November 19, 2008, 3:58 pm

See Nurse. Nurse is Busy. Busy Nurse!

I never studied in my uniform.

I certainly never studied in my cap. But hey! I have it right here in the closet! I could wear it around the house!

You think I’m kidding, don’t you?

I just realized that the green and gold on the cap match my Notre Dame jammies!

Not that I would wear those things together.

Or anything.

When I study I’m sprawled out on the floor with texts and articles and computer and diet Pepsi and notebooks and my headphones on playing ocean sounds to help me focus.

As much as I love studying, I’d rather blog!


In 1963-64 I was in the first grade. I loved to read.

These were my textbooks and I was so proud to “graduate” to the next color in the series!

I surmised that by the time I made it to college, I would be reading books that were much more difficult.

One would hope, anyway.

My suspicions were correct. When I began my nursing education, the textbooks could have been written in Greek, for all I knew. The concepts were complex, Sr. Roy’s nursing theory could cause semi-permanent strabismus, and I discovered that trying to study nursing theory in-between acts at a Day on the Green concert while drinking screwdrivers was not conducive to retention.

But I managed to absorb the material and I graduated (obviously).


Then I decide it is time to finally get my BSN.

Three decades had passed since I laid eyes on a nursing textbook.

Oh, I would read journals of course. And take continuing education classes.

I even took a full year of art history, two years of piano/music theory, a semester of paralegal studies and a semester of literature during that time.

I was challenged in all these areas, but I loved it.

Hamlet rocks, by the way.


So I begin my baccalaureate education in nursing. Heavy topics. Theory. Leadership. Public health.

Only I find myself wondering if there is something wrong with me, because with all due respect to Mickey Mouse, I have invoked his name on numerous occasions as I try to describe my texts.

I’m in a university. I’m taking upper division nursing courses.

Yet my textbooks read like they should be entitled “My Little Nursing Story Book”. Seriously, are these things written at the eighth-grade level?

In case it isn’t totally apparent, I am no genius, but I’ve read Cherry Ames novels that were more challenging.

Aren’t these texts written for professional nurses? Why are they “speaking” to me like I don’t know the nursing process from a hole in the ground?


Then I figured it out.

These texts aren’t for nurses who have returned to school for a higher degree. They are written as basic texts to be taught in basic nursing courses to students who are just learning the profession.

This presents a rather interesting conundrum. As nurses flock en masse to RN-to-BSN programs, there will be a need for nursing texts that are aimed at experienced, professional nurses who have a baseline knowledge backed by years (decades!) of experience.

Do these texts exist? I haven’t seen them. Does anyone even realize there is a need for a tailored, advanced approach to those of us who already have “RN” after our names?


Let me give you one example of what I am talking about. This is a partial first sentence of an actual text, from the chapter I am now assigned to read. The topic is home health.

  • “The purposes of home health services are to provide nursing care to individuals and their families in their homes…”


That totally floors me!

I thought home health nurses were supposed to play checkers with the patients and let them win.

And then I can’t figure out why I have trouble taking the rest of the text seriously.

A basic nursing text is not appropriate for nurses advancing their education.


See Kim. See Kim read. Hear Kim sigh.

No wonder I’d rather blog.

November 18, 2008, 2:40 pm

Grand Rounds Does the iPod Shuffle!

Oh my goodness!

I don’t know what is worse!

That fact that these are actually made

Or the fact that I actually want one!

One can never have too many places to play one’s iPod and Dr. Deb brings us an iPod themed Grand Rounds this week!


I wonder what songs you would play during the functions associated with the location of this player?

“Goin’ Down” by Bruce Springsteen?

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham?

“You Keep Me Hanging On” by the Supremes?

“Stand Back” by Stevie Nicks?

“Passenger Seat” by SheDaisy?

“Smooth” by Rob Thomas and Santana?

“It Don’t Come Easy” by Ringo Starr?

“Can’t Fight This Feelin'” by REO Speedwagon?

“I Want to Break Free” by Queen?

“Push” by Matchbox Twenty?


Okay, I’ll stop, but I got a million of ’em!

I’ll be here all week and don’t forget to tip your waitress!


Oh, and while we are talking about “output”, why not send some blogging “output” to RehabRN for inclusion into the next Change of Shift! You can send submissions via blog carnival or to “hotelrehab at nyms dot net”.

November 15, 2008, 2:50 pm

Melancholic Baby


How come I didn’t know about this?

Yes, there is enough fat in a Cinnabon to last you for a week and clog even the widest coronary artery.

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have gone for a free one!

Kudos to Cinnabon for doing this, I don’t know of any other non-healthcare company who has ever given free goodies to nurses during Nurses Week.

I’m verklempt! Seriously.

In fact, to show my appreciation to Cinnabon, I’m going to have to purchase at least one of these each week.

Since I’m dieting, I won’t be able to eat it, but I shall buy one nonetheless and give it to my thinner colleages.

I do think it is funny they had to limit it to one roll per nurse! Geeze, it’s not like any of us would eat a dozen.

Or anything…..


Editor’s note: I accidentally deleted my Obama post when I was deleting old drafts. After panicking for five minutes, I was able to recover it from my RSS feed (thank goodness for Google). Unfortunately, the comments section could not be recovered, which is a major bummer. Didn’t want anyone thinking I was censoring comments! : )


Is it possible to be bored in an emergency department?


It has nothing to do with how many patients you do or don’t see during a shift.

If you think about it, so much of ER is just rote repetition, unless an emergent situation shows itself.

IVs, blood draws, medicate, evaluate , EKG, re-medicate, re-evaluate, CXR, re-medicate, re-evaluate, Normal Saline, re-medicate, re-evaluate, CT, re-medicate, re-evaluate…

You get the picture.

I’m not burnt so much as a I am bored.

And restless.

I’d rather write, concentrate on school, do a million other things than work. For every two night shifts I work it takes four days to recover back to a normal schedule.

If I feel like this working in a decent ER with great co-workers and having most of the last few weeks off, I’m afraid of what I’ll feel like when I get back to my regular schedule at the end of December.

When you start getting depressed because you have to work the day before your shift, something is wrong.

I’ve been here before.

But unlike before, I am not going to make any knee-jerk changes until I have a chance to evaluate all options available to me.

Do I need to move on? To what? To where?



So I do what I always do and that is focus on my patients.

Yes, the tasks are routine but the patients are not.

Every patient is a new and different experience, even though their chief complaints may be similar.

The ER may be routine for me.

It’s far from routine for my patients.

And in the long run, it’s not about me, it’s about them.


I just wish I could shake off this melancholia.

It’ll pass.

It always has.

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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