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Mainstream Media Has Blogger Envy

headline_nurse2I never knew that newspapers use to hire nurses. This nurse is working in a big city at the news desk. I wonder if she had to have a journalism degree as well as a nursing license in order to write copy for a media outlet back when nurses wore their cap. There was a time when only journalists wrote the news. Now anyone with a computer, a video camera, and a website can out scoop CNN. Kim from Emergiblog told me that some bloggers and a member of the press got into a debate at BlogWorld09. I wasn’t surprised to hear this because mainstream media thinks that its the only legitimate source for news. Come on mainstream media, we both know what’s really going on here. You have blogger envy.

I’m sorry if I sound cranky, mainstream media, but I’m really tired of all your whining. I know you don’t think that citizen journalists check their facts and that we lack reliable news sources. Some of you have even said that our stories aren’t fair and balanced. Do you really want to go there, mainstream media? I’m talking to you Fox News and MSNBC. You’ve got your nerve to criticize anyone about their scruples. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

Nurse Ratched’s Place At Blog World Expo

Dr.-A2What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? I think not. It ends up on YouTube. Case in point. You must be careful when you are around Dr. Anonymous. He has a video camera, and he’s not afraid to use it. You’ve been warned.

The first med blogger track at BlogWorld/New Media Expo 09 was a wonderful experience. I want to thank Johnson and Johnson and Medpage Today for their sponsorship. I also want to thank Kim at Emergiblog and Dr. Val at Better Health for all their hard work. Kim knocked on doors and got things rolling, and Val help put the panels together. This shindig would not have gotten off the ground without YOU!

gun2I don’t know where to begin. Going to Las Vegas is like dropping in on another planet. It’s filled with a lot of stuff that can get you into trouble like slot machines, Elvis wedding chapels, and machineguns. No, that’s not a typo. I said machineguns. This is the first sign that I saw when I stepped off the plane when I landed in Las Vegas. It’s an ad for a Las Vegas shooting range where you can fire off a few rounds when you get into town. Whatever happened to the days of innocence when the most exciting thing you could do while you were in Las Vegas was get drunk, marry someone you didn’t know, and go see a Wayne Newton show? I got worried when I saw this sign, but then I thought what could happen at a blogger convention. After all, I was going to be surrounded by computer geeks and responsible health care professionals like GruntDoc and Dr. Wes. Right? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

New Nurses Interview A Seasoned One

I felt like an antique this weekend thanks to some medical students on my unit. Why do students seem to get younger every year, and please don’t place the blame on my chronological age. I refuse to believe that I’m getting older. I forget how we got onto the subject, but somehow I told a group of medical interns that I graduated from a three-year diploma nursing program.

One of the interns innocently asked me, “What’s that?” I felt so old when he asked me that question that I expected a museum curator to come out of the woodwork and cordon me off with a velvet rope. I answered his question. They were fascinated that they were actually talking to an “old time nurse.” They had more questions:

Question: “How did you keep you nurses cap on?” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

A Nurse Asks: What Are You Doing For Your Midlife Crisis?

congo-nurse1Nurse Andrea Bartlett is literally having a meltdown. She is in the midst of her midlife crisis. Nurses like her are easy to spot. She’s having a hot flash, note the hand to her forehead and the look on her face that says, “Crap, I’m going to pass out,” and she’s reliving her hippy Peace Corps days by working as a Congo nurse. I bet she is kicking herself for leaving home, especially at her age. After all, who in their right mind would give up their Mac computer and iPhone.


It’s official. I’m having my midlife crisis. I knew I had hit crisis mode the day one of my patients tried eloping from the unit. I saw the patient racing down the hallway towards the door, and my brain said, “Run, catch the patient,” and, after a few strides, my joints started screaming, “Brain, we hurt. Go to hell.” Fortunately, the techs and a few nurses, all of whom are youngsters, ran right pass me like little gazelles and effortlessly caught the patient before he bolted off the unit. I felt like a relic. I wanted to cry all day long.

debchair3If anyone over the age of 55 tells you that they aren’t going through their midlife crisis, they are in denial, or they are lying through their teeth. I started making some changes at home after that fateful day at work. I can’t afford a facelift, a tummy tuck, or a red sports car, so I started redecorating my living room, a la Peter Max. I said goodbye to my Martha Stewart country living room by replacing everything that was made from gingham and lace with burgundy silk pillows, hand blown glass bottles, and Bakhtiari carpets. I even scored this 1960s leather chair, matching footstool, and hoop lamp from one of my best friends. Yeah, they’re groovy. I can’t wait for my husband to finish off my bookshelves. Maybe I’ll start a new hookah collection when he’s done.

Having a midlife crisis isn’t just about getting gray hair, saggy boobs, and a wider girth. It’s about getting to know who you really are as you hit the midpoint of your life. This midlife journey is especially bewildering and fear provoking for nurses. Everyone is in a big hurry to get an advanced nursing degree before “it’s too late.” Too late for what? I see nurses frantically checking out school websites, and exchanging information about online classes. Some nurses want to expand their knowledge base so they won’t have to work as bedside nurses anymore, while others want to go back to school because of a mandate put out by the ANA. The ANA doesn’t recognize anyone without a nursing degree as a professional nurse. The ANA can kiss my ass. I’m not going back to school, and I refuse to burst one brain cell over a class assignment that has no relevance in my life.

beatlesstereo2God willing, I have at least twenty-five years before I check out of the world and I plan to have some fun before I head for the Pearly Gates. My short-term goal is to buy the new Beatles Boxed set in stereo and to finish redecorating my house. I’m going to light up some incense, play my tunes, and party on. My long-term goal is to make love, not war, get on the peace train, and to follow the sun.

Can you dig it?

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

Healthcare Reform Q&A With Mother Jones Of Nurse Ratched’s Place

nurse-ratched-smallest-webI hate it when I can’t get into conversations that are happening on my own blog. My job at UGH (undisclosed government hospital) has a way of getting in the way of my real life. Jeanne T. has asked a lot of valid questions about healthcare reform. She also asked me to answer some of her questions. Here we go:

Have you read HR: 3200?

I have not read all of H.R. 3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. Reading War and Peace is more entertaining than reading a congressional bill, so I only got through about 150 pages of text before my brain cells started imploding. However, I did learn a few things about the proposed legislation. No one is going to kill your grandma or reduce Medicare benefits. This new legislation will save money by cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse. Maybe that’s why the insurance industry is spending billions of dollars to defeat this bill.

Question: Do you currently have money taken out of your paycheck
for Social Security?
 Do you believe that you will receive Social Security assistance when you pass the age of 65, 70?
 What is the reason that you and I will not receive Social Security checks?

Answer: Do I have money taken out of my check for Social Security? Is the Pope Catholic? The good people at UGH take money out of my check every two weeks for Social Security, and I know that I’ll never see that money again.

I’m a nurse for life, which means I’m not going to retire. In other words, I’m going to die with my Nurse Mates on. Unfortunately, I believe that my peers are going to receive meager monthly social security checks after they retire. I know where you are heading with this question. “If the government can’t run the Social Security Administration, what makes you think that they can run a public health care system?” It’s all President Franklin Roosevelt’s fault. The social security system is the ultimate Ponzi scheme, and Roosevelt set it up as a safety net to help out old folks just before they died. The average life expectancy back when Social Security was set up was around 60 years old. President Roosevelt got messed up because he thought he we would always have more money coming in than going out. He didn’t know that our life expectancy was going to go up, and he had no idea that future administrations were going to tack on more entitlement programs. Now Roosevelt’s Ponzi scheme is out of control, not so much because of government mismanagement, but because we aren’t dying off quick enough to make the system work. Hey, wait a minute. Maybe we need to rethink those death panels. Just sayin’.

Question: Can the US government run a public health insurance agency?

Answer: Yes, I believe our government can do whatever we have the will to do. We put a man on the moon didn’t we? If those blood sucking, profit driven, insurance companies who make their money by keeping us away from healthcare providers can run insurance companies, why can the US government? Uncle Sam wants to keep us around until we’re too old to work so we can keep paying into the social security system. See above.

Question: How do you feel about politicians writing healthcare reform versus healthcare professionals?

Answer: I think that healthcare providers are in a better position to understand the lingo and the fine details that go into healthcare bills, but that doesn’t necessarily make them more trustworthy when they champion causes. The letters “MD” does not mean anything if the person lacks integrity. In my opinion, Dr Howard Dean is a man of great integrity. By the way, there are three nurses in Congress: Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), and Lois Capps (D- CA). I’ve had the honor of meeting each one of these fine ladies. They rock! Johnson and Capps support public option healthcare reform. McCarthy’s website reports that she supports H.R. 3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.

That’s it for part one. I’ll write part two later. Like I said, working at UGH has a way of getting in the way of my personal life. It’s been nice talking to you. Keep the conversation going while I’m working this weekend at UGH.

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

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