Nursing Voices

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama Mama Birthday

I just celebrated my 29th birthday. I’ve celebrated my 29th birthday for 24 consecutive year, so I have it down to a fine art. In honor of my special day, my two liberal daughters sent me birthday greetings, and birthday gifts via the Obama campaign. These are the pins that they sent me. I’m so proud of my daughters. They are special girls, and I always knew that they were destined to follow in my Democratic footsteps.

I’ll never forget a report that I received from oldest daughter’s teacher during a parent-teacher conference back in 1989. That was the year that Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union, allowed the destruction of the Berlin Wall. My oldest daughter and I had watched the wall come down on TV, and I told her that we were witnessing a great day in world history. A couple of days later, my daughter’s teacher asked her class to name a famous person that they would like to meet. My daughter announced that she wanted to meet Mikhail Gorbachev because he was the great world leader who let people tear down the Berlin Wall. The teacher replied by asking my daughter if she would like to meet President Reagan. My daughter wrinkled up her nose and said, "Eewww, he's a Republican."

God bless liberal children. Obama 08.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quiet Please. There's An Eavesdropping Blogger in the Library

This lady reminds me of my old school librarian. She taught my classmates and me about library etiquette. The number one rule involved silence. Silence was not only golden, it was a requirement if you didn’t want to get thrown out of the library. That’s not the case anymore. Today, the library is about as quiet as a Wal-Mart Superstore.

Case in point. I’m currently sitting at my local library with small children running all around me while their mothers are talking on their stupid cell phones. Excuse me, but when did it become OK to jabber on a cell phone while your kids are running wild in public? And then there is the guy sitting directly behind me in a cubical. He is also running his mouth on a cell phone. Allow me to recap his conversation. (I wonder if he would stop using his cell phone in the library if he knew that he was the subject of today's post).

First the guy calls his insurance agent and reports that his car was in an accident over the weekend. Apparently the guy’s lovely teenage daughter stole the keys to the car again, and went joyriding with her friends. I heard the guy tell his insurance agent that he hid the keys to the car in the mudroom, but that his little angel had snuck out of the house in the middle of the night after finding the car keys in an old shoe. Then I heard him say that everyone in the car was hurt and that his daughter is still in the hospital. She has broken bones and internal injuries. After a long pause, I heard him making excuses for his daughter’s irresponsible behavior. Poor baby. It's not her fault that she lied to her parents, and nearly killed herself along with her friends. I’m sure it won’t be long before his sweet angel makes her way onto my unit with a diagnosis of conduct disorder. Then I heard him call his business partner. He told his partner to write a check out to someone for half a million dollars. Then he told his partner not to sign the check before he sent it out in the mail. Sweet.

Where are those mean looking librarians that use to tell noisy patrons to shut up. I'm going to buy this teeshirt. What do you think?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Email From Mother: Mechanics vs. Cardiologists

Meet three eminent heart surgeons: Dr. Michael DeBakey (center), Dr. Christian Barnard (left), and Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz . These guys are medical pioneers. I wonder if they all hung out together on their time off. There is a brotherhood/sisterhood among cardiologists. They routinely save lives, and I think that experience draws them together into a tight community.

My mom sent me this email about a cardiologist, a mechanic, and a car engine. Enjoy reading it, and have a nice weekend.

A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Dodge SRT-4 when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop, who was waiting for the service manager to take a look at his car. The mechanic shouted across the garage, 'Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?' The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the SRT.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag, and asked, 'So, Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I make $39,675 a year, a pretty small salary, and you get the really big bucks, $1,695,759, when you and I are doing basically the same work?' The cardiologist paused, smiled, and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic

'Try doing it with the engine running.'

It's Time for Change of Shift

Our lovely nurse is gently holding her patient in her arms. Her navy blue cape is crisp, and her starched white uniform is spotless. It won't be spotless for long. Just wait until that smiling bundle of joy upchucks all over her white uniform. Too bad she isn’t wearing her scrubs. I bet our lovely nurse can’t wait for her young patient to go to sleep so she can start reading Change of Shift. It's posted over at Emeriblog. Notice the new CoS logo. Kim put together another great edition, so go check it out.

There are a lot of exciting things happening out in the blogosphere. Notice the button at the bottom of this post. It’s from HeathcareToday . The good people at HealthcareToday have created a website that allows you to give feedback to other bloggers while promoting your own blog. Click the button to find out more about this exciting new website.

I want to welcome to Nurse Ratched’s Place. I really enjoy reading their news headlines, and taking their weekly polls. There is a lot of great stuff going on over at I encourage you to go check it out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Potty Problems

This story is true. I can't make this stuff up. The Greatest Hospital in the World sent out this email to all of the nurses last week. It's about diaper wipes. Allow me to give you some of the highlights from the email:

Dear Valued Employees:

As you may be aware, we are having major potty issues at the hospital because nurses are flushing diaper wipes down the john. It’s great that your patients are squeaky clean, but this practice is making us terrible unpopular with local businesses and with our county government. How you ask? Last night, the county pulled a mountain of diaper wipes out of a pump station that is located by the hospital. These wipes caused a septic back up that affected local restaurants, as well as many office buildings around the hospital. Needless to say we are on everyone’s shit list, no pun intended. If the county’s pump system has to be replaced due to another baby wipe incident, we will be billed a half million dollars. Starting today, all baby wipes are being eliminated from the clinical area. Deal with it, and have a nice day.

Best Regards, The Greatest Hospital in the World.

You know that it's just a matter of time before the hospital has to shell out the money. God, I hope we get our raise before the toilets back up again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Email From Mother: The Living Will

It's important to have a living will. Just ask Maxine.

I, MAXINE, being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means. Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of pinhead politicians who couldn't pass a ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it, or lawyers / doctors interested in simply running up the bills. If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to ask for at least one of the following:

Glass of wine
Chicken fried steak
Cream gravy
Mexican food
French fries
Ice cream

It should be presumed that I won't ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my appointed person and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes, and call it a day.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Google Hospital

Hospital administrators all over the country are trying to figure out how to keep their nurses happy. Some are even hiring expensive consulting firms in order to find out what's on our mind. People, this isn’t rocket science. All you have to do is ask. Personally, I think that the nursing shortage would resolve itself overnight if Google started running hospitals.

Imagine a chair like this at the nurses station. Google takes the welfare of its employees seriously. This decompression (stress) capsule is impermeable to sound and light. I can see myself crawling into one of these chairs when I’m stressed out. Sorry everyone, I’m taking a timeout.

Does your back hurt after transferring patients in and out of bed all day long? Google’s employee health department has the answer to your aches and pains. Professional masseurs, also known as eusses, are available to help Google employees get through their day.

I hate waiting to get on a crowded elevator, especially when it’s lunchtime. Look at this young lady entering the Google cafeteria. Google installed slides and fire poles, allowing employees to get around in a flash. Google serves good food, too. Employees can eat all they want from a vast choice of food and drink.

This is my favorite goodie from Google. These are private cabins where employees can attend to personal affairs. No more sneaking off to make personal phone calls. Some people might suggest that Google's way of doing business would never work in a hospital. Google is different. After all, what kind of people enjoy working in an office building that looks like the inside of a big plastic gerbil cage? On the other hand, maybe that's why Google would be good at running hospitals. Nurses are accustom to being treated like rodents by hospital administrators, so we would naturally feel at home within our new working environment.

I know that Google loves nurses. A couple of years ago, they chose Nurse Ratched's Place a as a Blog of Note.

I wonder if Google is looking for a nurse blogger.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nurse Ratched's Cathouse

Welcome to the cathouse. No, not that kind of cathouse. This blog isn’t about the Moonlite BunnyRanch. This post is about the five little reasons why I haven’t been posting stories on my blog. Meet the family that just moved into the cathouse, also known as the shed in the backyard. One day I noticed the orange and white female we’ve named Sherbet lurking out in the woods, so I fed her, and of course, within the next couple of days the whole family moved into the shed. We saw the other two adult cats first, and then the kittens made their appearance a few weeks later. SURPRISE! Sherbet is the mama cat, so we named the little ones Ice Cream and Custard. The kittens are in the house now, and my husband and I are spending time taming them. I found a home for the Calico kitten. I hope I can find a home for her little brother. We had to take him to the vet after we captured him because he had to have a warble surgically removed from his neck. The area was grossly infected and the little guy is now on antibiotics.

Meet Kabbalah. He's the daddy. He likes rolling in the dirt, chasing birds, and eating catnip.

This is Delilah. She enjoys leaving gifts on the porch. She is especially fond of leaving dead mice.

Hey, Scalpel, do you want another cat?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Always the Nurse's Fault: Part II

This is a picture of me and my friend, Night Nurse, poolside in Las Vegas. I’m the one holding the drink. Yeah, in my dreams. Night Nurse and I were planning to take a trip to Las Vegas, but fortunately, things didn’t work out.

My day started out on a sour note. I had been summoned to a meeting on my day off, and the meeting’s outcome was going to determine my future plans. If the meeting went poorly, and I was suspended or fired, my immediate plans included a trip to Las Vegas with Night Nurse, who was also embroiled in this mess. We were going to see Wayne Newton and send our boss a postcard from Las Vegas that said, “Glad you’re not here.” Then, when we got back home, we were going to fill out job applications at McDonalds.

I arrived at the hospital at the appointed time for my execution. I had chest pain as I walked onto my unit, and I could feel my blood pressure going through the roof. Night Nurse walked by me humming, Viva Las Vegas. I shrugged my shoulders and walked back behind the nurses. Then I saw the boss walk in about 5 minutes later. She was carrying a pile of papers along with a huge box of donuts. A death sentence with donuts? Something didn’t add up. My boss said good morning in a singsong voice as she walked behind the nurses station and into the report room. Night Nurse and I followed her into the report room where we were shortly joined by the psychiatrist who was involved in the incident. I took that as a bad omen. He really looked pissed off when he sat down next to me at the table.

Things got weird really fast. First, the boss turned our private meeting into a general staff meeting. She threw open the door to the report room and cracked open the box of donuts. She used the donuts to entice the other nurses into the meeting. The boss looked bright and cheerful. The psychiatrist looked homicidal. The boss reviewed the restraint and seclusion policies, asked if we had any questions, and quickly adjourned the meeting. The psychiatrist abruptly stood up and stormed out of the room. When everyone had left the room, I leaned over the table and asked my boss, off the record, what had just happened. She said that I wasn’t in trouble, adding, “The hospital is backing the nurses.” Then she told me that the hospital is dealing with “the problem.” Judging by his demeanor, the problem had been sitting beside me in the meeting.

Night Nurse and I went to Bob Evans after the meeting. We had made prior arrangements to meet there so we could plan out our Las Vegas excursion. Instead, we used the time to discuss the historical event that had just taken place at our hospital. People, mark this day on your calendar. On July 9, 2008, a hospital sided with a small group of nurses and put a nasty little doctor in his place.

So much for Las Vegas. I guess Night Nurse and I will have to see Wayne Newton some other time.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's Always the Nurse's Fault

What on earth is going on here? It looks like the police are hauling poor Ronald off to the hospital. Maybe he was hearing bad McVoices telling him to hurt people. Would you like fries with your Haldol, Ronald?

I’m not in a good mood. I’m ready to stick my nursing license into the shredder and go to work at McDonalds. I had a patient go off on the unit this weekend. He wanted to hurt someone, so I put him into locked seclusion. Then I did what I was supposed to do. I called the doctor, but he refused to come to the hospital to do the face-to-face assessment with the patient. Then it gets better. He didn’t ask another doctor to come into the hospital to cover my ass. I told the nursing supervisor what was going on, but apparently that wasn’t enough. What was I suppose to do? Let a dangerous, homicidal patient out of seclusion because a doctor didn’t come see the patient? I can’t make a doctor come see a patient, or do anything else that he or she doesn’t want to do.

Nurses take the fall when things go wrong at the hospital. I'm having a meeting with my boss on Wednesday. I’ll let you know if I’m asking, “do you want fries with that?” at my next job.

UPDATE: Check out It's Always the Nurse's Fault: Part II

Friday, July 04, 2008

Psycho Paperwork

Tired of paperwork? Check out White Coat Rants to see the best post ever about medical forms that need a facelift.

Provigil: As American as Apple Pie

Wow, I want whatever she’s on. She looks so Yankee Doodle PERKY! Maybe she’s standing like that because her leotards are too tight, or maybe it’s because she’s been taking a bit too much Provigil for her ES. That’s the new marketing term for “Excessive Sleepiness.” No, I’m not kidding. The makers of Provigil have found a new way of marketing trucker speed. Can’t stay awake? Take Provigil and wave your stars and stripes all day long! Check out this “non-biased” website about Provigil. The website also claims that Provigil cures apathy and Nurse K’s favorite ailment, fibromyalgia.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday weekend.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


This is Patricia. She graduated from nursing school in 1961. I found her picture in one of my old nursing school yearbooks. Check out those crazy cat eye glasses. I love her glasses as much as I love her cap. Patricia and I want to welcome my newest sponsor to Nurse Ratched's Place. is a popular online meeting place for nurses. Learn about the latest trends in nursing by visiting, or have a conversation with over 287,671 nurses just by clicking on the widget located in my sidebar. Come join us at Patricia and I will be looking for you.