Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lost in Translation

This is on the side of a box of condoms. For obvious reasons, I don't think I'd use them! I've seen funny translations like this before... here's some others I have seen in various places:

* "Drop your pants here for best results." -sign at a dry cleaning store in Tokyo

* "We take your bags and send them in all directions." -sign at a Scandinavian airport

* "Ladies may have a fit upstairs." -sign at a dry cleaning store in Bangkok

* "Please leave your values at the front desk." -sign in a hotel in Paris

* "Here speeching American." -sign in a Moroccan shop

* "No smoothen the lion." -sign in a zoo in the Czech Republic

* "The lift is being fixed. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable." -sign in Bucharest hotel lobby

* "Teeth extracted by latest methodists." -sign in Hong Kong dentist's office

* "STOP! Drive Sideways." -detour sign in Japan

* "Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time." -sign in a Rome laundry

* "If you consider our help impolite, you should see the manager." -sign in an Athens hotel

* "Our wines leave you nothing to hope for." -on the menu of a Swiss restaurant

* "It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man." -in a Bangkok temple

* "Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin." -window of a Swedish furrier

* "Specialist in women and other diseases." -doctor's office in Rome

* "When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor." -car rental brochure in Tokyo

Of course, there is a plethora of quotes like these out there. As I said in the intro, these have been picked up here and there. English evidently is one of the hardest languages to master -- hell ... many who have English as their native tongue can't even speak it properly!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Handbook - Part III

Today, we have the final installment from The Handbook. We'll be discussing different types of patients - those that try your patience. In other words, "Patients That can Make You Lose Your Patience". I have heard they exist, but I have never had any of these, so this will be a learning experience for me. How about you?

First, we have The Slave Driver. They insist that you do just one thing to make them comfortable. I mean, it's your job, right? Just know that these patients won't be comfortable unless you are in there constantly making them that way.

The next type is The Spoiled Slave Driver. These are usually women with maids. Now, don't be mistaken. They can also be of the male persuasion. Anyway, these patients are similar to the slave driver in that they are satisfied while you are in their room doing something for them. They become dissatisfied when you leave, though. As a consequence, they will call you back repeatedly so that you can do everything for them all over again.

Then there's The Push Button Player. These are often children or curious adults. They can't get over the amazing fact that if they press the call button, you (or your designee) will magically show up. They seem to think this is magic. They also drive stewardesses crazy, and they will even pull emergency cords on trains and buses to see if they'll stop.

Let's move on to The Guilt Specialist. This very special type of patient is bold as can be. They will try to do your job for you ... then try to make you feel incompetent. They say things like, "Oh, I took my own temperature and gave myself a bath. I didn't want to bother you."

Next, there's The Yenta. This kind of patient wants to know you personally, dear. They ask about your health, age, social life, sex life, etc. This concern seems to be touching. Then you realize that they are either buttering you up for special treatment, or they are gathering information for future blackmail attempts. Man!

How could we forget The Wanderer? They like to roam around. They can't stay in one place too long - especially bed! They "float" from unit to unit, and it's your job to find them and bring them back. Hooray for bed exit alarms!

Let's examine The Eccentric now. They like to sing at odd hours, or let out the occasional primal scream. Sometimes they like to "watch" the test pattern on TV (at full volume), or tell jokes - mainly dirty ones - and at particularly inopportune times. Sometimes they even perform pranks like putting apple juice in their specimen cups, then drinking it in front of you.

Oh, my gosh! How about The Playboy? He's more often than not a middle-aged, balding married man who has seen The Sensuous Nurse. He has all the lines you don't really want to hear. You see, he is looking for "special", very personal care. He often mistakes medical care for stimulation. But then, he mistakes eating, sleeping, and everything else for stimulation, doesn't he? He usually seems more than eager for a bedbath, even though he is fully capable of going into the shower alone.

Last, but not least, we have The Doctor's Helper. This patient assumes that the doctor knows everything, and nurses know nothing. They constantly question your authority and actions. Like ... "Why are you emptying my bedpan? Didn't the doctor tell you to do that, or aren't you supposed to measure it?". They'd probably like to bombard the doctor with all of these questions, but since the nurse is the one there, you guessed it! S/he is the target!

All joking aside, patients can also be wonderful and very appreciative. They are not all pains in the ass - not by a long shot! You'll all have your fair share of both types, believe me! Try your hardest to find the best in them and to realize that their bad behavior is often the result of some type of pathological process. If (and sometimes that's a huge "if"!!) you can do that, it'll likely make your shift - and their stay - a bit easier.

Hang in there!


Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Fallen Colleague

I'm going to shift gears for a bit and be serious.

It's happened. A nurse has been killed in combat in Iraq. Maria Ines Ortiz, 40, was killed in late July by a mortar attack in the Green Zone in Baghdad. She was buried at Arlington National Cemetary last week.

The Edgewood, Md., resident is the first Army nurse killed in combat since the VietNam War, Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, the Army's acting surgeon general, said in an interview yesterday. "Having one of the family go down is very, very hard," said Pollock, who also is a nurse. "You feel like a piece of your heart is gone."

Ortiz was returning from physical training July 10 when she was caught outside by a barrage of mortar shells. She was killed by shrapnel.

You can read more about it here.

Whether we agree with the war or not, how about we all stop and say a prayer for ALL of those serving overseas as well as stateside? My opinion ... we'd be nowhere without our military.

My condolences to Maria's family, and to all of the families who have lost a treasured member ...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Handbook - Part II

OK, gang! Today, we have Lesson II - "A Dozen Things You Have Time to do on Your 'Free' Time During the Shift". I think that we should do this in the same fashion as David Letterman's Top 10 List. So, without further adieu ....

12. List the first item on your shopping list.

11. Open a can of soda.

10. Dial the first digits of your home phone number to see how your kids are doing.

9. Plan the first 30 seconds of your day off.

8. Sneeze once.

7. Put lipstick on your upper lip.

6. Exhale.

5. Read the first two words of the newspaper headlines.

4. Put one quarter into the vending machine.

3. Bend your knees in an effort to sit.

2. Get a spoonful of yougurt halfway to your mouth.

And the #1 thing you'll have time to do during your free time ...


Do any of you have other things you can do during your "free time"? I seem to remember one time that I actually made it into the bathroom and was able to lock the door. Then my SpectraLink phone rang and I had to abort the mission at hand. Is it any wonder that nurses and teachers have the largest and least toned bladders around? Or that the same two groups seem to get more UTIs than anyone else? I, for one, am not surprised in the least! Now let me hear some of your ideas of how to spend all that free time!


The Handbook - Part I

This will be the first of several posts I will make that are based on this book. Its publication date is 1986, which is when I bought it. Some of the "jokes" in it are quite politically incorrect for this day and time, so I will obviously avoid those. In case you can't read the cover well, it's called The Unofficial Nurse's Handbook by Nina Schroeder, RN.

The first topic I will tackle is that of "How to Tell Doctors From Nurses".

Seems pretty straightforward, but with more women in medicine and more men in nursing, it's not so easy anymore. The following guidelines should help you to "de-blur" the lines.

Docs: Show concern with your hospital insurance coverage.
Nurses: Show concern for your hospital comfort.

Docs: Will leave you a written note or prescription.
Nurses: Will decipher the doc’s hieroglyphics for you.

Docs: Admit patients to the hospital.
Nurses: Can actually find the patient once they are admitted.

Docs: Wear Rolex watches, and vacation in Europe and other exotic places.
Nurses: Wear Timex watches and vacation in the lower 48 (Alaska & Hawaii are too expensive).

Docs: Carry pagers so that if they’re needed, they’ll be present.
Nurses: Are omnipresent.

Docs: Are never in their office on Wednesdays.
Nurses: Explain to disgruntled patients why the doctor’s not in on Wednesdays.

Docs: Misplace charts.
Nurses: Take the blame.

Now, the disclaimer: This is all meant to be in fun. I hope it's taken that way! I'm sure that you can think of some other ways to tell the difference - feel free to leave them as comments!

The next lesson from The Handbook will be "What to do on Your Break". Be thinking about what you actually do on your breaks, so that you'll be able to compare with what's recommended in the lesson!

Have a great week!


Friday, August 3, 2007

Graduate Nurse or Experienced Nurse?

One of the docs where I work who is not particularly known for having a sense of humor blessed us with these little observations the other day. Now ... here comes the disclaimer. I know that each of these will likely offend someone who reads this. However, I'm also pretty sure that each of these will be humorous to at least one person.

A graduate nurse throws up when the patient does.
An experienced nurse calls housekeeping.

A graduate nurse wears so many pins on their name badge that you can't read it.
An experienced nurse doesn't wear a name badge (or turns it around) for liability reasons.

A graduate nurse charts too much.
An experienced nurse doesn't chart enough.

A graduate nurse loves to run codes.
An experienced nurse makes graduate nurses run to codes.

A graduate nurse wants everyone to know they are a nurse.
An experienced nurse doesn't want anyone to know they are a nurse.

A graduate nurse keeps detailed notes on a pad of paper.
An experienced nurse writes on the back of their hand, paper towels, bed linens, etc.

A graduate nurse will spend all day trying to reorient a patient.
An experienced nurse will chart that the patient is disoriented, then restrain them.

A graduate nurse can hear a beeping I-med at 50 yards.
An experienced nurse can't hear any alarms at any distance.

A graduate nurse spends 2 hours giving a patient a bath.
An experienced nurse has the CNA do the bath.

A graduate nurse thinks people respect nurses.
An experienced nurse knows that everyone blames everything on the nurse.

A graduate nurse looks for blood on a dressing in hopes that they can change it.
An experienced nurse knows that a little blood never hurt anyone.

A graduate nurse looks for a chance to "work with the family".
An experienced nurse avoids the family.

A graduate nurse always answers their phone.
An experienced nurse always checks their caller ID before answering.

A graduate nurse thinks psych patients are interesting.
An experienced nurse thinks psych patients are crazy.

A graduate nurse carries reference books in their bag.
An experienced nurse carries magazines, lunch, and Advil (or Tylenol) in their bag.

A graduate nurse doesn't find this funny.
An experienced nurse does.

Remember, this is all in fun and not meant to offend. I think it's funny, and find more truths than I care to admit. I hope at least ONE of you chuckled when you read it. Have a great weekend. As for me, I'll be at work wearing my name badge backwards, avoiding families, writing on paper towels, thinking psych patients are crazy, taking Advil, and getting my money's worth out of my caller ID!