Sunday, December 11, 2016

Patient Education

Patient education is a huge and very important part of nursing.

I had to teach each of my patients something last night.

No, you're not a "wimp" for being in pain after having MAJOR abdominal surgery. Yes, it's okay to have the ordered pain medication, that's what it's for. Yes, the nausea and dry-heaving you're suffering from could absolutely be caused by the pain, and yes, I can give you something for that, too.

And NO, you're not being a "bother". It's my job. :)

No, you can't smoke e-cigarettes in the hospital. Yes, I could smell it when I walked into the room. No, it doesn't matter how tiny the cig is, it has to go. No, I'm not mad at you. Yes, you can absolutely have a nicotine patch, and I'll go ask the doc to order one for you ASAP.

You're welcome. :)

NO, YOU CANNOT HAWK UP LOOGIES AND SPIT THEM ON THE FLOOR NEXT TO YOUR BED. Yes, I slipped in your phlegm and almost fell on my ass. Or hit my head. Yes, I'm gagging as I'm cleaning your nasty-ass sputum from the tread of my sneaker. No, I 'll never let you know how disgusted I am. Yes, I will point out the tissue box that's RIGHT THERE. And the trash can that's also RIGHT THERE, and ask you to use both in the future. No, I will not ask you if you do the same thing in your own home, because yes, I can control myself. Unlike you.

Let me get you some apple juice. You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Happy TEN YEAR Blogiversary to meeeeeeeeee!

That's like a BILLION years in meatspace.


Saturday, October 15, 2016


As always, I had the absolute BEST TIME EVAR at Blogorado this year.

Thanks so much to the FarmFamily (Farmmom, Farmgirl, FarmDad) for being exemplary hosts.

The food was exquisite and plentiful, the booze copious, and the conversation raunchy as fuck.

We blew up a papier-mache heart (lovingly and laboriously made by PhlegmFatale, who couldn't make it out to Colorado this year, boo!), filled with confetti and pom-poms, and covered with sequins and glitter, in honor of  our dear friend, Gay_Cynic, who passed away over Memorial Day Weekend this year. We miss you!

I shot up a good bunch of my ammo, as I want to get really comfortable with my CZ82. One of my magazines developed a burr which needs to be filed or ground away (grinded?), so I was unable to use it. I really should just stock up on magazines, anyway.

I also adopted an adorable, bottle-fed kitten and brought him home with me! I'll have to share pics of Calcifer once I get them off my phone.

And you haven't lived until you've played a game of Bards Dispense Profanity with the Atomic Nerds, Tam, ZerCool, EvylRobot (and his son), and Barron! Jeebus, I frequently laughed so hard I almost peed myself!

Every year, before it's even over, I look forward to the next year, when we all gather again. It's wonderful to spend time with one's tribe.

To all who were there (you know who you are, and I've reached my max linky-love level, dammit!), as always, it was spectacular to spend time with y'all, and to the new-to-me folks, it was lovely to meet you...see y'all next year!

*tap tap* Is this thing on?

Wow, it's been quite some time since I posted. Sheesh.

I think Facebook is becoming the slow death of blogging. Though I do filter and censor myself a lot on the Book of Face. On my blog is the only place I can just spew out whatever crazy shit crosses my mind.

For example, I had to tell a patient to simmer down and let us do our jobs. Without going into too much detail, she knew she was sick and called 911 and was brought to our ED and then admitted.

After which she proceeded to bitch and complain about EVERYthing.

"Why do you have to put the bed alarm on...I feel like I'm in a nursing home!"
"ANOTHER blood draw? I feel like a pin cushion!" (These are just a few, and you have to understand that once you went into her room, you ended up being in there for at least half an hour, if not longer. She was like a psychic vampire, draining me of my will to live.)

She battled with us over every intervention, procedure, name it and she either refused or required half and hour of education or cajoling...sometimes repeatedly about the same issue!

I totally understand that nobody wants to be in the hospital. We try to make every patient's stay as pleasant and hassle-free as we can, but it's not a hotel or resort!

After I explained for at least the fifth time why we needed to have the bed alarm on, at least at night, and why she needed to call for assistance before getting out of bed, etc., she said she had had enough, that she didn't want to be there, and she was going to leave in the morning, no matter what.

I looked at her and said, "Ms. White, YOU were the one who called 911 and came to the hospital, because you knew you were sick and that it was very serious. LET US DO OUR JOBS. The way you feel right now, the condition you're you really think you're ok to take care of yourself at home?"

She replied, "That's not fair!"

You're in your sixties, and you're only figuring this out now?!

No, I didn't say anything to that effect to her! Even though I really wanted to...

Anyway, this post totally turned out different than I expected. Sorry about that...but that means I can blog more, yay!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Not really appropriate.

My pod partner, after assisting me with incontinence care and linen change for my new patient, asked me,

"So, what's her diagnosis?"

My reply?

"She's old as fuck."

I'm going to hell for that.

Friday, August 05, 2016


I felt a little uncomfortable at the chemotherapy education session at the hospital last week. I mean, it WAS my day off, so if I wanted to wear denim shorts and my Deadpool t-shirt, why not? I was also rocking my blinged-out skull and crossbone earrings.

When I arrived in the conference room and saw the other attendees, I had to hide a wince. Most were wearing business casual clothing. The others were in scrubs because they were coming off shift.

I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb. Then, as we progressed through the presentation, I came to a realization. Chemotherapy is poison. So my awesome earrings were totally appropriate. And Deadpool? Man, he became a super...hero (?) because he was dying of cancer and desperate for a cure! How perfect was my t-shirt after all!

So I stopped worrying about it and absorbed all the info. Besides, who cares what other people think, right?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A funny thing happened on the way to the medcart...

The doctor summoned me urgently to the patient's bedside. He pointed to her ileostomy bag and said,

"Please page the ostomy nurse, STAT! It looks like pieces of her intestinal tissue or stoma are sloughing off into the bag!!!"

I whispered in response, "It's watermelon...she had it for breakfast!"

He blushed and said, "Well, don't I feel silly!"

To be fair, the patient had no teeth, so she regularly had pretty big chunks of food in her collection bag!

Then there was the patient who didn't seem to be arousable. Calling his name, gentle shaking/jostling, nothing was working. So I fired up the good, ol' sternal rub and hoped it would work its magic...

nothing. I kept rubbing and rubbing, harder and harder, knowing I was surely hurting him as he was pretty damn hairy.

Without opening his eyes, he suddenly said,

"You're rubbing the wrong spot..."

Alrighty, then! Gotta love the night shift...

Saturday, July 02, 2016

God save me...

from brand-spankin' new residents! This is my first year dealing with this phenomenon, and I don't like it. Having to page someone fifty times before getting a response, having new admissions languishing in their rooms for several hours without orders, trying to parse exactly what the "doctors" are trying to accomplish with the orders they actually place, and trying to explain the most shittiest of discharge summaries to a patient, among many other issues, has wrought havoc on my work the past three days.

On the other hand, they sure are sparky and enthusiastic!

I'm beat. I had two simultaneous discharges and two admissions that showed up within half an hour of each other. Luckily, I work with an amazing team of colleagues! I had a lot of assistance and managed to get everything done that needed to be done.

Of course, I was charting until 2030...

When the old battle-ax of a charge nurse tells you you did a good job, it means something. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I think I'm going to like working here...

I'm orienting for a new per diem job at a large local family practice clinic, and the first thing I noticed in my MANAGER'S OFFICE was the following:

I think I'll fit right in. :D

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Nursing Protip

When you're in a patient's bathroom at the end of your shift, emptying the graduated cylinder of its contents, it's a really, really bad idea to exclaim,


even if you glanced in the mirror and got a good look at your end-of-night-shift, slept-on-wet hair, which resembles a coiffure Medusa would envy.

You're likely to hear panicked shouts of "What? WHAT?" coming from both your patient and her sister, and only if you're really lucky will you get laughter in response to your meek, "Oh, sorry. It's just my hair..."

Thursday, June 02, 2016


your pain is over
I fear mine has just begun
rest in peace, dear Ray

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Every breath you take...

I'll be watching you.

To see whether you're actually dead, that is.

I had the honor and privilege of holding a patient's hand while he passed. His family was with him and were bawling. Finally his wife asks, "Is he...dead?"


Eyes open. Pupils fixed. No visible breaths. Palpating his that a pulse?! Shit! Is he or isn't he?!

Where's my stethoscope?! Where it always is, around my neck. Duh. Listening...listening...listening...

You don't know how long a minute really is. You really just don't know...

I hear nothing. Yes, he really is most sincerely dead. I page the doctor and go back to my computer, mentally going over the next steps in this whole process.

About an hour or so later, the charge nurse and I are performing post-mortem care.
P. is trying to grow a pair, because she's always been reluctant to do this very important task on our unit.

As we are carefully washing our deceased patient (and I have it on good authority that I'm NOT WEIRD for talking to the ones who have passed, so there!) I notice a flicker of movement...

P. jumps back with a squawk and I admit, a tiny noise might have escaped my throat.


I belatedly realize that the fancy-schmancy pressure-redistributing mattress doesn't give a flying fuck whether the body that's lying on it is alive or dead, it keeps on with its task of preventing pressure systematically deflating and inflating sections of itself, causing a rippling movement not unlike that of a water bed...incidentally and quite freakishly causing movement to our patient.

P., once she's come down off the ceiling and caught her breath, states, "That's the freakiest thing I've ever seen in my LIFE!"

Oh, may have more experience as a nurse than I, but you ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Putting me on the spot!

As I was bustling around my patient last night, hooking her up to various IVs, etc., she looked me in the eye and asked," Am I gonna die?"

I fumbled for a moment and then spouted these words of wisdom," Well, we're ALL gonna die, eventually..."

I'm surprised she didn't punch me in the face.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

I knew exactly what she meant to say.

I have a patient with expressive aphasia. When I walked into her room this morning, the very first thing she said, while looking into my face with a huge smile, was

"Happy Birthday!"

I replied,

"Happy Mother's Day to you, too, Iris!"

What a wonderful way to start a shift!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It was very satisfying...

as long as I held my breath!

I disimpacted a patient for the first time, w00t!

I don't think I needed a bachelor's degree for this, though.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Enough to make a sailor blush...

Oh, the things one overhears at Phlegmfest!

Out of context, they are by turns disturbing and/or raunchy.

"I love restraints!"

"Just the tip is in the mouth, you know it's not all the way in."

"I'm sorry I put my fingers on your wiggly bacon!"

It's one of those gatherings where several fascinating conversations are going on simultaneously, and you just wish you could listen to and participate in every one.

Quotes are being tossed around and people break out into song spontaneously, and nobody bats an eye.

And the food? Scrumptious!!!

I'm having a blast!

And I'm very thankful that despite dozing off every evening among the crowd, I have yet to wake up with a dick drawn on my face in sharpie. True friendship.  Thanks, Y'all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Leaving on a jet plane...

Heading to TEXAS for Phlegmfest!

Dunno what kind of shenanigans might ensue, but with THIS crew, anything is possible!
I might or might not keep you posted, depends on many factors, one of which is my disdain of typing large amounts of text on my phone. Ugh.

I'm so excited to see so many of my friends who live so far away. I missed Blogorado last year, which made me sad, but I'm hoping I'll make it this fall. I already put in for the vacation time. ;)

Here's hoping my trip out is, bus, plane, car...we'll see!

Friday, January 22, 2016


I had the worst day ever today. I thought yesterday was bad, but today was several orders of magnitude worse.

At the end of my shift, after giving report, when I FINALLY started documenting, a long-time unit secretary/CNA (yes, she does BOTH) came up to me and asked, only half-jokingly,

"Whose oatmeal did you piss in to get THIS shitty assignment?!"

I dunno...God's?!

It wasn't supposed to be a bad day, but my patients had other ideas.

One died. One crashed. One was discharged (yay!). One's anxiety made him a huge PITA. And throw in an admission right at the end, and I was completely wrecked.

But, I work on an awesome unit where everyone pitches in to help, so that made a tremendous difference. Everything got done. All meds were given. All my patients were safe (yes, even the lady who died). Documentation is a nurse's bane, however.

I finally clocked out at 2107, picked up Tally, and headed to a local Irish pub. Good food, good music, and now I'm for bed. Luckily I don't go back to work until tomorrow night, so I can sleep in.

I just hope that the feeling that I don't know wtf I'm doing wears off soon...*sigh*.

Friday, January 15, 2016

I'm a REAL nurse now!

Clocked in at 0640 and didn't pee until 1905.