June, 2009 Archive

June 18, 2009, 10:24 am

Patients for a Moment: A New Blog Carnival Hits the Scene!

patientforamomentWell, it’s about time!

There is a new blog carnival in town and this time it’s all about the patients!

Which means it’s all about you and me, because all of us, at one time or another, are the patients.

The new carnival, Patients for a Moment is the brainchild of patient blogger Duncan Cross.  The first edition is up and if first impressions are lasting, this should be one successful carnival!

Head on over, check it out and most definitely consider sending in a post for edition #2!

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Side note: Tuesday was my 30th wedding anniversary; my husband and I were treated to dinner by my son and daughter-in-law. Absolutely wonderful!

But…I missed the premier of “HawthoRNe” (and I have a DVR!).

So, many thanks to those who are leaving comments – I am hoping to catch the first episode on the internet.  From what I am hearing, it’s not all that realistic.

Did you see it?  What did you think?

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June 16, 2009, 12:39 pm

I See You in a Different Light

squishycapWell, somebody likes their job, I must say.

Although I can’t figure out why she is smiling.

Her cap looks like conjoined coffee filters!

Conjoined coffee filters that somebody sat on!

Maybe she doesn’t realize it’s squished, and would die of embarrassment if she knew!

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I wanted to take a moment and thank the two companies whose support of Emergiblog through their advertising is appreciated more than I can say. Both Scrubs Gallery and NurseConnect provide support for many of the nurse bloggers, and I am proud to have them on Emergiblog. If you have not had a chance to check them out, please do!

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Sitting on my table: Saving Lives: Why the Media’s Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk, by Sandy Summers (of The Truth About Nursing) and Harry Jacobs Summers. I saw this book at Sandy’s site and could not resist. Sandy is a tireless advocate for the image of nursing, and I’m looking forward to reading what she has to say. For every book purchased, Sandy sends a copy to a media representative. You can pick up a copy of Saving Lives… by clicking on the link.

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The emergency department “regular”.

Every emergency department has them.

A patient can become a “regular” for many reasons. Maybe they are a recurrent cardiac patient. Perhaps they suffer from chronic pain. Sometimes, they become a “regular” because they utilize the ER as a clinic and bring the whole family in over the course of a month. Some regulars are drug seekers. Others are homeless and know they can find respite in the department for at least a couple of hours and maybe get something to eat.

If you work in an emergency department long enough, you will know who they are.

And you will get to know them.

*****

Recently, it dawned on me just how well you get to know them.

I work in a community hospital. It’s one of those hospitals that patients actually request to go to from all over the county. We have our shifts from hell, but it is far from the county-trauma-eight-hour-wait-time environment of the huge medical centers. There is time to talk to the patients, find out more about them than what hurts, what is swollen or what prescription they have lost.

Over time, the conversation stops being scripted and “starts getting real”, as they say.

*****

This particular shift was steady, but not crazy. And almost all the patients I cared for were “regulars”. Easily 90%. For some, it was their usual health issue. For others, something different.

I found out a lot that night over the course of that shift

Someone’s youngest would be starting kindergarten in September; someone’s oldest had just graduated from high school. Someone had gotten into a recovery program and had been clean for a month. Someone had just welcomed their first grandchild, another was mourning the loss of their mom the week before. Someone had lost their job earlier in the week. Someone had gotten married since their last visit. A baby sister was on the way for one of my patients. Another patient had enrolled in the local junior college.

We saw them, treated them and sent them on their way with a wave and a prescription.

Hopefully they left in better shape then they arrived, even if all they needed was reassurance.

All I know is that I thoroughly enjoyed that shift.

*****

I had done all the usual things.  Saline locks, blood draws. Medications and re-evaluations. IVs and education.

But I had also congratulated success, commiserated over frustrations and offered consolation over losses. We covered birth and death, struggles and successes, dropping old lifestyles and starting new beginnings.

That shift, I saw my patients in a different light.

*****

The best part of nursing has nothing to do with disease or diagnoses or procedures or prescriptions.

The best part of nursing is the patients themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with my “regulars”.

I hope I was therapeutic for them.

They were most certainly therapeutic for me.

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June 9, 2009, 1:56 pm

“Jane, You Ignorant &*$#!” – The Art of Commenting in the Blogosphere

aykroydcurtainYou’ll have to pardon the title of this post.

Those of you of a certain age will surely remember that famous line used in the second season of the “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update” skit.

For you youngsters who have never seen it, Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtin were the co-anchors. They would engage in a point-counterpoint debate, and Dan would always start off his counterpoint with the endearment, “Jane, you ignorant slut….”

Pretty funny at the time.

Not so funny when you use it in the blogosphere.

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No one has ever said that to me in a comment, probably because my name isn’t Jane.

But, a few have come close.

And I wondered. I’ve been doing this for four years.

When did the blogosphere get so nasty?

Nothing wrong with controversy and strong debate. It’s what the internet is all about; it’s why bloggers blog and it’s what makes for a vibrant discussion and for those with an open mind, it can be exhilarating.

But something is missing lately.

Manners.

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Given the barriers to full communication inherent in internet interactions (lack of facial expressions, tone of voice, body language), it is easy to appear curt or insulting without meaning to. In large discussions with many commenters, a response can be confusing: was it meant for the blogger or was it a response to a previous comment?

Comments are the heart and soul of the blogosphere so it is important to make your comment count.

Here are five ways to do that:

1.  Keep your focus on the topic up for discussion. Remember, it is your opinion on the topic at hand that adds value to the discussion.

2.  If you are referring to a previous comment (as opposed to the blog post itself), be sure to make that clear.

3.  Do not insult the blogger or previous commenters by resorting to name calling. Let me assure you that likening the blogger to a female dog or questioning the legitimacy of their birth is sure to dilute your point. Trust me on that one, m’kay?

4.  Sarcasm is an art form. Use it sparingly; it rarely comes across on screen unless you are an extremely talented writer.

5.  Identify yourself. Even a pseudonym is okay – lots of folks use them.  Anonymous comments don’t carry the same weight as those whose authors are not afraid to put their name/pseudonym behind their words. Which brings me to the next point:

6.  Use a legitimate email address. If what you have to say is articulate and adds to the discussion, why go to the trouble of using a phony email address to make a comment?

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As you may have guessed, I’ve been receiving some rather interesting comments from some rather interesting sources.

In four years, I have never had to moderate comments. I take all comers – agree, disagree, vehemently disagree…you name it, it’s here.

I don’t plan to start moderating them now.

But I will say this: if I get comments from folks with emails like “yousuck@yousuck.com” (I’m not kidding on that one). Or “lightenup@lightenup.com” (yep, that was a real one), they will be deleted immediately.  Even if they are articulate and responsive to the topic.

If you aren’t willing to use a legitimate email and your name/pseudonym, why bother to comment? Anyone can hide behind a fake email or the popular name “anonymous”.

You may have great things to add to the discussion but your opinion loses its value when you don’t take credit for it. Back up your opinion with your name/psuedonym.

I stand behind everything I write with my name.

Is it wrong to expect anything less from anyone else?

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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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