Saturday, March 25, 2006


I heard on NPR the other day that in Florida a study was conducted, and the information discovered was that in 25% of the cases of a patient's death in a hospital could be directly attributed to nursing shortages. The ANA was in Tallahassee lobbying for new guidelines (or, at least, a new awareness) regarding this topic of shortages. ( I hear this little voice in my head..."c'mon, jump in....the water is fine, it is warm enough, really")

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The hypochondriac in me...

I am up at 3:45 this morning.

I can't sleep, and here I am. I awoke thinking about how my rings barely fit and I need to lose weight. There are people that know me from 3 years ago that if they saw me wouldn't believe it WAS me. This has been my little secret now for about a year or two. Dark circles, roots that need lightening. All of me. Good thing I am hangin' with a new crowd that don't know the "old" me, they'd be all over this.
So, then it is about how to get healthy, how to start on the path again. This after a beer and 2 slice of pizza last night. Brush the dust off the sprout jars and the "Raw" book, this vegetarian is coming in!
On my quest to health, I am also facing up to my procrastination of the yearly exams. After doubling over in pain last month at work, no being able to stand, a friendly (woman) ER doc quizzed me on my last "girlie" exam.....well, over two years (GASP! among listeners.) She quizzes me for other symptoms, which I shall spare you---> possibly endometriosis. So, I am scheduled the week of April Fools (how appropriate.) Just returned from my yearly-put-off-for-2-year MRI on my left knee (osteochondroma.) It is fine. Same, golfball-sized benign tumor.
Then there are those things to which we, as nursing students, start to question as we make our way through theory: weight gain (hypothyroidism?), head pain (brain tumaah?), get the idea?
So, as I weed through the real and not-so-real, the morning hours pass....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Is It All Just....

Wiping a**???!!!

I had a split clinical today: OR and ICU. These are really two areas I am interested in after graduation, so I was very excited about the experience.

Surgery was wonderful! Everyone friendly, saw a Colectomy and a hernia repair. The surgeon was even accommodating....I had some other type of student there (not SN) observing, and he started quizzing us. I apparently had a moment of deer in headlights.

Doc: "So, what are the major vessels off of the aorta (hand reaches into abdomen)"?

Kim: "(der duh der...why is he asking me this when he is in the abdomen? Why can't I remember?Der...) Hmmm...arteries (oh. Good Kim)"

(everyone in the room pointing upward-doctor says, "well, yes, that IS correct, but I am looking for something a bit more specific."

Kim: "der, duh, der...silence"

MD: "How about off to the heart?"

Kim: "(oh, stupid, I KNOW this....der duh der) uuuuh"

(look to other student. He says "I have only had biology". Oh, he's a help)

MD: "The right coronary artery....and..."

Well, this is the way it went on for a few more hours. NO, it only seemed like this. Again, everyone was very friendly, but I didn't expect to sweat in such a cold room. I must've looked like an idiot (note in notebook to self, "go over CV anatomy!!!! FOOL!!!!)

Then, afternoon: onto ICU, YAAY!

Me and another student for 7/8 beds rolling along. It is an observation day, so we don't expect to do much but learn all types of interesting ICU-ey machines, case studies, check out meds and what the pts' are on, etc. First 15 minutes, first bed bath. ("wait. Aren't these supposed be done in the a.m.? Maybe ICU is different") As the afternoon progresses, we end up giving all six patients bed baths. They knew we were both paramedics. This was conveniently lost in the first five minutes. "Have you done a blood sugar?" (ooh. how exciting. "Well, yes, as a paramedic who works in the ED, I do them all the time, but I CAN do that for you.")

Cut now to post conference. Explaining to everyone our day of bedbaths, linen bag emptying, etc. was almost embarrassing. Well, until everyone else started with their day: which seemed a lot like us. We had students at hospice, medsurg, pcu, OR. I think the only place I escaped the bedbath was OR.

I understand patient care encompasses the bedbath, but why is it that at the moment it is the only thing the staff allows of us (med/surg and PCA can admin meds, though, with our instructor?) This is even after we tell them we have medical experience. We are not first years! One nurse even said, "well, at least you get an opportunity to get over being nervous going into a patient room." (wwaaah?!) We attempt to organize a positive spin on our day, but Spring Break is here now, and any thoughts of school are drifting temporarily out of my head....