Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Drugs For Women

When taking one of these might seem extreme, maybe one of these oldies-but-goodies might do the trick ....

D A M N I T O L: Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to Hell for up to 8 full hours.

ST. M O M M A'S W O R T: Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to two days.

E M P T Y N E S T R O G E N: Suppository that eliminates melancholy and loneliness by reminding you of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out.

P E P T O B I M B O: Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.

D U M B E R O L: When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

F L I P I T O R: Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

M E N I C I L L I N: Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, "You make me want to be a better person ... Can we get naked now?”

BUYAGRA: Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

J A C K A S S P I R I N: Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift the toilet seat.

A N T I - T A L K S I D E N T: A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators.

N A G A M E N T: When administered to a boyfriend or husband, provides the same irritation level as nagging him.

Just take two and call me in the morning ...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Suicide Watch

And we care if this guy kills himself why??

This is who he killed, dismembered, then grilled.

Just when I think I have heard it all, something like this crops up. I suspected the dude all along, but this is unbelievable to me. She was 20 years old, and had so much ahead of her. She was a bright young woman who was studying engineering on a scholarship at Texas A&M. The full story is here. Again, I ask "Why should we care if this Satan's spawn offs himself? I say let him go for it. Hell ... give him a rope and leave the room for awhile. It will save the State God-knows how much money. Our prisons are too full, anyway.
What kind of evil breeds thoughts and behavior like this? Honestly, I don't really know what else to say about this except that karma is a bitch that comes around when you least expect it.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Tynesha's family. No one should have to endure grief like I am certain this has evoked. I am sure that Tynesha is reveling in the glory of her special place in Heaven.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Have you ever encountered a "PITA"? If you deal with people, the answer certainly has to be "yes!" What's a PITA? It's a Pain In The Ass, that's what!

A PITA can be a coworker, a patient, a family, or Heaven forbid ... a doctor. We have had a gaggle of PITAs at Work this past week. Our biggest PITAs were family members. There were two patients in particular that had associated PITAs. The patients themselves weren't PITAs, but their families certainly were. PITA #1 was mild compared to PITA #2, but was a huge PITA nonetheless.

PITA #1 belonged to a 30-something patient who had a MAJOR surgery, but was very stable and not a problem in and of him/herself. Spouse, Mom, and Sister were another story, though. Patient needed a calm, quiet environment with minimal stimulation, but Family wasn't willing/able to provide this. They constantly hovered, talked to, and touched Patient. The end result? The most impressive projectile vomiting I have ever witnessed.

Also ... despite our rule of no overnight family, they demanded to spend the night with Patient. The stimulation and constant calls to the nurses continued. Fortunately, the projectile puking didn't persist. The minute Patient would wake up, Family called for pain or nausea medicine. Patient didn't want or need said medicine. They constantly spoke for Patient and made requests on Patient's behalf. Patient finally got the balls to tell them to knock it off. Thank God they (notice I said "they") went home while I was off. If I had to care for them one more day, I'd have probably poked myself in the eye with a pencil.

PITA #2 was exponentially worse than PITA #1. This PITA belonged to a little old person who had a potentially life-threatening injury. Son in PITA #2 family was the Power of Attorney for healthcare, but you'd never have known it. There is a physician in the family, but Doctor isn't a blood relative and doesn't practice here ... not even in this city. Doctor decided that s/he would make all decisions, regardless of what Family wanted. Doctor was even overheard asking other family members, "Who's the doctor here?" Too bad Family was spineless and felt they couldn't stop Doctor in his/her tracks. And too bad Patient's doctors were the same way. ALOT of arguing and wasting of time could have been avoided. You'll be happy to know that Patient is doing fine and wasn't done in by the potentially life threatening injury.

Who spends the most time dealing with PITAs? You guessed it! We nurses do. I just want to go to work and take care of my patients, not their PITA families. Sometimes I think to myself "A little Valium for Patient ... a little Valium for PITA ... a little Valium for me". Of course, we all know that's not the answer. We just bite our tongues and bring more ice chips served up with a smile.

Carrying on the theme of asking from my previous post, I frequently ask myself:
-When did nursing get this way?
-Why do PITAS act the way they do?
-Didn't anyone ever tell them that the ruder they get, the less anyone wants to help them and the more people avoid them - not the other way around?
-Is this a hospital, or is it the Hilton?
-When did it become OK for PITAS to berate nurses?
-When did it become OK for administration to tell nurses to endure this abuse in the name of "customer service"?
-Maybe most importantly ... Why do I go back day after day for more? Sometimes I wonder, but deep down I know. It's for the Patient, not their PITA.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Ask Me"

Thanks to Edwin Leap for his insights/modifications regarding the "It's OK to Ask If I've Washed My Hands" campaign.

He says, "I was thinking. Maybe, as we do our time-outs and scrub our hands red, as we smile and get cups of ice and endure abuse with a smile, we could create our own ‘Ask Me’ buttons. But let’s ask some questions with a twist. How about some buttons that ask the things clinicians want to ask everyone else?" Almost all of these are his, but I've added some of my own.

Sooo .... Go ahead ... Ask Me ...

Ask me: How tired I am
Ask me: If I’m depressed
Ask me: How many holidays and birthdays I’ve missed with my family
Ask me: If I’m addicted to caffeine, or anything else
Ask me: If my hands ever bleed or crack from washing too often
Ask me: About the last time a physician belittled me on the phone or worse yet, in public

Ask me: If this is all that I hoped it would be
Ask me: If my opinion has ever been silenced with the threat of retribution
Ask me: What I’d do if I could do anything in the world … other than this
Ask me: How I feel when I do postmortem care

Ask me: How I feel when I am keeping a brain dead patient alive so his organs can be harvested for transplantation
Ask me: How I feel when I am taking that same patient to the OR for the harvesting after I've spent a very busy night keeping him alive
Ask me: If I’d recommend this job to anyone else
Ask me: If I ever fell asleep or ran red lights while driving home from nightshift
Ask me: How many times I do someone else’s job because they are lazy or stupid ... or because I am told that I have to
Ask me: About how compassionate I feel after several challenging shifts, or at the end of a double night shift

Ask me: If I feel like I'm a victim of slave labor sometimes
As me: If I think my employer REALLY cares about something other than money
Ask me: If anyone has lied to me today
Ask me: What it feels like to watch someone die and be helpless to stop it
Ask me: If I think patient satisfaction scores are really accurate ... or really matter

Ask me: What I think of the whole "customer service" approach to healthcare
Ask me: If my own pain is a zero … or a ten
Ask me: How it felt to be sued or deposed
Ask me: Anything except "Can you stay over and work tonight?"
Ask me: How it feels to be assaulted or verbally abused on a regular basis
Ask me: What I think about most doctors

Ask me: What I think of most of my nurse coworkers
Ask me: What a pain in the ass I think alot of families are
Ask me: For my views on the social welfare system
Ask me: How deeply I am moved by the suffering of my truly suffering patients

Ask me: How I feel about using my time and talent on someone who has tried to take his own life
Ask me: If I’m still able to cry
Ask me: How often I wonder when tragedy will strike my family
Ask me: How I could fix the broken system
Ask me: How many years, months, weeks, days and hours until I can retire
Ask me: If I’ve been treated fairly by my supervisor or employer
Ask me: When the last time was that I didn't have a UTI because there was actually time to go to the bathroom during a shift

Ask me: About the last time I had a 30 minute uninterrupted break
Ask me: What my dearest dream is
Ask me: What gives me hope
Ask me: Why I still do it
Ask me: If I ever allow myself to think I’m good enough
Ask me: What I use to determine my worth
Ask me: How my day is going, but mean it

Ask me: Anything … but be prepared for the truth, and only ask if you really want to know what I think.