I DO want to go home.. but I don’t want to have to work for it.

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My new home: MyStrongMedicine

So the patient states he hates the hospital. They want to go home.

Of course they do!!! No one voluntarily comes to the ICU as a patient (at least the last time I checked).

So you take the time to explain to the patient, here is what you need to do. If you do more of this, this, and this it will be one step closer to you being discharged from the ICU and potentially discharged out of the hospital. (Now it of course is not that simple of a journey, but every small piece of effort does get them one step closer to home.)

They listen, the agree, you implore them to work hard. They nod and say of course.. ‘I want to get better’.

Then an hour later their complaining about what they have to do.

‘Do I have to do that.’

‘Can’t I lay back in bed?’

‘But it hurts to do that’

‘Can’t I just take my pills’

Case in point. Trauma pt is on his last leg of recovery. A passenger in an MVA. Rib fractures, VAP, bilateral pneumothorax’s, blah blah blah.. and trached.

He’s now off the ventilator, at the Trach Mask stage. No chest tubes. Minimal secretions from his trach. Not needing any suction. So we get him out of bed, into the bedside chair.

Go through the list of ‘things you need to do’. Which includes being in the chair! Being in the chair instead of laying in bed actually does have some medical benefits!

He nods appropriately. Yes I’ll stay in the chair! I want to be in the chair. I want to go home, etc, etc.

1 hr later…

Call light goes off…

‘Can I get back in bed now?’

And of course I ask why? Are you feeling short of breath? Having trouble breathing? Are you having chest pain? Are you feeling nauseated? What seems to be the problem

‘No. I just want to lay down. I want to sleep.’ (It’s 1pm)



And the beat goes on…

Carpe Diem


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A Nurse

Please remember to add my new blog home to your RSS feed. I am mirror posting here for a while in hopes to get all my readers to follow me to my new home. I will soon no longer be blogging here.

My new home: MyStrongMedicine

I am a nurse. For those of you that know me I don’t hide this. In fact I am very proud of my profession and my choice to become a Registered Nurse. I must confess before I pursued my nursing career my ideas of what a nurse is, what a nurse does, and what a nurse represents were very misguided and … well frankly just plain wrong!

I was like the rest of society. My impressions and opinions were formed from what I had seen and heard from the media, from what little knowledge I gained through my own schooling, as well as my own personal experiences.

"A nurse passes pills and cleans up poop right?"

"A nurse is the doctors subordinate right?"

"A nurse wears that funny white outfit and hat right?"

"Women are nurses and men are doctors right?"

Yep, I’ve heard most of ’em. The sad thing is I hear this more than I ever hear anything that resembles the truth. What a nurse is, does and represents?

Here’s an even more upsetting fact. I did a Google search for the term ‘nurse’. Take a look at the first image that was listed:Confused


That tells you what the public’s image is of a nurse. The stereotypical ‘naughty nurse’.. oversized breasts and an undersized mind and personality. I sit here shaking my head at what kind of battle we nurses face every day when it comes to not simply doing our job, but to have to defend our career and our profession on a daily basis from definitions like the one I just listed.

It’s either the ‘naughty nurse’ or the white-capped subordinate that most people will think of instead of the independent, critical-thinking, aggressive, compassionate healthcare professional that I work with and work as every day. (Check out some other thoughts on this subject at Head Nurse or About A Nurse)

Oh… and I didn’t even touch on the ‘male-nurse’ subject. At wits end


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Get Rid of the Patient

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My new home: MyStrongMedicine

OK. OK. It sounds worse than it really is. It was a joke made by a colleague in reference to the ‘common’ theme amongst different healthcare settings.

Think about it.

What do the pre-hospital staff want to do? The EMT and Paramedics are there to stabilize the patient, transport the patient to the appropriate facility (usually a hospital) and ‘Get Rid if the Patient’.

What if the patient is an in-patient. It doesn’t matter what acuity setting, Med-Surg, Telemetry, ICU. The staff is there to help mend wounds and facilitate recovery of the patient to either transfer them to an extended care facility (nursing home and/or rehabilitation unit) or possibly home and ‘Get Rid of the Patient’.

So now the patient is at the Rehab/Extended care unit. The staff there is responsible for ensuring the course of treatment assists in returning the patient to there pre-incident status and function. They progress the patient to function as independently as possible to discharge them home and …. ‘Get Rid of the Patient’!

LMAO. Big Grin

Aww. C’mon. It was a lil’ funny, wasn’t it?

Carpe Diem

A Calling

I wanted to share this article I received months ago. It’s an article written by Gina Bret, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It describes the response some nurses had when told ‘Patients aren’t always satisfied with how well nurses communicate, according to a recent Medicare survey.’

Here’s what they had to say:

Come walk in our shoes for a 12-hour shift. Come see the joy, the tragedy, the comedy, the 100 ways we are pulled and pushed, then rate my "pleasant greeting," "answers call light in timely fashion," "states name of patient."

Use the bathroom now, because you might not get the chance again until your shift ends. Wear comfortable shoes. Don’t worry if they’re clean. They’ll end up with blood and vomit on them.

We are the patient’s advocate, the doctor’s eyes and ears and everyone’s scapegoat. We can page your doctor, but we can’t make the doctors magically appear. We check your stitches, wipe your blood, drain your pus and empty your bedpan.

Nursing is a tough job, but we’re tougher. We’ve been yelled at by administrators, supervisors and doctors. We’ve been kicked, slapped, punched, spat on and sexually harassed by patients in various states of delirium, mental illness, arrogance and intoxication. We’ve even had chairs and food trays thrown at us.

We work mandatory overtime, weekends and holidays. We eat Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with co-workers.

We deal with families who ignore visiting hours, bring food to patients on restricted diets and insist on staying the night even though it’s not a private room. We deal with the Florida son who orders us around to show a parent he’s neglected for years that he cares.

We cannot be at your side every waking minute.

We have 10 other patients. We cannot answer five call lights at once. We can’t stop doing CPR on a patient because you ran out of tissues. We are not maids, beauticians or cocktail waitresses. We are professionals with college degrees.

We hate that we can’t spend more bedside time with you. Swearing at us will not make us move faster. Taking better care of your health would help. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Start exercising. Stop drinking.

How do we survive? We ignore the nasty comments, the demanding relatives, the crazy staffing grids. We count to 10 before speaking. We pray every morning for strength and wisdom, patience and empathy. We drive home tired and frustrated, telling ourselves over and over, "I’m not the nurse I want to be, but I’m the best nurse the hospital staffing allows me to be." We fall asleep praying for the ones who won’t survive the night.

There is no finish line, ever. Nursing is demanding and fulfilling, and we can’t imagine doing anything else. Nothing beats washing blood and glass off a car crash survivor, stabilizing a broken neck, saving a diabetic’s leg, keeping a cancer patient in remission. The day we send a patient home we relish the unbelievable resilience of the human body and spirit.

We did not become nurses for the hours, the salary or the glamour of it all. We became nurses to make a difference.

We don’t ask for much. One sincere thank you makes all the thankless hours worth it.

I think this wonderfully sums up A LOT about what we do, what we endure, and how we feel.

Have a great day.

Carpe Diem

Please remember to add my new blog home to your RSS feed. I am mirror posting here for a while in hopes to get all my readers to follow me to my new home.

My new home: MyStrongMedicine 

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I’m a Murse

Male + Nurse = Murse

Navigating through the Blogosphere recently,  I discovered the endless variety of nursing blogs out there.

When I first starting blogging.. way-back-when. I wanted to establish a blog about being a nurse, or the nurse’s life. I thought it would be cool to relay our day to day chaos. I of course never got that going.

Well it seems many a nurses have beat me to that punch, and with style. I’ve found a few nurse blogs that have been entertaining to say the least.

Everything from student nurses, to nurses working in the Emergency Department. All with their own lil flair. And I must say it’s so fun to read about their travels, trials and tribulations, because I can empathize in so many ways!!!!

Here are just a few:

Brain Scramble : A Student Nurse’s blog.

Emergiblog : Of course… a blog on ER nursing.

Licensed 2 Ill : An Angry Male nurse’s take on nursing.

PixelRN : A new-age RN who’s in tune with web 2.0

OrientedX3 : A conglomeration of nursing on the internet

There are a plethora of others out there, but these ones caught my eye.

I think I’ll be adding my own ‘Nursing’ touches to my current blog just to let some of the lead out. I think it might be enlightening for some of my readers to hear about what a nurse really does, and how their day really goes!

NO. Nurses don’t simply wipe up poo up and pass pills.

We nurses live quite the didactically demanding role. And hopefully I’ll give you some insight on how that works.

As always take care of yourselves and yours.

Carpe Diem

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