December 8, 2008, 12:12 am

Keep Your “Clients”, I Have “Patients”

Ah, the “positive suitcase sign”

Patients who wanted/expected to be admitted used to bring their packed suitcases with them when they visited the ER.

I haven’t seen it for years. People aren’t admitted like they used to be and the public has gotten the message.

This guy is really efficient. Pajamas? Check. Slippers? Check. Suitcase? Check.

Looks like he’s playing “rock-paper-scissors” with the triage nurse.

What a great triage system! If he wins, he goes straight to a room. If he loses, he goes to the waiting room.


I’m restless. NASCAR is over until February. My Fighting Irish fought their way to…well let’s just say they fought their way. Brady Quinn gets finger surgery so it’s no fun watching my NFL team. I wonder if he needs a nurse.

(Oh… NEVER say that you wish a quarterback would sprain a finger so your back-up guy can play. That’s what I said about Derek Anderson last year and quarterback-karma came back and bit me in the butt.)

All I have to occupy my time is the ten-page paper on Hispanic health that is DUE ON WEDNESDAY! And all I can summon up the energy for is watching old reruns of Andy Griffith. It’s like comfort food for stress.

I have two pages done. Trust me, it was an extreme effort of the will to get that much on paper.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.

Hey, it worked for Scarlett O’Hara!


I’ve noticed something in my community nursing readings.

The term “client” is ubiquitous.

It drives me right up the wall.

You see, I don’t have “clients”.

I care for “patients”.


While clients purchase goods and services and while medical care is often referred to as a commodity, it is the only service in which people expose themselves emotionally, physically and spiritually, or share the most intimate details of their lives.

When they obtain medical/nursing care, they are looking for something more.

They are looking to be cared about while they are being cared for.

And that is the difference: caring.


When I am giving nursing care, providing patient education or making a home visit I am providing a service to my patients, but embedded in that service is caring.

You can be a competent lawyer and serve your clients without caring. You can be an competent accountant and serve your clients without caring. A nurse who doesn’t care becomes a technician.

Caring is the essence of nursing.

And that is why my patients will always be my “patients” and never my “clients”.

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!

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...

Continue reading »

Find Me On...
Twitter     Technorati

Subscribe to Emergiblog
Save $$$$ on hundreds of Nurse Scrubs by shopping
Office of the National Nurse

Zippy Was Here

Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics

  • Perspective
  • Confidentiality
  • Disclosure
  • Reliability
  • Courtesy

I Support the Public Library of Science

Health blogs

Medicine Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Alltop. Seriously?! I got in?

Health Blogs - Blog Rankings