Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

I have been tagged by Bohemian Road Nurse for a meme. I feel so ... honored. It's my first meme.

The rules of the meme are as follows:
You simply list eight random facts/habits about yourself.
Feel free to write a little bit about those things if you'd like.
Don't forget to post these rules.
At the end of your posting, tag a bunch of people and leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they're tagged.

OK ... here goes!

1. When I was in tenth grade, I got caught shoplifting a pair of shoes from Target. I didn't think anyone would notice if I just exchanged my raggedy old shoes for a new pair. Was I ever wrong!

2. The same year, and before the shoplifting incident, I won a $10 bet at the same Target. All I had to do was sing something into the microphone at the checkout. I did a stirring rendition of "Strangers in The Night". It just hit me ... no wonder I have an aversion to Target and prefer WalMart!

3. About 7 years ago, I diagnosed myself with a
pulmonary embolism. EMS laughed when I said I was in the midst of a P.E. I then informed them that I was an ICU nurse and an ACLS instructor, and I knew the signs & symptoms of a P.E. I had ruled out a CVA and an MI before I called. When I rolled into the ER (of the hospital where I work), I told them I needed a ventilator, and soon! I had a BP of 50/26, and an O2 sat of 80 on a NRB mask. I yelled at them to get me some Dopamine and some tPA. I was fixing to run my own code! Can you imagine the looks on their faces? Anyway, that's what happened. Ventilator for nearly a week, tPA, and dopamine. Once extubated, it was discovered that I had MRSA. Of course, I then got the "big gun" antibiotics. Was I ever pissed! Thanks to those multiple massive P.E.s, I now have an inferior vena cava filter and am on lifelong Coumadin. I hope I don't ever hit my head too hard!

4. I am so totally a "night person". I'm most productive after the sun goes down, and I hate, hate HATE the morning and people that are chipper when the sun comes up. I can't help it ... it's just the way I am!

5. I listen to music of all genres except rap (which isn't really music), but really am most drawn to rock and classic rock. I also love to sing classical choral music.

6. I got dumped for a man on Valentine's Day. It was a long time ago, and was a month after our first anniversary. He had brought home flowers, but they weren't for me. They were for him .... from HIS BOYFRIEND!! Yikes! This was back in the day when such things weren't on Oprah or Jerry Springer every damn day, so I was on my own to muddle through that disaster. The creep ran up $45,000 in cash advances on my credit cards before he left. The kicker is ... for whatever reason, I decided to Google him a few months back. That mofo is a doctor at freakin' Cornell!! He was a measley mall retail manager when we were together. Heh!

7. I am majorly obsessive-compulsive. My spices and albums/CDs are alphabetized. My linen closet has shelf dividers, and the cans in my pantry are all such that you can read every label. The clothes in my closet all face the same way on the hangers, and are sorted according to colors - dark shades to lighter. My shoes are all in plastic boxes and arranged the same way on the closet shelves. One more thing ... I count EVERYTHING, but you'd never know I'm doing it. Oh yeah ... I also check the alarm six times before I can actually go to bed. All I can say is "Thank God for Effexor"!

8. Now for the most personal thing. I am the textbook example of a "yo-yo" dieter. I have lost 100 lbs. three times in my 48 years. Thank God I have been at a healthy weight for the last several years, but it's definitely my cross to bear in this world.

Whew! That wasn't the easiest thing in the world. It was actually kind of hard to narrow it down to 8.

Since I am new to blogging, I only have a couple of people I can tag. One would have been Bo, who tagged me. I was also going to tag
Medblog Addict, but she has already played, too. I hereby tag Student Nurse Jack and Third Degree Nurse. I hope you ladies participate!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Doesn't she look like she's having fun with all those kids? So much fun, in fact, that her hair is standing on end! This looks like my Mom must have felt on many a day with the five of us. This is my 3rd Mother's Day without my Mom, and I miss her terribly. For those of you that still have Moms, give her an extra hug for me.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mothers out there! I can't think of a harder job, or one filled with more responsibility than that of being a parent. I don't mean just giving birth ... I mean being a parent. My hat's off to you! Enjoy your special day, you deserve it!


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Glass Nurse

Isn't this a beautiful depiction of the Lamp of Knowledge? It's in the tracery at the top of a huge stained glass in the Islip Chapel (otherwise known as the "Nurse's Chapel") in Westminster Abbey. The chapel was dedicated to the many nurses who died in World War II. This small chapel is not open to general visitors, nor are photos allowed. I had the good fortune to tour the chapel last Spring with a group of fellow nurses, and the great fortune to have the permission of an Abbey Marshall to take these photos.

This window was designed by Hugh Easton. It has the figures of Our Lady standing on the crescent moon, and carrying the Christ Child, who blesses the figure of a nurse who kneels below. Above the nurse is St. Luke, the beloved physician, standing on a rainbow. The lower left side of the window has the badges of the Nursing Services as well as the names of all the countries from which nurses came to serve in the War.

This is a closeup of the nurse portion of the stained glass. Is this an AWESOME piece, or what?!!

Since my chickadees gave me a renewed spirit, I feel the need to share the Nightingale Pledge.

I solemnly pledge myself before God and
presence of this assembly;
To pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous
and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the
standard of my profession and will hold in confidence
all personal matters committed to my keeping
and family affairs coming to my knowledge
in the practice of my calling.
With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work,
and devote myself to the welfare of those
committed to my care.

Contrary to what many believe, Florence Nightingale did not write this pledge. It was composed by Lystra Gretter, an instructor of nursing at the old Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and was first used by the hospital’s graduating class in the spring of 1893. It is an adaptation of the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians.
Can you believe they were thinking about HIPAA way back then? I can. It's how we are.


I just completed a semester involved in an innovative program to help increase the number of clinical nursing instructors, thereby increasing the number of nursing students schools can accept. What's "WINNER"? It stands for "Workforce Increases in Nurses and Nursing Faculty Excellence in Resource". As a participant in the program, I directly precepted two bright, eager BSN students for the clinical portion of their Adult Healthcare I course. Their enthusiasm is refreshing. They were like sponges, and I swear, they'd have followed me into the bathroom if I'd have let them! They were, in a word, AWESOME! I wish there had been such a program when I was a student. They followed my schedule, even the 11-7 shifts. I think I had as good a time as they did.

Taken from the
UT School of Nursing's website,
"Schools in the Texas Gulf Coast Region turn away qualified applicants to initial RN licensure programs due to limited space within clinical sites and a shortage of clinical faculty. This grant, supported by a consortium of ADN and BSN nursing programs, hospitals, clinical agencies and community partners and funded through the University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston, demonstrates an alternative approach to nurse education. Designed as a preceptorship model, the project addresses a major limitation to increased student enrollment, constrained clinical education capacity. By increasing this capacity, student enrollment can expand and ultimately result in increased numbers of initial licensure programs graduates.

A second objective is to develop a pool of Preceptors for mentoring initial licensure ADRN and BSRN students in the clinical setting in the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Support of this program is expected to increase the collaboration among educational programs and between education and service for the benefit of the Gulf Coast nursing community and the population it serves."

There's one more semester of funding for the project. I really hope it continues beyond that, because this methodology is far superior to the traditional clinical education model where one instructor has 10 or 12 students. My little chickadees did more in this one semester than I did during my entire career as a student.

Let's see ... they started Foleys, NG and OG tubes, assisted with bedside procedures such as central line insertions and brace fittings for patients with neck fractures. They also drew blood from those central lines and arterial lines, learned about CVP, A-line, and ICP monitoring. They cared for dying patients, learned about the organ procurement protocol, and saw how to refer a case to the Medical Examiner. They even had a patient in DKA with a glucose of 1087. They administered meds orally, subcutaneously, via IV push and piggyback, IM, and via NG tube. They learned about heparin and insulin drip protocols, and had patients on both. They even did slush enemas on a vented stroke patient with a bowel obstruction. They also started to learn the invaluable skill (or is it an art?) of time management. They even gave change of shift report and made some calls to physicians, and we all know how hard that can be!

I'm very proud of my girls. They gained so much confidence in our 12 short weeks together. They were so scared and intimidated at first. By their last couple of weeks, they walked in acting like they owned the ICU.

The Texas Board of Nurse Examiners is taking such programs under consideration. I can't say enough positive things about being a WINNER. If any of you are ever given the opportunity to participate in such a program, I STRONGLY encourage you to do so. My chickadees' enthusiasm was refreshing, and it helped to rekindle a more positive attitude in me. I'd like to think that I have made a positive difference in their educations, and will have some sort of influence on the kind of nurses they will one day become. I started out this posting by saying that I think I had as good a time as they did. That's not true. I KNOW I did!