July 15, 2009, 2:12 pm

WE are the World of Healthcare Reform

maihealthcareOkay, maybe our healthcare system isn’t in the toilet yet.

But it’s pretty clear that if we don’t make some major changes, that is exactly where we will find it.

It doesn’t matter whether you are for a government based system, a market based system, a universal system, a tiered system, or no system at all…everyone agrees that something has got to give.



I love my iTunes, and now I can get Rob Lambert on my iPod!  Yep, our favorite doc at Musings of a Distractible Mind is now the House Call Doctor at Quick and Dirty Tips! His first podcast premiered yesterday, and you can hear it on the site itself, or, better yet, do what I did and subscribe over at iTunes!

(PS, that Quick and Dirty Tips site is fabulous; can’t believe I never saw it until now!)


And more great news from Jenni over at ChronicBabe.com! It’s always been the go-to site for total babes who just happen to have a chronic illness, but now a Chronic Babe Forum is up and running!  It’s new, but groups are already formed, so if you meet the criteria: (a) Babe and (b) dealing with chronic illness, check it out.  Besides, if Jenni’s in da house, you know it’s got to be great!


There is something that I do not want to see happen in our discussions of healthcare reform, and that is an “us vs. them” mentality.

Because, in reality, there is no “them”.

There is only “us”.

The patients.


Oh, there are those of us who work delivering health care, and those who work in administering health care, but every single one of us is a consumer of health care. We are all “patients”. Some of us may need to utilize the health care system more than others on a regular basis for a chronic illness. Some of us may be thrust unexpectedly into the fray via a life-threatening diagnosis or a life-altering trauma. Some of us go along for years without needing any services except the occasional screening exam/test.

But eventually we all enter the health care system as a patient, some way, some how.

So the groups debating various health care reforms are comprised of patients. 100%.

Ideally, this should mean that it’s not a matter of getting patients involved – folks, if you (a) are a human being and (b) you reside in the United States of America, you are involved. Period.


We all want the same thing.  Equitable health care for every person.

We differ on how we can accomplish that goal.

I say put as much control in the hands of the patients as possible.  Others believe the government is the better steward of the health care dollar.

But let’s remember, as the President said when he gave the commencement speech at Notre Dame last May, we cannot have a dialog if we demonize those who hold views different from our own.  We don’t need to look for common ground, we HAVE common ground in this debate.

I have faith in the ability of the country to come up with a solution.

The needs of the patient will be met.

Our needs will be met.

Because we are the patients and by that very fact alone, we have the power.

And because you know I can’t let this slide without a rock lyric, let me paraphrase John Lennon.

Power to the Patients…

Right on!

July 10, 2009, 6:54 am

Emergiblog Goes to Washington!

128917054432021616Okay, maybe health care reform isn’t that hard to get a handle on.

I made productive use of an unexpected night of insomnia and managed to get a handle on what health care reform is all about.

Health care reform is all about patients.

Meaning it’s all about us.


It’s about us deciding where and how our health insurance dollars will be spent.

It’s about us deciding which doctors we will see, about us choosing where we will receive our care.

Without a huge bureaucracy telling us when, how, how much or why not.

Which is why, under no circumstances, do I subscribe to the “Medicare for All” premise or a government run health care system.

I never have.

We do not have to go that route.

And we can still cover every single American.


I really am going to Washington!

On July 17th, in Washington, D.C., Better Health is sponsoring a discussion on health care reform.  This discussion will include a panel of bloggers, policy experts, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and will be moderated by Rea Blakey of Discovery Health.

The official topic of the panel is Health Care Reform: Putting Patients First – Elected Officials Join America’s Top Medical Bloggers to Discuss the Real, Clinical Impact of Health Care Reform.

I will be participating as a member of the Specialty Care Panel.

The discussion will be held at the National Press Club, it will be taped and if you are in the area, there is limited seating available. If you would like at attend in person, you can email “john.briley at getbetterhealth dot com”.

Full details can be found in the announcement at Better Health.


So, what about you?

What do you think health care reform should accomplish?

What are the three most important aspects that should be a part of any health care reform system?

I’ve gotten some great comments on some recent posts, but I really want to hear it.

What do I need to keep in mind when I go back east?

How do we accomplish “putting patients first”?

July 8, 2009, 9:16 pm

Change of Shift Begins Fourth Year: Volume Four, Number One

OffwhitelogoWelcome to the anniversary edition of Change of Shift!

The nursing blog carnival celebrates it’s third anniversary (and the beginning of its fourth year) here at Emergiblog (aka: “home base”).

CoS has been hosted by 33 different blogs, including 31 nurses and two physicians.

(The new year begins with a new logo! I finally found out how to make one that wasn’t a banner!)

The logo may be new; the format remains the same: blog posts by, for and about the nursing profession.

I am thrilled to be able to bring this anniversary edition of Change of Shift to you this week.

Let’s get started!


Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse has been host to Change of Shift three times.  This week, Gina muses over the oft-heard comment, I Don’t Know How You Can Do This.  What jobs would be difficult for you to do?

Mother Jones at Nurse Ratched’s Place has been like a second mother to CoS, having hosted nine times! She recently attended a Rally for Health Care in Washington, DC.  Howard Dean isn’t the only one who can fire up a crowd, Ma Jones! You do a pretty good job it it yourself! : )

I’ve been following the adventures of Nurse Bo for years. She submitted a post from her blog Exit 95 on the Yellow Brick Road about her adventures as a student nurse in one of the last diploma programs in the country. I suggested all three installments be included, and Bo graciously agreed. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you had better pad your laptop so you don’t hurt your jaw when it drops. Check out Who Ya Gonna Call: Part One Part Two , and Part Three.


Nursing most definitely meets the web at Crass Pollination, where Nurse K tells it like it is, and then some! One of my favorite themes involves a particular physician you will meet in Who Stuck the Intern With Dr. Big Work-Up?

Nurses are all over the TV lately, and Katie Bee, RN looks at the various portrayals in Nurses on TV Sitcoms at Young and Restless Nurse. My personal favorite TV nurse? Lavern on “Scrubs”. I have so worked with her!

Barbara Olson’s front door might not win over her Swedish relatives, but her posts definitely contribute to the discussions here at Change of Shift! In My Purple Door, Barbara compares and contrasts Swedish and American health care. Posted at Florence dot com.


Questions. As nurses, we all get them. Sean muses on the expectation that nurses should be all-knowing in  You’re A Nurse Right? | My Strong Medicine .  How do you handle the “medical advice” question?

Nurse blogger (and future Change of Shift host) Man-Nurse discovers the resilience of the human spirit (and body!) in New Lease on Life, posted at his blog The Man-Nurse Diaries. A truly amazing story!

Marc is a medic in the UK, owner of the blog Medic999. He recently cared for a patient whose story affected him deeply, as well as the nurse who was present. True Asylum, while not directly about nursing, is included here. It is not an easy story to read, and it will affect you, too.


Tracey at NightTimeNursing shares a great story of a patient who had a unique way of saying thanks, in Lifesaver.

Sometimes a nurse must just say “no” to a physician.  Doesn’t happen often often, but when it does, it needs to be done right.  Reality Rounds gives a wonderful overview on just how to do that in No, Doctor.

Over at NurseConnect, Laura wonders what keeps a nurse caring vs. what might cause burning out in Nurses Who Dare to Care. When someone asks you to recommend a doctor, what do you say? Kathy notes that what constitutes The “Good” Doctor may well reside in the eye of the beholder.


Found in my travels around the blogosphere:

Head Nurse Jo leaves her unit for critical care and she’ll tell you exactly why in I’m Ready for My Exit Interview, Mr. DeMille, or Don’t Ask if You Don’t Wanna Know.

PixelRN rediscovers her passion in Surprise! I Love Being A Nurse Again and reveals some wonderful news at the same time!

Ian at ImpactED Nurse uses a music analogy to describe what nurses must never forget in The Illusion of Repeats.

The Adventures of Bob the Nurse continue as the diminutive action figure gets a vacation. Hey Bob, where was my invitation?

Looking to make sense of health care reform? Slate has published Health Care Reform: An Online Guide, listing the go-to sites for good commentary and information.  Hat tip to Off the Charts, the blog of the American Journal of Nursing, for posting the link!

There is no such thing as “a little pregnant”, you either are or you aren’t. But…what if your body says one thing and reality says another? At Your Cervix looks at pseudocyesis (“false pregnancy”) in She Certainly Looked Pregnant.


Thanks for reading this anniversary edition of Change of Shift and for supporting the carnival through submissions and links for the last three years!  In two weeks, CoS will be hosted by Ross over at Nurse in Australia. Submissions can be sent to “admin at nurseinaustralia dot com”.

(Remember, Change of Shift now has subscription options; you can follow by email or RSS feed. An aggregated feed of credible, rotating health and medicine blog carnivals is also available. Many thanks to Walter Jesson at Highlight Health for setting those feeds up!)

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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