Saturday, October 08, 2005

The book is done.

Thank Frog.

And thank Frog I have about five years to wait until the *next* Gabaldon book, because it'll take me that long to recover. These are not books that you casually put down and then pick back up again.

In student news...

The four students, Weepy, Dopey, Sleepy, and Frizzy, were back with us this week. I steadfastly refused to take any of them, on the premise that none of my patients were very interesting (which was true). I was triply glad I'd done so when Weepy asked me to remind her how to take a blood pressure.

Apparently the Big Discussion with the Idiot Instructor didn't make much of a dent in anybody's skull. Sleepy, Dopey, and Frizzy were still sitting, yakking, and not reading H&Ps well into the afternoon on the day after said meeting.

Only six more weeks. Only six more weeks. As it turns out, *every* unit is having problems with this batch of students--a total of ten. Some units are getting patient complaints about them, even...which makes me wonder why on earth they're allowed to stay.

I Am Ashamed, or What I Cook For Other People On My Day Off

This coming week there'll be a big potluck at work. I work with a number of people who are, shall we say, less than open-minded about their food. I suppose I could treat the folks who like things like spinach enchiladas or hummus or fried rice to some special delicacy, but then I'd have to hear the rest of 'em bitch for hours on end about how I brought some weird hippy dish. These are people who pick the non-iceberg lettuce out of salads, you understand.

So I made something Mom used to be forced to make for church dinners. It's called "Mock Lasagne" and is proof that Methodists can and will casserole anything.

Take a half a pound of pasta and boil it. Fry up a chub of Italian sausage. Drain both. Mix 'em together. Add some peppers and mushrooms you've sauteed, then a bottle of marinara sauce. (I use Newman's Own, just as a little snub to the food idiots.) Dump in about a half a carton of ricotta (the original recipe calls for small-curd cottage cheese, which makes me blanch) and a bag of shredded mozzarella. Stir. Dump into casserole dish, top with Parmesan, and bake.

Once you've heated it through and served it to your coworkers, go have some good stinky cheese and bread to cleanse your soul of the shame.


I am baking a really wonderful chocolate cake, though, with white chocolate mousse filling and bittersweet chocolate shavings on top. That ought to redeem me with the Food Gods, eh?

Oh, by the way

It's "graphite", which is a nice medium metallic grey. And it has a dark grey interior. And power windows which I can't roll down until the tint cures. And a rockin' CD stereo system. And it goes very, very fast if you want it to.


Anonymous said...

Quick question!! Thanks for reading! How many hours does an "average" nurse work. I know they say three 12 hour shifts constitute full time. Do hospitals limit your hours or can you work five 12 hour shifts a week?

- New RN -

Jo said...

Hiya, newbie! :-)

At my hospital, there are three different ways to work: Full-time nurses work 84 hours in a two-week period, or three days one week and four the next. Nearly-full timers work three days a week. Weekenders work Friday/Saturday/Sunday only, but get full-timer benefits.

You'll notice that *nobody* works five-day weeks if they've got a 12-hour shift. There are a couple of reasons for this: overtime costs, and (more importantly) safety.

At the end of a three-day run, I'm pretty damn punchy. That's normal--a 12-hour shift really works out to a 16- or 18-hour day, once you factor in emergencies that make you stay late and commuting time. Five days under those conditions is simply too much.

I cannot stress strongly enough that exhaustion is cumulative. DO NOT ASSUME that you'll be able to work five on, two off for any length of time before you start making stupid mistakes.

Besides, one of the perks of being a nurse is the ability to have a weird schedule. Enjoy it. And remember: it may seem like a hell of a lot of time off, compared to your office worker pals, but it's necessary to keep us from burning out.

nurse pica said...

im a student nurse in my final year...i love the way u describe your students its hilarious!

in the hospital where i train in sumer we wrk with a day, day, night, rest, off shift, meaning in 5 days we wrk for 36 hours...however im just a student so i dont know if i count!

check out my blog on

Anonymous said...

What does H & P stand for?
Here in the UK, although some wards work 12 hours shifts, more commonly we worl 7.5 a day, for five days a week. I think I prefer the 12 hour, since it's not much longer than 7.5.

shrimplate said...

Some time ago I learned that the simplest, dullest, and often stupidest recipes will get the most attention at workplace potlucks.

Most of my gastronomically-challenged coworkers will take a bag of chips and some velveeta dip over fresh lobster tamales any day.

We have the best and most varied cuisine in the entire world, yet most Americans eat utter crap, all the time.

HypnoKitten said...

H&P = History and Physical (of patient)

Two weeks ago I took something in to work for the first time - big, gorgeous gala apples were on sale and I sliced some up, mixed them in with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of cloves (and a few tablespoons flour) and topped it with some of that bagged oatmeal cookie mix and a handful of rolled oats. People went ga-ga. I thought it was a passable way to use apples in a hurry. Feels sort of silly when people asked me how to make it and I say I just made it up and didn't keep notes. It seems like there aren't that many people willing to cook anymore.

Anonymous said...

I find with my co-workers, if I smother just about anything in melted cheese they'll eat it. It makes me sad, as I really, really, really like to cook!

Anonymous said...

Good work. Congrats!

Jenn said...

I'm backreading. Just thought I'd say, I've had my Accord since 2003 and I still LOVE it... It's had no problems to speak of, and it's 6 years old now. Love, love, LOVE it.