Don't Curse the Nurse!

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First Impressions

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Last week I was going to my first PNC meeting — that’s Professional Nurse Council. I brought edited notes from the subcommittee of which I’m part of. I put on my game face. I even wore my good scrubs — the $50 dollar ones, wrinkle free, tailor fit. And initially, I was glad I did.

The facilitator, a PACU nurse, and her sidekick, walked in looking immaculate. With their white monogrammed lab coats, they looked like they could be models for the cover of a Nursing magazine. They both carried notebooks, and wrapped around the edges of the notebooks I could see well-manicured fingernails. As the group leader sat down at my right, she surprised me with her first comment.

“I don’t have an agenda.”

I sat back in my chair, relaxed my shoulders, and took a second to note the hair extension she was sporting. With it clipped below her banded ponytail, waves of auburn hung down below her shoulder blades.

Uh-uh. That’s a hospital no-no. I’m taking off points!

She went on.

“But, we have Nurses Week coming soon, so there’s plenty to talk about.” Our fearless committee leader then pushed her notebook away and facilitated 45 minutes of conversation around food, ice cream, themes, and more food ideas.

I’ve been on the other side of this, meaning simply the recipient of these selected calories, lots of calories, calories that I don’t need or don’t have the self-discipline to say “No” to. I wanted to suggest passing out granola bars, but thought twice, these were the cool nurses in here.

When the meeting over and jobs delegated, I walked away with a better appreciation of the work that goes on behind the scenes, the conviction not to be intimidated by a committee’s title, and a little superiority complex because I would never dream of wearing my hair down at work.

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Happy You Day !

Does the idea of National Nurses Week bore you a little? Do you smirk at the knowledge that you will be recognized with a water bottle or a sheet cake that might be gone before you get to it? I too am ambivalent about it when it comes up. The moments of feeling appreciated, feeling special, they come random, and they usually come from the patients, rarely from management. But…

I couldn’t let the day go by without doing something. I mean… jeez…it is our day, and actually they’ve given us a whole week.

 But then again, September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day. Still, I will be respectful about this.( I think I am getting a free voucher for lunch from the cafeteria.)

Here are my personal top ten favorites that didn’t get a lunch voucher:

*I tip my hat to Florence and Clara. Now onto the other eight in my list of top ten.

3. Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was a volunteer nurse in the Civil War and assisted doctors in surgery. It is said that he temporarily abandoned writing when teaching depressed him and originally intended to only visit patients in hospitals.

4. Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882)- a nurse smart enough to not get involved with a  doctor. Biographies detail accounts of her invites to Union soldiers to camp outside the White House.

5. Mary Mahoney (1845-1926) – First African American RN and co-founder of the Association of Graduate Nurses (later became the American Nurses Association)

6. Mary Breckinridge (1881-1965)-founded the model for rural healthcare

7. Edith Cavell (1865-1915) – during WWI helped all soldiers no matter what side she was on. As a result she was court marshaled and executed.

8. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) – founder organization that later became Planned Parenthood.

9 Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) – force behind the first mental asylums and activist during Civil War

10. Hazel W. Johnson-Brown – first African American Brigadier general in history. Then later, she became  the Dean of the Walter Reed Army Institute School of Nursing.

I will take a moment to gloat about another writer/nurse alongside Walt up there at #3; Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women was a Civil War nurse with a short medical career due to that nasty little Typhoid bug going around.

How did you celebrate ?  I went shopping.

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