Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor


“Why are you not married?”

He was having a hernia repair.

The question caught me off guard. I’d said nothing about my personal statistics; asked him how he slept last night being that he had to arrive at our center at 7:00 am, reminded him he’d have lifting restrictions after surgery until cleared by his surgeon.

IV port wiped with an alcohol pad and Zofran given, I stepped back.

One of those rare moments I don’t have a response for a patient. Choices…

“I don’t know.”

I won’t settle.”

Life is too short to chase people.”

I’m busy living large.”

It’s not in my hands.”

They’re all good answers.

But it’s not about me.

When your on the clock it’s not about you.

But still, he deserved a reply. To not answer would be rude.

“Brad’s in the middle of making a movie. It’s delaying the courtship.”


Yes! A Hardback by a R.N!

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I always take the Barnes and Noble entrance to the Mall knowing I’ll be inspired to keep writing. How can you not? Best Sellers to your right -new releases on the left.

A few weeks ago a hardback on one of the center tables slowed my steps. How to Treat People subtitled A Nurse’s Notes by Molly Case.

I’ve never seen a book like this, front and center, in a large chain bookstore.

Molly Case trained in southeast London. She writes of her experience as a student, then as a clinician, embedding patient anecdotes with her personal reflections , giving enough patient information to emphasize the critical nature of their fragile health while stile respecting patient confidentiality.

The prose is poetic, never lapsing too deep into clinical descriptions. They are there, but just enough to lend credibility to the author.

I’m more than halfway through this book, growing more and more attached to her story. It helps that she begins by sharing a high risk surgery she needed prior to entering her teens. She understands her patients’ pain.

Her compassion is a coat Miss Case never takes off.

All you nurses out there (and the other wonderful WordPress friends who support my blog), check it out!


The Alchemist

Not long ago, I visited my daughter and she asked if I’d read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

It was so long ago that I could only reference the basic  story line about Santiago’s journey to reach his personal legend and comment that I remember the story having a big message to all of us about the journey we each take.

I gladly took her copy that she offered to me for reading.

I’m just more than halfway through and so happy to have the opportunity to read it again.  Below is the last passage I read yesterday evening before putting it down for the night:

The Englishman, after the boy returned the loaned books, asked the lad, ” Did you learn anything?”

” I learned the world has a soul and whoever understands that soul can also understand the language of things.”

The depth of this story is amazing. I’m not even done and I know I’ll read it again next year. It’s infused with messages about the treasures we have right in front of us, the treasures we have within, and the value of the journey, not just reaching the destination.


Endless Types of Impairment

This last week I had a patient to prepare for surgery who was blind in one eye and with significant vision loss in the other. He, and his wife, had come in a week earlier for his surgery interview.

It was there that the consents, surgical and anesthesia, were read to him before a large ‘X’ was placed a the signature line in order for him to navigate where to place his signature. At the bottom of the form the P.A.T nurse ( aka interview nurse) had written ‘ consents read to patient.’

Yesterday, the O.R. Nurse challenged this as being sufficient. Out of earshot, my simple response to her inquiry was ,” Hey, he’s alert and orientated, told me exactly what he is having done today. Actually a very articulate gentleman.”

She sought the input of her supervisor.

The supervisor came to our area and approached me. I stated that asking his wife to sign a durable power of attorney was diminishing to his intellect, awareness, and sensitivity as he was read every single risk to anesthesia – and there are fifteen listed at the top of our anesthesia consent forms. It’s a daunting read, whether you’re doing it yourself, or someone is reading the consent to you.

The supervisor took an alternate route and told me she wanted to first call Risk Management before he was allowed to go the O.R.

Risk management confirmed that what the P.A.T nurse did was appropriate.

I’ve never wanted this blog to be a place where I make habit of blasting leadership, the nursing profession, or my peers. In theory, calling Risk, not a bad thing, it’s a valuable department. But for this situation, it was, in my opinion, overkill.

And it pushed my buttons.

When you enter the hospital for treatment and sit first with someone in registration, I suspect that no one reads the whole financial statement form to you.

Just sign at the bottom.

After your insurance information is verified.

After it is know where to send all the bills.


There are worse impairments than visual impairment.

And often they belong to everyone but the patients.


Stirring up trouble

A family member, a week ago, gave me a newspaper article about bilingual nurses having their job threatened if they continue to speak their native language to each other when at work.

I took it to work to get the thoughts of some of my bilingual peers.

(Here’s a link to a news broadcast about it)

So…..the one paragraph news piece, I took it took work. Two people just shrugged their shoulders – had no opinion. One of them, she took it, said she’d read it later. The next day she took a moment to sit with me as I got my purse from the locker.

Her two comments:

” What does this mean?”


“What is this? You have a problem with us speaking Spanish?”

I quickly explained “No! I’m just not bilingual, so I don’t feel e Read the rest of this entry »


Nod to Amanda Seales

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You’d never think that an actress, comedian/DJ would have words of wisdom applicable to nurses, but, ah, yes, this link below will capture your attention, and, if like me, will have you jotting down notes on post-its and slapping them up wherever they will stick.




Boundaries with peers

Being talked at versus being talked to…


Her comment about tact – “…it’s the timing of honesty. It’s the difference between being caring and being a prick,” a winner comment in my book!

Then there is the superstar reference she make to a book written by Japanese philosopher Ichiro Kishimi, The Courage to Be Disliked. ( ordered my copy earlier today).

You want to put patients first.

This sounds like a good place to begin.




One day a week

I took care of a patient this week that works for Disney World.

I learned that Jiminy Cricket only has to work on Thursday.

I have a new career goal : )


The best laid plans…

My two months off from blogging to work on rehabbing my right knee from a fall last October –


Yep, the photo below…it’s my left knee. Sandals, kind of wet concrete, and Boom !


You know how the sprinters jump the hurdles, one leg stretched in front, the other tucked under…that was me…somehow on my back. But I stood, assisted by a sister and friendly passers by.


Xray negative – Yay!

Road rash taking weeks to heal…blah


Out for repair

Off for 2 months to try and finally get my bum knee back to baseline.

I’ll be back!



So, this is crazy, but when a patient last week came in with what  she described as an ’emotional support’ dog, I was a little jealous.

I’m familiar with guide dogs. There is an agency en route home from work that trains dogs for the physically impaired.  A neighbor has one.

I am a big  proponent of all of us, no matter what our lives hold for us, having emotional support. I also understand the exacerbation of stress and anxiety that occurs when entering a hospital, for any reason, for that matter. I would never underestimate PTSD and all the things that can trigger an event

It was my territory. My house.

I think that’s what it was.

This special family member came with all the necessary papers to be in the hospital.

I didn’t mind too much having to step over the dog to reach the IV dial and set the rate. I didn’t mind that the husband focused more on the dog than his wife in the stretcher.

My ego, my big giant ego minded that my care wasn’t enough to calm my patient’s nerves.


He was a cute dog.


Illustrated by Hannah

A creative space for sketches and canvass prints. Lover of fine liner doodles.


Pen to paper.

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