Sunday, February 11, 2007

Wow. And advice.

So I was reading Twisty Faster today, because a pal of mine told me she'd linked this blog as an example of People Who Write About Lunch (and, ironically enough, I'd just finished a batch of mac & chee, which was the post Twisty had linked to), and I remembered that Bitch, PhD. is one of my all-time favorite blogs.

I read the comments on a post of hers about collective nouns and saw Head Nurse mentioned by somebody I'd never heard of before--the blogger who writes Battle Axe. It's a young blog, but Big Girl seems to have it *down*. I'll be watching that blog with interest.

No pressure, BG. Really.

There is nothing more exciting than seeing your blog mentioned in the third person by somebody you don't know.

Advice for People Who Use The Phone

1. Never, ever apologize for "bothering" a person who's on call. The correct thing to say is "thank you for returning my page." Saying, "I'm sorry to bother you, Doctor X..." makes whatever you're dealing with seem insignificant and belittles your role as a nurse/resident/whatever.

2. If it happens that you screwed up and phoned somebody who's not on call, the right thing to say is "Sorry", followed by a quick replacing of the handset on its cradle. At our hospital, this could also be a quick "My bad" or "Bad nurse, no donut." Either way, you apologize and get the hell off the line.

3. Have the chart in front of you. It took me *months* to learn that.

4. Ask the nearest nurse who's on call for the weekend. That'll save you from ever having to use #2.

5. If you're a resident, please, please, PLEASE identify yourself both by name and by specialty. "This is Barkejcwicz, Urology" is a lot faster than me having to ask "What specialty are you?" or "What the hell did you say?" This is especially important if you have a name like Chu or Young or Green or Smith or Amir. There are six Dr. Amirs in rotation just now; I may have paged both Urology Amir and ENT Amir, and I really don't want to get them mixed up.

Advice For Family Members

1. No matter how good an idea it seems at the time, don't give that pill.

2. The time to call me is as the patient is trying to discontinue his PICC line/NG tube/catheter, not after.

3. "Well, he's had them before, and I didn't think it was a big deal" is not what I want to hear when you tell me your brother had a seizure right as I left the room. Please call me back in.

4. If you're going to punch your son's girlfriend in the eye, make sure you do it off hospital grounds. And that she puts that baby down first.

5. Finally, and most important, *ask me*. If you have a question about something, ask. If something doesn't seem right to you, ask me what the heck is going on. If you're confused, ask me to explain. That is what I am here for. It's my job, my greatest pleasure, and a sure way to make certain your family member gets good care. Use me.

Advice for People In Nursing School

1. Don't panic. We're not all like your instructors.

2. That pink thong? Cute, but not good (oh, so not good) under the white scrub pants.

3. Ask us. If you need help, or you're confused, ask us. Some of us even dig working on care plans, and will rattle off interventions that will make your week. Just ask.

4. Act confident. Eventually you will be.

5. Do, or do not. There is no try. This goes especially for things like IVs and NG tubes. "I'm going to start an IV on you now" inspires more confidence in both patient and practitioner than "I'm going to try to get an IV on you."

Advice for People Who Blog

1. Go for wider columns instead of narrower. It's easier on aging eyes. Like mine.

2. Write it all down. You can always edit later.

3. The stuff you hate will be the stuff that strikes a chord with other people. I don't know why this is, but it's true: every time I write something that, in retrospect, I hate, other people find something in it to love.

4. Satire is hard. Parody is harder. Funny is usually pretty easy.

5. Spellcheck, I have learned the hard way, is your friend.

And that is all for now. The Cat is trying to convince me, through anguished meowings and paw-pats, that it's time for a nap.

Big Girl, keep writing. And thanks for the props.

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