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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: A Nurse Contemplates Leaving the Profession

Dinner last night with an old friend who toils in the mines of Labour and Delivery. She has worked there for four years. She told me of an incident not too long ago working the night shift, faced with a post-partum patient who was bleeding, hypotensive, and tachycardic, in short, showing all the signs of . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: A Nurse Contemplates Leaving the Profession

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: Breastfeeding Makes Sane People Crazy

Why does any discussion of breastfeeding makes people a little insane? I don’t exclude myself: even I get a little agitated. Here are some examples of what I mean:

Exhibit A: a recent post on breastfeeding at KevinMD.com sparked a small flame war in the comments. Barbara Bronson, an RN wrote there:

A mother . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Breastfeeding Makes Sane People Crazy

Those Emergency Blues: Arizona is Where Educating Patients is Bad, Bad, Bad: An Amanda Trujillo Update

Just a few words about Amanda Trujillo. Jennifer Olin at RNCentral.com has detailed at the latest twists and turns of her case. I won’t repeat everything, but I want to comment instead on the Arizona State Board of Nursing’s latest action. The BoN has added a further charge that Trujillo has misrepresented herself as “an . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Arizona is Where Educating Patients is Bad, Bad, Bad: An Amanda Trujillo Update

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: Nursing Makes Nurses Less Empathetic

Irony alert! The best way to decrease empathy in nurses, apparently, is to actually practice nursing. A new study of nursing students found that

as students gained more clinical exposure, they demonstrated a much greater decline in empathy scores over the year than did those with limited clinical experience during that year. This finding . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Nursing Makes Nurses Less Empathetic

Those Emergency Blues: Nurses are Like Howler Monkeys, Poo and All

When I was a young, inexperienced nurse, I quickly learned one lesson: the cliché that Emergency nurses are fabulously assertive, mouthy, in-your-face pitbulls is absolutely true. I don’t mean ED nurses are bitchy or backstabbing eat-their-own-young types, though this was true also, at least for some of them. I mean this: the Emergency department is . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Nurses are Like Howler Monkeys, Poo and All

Those Emergency Blues: What the Amanda Trujillo Case Tells Me About Nurses Behaving Badly

Amanda Trujillo can take cold comfort that her situation is not unique. In the two years and odd months I have posted on this blog, I have written about six other cases where nurses (or nursing students) have been bullied and hounded:

the nurse whose hospital fired her for mouthing off to the police the . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: What the Amanda Trujillo Case Tells Me About Nurses Behaving Badly

Those Emergency Blues: A Small Rant from Your Friendly X-ray Tech

A note sent to me from my favourite MRT (Medical Radiation Technologist). A reminder too, that nurses aren’t the centre of the universe, even if we think we are.

Some thoughts from an MRT. . .

Now I know we aren’t perfect but I feel like a rant about portable examinations.

If . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: A Small Rant from Your Friendly X-ray Tech

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: 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: Under Construction

Meaning me, of course.

I worked a (rare) Night 12 a few days ago. It was the usual dog’s breakfast of high acuity, walking wounded without end lining up at Triage, and the particular Emergency Department hell of having no beds for, you know, emergency patients, the department being a stunt double for a med-surg . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Under Construction

Death to PowerPoint and Other Notions

Back again.Yeah, I’ve been away for a while, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with writing or blogging. However my unintentional sabbatical has had the benefit of leaving me refreshed and full of ideas and so maybe wasn’t such a bad thing after all. I mean, in the two years I have operated […] . . . → Read More: Death to PowerPoint and Other Notions

Those Emergency Blues: On Allegations of Patient Abuse at St. Joseph’s

This story concerning alleged abuse of a senior at St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre (and yes, I know “alleged” is a weasel word) has been making the rounds in the Toronto media, including some blaring front pages in the Toronto Sun: Ron Meredith claims two burly security guards at a west-end hospital manhandled him, dragged […] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: On Allegations of Patient Abuse at St. Joseph’s

Those Emergency Blues: In Which TorontoEmerg Discourses on Some Aspects of Human Nature

It’s probably more than little trite to say the Emergency Department is a microcosm or laboratory of humanity, but like most clichés it has an element of truth. We see all types in the ED, the good, the ugly, and the purely despicable. (And then I could talk about the patients.) We’re human, after all. But in […] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: In Which TorontoEmerg Discourses on Some Aspects of Human Nature

Those Emergency Blues: A Letter to a Younger Colleague

Dear Colleague You are fairly new to our Emergency Department, you have done your Emergency Nursing courses and you now have collected a slew of certification initials: ACLS, PALS, TNCC, ENPC. You are confident, and just a little arrogant. Believe it or not, creaking dinosaur I am, I get where you are coming from. You […] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: A Letter to a Younger Colleague

Those Emergency Blues: Shi(f)t Work

Wanderer over at Lost on the Floor makes a point: My manager remarked to me that night-shifters tend to, “have a bit of chip on our shoulders, almost like the world owes you something.” Damn right I do. I’m up when most sane and rational people are asleep. I sleep when the rest of the […] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Shi(f)t Work

Those Emergency Blues: So When Does This Become a Crisis?

I walked into the Emergency Department one hot morning a couple of weeks ago and found every last stretcher — twenty-five beds, including the two we try to reserve for trauma or codes — was filled with admitted patients; furthermore, five additional patients were waiting for consultants and likely admission. We were operating at 120% […] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: So When Does This Become a Crisis?

Those Emergency Blues: Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Team TorontoEmerg. First, I’ve been working like a rented mule, and secondly, a colleague whom I trusted and respected sandbagged me with a nasty and embarrassing (and devastating) personal attack, which frankly put me in a bit of a tailspin. How bad was it? Think about being […] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

Those Emergency Blues: In Which I Swear, Repeatedly, or, TorontoEmerg Gets Bullied

I write this blog for a number of reasons: my own amusement, to educate, to share various random thoughts, to tell stories, to stimulate discussion on topics important to nursing, to provoke thought beyond the superficial, to challenge assumptions, and lastly, to rant. Today I am going to rant. Those of you with delicate sensibilities may want […] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: In Which I Swear, Repeatedly, or, TorontoEmerg Gets Bullied