Defensive Medicine

I came across this article from the New York Times Op-Ed page, which really struck a chord with me. More Treatment, More Mistakes written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Certainly many procedures, tests and prescriptions are based on legitimate need. But many are not. In a recent anonymous survey, orthopedic surgeons said 24 percent of the … Continue reading

Though it might look good to eat…

Do you remember that PSA that had puppets singing: don’t you put it in your mouth? I feel that it should be played ad nauseam until it actually sticks. I’ve had two patients now who have come in after possibly ingesting grandma’s medication. Not sure how bitter tasting pills could pass as candy, but in … Continue reading

Requiescat In Pace

When a patient takes his/her last breath, it jolts you to rethink your own mortality. On the weekend, one of my long-term care patients passed away on my night shift. The team had known he was not doing well, and we progressed to palliative care pretty quickly. I was not expecting the worse because the … Continue reading

Reflections and New Beginings

The last few months have been quite taxing on me both mentally and physically. I started a new position in a downtown hospital; I was hired to float on different floors and as well as the emergency department. My orientation was 3 months due to my new graduate status. I felt that even though I … Continue reading

Nurse, I’ll Have Two Bottles of Charcoal, Please.

Case Report A woman with a history of depression and past suicide attempts is admitted to the ED at 14:30. Pt has rheumatoid arthritis in wrists joints and takes hydroxychloroquine  200 mg once daily (OD). EMS reports the pt has ingested 50 x 200 mg of hydroxychloroquine at 14:15. On physical examination, pt reports visual disturbances of black … Continue reading

So long, and Thanks for All the Fish

What a journey these past two months have been. I still have many more stories to share, but they will have to wait until I return home “down south.” I’ve learned a tremendous amount while I’ve been nursing in this rural community. And I’ve seen a multitude of cases — sometimes tragic, others joyful. Overall, … Continue reading

Vital Signs Absent

For some the heroics of a code are what some nurses live for. For me, well, I would rather see the patient living. It was 0600 and I had drifted off into a nap in the staff lounge. It had been a busy night on the floor: answering callbells, wheeling commodes, admitting patients, and dishing … Continue reading

Kelly, Allis, Who?

If anyone knows what the title of my post is about, then I suspect you have some knowledge of peri-operative nursing. I spent two days in the operating room learning about different procedures and the daily life of a scrub nurse. In our small hospital, we also have the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) managed by … Continue reading

Shot Through the Heart/And You’re Too Late

As promised, this post is about my experience participating in cardioversion therapy. A patient came into the ED with uncontrolled atrial fibrillation (AF). He was tachycardic, diaphoretic, hypertensive, but generally asymptomatic. No chest pain. No dizziness. No headache. No palpitations. No visual disturbances. No shortness of breath (SOB). He hadn’t been taking his cardiac medication … Continue reading

Can’t it be Spring Yet?

This was taken a couple of mornings ago. I couldn’t believe my eyes at 4 am. It was really snowing. After walking home, this was the aftermath outside my window. Things in the ED have been eerily quiet. My preceptor is sure that shit is going to hit the fan soon. While we waited for … Continue reading