17 September, 2015 § Leave a comment
To the Hosts of The View
It has taken me a few days to come up with exactly what I wanted to say. I have expressed my opinion on social media, joined Facebook groups in protest and camaraderie, and discussed the remarks made by you on The View. I have sat down and though long and hard about what I was seeing happening in the aftermath of the remarks that you had made about myself and my colleagues. Initially my letter to you was filled with anger over your ignorant comments, but as the hours have passed, some of my anger has passed as well. Undoubtedly, the ability to continue to move forward, even while angry and hurt over the remarks of another person, is something that I have learned as a Registered Nurse. It is one of my many skills, but it is by no means my only skill that I utilize as a Nurse. I assess, investigate, advocate for my patients. I comfort my patients when they are having the worst times of their lives and provide them with hope. I offer them assistance and encouragement in order to help them move forward through recovery. I educate them on their diagnosis, and how to become more healthy. I have held the hand of dying patients, made them comfortable after I advocated for more medications, and yes, I have used my stethoscope to listen to them take their last breath, to listen to their heart beat its’ last beat as they left this world and because of my stethoscope I was able to pronounce the patient which required that I put my name is credentials on their death certificate.
While you joked on your show about my colleagues, countless numbers of us were saving lives. Many of us were in Codes, performing chest compressions, inserting IV lines, and delivering medications in order to save the loved one of another. Some of us may not have even known the patient or the family, but when the call for help rang out, we responded quickly because that is what we do as Nurses. We often move towards what others will run away from because, like many others of the healthcare team, we have seen life and death and understand that someone must move towards the most horrific parts of the human experience.
As a Nurse, I am also a scientist and a scholar. I use the most recent scientific research, conducted by Nurses, to implement Evidence Based Practice, so that I can ensure that I provide the absolute best care possible. While your jokes, and your subsequent “apology” make it apparent that you think that we are also stupid, many of us hold multiple degrees, multiple certifications, and have thousands of hours of education under our belts.
We are women. We are men. We come in all ages, colors, shapes, sizes and backgrounds. We have various levels of education and certification from Associate Degrees right up to Doctorate Degrees in our field. We are in the community at schools and people’s homes, in Operating Rooms, in Clinics and Family Practices, in Emergency Departments, in Medical Surgical wings, in Rehabs, in Long Term Care facilities, in Critical Care, at your birth and at your death. We are everywhere. We are Nurses.
If you do not know a Nurse, please find one. Perhaps reach out and ask to shadow a Nurse while they work their 8, 12, or 16 hour shift. Don’t worry, we will be compassionate towards you and do not expect you to be able to keep up. However perhaps you will be able to learn something about what we do. While we work, you might even be able to find yourself speaking with a Doctor, trust me they will set you straight in your remarks towards Nurses.
I wish you all well. I hope none of you ever have to meet any of my colleagues due to an illness, but if you do, just know that we will comfort you, care for you, advocate for you, because we are Nurses and that is what we do and it is just one of our many talents.
Anthony, BA, RN
3 April, 2014 § Leave a comment
Dr. White Coat has a few interesting articles posted in his most recent Medical Update, one of them being a story by national Geographic that states that
People typically wash their hands seven times a day in the United States, but they do it at a far higher temperature than is necessary to kill germs, a new study says. The energy waste is equivalent to the fuel use of a small country.
This is something I have been saying for a long time, and I stopped washing my hands with hot water on the first day of nursing school when the instructor showed us proper hand washing technique and explained why hot water is not necessary, at least not in hand washing. Why? We can not safely or comfortably put our hands in water that has reached a temperature needed to kill bacteria. As it turns out, it looks like National Geographic agrees
Carrico said, “It’s certainly true that heat kills bacteria, but if you were going to use hot water to kill them it would have to be way too hot for you to tolerate.”
She explained that boiling water, 212°F (99.98°C), is sometimes used to kill germs-for example, to disinfect drinking water that might be contaminated with pathogens. But “hot” water for hand washing is generally within 104°F to 131°F (40°C to 55°C.) At the high end of that range, heat could kill some pathogens, but the sustained contact that would be required would scald the skin.
You can read the rest of the National Geographic article here. So, stop wasting so much energy and wash your hands in cool water. Besides, hot water can chaff and dry your eyes, causing a breakdown in the skin and giving an opening for bacteria to enter the body.
The other article Dr. White Coat had posted is entitled “Google Glass is Helping Doctor’s Save Lives. Maybe it is Time to Reconsider the Poorly Received Technology” and it has me very interested. I love technology and I especially love technology when it helps to make healthcare better and could potential save lives or make the patient experience better (not to mention my job easier and allows me to give better care). This article speaks about ED Doctors using Google Glass, but in the future this would prove beneficial for the entire treatment team. Here are a few snippets
Clinicians can now speak with the patient, examine them, and perform procedures while simultaneously seeing data from the ED Dashboard in their field of view.
[I]n Indiana, Glass is being used in surgery to aid in the removal of tumors. The doctor is able to look at an MRI of the patient’s tumor at the same time he is removing it, enabling more precise surgery.
Seriously folks, despite the current debacles in our healthcare system, there are some bright spots in medicine and as technology progresses, we hope that medicine will progress with it.
What do you think about the study on hand washing? Will you change your habits?
How about the article about using Google Glass in our practices as healthcare practitioners? Do you think it is a good idea? Will it help us or hurt us? How would you feel as a patient if your provider were using Google Glass?
24 July, 2013 § Leave a comment
No, no this blog has not died already. The thing about being a nurse and a blogger is that being a nurse does not always lend itself to blogging. Last pay period I worked 114 hours, the period before that 90 hours and the one before that, 99 hours. Yeah long hours are often a part of the life of a nurse and after 114 hours sleep comes easily while blogging does not.
Never fear. I have a few posts in the works and a few days off. Thanks for sticking around.