Ruby Vee's Nursing Blog - page 2

By Ruby Vee

Joined Jun 28, '02. Posts: 8,607 (65% Liked) Likes: 31,113

The following are articles I have written and shared with the nursing community. If you enjoy an article please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Mistakes are Inevitable: No one is perfect.

A former colleague of mine, a lovely woman I'll call Lauren, made an enormous and fatal medication error on her first night shift off of orientation. She gave 5 mg. of digoxin IV push — not 0.5 mg. She drew up and injected 10 vials of digoxin. She recognized her mistake almost immediately afterward, but it was too late for her patient. After a prolonged code, he died. Lauren learned a hard lesson, and she learned it in public, but she handled it in the best way I've ever seen anyone handle such... Read More →


Humor: The Most Essential Quality

Someone asked me the other day what I thought was the most essential quality to being a good nurse. They then waited with bated breath, hoping for me to say something profound like "You have to have a calling" or "A sincere desire to better the human condition." I know they were hoping for me to say something like that, because they made no bones about their disappointment with my response. I have never been one of those who subscribe to the idea that a calling is necessary to being a... Read More →


Why Do I Care?

Why do I care that new nurses leave our unit after less than two years -- often after less than one year? Why do I care, when they're adults. They're going to have to live with the consequences of being out of work, or having a resume that reflects job hopping or never learning the basics of nursing because they never stay in one place long enough to be able to learn them. Why is it any of my business? When one new nurse makes an ill-considered decision with consequences that she... Read More →


About That Avatar...

It seems that every year, there's a new bunch of AN members who use their own photo as an avatar. It's a dangerous practice. The internet isn't really as anonymous as we all like to think it is, but if you're using your own picture as an avatar, you might as well use your own name as well. (And no, Ruby Vee is not my real, live legal name.) AN is a great place to come to have questions answered -- especially stupid questions that you don't want to run by the crusty old bats who work on... Read More →


Nursing: The Caring Profession

I’ve gone on record as vigorously opposing the idea that one must have a “calling” to become a nurse, or even to become a good nurse. Even someone who is just in it “for the money” can be a fabulous nurse, and someone who has a calling can be totally incompetent. To be a nurse, you need to be able to communicate well in English (both oral and written form), understand enough mathematics to calculate drug dosages, memorize that a PT goes in a blue tube and a Chem panel in a gold top (or... Read More →


The Calling: What Made Me Pursue a Nursing Career

“Become a nurse just for the money? How can you possibly be a good nurse if you’re doing it just for the money?” The implication seems to be that in order to be a good nurse, one has to have a “calling”. This is the idea put forth mostly be brand new nurses, student nurses, students in pre-nursing and “wannabe” nurses. In some cases, they really seem to believe that they have a calling -- they’re called to “help people” or to “make a difference”. In other cases, they seem to be... Read More →


Coping: Dark Humor and Silver Linings

Coping with cancer is a lot like coping with nursing -- or life, even -- humor helps as does actively seeking the silver lining. Dark humor seems to help the most, or perhaps it’s just that I’m hopelessly warped after thirty-odd years of nursing. Whatever, there are people (and I’m related to some) who have no sense of humor, and I cannot imagine how they cope when life throws them a curveball. Strangely, though, there are people whom never seem to GET thrown the curveball. My sister is one... Read More →


For Those Considering A Career In Nursing

I've been a nurse for a lONG time -- probably longer than most of you reading this have been alive. Had I known what I was getting into, I probably would not have gotten into it. Fortunately, I had no idea. I say fortunately, because nursing has been an interesting and flexible career that has afforded me a nice lifestyle and kept me from being bored. I wouldn’t go back and change my mind about going into nursing if I could.. Oh, and I met my husband at work. Another bonus! If... Read More →


"One Measly Act Of Charity"

I was middle-aged when I decided to become Catholic. My mother was raised in a fundamentalist church -- one of those churches where Sunday services last all day and there’s a lot of (literal) Bible thumping involved. (I’ll never forget the Sunday my uncle Alvin gave the sermon, whacking his Bible against the podium to emphasize his proclamations. “You are all SINNERS.” Whack goes the Bible against the podium. “You are all going to HELL!” Whack! “You are all going STRAIGHT TO HELL!” ... Read More →


"It isn't your mother; it's the disease"

I wish I had a dollar for every time my mother’s or my mother-in-law’s bad behavior prompted a nurse or a CNA somewhere to tell me that. Mom curses at me and tells me I’m ugly and stupid -- the nurse sighs sympathetically and says “that’s not your mother, that’s the disease.” Meaning Alzheimer’s. My mother-in-law kicks, screams, spits, scratches and bites when the urge strikes her. And the CNA helpfully tells my sister-in-law “It’s not your mother. That’s the disease.” Surely it cannot... Read More →


Ghost Building

Ghost Building I've always wondered what happens to the ghosts that haunt a building once the building is demolished. Do they go off into oblivion once the building is gone? Or do they stay at the longitude and latitude where the building once stood? It was a famous hospital, founded during the Civil War and treated in its time both Union and Confederate soldiers. We'll call it St. Peters General Hospital. By the time I took a job there well over a century later, the buildings were... Read More →


Martha, The Helpful Ghost

It's been my experience that every hospital has a ghost or two . . . although it seems that only certain people ever see them. I think part of it is you need to be open to seeing them and maybe part of it is luck. I'm just lucky I guess. In every hospital in which I've ever worked, I've encountered at least one ghost and sometimes more. Some of them are peaceful, kind presences, the kind that you suspect might be looking out for you. And then there are the angry or malevolent ghosts --... Read More →


Rehab's Ghost

I've come to the conclusion that every hospital -- and probably nursing homes, funeral homes and assisted livings -- have their ghosts. Certainly I've encountered many of them over my decades of nursing. My mother used to claim that she'd see them all over the place. "They just walk around town like the rest of us," she said. "But if you're really looking, you can see that they're not real." When I asked her how she knew they were ghosts, she had a lot of vague answers -- one of them... Read More →


Alzheimer's: My Mother's Approval

I was one of those little girls whose mother didn’t like her. She liked my sister just fine -- thought she was perfect in every way. Me -- not so much. For most of my life, there was nothing I could ever do that was good enough for her, nothing I said, did or was pleased her. I graduated with honors from high school (despite having two jobs) and I should have been valedictorian and why hadn’t I been a cheerleader or homecoming queen? I was an honor student in college despite having been... Read More →


Rudeness in the Workplace

“There’s no excuse for rudeness in the workplace. Those who try to justify it are probably rude bullies who eat their young.” “I’m always pleasant and professional and I always treat everyone the way I’d like to be treated.” How many times have I read those statements on Allnurses? And while I sort of understand the sentiment being expressed, I find it very difficult to swallow the notion that anyone truly believes there is never any excuse for rudeness or that they themselves are... Read More →



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