bedside nursing

Stories patients tell

I’ve been writing full-time for three months now. Being off the hospital floor has done wonders for my aching back, my parenting, my complexion…and I won’t lie I’m not sorry about missing a horrendous flu season. But I miss patient care. Taking care of strangers was a privilege. And the antidote for the morning news. […]

Bedside nurse personal

It’s a strange thing this working in a hospital. Your professional environment is people who are having the most painful, out of control times of their lives. Or maybe, and often in the medical-surgical ICU where I work, the realization that this is how their life is going to end. It’s heavy stuff. I love heavy […]

Policy heavy. Palliative & curative & doing the right thing.

Here is the best thing on closed circuit television this week: Atul Gawande and Amy Berman at Senate Special Committee on Aging Start at 31:55 and end at 55:25. If you are as pumped as I am about a Senate hearing on aging I’m sure you don’t mind cueing the thing up yourself. From Medline, […]

Shift work for me, Shocking for you.

My patients are often too sick to speak, much less ask questions about how their care plan is progressing. Yesterday I was lucky to have a patient with family at the bedside. Children that were young and healthy, and based on not subtle comments had the advantage of money and power thus the ability to […]

Good Lord “Mercy Street”

I’m obsessed with our image. On a scale of 1 to Gray’s Anatomy (1 being no pain, Grey’s Anatomy being the worst pain you’ve ever felt in your life), most portrayals of nurses on TV and in the movies land in the 7 region. The faces pain scale really works for this: A few years […]

Poems for the MRI

No matter how much time I do in the MRI I always go in a nervous wreck. My favorite writer and spirit guide David Rakoff (whose death nearly three years ago from a sarcoma secondary to radiation treatment for lymphoma in his 20’s has left the saddest and most fearful absence) gave some fantastic advice […]

(GOOD NEWS AFTER THE ARTICLE) This study shows so much of what’s wrong with medical research today | The Incidental Economist

This study shows so much of what’s wrong with medical research today | The Incidental Economist. I won’t wade too deeply into this pool right now. Every moment I spend is borrowed time from NCLEX studying. But it’s worth mentioning that despite the incredibly difficult environment of academic research I see all around me nurse […]

Poetry Monday

Saturday I had the pleasure of listening to Margaret Mohrmann give the keynote at the UVA’s End-of-Life conference. Blow. Me. Back. The weight of the subject matter and her nimble language. The stories steeped in years of experience ecclesiastical and medical. Is frank compassion a thing? I think it may be her thing. One of […]

Making good news sad (it’s what I do) and a poem/incantation

I am cancer free, 1 year. A reprieve lasting who knows how long. Feeeeelings. This week I was spared the ax and I saw it come down on strangers. Have I mentioned how odd it is to be consumed with concern for your own mortality when the study of mortality is consuming your days? Borrowed from Micheal Swanberg, the […]

“This is a lesson in you never know which day will be your last” –ICU preceptor

image At the community hospital we don’t generally see extremely sick patients. We see a lot of patients who are finishing a long battle with chronic lifestyle-related illness. At the end of their rope. Not many in our ICU are in the grip of acute critical illness. Yesterday I saw my first patient in that category. […]

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