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Nurse Kim At Blog World Expo

meandhughFirst day of the general BlogWorld sessions and as usual, I came away with renewed energy, a plethora of ideas and a dramatically decreased bank account! No, not on gambling – I hit the Barnes & Noble on-site kiosk.

God, I love books!

But the highlight of the day? I met my Blogfather! Meet Hugh Hewitt, talk show host extraordinaire! I think if you did a “paternity” test on every blog online today,  75% of them would be related, in some way, to Hugh’s influence.

Blog World CEO Rick Calvert was interviewed by Hugh, and he mentioned the medblogger track! Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

Happy Birthday, Emergiblog!

Today marks the fourth year anniversary of Emergiblog, a delightful collection of Emergency Medicine musings by nurse Kim McAllister.

Kim doesn’t know this, but I use excerpts from Emergiblog when I teach blogging courses to healthcare execs. Her writing is a favorite with them – and when I ask what kind of person they think she might be (judging from her blog) they say things like:

“An experienced nurse with a heart of gold.”

“Someone who’s seen it all and still kept her marbles.”

“I want her to be my nurse when I show up in the ER.”

I agree with all those sentiments… and I wish you a very happy blogiversary, Kim! I’ll see you in Las Vegas*

*Attention – anyone who reads/writes blogs should join us at Blog World Expo, October 15-17. This is our very first year for a special medblogger track. All are welcome!

Speakers include:

Kevin Pho – KevinMD

Dr. Rob – Musings Of A Distractible Mind

Kim McAllister – Emergiblog

Dr. Val – Better Health

Dr. Mike Sevilla – Doctor Anonymous

Paul Levy – Running A Hospital

Kerri Morrone Sparling – Six Until Me

Gene Ostrovsky – Medgadget

Terri Polick – Nurse Ratched’s Place

Nick Genes – Blogborygmi

Marc Monseau – JNJBTW

Better Health Sponsors Blogger-Politician Healthcare Reform Discussion At National Press Club

To join the event live, please contact john.briley@getbetterhealth.com Seating is limited…

paul_ryan

Congressman Paul Ryan

reablakey

Media Personality Rea Blakey


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 9, 2009

Health Care Reform: Putting Patients First

Elected Officials Join America’s Top Medical Bloggers to Discuss the Real,

Clinical Impact of Health Care Reform

    WHAT: As the health care debate heats up on the Hill, join Representative Paul Ryan as he sits down with top medical bloggers from across the country to discuss health care reform and its impact on practicing clinicians. This keynote discussion will be followed by two panels of physician and nurse bloggers who will highlight the importance of putting patients first.  Topics covered will include key barriers to health care quality, affordability, and access as well as the potential pitfalls of a new public plan and ways to fix the current system without investing billions in a new one.

WHEN: Friday, July 17, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: The National Press Club, Broadcast Operations Center 4th Floor, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC
WHO: Keynote: Representative Paul Ryan, (R-WI), House Budget Committee Ranking MemberModerator: Rea Blakey, Emmy award-winning health reporter and news anchor, previously with ABC, CNN, and now with Discovery Health

Host: Val Jones, M.D., CEO and Founder of Better Health

Policy Expert: Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., co-founder and vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI)

Primary Care Panelists:

Kevin Pho, M.D., Internist and author of KevinMD

Rob Lamberts, M.D., Med/Peds specialist and author of Musings of a Distractible Mind

Alan Dappen, M.D., Family Physician and Better Health contributor

Valerie Tinley, N.P., Nurse Practitioner and Better Health contributor

Specialty Care Panelists:

Kim McAllister, R.N., Emergency Medicine nurse and author of Emergiblog

Westby Fisher, M.D., Cardiac Electrophysiologist and author of Dr.Wes

Rich Fogoros, M.D., Cardiologist and author of CovertRationingBlog

And Fixing American Healthcare

Jim Herndon, M.D., past president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Better Health contributor

####

For more information on Better Health, visit http://www.getbetterhealth.com.

I’m No Superman

essential-qualificationsI love this ad.

I was about this age when I decided to become a nurse.

Maybe a little older.

I was holding a book instead of a teddy bear.

I wouldn’t have been caught dead in that cap, though. Even in those days I knew how to make a totally cool nursing cap out of paper.

That looks like a pillowcase.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember why nursing sounded like a good idea.

********************

You don’t realize it’s happening.

You set a goal and you do what you have to do to get there.

For awhile, you manage to do it all.

Nine semester units.

Working 24 hours a week.

No sweat.

Been there, done that.

Lived through it.

*****

But things start piling up.

Work needs you to pick up some hours.  Coworkers on leave, folks needing time off.

You say yes, because when you need time off, they will make sure you get it.

Only your body isn’t cooperating.

You are in bed for the night at 1600.

And up at 0530.

Then you can’t fall asleep before you go in at 1900.

So you’re up for 28 hours. Straight.

Twice in one week.

That worked when you were eighteen.

It kills you at fifty-one.

*****

So you work, and work is uncharacteristically busy.

You start getting depressed four hours before you go in.

Then you start getting depressed because you have to work the next day.

Your coworkers are getting on your nerves.

You are really getting on their nerves.

You hit the ground and twelve hours later you sit for the first time. In the car. For the ride home.

To sleep for ten hours so you can go back and do it again.

Before your one day off.

That you sleep through.

*****

You fall behind in class; the professors are cool and allow you extra time for the assignments.

Which you need because you are so exhausted you cannot think.

But you won’t give less than an “A” effort so you stress and research and study and fine-tune and finally turn in the missive 48 hours after it is due.

Only to discover your classmates managed the assignment in two paragraphs.

How the hell did they do that?

*****

You start to lose it.

You don’t leave the house on your time off.

You stay in sweats all day and don’t bother to fix your hair.

Your husband thinks you are having a breakdown because he hears you laughing hysterically one minute and bursting into tears the next.

Except it’s not a breakdown, you are just watching “Scrubs”.

(Why the hell did they kill off LaVerne? Idiots.)

You start scanning the ads for a desk job. Part-time. Days. No weekends.

No blood. No pain.

No death.

*****

I’ve been here before.

The demon is back.

I’m in full blown burn-out.

But no major life changes.

Not this time.

I know what to do.

No more extra shifts.

The money is nice. Sanity is nicer.

No more twelve-hour shifts. Kudos to those who can do them.

I can’t.

No summer school.

I’m 12 units away from a BSN.  I can graduate in the Spring of 2010. I gain nothing by sacrificing my mental health to do it by December.

*****

I’m scaling back, I’m taking a break.

For the next few months, it’s all about me.

More visits to Starbucks to read blogs.

More visits to Starbucks to read novels.

More concerts.

More mini-vacations. Son’s graduation. Nascar race in Sonoma. BlogHer in Chicago.

*****

I wish I could do it all and be it all and have it all.

It’s hard to face the fact that I have limitations.

But, I know,

I’m no Superman.

And that is a major bummer.

I’m No Superman

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

Negative Nurse Stereotype Promoted By Showtime In Attempt To Capture House MD Ratings?

header_nursejackieThat’s Edie Falco.

You remember.  She played Carmella Soprano.

Great actress; I love her.

Too bad I won’t be watching her new character on Showtime.

*****

“Nurse Jackie” is a new series.

I received an email from Showtime asking me if I would curate a selection of nursing experiences for an upcoming “Nurse Stories” web site that would coincide with the debut of Nurse Week and “Nurse Jackie”.

Whoa.

I don’t get email from Showtime every day, so this sounded pretty interesting.

I went to the website to check out the show before responding.

I made it through one video.

*****

Nurse Jackie is a competent, hard-as-nails, take-no-prisoners ER nurse.

With a heart, of course.

One minute she’s telling a doctor he’s full of it, the next minute she tells a patient to get out of her ER (classic!).

Edie Falco is perfect as the title character.

You’ve all worked with her.

Hell, you might even be her!

*****

My first reaction?

Oh..my..god, they did it!

They made a show with a strong nurse protagonist, and damn! if they didn’t get the ER environment down!

I had goosebumps, literally.

I was ready to (a) start getting Showtime, (b) spread the word far and wide and (c) take the job.

But then…

*****

They started grabbing her chest.

I think in a the short video I watched (five minutes?) Nurse Jackie had her breasts fondled by three men.

Oh great.

My first thought?

Here we go again with the nurse-as-sex-object stereotype.

(Actually, my first thought is that I must be working in the wrong hospitals.)

But it got worse.

*****

Nurse Jackie is a drug addict.

Has back pain.

Snorts crushed up Percocets.

Oh no they didn’t………

*****

Oh yes.

They did.

Now, would somebody please tell me why, why? they had to portray this nurse as a drug addict?

Did they not see that they had the potential for one hell of a nurse character here?

Did they not see that they could break the mold of media stereotypes in nursing and pave new ground?

Did they not see that there is enough material to build a nurse character out of what happens in the ER alone without adding the oh-so-subtle touch of drug addiction?

*****

If you’re an nurse who spends a lot of time with other people fondling you, you might like this show.

If you’re an RN and addicted to drugs, you might like this show.

In fact, why don’t you go check out the website for yourself.

Watch the video, get a feel for the character.

Tell me what you think.

Tell Showtime what you think.

And if you are really pissed, write to The Truth About Nursing.

I already did.

*****

As for me?

I (a) am not subscribing to Showtime, (b) will not promote the show to anyone outside this blog post and (c) did not take the job.

I am so sick, and so tired, of stupid media portrayals of nurses.

Didn’t watch “ER”.  No “Grey’s Anatomy”. Won’t watch “House”.

Here goes trying to explain to my patients, again, that “no, I don’t watch that show because of the portrayal of nursing.”

*****

You blew it, Showtime.

Of course, it’s not too late to rectify the issues, the show has not debuted yet.

But know this:

No matter how funny, how dramatic or how well written “Nurse Jackie” is, you are doing nothing to advance or promote the nursing profession. But then I guess the goal is ratings and nothing defines a “hit” like sex and drugs.

*****

“Nurse Jackie” is described as “Saint!  Sinner!”.

Saint.

Sinner.

Sound familiar?

Yeah.

Sigh.

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