Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Daft Hands

This is legit one of the coolest things on the interwebs.

Harder Better Faster Stronger. Without Kanye.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Anything but this

I don't know why it gets to me so much, but the one thing I can't stand doing to people is nasal packing. It just breaks my heart every single time. Seriously. I get a nose bleeder, and I think daaaaanggg it, I don't want to do this. I pine for a chest paineur or SOBer each time the doc gets ready for the packing. I just think to myself, "if I can get away from helping, I get to swoop in with pain meds and save the day from the mean doctor!" Alas, I always end up a part of the suckiness, and I always feel so bad about it.

Maybe it's because we never do this procedure to the really douchy frequent fliers. Or because every single person makes that scrunchy eye face as we do the packing. Possibly because they all tear up. Even perhaps because they all seem to be sweet little old grandparents on coumadin. Or maybe because it's basically shoving a giant tampon up someones nose and then inflating it to giant proportions, which is definitely not fun.

Whatever the reason, I hate nasal packing. And if you ever are my patient, and I do this to you...I promise. I didn't want to.

Unless you're a really awfully mean frequent flier. And then I most definitely want to do this to you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wait, what?

Me: Sir, how long has it been since you were hospitalized for chest pain?

Patient: A while...

Me: A while as in days, weeks, months, or years?

Patient: Yeah, that.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hospital violence

Wow! Who knew it was like this? Well, actually, we did. Just ask any ER staff member, or hospital staffer for that measure, and they can name you a whole list of incidents right off the top of their heads...

Bitten, shot, spat on: Violence in hospitals common for staff.

It's sad that it takes a national incident like the one at Johns Hopkins for this to become headline news. I've only been a nurse for less than two years, but already the number of times I've been verbally assaulted has been too many to count. Physically assaulted? Also quite a few. It's not acceptable to press charges, since I should have "talked the patient down." Perhaps now, after yet another incident of violence in hospitals, people will finally see what we deal with on a daily basis, and realize that is it Not Okay.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pain, the essential vital sign

It was a slow night this past shift, so at one point I ambled out to triage to loiter around a bit. While I'm sitting there, this woman plops herself down in the registration chair and states "I need to see a doctor, and I don't wanna be waitin' around out here, I need to go back now and get summin for this pain, so yous all lemme back."

Aaaaand here we go.

The triage nurse asks her what the complaint is, and we discover it's a tooth ache. Or more correctly, a "toof ache."

On a scale of 0-10, 10 being the worst pain you can imagine, how bad is this toof ache? asks the triage nurse without even a hint of a smirk.

"It's a 10!"

Triage nurse eyes up the patient, who is chewing gum and talking nonstop on her blackberry, and without hesitation goes, "so if I were to rip your arm off and beat you with it, it would be about the same?"

I had to leave the room. I wanted to hug her, but that might have been bad form.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weird news

It's not funny....except it kinda is.

Ex-ELO cellist killed in collision with hay bale

I feel bad for the guy, but at least it's a newsworthy way to go.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


What the F is up with all these bugs?!

I pulled another bug out of someones ear today.

Actually, I squirted lidocaine in the guys ear and the bug leaped out at me and tried to bite my face off. For reals. Jumped out and started crawling on my shirt. I squealed like a little girl and jumped back and then started swatting it and then stomped on it like twelve times. Even the patient laughed at me. And he just had a bug in his ear, so his day already sucked.

It's another night under the covers, I suppose. And I'm OVER IT, folks. I need a lumberjack flap cap in my life.

Yeeegh. I never would have believed the bug-in-the-ear phenomenon was this popular, but what do I know...

Yaaay google pictures!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I saw what the consequences of tonight were, but I can't even begin to imagine the terror which you experienced. What you went through is horrifying. And when you showed up in my ER, I'm not even sure if you were aware of how bad and tragic it was.

I do know that we worked hard to save you. Perhaps too hard - we flung questions at you, told you to look at me, look at the doctor, move your only working extremity. Maybe I was too brisk. I was only trying to help you, and sometimes in our haste to determine how sick you are we forget that you're scared here too - even if you can't tell us you are.

I wish I had done it all differently. When I told you to be still, I tried to do it gently. But looking back, I know that I wasn't comforting. I wish I wasn't so used to these traumas now; I wish you had met me two years ago, when I would have held your hand while talking to you instead of just brushing your forehead briefly like the jaded person I am. I wish, when I made eye contact with you after telling you yet again to please be still and let us evaluate your injuries and try to fix you, that I had known I would be the last person you would ever see.

I saw you leave this world, and I was so busy saving you that I forgot to be there for you. I don't think there was anything we could have done different medically. You were going to die, and I couldn't have stopped that. But I should have helped you die with more dignity, and I failed.

I've thought about you almost constantly since you passed. I keep replaying your final moments in my head, and I think of a thousand things I could have, should have said to comfort you. I'm sorry I didn't do that. It's not that I didn't care about you, I just put my trauma nurse face on and forgot to show it.

I'm sorry.

I hope you were able to watch how much care and love I put into cleansing your blood soaked body after your death. I hope, wherever you are, that you can forgive me - and that you can recognize my sadness now as my apology to you. I hope I think of you every time something like this happens - I never again want to forget to be a comforting voice as the one who will watch you die.