Fall is here. Finally.

That was my ride to work last night.  Not quite so dark though.  And even though I arrived with soaking wet socks and slowly drying shorts I loved every moment of it.  I’ll admit, I love Fall.

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Forget much?

I have to admit, if I had to choose between an asshole drunk and a pleasantly confused elder, it’s a no-brainer.  Yeah, they may be forgetful, even a bit daffy, but those pleasantly confused LOLs crack me up.  They’re a hoot to work with, and like kids, they say the darndest things…

The other night a colleague of mine had taken one of our LOLs to the bathroom.  They definitely were in the pleasantly confused arena, but like many folks with dementia had moments of true lucidity that shock you.  He gets her to the bathroom and reminds her to pull the call cord when she was ready to head back to bed.  She looks him dead in the eye and says, “I’m going to forget to do that, you know.”

Sure enough, she did.

Mad as Hell

Finally someone is stepping up to force the maniacs in Washington to slow down, think things through and include everyone in the debate over health care reform.  Enter:  Mad as Hell Doctors.

Yes, doctors, mad as hell that the majority of the country has been left out in the cold while the privileged few run our system beyond ruin in a vain attempt to fix it.  Single payer?  I’m not sold on that idea, but my love of this idea lies here:

Let’s restart the effort and take Health Care legislation off the table until the Spring session of Congress. In the meantime, let’s use HR 676 as a starting point for a new health care conversation and empower MAHD physician-citizens to seek out the best minds from America’s vast resource of inspired health care professionals. We will then assemble these individuals into a working team that does not include anyone from the private Health Insurance Industry, the Pharmaceutical Industry, or anyone currently holding public office. Their assignment will be to craft a thoughtful, actionable single payer health care model, uniquely tailored for America, that the entire country can comprehend.

Who knows, maybe this is the method to shore up our failing system.  But what I love the most the drive for honest and open debate.  No back room deals inside committees, no one involved who has received money from the very places we’re trying to reform, no “death panels” (dumb-asses…read the fucking literature), the interests for once are left out in the cold with the goal of bringing everyone in, and leaving no one out.  Is that such a bad thing?  Really? I didn’t think so.

Be Careful What You Wish For | WhiteCoat’s Call Room

The nurse followed them into the room, pulled the curtains, and hooked the patient up to the monitor. Heart rate in the 40s. Blood pressure 120s systolic.

The tech was entering the patient’s information onto the computer when the nurse walked out of the room and told him “Hey. You got your wish. There’s a code.”

I looked up from the admission orders I was writing.

The tech got an excited look in his eye and says “Really?”

The nurse tossed him a washcloth and said “Yeah, really. Code Brown. Get wiping.”

via Be Careful What You Wish For | WhiteCoat’s Call Room.

Having been the cause (not literally) of 2 codes, first by saying the “q” word in a not-so busy ED one night, the second by saying, “We haven’t had a code in awhile have we?”  I have learned my lesson.  Pretty sure that the tech will have learned his!

Generation of Dummies?

Is Spell Check Creating a Generation of Dummies? – DivineCaroline.

Umm, yes.  That and Facebook, Twitter, SMS, email, MP3s, high-fructose corn syrup and video games.

It’s so easy to fool spell check too.  Example:  I was board with my roll at work.  Sure, it’s all spelled correctly, but the usage is definitely not.  My first degree involved a ton of reading and writing, banging out 10 page essays was child’s play, so I have an eye for errors and I see it all the time.  One job I worked at in nursing school had a typing portion where we were read a paragraph and had to type it without spell check.  We were then graded on how many mistakes we made, which played into the company’s decision to hire us.  From what I heard later on, it wasn’t pretty.

It’s not just with kids/teens, but it happens in the work place.  Even in our new EMR, there was a spelling mistake, using “course” instead of “coarse” for describing breath sounds.  Reliance upon technology makes us complacent, thinking that the red squiggly line will fix our writing errors, is like relying just upon the EKG to determine a patients’ diagnosis.

Being able to speak well and successfully convey ideas in a written format is essential to survive in our society.  As nurses we have to translate what we see/feel/hear into words and phrases to ensure others coming after us can understand what it was we were encountering.  Sometimes it works, “bibasilar coarse crackles heard”, others “rumbling sound heard” it doesn’t.  That’s why it’s important.  Having new nurses, or folks right out of school with the inability to do this beyond, “LOL” or  “OMG, ur so rite! :-)” becomes a concern, even moreso when you realize that even modern EMRs don’t come equipped with spell check…