December, 2009 Archive

December 30, 2009, 6:15 pm

Emerging From the Holiday Coma

constipationConstipated since childhood, but after 63 years, she decided to deal with it on Christmas at 0400.

Okay, not really.

Apparently, if you are constipated you should eat yeast.

Plain squares of yeast.

I don’t get the mechanism.

Yeast rises in a warm environment.

So, if you eat it, does it keep expanding until it explodes everything in front of it out the, uh, exit door?


I will say that the most interesting chief complaints tend to cluster around the holidays.

It goes something like this:

“Hi! I’m Kim and I’m the nurse; what is the problem this cold, icy, rainy holiday morning?”

“I’ve had a flaky left baby toe for a week.”

“Is it painful?”


“Does it itch?”


“What have you done for it so far?”

“I saw my doctor and he gave me a cream, but I don’t want to use it.”

“Really? Why didn’t you want to use it?”

“Because my toe is flaky!”

Well, okay then…


Something is changing on night shift.

Used to be you could clear out the PM patients by 0100 and only have a rare patient before 0530. Left a lot of time for studying.

No more. Now there is a flurry at 2300 (almost all pedi fevers) and a steady stream after that, all the way up to day shift. Croup, abdominal pain, migraines, chest pain, nausea/vomiting, cough, asthma, it’s all there. Can’t blame it on H1N1, either; it’s been like this for awhile. Summer slump? Haven’t seen one for at least two years.

The problem with this is not that people need care – that is why we are there. It’s that the unspoken benefits of working the night shift (the slower pace, the down time) has virtually disappeared.

It’s getting harder and harder to deal with a dissonant circadian rhythm.

Some of my co-workers are older than I, and they work doubles and double-backs and seven, eight 12-hour nights in a row.

Just the thought of a 12-hour shift makes me want to run for Zoloft.

When did I turn into a wimp?

(Could be the constant ingestion of sugar, salt and fat over the last four weeks……nah)

I mean, I am Nurse, hear me roar…

…right after I’m done yawning.

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December 24, 2009, 4:21 pm

It’s a Merry Christmas Change of Shift!

OffwhitelogoIt’s Christmas Eve and time for a new Change of Shift!

Between the hustle and bustle of the holiday rush (and the ending of fall semesters), the nurses of the blogosphere put fingers to keyboard and busted out a joyful Change of Shift!

Grab an Egg Nog (spiked, of course), and settle in for some nursing stories!


Nuthin’ Says “Happy Holidays!” Like a Code Green!, or so goes the ode written by Reality Rounds for your holiday reading pleasure. It’s a “Code Gray” in my hospital, which makes it sound like a Weather Channel prediction…

See Jane Nurse has seen it from both sides and she isn’t pleased with what she sees In the Holding Tank. “If we all wanted stable we would work in the doctor’s office!” I think I’ll tattoo that on my chest. In the meantime, here’s a hearty AMEN, SISTAH!

AIDS has been with us for nearly thirty years, and it’s easy to forget the fear and stigma so rampant in those first days. Except when you see it happen. Again. Medic/Nurse’s Blog begins a series on The Many Faces of AIDS, Part 1.


“Miracles happen there.” Laney at Nursing Student Chronicles busts a PICU myth. Find out how at Gives Me Hope.

I’ve always said that being a patient makes you a better nurse, if only that you can see the perspective from the other side of the gurney. Kim at Prosaic Paradise describes her experience as a patient in Revisiting My Hospital Stay. She starts her nursing education soon – welcome to the profession, Kim!

It’s raining men! Or at least a list of the 10 Most Famous Male Nurses in History, over at Nursetini. Long before Flo grabbed a lamp, nursing was led by the guys!


Some are perfectionists, some are just adequate, but Lisa at Experiences of an ICU Nurse makes it clear that Incompetence is a Four Letter Word. For some professions, a laissez faire attitude just doesn’t cut it.

What do you think about nursing unions? I’m rather ambivalent about mine. Jennifer at NursesPTO doesn’t know any unionized nurses and wonders  Are Nursing Unions Necessary? Stop by and weigh in!

Dr. Dean is married to a nurse, and he used to deliver babies. Now, he writes Blog (Millionaire nurse? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Sorry, Dean, couldn’t resist!) and offers a course in resuscitating your finances in Retirement Account Balances: Like Watching Paint Dry.


That’s it for this edition! The next Change of Shift will be right here at Emergiblog, so keep sending in your submissions!

Thanks for reading and have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a great New Year!!!!

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December 11, 2009, 10:08 am

Change of Shift – Volume Four, No. 12

OffwhitelogoThat had to be the fastest two weeks on record!

It’s time for another Change of Shift!

There is some rumor going around that a holiday is coming up, but the only decorations around here consist of APA handbooks and nursing texts.

Apparently the nurses of the blogosphere are all busy, because this week it’s Change of Shift “Light”! You know, like those little 100 calorie packs of snacks you love? Well think of this as a 100 calorie Change of Shift!

Let’s get this package open…


Things are a bit rambunctious over at Nurse Ratched’s Place! Mother Jones has a few issues with the new mammogram guidelines and a few readers take umbrage in Pink Research: Undercutting Women’s Health.

Nurse Laura at NurseConnect wonders Is the Nursing Profession Changing? It’s been in a constant state of growth since I graduated in 1978, and for the better IMO. What do you think? Is our profession changing? Are you changing with it? Join the conversation over at Laura’s blog.

Talking about H1N1 is all well and good, but what happens when it hits home big time? NurseConnect guest blogger Jennifer Larson knows the fear behind those headlines in H1N1, More Personal Than Ever Imagined.


The profession may be changing, but are you stuck in your “comfort zone”? NurseConnect’s Nurse Kathy has some fantastic thoughts on Leaving Your Comfort Zone as a Nurse. Been there, doing that and it’s worth every stomach butterfly!

A special patient helps Wanderer at Lost on the Floor remember why he became a nurse in A Little Bit of Sunshine.

At NurseZone, E’Louise looks the ED that handled the victims of the Fort Hood terrorist attack in Nurses Rise to the Occasion in Texas. It’s all about teamwork.


And that’s our CoS for this week.

I’m hosting the Christmas Eve edition of CoS and I’m looking forward to the bazillions of submissions I am sure I am going to get over the next two weeks.

I know it’s the holidays. I know everyone is busy. I know it’s finals week. I know the Cleveland Browns won last night.

(Just seeing if you were paying attention…)

But…y’all gotta blog!


Don’t be grinches with your nurse stories!

And yes, that means you! : D

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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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