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!

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.

February 21, 2011, 11:44 pm

Advanced Career Life Support: The 2011 ENA Leadership Conference

Greetings from Latte Land, USA, aka Portland, Oregon!

Thanks to wonderful colleagues (including one who works miracles with the schedule), I am able to take some time off to regroup, recoup and recharge while visiting my daughters.

I was also able to attend the 2011 ENA Leadership Conference. Nothing beats a day spent with hundreds of emergency nurses for re-energizing your perspective. I could blog daily for a month on what I picked up this weekend.


Portland is cold. On Friday, it was near freezing, and the current of warmth emanating from the Convention Center felt like aerosolized Ativan.

Not that I needed it.

In fact, I was attending the 2011 ENA Leadership Conference praying for an epinephrine-like jolt to my professional eco-system. Something, anything (!) that would send a few hundred joules through my enervated, inertia-leaden, this-close-to-asystole, ambition-is-having-a-near-death-experience self.

(I sound like a real attractive nurse, yes?)

So, I dialed 911 (aka Anthony Phipps, ENA Media Rep/Nice Guy), asked if I could cover the conference for the blog, and he dispatched ACLS (Advanced Career Life Support) in a megadose of Yes!


AnnMarie Papa is the current President of ENA. She is funny, articulate, and not afraid to dance onstage.

She also gave a wonderful description of leadership when she told the group at the general session to go out and “inspire a passion for what you do”.

Inspire a passion for what you do.

It felt like a little yellow Angry Bird hit me right between the eyes.*


Think about it.

Passion is contagious.

The best nursing leaders are passionate about nursing and that passion – that energy – expands and encompasses those around them. The best leaders inspire you to do your best. Because of them, you go the extra mile without a second thought. They energize you professionally. Working with them/under them is stimulating. Easier.

We all have the potential to be nursing leaders, at the patient bedside, in the exam room, in the community or in the boardroom. No matter what degree, how much experience or what specialty we choose.

If we inspire a passion for what we do.

Do you inspire a passion for what you do?

If you do, then you are a nursing leader.


AnnMarie Papa never did meet the nurse in the tenth row, stage left who was taking notes in the dim lighting.

But she definitely made an impression.

A simple exhortation. The end of one sentence spoken midway through an action-packed General Session of a national nursing conference.

But it hit me square in the chest.

Inspire passion for what you do.

I can’t really describe why that statement took my breath away.

But perhaps it was because right there, right then, on that Friday morning at the Portland Convention Center, I was in the presence of hundreds of nursing leaders who were all

…inspiring passion for what they do.

It was awesome.


The absolutely stunning photo of “Downtown Portland Snow” was found in the Flickr Photostream of 321 Photography.

*The author of this post would like to clarify that she is not a Green Pig in an army helmet. She is, however, addicted to Angry Birds. She blames her coworkers.

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...

Continue reading »

Find Me On...
Twitter     Technorati

Subscribe to Emergiblog

Office of the National Nurse

Zippy Was Here

Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics

  • Perspective
  • Confidentiality
  • Disclosure
  • Reliability
  • Courtesy