Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meals on Wheels

Yes, there are some annoying senior citizens, but most of them I enjoy along with their stories. Seniors are also resourceful; the years of life experience means they do not get upset easily about daily problems.

 I'm reminded of this while doing some substitute driving for Meal on Wheels. The routes are quick and the seniors know you don't have a lot of time to socialize. I was also warned not to tell the clients that I was a nurse, because it would become impossible not to get inundated with health questions.

With the holidays we had extra meals to deliver and people have asked for help with little things before, but today a client asked if I could open something for her on the kitchen table. As I looked over at the table there stood a row of eight bottles that she needed opened to last for the next four days, things like Ensure and Gatorade.

How do these companies expect people who are weak and many have arthritis to open any of these things? In fact many of the people seem like they could use either a fluid bolus or some Lasix, but you have to love em.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life your living? - Bob Marley

Looks like more storms starting over the next few days, which translates into major snow in the mountain passes. It will be better to cut this trip a day short and head south to avoid getting stuck here.

I like family, but there is a balancing act to staying just long enough, versus staying too long and getting frustrated with that same family.

This visit also solidified that my current journey and career choice is very much the correct one, I am satisfied.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Whack a Santa

Before leaving for Christmas I noticed one of the local supermarkets had a big variety of piñatas hung along the length of the store. Several parents stood there pointing and picking out certain ones and if I understood more Spanish I could tell you what they were debating.

The way in which they were acting piñatas appeared to be a big tradition for some families during Christmas, and it was important to pick out the right one for the kids.

There were dozens of varieties; however something seemed wrong about getting a Santa piñata. Should the kids be beating the man who is bringing their presents, even if it is only a representation of the real thing?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nurses and Food

Did I gain weight during the past few weeks? Yes.

It was not only from family and friends sending me gift baskets and home baked cookies (those are the best). No, it is from work and the horrible nurses and nursing assistants.
All year long there is food to be found in hospital break rooms across this country, and I have seen it of from the east coast to west coast. This time of year it is doubly bad with all the sweets and baked goods.

But like I said nurses are horrible, year around they use any excuse to bring in some kind of unhealthy food. A birthday, holiday or special occasion is fine, but sometimes people bring in things just because they cleaned out their fridge or they wanted to bake, but not eat it.
See that homeless man on the freeway ramp, give it to him.

OK, I'm bitching because I'm weak!
Plus, this past year I've eaten more Filipino and Vietnamese food found in the staff break-rooms than I have in the last ten years.
I thought it was good working in the float pool, but now I realize that just means different staff telling me to eat. Every time I walk-in someone is encourage me to try something they made, I don't want to make them feel bad and so I eat.
There is no getting around it that Filipino food is not healthy, and definitely not how my co-workers make it. They basically fry everything and use various meats products in numerous combinations. 
Now off to eat more with family and friends over the next few days.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nurses with Guns

Some visual images probably come to mind when you read the title, and I'm sure there have been some bad stereotyped dirty movies involving nurses and guns. Does anyone even say dirty movies anymore, now its porn or not.

Anyway its Christmas time and I decided to buy a gun, and no not "A Christmas Story - Red Ryder BB Gun", but something with a little more kick. There is a shooting range about ten minutes from here and for some reason it seemed like a good stress relieving activity. I don't have a problem with guns, just some of the people who own them. A background check should also include a mental health check.

Unless you're a crook this State is a tough place to buy a gun, but I jumped through the hoops and bought one anyway. I don't have a problem with guns just some of the people who own them, a background check should really include a mental health check as well.

In reality I will probably shoot it a couple times then lock it up for years to come. Maybe I should have just gotten a massage?

No idea what this says, but it must have been a masterpiece.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I made the mistake of telling staffing that school would be finishing December 15, and I would be able to work when they needed me. That was a stupid mistake or early onset dementia, either way they said OK and booked me every day for the rest of the schedule. I quickly told them to take me off for a few days around Christmas, then I will also take a week off to re-energize before classes start again in January.

Need to finish getting my paperwork together for the graduate part of the program and prepare for my Mom's visit in a few weeks, I just want to make sure she has a good time and hopefully it quits raining. If it ever got cold enough to snow here we would have had about 10 feet this past week.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I love and hate getting floated to the oncology floor.

I have worked in the area and at this hospital long enough to know several of the patients who come and go on a regular basis. These are not the Frequent Flyer's all hospital staff roll their eyes at, these are the patients who are dying, yes I suppose we are all dying, but they just have a better idea when.

It's a goal of mine to have fun with my patients and if I can make them or their family laugh a little all the better. Of course the situation dictates how you treat them, because some will being going home for the holidays and some won't. And the ones who don't have any family or visitors really rip at my heart, you want to know why, but it is not important at this point, they are human.

It is better that I float to oncology instead of work there all the time, because I don't want to become jaded. Most nurses are wonderful on that floor, although sometimes you can tell the ones who have been there too long and have lost compassion.

We are all allowed bad days at work, but for some nurses and doctors it has gone beyond that and into an autopilot, robotic, watch the clock, wait for my 401K to recover so I can retire mentality.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fake sick calls equal fake crisis

Being in school full-time I work per diem with just one hospital and on a schedule that is mine, and everything works out well. However, every so often I get these calls from the agency begging me to come in because the hospital is extremely busy and they need everybody they can get.

The actual translation is that more staff than normal called in sick. Today it was because it has been raining for the past 12 hours, it is so predictable when this is going to happen. Halloween fell on the weekend this year so all the parties were Friday and Saturday nights, so why was it a surprise to have numerous calls both Saturday and Sunday morning.

Pretty soon more holidays and school will be out for the little kids, so will they prepare knowing sick calls will be going up, probably not. This is not a crisis, this is a staff problem. The weather is bad and people call in sick, staff wants to extend their vacation for a day or two and they call in sick, hangovers from holiday parties equal sick calls. The only ones hard to predict are the real sick calls.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


So ready for the fall quarter to be over and have a few weeks off for the holidays. This has probably been one of the most intense and busy couple of months so far, but things are staying on track to start the graduate part of the program next fall.
Group projects, PowerPoint presentations and of course a shit loads of papers, which has caused me to have trouble sleeping through the night. So I bought some melatonin to see if that would help, if not then I'll move up to something stronger like Benadryl.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cyber Monday a new TV and rabbit food

The holiday long weekend went by so fast, but I did get a good deal on a new flatscreen TV. The one that I had previously was about the size of a laptop screen and it served its purpose well, especially when I was a travel nurse.
However, even though I only get a few channels and don't watch much with school, I was tired of trying to see it across the room or use a remote control that an old girlfriend's pet rabbit had chewed all the buttons, leaving them flush with the case.

I can't blame the rabbit she had warned me several times to watch her while she was out, but I hated seeing it caged up. So being thick headed I let it out often and learned that everything is fair game to a domestic rabbit, like wooden baseboards and door trim, remote controls, computer keyboards, power cords and anything randomly left around.  This TV should be safe, well from rabbits anyway.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

People of the Year 2010?

So what do Kim Kardashian, who has never accomplished anything more than showing off her ass and making a sex video, Lebron James, who makes $15 million a year playing a game, and ex-boy band member Justin Timberlake have in common?
No, it's not that none of them have more than a high school education, but that NBC chose them as some of the most influential people of 2010.
I'm not going to begrudge their success, but what about the people who have actually made a difference in the world?

There have been scientific medical discoveries in cancer research, stem cell use and countless other treatments of diseases.Teachers and university instructors who actually benefit society by educating students to injustices and wanting to make the world a better place, and healthcare providers of all types changing people's lives.

It just gets frustrating to constantly see people getting recognition and tens of millions of dollars for actions that contribute nothing to making the world a better place, while people who actually make a difference in the world are constantly bent over and taking it for the sake of others.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Please float me back

I do not float to the critical care units very often, but it happened this past weekend. Maybe it was karma after complaining about being sick of work and needing a change. I'm not ICU trained, but working in the float pool you go where they tell you. It was low census so they probably could have sent me home, but instead gave their nurses an extra set of hands.
No direct patient care, okay so actually I was their gopher, bitch or whatever you want to call it, but I liked it. Just run between the units and letting people take a break or help with whatever they needed.
Really anytime they want to pay me to socialize, transport patients, assist nurses and docs without the responsibility of charting or other BS I'm there.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Burnt out

Getting to that point of being sick of working again. Even though every day is different and they float me to different floors with different patients and staff, I'm burnt. It probably has more to do with school and the papers and projects that are all due in the next few weeks and the fact I am so ready to be done with this part of the journey. Then again it could also be the cold and rainy weather that is always depressing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Before driving north this morning to meet with a lawyer I was trying to clear the cobwebs from my head with some coffee and The Today Show in the background. They commented on Ann Curry's birthday and I always thought she was attractive, but missed her age. Being online and curious I googled her name, sometime it is too easy having all this information at your fingertips. Anyway, I just have to say she looks hot for turning 54. Just saying.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Don't get Old

If you were to ask the two things I hear more than anything else in the hospital from patients, it would be easy to answer.
Almost every shift a patient is guaranteed to do their imitation of Oliver Twist saying, "Please Sir, can I have some more", not referring to porridge, but their favorite friend, Dilaudid.

The other thing, because the majority of patients you work with in the hospital are older, they feel compelled to tell me about being old or something to that effect. Getting old sucks, just wait until you get this old, and usually when I'm helping them, they simple tell me not to get old.

Truth is I really only have two choices, but Bless their souls anyway, well most of them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

University Online

Well, the place is clean and I've talked to several family members, so that must mean I'm procrastinating on writing papers that are due next week. Sometimes I think I could just pay somebody to take my ideas and do it for me, but that's the problem, my ideas are so scattered I need to write them down several times just to get a rough draft.

It makes me wonder about some of these online schools, how do you know who's doing the work? I'm sure 99% of the people do their own work, but how do you know that another family member, friend or source is not doing it for them?

With the recent happenings on Wall St. maybe someone taking an online business or banking degree is encouraged to cheat. Is there an accountability factor, or do they just trust people to be honest, because we see what that means in today's society. How does the University of Phoenix or other online schools monitor who is doing the work?

Hope my health care practitioner had some real hands on experience.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Be Somebody, so what I'm a Nobody Now?

Really, your business is to help people and this is the best you can do at naming it?
How about something inspirational or up lifting, people are looking to change their lives and move forward, but I guess they can just settle and be somebody.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

UCF Cheaters

Yahoo posted a video link to ABC news in which a professor at UCF in Florida exposed approximately 200 out of 600 students had been caught cheating on their mid-term.. I guess somehow the answers had been acquired and were passed around prior to the exam. It was pretty interesting because computer software caught the cheating, and he was willing to give them another chance if they admitted to it. However, that was not the most interesting part of the story. They did a couple of random interviews of other students and although most were against the cheating one of them, Konstantin Ravvin, made this brilliant statement.

"This is college, everyone cheats. Everyone cheats in life in general,” Ravvin told ABC News. “I just think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in this testing lab who hasn’t cheated on an exam. They’re making a witch hunt out of absolutely nothing, as if they want to teach us some sort of moral lesson.”

He was not even a part of the original story but because of his statement and philosophy about college students he has probably hurt himself more than he even knows. Now if anyone Googles his name he was on national television telling people that he thought it was fine to cheat. Good thing he's in Florida because he sounds like the right type of person to sell timeshares.

Cheating Students Article

Saturday, November 6, 2010

STDs in the Morning

  Checking my email before work this morning and WebMD had these lovely slide-show pictures of STDs. They are pretty nasty looking and a good reason for contact precautions outside of work as well. The chlamydia actually looked the best bathed in a blue and not the usual scary body part discharge pictures.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Health care as a basic human right, not in this country.

Not even 12 hours after the elections and the Republicans are calling to repeal the Health care Reform bill, this bill was not all that great to start with but it was a start. Proven research shows that there is a huge health to wealth discrepancy in this country, in other words the more money you have the longer you live.

They said on the news that the last big change of seats like this happened right after President Roosevelt got Social Security passed. Imagine if they tried to get rid of Social Security now, riots of seniors in the streets.
I don't think people will let pre-existing conditions or limits on care be taken away, but what about all those students and unemployed with no healthcare?  

I said two years ago that I was becoming an NP not only for personal reasons, but for my family and friends, because health care will continue to be screwed up in this country as long as profit comes before people. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Emergency Department as Primary Care

Walking in and out of work I usually take a door that goes by the Emergency department, and look to see how many people are in the waiting room, which gives me an idea of how busy the shift will be, on whatever floor they send me to that day. My shift starts late morning and if it is standing room only the docs will be writing patient discharge and admission orders, and the nurses and aides will be running around trying to get it done, which describes most days.  Then when I leave the ED always seems slower, just one of those optical illusions I guess.

Anyway, many of the patients using the ED are not here to be admitted, they are here to use it as a primary care visit for themselves, or their kids. If they had some kind of insurance they could go and see their general practitioner, get their prescription for ear drops or whatever, and be on their way.

Why are we clogging up the Emergency departments and stressing the staff with people who should be seen in a clinic, or as I remember a little office with a little waiting room and old magazines?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Patient Ratio Laws, Careful what you Wish For.

I'm seeing it more and more with hospitals crying about the lack of money.
This time it is the Nursing Assistants taking a hit, by being given a larger number of patients to care for, or cut all together.
I first noticed this at Kaiser Hospitals in California when they pulled most or all the nursing assistants from the floors, and made the nurses do total care for the patients, all in order to save a few dollars. I think it was also a little retaliation, because California nurses pushed and got laws passed for the number of patients they could care for at one time. However, talking to travel nurses it is happening in other states also.

This is just a bad business model and another reason patients are not satisfied. As a nurse you get trapped into making decisions between patients that you should not have to make. When I should be helping a fresh post-op patient with pain control and getting settled, instead I am making sure my confused, unstable and impulsive 88 yr old man is not falling out of bed because he thinks he needs the bathroom.

I love a good nursing assistant and jump to help them when I can, but in reality it is the patients suffering as they wait long to be fed, transported or cleaned.
To all you hospital bean counters who think of money before patients 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nurse Killed in State run Mental Hospital

So sad and condolences to this nurses family and friends. It makes me ask why was this man not under constant control?
Years ago before I became an RN I worked in a government operated long-term mental health facility as an aide, but sometimes I felt like a caretaker for grown adults, and it was unpredictable.
Truthfully, I loved my clients and 99% of the time they were great and fun to be around. But, every once in a while there was a reason they were located there, and would end up spending time deescalating from some crisis in a padded room. That was the thing, sometimes you knew what set someone off, other times it just happened and you were caught in the middle. My facility was for people not safe enough to be in public unsupervised, but it was not a full lock-down psych facility, like where this nurse was killed last week.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Pitbull Killing

Another Pitbull attack and a baby killed. I am so sick of hearing about these dogs killing people and especially children, then people defending this breed saying it's the owners. No, there is plenty of blame for the dog itself that was originally bred to take on bulls.
I love dogs and have been around them most of my life, but when is the last time you heard of a Labrador or Springer Spaniel attacking and killing without provocation. Just like you don't keep a Python in the house with a child, you do not keep a dog like this around unsupervised with any vulnerable people.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It seems like every quarter I try to find a good balance between school, work and life, although I guess most of my life right now is school and work. Having done semesters previously at first I did not like the quarter system this university uses, but now I like the fact that it is fast paced and over in 11 weeks. For me now four quarters seem to go better into the school year than my memory of doing two semesters and a summer term. Just need to stay on top of things because it gets easy to fall behind.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dust aka Dead Skin

Ever get that sun beam shinning through the window which suddenly illuminates all the little dust particles in the air making a perfectly shaped column slicing through your living room. We all know those dust particles are made up of dried skin, pollen, dust mites, their feces and various other household products.

It has also been shown that sunshine coming in a patients room makes them happier and they recover quicker, even if it is only for a few hours a day. Really aren't we all happier with a little sunshine?

So how does this relate? While helping with a patient the other day who was stubborn about ambulating two days after heart surgery, but it was time for him to move. A co-worker who would not take no for an answer got him up as he complained while squeezing his heart shaped pillow to his chest.

Being the good assistant and trying to make the patient feel better I said I would grab him some clean sheets, as I ripped the old ones off the bed. As they flew off and traveled through the air a plume of dust, aka dead skin illuminated in the sunlight of the patients window. Not wanting to breath in what I was seeing I did the old nurses trick of holding my breathe and walking away towards imaginary clean air, but there really is no such thing in a hospital. I really can't imagine how many things we breath in during a shift at work.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Group Projects

I hate group projects. I know that as a nurse they say we regularly work in groups and healthcare teams, but please don't pretend that it is the same thing as working with four randomly assigned people in a social research class. Just one more hoop to jump through on the way to become a nurse practitioner.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

McDonald's Health Insurance

After you read this article on McDonald's health insurance you see what an embarrassment it is. On top of that now they now have been allowed to postpone their implementation of the new healthcare law for a year.
As a whole they probably create more health care customers and costs than any other company by simply target marketing their products in the same way that tobacco companies did decades ago.

But don't worry they have the resource to give away millions of dollars, tropical vacations, cars and free food to customers playing this years version of McDonald's Monopoly game.

Gee, I wonder how they make all that money?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Smoking Chimp

I have never heard of this famous smoking chimpanzee, but it appears he died in a South African zoo at the age of 52. From news clips I've read it seems that years ago someone threw a lit cigarette into the cage and he started smoking it, of course other zoo visitors then did the same thing. My question is who was the first douche bag to throw their lit cigarette? Was someone watching the chimpanzees and thought, hey it would be funny to throw my lit smoke at that monkey.
Maybe the American Heart Association can help me understand too, if the average age of a captive chimp is 40 years old, then why did a smoking one live 12 years past that?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wearing your Scrubs in Public

You see someone in the grocery store wearing scrubs and 99% of the time one of two things is happening. First, they are on their way to work and decide to run in for some coffee or maybe today is their day to buy snacks for the break-room. At this point the scrubs are probably clean and won't bring too many germs into the hospital from the outside world.

Second and more common, the person is on their way home after work and run some errands or pick up dinner at the grocery store. They stroll up and down the aisles wearing dirty scrubs that contain various pathogens of viruses and germs, that are complimented with medicines, creams and ointments, all intertwined with body secretion from just about every orifice and some that shouldn't be.

I felt like saying something yesterday after observing a woman with obviously dirty scrubs in my store, handling the fruits and vegetables, but I have been guilty of the same thing.

I was thinking of adding a picture but when you google dirty nurses uniforms the results are a whole different kind of dirty.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nice few weeks off except with only days before school starting my throat was getting sore and ticklish. No problem I thought it will go away, but I was not so lucky.
I probably touched something before, during or after my flight home that way made its way into my body. Some little virus waiting on the door handle for me to come along, or a little germ hiding on that knob to lower the tray on the plane, I was only anticipated a bag of nuts and some ginger ale, not a week of phlegm stuck in my throat. Classes seem twice as long when you feel like shit, but generic cold and flu tabs worked rather well and made sitting for hours doable. Now I just need the motivation to return.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tattoo Removal

Driving near Minneapolis and noticed this business, which should be a growing industry, and in most States it does not appear that you need a special license to operate a tattoo laser removal machine.

Potential clients would be all those people who got tattoos and now regret it.
Someone not in your life anymore, but their name is, permanently.
That tribal art or barbed tattoo around your arm that was trendy a decade ago, not so much anymore.
All those women who twenty years ago got a tramp stamp on their lower back thinking it looked good. With age and wisdom comes hindsight and an expanded waist line, so now that butterfly looks like a pterodactyl  medial and superior to your ass.

This really might be a good business to get into, because this does not look sexy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

   Maybe it is just me, but genetically modified fast growing salmon that can get twice as big as normal farm raised salmon, does not seem like a good idea. They spliced a gene from a large eel to get the salmon to grow this way. It is also guaranteed that some will escape into the wild; so there will be huge salmon roaming the oceans eating other species that normally would be safe.
People have been really good at introducing hundreds of non-native plants and animals into the wild that have decimated the native populations. Why not splice an ostrich gene with a chicken and see what happens? Actually that might be kind of funny.

This is all beside the fact that they do not know how people's health will be affected over the long run. Although I guess it can't be much worse than the chemicals and preservative the food industry pushes on us now.

Giant chickens and fish, I really do need the next couple of weeks off.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chilean miners get cigarettes

So the Chilean miners trapped back in early August and found alive 17 days later have now been allowed to receive cigarettes. Almost immediately upon contact the men started receiving nicotine patches, gum and antidepressants, which seemed like a good combo to me.
But the 33 men kept asking for cigarettes and continued to be told it was not appropriate. Do you think? Fresh air might be a problem when everything is sent up and down through holes like your bank's drive-thru teller. However someone had a change of heart and now they will share 2 packs a day.

The story does not end there. Besides the cigarettes they have also been requesting alcohol, but continue to be denied. So they will send cigarettes into a confined space 70 stories below ground and yet worry about some wine and beer. Is there someone concerned about the contraindications of the alcohol and antidepressants?

Where is Mark Burnett? You want reality TV, they should have sent a live feed down there from day one.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New mentality for spending

In my opinion the recent economic downturn did something good; now some people actually think about how they spend their money. Call them thrifty, frugal, conservative, coupon clippers, cheap, bargain hunters, penny pincher's, tight-wads, stingy, economical, or meager. These labels have become in vogue to wear by many, and not just those struggling to get by.

I remember my grandparents being frugal in their ways, having lived through the great depression their lifestyles were based on it. Basically, you did not waste anything or buy anything you didn't need, how simple is that? Until a couple of generations ago that is how people lived, and not off their parents.

So as I eat my homemade meal and watch my free DVD from the library, I will embrace my cheapness.

Monday, September 13, 2010


It's happened.  I printed my syllabuses and ordered my text books for next quarter, before the last one was even over. Anticipating tougher classes I decided to start reading ahead and not just when required. I think of school so much different today than in the past.
During high school it was about ditching and doing the minimum to get by and not be held back. A pass or fail philosophy ruled, hell we spent more time trying to figure out ways to stay out of school, rather than be in it.
In a different decade nursing school took on more of a survival attitude, I worked full-time and school happened during nights and weekends. Even so there was enough time to squeeze in some social outings, because it is easy to find an excuse to have drinks with friends.
Now in a new decade when I don't have time to drink and truly enjoy learning, I realize that I have become a fucking geek, and I like it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The More You Owe the More You Save?

Even thou they are not lending money banks are still soliciting. In the mail the other day was another form letter from the bank begging people to move their loans to them at a lower interest rate for six months. However, here is how they actually said it "The more you owe, the more you save". Is that bank logic? I know what they meant, but it has a double meaning. And that's the mentality that got us into this economic mess in the first place?
Instead how about this, we just pay off what we owe and stay out of debt, shouldn't that be the goal?   

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Asia Builds it America Buys it

 Americans are saving and the economists don't like it. They say for us to recover quicker we need to spend. That's right because Americans are saving and not spending the economy will suffer.
This started after WWI and during the era of President Coolidge, our government decided that the US should be a consumer based economy, so for the last 80 years that is how we have operated.
That is the mentality of our fucking government, both Republican and Democrats
We market, advertise and sell everything and after a crises were told to spend to help the economy. Remember 9-11? President Bush did not tell us to sacrifice or let the terrorist know they changed us, no he said go out and spend.

Japan figured this out in the 60's and became the second largest economy in the world. They figured if they built it, we would buy it, and they were right. In the next few decades China, Taiwan, Korea adopted that ideal and it became a business model that if Asia builds it America will buy it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maybe I'm Going About This All Wrong

I do not transfer over and start the masters' part of this journey until next year, so until then I go over to the University every few months, which reinforces the goal. However, this time visiting I got a chance to talk with someone in financial aid, which made me think maybe I'm going about this all wrong?
  Right now I am taking out enough in student loans to pay for classes only, but everything else is out of pocket. Anyway, she explained several programs in place for loan repayments involving the four main health professions available, triggering a memory of a faculty member telling me how she took out an extra $2000/mo for living expenses while in school.
  Two of the more popular programs involve working in underserved areas after graduation for two years which pays $50K towards student loans, then you can keep re-signing if you need to pay down more. Yes, being a regular job you are paid besides the reimbursement, sounds good so far.
Researching I see that just about every state has areas that are considered underserved, whether they are small town communities or inner city areas. Personally I might be ready for a smaller community after here. She also mentioned that I could consolidate other student loans into the program. Which won't help me now, but I did think of a couple people current and past who could benefit from something like this.
  So maybe my plan to keep loans down and struggle with work and school needs to be rethought? I will still work because I enjoy most of it, but maybe not as much.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One in Four can Misread Traditional Pregnancy Test.

Watching some TV yesterday and this Clear Blue pregnancy test commercial came on the screen.
The TV commercial says that "one in four women can misread a traditional pregnancy test".
Should someone stupid enough to not figure out what the blue lines or "plus" and "negative" signs mean, be having a baby?
Trying to guess what would be easier than those two signs to let you know if you are pregnant, I looked on their website. The test stick says either "pregnant" or "not pregnant". That is really scary, do they think dumb people or people with limited English, they are not the same, will have any better luck if they could not figure out the universal signs for positive (+) and negative (-) ? Some marketing genius must have thought of this.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Work for San Francisco Bay Area New Grad Nurses

    As an experienced registered nurse I have met so many new grad nurses who are complaining about not being able to find a job in the Bay Area. The thing is most of them are stuck with the mentality that they have to work in the Bay Area, when they could go and find work in other parts of the country. Understandably some are not able to leave the area because of children or family obligations, but others only want to work here because of the money. If your in nursing for the money then you really need to look at yourself.

  I remember moving seven states away for my first nursing job and once I had a year or two of experience it was easy to get another job. Face it, the economy is not getting any better soon and thousands of nursing students are entering their final year of school, so go get that job in another state before they do. Where I work they had over a thousand application for a couple new grad positions.

   So new grad nurses there are jobs out there you just need to chase them and get the experience first and not worry about the money.  It is also a great way to see the country.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Life change is a good thing

"If you're the smartest person in your group, then you need to find a new group"

  To this day I still have friendships that were formed during my grade school years, and I value them.  The only problem is that most of these people haven't changed; they are content to stay stuck in a time warp of living and talking about the same problems that we talked about years ago, only now they are older with families.
Everybody complains at least a little bit; it helps to relieve some stress. But it is like a hobby for some of my friends to complain, while doing nothing to make their situation better.
My other problem is trying to avoid the toxic negativity that is everywhere in life, I really don't need those people around they are like a bad disease. I'm not saying I'm smarter than my friends just that my life has changed and shifted into a new direction making it harder to be around and listen to the same redundant crap again and again.

It will be good to just get away for the weekend.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


It was a few days early but I called and wished a friend of many years a happy birthday, better early than forget later, and it made me think of horoscopes, because she shared this day with an ex. These two in good and bad ways are different, like those born on my birthday, even in the same year, we are different.
We have all read some form of a horoscope, but most realizing they are just for entertainment, that is why they are located in that part of the paper, and not under news or current events. It's human nature to want to believe the good horoscope or fortune cookie and leave the bad ones on the table. But like life it is how we interpret what is said and our attitude towards it.

You see it in patients all the time, the positive upbeat ones do better than those negative people, this also plays into how they get treated. The Md's, nurses, therapists and all staff just tend to spend less time with those patients who are confrontational, pessimistic and like a bad wound seeping negative energy.
It reminded me of a now d/c'd comic, reminiscent of the Far Side, called Horrorscope. It says a lot into how we interpret events and words both current and past; do you want them to be negative or positive?

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Nursing Diagnosis

You ever catch yourself saying the wrong thing in front of a patient or their family? I have kicked myself for saying something in front of a patient who is unconscious that I would never say if they were even a little conscious. You get busy and stupid, the other day I needed to prep a patient for surgery, a new admission was coming and time management was a good concept at the beginning if the shift.
My nursing diagnosis would be brain deficit R/T neurons not firing secondary to lack of caffeine and time. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Drug recalls

So many drugs are the next big savior then recalled for serious health concerns, so what future recalled drugs have you given your patients today?
I thought of this as I saw yet another drug warning and a possible recall for Avandia, which I have given to my patients numerous times over the years. They have known about the link to increased heart failure for three years, but did nothing. Kind of like the arthritis drugs Celebrex and Vioxx, that I've given patients, although Merck voluntarily pulled Vioxx. Instead of pulling Celebrex the FDA requires a warning label and many doctors say it is no more effective for most people than Advil. However it makes tons of money for its companies, go figure.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Super Sexy CPR

Almost time to renew my CPR, but my classes were never like this.
Yes it's an ad for lingerie, but on the other side this would be a good recruiting tool to draw more young men into the health care field. Sure beats the construction worker in the videos now.

Oakland Rioters what Exactly is Your Point?

The idiots appeared briefly last evening after a verdict in a trial was decided. Now when I say idiots I do not mean the people who peacefully protest and try to get something done through community organizing or political means.

 No these stupid people break windows of local businesses, spray paint buildings and looted a few stores, do they realize these are the same businesses that employ local people. How are you getting your point across when the businesses you loot are the Foot Locker, a jewelry store and a convenience store? That is plain greed not protesting.
This is the same mentality of people who riot after championship games, large political events or concerts. Watch the World Cup this weekend and see if they do the same kind of thing? (Go Netherlands).

The bad part is Oakland is a large city with some nice areas; it was iconic that the news showed kids playing in the park only blocks from these protesters. Within close proximity you can visit areas like Lake Merritt or Koreatown, then UC Berkeley and Pixar studios border the city on the north on the north side. Sad that a couple bad apples ruin it for others.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Loyalty Cards, Enough Already.

Loyalty cards, Club Cards, Point Cards, Reward Cards.
Running around doing errands yesterday and what is it with everybody wanting a card? First Hallmark asked if I had my card so I can earn points? Then to Ace Hardware and they asked if I had their card, the same thing at CVS, then Safeway's card club. (I do use Safeway's) However enough already, is there any chain store who does not have a card? Where do you want me to keep all these cards? There must be billions floating around out there.
It is so bad I do remember seeing an ad about a store bragging that it does not have a card, they just mark their prices low to start with.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BART Cop on Trial

Spent the day in the city yesterday and talked to a few people while riding the train and wandering around. Seems there are a few people on edge about what is going to happen in the next few days when a verdict is reached in a trial that has now gone to the jury.

It stems from an incident on New Year’s Day 2009 when a young black man, Oscar Grant, was shot and killed by a white cop, Johannes Mehserle. Several officers were there and it was caught on many cell phone videos, because it happened in Oakland on a train platform in front of many BART passengers. The officer thought he was pulling his Taser and firing it, but it turned out to be his gun. The other side says it was plain and simple murder.

It's up to the jury to decide and even though the trial was moved to LA, there will be some backlash whichever way this goes. High unemployment and frustration could easily lead to an opportunistic mob mentality. We see it happening too easily these days from minor things like sporting events to political events. What will happen in this case?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Doggie Dementia

I was doing some research online and procrastinating when I ran across an article about canine cognitive dysfunction. I've been around dogs most of my life, and frankly compared to people sometimes I prefer a dog's company. I still have fond memories of most of them, and this might explain a few of those dogs behaviors in later years.
They list symptoms of dog Alzheimer's or Dementia as:
Appearing to get lost of confused in familiar places.
Gets stuck in corners, under furniture or behind furniture.
Stares blankly into space or at walls, and maybe barks for no reason.
Paces or wanders aimlessly, or from room to room.
Knew where the yard ended, now wanders past normal boundaries.
No longer greets visitor or family members.

Wait I think that's MY diagnosis!

Far Side

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

IV Fructose

You can give intravenous dextrose and you can give intravenous glucose, but you can not give intravenous fructose, because of complications with the liver.

However that is not what I was thinking. High fructose corn syrup is in just about everything you buy in the store that is processed and uses sweetener. What the hell is high fructose corn syrup? They want you to think it is a natural sweetener, but it's not, it is made in a factory with caustic soda and enzymes.
HFCS has been rarely studied, although there is new research out of Princeton this year and HFCS does not look good for your health, and this is something that has been in our food for over forty years. The corn producers run ads and websites saying everything is OK it is just a sweetener, just like the tobacco companies said their products were safe for decades.

This person put a list of some foods containing HFCS
Partial list of high fructose corn syrup foods

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bay to Breakers 2010

Check out the Bay to Breakers marathon/party on Sunday and it's something. The runners and walkers leave at 8 am, then a massive party follows the route over the next many hours, like Mardi Gras only the people were the parade, floats and entertainment all rolled into one, and it was anything goes.

But really it was 20 degrees below normal what the hell are some of those people doing naked? And wearing diapers is not funny, at least not on most of the people I saw. Maybe naked people and diapers just reminded me too much of confused patients. 

You also realize you are getting older when after 45 minutes of loud music, big crowds and drunks you look at each other and decide it is time to get out of here. Plus when you get propositioned by a young women for something from your dreams but need to walk away, your getting old. I was with a friend, however I don't know if I would have done anything different had she not been there.

So after bolting from the crowds we walked through some quite areas of town before eating and heading back. Next year I would like to attempt to run/jog the race on its 100th anniversary, but maybe only a little bit of the post activities.
Those houses in the background reminded me of that
 show Full House but I don't remember these neighbors.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Travel Nursing Pitfalls

So glad I'm not travel nursing although the offers are coming in for jobs, I guess there is a huge strike that may happen in Minnesota on June 1st, and they are offering all kind of crazy money to go. I would think about going there, but school will not allow the free time.

But the main reason is what a friend went through yesterday, she started a new assignment up near Napa and after classroom orientation had one shift on the floor before being on her own. Well I guess she got stuck with a tough group of patients on the first day, and a staff member asked her how it was going? She was honest and said it sucks, most of the time people do not want an honest answer. Anyway they let her go after just driving here from AZ.  She has been with the same company for nine years so we'll see what they say, anyway we will have a chance to hangout for now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill

Dead dolphin from oil spill in 2007

Now after writing about the lies of clean coal and natural gas, and that they are just fossil fuels and as bad for the environment as oil, well guess what, we have a major oil catastrophe happening in the Gulf of Mexico. One more reason for alternative fuels. Thousands and thousands will die including animals in, on and under the water, along with those on shore. Plus untold amounts of natural wetlands, beaches and shoreline will be affected. You will only be told of some of the sad stories because oil companies will be scrambling to put the best spin possible on this, and it will be more lies.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Clean Coal and Natural Gas

Are people really stupid enough to believe that clean coal exists or that burning either natural gas or coal is better for the environment? The ads are everywhere trying to say how good these two fuels are when compared to what, oil. All of them are fossil fuels, they all produce carbon emissions or green house gases if you burn them. China has now passed us in solar and wind energy production, and they are shipping the technology and supplies over here. People just need to start using some common sense and not buy into these ads. Is a small percentage less of carbon produced that much better?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't sweat the small things.

I was taking a load of recycling out to the dumpster this morning when I noticed a man in the dumpster and from a distance could not tell what he was doing? Maybe maintenance or some complex employee trying to compact the stuff more by stepping on it, or sorting out some things that should have gone in the regular trash. So as I approached I said hi and tossed some old phone books in the other end.
The man looked at me and apologized several times, he explained about losing his job and how hard it was to make ends meet  on only his wife's salary. I told him take whatever you want I don't care and headed back down the parking lot. I thought about it and decided to give him some money, my pockets were  empty so as I got home to grab a five I noticed the man getting into an old car and driving off.
We stress about bills and writing papers but is it really that important in the big picture of life?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Maybe it something about being educated that I find attractive. Being educated does not necessarily mean years of school, it can be world experience. Yes I do like looking at beautiful women of all types, but interest is lost if they are stupid. Maybe you don't hold a PhD, but be enthusiastic and knowledgeable about something, and be able to hold a conversation. This ran through my head yesterday while attending a seminar with some other students and listening to some of the attractive speakers.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bay to Breakers

I need some goals in the interim of getting my masters degree. So there is a marathon here every May called the Bay to Breakers and next year will be the 100th year of the event. Why not run it this year? I stopped drinking and smoking a while back but after years of abuse and moderate exercise programs it takes time. My diet also has fluctuate between decent and horrible over the years. I can go to the grocery store and buy healthy foods, then on the way out grab a piece of chocolate cake, they make it so easy the way it sits there calling you. It will also give me time to do a 5k or something shorter in between because this race is 12k or 7.46 miles. The Iron Horse trail which runs for 33 miles is literally right out my front door so there is no excuse for not getting out there.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


When you mention Seattle to anybody around the country the first thought is rain. But it does not rain as much as people imagine, what actually gets to you is the lack of sunshine. I remember watching the news and the weatherman saying Seattle averaged 58 days of sunshine a year. Now that means sunshine from dusk til dawn so the days with an hour or two of sunshine in the afternoons does not count. There was also a reason the grunge musicians wore flannel and it was not a fashion statement, it was to stay warm. Seattle is damp and cold year round, homes with air conditioning are rare because it is not needed, except for a few days a year. It really is a depressing place to live
People are nice for the most part but there is an overall conservative mentality. Keep government out of my business, unless I need them. Pro death penalty, but anti-abortion. Social programs are bad, guns good. The timber and fishing industries really established the Seattle area last century, and that way of thinking still exists.

Seattle sunny days

Saturday, April 10, 2010


It is really hard to find anything negative to say about the area, except for the December through February weather. Mention the twin cities to most who have never been there and they think it is cold year round, but spring through fall it is hard to beat it for good weather. There is a saying about Minnesota nice, but it is overplayed by the locals, it should be Minnesota cliquey. It seems to be a Midwest thing that you will never go far from home, you grow-up, live and die having never ventured far. Minnesotans cannot understand why anybody would ever leave, or that there exist a better place, and if asked it is what I call home. The people lean a little left and settled by Scandinavian, northern and eastern Europeans they have strong community roots.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Phoenix  20 plus years ago was hot, dry and on some days so smoggy it was hard to see the mountains just outside the city, and it still is. When you mention AZ most people think of the desert and retirement, which is true for the most part. There also still exists a cowboy mentality, even though just about everybody moved there from someplace else. I was in my late teens and early twenties when I moved there, with no cares except to work, party, rest and repeat. One day it hit me that things would not change as long as I was there, so I hit the road north. The good of Phoenix being the sunshine and warm weather, the bad being dry, smoggy air, and if you have allergies you are really in trouble.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Home is where you plant yourself.

I have lived in six different areas and some travel nursing also, so you get to talk to a lot of people from different parts of the country, and the world. It becomes funny how some people become defensive about where they live by putting down other places.

Tell people you are going to California and you hear, what about the fires and earthquakes? Talk about Seattle and people think it rains 24/7. Going to Florida and you hear about heat and hurricanes, and let's not forget Minnesota because most think it only thaws out for a few month in the summer. Yes each of these places earn some of the criticism because it's partially true, but not as much as it's characterized.

I do like where I am living now although the chances of being able to stay here after graduation may be dictated by employment opportunities. It just made me think about the other places I've lived and the good and bad.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why is it that the people who are always telling you not to worry about money, are the people who rarely have money to worry about?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Some doctors make the same mistakes for twenty years and call it clinical experience. -Dr. Noah Fabricant

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Travel nursing

My Florida license is up for renewal, and I'm not sure if it is worth keeping? I do like the warm weather and sunshine, but I've only had one good experience there out of four hospitals as an RN, not good odds.
Travel nursing companies are calling again so maybe things are picking up a little with the economy? I've let a couple of licenses expire, and I don't plan on travel nursing again. Although I remember Oregon making me jump through extra hoops because I had let it lapse, so maybe I'll renew for two more years. It also feels like a little bit of insurance to have more than one active license.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Medical Intuitive

I think a lot of things happen for a reason; they may be life lessons, open new doors or for that matter close the bad chapters in your life. We need to be open to all possibilities of life, because you really start to understand how backwards some of our thinking is.
This is a feeling I've had  for years while working in hospitals, we do a terrible job of treating patients holistically (mind, body, spirit), instead just treating the parts. It always frustrates me as a nurse in the hospital that you're limited in what you can do, and your job is to follow the orders written by the doctors, which always seem to be the same thing depending on the diagnosis.
This was one huge factor in wanting to get out of bedside nursing and into working with patients as a whole person, and not just as a diagnosis.

So in treating a person in the holistic manner what does that include. I recently met a classmate who studies and works as a medical intuitive. I wasn't sure what it was but after asking questions and looking it up, it kind of sounds like psychic, or energy medicine. When I think of holistic care my idea was a little different, and this was not something I included. She said she has worked with Md's before, so maybe I just need to be more open to the possibilities, and I'll try not to think negative thoughts in case she really is psychic.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see - Churchill

After a short insightful break from school and work the winter quarter has started, as well as the new year. It always seems to take that first week to get your head and motivation back into the school frame of thinking. Although it better happen soon since this is the second week already.
In the past few weeks things have become more clear as to where this odyssey is heading. In fact it sounds strange, but it's almost a peaceful feeling for the future and what's happening right now. I talked to some people that have been absent for a longtime, then took a step back, and saw what was important. One of the areas that needed reevaluating was why I wasting so much mental energy dealing with flaky family members, whose concerns in life are only selfish endeavours. I don't have time for that when I see other family and friends struggling, but also making a difference in what their doing.
Looking back to see what was right and wrong does help you navigate into the future. Not to say that things will be easy, and there will be hard days, and days when shit happens that is out of my control, but isn't that life?