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Those Emergency Blues: Charge Mommy

A few days ago, one of my colleagues said to me after a particularly frantic day in the ED, “You guys aren’t Charge Nurses, you’re Charge Mommies.” She is right. This is what we do:

tell all the kids don’t fight and play nice fix boo-boos give hugs as needed, or tissue make sure all . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Charge Mommy

Those Emergency Blues: Generation Gaps

I recently took a course with nurses of varied years of experience and ages, but it was primarily made up of fairly new graduate nurses within the last year or two. During one lecture the facilitator was speaking about the future of nursing and how we need to address the current issues and challenges that . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Generation Gaps

Those Emergency Blues: When the Police Come Calling

The police are more-or-less a permanent fixture in every Emergency department. They bring in the drunks, the suicidal, the psychotic, the homeless and yes, the criminal, who have either sustained injuries as a result of their activities, or else have developed sudden (and convenient) cardiac symptoms upon their arrest. Most of us in Acme Regional’s . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: When the Police Come Calling

Those Emergency Blues: The phrases junior nurses and most staff do not care to hear from senior nurses…

…or the negativity they can spew….

“You wouldn’t know what to look for in that type of patient assessment anyways…”

How do you know I don’t know what to assess for? Are you the textbook I read from? The online periodicals I continue to educate myself with? Are you every patient I have assessed in . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: The phrases junior nurses and most staff do not care to hear from senior nurses…

Those Emergency Blues: Jean, ROSC*

So as J mentioned before, I was in a near catatonic state due to my VSA* computer which has fortunately been resuscitated. The hypothermia post resuscitation care was beneficial but it suffered an anoxic brain injury that may not be possible to overcome. Despite this crushing blow, (more so financially really since I do not . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Jean, ROSC*

Those Emergency Blues: Saved by Words for Friends

Ok, we’ve both been out of commission for a couple of weeks. Our Miss Jean Hill, bright future of the nursing profession and co-blogger extraordinaire, has a computer which has suffered last week the CPU equivalent of a massive cerebral bleed and maybe ethanol withdrawal too; the computer has since recovered, but Jean Hill’s nerves . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Saved by Words for Friends

Those Emergency Blues: Nursing Week Ain’t What It Used to Be

My Nurses Week joy was shattered last night when the son of a patient reamed me out for discussing the patient’s condition and treatment plan — wait for it — with the patient. He thought his father, who was a rather elderly but very independent and shrewd man who still lived in his own house . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Nursing Week Ain’t What It Used to Be

Those Emergency Blues: The phrases junior nurses and most staff do not care to hear from senior nurses…

… and other examples of nurses eating their young…

A few statements I’ve heard in the last few years that I shall share periodically.

“It is more important that I get all of my breaks than you young folk because I’m older and need to rest more often”

I fail to understand how one person’s . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: The phrases junior nurses and most staff do not care to hear from senior nurses…

Those Emergency Blues: More on When Labelling Patients Causes Patients to Die

In the comments WhiteCoat (of WhiteCoat’s Call Room fame) strenuously objects to my take on the Anna Brown case:

Wow.

Someone on my blog suggested that I check out this post after I just posted about this story yesterday.

To all of you who think “something more should have been done,” what . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: More on When Labelling Patients Causes Patients to Die

Those Emergency Blues: Just Because I Don’t Remember You Doesn’t Mean I Didn’t Care

In the Emergency Department where I work, the number of patients we see pushes 200 some days. We assess and treat a lot of people, mostly for lumps and bumps, breaks and bruises, but also for major, cataclysmic, life-altering events — MIs, trauma, stroke, what-have-you.

I have a problem. The moment to the patient leaves . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Just Because I Don’t Remember You Doesn’t Mean I Didn’t Care

Those Emergency Blues: When Labelling Patients Causes Patients to Die

I found this story how a homeless woman died very disturbing:

Anna Brown wasn’t leaving the emergency room quietly.

She yelled from a wheelchair at St. Mary’s Health Center security personnel and Richmond Heights police officers that her legs hurt so badly she couldn’t stand.

She had already been to two other . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: When Labelling Patients Causes Patients to Die

Those Emergency Blues: Scripting Nurses is Bad for Patient Care

This might be a new low in nursing management. Instead of actually providing caring, empathy and compassion, some hospitals would like nurses to provide a simulacrum of caring, empathy and compassion, believing patients are stupid enough not to tell the difference:

Nurses unions say an increasing number of hospitals nationwide are asking nurses to . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Scripting Nurses is Bad for Patient Care

Those Emergency Blues: The Guy in the Next Bed

Code Blue on the floor: a lot like a Code Blue in the Emergency Department, except we have to run to the elevators, take a ponderously slow ride up to whatever floor they’re doing compressions, and then run some more down some endlessly long corridors till we find a room full of telemetry nurses looking . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: The Guy in the Next Bed

Those Emergency Blues: Sleepy Sleepy Nurse

MY EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT COLLEAGUES are a youngish group as a whole, compared to me, that is, and most of them have school-aged children. A subset of this group of have traded shifts so they’re substantially working a straight night shift line,* in order to attend to family obligations. Almost all of these, I think, are . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Sleepy Sleepy Nurse

Those Emergency Blues: Those Emergency Blahs

I’ve worked as an Emergency Department nurse for something like thirteen years now, and at my present position more or less for ten years. It’s probably safe to say I’ve seen just about everything from the incredible tragic to the incredible funny, the good, the bizarre and the ugly. As I’ve said before, I’m blessed . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Those Emergency Blahs

Those Emergency Blues: Insert Snark Here

What this patient did not have

Mr. CD, 88, took a little tumble at the nursing home when he slipped on a loose rug (or something, the details are a little vague here), obtained for his trouble a scalp laceration the length of Q-tip on his temple, bled like a stuck pig, transported . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Insert Snark Here

Those Emergency Blues: TV Series Hot

Gob-smacklingly stupid or hip advertising? I’m leaning towards the former. Via CBC:

A Stockholm hospital that published an online ad looking to fill a summer position with a nurse who is “TV-series hot” says it was “written to catch people’s attention.”

“We want people to be curious and have a little imagination,” . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: TV Series Hot

Those Emergency Blues: Another One Bites the Dust

Via White Coat’s Call Rooom, I wanted to mention the demise of Weird Nursing Tales:

After nearly 20 years on the internet, Weird Nursing Tales passed away.

Weird Nursing Tales died on February 7, 2012 after it was reported to Administration that the true author was an employee of the Hospital.

Yesterday, . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Another One Bites the Dust

Those Emergency Blues: A Paean to ED Nurses or Just Annoying?

Twitter follower @camillelalonde — thank you — sent me this oldish link, which initially warmed the very cockles of my heart:

Guest Editorial ACEP News September 2006 By David F. Baehren, M.D.

[. . .]

We usually look afar for heroes and role models, and in doing so overlook a group of . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: A Paean to ED Nurses or Just Annoying?

Those Emergency Blues: Long Emergency Department Admissions Shorten Lives

Via ImpactedNurse.com, another study showing prolonged emergency department stays are less than optimal:

There were 41,256 admissions from the ED. Mortality generally increased with increasing boarding time, from 2.5% in patients boarded less than 2 hours to 4.5% in patients boarding 12 hours or more (p < 0.001). Mean hospital LOS also showed an . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Long Emergency Department Admissions Shorten Lives

Those Emergency Blues: Karma Sweet Karma

The latest instalment of Nurses Behaving Badly featured the night charge and the day charge (i.e. me) getting a status asthmaticus organized in Resus 1 a few minutes after shift change. It’s probably reasonable to wonder why the two Resus Room nurses weren’t attending (and attentive to) the situation, especially after we paged the physician . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Karma Sweet Karma

Those Emergency Blues: Best of 2011

A little late for 2011 retrospectives, but, as I said, I was busy. First list: the most popular by hits. Second: my personal picks.

10 Most Popular Posts (many of which were actually posted in 2010)

1. Can We Stop the I’m-a-Male-Nurse-Who-Isn’t-Gay-Contrary-to-the-Stereotype Routine? (An oldie-but-a-goodie. By far and away the most popular post.)

2. Full . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Best of 2011

Those Emergency Blues: What Nursing Leadership Doesn’t Look Like

A small, belated Christmas tale on how not to manage an emergency department. But first a few preliminary points of information.

First: in Ontario, front line nurses are generally forbidden from taking vacation over the Christmas holidays, usually from some point from the first or second week of December to the first or second week . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: What Nursing Leadership Doesn’t Look Like

Those Emergency Blues: Dying Alone

A few weeks ago I had a patient named Helen who died. I’m not talking about a dramatic code or trauma, with people running around shouting for IV access, but rather an elderly woman who was at the end of her natural life. Dying in the Emergency Department is not ideal by any stretch of . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Dying Alone

Those Emergency Blues: Awesome

A few days ago, we had VSA come into the department. According to EMS, the patient had collapsed while grocery shopping down the road; CPR was started almost immediately by another shopper; EMS arrived and gave the usual ACLS drugs — epinephrine and atropine, as well as defribrillating him, but the only rhythm showing on . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Awesome