Friday, February 03, 2006

UCSF Library

Here I am once again at the famous Kalmanovitz library. Nice computer access; big flat screens, lots of desk space, T1 speeds! Right now I am slapping a paper together on acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome and the use of the CIWA-Ar scale and Ativan drip in treatment. A presentation will accompany this paper.

This is a serious quarter. Advanced Med-Surg feels like med school. Rather than procrastinate, which I would much prefer, I feel compelled to dig into the books, for lives are now more in in my hands then ever.

Scary thought!

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I have experienced death in the Emergency Department before….

Things happen quickly in the E.D. and unfortunately, I was upstairs orienting a new volunteer when this patient arrived. My clinical instructor had apparently been calling me on the intercom to assist with chest compressions. By the time I returned, however, the patient was already in one of the little suture rooms, waiting to be bagged.

I entered the lonely room. The walls, the gurney, the sheet seemed so white, in retrospect. I pulled back the sheet.

…but not yet of someone younger then myself.

She is pretty, even with her cold grey skin and her drying half-opened eyes. It seems inappropriate that she not be breathing; that tube in her mouth does not belong there. She had died of a drug overdose but she does not have the look of the habitual user. I see no marks on her arms; she has all her teeth; her eyes do not have the look of one tired of life. This is a mistake. She was not yet finished.

To think, just yesterday she had been walking, talking and maybe even laughing. Could she have known it was for the last time? Can any of us?

And how strange it feels to know of her demise before those that love her do. How lonely, lying here, no one yet aware of her absence. Imagining the faces of her family, standing where I am now, is difficult.

But her sweet face will stay with me for a while.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Home Stretch

Stacey's christmas holiday party and one psych final to go!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Why are you becoming a nurse?

Years ago, I was one of those cats you would see journaling in one of the trendy new coffee shops called "Starbucks;" I think there were five in Denver back then. I remember sitting for hours, looking out at the snow falling, trying to figure out why I was being drawn to make a decision I was about to make, or why someone pissed me off.

It must be that journaling is akin to the reflective listening we have been learning; it is just that we are reflecting ourselves to ourselves. In my wanderlust days, for instance, I would feel irresistibly compelled to leave town, not knowing why. In retrospect, journaling helped me bring a logic and reason to those impulses.

Blogging is the new journaling. Not only do I have a storage medium for my musings, but I am forced to be clear – I have a potential audience (and I do mean potential, sometimes I think only my mother and sisters read this stuff!)

I became a nursing student for what seems like a multitude of reasons, but as I have yet to blog-journal about it, I am uncertain which of those reasons is the ‘root’ reason. I think I would like to do that soon, here, and I invite you to do the same. Many of us got into nursing for the money, some out of a need to serve. Do you really know why you decided on this torturous road?

[By the way, if any of you are unsure how to post a blog or how to add pictures and whatnot, just let me know, I’ll walk you through it.]

Saturday, November 12, 2005

First Day?

An interesting, if not harrowing experience for a new grad over at PixelRN.

International Nurse Day

May 12th!

So I'm late.

Friday, November 11, 2005


A Latino male in his twenties had been brought up the unit from PES (Psych emergency). I was standing at the nurse’s station going over a chart when I heard the nurse in front of me proclaim, “Yep, your tax dollars at work,” pointing to her chart and looked for a sign of commiseration from me. I didn’t know what she was talking about, so I followed her finger to the part of her patient’s chart that said “SSN: 888-88-8888.” “Gotta be illegal!” she said.

As I recall, my face was set for ‘yeah-and?,’ but she mistook it for ‘I-agree-sister!’ “Do you believe the nerve of these people,” she went on, “sponging off the system like this? We really need more border patrol!” I was picturing the band of rednecks currently patrolling the border between Arizona and Mexico while repressing the urge to roll my eyes. She actually waited for my reply.

Feeling non-confrontational, but ever a wee bit sarcastic, I said “But who would we get to do our dishes?” Again, she mistook, and must have heard: “Were you raped as a child?”

[With ever reddening face and pointing finger]: “They come here and take our…..!!”,” Those people using our….!!.”, "I have worked too long and hard for...", “They need to…!!”

Some part of me was using therapeutic technique with this wounded soul because I recall muttering, “Mm-Hmm” and “Hmm.” There was a long pause. Lots of downward looking; paper shuffling. I think I heard panting - then, “I do my OWN dishes, thank you!”

To my rescue, came the seasoned unit clerk, peering up from his paperwork and over a pair of glasses perched at the end of his nose. He said to her, over said glasses, and without any hesitation, "And what about, Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door?" - the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

On my walk home that night, I thought of all the things I wish I had said. I thought about how I wish I had stood up for that Latino man. He will get the treatment he needs; I was not concerned about that. I was concerned about the attitude coming from the long time SFGH nurse, and this was not the first time I had heard such prejudice.

By the time I reached Valencia and 19th, I was livid. The man was human; the sentiment of that nurse was not. Part of the mission statement of SFGH is, “…to deliver humanistic, cost-effective, and culturally competent health services to the residents of the City and County of San Francisco.” What is a resident? Does he live here? Legally? Does it matter? Do we accept everyone, or only those with papers?

Frankly, I am willing to let the care of that man be part of ‘my tax dollars at work.’

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


If I am not mistaken, I have set myself up as the site administrator and also, succesfully invited my other blogger identity on board as a member.

I think what I have to do now in give everyone an e-mail invitation. You will be e-mailed a link and then asked to create an account name.

Then I think you can start posting right away.

A nursing student's blog

Well, here goes. As promised- a nurses blog. I now need to figure out how to allow other users on to the site.