March, 2011 Archive

March 9, 2011, 7:55 pm

If You Can Make an Appointment, YOU DON’T NEED AN ER!

Get 15% off hospital scrubs with code “white_onsale

I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to Scrubs Gallery for their continued support of Emergiblog through their advertisement, and new to 2011, their monthly sponsoring of an Emergiblog post. Thanks, Aaron! You guys rock!


Well, I am happy to say that I am NOT old enough to remember when cardiac monitors were simply oscilloscopes.

Is it just me or does that uniform look extremely uncomfortable? It’s like she has a restraint around her waist. If it gets any tighter it will blow that cap right off her head!


Congratulations to Krista Casey, who won the free copy of Jennette Fulda’s latest book, “Chocolate & Vicodin”!

Krista, your book should be on its way from the publisher.

Many thanks to all who entered the Emergiblog drawing!

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away is available from and other booksellers.


I actually wrote this post in November.


Why I did not post it then, I do not know, but here it sat in my pile of drafts, neglected and unattended.

It’s still relevant, so I’m posting it now.

(Hat tip to the Emergency Nurses Association’s Facebook Page for this information. The article can be found here.)


This is so wrong.

You can’t make this stuff up.

It seems an emergency department in Memphis, Tennessee is now taking online reservations for their services. Yes, you heard that right, you can now hop online and select the time you would like to be seen for your “emergency”. Just pay $15.00 and you can give your chief complaint, your medical history and your list of medications ahead of time, saving you time and trouble when you pop in with your pesky problem!

What if the problem is serious?

The computer won’t let you register and flashes a “Call 911” sign at you.

But wait! There’s more!

If you are not seen within 15 minutes of your scheduled time, you money is cheerfully refunded!

I’m not kidding.


If you can make an appointment for an ER visit, you are not having an emergency!

Repeat it with me: the use of emergency departments for non-urgent problems is an inefficient, expensive practice.

If you are making an appointment for an “ER visit”, what you are doing is making an appointment for a clinic masquerading as an ER. And if the “ER” actually a fast track that is staffed and run separately from the ER (aka an “urgent care” or a “clinic”) then, don’t advertise it as an emergency service.

The very nature of emergency care means never knowing what will come through the doors or when it will show up. The patient population is fluid, the acuity level varies widely with no way to predict work flow. You can make appointments and schedule to your heart’s content but all the online reservation systems in the world cannot guarantee that an emergency department will be able to see a patient in a set time frame.

And the “money back” guarantee?



How can we expect the public to have realistic expectations of health care, specifically emergency care, when it gets treated like your local nail salon? Make an appointment and get your money back if the totally unreliable, unforeseeable and often chaotic world of the ER can’t meet its promises.

It’s bad enough that patients have unrealistic expectations when they walk through the door. They expect to be seen instantly. They don’t expect to wait for labs. They want meds given to them and not to have to go to the pharmacy. And now, in a community in Texas, they can make an appointment to be seen in an emergency department.

I wonder if the nurses and doctors on the front lines had any input into that.

I don’t have much information, but it just reeks of corporate input.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t get it.

Read »

March 4, 2011, 5:43 pm

Change of Shift: Vol. 5, Nos. 17 & 18

Welcome to Change of Shift, the Double Edition!

Between traveling and the ENA Leadership Conference, the last edition Change of Shift was, shall we say, delayed. That’s the bad news.

The good news is I’m combining last week’s CoS edition with this week’s edition.

Be sure to read to the end for an important notice about the future of Change of Shift.

Let’s get started!


Running Wildly pens a post probing the weaknesses in the Bullet Proof armor we use to protect our emotions at work.

JParadisi has penned a wonderful series on her journey from student to professional nurse and CoS is proud to include the series in this edition, all posted at JParadisi RN’s Blog. Get ready to remember…


The latest edition of the Insights in Nursing podcast is up, with host Jamie Davis. I managed to actually make this one while I was up in Portland, along with Terri Schmitt from Nurse Story. Check out Alarm Fatigue Helped Me Save the Coffee! Gina at Code Blog talked to Jamie in his role as a Nurse Journalist for her series on nurse interviews.

Speaking of Terri, be sure to read her blog post regarding A Presentation of a Curious Nurse Malady: Full Plate Syndrome. Do you suffer from this, or know a colleague who does? Learn how to access, or organize, an intervention. Please help.

At Digital Doorway, Keith writes about Compassion From Day to Day as only he can do.


oncRN pulls a memory from the vault and wonders if she should listen to what she tells her patients Today.

Nurse K finds that you better be careful what you say in Nicest Patient in Weeks at Crass-Pollination.

I wish I could write like this. At AJN’s blog, Off the Charts, a post by Marcy Phipps, RN. Snow.


Hey, the Man-Nurse hasn’t been blogging at The Man-Nurse Diaries lately and I’m pretty fed up. Go find out why That’s No Excuse!! : )

For Nicole at Raspberry Stethoscope, nursing is all about Making the Connection. (And Happy Birthday!)

Girlvet pens The Madness Guide to Happy ER Nurses at Madness: Tales of an Emergency Room Nurse.? She hits it out of the park!


As always thanks so much for reading and for linking! Many thanks to those who submitted and to those who found themselves “submittees”!

And now, a word from our sponsor.

Change of Shift is in the middle of its fifth year.

Submissions have dropped dramatically, to the point of only about 3 every 2 weeks. I’m not sure if there are fewer nursing blogs out there or if nurses are blogging less frequently. There may be less interest submitting to blog carnivals in general (or this carnival in particular).

I have a soft spot for Change of Shift and I do not want to see it fade into the sunset. I enjoy putting it together, whether through submissions or through selection, but I’m finding it harder and harder to keep up a bi-weekly carnival where I am making the selections.


Change of Shift is moving to a monthly publishing schedule beginning with Volume 19 on April 14th.

(This is SO going to screw up my numbering schedule, but hey! I’m a nurse. I can handle it!)

Change of Shift is still open for submissions – send in any and all blog posts and I’ll put them in the post just like always. If I get an onslaught of posts, I’ll put up an early “Very Special Edition”and rejoice in the abundance!

Should the flood gates reopen and the nursing blogosphere pour forth, we can always take CoS back to bi-weekly.

Either way, keep blogging!

Read »

March 2, 2011, 8:47 pm

“Chocolate & Vicodin” Gets a 10/10!

Chocolate and Vicodin?

No, it is not the latest flavor from Ben and Jerry!

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest For Relief From the Headache That Wouldn’t Go Away is the latest book by blogger/author/web designer/busy woman, Jennette Fulda.

I became acquainted with Jennette’s blog, PastaQueen, during BlogHer 08, where I had purchased her first book, Half-Assed. When she asked if I would like a copy of Chocolate & Vicodin to review, I jumped at the chance.

In Half-Assed, Jennette chronicled her journey to a near-200 pound weight loss. Just prior to that book’s release, she began another journey. One whose goal proved elusive.


On February 17, 2008, Jennette went to bed with a headache.

She still has the headache.

Name a diagnosis, she’s heard it (brain tumor, dead twin-in-the-brain); name a treatment, she’s tried it (meds, massage, marijuana, mint chocolate chip ice cream).

In Chocolate & Vicodin, Jennette is on a journey to find relief from chronic headache. Writing in an easy, comfortable style, Jennette has a subtle humor that will have you laughing out loud. Trust me, her description of using marijuana (“for medicinal purposes only”) will have you spitting your beverage of choice out your nose! (Protect the book!)

It will also choke you up.

Under the humor, under the crazy emails from readers that suggest the crazy remedies, this is a serious story of chronic pain disrupting life. Persistent, excruciating pain and the work of coping takes a toll on Jennette and when it becomes too much, you find yourself sobbing with her.

But it is not a pity party.

As Jennette struggles to find answers (and comes to terms with the fact that there may not be an answer), she deals with the concept of pain vs. suffering, how to live with pain (not just exist) and finds that humor is therapeutic.

I loved it.

I have insight into what a patient with chronic pain experiences on a day-to-day basis and just how devastating chronic pain can be mentally and physically. I know what to say and what not to say (“Hope your pain goes away!” is a BIG NO! It’s like saying “Hope your foot grows back!” to an amputee!). Sometimes “This just sucks!” is okay.

I am a better, more empathetic nurse for having read it.


Chocolate & Vicodin is now available from all booksellers.

As part of the Chocolate & Vicodin Blog Tour, Jennette is doing some promo give-aways!

Jennette is giving away a free copy to a reader of Emergiblog! Drop me an email via the contact button at the top of this page. I’ll collect the emails until March 9th, put all the names in a hat (nurse’s cap!) and pick a winner! Please include your full name and address in your email.

If you help Spread the Word about Chocolate & Vicodin, you can win an iPod! Go to the Spread the Word page for details!

The next stop on the Chocolate & Vicodin Blog Tour is over at Cranky Fibro Girl. Go over and say hi!

But first, order the book.

It’s a keeper.

Read »

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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