Obviously the Public Still Doesn’t Get It

Trouble is that patients still seem to think that nurses are not real people. I would be angry if nobody cared about my safety from an institutional standpoint, as was the case in my previous post, but that does not apply in my current position. The issue that steams me lately is the apparently novel idea that nurses are not waitresses, punching bags, ignorant children, maids, or housekeepers. I’m tired not only of being punched and kicked, but also of being ordered around (“go get me some water”) and even of, eg, being belched on. Would you burp on someone anywhere else and blow it in her face? No! So why is it OK when it’s a nurse? Where is it written that normal rules of adult engagement are off when one party is a nurse?

via Commentary on “Hospital staff sick of violent drunks” | Not Nurse Ratched.

There must be a magical aura around hospitals where behavior that is unacceptable ANYWHERE else is suddenly acceptable.  Nurses get the brunt of it.  Sorry, getting hit, spit on, yelled at and generally treated like shit is nowhere in my job description.  Really, I’ve looked and read my job description.  Not there, sorry.

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…

New Guilty Pleasure

Let me preface by saying that I’ve lived in towns where Walmart was pretty much the only place to shop and I derived hours and hours of enjoyment while sampling their fine, low-cost, American-made products.  Further more, I find it amusing how there are a great many people in the People’s Republic of Portland who would rather die that shop in Walmart (actual quote folks).  They have obviously never lived where there is not much of a choice.

One thing I always enjoyed about the store was the never-ending parade of WTF? moments.  Seriously, I’ve never seen so many weird/odd/straight out fucked up people as I have while shopping at Walmart.  Hell, that’s half the fun some days!  In the same vein as “Look at this fucking hipster” and “This is why you’re fat” I present my newest guilty pleasure:  The People of Walmart.

It’s only funny because it’s true.

Happy Anniversary Kim!

5 4 years.  That’s how long Kim of Emergiblog fame has been providing us with tales of life as an ER nurse.  Tales of woe, compassion, a little burnout and all the rest that goes with being a nurse within our current medical establishment.  You have to hand it someone who has slogged through and toiled writing quality pieces for 5 years.  That’s dedication.  Not only that, she’s the creator and curator of one of the best blog carnivals on the Web, Change of  Shift.

Through her writing she sparked my desire to write again, to share with the world my own tale.  While I haven’t always been as steadfast of a contributor, nor a tireles adovcate (for bloggers and patients), I’ve tried to emulate her as I can.  Change of Shift was a wider exposure for me into the world of med-blogs, without the positives from that experience I can say that I probably would not be writing as I am today.  You have Kim to thank for that.

Granted, some of her choices are, well, suspect.  NASCAR?  Bud Light?  The Cleveland Browns?  We can let these minor indiscretions go as long as they keep her supplied with the fire to continue to write, advocate and be a nurse.

So *raising a glass of non-alocoholic beverage* (I have to work tonight), here’s to Kim.  May there be at least 5 more years!

***Well it looks like those “in-charge” of this can’t count.  But the sentiment is the same!

Summer Medblog Smackdown

In booming announcer voice…

“Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls children of all ages…welcome to the Interwebs Arena for our main event of the  Summer…”

“Fighting out of the Doctor’s Corner wearing the red trunks, the contender from a big hospital somewhere in America.  With a record of 200,000 and 0, years and years of residency training, thousands of sidebar ads and an ego a mile wide, Happy “I’m a Medical Doctor and have my own way of running a code” Hospitalist! …”

“And out of the Nurse’s Corner, wearing the blue trunks, the challenger from a big ER somewhere else in America.  With a record of a million saves, years of being at the front lines of American health care, a chip on her shoulder and Dr. Bloody Gloves in her corner, Nurse “The Snarkinator, can’t believe Happy runs a Code like this” K! …..”

crowd goes wild…

“Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuumble…..!”


“OK you two, let’s have a clean fight.  No low blows, no crayzee talk…oh whatever, just come out swinging.”


Happy and Nurse K are at it again.  Sit back and enjoy the show.

Not going to say who’s right, who’s wrong (although Nurse K is right dude, either wake the patient up for fucks sake, hello, sternal rub ’em! or pull the cord for the code team), but it sure is turning out to be a real smackdown.  I mean between Happy’s smug aloofness and K’s snark attack, you’ve got a real read on your hands.

Happy’s Post: Michael Jackson May Have Died From Fibromyalgia

Nurse K’s Rebuttal: How to resuscitate a patient Happy-style

Happy’s Attempt to hide the fact he got pwned: Is It Reasonable to Stock Every Room With Emergency Resuscitation Supplies

Would you two just get a room or something…

Edit: K just posted up a rebuttal to Happy’s rebuttal (a double butt-al?)  Face it bro, you’re getting pwned.  Throw the towel.

Watch What You’re Saying

Go take a gander at this great article by Sandy over at Junkfood Science: Sanitized for your protection.  It’s a interesting discussion over public and media perception of medical blogging.  One big bone of contention is about the anonymity and the perceived lack of ethics and integrity.  It’s good stuff, but frightening at the same time.  What if it becomes where we’re not allowed to speak our minds, share our experiences and talk about our lives via the blogs we write?  It goes back to the repressive age where only those with money are able to express themselves in a public forum.

Do I write about patients?  Yes, but I try to sanitize as best I can.  Do I portray them in a negative light?  Probably.  Sometimes my negativity is a reflection of the patient, the situation or how I’m feeling.  It’s a given that negativity may pervade one’s feelings dealing with what we do on a daily basis..  A blog is a chance to vent, to unload those toxic emotions that develop from caring for sick people.  It’s not always easy being in the trenches and that frustration gets unloaded here.  I share my experiences in the hope that they may help a fellow nurse in a similar situation.  Or if nothing more, allow them a moment of levity to break the monotony of life.

In my defense though, I said befroe:  I was a cynic before I became a nurse.  Being a nurse just made it worse…