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  1. NurseDirtyBird

    Professionalism in Nursing? Yes, Please!

    I think local culture should be accounted for as well. I live and work in a liberal west coast town, where tattoos and piercings are pretty much de rigueur. I work in an exclusive facility with a very affluent clientele (read "Old School"), and I have had only one single complaint regarding my tattoos, and it was barely a complaint. We ended up having an intelligent discussion about culture and counterculture, the history and significance of tattooing, and the evolution of social norms. Other than the usual questions from the curious, I've heard nothing. I may be judged by my appearance at first glance, but it doesn't matter, as my actions and words say more about me than my body art does. I'd pick tattooed competence over a clean-cut doofus anytime, and apparently so do my patients.
  2. NurseDirtyBird

    Is It Fair to Say We Hate These Things or People?

    Having strong enough feelings about your job to say you hate it is a sign of burnout. If someone feels such animosity for work, it's probably time to move on to something else.
  3. NurseDirtyBird

    Burn Nursing

    This might be a dumb question, but I've never worked acute care, or anywhere near a hospital with a burn unit. Are there usually separate peds and adult units? Are they in the same unit? Or do the kids usually get transferred to children's hospitals? Just curious.
  4. NurseDirtyBird

    Losing my religion

  5. NurseDirtyBird

    Nurses With POSSIBILITIES: Changing Our Perspective on Disability

    I like this. I'm in the process of learning my own limitations and often fail to see what's in between the limits - possibilities! Thousands of them! Sometimes I feel my limitations are keeping me boxed in, but now I realize the box isn't all that small. Thank you for the reminder.
  6. NurseDirtyBird

    The Stumblebutt Chronicles

    It's nice to know I'm not the only member of the Klutzy Nutzy Nurse's Club.
  7. NurseDirtyBird


    I've used humor as a coping mechanism my entire life. I would be far less sane if I hadn't. There is humor to be found in every part of life, and yes, sometimes it can be dark. Sometimes it can be juvenile. My philosophy has always been "Life should be laughed at as often as possible. It deserves it." Just last night I had a patient with a brand new colostomy. She loudly passed gas through the ostomy and we both jumped in surprise. She said, "HA! I never know when it's coming now, and I wouldn't have warned you even if I had!" We both had a good laugh. To clarify: I would not have laughed at all had the patient not started. That would have been unprofessional. With one little fart joke, she showed me she was trying to cope with a huge change in her body in a healthy way. She seems to have good humor about her condition, and so does her family. It made me feel like she'd be ok.
  8. NurseDirtyBird

    Life and Death

    "Choice vs. no choice." Hmmm. What do you do when you've tried so many medications you can't even remember them all? What do you do when talk therapy has done absolutely nothing? What do you do when everyone ignores your pain and calls you selfish? What do you do when you can't afford treatment at all and there are no public resources available to you and the only thing that happens when you're hospitalized is someone locks you in a room and watches you 24/7? Is it really any surprise that someone will want to end their life when the pain doesn't stop and they have no way of fixing it? They don't think there's any choice. It's a last resort, and a desperate one, and the suicidal patient is often aware of that.
  9. NurseDirtyBird

    Nursing Judgement Does Not Equate: A Nurse's Judgement

    My hubby (a cop) told me a story about a car chase with a DUI/hit and run suspect who was also suspected of vehicular homicide. Both the cop and the suspect crashed with injuries. Both were taken to the ER. Of course the uniform was off in the hospital, all the nurses knew was this guy was there because of a DUI MVA that killed somebody. The treated the cop like crap. They delayed answering call bells, delayed pain meds, made snide remarks within his hearing...until a whole bunch of uniforms showed up to visit him and see how he was doing. As soon as the nurses figured out who he was, he got the royal treatment. I was appalled at this. Nurses have a responsibility to give equal treatment to EVERY patient, no matter what they think of them. You don't give substandard care because someone may have done something awful, and you don't treat them like kings because they did something good. I've cared for leaders of charitable organizations, and I've cared for child molesters. All received the same treatment to the best of my ability. You cannot expect zero bias, as nurses are human after all, but you were correct in saying we need to do our best to check our judgment at the door. Thank you for sharing this.
  10. NurseDirtyBird

    Mental Illness: Debunking the Myths, Sharing Some Insight

    If I could like this a million times, I would!
  11. NurseDirtyBird

    Mental Illness: Debunking the Myths, Sharing Some Insight

    Thank you for including point #4. It's the one that irks me the most. I can't count how many times I've heard, "just think happy thoughts" BS, like it's supposed to make everything magically better.
  12. NurseDirtyBird

    The Cynical Nurse Speaks

    The only reason my bottle of Vitamin A is full is because I recently got a refill.
  13. NurseDirtyBird

    The Lousy, Awful, Crazy, Rotten, *Really* Bad Day

    I can relate with the hospital issue. Our "magnet status" hospital ED treats my LTC patients the same way. I've had residents come back with reports so egregiously faked it was almost funny. The resident with contractures came back with a report of "full ROM in all limbs," and absolutely no assessment of the symptoms we transferred him for. A nonverbal dementia patient came back with, "Pt states she has no pain or discomfort." It's especially bad with assisted living, as the hospital never understands that there is no e-kit or pharmacy on site, and we can't even elevate the HOB as the residents aren't in hospital beds. We don't even have suction equipment or oxygen available. It doesn't matter how many notes we send with that info, or how many times we brief the ED charge RN when giving report, they always come back with orders we can't implement until the next day at minimum. So they get sent back...and the ED gets mad at us.
  14. NurseDirtyBird

    Confessions Of A Labour & Delivery Nurse

    I'm pretty sure providing peri-care isn't outside the L&D nurse's scope of practice...