Sunday, July 31, 2011

You're So Vain *

Information is starting to arrive for the graduate program and I am excited and scared at the same time. Even though tuition and books are relatively expensive, it does not register as a negative because it is part of my end goal. It also looks like there will be no rest as clinicals start right away in the first quarter. Among this information, there was a list of 10 names, along with that of an instructor; these are the people will form my clinical group.

As NP students, I know we will be practicing in many forms including sim labs, the real world and on each other. However, for some reason as I read that we will be practicing full physical exams on each other (Minus genital, breast and rectal exams), I felt a little self-conscious. Reading over the names in my clinical group, I notice that I am the only male listed. Now call me crazy because one of the reasons I like nursing is getting to work with mostly women, but that was not the issue.

The issue was the vain thought that crossed my mind of needing to lose 5-10 lbs by the time my peers started poking and prodding me in September. Maybe I have been working around women too long, because my mechanic would never think that.


*Thanks Carly Simon for the post title.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Don't try this at Home

This past Sunday night a wife called 911 worried about her husband who decided to do a little surgery, on himself.

It appears a 63-year-old man was tired of having his hernia protruding from his abdomen, so with a butter knife in hand he went outside and lay in his lawn chair and started to operate on himself. That is when his wife called 911. Police arrived to find the man with a butter knife sticking from his gut. As they watched, he pulled the knife out and put a lit cigarette in the wound.

As I heard this story on the radio like many I thought drugs or alcohol would be involved, but he was sober. Although, no surprise that they put him under a 5150, which is California’s 72 hour psychiatric hold and observe law. In the end, he was admitted to the hospital and will be having his hernia fixed.

Personally, I will clean and dress big nasty wounds and do most things for patients without a second thought, but for some reason trach care and hernias make me uneasy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Random thoughts...

If I were a patient in the hospital and could have my choice of nurses to take care of me, including myself. I don’t think I would be my first choice, or for that matter even my second.

My new bachelor’s degree arrived and it says "Magna Cum Laude". Did the school do that great of a job if I had to Google what the hell Magna Cum Laude means?

Because even though your dog doesn't speak, I still understand him better. This is in reference to my past girlfriend's pet dogs.  

The “Daisy Award” is given to recognize outstanding nurses. Yes, it is a good award. However, as a man I really do not want my picture on some random wall of the hospital, and on the facility website labeling me a daisy.  (I have several theories as to why men still make up less than 10% of nurses. This would fall into one of those categories )

Why do I enjoy the guilty pleasure of watching stupid people being humiliated when Maury says, "You Are Not The Father".   

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Stop Making Excuses

So tired of some people and their excuses, including some patients and even one of my family members.

In reality, we all make half-assed excuses for things like not eating well or exercising enough. However, some people just seem to have excuses for everything.

Look at these two women who have been in the news lately and should be role models for people living their lives without excuses.

Jaycee Dugard, was kidnapped, mentally tortured and sexually assaulted for 18 years from the time she was 11 years old.

Elizabeth Smart, was kidnapped and mentally tortured for 9 months, when she was 14 years old.

When their ordeals ended these two amazing women did not make excuses and say “poor me” my life is ruined because of someone else’s actions. They moved forward and are living life to its fullest and not letting past circumstances dictate how they live in their future.

Most of us know individuals who blame family, friends, the government and history for all their problems. Instead of spending energy moving forward in life and bettering themselves, they make excuses as to why it is everybody else's fault. So blame or make excuses if it makes you feel better, but chances are until you realize it is you have control, things will not change.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hurry up and wait.


Like everyone else I hate pulling that tab at the DMV and getting a number like 73, when they just called 42.
However, I'll try to remember this line I saw while walking near the campus yesterday, and not stress so much about my wait times. Because, these poor people were just trying to get into the building and get a number.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Coping Skills

I think I offended someone yesterday with a generalized obesity in society comment and then I deleted my post. Then, I got mad at myself. This blog is one of my coping mechanisms, so screw them. They can go read someone else’s blog justifying how their life is unfair. So to vent and be a little sarcastic here goes:

People who work in healthcare in any capacity, have tough jobs. It may not always be physically tough, but it is always mentally challenging. We are not working with inanimate objects on an assembly line. We work with people’s physical and mental health problems, and the wide range of emotions that go along with them.

Death is a regular part of our jobs, but so is life and hope. When a patient dies, we understand and feel the families’ pain. We can be sympathetic, but we are not allowed to grieve. We have no time and have to move on and take care of other sick patients. Not tomorrow, but during that same shift, and maybe only ten minutes after your loved one has died, we are in the room next door providing treatment to a new admission.

We also have coping mechanisms that usually come in two forms, we laugh and we vent.
Yes, we laugh at patients during and after work, but we also laugh with patients and their families. Why would it be a surprise to you that we vent our frustrations about your pain in the ass family members, so get over it. Like any job we like working with the nice people, and avoid the a**holes.

Besides prostitutes, how many people do you know who go to work and expect to be abused by the same people they are trying to take care of?
For the next 8-12 hour shift I will be your maid and your waitress, while also pushing drugs in your veins that can kill you if administered wrong. So complaining because your food tray is five minutes late is a bad idea.

If you are sensitive, do not read my blog. I will be complaining about hypothetical patients and their families, and if you think it is mean or unjust, then move along. There is probably a cute little poetic or wedding cake blog by hitting the next blog button. This is one way I cope with the people I work with daily. They are alive, opinionated and have emotions, and many times those emotions are taken out on my co-workers and me. Nevertheless, I still love 90% of my patients and choose to work with them.

I did not even touch on the overall other form of abuse from administration and managers.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Is this a "Just Culture"


First, this is Kimberly Hiatt and she worked at a hospital that  followed a so-called “Just Culture” model, "which recognizes the need to use errors to identify and correct systemic problems, rather than focusing on penalizing individuals”. Many hospitals around the country follow this model today, especially when it comes to medication and surgical procedures.

Kim Hiatt, made her career at this particular hospital for the past 24 years. Last year she made a medical error and gave an infant 10 times the ordered dose of calcium chloride. The infant was not doing well before this incident and did pass away 5 days later, but it is not clear whether this contributed to the baby death. Also, the parents of this baby understood that it was an accident and did not want anyone to take the fall for the mistake.

So here is the kicker. In this so-called “Just Culture” hospital, this nurse was immediately escorted off the hospital property and subsequently fired. She gave 24 years to this hospital and never had a serious mistake prior to this. This happened at Seattle's Children's Hospital, but the truth is it could have happened at any hospital.

Kim committed suicide.


Reading the whole story it appears that there were other contributing factors as to why the hospital was so quick to fire her. Because, even though her co-workers loved her and say she was a good nurse, the hospital appeared to have a problem with her lesbian lifestyle. I am sure there were other contributing personal and professional factors, but that does not excuse how the hospital went above and beyond to penalize her.

Nurses are scared to report errors the way it is, and that should not be the case. However, nurses also have to remember that hospitals are going to look after themselves first. That is one of the big reasons for so much paperwork, hospitals are trying to cover their asses. This makes nurses and doctors do the same thing and try to cover their asses as well.  

This story is wrong on so many different levels