Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

I didn’t get called in yesterday ( Saturday ). I’m sitting here smiling in awe that my chances of having a three day weekend are increasing.

We all worked at a feverish pace last week. I put myself down to take call for surgery Saturday, then noticed mid last week that I am also on for Memorial Day. ( Each nurse has to take one major and one minor holiday.)

Yikes ! I’ll be totally fried by Tuesday! Is what I thought.

My precious precious  Lord always has my back, always knows when I need rest, even when I am stubbornly denying it.

Now, I’m on again tomorrow, and I’m ready. There might  be cases, maybe even all day. And I’m ready.

In the meantime, I’ll write. There is much of that to do.




“No coffee for you!”

So our Starbucks, yes, we have a Starbucks on the first floor of our quaint little 250 bed hospital, every day puts a different name on the chalkboard that sit in the front of the kiosk. Above it is written, If your name is ( name inserted), your drink is free.

I was down there the other day, being supportive of coffee bean growers everywhere, when I heard the guy in front of me,

“Hey, my name is Wilber, so I guess my drink will be free.”

Silly boy’s name tag was dangling right there on his shirt pocket – Miguel.

Miguel smiled wide at the barista.

The barista smiled and squinted his eyes at the nurse . ( I knew he was a nurse from the color of his scrubs)

“Your name tag says different.”

Miguel was feeling confident.

“My middle name is Wilber.”

Not to be outdone, the barista said in a neutral tone, “Show me your drivers license.”

Oh, the ever so confident coffee lover in front of me dropped his head, pulled out his wallet, but then at the last second, flipped it shut again, and paid for his drink.

We nurses do okay…he should have paid for it from the get go and not been so goofy.




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Let the Music Play

musicI was in the waiting room of a practitioner’s office when the receptionist leaned forward over the counter and said in a loud voice toward the opposing shelf lined wall, “Alexa, play spa music.”


The girl stood taller now and repeated herself.

” Alexa, play spa music.”


When checking in, the clerk made little eye contact and seemed more focused on conversing with the coworker sitting next to her. The two were now in whispered discussion about their dire problem of no soft melody in the background.

I was enjoying the defiance of modern technology 🙂

The third try was the winner.

“Alexa, play radio spa music.”

Soft beats filled the room.

I had enjoyed more listening to them give directions to the inanimate object.

Lightened my mood!




Not Batting An Eye


I filled in at P.A.T (Pre- admission testing) last week. It’s a desk type job where surgical patients come in a week or so early, get interviewed by a nurse (in this case, me) and then anesthesiology staff.

A well-dressed petite Asian woman came, escorted by her son, at 9:00 am.

She was 84 years old with an angry gallbladder.

Because of chronic back pain, she entered the P.A.T. office using a walker. She also sat with a slight stoop.

As we went through the list of medications she currently took, she interrupted me near the end.

“Oh, and to help with back pain, I take CBD oil.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her son squirm a little in his seat. He twisted his mouth in that maybe you shouldn’t have said anything manner.

Without missing a beat, I wrote the information down no different than I would any other medication; dose, frequency, how long she’s been using it, who prescribed it.

She took eight other medicines. Of those, five were vitamins, one was a cholesterol pill, and one was a medicated ointment for dry skin.

I saw her expression change. She softened her eyes and let the corners of her lips turn up into a small smile.

Now, what she’s going to say to her son later, I’m not sure, but there’s too much literature out there on the positive effect of CBD oil for me to have anything other than appreciation for advances in non-invasive therapies.


ZIP IT – The 40 Day Challenge by Karen Ehman

Worked way too many hours last week…Nurses Week…Ha!

It’s fitting that I read this earlier today. It’ll be helpful tomorrow – Monday morning – coming too soon.

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So, this happened on Easter evening

IMG_1710          IMG_1715


I always thought my  sense of nurturing began and ended with the human race, spanned from family and friends to all the patients that simply needed their nurse to take a little extra time to listen and care.

Easter evening in the backyard enjoying a close look at new blooms (in an area edged with overgrowth) resulted in this unexpected find.

A cat allergy made this guy my friend for 24 hours before he went to a fantastic Pet Alliance that nurtures and adopts out strays to families. We bonded over every three hour feedings by medicine dropper.

I was shocked at how much letting go hurt after such a short time with the pint sized fellow!



Oh Dear Dear Senator Walsh

Oh Dear Senator Walsh,

I was hoping you’d had some bad personal experiences with care rendered by nurses to you, family, or friends.

Not because I want anyone have substandard care much less unsafe care by nursing professionals, but because I hoped your excuse wouldn’t have been as pathetic as a reference to ‘being tired.’

Just a few weeks ago we had a dozen nurses in our OR working on a patient in a life threatening situation. One nurses sole job was to check, match, infuse packed red blood cells, and monitor the patient for a reaction to the infusion while the surgeon sewed vessels and suctioned blood seeping out from a ruptured aneurysm. I met another, the OR circulating nurse the next morning as she came out to meet my pre-op patient. She was focused, checked everything thoroughly, and reported to the family when my patient was heading to recovery room.

That nurse.

She’d gone home at 3:30 in the morning and returned at 7:00.

Just like you, She was tired also. And she didn’t bring a deck of cards to work.

That was cheeky, I’ll back off.

Your idea of challenging 12 hour shifts with a return to 8 hour shifts…Please do some more homework on this.

Going to a three shift per 24 hour continuum, requires hiring more staffing. My own hospital , that I love dearly, reports that it cost over $25,000 to put a new nurse through orientation.

Please see the below quote by the American Association of College of Nursing:

Federal figures project that if current trends continue, the shortage of RNs will continue to grow throughout the next 20 years. By 2020, more than 800,000 RN positions are expected to go unfilled nationwide, according to the National Center for Workforce Analysis, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Eight hour shifts doesn’t fix this.

Taking better care of our nurses will.



Running this by my WordPress family before editing, adding more statistics on this issue, and sending my letter to Senator Walsh with a request for her to be an advocate for healthcare professional rather than a Joy Behar wannabee, with too much time at the microphone.


Sweet Dreams

A fellow blogger did a post about her experience becoming a CPAP user.

Nat gets cozy with her new CPAP

It made me feel so much better about my journey to getting this fatigue issue resolved.

In a time when everyone is more responsive to cute pictures where your hair and make-up are just right and the captions are heavy on the ‘perky’, I love reading REAL life stuff that encourages me to keep at it and not give up!


One of my jobs

She came in with the others that show up first thing in the morning, the ‘7:30’s we collectively call the first arrivals.

Her husband walked five feet behind. Before I spoke, she did.

“Which way is East?”

I immediately understood why she asked, but I didn’t have an answer. I have no sense of direction even when in my car unless I turn on the dashboard compass, so just imagine the dumb look on my face when she asked this simple question.

Her husband saved me and pointed in the direction behind me.

Then I regained my bearings.

“Let me move some chairs. You both can pray together.”

Within a few minutes they were in the pre – op bay next to me, curtain in front of them, with only their mats visible at the bottom hem.

It was just two weeks earlier that forty-nine people who shared my patients’ same faith were murdered in New Zealand. Not even children were spared.

While I stood outside the bay waiting for them to pull the curtain back, I was filled with an overwhelming empathy and a new understanding of something I don’t think consciously about in my role as a Nurse.

We use standard precautions, wash our hands, wear gloves, masks when needed, even gown up if the diagnosis requires it. We practice sterile technique, audit our clinical practices, do quality control testing… the list goes on.

In those ten minutes, my understanding of the importance of someone feeling safe grew tenfold.


I almost didn’t want to share this because my empathetic response is miniscule compared to the turbulent emotions families surely experienced when the New Zealand massacre occurred.


I consider myself lucky to have gotten this patient to take care of.

Having a job that teaches me how to be a better human is a pretty damn special job.



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