April 5, 2010, 12:03 pm

Blog World/New Media Expo 2010 – The Second Annual Medblogger Conference

Yep, we’re doing it again!

BlogWorld/New Media Expo  2010 will be hosting the second annual medblogger conference in Las Vegas on October 14, 2010.

Save the date!

This year the conference is at Mandalay Bay, putting everything you need in one convenient location!

I sound like a travel brochure!


Johnson & Johnson are back on board as our sponsor, along with MedPage Today.

The medblogger conference will be similar to last year: one day with four sessions, but we’re doing much more in the same amount of time.

This year, we have an opening and closing keynote with two sessions per break out – each break out will have a provider/patient track and an industry track.

Patient bloggers are well represented this year in both the keynote and in the patient breakout session.

Panels are in the process of being confirmed as I write with topics to follow.


Consider staying for the entire conference!

If you have anything to do with social media, blogging or podcasting, this is where you need to be.

Prices, discounts, special offers and (possibly!) blogger scholarships will be announced as soon as they are finalized.

Food, fun and fellow bloggers, what more could you want?

(Well, I plan to hit the Donny and Marie show at the Flamingo. Yeah, I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it….)

Join me! Well, maybe not for Donny and Marie, but most definitely for the Second Annual Medblogger Conference at BlogWorld/New Media Expo 2010!

“A splendid time is guaranteed for all!”



March 31, 2010, 2:07 pm

Lesson Over a Latte

I love these old shots!

This one is from the National Archives and was taken in 1946.

This is what I pictured when I thought about being a nurse. Neat rows of charts; clean, antiseptic wards; med cupboards with glass doors; crisp,white uniforms and totally cool caps!

I can smell the Lysol wafting through the decades…

Reality: clipboards flying, accusations that I hoard the charts, sort-of-clean floors punctuated by splats of body fluids, medications in locked computer systems, wrinkled scrubs that I want to peel off at the front door and not a cap in sight.

Plus, the the unique olfactory assault of ETOH and urine, so specific to the ER…

And no, it is not true that I wear my cap around the house.

I just try it on now and then.


One thing hasn’t changed since 1946 and that’s Grand Rounds! Granted, now they are online and this week Evan Falchek at the See First blog is hosting with a Health Care Reform theme. I was a week too early, my post on health care reform was in Grand Rounds over at Suture for a Living (sneaky way to fit in link that I didn’t put in last week!).

Uh. Hey nurses! There isn’t a single nursing submission in ‘Rounds this week! Are we tired or did we just get lazy? Raise your bandage scissors and repeat after me: “I solemnly swear to submit to Grand Rounds!”


(The story you are about to read is true.)

The day was uncharacteristically warm.

The corner Starbucks was packed with seekers of caffeine. Some rushed out, dashing to their cars with Frappacinos in hand; others stopped to smell the latte, enjoying the warmth of green metallic chairs on the adjacent patio.

The couple selected an empty table. They sipped their beverages as two gentlemen at the adjacent table conversed.

Guy – “First of all, man, don’t tell ’em you got a migraine…hear that all the time….back pain…somethin’…an orthopedic injury, that’s what you tell ’em you got… look up a doctor…you wanna “pain management specialist”, but not around here….next county….memorize it, man…name, address and phone number…you got an appointment but the pain is so damn bad you can’t wait, knowhatimsayin’?”

Dude – “I hear ya.”

Guy – “And you got to tell them that you are allergic to some junk…if you don’t…give you something…worth nothing!”

Dude – “What junk?”

Guy – “s’called Toradol…and you don’t want Motrin either so tell ’em you’re allergic…bad reaction to nausea stuff except fenagren…”

Dude – “Tordal and fengren?”

Guy – “Yeah…don’t lie about your name, address or give ’em fake numbers ‘cuz they can check that real easy.”

Dude – “‘Yeah.”

The Guy and the Dude stood up and prepared to go. As they walked away, voices fading, the couple heard…

Guy – “…won’t let you drive…”voucher” for taxi…don’t forget a prescrip…”


This guy did everything but name a specific hospital to visit!

If I had any doubt before, I am now sure that word gets around on the street regarding which ERs are “easy”.

And which ER will give that shot on the sixth visit in two weeks, despite knowing full well the complaint of pain is bogus.

Because it is just easier to medicate than it is to confront.

Every addict needs a pusher.

Just sayin’.

March 22, 2010, 12:08 pm

Between the Lines of Fear and Blame…

What a nice picture, yes?

A lot of people went to bed last night with this version of health care in their heads.

Many folks see government as these strong, protective hands.

It’s a nice thought.

Until those hands start to make fists.


I wonder how long it is going take before you have to wait weeks to see your primary care provider. (Wait, we already know, it could be weeks!).

I wonder how long it is going to take for the government to dictate payment to providers? (Wait, they already do!).

I wonder how long it is going to take for the number of primary care providers (MDs and NPs) to move to more lucrative specialties because they can’t live/pay student loans as a PCP? (Wait, they already are!)

I wonder how long it is going to take for the government to limit which medications are reimbursed and which are not? (Wait, they already do!) Or decide which treatments are covered and which are not? (Wait, they already do!)


We all need health care.¬† It is wrong that someone with a pre-existing condition cannot find coverage. It is a tragedy to have someone lose everything they have because of catastrophic illness. It is frustrating to be stuck in a job solely because of the health benefits. It’s scary to lose those health benefits if you are laid off.

It is wrong that the majority of health disparities are directly related to poverty.

It is wrong that providers pay tens of thousands in malpractice premiums every year. It is wrong that they are reimbursed a fraction of what it costs to care for patients. It is depressing that they must limit their time with patients because they have to see more and more of them to break even. It’s ridiculous that providers need to hire specialists to navigate the morass of insurance regulations.

Our system has issues, no question.


So, will the new health care legislation make for healthier communities by providing jobs, parks, grocery stores, education opportunities  and health care clinics to poverty-stricken neighborhoods?

Will the new health care legislation provide incentives for students to choose primary care as their specialty? Family/General Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Geriatrics? Takes a lot of money and time to become a physician or advance practice nurse. Will the new health care legislation make it worth the effort?

On the other hand, will the new health care legislation make it easier to find a provider? To actually get in to see a provider in days, not weeks?

You see, being covered is worthless if you can’t find a provider to partner with.

Will the new health care legislation provide incentives for health research? If profits are limited, is there still interest in researching medications, treatments? Or on the other side, if funds are limited will there even be any available for research and development?

Will the new health care legislation provide incentives for keeping ourselves healthy? Exercise? Normal weight? Healthy diet? No smoking? Judicious use of alcohol? What if you’re a sedentary, obese, smoker?

Will the new health care legislation see us as the chief focus of the new system, or as cogs in a wheel that must be regulated and controlled?

Health care is already rationed (yes, it is…think about it). Is there anything in the new health care legislation that keeps it from becoming draconian?


I have absolutely no answers.

There has to be a way to have coverage for all, protection for those with chronic illnesses and protection from the financial fall-out of catastrophic injury/illness.

I have a deep feeling of dread in my gut that this is not the way to go.

I pray we are not starting on a road to government bureaucracy that will end with the IRS looking like a lesson in efficiency.

The federal government can make treaties on my behalf and provide for my defense.

I sure as hell don’t want it dictating my health care.

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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