July 14, 2012, 12:38 am

Will Work for Half-and-Half

I love my co-workers.

When things get absurd and all I want to do is smack my head, they make me laugh.

Case-in-point:

We were informed that Half-and-Half would no longer be provided to staff or patients. Those choosing to use creamer in their coffee would be offered Coffee-Mate, or could choose to “BYOH&H.”

“Corporate” decided this would make a good cost-cutting measure.

*****

“Corporate” is like the “Not Me” character in the “Family Circus” comic. Blamed for everything, but never actually seen.

Normally, this would have engendered an eye-rolling, how-much-money-do-they-think-they-will-save, 5-minute conversation and that would have been that.

However, the email noted:

Half-and-Half would be available for all physicians and administrators!

Say what?

*****

But, no.

This was legit.

And I was pissed.

Not at the loss of the half-and-half, but the principle of the thing.

Surely the idea that physicians and administrators were more important than staff or patients, or were superior groups to be coddled and pampered was a remnant of the 1950s, something to be looked back on as a relic of a less enlightened time!

Er, no.

*****

This was such a slap in the face to the staff, and in writing, no less!

Combined with everything “Corporate” has done (or been blamed for) over the last year, it was just too much.

Then one day, I walk in and see the “Will Work for Half-and-Half” jar.

With donations in it!

I LOL’s until I had chest pain.

That’s the kind of humor that permeates my department.

And that is why I work where I work.

Working with colleagues who have a great collective sense of humor is worth its weight in…well, Half-and-Half!!!!

And right now, that stuff is like gold in my ER….

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June 12, 2012, 2:21 pm

World Turning

Ah! A Barbie nurse outfit!

We’ve come a long way from my 1962 Barbie with the starched white uniform and blue, red-lined cape. She carries a hot water bottle and wears the best cap ever.

Now, Barbie wears scrubs with sparkly pants and carries charts with hearts on them.

Give them credit, this comes with an otoscope and a stethoscope.

I was about to give hell for the hooker-high open-toed shoes, then I realized my Barbie wears open-toed white pumps.

No controversy here, moving along.

*****

I’ve been busy!

First, I was blogging for multiple sites, which left me little time or energy for my own blog. It was a great experience, and I learned much about writing under pressure. I will say this: blogging with deadlines is totally different than having your own “space” and just putting down thoughts and communicating with readers.

Writing became something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do. I didn’t want to lose my passion for blogging, so I made the decision to scale back to writing solely for Emergiblog. I want to thank Masters In Nursing.com and AllHealthCareJobs.com for the opportunity to be on their writing staffs.

Then, life has gotten a bit exciting!

*****

My youngest daughter, Rebecca, graduated from nursing school last month!

She sat for the NCLEX at the end of May, and passed with the minimum number of questions needed.

Am I a proud mom?

You better believe it!

And the minute she passed the NCLEX, the job interviews started coming!

We are keeping our fingers crossed.

*****

In March, we became grandparents for the first time!

Ewan was born to my oldest daughter, Lillian, and son-in-law Jim. I was in the delivery room when he was born. The last delivery I saw was in nursing school and I fainted at that one! I’m happy to say I did not faint when Ewan was born!

He’s a big guy, 9 pounds, 12 ounces and 22 inches long at birth. At 2 months he weighed 13 pounds. Nana (me) is getting pumped biceps just lifting him.

*****

As if that weren’t enough, I’ve been spending the last month on a different type of baby:

I’ve been fostering these four feral kittens, caught by my son around his apartment complex.

It’s fun! I feed them, pet them, scoop their cat box, and in return they treat me like a human cat tree and eat my earrings.

Fortunately, they all now have homes and I will be saying good-bye by the end of the week.

*****

Oh, and did I mention I’m working a ton of overtime?

Yep, things have been jumping around here, but in a good way.

My writing mojo is back now that the pressure is off to produce on deadline. My goal for my MSN is on hold – somehow, there are just other things I want to focus on right now.

School will always be there.

Babies grow up.

How well I know that…

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February 17, 2012, 11:13 am

When Nurses Attack At the Highest Levels: A Blatant Abuse of Power

I am not a conspiracy theorist.

I am not militant.

I am not a bleeding heart, I don’t embrace every cause du jour, nor do I hop on what someone termed a “clown car of supporters” for whatever happens to run across the blogosphere on a given day.

I am as straight-arrow, by-the-book, trust-the-Establishment as you will find in this world.

So when I say that I am reeling; when I say that I would take to the streets about something that has happened…when I say that I am questioning everything I thought I knew about authority, power…and nursing…

I’m not bluffing, over-reacting or being hysterical.

Pardon my unprofessional language, but there is some bad s*** going down in Arizona.

**********

The Arizona Board of Nursing has gone from ridiculous to abusive in the Amanda Trujillo case.

It wasn’t bad enough that they felt clicking a box on a computer that would order a case management hospice consult should mean enduring:

(a) a detailed interrogation about every facet of your entire career,

(b) or that talking about your situation should lead to a psychiatric evaluation, including obtaining signed releases from all your physicians for the last six years and seeing a board appointed PhD. Yep, clicking that box meant giving up all your protected HIPAA information! I can’t repeat that enough, it’s that appalling.

But that’s old news, isn’t it?

Here’s the new stuff.

********

Amanda received a letter from her university stating they were informed by the AZBoN that her license was under investigation.

Still, old news, you say? But wait!

A Board staff member wrote a letter denying it!

At Amanda’s request to keep the name of her university out of the spotlight, I’ve not listed it here. I have seen:

(a) the letter from her university stating they were “notified by the AZ Board of Nursing that your license is under investigation” (that’s a direct quote, italics mine.) Not that they looked it up, not that they deduced, but that they were notified.

(b) I’ve seen the BoN letter requesting confirmation of her attendance and,

(c) I’ve seen the BoN letter from a staff member who denies reporting it and is “…not aware of any other Board staff member doing so.” (Italics mine.)

So who the hell did?

Amanda’s university was notified by somebody at the Board. A request for confirmation of attendance is not a notification that a license is “under investigation.” Nowhere on the letter for confirmation does it say or intimate that the license is “under investigation.”

But it gets better…

********

Amanda is now being charged with using false “academic credentials”!

Yeah, this is what you do when (a) the original charges aren’t legitimate, (b) you’re angry that someone had the ovaries to not be afraid and stick up for herself, (c) they weren’t intimidated by the psychiatric evaluation, and (d) you need to ramp up the intimidation factor.

And I’ve seen the letters for this, too.

Amanda was accepted into a different university’s Acute Care Nurse Practitioner doctoral nursing program in the Fall of 2010. She began using the designation “S” following the professional designation, to denote “Student” on the auto sig on her email.

Due to some major health issues that included surgery, Amanda was unable to start the program. In November of 2010, she resigned from her job at the Mountain Vista Medical Center, using her personal email.

She had forgotten to take the “DACNP-S” off the “MSN, RN, DACNP-S” of her personal email auto sig.

********

So they are investigating this, per the Nurse Practice Act, for deceiving, harming or defrauding the public and/or stating or inferring she was a nurse practitioner through the use of the initials.

Boy, I hope all the public harmed by those six initials on her personal email sought help.

The Board found this terrible, egregious action of professional malfeasance during their extremely thorough investigation of Amanda’s career. For the record, the Arizona Board spends an average of 7 months investigating the average complaint, on which they average 17 hours (see this open letter to Arizona’s governor, by RN Greg Mercer.)

They must really be gunning for something here. If they had anything on the original complaint, this would have been over long before now.

What the hell is going on?

********

And let’s remember what brought this all on.

Patient education and a referral for a case management hospice consult.

No injury. No death. No tort.

An informed patient. A change of heart. A fuming physician.

And the nursing management at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, who feels that patient advocacy is something to be punished and reported to the Arizona Board of Nursing.

And apparently the Arizona Board of Nursing doesn’t take kindly to being questioned and operating out in the open.

In the meantime, the American Nurses Association is “monitoring closely” and the Arizona Nurses Association is working hard for the nurses of Arizona, but can’t support an individual nurse who is under investigation.

********

I’m not here telling anyone they need to support Amanda.

Whether you are for her or against her or couldn’t care less one way or the other, so be it.

This is a damn scary story.

What is scarier to me is the idea that Amanda should have shut up, kept her head down and just tried to get another job.

Is that what nursing is about? Are we so whipped by needing our paychecks that we don’t dare speak out about anything, anywhere, anytime?

The nurses in Texas spoke out and there was support from all over the country.

Does a nurse need to be arrested before anyone cares?

*********

Something bad is happening in Arizona.

From the halls of Banner Health, to the inner workings of the Arizona Board of Nursing, something is wrong.

You can ignore it, vilify Amanda, write her off as “oh there must be something else”, or make fun of those of us who do support her, but the fact is this is not right.

If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong and I’ll be the first to post it.

I’m not wrong.

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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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