Category Archives: Nursing
In other news… I’ve graduated, passed boards, been duly board certified, applied for licensure in two states, and can now proudly claim to be an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) in the state of Washington. All I’m lacking now is a DEA number to prescribe controlled substances. Until then, all I can prescribe are “legacy drugs,” which basically means aspirin. I’m still awaiting for my Oregon licensure to be finalized. It was a much more tedious process and took me a lot longer to finish, so I predict it will … Continue reading
Here is a message I received in my email today, completely out of the blue, from a nurse recruiter. (As Dave Barry says, I am NOT making this up. This is the actual, unaltered text of the message): Dear Ruth, Please tell me you can move to wherever there are jobs. If you cannot I am so very sorry but I cannot help you. My focus is on meeting the needs of my communities and find them candidates who will practice there. It is not, sorry, on focusing on the … Continue reading
One of my responsibilities as a psych nurse is patient education. I help my patients learn coping skills, teach them about their medications and how they work, and help them find ways to change the thoughts and attitudes that keep defeating them. It’s not a one-way street, though; my patients teach me, too. They show me new ways to look at the world; they teach me honesty and transparency, and about the resilience of the human soul. Once in a while, one comes along who teaches me more than I … Continue reading
Back in my hospital CNA days, I worked the night shift. Each of the rooms on the med-surg unit where I worked had a 365-day calendar hanging on the wall to let the patient know what day it was, so one of the things I did each night as I made my rounds taking midnight vitals was to tear the previous day’s page off each calendar to update it for the new day. During one shift, I was assigned to “sit” with a somewhat confused elderly woman. She had wrecked … Continue reading
Despite the fact that the American public consistently ranks nurses as among the top five most trustworthy types of people, nursing is one of the least-understood professions. Very few people really understand exactly who we are, what we do, or how much we have to learn in order to do it. My friend “Strong One” has put together a list that describes us quite nicely. Check it out on his blog. Thanks, Strong One!
Bravo to Phil Baumann, RN, for his blog post, An Open Letter to Some Nursing Education Faculty. To his list, I would also like to add “Appreciate your students’ previous knowledge and life experience.” As someone who attended nursing school after a successful career in the tech industry, it was disconcerting to be expected to forfeit my adulthood and life experiences and submit to being treated as though I were a naive and inexperienced 18-year-old just out of high school. I had lived in a foreign country and six different … Continue reading
The elderly black woman’s blood pressure had been dangerously elevated. While I was checking her vitals for one of many times that shift, she looked up at me hesitantly. “If I tell you something, will you do it for me?” she asked. “What is it?” I replied. “Go out yonder,” she said, pointing at the midnight sky outside her fifth floor hospital room window, “and get some leaves offa dem apple trees. Make a poultice of ‘em, and sprinkle on some salt to pull da juice outta da leaves. Put … Continue reading