Nursing Voices

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wacko Bush

Things sure are getting ugly in the news. Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan is claiming, not in so many words, that President Bush is a sick little buck-a-roo. McClellan is speaking out about the Bush White House in his new book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception. According to ABC News, McClellan writes:

"The media won't let go of these ridiculous cocaine rumors,' I heard Bush say. 'You know, the truth is I honestly don't remember whether I tried it or not. We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don't remember.'

"I remember thinking to myself, How can that be? How can someone simply not remember whether or not they used an illegal substance like cocaine? It didn't make a lot of sense."

And yet, McClellan concludes, "I think he meant what he said in that conversation about cocaine. It's the first time when I felt I was witnessing Bush convincing himself to believe something that probably was not true, and that, deep down, he knew was not true. And his reason for doing so is fairly obvious — political convenience…"

McClellan also said that Bush went into Iraq because he had “dreams of greatness.” As a psychiatric nurse, this news story really caught my attention. McClellan is describing Bush as a megalomaniac, and as a pathological liar. Just great! I was tired of all the news about the Democratic primaries, but this is really scary stuff. Bush always had “daddy issues,” but this is too much to bear.

This isn’t going to be a good year for the GOP. May they rest in peace.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Eyes in the Back of My Head

Meet Nancy Nurse. She’s going to let you in on a little secret. Nancy is counting the number of eyes that a nurse has in the back of his or her head. It's true, and those extra eyes come in handy when we are working with drug addicts.

Last weekend, a family dumped off one of their own at our emergency room. This family drove over three hours to get to our hospital, and according to witnesses, they literally tossed their family member out of the car, and peeled rubber out of the parking lot. They obviously didn’t want to have anything to do with her anymore, and it didn’t take me long to understand why they didn’t want her back. I knew that I was going to be in for a rough weekend when the nurse reporting off to me said that she “hated the patient and wanted to punch her in the face.” This statement caught me off guard because this nurse usually has the patience of Mother Teresa, and since our doctor is a pussy about ordering Haldol, I resigned myself to the fact that my entire weekend was going to suck. And, as promised, the next two shifts played havoc with my blood pressure.

My patient hated me. She had a thing about limits and hearing the word, “no.” She hated me even more when she found out that I have eyes in the back of my head. I caught her climbing over the desk at the nurses station during a psychiatric emergency on our unit. I walked in on her while she was rifling through a coworker’s purse. She took a swing at me, and called me old, fat, and ugly. Ouch! She wasn’t too happy when I put her in locked seclusion.

During my report to the oncoming shift, I told the night nurse that I hated the patient and wanted to punch her in the face. So much for emulating Mother Teresa.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blog Your Way Into a Nursing Scholarship


Well, OK, Tom. All you had to do was ask. Can’t say that I blame Tom for getting so fired up. Finding FREE money is exciting, especially when you are a nursing student.

I am very lucky to have great companies sponsoring Nurse Ratched’s Place, and two of my sponsors are offering nursing scholarships to nurse bloggers. First up is Scrubs Gallery. They are offering $1000 to any nurse who writes about their life as a nurse. Really! There’s no catch. All you need is a blog and a life. I read nursing blogs every day and you guys are writing great stuff. Check out the Scrubs Gallery website for all of the details. Next up is the Valuecare, Valuenurses scholarship. They want to find a superstar RN blogger to write about critically important nurse issues this election year. That superstar will receive a $1000 scholarship, and will be featured on the Valuecare, Valuenurses website. Everyone has an opinion during an election, so start writing. Valuecare, Valuenurses wants to hear from you.

Check these scholarships out before Tom starts jumping on the furniture again.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Amen For Grand Rounds

The Lord saith unto you, “Check out Grand Round.” And then God gazed down upon Grand Rounds and said, “It is good.”

Don't argue with God. Lightning bolts hurt.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cell Phones and Bogus ADHD

I’m feeling grumpy today. I sat at the car dealership for over an hour, waiting to have my car serviced. I hate getting my car serviced on my day off. The service department was packed. It reminded me of what our emergency room looks like during a full moon.

I watched TV while I was waiting for my car, and I saw a news story on CNN that made my blood pressure go up. Some genius just released a study that links ADHD to kids who use cell phones. The children in this study were no older than seven years old. I’d like to ask the researchers why these children had cell phones in the first place. Maybe some of these kids are acting out because their parents are over indulgent, and give them whatever they want. I can hear it now:

Kid: I want a cell phone.

Parents: But honey, do you really need a phone?

Kid: I want one NOW!!!!!!!!!!

Parents: Oh Sweetie, don’t be mean. You're hurting our feelings.

Kid: Fuck you! Get me a cell phone. (Child punches hole in wall, and starts throwing furniture).

Parents: OK, darling. We're sorry that we made you mad.

See my point? Many child experts view destructive behavior as a symptom of ADHD. I call a lot of it criminal behavior. I see this crap all the time, and it's getting on my nerves. Parents need to get a clue and learn how to say no, and brats with bogus ADHD need to suffer some consequences for their malicious behavior.

Maybe I should conduct my own study on the effectiveness of woodshed therapy in the treatment of bogus ADHD. Look for me on CNN.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Haven't a Thing to Wear

It all started when Eve asked Adam, “Does this fig leaf make me look fat?"

Women throughout time have fretted about their clothes. Traditionally, women have three wardrobes hanging in their closet. We have our winter clothes, our summer clothes, and our fat and skinny clothes. But, no matter what we have, we haven’t a thing to wear.

My life unexpectedly became complicated when I was invited to attend the Nursing Spectrum Excellence Awards. I'm really excited about the invitation, but a fancy night out on the town means that blue jeans are out, and I have to dress up like an adult. This presented a problem because the last time that I dressed up was on my wedding day. My wedding dress was a stunning, oriental silk brocade evening dress. I looked fabulous in it, but that was ten years and fifteen pounds ago, so I suddenly found myself wardrobe-challenged. I discovered three things while shopping for the perfect evening dress. I learned that there is no such thing as the perfect dress, most of them are WAY too expensive, and that evening dresses fall into one of six categories:

Category #1: The Mother of the Bride Dress

The mother of the bride dress serves a purpose. It prevents a woman from upstaging a bride on her wedding day. What else can I say? These dresses are frumpy.

Category #2: The Cheap K Mart Dress:

I’m always looking for ways to save a buck, but this is NOT the way to save money. This dress, made from glittery spandex, and accessorized with a matching macramé shawl, shower cap, and plastic rhinestone sunglasses screams, “I’m a Blue Light Special.” Cheap dresses look cheap. Period.

Category #3: The Southern Belle Dress:

I heard Rett Butler say, “Quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” every time I saw one of these dresses at the mall. Southern belle dresses are poofy, and they are covered in ruffles, ribbons, and bows. These dresses are not age appropriate for women like me. Not that I’m old. Just sayin’.

Category #4: The Prostitute Dress

A prostitute dress is just like Paris Hilton. It’s sleazy, lacks substance, and looks cheap. Enough said.

Category #5: The Bizarreo World Dress

This dress is too strange for words. I think space aliens design bizarreo world dresses. Dresses like this one are very expensive, and a lot of rich people like them. It just proves that money can't buy good taste. No one in the real world would be caught dead in this type of dress.

Category #6: The Little Black Dress

I’m wearing a little black dress to the banquet. My dress is an updated version of Audrey Hepburn's dress, and it's very elegant. Do not confuse the little black dress with a black funeral frock. Those dresses are dreary and depressing. I bought my dress at Macy’s. It was marked down by 50%, and there’s nothing depressing about that.

I promise you a full report after the banquet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Angry Earth

This picture breaks my heart. It also makes me very proud of our profession. Mother Earth is very angry. The news is filled with stories about tornados, earthquakes, floods, and cyclones. It makes me wonder what is going to happen next. It seems like the whole world is turning up side down, and I can only imagine what nurses who live in these areas are going through. This nurse is risking her life in order to hold someone's hand. An aftershock could bring the rest of the building down on top of her. Nursing is one of those few professions where everyone, no matter where they live, are colleagues. I want to reach into this picture and give this nurse my hand, and my heart. She is truly an Angel of Mercy.

We can't hold a victim's hand, but we can still help. Please make a donation to the relief organization of your choice.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mother's Day Email From Mom

My mom is the best. In fact, she's a saint. She never stopped loving me when I was going through my terrible twos, and she didn't kill me when I became a mouthy teenager. I'm sure she thought about killing me a few times, but her maternal insinct kicked in and she let me live to see adulthood. Now we're best friends. My mom proof reads my blog posts before they go up on the web, and she sends me email everyday. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you. Here's another email from Mother:

Mother's Day reminds me I Owe My Mother

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

And my favorite:

25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Martha Stewart Loves Nurses

Martha Stewart is a funny lady. She’s the poster child of OCD. Martha tells her readers all kinds of weird stuff in her magazine. I about peed my pants when she wrote that homemakers should rotate their lampshades as part of their household duties, and I poked fun at her in this post. I can’t make fun of Martha today. I was channel surfing when I noticed that Martha was wearing a pair of scrubs, so settled back in my chair and I watched her show. Martha honored nurses during Nurses Week.

Martha invited many interesting guests to her show. Johnson & Johnson nurse Kathy Fallon told viewers how to get the most out of their medical appointments. Next, Martha paid tribute to five very special nurses who helped a family in need. Martha also interviewed a nurse practitioner about home first aid kits. My favorite part of the show was when Martha interviewed a nurse museum curator that had brought a display of historical nursing uniforms and equipment to the show. And of course, Martha showed nurses how to make a quick and nutritious meal for their family after a hard day at work. I'm glad Martha didn't mention any housekeeping tips. Nurses are too tired to rotate their lampshades when they come home from work.

Martha loves nurses. Nurses are a good thing.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Please, Don't Stop Needling Me

I’ve been really stressed out since my former patient, Mr. Jackass, came over the desk at the nurses station and tried stabbing me to death. Something like that is hard to forget, and quite frankly, the experience has affected my health. So, I did what every nurse in my position should do. I told my employer that I needed help.

The Greatest Hospital In The World has a wellness center. It’s where patients with excellent health insurance, or deep pockets, can go for their alternative health care needs. It’s posh, so needless to say, I’ve never had the money to partake of their services. I’ve always been curious about the benefits of acupuncture. I've heard that acupuncture relieves stress, and that it can improve your overall health. I wanted to try it out, so I asked the director of human resources if the hospital would let me have some acupuncture treatments free of charge. She said yes.

I know that having needles stuck into your body sounds gross, but acupuncture is really great stuff. My body feels like it's floating in space during my treatments, and I feel at peace. I still have some hypertension that is related to stress, but the horrific nightmares are starting to subside. Nurses are always getting needled by their employers, but I hope this "needling" doesn’t stop anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy Nurses Week

Isn't this soooo cute! Woofy Nurse sends you greetings. She is saying, "Happy Nurses Week." Of course, it sounds more like, "bark-bark." I wonder how her hospital is celebrating Nurses Week. Here, at the Greatest Hospital In The World, nurses are being treated like, well, nurses. We are receiving cheap trinkets in addition to being served fine cafeteria cuisine. As I recall, the physicians were served steak and lobster for National Doctor's Day. We also can buy tickets for the chance to win the opportunity to throw a pie in our boss' face. The money raised will go to buy equipment for the hospital's forensic nurse. It's sad that nurses have to raise money so another nurse can do her job. But, that's nursing.

Enjoy your week. I hope my boss likes pie.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Missing My Mac

Do you remember Timmy and Lassie? Lassie had an annoying habit of running off, and Timmy was always waiting for her to come home. I feel like Timmy today. I’m waiting for my Mac to come home.

I feel my pulse returning to my body, and more importantly, to my fingertips. The delivery company just called me, and my Mac will be back home in just a few more hours. As you might recall, my computer broke down again last week, and I had to send it back to the Mac Mother Ship for repairs. Damn you, Steven Jobs! This is no way to treat a lady. Not having a computer has been tough. I’m a creature of habit, and I have a hard time writing anything on someone else’s computer. Besides, I do my best writing at my local Panera coffee shop. I went there today to get a bagel, and I almost started crying when I saw a stranger sitting at a table by my favorite window. The guy was surfing the web on his Dell laptop. Maybe my next computer should be a PC. Take that, Steven! No, no, I didn't mean it. I'm sorry, Steven. My skin starts crawling when I’m away from my computer too long, and I get really cranky, too. Not that I’m addicted or anything. I can stop blogging whenever I want.

Just sayin’.