You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2007.

While taking a break from reading and studying I checked out woot.com, which someone had told me about. Interesting place.

They posted this letter about a price reduction they recently had. I thought it was pretty ballsy brave interesting how they chose to write it. Lots of ‘tude.

The American President

As Michael Douglas said in The American President, “My fear exists on several levels”.

I find this to be true for me as I approach graduation. I’ve done fine in school. I’m not the best student in our group, but I’m a strong “B”, verging on “A”. Considering the constant pressure of texts to read, internet group postings, papers to write, drugs to study, videos to watch, skills to practice, articles to review, quizzes to study for, exams to study for, practice tests to take, and all the rest of the stuff that comes along with being in school, I’ve never had to deal with so much happening at once. Even working in software with multiple timelines at once I didn’t have so many things to track simultaneously.

And then there’s the big HESI (comprehensive test which is an indicator for ability to pass the NCLEX). This Friday I take the Big One. It has all the content that they can fit in. Geriatrics, Pediatrics, medication calculations, anatomy, drug interactions, Mental Health, Community Health, Med/Surg, nutrition, lab values…. If I don’t pass I’ll have two more opportunities to try. Third strike and you’re out. Out of the program.

So long and thanks for all the fish. Been nice knowing you. See yah, wouldn’t wanna be ya. Elvis has left the building ** cue “God Theme, intro to 2001 a Space Odyssey” **.

And even if/when I get past that test and graduate, there’s the NCLEX looming out there. Sure, just another test. Except that it’s the barrier to my new career. After a year and a half of pre-requisite classes. A year and a half waiting to be accepted into a program. A year and a half of nursing school.

And as flattering as it is to have a job offer at this point, if I don’t pass, that could disappear because of it. Let’s face it, if they can pick and choose, they’ll pick and choose someone who passes their boards on the first attempt.

As much as people say “don’t worry, you’ll do fine”, it doesn’t help. Great, just one more person that thinks I’ll have no problem passing.

If I pass, it’s as expected. If I fail, people expected me to pass.

My fear still exists.

Once again Kim at Emergiblog has brought us another

New Change of Shift logo

to amuse and educate you.

Thanks Kim!

This latest rotation of Mental/Community Health is apparently preying on my mind. I walked into a patient’s room in the hospital, and saw a familiar pink character on the TV screen as I walked by.

Energizer Bunny

When I looked over a few seconds later while talking to the patient, there was some other character about to do something vile with Lithium to the bunny. I’m thinking to myself “Have they decided the bunny is manic, and they’re trying to level him out?”

It turns out there are batteries named Lithium.

Energizer Lithium batteries

Duh. I guess I don’t watch enough TV.

I like Brian Regan. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing him live, but I’ve heard his routines on the radio, and a CD that a friend had. He doesn’t make fun of celebrities. He doesn’t cuss a lot. He doesn’t attack people in the audience. He mostly makes fun of himself and situations. He’s someone you can take the kids to see without worrying he’ll launch into a bit on sex with animals.

Here are a couple *videos I tripped over of his take on the ER. There is both part 1 and part 2.

Enjoy!

*Swallow whatever liquid is in your mouth before watching. Your keyboard will thank you.

… but somebody has to do it.

Mopping

Nursing began as a “handmaiden to the physician”, where any and all activities and tasks were carried out at the behest of the MD. As the role of the physician evolved and required more expertise and specialization, the nurse too grew and assumed responsibilities never initially considered part of her job.

And it was a job. Forget for a minute that healing had been long-associated with religious institutions, and it was “a calling” to be a doctor or nurse. Nursing was hard work. It was dirty, demeaning in many ways, and mostly thankless. Florence Nightengale may have been one of the first epidemiologists, but she also worked her skinny little ass off slogging from bedside to bedside.

Years pass, and a lot of what was associated with women and nursing has gone unchanged in the perception of the public. Women are nurses. They do the dirty work. They follow the directions of the doctors (who are men). There really isn’t that much to think about in order to be a good nurse. Nurses are either fat, or little hotties looking for some man to please in any and all ways imaginable.

NOTE: Here’s a little experiment to do in your spare time, and is not necessarily safe for doing in public or on a work computer. Open a window with Google in it, switch to ‘images’, and search on the term “Doctor”. You’ll see a wide variety of what people think of as docs. Now do the same thing, but instead replace “Doctor” with “Nurse”. I weep for our future.

How is this possible in a world where we get pictures from some of the farthest planets in the solar system, a woman is a serious presidential candidate, and cable TV can provide everything we ever wanted in the way of entertainment?

I know that there is work to be done before nurses are divorced from the association with MDs as their superiors. Supposedly we work as a team. But the doc is the one at the front of the dogteam. We may assess the patient, but the doc orders the meds. We determine that a special bed is needed, but we can’t make that call unless the doc writes an order first. The patient may be flinging poop like a chimp in the zoo, but we can’t restrain them unless they present a danger to someone or the doc writes an order.

That ain’t right. I agree there are things nurses are just not trained for. That’s why the docs are around. They get to do the very invasive stuff, and have specialized knowledge that is beyond the scope of nursing needs or schooling. But come on, we should be able to get a bed for a patient. It’s ridiculous to not have standardized orders ready, or simply expand the scope of a nurse to include such things. I have no idea what the barriers are to actually accomplishing this, I’m simply speaking from a very interested and involved position.

Until and unless nurses actually start working together and stop fighting among themselves, this type of disparity and treatment will continue. There’s no cohesive message about nursing to the general public. While this is a difficult task to say the least, I don’t believe it’s impossible. Tailor the message to specific demographics based on age or geopraphy. Put ads in magazines that show nurses as professionals. We didn’t start out as professionals, but we’re wanting to be treated as ones, so let’s do it.

Lose the time clocks to clock in and out like a burger flipper at McFood. Let’s do the CEUs and actually commit to lifelong (or career-long anyway) learning. We cannot act like worker bees that have no control, and turn around and claim to be professionals being ill-treated. Let’s act like professionals, however that’s defined. If it means I can’t wear my favorite printed scrub top (I like Superman, get over it) then I can live with that. If it means we stop complaining about having to stay 15 minutes over to complete the charting, let’s shut up and get typing. If it requires forcing the unions that suposedly represent a large portion of nurses to set goals other than compensation and retirement benefits, let’s sit down and make a list. Personally, I’m not sold on the usefullness of unions, but I can recognize they changed the work environment favorably. On the other hand, if they’ve outlived their usefullness, drop ’em like a full bedpan.

New Change of Shift logo

The latest Change Of Shift is up at Someday Nurse

I missed making a submission this time, but drag your backpack and lunchbox over and have a read.

Competent nurse

I read this article as part of a reading assignment, and thought it was a great breakdown of why nurses are important, and what we do to contribute to a patient’s wellbeing. It’s short, but very good at giving some perspective on what nurses actually do for patients. You can find it here.

I’m going to assume that the nurse in the letter is not the guy pictured above.

Does anyone else have problems explaining exactly what makes a nurse important? Does your support system think the breadth of your job is giving shots and pills? Fluffing a pillow? Wiping a dirty ass butt patient?

Next time you’re explaining, it might help to point out some things:

Doctors treat conditions for the most part, not the patient. You see a doctor for an ache, a pain, a disease. Said MD will talk to you to find out what’s going on, then prescribe medicine or a procedure to address the ache/pain/disease. Then doc leaves. In comes the nurse, to teach about and administer the medication, teach about the ache/pain/disease, prepare you for treatment or perform the needed procedure. Your next visit from the doc may be far away, but the nurse will be around.

Seems like the perception of nursing is still behind the times. I guess it’s not surprising since all the docs on TV do nursing stuff and have so much time to spend with the patients. The nurses in the background are relegated to unwanted tasks and nasty stuff the other “professionals” don’t want to do. If Joe and Jane Public see docs acting that way on TV, that’s what they’re going to expect.