’s Your Sign” is Not a High End Risk Reduction Strategy. Go Figure., she talks about the hierarchy of risk reduction stratgies and makes it interesting and entertaining at the same time! Welcome, Barbara!


The Clinical Advisor is a magazine for nurse practitioners and physican’s assistants and this week editor Joe Kopcha submits two articles for Change of Shift.  The first looks at where we stand with HIV in HIV Screening: Just Another Routine Test?  The second submission is a tragic (and frightening) story of Colorectal Cancer Misdiagnosed as Hemmorhoids.

Nurse William is back!  And he captures the wonderful (!) flow of the night shift in this classic post entitled The Witching Hour.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe and if you work night shift in an ER, you’ll feel the adrenaline!

If you don’t subscribe to allnurses.com, you should! Here is a great post for nursing instructors, but staff nurses who work with nursing students can get some good tips.  Vicky, RN writes Tips for Making Your Clinical Day Better.


Mark from Medicblog999 (and administrator of the EMS blogcarnival “The Handover”) sends in a beautiful story of a nurse/patient connection he recently witnessed in an A&E.  Sometimes, it’s all about The Little Touches.  Speaking of The Handover blog carnival, I will have the honor of hosting it here on April 24th, so if you have any stories by or about the emergency medical system (medics, doctors, nurses, patients…), feel free to submit them to me by April 20th.

OMG, this is fantastic!  Kathy Quan of The Nursing Site Blog has found a poster produced by one of the premier writers of nursing-related topics in our generation!  I want one.  Or ten! You can find the link at You are Much More Than “Just a Nurse”.  I have many books by the poster’s author and can’t wait to get my copies!

Over at the AJN blog, Off the Charts, Clinical Editor Christine Moffa wonders Can the Recession Be Good for the Country’s Health? and cites incidents of people actually becoming healthier as they choose more economical ways of living.  Maybe there are some great unexpected side effects! She mentions walking to work, but that’s out for me because it’s 22 miles one way and I have to cross the San Francisco Bay.  But I’m drinking just a few less lattes!


Many of our future colleagues are struggling to make ends meet while they finish their nursing education.  The Association of California Nurse Leaders has a program called Flo’s Cookie Jar that provides monetary assistance to these students.  Their motto is “helping student nurses through tough times”, and they can use our help to do so.  Out of the fifty applications for aid they received, they were able to help four students.  The need is great, so if you can, please hit that cookie jar with a donation.

Wow, Alvaro at Sharp Brains always has a thoughtful (no pun intended) contribution to Change of Shift, but he hits it out of the park with this week’s Brain Health News: Top Articles and Resources in March.  It’s  a mini-carnival of cognitive delights!

I thought I’d check in with Beka over at her Medscape blog, only to discover she is planning on law school!  I also found this great little post, Do You Become a Potato Chip Eating and Soda Drinking Junkie at Work?  Well, only if those delectable, salty,wonderful nasty things are in the break room! I have plenty of will power if they aren’t in sight.  How about you?


And that ends this edition! Wow – a lot of submissions, good topics and even some new bloggers – thanks to all who sent in their best this week!

The next Change of Shift is here, so you know the drill!  Send those submissions right to my email box and we’ll meet again on April 16th, just in time to recover from tax day!

And remember, Change of Shift now has subscription options; you can follow by email or RSS feed. An aggregated feed of credible, rotating health and medicine blog carnivals is also available. Many thanks to Walter Jesson at Highlight Health for setting those feeds up!

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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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