23 January, 2014 § Leave a comment
Working a full-time nursing position, raising a family, and trying to regularly update a blog on nursing is not an easy task. As a writer I tend to want to write longer, more thoughtful post but as a nurse I understand that things can be simple and efficient as well as thoughtful and effective. While I am finding that my days do not have a lot of time for me to actually sit down at a computer, it seems I can find a few minutes to blog from my phone. Hopefully this means thay I will be able to post more things. Hey, I survived nursing school, I am fairly certain I can do this, right?
Alrighty, now to make sure this post is at least something nursing related: hydration.
I drink tons of water, both as a rule in general and while at work. I am always on a quest to find the perfect water bottle but sometimes I find funny ones. Here is a picture of a funny one and remember to leave comments below about what you use for water containment at work and at play.
28 July, 2013 § Leave a comment
One of the most important skills that a nurse can have is the ability to put together a quality cup of coffee. Okay, I know what you are thinking:
Anthony, this is a a very bad stereotype. People already believe that Nurses just get coffee for the Doctor!
Please people, I am not talking about getting coffee for a Doc, they can get their own coffee from one of those $0.50 machines where the coffee comes out tasting like cheese. Besides, I am not sure if they can handle my nurses brew.
I am talking about making a good cup or three of coffee to power us through our day. We can not afford to get that end of shift slump like our office faring brethren, no it is usually near the end of shift that we must be our most alert or Murphy’s law will ensure we are there long past our punch out time.
I have a Keurig for when I need that emergency cup STAT, but truthfully I love the coffee that comes out of my French Press. The Keurig is nice but it is almost blasphemous, but when coffee is needed immediately we must improvise. My press is nothing fancy. I picked it up from my local grocery store for about $20 and it works great; the end result really is all in the coffee and the water anyway.
So how do I make a kick ass cup of coffee for my first caffeine bolus? Well it is slightly labor intensive, but we are nurses, we are no stranger to putting in some work and we know that anything worth doing is worth doing right or we are just going to have to do it again.
I start with a darker roast coffee, usually French Roast (I swear there is no theme here between my French Roast coffee and my French press) and make a coarse grind. I have a grinder at home but it needs to be retired and produces grounds that clog the filter, so I buy whole beans at the store and then grind it there. Yes, you lose some flavor this way and that sucks but it is better than the stuff that has been ground already. Either put out the money to buy a really good grinder or, if you are like me and go through a pound pretty quickly, just grind it coarse at the store.
So I have my ground coffee, I heat 28 ounces of water on the stove (that is where the water meets top band) and bring it to a boil. Once it boils I remove it from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to bring it to about 200 degrees. This is the temperature you want the water to be at, so if you have a way of bringing it to that and knowing the temperature, then go for it, I do not so I just give it a few minutes to cool down once it starts to boil.
Meanwhile, I add 2 scoops of grounds for every 6 ounces of water and I will usually add an extra scoop because I like my coffee strong. Add the hot water, stir with a wooden spoon or chopsticks, and put the lid on with the plunger up. Now walk away for 4 minutes and allow it to steep.
Tick tock tick tock.
After those 4 agonizing minutes, slowly depress the plunger and then poor that first delicious cup of coffee. I also add a bit of sweetened condensed milk because it makes coffee awesome. I learned this from some Vietnamese friends and the Vietnamese got it from when they were a French colony (okay fine, I see the French theme too).
The whole process takes about 10 minutes and the end result is a better cup of coffee than what you will get from your drip coffee maker and most certainly better than your Keurig.
Now all you have to do is pour it into your to-go cup or sit for a few minutes and enjoy the fruits of your labor. There is something about the process that is zen like and calms my mind to prepare for the day ahead. And then the resultant coffee amps my brain up. I am a nurse and zen gardens and sand rakes can only last so long before it is replaced by a brain that processes a metric ton of information and acts in seconds.
I promise that you will not regret making your coffee this way.
- Coffee drinking linked to 50% lower risk of suicide (io9.com)
- Can I Put Coffee through a Central line? (straightcathnochaser.wordpress.com)
6 June, 2013 § 3 Comments
Nursing, as a profession, has come a long way in our practice, knowledge, and skills. Long gone are the days of nurses assisting in procedures such as blood letting, instead Nurse Researchers have fashioned and implemented the science of nursing based on. No longer do nurses take a subservient role in patient care, instead we advocate for our patients, double check the orders and procedures to ensure they are safe for the patient and protect the patient as the first line caregivers. We are no longer the lowest on the totem pole, but instead we are equal members of the healthcare team giving input based on our own evidence based practices to influence the best possible outcome. Today Nurses and the Nursing profession is smarter, and more autonomous overall, with advanced nurse practitioners, doctors of nursing, and specialty certifications. It is not uncommon for people to have a Nurse Practitioner as their Primary Care Provider nor is it uncommon for Nurse Practitioners to have their name next to the Medical Doctor in a practice, sharing in the ownership. Nurses come out of school having learned the newest theories and practice guidelines based on, you guessed it, scientific research done by nurses. Throughout our careers we continue to learn, adapt, and implement the practices that will best achieve the goals that the healthcare team and our patients have set.