Nursing Voices

Monday, April 28, 2008

Steven Jobs Strikes Back

I’ll admit it. I use to have a thing for Steven Jobs. I mean, really, just look at him. He’s smart, looks hot in blue jeans, and, oh yes, he’s a bizillionaire. But looks and a heavy-duty bank account can’t offset rudeness. I broke it off with Steven when he was mean to a girl-fan at a Mac convention. I’m so over him, and I wrote about it in this post. Well, Steven got even with me. As you may recall, my Mac Book went on the fritz last week, so I sent it in for repairs. Now, less than one week later after getting it back from the factory, the darn thing won’t even boot up.

I know you’re messing with me, Steven. I know you are angry. Rejection is a hard thing to take, but please understand that I’m not attracted to mean spirited men no matter how hot they look in blue jeans. Steven, you must accept the fact that it’s over between us, and stop screwing with my computer when it’s at the factory for repairs. Please move on, but if you want to win me back, you might want to try sending me an iPhone.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Email From Mother: The Banister of Life

My mother sent this to me the other day. Maxine is my role model. I wonder if she is a retired nurse.

As You Slide Down the Banister of Life, remember:

1. Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert have written an impressive new book. It's called .... "Ministers Do More Than Lay People"

2. Transvestite: A guy who likes to eat, drink...and be Mary.

3. The difference between the Pope and your boss...
The Pope only expects you to kiss his ring.

4. My mind works like lightning...
One brilliant flash and it is gone.

5. The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you're in the bathroom.

6. It used to be only death and taxes were inevitable. Now, of course, there's shipping and handling, too.

7. A husband is someone who, after taking the trash out, gives the impression that he just cleaned the whole house.

8. My next house will have no kitchen - just vending machines and a large trash can.

9. Definition of a teenager?
God's punishment...for enjoying sex.

10. As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mac Trauma

Crap! There’s something wrong with my laptop, and now I’m going to have to take it to the shop for an overhaul. I’m already having separation anxiety. Fortunately, we are a two Mac family. Normally, I would be freaking out because I’m going to be without my laptop for a long time. But you know what? I’m taking it in stride. You look at life a lot differently after a near death experience.

I want to thank everyone who wrote letters of support after I was attacked last week at work. Your messages of support were greatly appreciated. I’ll keep you posted about what happens next.

Monkey Girl from Musings of a Highly Trained Monkey asked me to pass on some very important information about a good cause. Check out her story about a medic who paid the ultimate price, and the fund raiser held each year since 2006 for his two sons. Please click the "Donate" button. You’ll be glad you did.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The War Against Nurses Part II

  • The War Against Nurses by Diana Reiss-Koncar

  • I don’t know where to start. I guess the best thing to do is to start at the beginning. Please bear with me. I had a really bad weekend.

    A patient tried to kill four nurses on our unit last weekend. One of those nurses was me. The patient made a shank out of a metal object that he found on the unit, and used his weapon to break Plexiglas out of a picture frame that was hanging in the hallway. Then he whirled the jagged shards at our heads as we ran behind the nurses station. After that he jumped over the desk and tried stabbing us with the shank. We ran for our lives, and barricaded ourselves behind a locked door. We called for help, but the hospital operator didn’t pick up. I called 911, and the police thought I was joking and made me repeat myself three times before they would send help. We used our unit radio to call security, and they came as fast has they could, but it seemed like hours passed before help arrived onto the unit. There was a huge fight inside of the nurses station before the patient was put into restraints. The patient was charged with first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, and he was hauled off to jail in handcuffs. Then a court commissioner released the patient on his own recognizance 4 hours after he left the unit. The patient was then seen hanging out in the hospital cafeteria the next day, and security told me that they couldn’t throw him out because he “wasn’t doing anything wrong.” I went to the courthouse on Monday morning, and raised hell. The state’s attorney couldn’t believe what happened, and changed the patient’s condition of his release. Now he can’t go into the hospital unless he is being seen in the ER. Needless to say, I’m emotionally spent.

    I’ve written about workplace violence before, and it continues to rear its ugly head on my unit. This stuff isn’t new. Nurses get attacked all of the time, but people don’t hear about it because hospitals have their way of keeping that stuff out of the newspapers. It’s bad for business. My boss told me yesterday that she was sorry that we were attacked, but that we needed to understand that the patient “had issues.” I told her that the patient is a sociopath, and that he can work on his freakin’ issues from inside a jail cell.

    I wonder who this guy is going to kill before the system puts him away for life.


    This patient has a long track record of violence, and as we all know, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. So guess what....


    Trust me, there are going to be consequences if the hospital disregards this court order. When will the bullshit end? By the way, I was contacted by the state's attorney’s office today. My attacker is going to court on April 24th to be told about the additional conditions of his release. I hope the little SOB flips out in front of the judge. I’ll keep you posted.

    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    Warhol Me!

    Check this out! It’s the Warholizer. You upload pictures and they come out looking like an original Andy Warhol painting. This is a portrait of my dog, Daniel. He’s a very happy—and colorful—boy! Hat tip to Russell at Iowa Grasslands for this one.

    Have fun creating your pictures and enjoy your weekend.

    Friday, April 11, 2008

    The Big Oops! Georgians' Health Records Posted On Web

    So much for privacy. I found this news story this morning while I was eating breakfast. According to the report WellCare Health Plans Inc. mistakenly put the private records of up to 71,000 Georgians on the Internet. The report also went on to say that this was a potential HIPAA violation. POTENTIAL violation? Imagine what would happen to someone working in a health care facility if they disclosed the records of ONE individual on the Internet. It will be interesting to see what happens next. The families whose data may have been accessed are members of the federal Medicaid health program for the poor, and the federal-state PeachCare for Kids program for children of the working poor.

    Yiddish for Nurses

    This is a great book. I bought my first copy of The Joys of Yiddish when I was in high school. It’s a classic. My nursing colleagues underrate the value of Yiddish. It’s an expressive language, and it allows you to say a lot of things that would normally get you into trouble. Here’s an example: You get aggravated with someone at work and you call them a putz. The word sounds cute, but it means “fool” or more accurately,“dickhead.” Do you get my point? Yiddish is especially useful in areas of the country where people don’t know what Yiddish is in the first place.

    Here are some fun Yiddish words that frequently come in handy around the nurses station:

    KRENK (crank) n. an illness, a sickness
    A farshlepteh krink—a chronic ailment.

    It’s no fun taking care of a drug addict who has “chronic pain.” If it’s not one thing it’s another. “My back hurts, I have a toothache, and God forbid, my fibromyalgia.” Some doctors buckle and order Demerol, Morphine, and Oxycontin, and still, nothing is right. Such a farshlepteh KRENK!


    The emergency room nurse wrinkled her nose when the paramedics brought in the homeless man reeking of alcohol. She said, “Geesh, that guy is FARSHTUNKEN!

    GONIFF (GAH-nif) n. a thief, a swindler, a crook. A businessman with shady dealings.

    Our hospital administrator is a GONIFF. He is always looking for ways to cut hospital staff so he can make more money.

    GAI AVEK (gay-a-VECK) An exclamation meaning “Go away!” or “Get out of here!” or “Get lost!”

    Some patients think that it’s my job to entertain them when they come into the hospital, and I hate it when they hangout at the nurses station. They keep yacking while I’m trying to get my work done. Some days I feel like yelling, “GAI AVEK!” There’s no party here. Get away from the desk already!

    FEH (feh) interj. An exclamation meaning pee-yoo!, ieeww!, yuck! , usually used when one gets a whiff of or sees something that is stinky, offesive, or just plain icky.

    A recently used bedpan that was not emptied. FEH! Enough said.

    MAZEL TOV (MA-zull-toff) interj. Congratulations, kudos, praise.

    MAZEL TOV to all of the men and women of the nursing profession!

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Old School Nurses in the Blogosphere

    I didn’t know that Betty Boop was a nurse. She's been around a long time, but somehow I just can’t see an old school nurse running down the hallway in her high heel shoes. I MUST have this set of salt and peppershakers in my kitchen. I love kitschy stuff. And speaking of salt and peppershakers, EDNuresesauras wrote a wonderful post about salt and pepper nurses. No, it doesn’t have to do with gray hair. Read her post, and bring your own Kleenex.

    Check this nurse out. I bet she gave good patient care. Old school nurses had time to focus on the basics. They fluffed pillows and got the wrinkles out of their patients’ sheets. ERnursey wrote a great post about maintaining standards of good patient care. There’s nothing like getting back to the basics.

    Old school nurses were really big on providing their patients with fresh air. This nurse is shown checking the vital signs of a patient taking in some fresh air. Too bad we all can’t take in some fresh air. Monkeygirl from Musings of a Highly Trained Monkey laments the lack of fresh air in the emergency room. It’s a great post!

    I’m glad I’m not the only Old School Nurse in the Blogosphere. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I did.

    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    Damn You, Perez Hilton!

    OK, I’ll admit it, I’m jealous. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mario Lavandeira, AKA Perez Hilton, is getting his own mini radio show, book deal and movie. Perez might even get his own record label. He started out his career as a blogger, and now he’s hanging out with celebrities, yakking on the airwaves, and charting a course to success. Of course, I could be doing those things, too, if I had 7 million visitors on my blog every day. Maybe my blog would be more popular if I dyed my hair pink and blue. What do you think?

    Tuesday, April 08, 2008

    Dr. Seuss and Grumpy Old Nurses

    With fewer new nurses entering the profession, the average age of the RN is climbing. According to the 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses released in February 2007 by the federal Division of Nursing, the average age of the RN population in March 2004 was 46.8 years of age, up from 45.2 in 2000. That means that menopausal women dominate the nursing profession. Remember, we're grumpy, so you should always be nice to your nurse. I love Dr. Seuss. Here’s an email that I received from my mother. Enjoy!

    Monday, April 07, 2008

    Shame on You, ANA

    This fine lady is Isabel A Hampton Robb. Isabel was the first president of the ANA. She was an activist, and so were her friends. Isabel was carrying a bouquet sent to her by Florence Nightingale when she got married in 1894. Yes sir, Isabel rocked! Isabel revolutionized nursing education while improving patient care. She loved the nursing profession, and that's why she would be wagging her finger at the ANA and scolding them about their shameful behavior.

    Isabel would be truly appalled by how the ANA is attempting to undercut the grassroots campaign to establish the Office of the National Nurse. She was an honorable woman who would be shocked by the ANA’s campaign of disinformation. The ANA is knowingly circulating a letter of opposition to other nursing organizations that contains outdated information about the proposed legislation. The proposal has been updated, which is a well-known fact within the ANA hierarchy, yet they continue to circulate their deceptive letter. The proposed legislation to establish the ONN would give more recognition and resources to the Chief Nurse Officer of the United States Public Health Service. Did you know that the Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS is only funded as a half time position? Isabel would be dumbfounded at the ANA’s blatant tactics, and by their total disregard for a proposal that would improve the health of all Americans while raising the profile of the nursing profession. Isabel would want to know why the ANA isn't following their own code of ethics.

    Kim from Emergiblog wrote a post about this issue several months ago, and I encourage you to read her comments.

    Check out these ladies. These women are links to our past. They advanced our profession, and their work continues to impact our lives. Let’s do nothing less for the public, and for our future generations of nurses. To learn the truth about the proposal to establish the Office of the National Nurse, please go to

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    Change of Shift with Nurse Chapel

    Greetings from the U.S.S. Enterprise. I’m Nurse Chapel, and welcome to Change of Shift. I was really honored when MJ asked me to serve as host. She and I go way back together. I became curious about what it was like to be a nurse in the 20th century, so I did a little time traveling when MJ was in nursing school. She really freaked out when I beamed into her dormitory room, but that’s another story. She showed me around her school and her hospital when she finally calmed down, and we've been best friends ever since. MJ wrote this post about me. I'm really flattered.

    Before we get started, I would like to make an appeal for one of our own. Dawn from Overactive Imagination needs our help. She is running out of time to pay her tuition. Check out her post and let's help her out.

    I learned a lot of things when I traveled back into time. Times may change, but the nurse-patient relationship remains the same. Some of our patients make us laugh, some make us cry, while others make us want to pull our hair out. I’ve taken care of patients from across the galaxy. Take this fellow at the harpsichord. Mr. Flamboyance was one of my favorite patients. I wish I could tell you more about his case, but galactic HIPPA laws curtail me from discussing his case. Let’s just say that I’ve never laughed so much in my life. All nurses have stories about their most memorable patients. Jennifer from The Nurse Practitioner's Place won't allow patients to manipulate her into giving them drugs. Read her post, "Not Even When Pigs Fly".

    Mike Pringle from Healthcare Today presents this post about caring for patients who will stick in his mind forever. Unfortunately, he will remember them because they weren't very nice. Read his post, All in a Day's Work.

    Here are two of my shipmates, Captain Kirk and Spock. (Sigh) I love men with pointed ears. As you can see, Captain Kirk is a stickler for continuity, and nurses in the 23rd century are, too. Unfortunately, the quest for continuity occasionally gets in the way of good patient care. MJ told me once that JCAHO regulations drive her crazy. She’s not alone. Read ERnursey's post musings on illegal abbreviations presented at ERNursey - An ER Nurse's Blog.

    Speaking of policies, The Angry Nurse submitted a great post about hospitals and their "no scent policies." Too bad that patients aren't required to follow the same rules. Check out Pepi Le Pew Would be Jealous.

    This is Khan. He’s a bad guy and he’s obsessed with getting revenge. He’s been driving us crazy for years. The one positive thing that I can say for the guy is that he is in great shape. Ladies, check out those pects. Khan takes good care of himself when he isn't trying to kill Captain Kirk. He exercises, takes vitamins and follows other health habits that add years to his life. You can learn about these habits too by checking out Amy. S. Quinn's post 50 Tiny Health Habits that Can Save You Big Money (And Add Years) presented at NOEDb: Nursing Online Education Database.

    DrRn from Paging Dr. Nurse believes that good health depends on happiness. Check out her post and you will live long and prosper.

    Working in Star Fleet is a very rewarding career. It’s all about serving others. As you can see, Spock is very serious about his work. Nurses are also passionate about caring for others. The loco days of locolorenzo presents this moving post about caring for hospice patients.

    Jen RN ( Again), EMT-B is reentering the nursing workforce after a 12 year absence from the profession. She is back in school, and wants to become an ER nurse. Jen presents Why ED nursing? Why volunteer as an EMT? posted at RN (again?!) & EMT-B.

    Meet Wesley Crusher. He’s a doctor’s son. Dr. Crusher and I have worked together in sickbay. Wesley is a wonderful kid. I don’t know what we would do without young people coming up through the ranks. I love nursing students. They are truly wunderkind. Jacob from Raspberry Blase is a nursing student who has a lot in common with Wesley. He's smart, witty, and is always open for new experiences. Read Jacob's hilarious post, Male Prostitute.

    Miss Elainne-ious from The Life and Times of a Longterm Studentwon’t be a student much longer. Read her post about her final shift as a nursing student.

    Prisca from N is for Nurse sent in this post about how nursing school programs have changed throughout the years. Prisca’s mom graduated from a three year nursing diploma program. Read what Prisca’s mom told her about nursing school in the “good old days.”

    Shrtstormtrooper from Nursing School Insanity: What's A Perineum? writes about a day with her "patient," Ernie. Read her post if you have a strong stomach. You've been warned.

    The debate continues! Caroline from Brain Scramble weighs in on the ADN vs BSN debate. I can’t tell you how nurses in the future will resolve this issue due to the prime directive. Sorry.

    Poor Captain Kirk. Someone or something was trying to kick his butt. And nurses think their job is tough. Fortunately the Captain had access to advance technology that was able to get him out of trouble. Scientific knowledge and ingenuity can be a great thing, but sometimes it can get us into trouble. Sandy Szwarc from Junkfood Science wants you to know how others might use your genetic information. You may be surprised. Read her post and find out the facts.

    Science is saving lives and preventing disease, but is it also creating new illnesses? Katie Bee RN from Young and Restless Nurse discusses the debate surrounding vaccines and autism.

    Meet Sarek. He is Spock's father, and an elder statesmen from Vulcan. He's one very logical guy. Elder statesmen and seasoned nurses have one common characteristic. They both have wisdom. Janet from Pixel One, Purl Two has been a nurse for 30 years, and really knows what it take to be a nurse. She received this email the other day. It's only logical that her post will generate a lively discussion.

    Nurse Kathy from Nurse Connect writes that wise nurses teach their patients about how to live a healthy lifestyle through example. Read her post, Are You a Good Role Model? Nurse Kathy also writes about the dangers of giving too much to our patients in her post, Compassion Fatigue

    Nurse Laura from Nurse Connect passes on some advice that she received from a very wise nurse. Check out her post, Beyond Basic Care: Do We Have the Time?

    The crew and I want to thank you for stopping by Change of Shift. I’ve had a lot of fun, and I hope that you did, too. Kim from Emergiblog will be hosting Change of Shift in two week. See you there!