December 1, 2008, 1:00 am

MetaCarnival: Volume One, Number 2

Welcome to the second edition of the “MetaCarnival”!

Brainchild of Alvaro Fernandez of Sharp Brains, the MetaCarnival seeks to bring together the best of the blogosphere by sampling the diverse topics collected in the carnival format.

Carnival administrators send in two submissions from their respective compilations and these submissions compose the “MetaCarnival” which is posted once a month.

Let’s get started!


“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulder of Giants.” (Isaac Newton, 1676).

This is the spirit of The Giant’s Shoulders, a monthly science blogging event about classic science papers.

The fifth edition of this carnival was posted at PodBlack Cat: Science, Superstition and Skeptical Life and included the following posts:

Why are there so many animals? John Dennehy at The Evilutionary Biologist looks at the classic paper on biodiversity.

Most of us awaken to the sound of birdsong each morning. At Living the Scientific Life, GrrlScientist describes research showing how a bird can be Singing in Slow Motion.


The Praxis carnival takes on all aspects of the scientific life, and edition number four was held at the “home” of Praxis, The Lay Scientist.

The first Praxis submission is written by graduate student Scicurious from Neurotopia v. 2.0, who discusses the importance of academic relationships in Warm Fuzzies and Getting to Know Your Profs.

Can the time change affect your heart? Bora at Blog Around the Clock gives a critical look at related research in “Spring Forward, Fall Back – Should You Watch Out Tomorrow Morning?”


SurgeXperiences is a bi-weekly compliation of stories revolving around surgery. Jeffrey Leow of Monash Medical Student and carnival administrator submits the following:

Cris Cuthbertson at Scalpel’s Edge finds out what it’s like to be on The Other Side of the Waiting Room.

Jeffrey Parks at Buckeye Surgeon describes the case of his career in The Fall of the Invincible One.


Encephalon is a blog carnival focusing on neuroscience.

Their contribution to this edition of the MetaCarnival comes from The Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation with principal interests in brain science, immunology, and arts education.

Music and the Brain discusses an interesting study using jazz musicians and brain imaging.


Regular readers of Emergiblog are no strangers to this carnival!

The last Grand Rounds was hosted at Canadian Medicine. Here are a couple of samples of the carnival of the medical blogosphere:

Bongi is a surgeon in South Africa. Here is a post on surgery in “Hell”, entitled Words, from his blog Other Things Amanzi.

Ever wonder what happens to the parts they remove in surgery? Find out in Surg Path Basics at PathResBlog!


The Four Stone Hearth is a blog carnival that specializes in anthropology in the widest (American) sense of that word.

From this compilation we get a submission from Neuroanthropology with the rather interesting title of Studying Sin. Absolutely fascinating…I’ve bookmarked this blog for further reading.


Lisa Emrich is the founder and administrator of the “Carnival of MS Bloggers“, a place where people living with multiple sclerosis can share their stories. I met Lisa when we were co-speaking at the Johnson and Johnson Global Communications Conference. She has submitted the following posts:

From her own blog, Brass and Ivory, Lisa gives us a little mini-carnival called Spasticity, Disability and Solu-Medrol. A little bit on each!

Diane Standiford takes a bit of the Wizard of Oz, Madonna and the “Yellow Sick Road” as she describes her journey to a cure for MS on her blog, A Stellar Life and the humorously entitled The Cure for Multiple Sclerosis, You Bowl Beepers!


Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t add a couple of Change of Shift posts to this MetaCarnival!

The nursing blog carnival was last hosted at RehabRN, and here are a couple of submissions:

Disappearing John discusses how he is Dealing With A Decision Made.

Strong One at My Strong Medicine gives some succinct advice in Act the Part and You Will Become the Part.


Thanks so much for checking in on this edition of the MetaCarnival. The next edition will be hosted on December 29th at Science Roll. Carnival administrators: send your submissions to “berci.mesko at gmail dot com”.

November 28, 2008, 1:32 pm

Change of Shift and Change of Season

Happy Thanksgiving from the Star Wars family, including Darth’s twin brother Garth!

Who knew?

My nephew brought his Star Wars figures and I couldn’t resist taking a “family” photo.

You have no idea how hard it was to get these guys to hold still. The Sand Person was friendlier than I expected but C3PO kept trying to run the show. Han was so full of turkey he kept “leaning” accidentally into Leia.

Yeah, right. A little too much wine for Han.

Luke insisted on brandishing his light saber despite Obi-Wan trying to reason with him.

Stubborn little bugger, but then every family has its quirks.


This edition of “Change of Shift” can be found over at RehabRN.

Bless her for taking this on the week of Thanksgiving; many thanks to her and thanks to all those who took the time to submit during the busy holiday week.

The December 11th edition will be held at Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer. Submissions can be sent through Blog Carnival or to “marijke at medhealthwriter dot com”.

To read a bit more about Marijke, look further down this post!


I’ll be hosting the second edition of the new “MetaCarnival”, a compilation of the best of all carnivals (medical and non-medical) here on December 1st. Administrators of all interested carnivals send in two of the best posts from their latest editions to be included in the MetaCarnvial. It’s my first time hosting, so it should be interesting!


It’s time for the Canadian Blog Awards and Marijke over at Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer would like our support!

She is in the running for the Best Health Blog and you can vote for her in the first round by going here: Canadian Blog Awards: Best Health Blog. She would appreciate your vote!


Remember the Toland family? SSgt. Robert Toland and his family returned from their trip to Disneyworld to a renovated home.

Kevin Haynes of the American Legion Post 1460 was kind enough to send me the link to the segment on the family that aired on “Hannity’s America”. If you didn’t see the episode, be sure to check out the video – it goes much further in depth into the work that was actually done on the grounds and the family’s reaction when they came home.

Many, many thanks to those who donated to help.

But it doesn’t stop there!

Meet the Warrior’s Wish Foundation. Think of it as “Make a Wish” for veterans. The motto of the Warrior’s Wish Foundation is “Make it happen!”:

Our Vision: To enhance the lives of United States Military Veterans who are battling life-limiting illness. We honor Heroes by helping to fulfill a life-long dream or wish. A lifelong dream or wish may consist of any realistic request that will make a significant difference in the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of the wish recipient.

Newly formed, the Foundation has two wish requests already!

  • A 48 year old Veteran in New Mexico wishes to be able to hunt moose in Canada
  • A 79 year old Veteran in New Jersey wants his daughter to visit him with his grand-children.

The Warrior’s Wish Foundation will “make it happen!”. You can help.

The donation page carries a Pay Pal button that makes it easy to donate, along with alternative methods you may choose to use.

The Christmas season is now official. What a great way to say thanks to our Veterans!

November 24, 2008, 12:53 am

Nursing Clinicals: All-for-One?

A high school class tours a local hospital in the 60’s.

Future Nurses of America, you might say.

The girl in the middle has an expression that just cracks me up!

It’s like she thinks the patient is about ready to explode!

I had that same expression the entire time I was in nursing school.


But that does give me an idea…

We need to start a Future Nurses of America organization starting at the jr. high school level.

I wonder how you start something like that.

Well, well – a quick Google search shows that something akin to this already exists!

So much for my original idea!

(Photo credit: Life Magazine, 1966, Photographer: Leonard Mccombe)


I’m wondering if I am out of touch of nursing education.

Back in the day, when we did our clinicals, we did them at different facilities. I had experiences in the county hospital, a free standing psychiatric facility, a medical center, a couple of community hospitals and a local hospital run by an HMO.

I learned a lot from experiencing different facilities. For one, I knew I sure as heck was not going to work in a county facility. No siree! I discovered I had an affinity for psych nursing and that there was no way in hades that I’d ever work for an HMO.

The point? I had been exposed to different systems, different ways of nursing, different types of patients and different attitudes along the way. Props to Ohlone College – I am the product of a great program that is still going strong.


There is a local hospital that works with nursing students in a BSN program. The students get all their clinical experiences at this one hospital.

Now granted, it’s a decent hospital. It has a psych unit, an ICU, a medical floor, a telemetry floor and a maternity unit. The staff nurses act as adjunct faculty for the clinical students.

Many of the students are hired by this hospital after graduation.

But are they really getting a well-rounded nursing education?

Isn’t it important to experience different types of nursing, different types of facilities, different philosophies, different attitudes, different corporate cultures, different equipment, different ways of performing nursing functions?

Isn’t the ability to adapt something that should be ingrained in a nursing education?


I do think it great that hospitals are willing to partner with universities in educating nurses.

I also think it is a great idea to have staff acting as adjunct faculty for the nursing students; who better to teach than someone who is actually walking the walk.

But I can’t help but think that nursing students are missing out of many learning opportunities by not experiencing nursing at a county hospital, a major medical center (and lord, do we have a TON of those here), a psychiatric facility that has both locked and open units, and a number of community hospitals.

I wonder if the nurses who are hired at other facilities have more “reality shock” than those who stay at the hospital where they did their clinical rotations.


I know this was done under the diploma programs; one hospital for all clinical education. But I submit that nursing is more complex now than it was just 25-30 years ago and one clinical facility does not fit all.

The bottom line? It is expedient for a hospital to partner with a university in this fashion because, essentially, they are educating their future staff.

I wonder if they are really doing the nursing students any favors by limiting their exposure to different clinical situations.

Am I totally off the wall here? If so, please tell me.

Like I said, I may be out of touch with nursing education as it is practiced today and would like to know, especially from the newer RNs, what you thought about your clinical education.

What would you have changed?

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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