Archive for the ‘social media’ Category


Recent Nurse Blog Posts of Interest, Inhaled Insulin, a Note on Top Blogs Lists

April 4, 2014

By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

Here you will find some links to nursing blog posts, a look at this week’s Affordable Care Act health exchange enrollment numbers, and a couple of items of interest about new treatments or studies, plus a note on blogs that award other blogs badges. A grab bag, so bear with me if you think it’s worth the time…and remember, there’s no shame in jumping ship mid-post.

crocus shoots, early spring, I think/ via Wikimedia Commons

crocus shoots, early spring, I think/ via Wikimedia Commons

At the nursing blogs:

RehabRN has a post about a friend who was bullied by a nurse of much higher authority in the same hospital. Such stories, if true, are always upsetting. What can you do but take it when the power differential is so great?

At the INQRI blog (I’m not going to tell you what the initials stand for except that it has something to with quality, research, and nursing), there’s a post about why stroke survivors need a team approach to palliative care.

Megen Duffy (aka Not Nurse Ratched) has a really very good post at a site she sometimes blogs for. I already shared it via a tweet yesterday, but it deserves more. It’s called “Nursing Will Change You.”

At Infusion Nurse Blog, there’s a post addressing IV solution shortages (now happening on top of shortages of some common and necessary drugs due to a variety of reasons). It gives some practical steps clinicians and organizations can take to conserve and is definitely worth a quick look.

A sweet little post called “Nursing Sisters” is at Adrienne, {Student} Nurse. It’s about how nurses help each other out, starting right from the beginning in nursing school.

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Preventing Delirium, The Luxury of Time, Things We Get Right, More: Nursing Blog Roundup

March 7, 2014

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor

Here are a few recent posts of interest at various nursing blogs:

karindalziel/ via Flickr Creative Commons

karindalziel/ via Flickr Creative Commons

In the throes of nursing school: An intriguing little pastiche of a poem (does it qualify as a ‘found word’ poem?) can be found at a newish blog, adrienne, {student} nurse, in a short post called anatomy of a bath. In another post, she makes the following observations: “In nursing school, you are not driving the train…You absolutely must keep telling yourself that there is nothing wrong with you.”

Preventing delirium in the ICU: At the INQRI blog (the blog of the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Institute), a post summarizes some recent research on implementing a “bundle” of practices to increase mobility and reduce sedation in the ICU, all in order to prevent patient delirium, which is known to have many short- and long-term negative effects.

The luxury of time. At Love and Ladybits, the author gets a tantalizing glimpse of the quality of care she’d be able to provide if she had more time to spend with each patient. Of course, this “alternative reality” can’t last, but perhaps it can serve as a touchstone of sorts during more hectic times.

The past is present. At Head Nurse, there’s a somewhat rueful post about an unexpected encounter, years later, with the author’s least favorite nursing professor (“Everybody has one of those instructors–the ones whose classes make you yearn for the sweet release of death, or at least a nice case of vascular dementia”). Read the rest of this entry ?


Nursing Blog Links, Late Winter Edition: Emotions in Primary Colors

February 18, 2014

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

by doortoriver, via Flickr

by doortoriver, via Flickr

Nurses seem to have hope on their minds as the daylight grows longer and stronger and the winter ever so slowly winds down. There’s a good post at According to Kateri about hope and letting go of the past.

Which reminds me: sort of along these lines, we recently had a good post here at Off the Charts about hope and patient prognosis.

Theresa Brown’s latest at Opinionator, a New York Times blog, is about the communication gap between clinician and patients and the need to find ways to bridge this, for everyone’s sake.

There’s a post at Not Nurse Ratched about another of the more basic emotions: anger. Or, more specifically, anger related to workplace issues that are slowly driving you nuts. Not that any nurses can relate to that . . .

If you’re up for it, here’s a pretty profound post from Hospice Diary about someone who is very articulate about the meaning of his own dying process.

And here’s a kind of funny one at Nursing Notes of Discord about the questions a new nurse asks in the course of a day.

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For Nurses, on Slowing Down, Unplugging, Career Change, and Serendipity

December 30, 2013
Photo by James Russo, via Flickr

Photo by James Russo, via Flickr

Here are a few year-end posts from recent years that seem to me pretty much as relevant and timely as ever.

“Career Change in 2011 [or 2014]? Ask the God of Gates, Doors, and Beginnings”
A good source of inspiration for any nurse who feels the need of a change.

“Year-End Reindeer Dreams”
A meditation on serendipity and working holiday shifts as a nurse. It got a lot of responses from readers when we first posted it.

“The Slow Old Days”
A short, thought-provoking post by AJN editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy, about unplugging over the holidays.

—Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

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Top 15 American Journal of Nursing Blog Posts in 2013

December 20, 2013
Blogging - What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht,, via Flickr Creative Commons

Blogging – What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht,, via Flickr Creative Commons

In keeping with journalistic custom, here’s an end-of-year list of the most popular 15 blog posts on Off the Charts in 2013. Some were new posts this year. Some were from previous years but are still as relevant as ever. We’d like to think not everything that appears on this blog is ephemeral. Thank you to all our excellent writers and thoughtful readers. Cheers!—Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

 1. “The Heart of a Nurse”
“As nurses, we are drawn to the field for many different reasons. What is exciting and fulfilling to some is stressful and boring to others. Our ability to show compassion is perhaps our best nursing skill, better than our proficiency with machines, computers, and even procedures. It may not be what we do so much as how we do it.”

2. “A Report from the ANA Safe Staffing Conference”
“Nurses continue to beg to be taken out of the ‘room and board’ costs and to be seen as an asset. But instead, they are often seen as a major expense that can be reduced for the sake of the bottom line. If this impasse is to be brokered, it will demand new thinking and new communication.”

3. “Should We Get Rid of 12-Hour Nursing Shifts, Despite Their Popularity?”
“So the question remains: should nurses’ convenience trump patient safety and satisfaction, and our own health?”

4. “Scrubs on the Street: Big Concern?”
“She wants people to photograph the ‘offenders’ and send the photos to hospital administrators.”

5. “Issues Raised by Media Coverage of a Nurse Declining to Do CPR”
A wide-ranging post by nurse-ethicist Doug Olsen dealing with institutional policy and advance directives, journalistic ethics, the public’s ignorance about CPR, and the roles of nurses.

6. “E-Cigarettes: Positive Smoking Substitute or a New Problem Replacing the Old”
“Only time will tell if e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes and a viable option as an aid to quit smoking.”

7. “‘Go Home, Stay, Good Nurse’: Hospital Staffing Practices Suck the Life Out of Nurses”
“This practice isn’t new; we covered it in “The Other Side of Mandatory Overtime” in our April 2008 issue. Still, when I speak with nurses who work under this system, the injustice strikes me anew. Yet nurses seem to think this is the norm. Why is this an acceptable practice?”

8. “Well On His Way: A Nursing Professor’s Humbling Experience”
“He’d been able to see the patient holistically, while I’d focused on ensuring the student could perform tasks.”

9. “Ten Lessons Learned from Florence Nightingale’s Life”
“My husband has called this trip a ‘game changer’ for me, and indeed it has been. I see things differently now, including our health care system and the critical contributions that nurses are making, and need to continue making, to improve care for patients.”

10. “Fecal Impaction and Dementia: Knowing What to Look for Could Save Lives”
“I’ll always be grateful to the nurse who correctly diagnosed my grandmother’s problem before it was too late.” Read the rest of this entry ?


A Focus on Meaning and Attitude: This Week’s Nursing Blog Post Suggestions

November 13, 2013

By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor

'Autumn Washed Away,' Diane Hammond/ via Flickr

‘Autumn Washed Away,’ Diane Hammond/ via Flickr

Here are a few recent posts by nurses that you might find of interest. As I put this together, a theme emerged, so it seemed fair to just go with it. Maybe the approach of these bloggers has to do with the time of year, the shorter days and colder weather as we approach the winter holidays . . .

At the intriguingly titled Nursing Notes of Discord blog, there’s a short reminder post with a fairly straightforward descriptive title: “Anyone Can Make a Positive Difference.” And, the author points out, you “don’t even have to be a nurse” to do so.

At Digital Doorway, Nurse Keith has a recent post that also focuses on positivity, this time about one’s profession: “For Nurses, ‘Just’ Is a Four-Letter Word.”

At, in the lovely post “Leaves, Geese and Other Ramblings”—as the below quote may suggest—we find another angle on this theme of being present and focusing on the good in the midst of sometimes constant, poignant awareness of change, loss, dying, and rebirth:

Fall moves into winter. Unequivocal  fact. The furrowed fields and leftover husks are what remains of a harvest of work . . .

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The End of a Blogging Era?

August 23, 2013

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

EmerblogScreenshotFrom August 2005 until August 2013, Kim McCallister ran a blog called Emergiblog, one of the first nursing blogs to gain a certain prominence among nurses on the Web. She told it like it was in her corner of the nursing world, and you didn’t have to always agree with her opinions to embrace her honesty and directness.

If I recall correctly, Emergiblog was one of the three exemplary nursing blogs mentioned in a lunchtime presentation given at our office by health care journalist and social media wizard Scott Hensley. (Hensley is now the writer and editor of the National Public Radio health care blog, Shots.) His excellent presentation, itself given I believe in the form of a newly created blog, gave me just enough know-how to be able to create and launch this blog from scratch on WordPress. Read the rest of this entry ?


Nursing Blogs Roundup: Some Veteran Voices and Some Lively New Ones

August 5, 2013

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

Blogging - What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht,, via Flickr Creative Commons

Blogging – What Jolly Fun!/Mike Licht,, via Flickr Creative Commons

Here are some new or newish posts of note on various nursing blogs:

At Nursetopia: “You Get What You Put In To Your Nursing Association.”

At Nursing Stories: “Memories of MICU,” a post about visiting a new state-of-the-art medical intensive care unit (MICU) and comparing it to one the author worked on in the 1970s.

At the American Nurses Association (ANA) blog called One Strong Voice: “Working With a New Graduate or Novice RN? If So, Be Mindful of Workplace Bullying.”

Episode six is now up at The Adventures of Nurse Niki, a newish blog written by Julianna Paradisi (her other blog is JParadisi RN). This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly catch up if you haven’t yet read any episodes.

At Digital Doorway: “Evolving as a Nurse: The Work of the Soul.” Here’s a brief excerpt:

“The evolution of a nurse and his or her career is a very individual experience, and this experience expresses the spirit, nature and personality of the nurse in question. And when soul is infused into that journey, the entire tenor of the journey is deeply and irrevocably changed.”

At Nursing Notes of Discord: “Failed Inspection.” I wasn’t familiar with this blog until I stumbled on it today. This was an intriguing post. Read the rest of this entry ?


The Best Nurses Day Gift: Enough Time With Patients

May 22, 2013
What's Left Behind, oil, graphite, and mixed media on wood panel. 18" by 18." Copyright J. Paradisi.

What’s Left Behind, oil, graphite, and mixed media on wood panel. 18″ by 18.” Copyright J. Paradisi.

Julianna Paradisi, RN, OCN, writes a monthly post for this blog and works as an infusion nurse in outpatient oncology.

I can’t remember which handle on Twitter asked nurses last week for their stories about the best or worst Nurses Day gifts from their employers, so I will tell mine here. It began badly, but became the best.

Nurses Day in May is a cute little rhyme. In Oregon, where I live, May also brings hay fever allergy, which is neither cute nor rhymes, but like Nurses Day, is an annual event.

I woke up on the morning of Nurses Day with a headache and my voice hoarse from allergy. Previously, I had traded shifts to work this day in place of another nurse with an acutely hospitalized family member. If she and I were playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, her need was scissors to my paper.

Calling in sick was not an option. It’s part of the unwritten Nurse’s Code, which is really more of a guideline, but don’t test it. Calling in sick after agreeing to work for a coworker will not garner sympathy from your unit.

When I arrived for work, another nurse remarked that my hoarse voice sounded sexy, like actress Kathleen Turner’s. Despite my crankiness from inadequate respiratory gas exchange, that cheered me up, a little.

Then The Miracle occurred:

The hospital’s phone system, including our outpatient unit’s, went down. No phone calls came in or out, not even between departments. Overhead via the PA system, the hospital operator announced over and over instructions for summoning the rapid response or code teams, if needed. Non-emergent communications were sent by e-mail, or pneumatic tube system.

It took a little while to understand that, for our outpatient clinic, what felt like calamity was in fact a surprising gift: our scheduled appointments were all that we had that shift. Offices could not call to schedule new appointments that morning. The phones at the nurse’s desk were silent.

This created a leisurely pace for our shift, which I put to work at my patients’ bedside. My allergy symptoms reminded me how it feels to be sick, replacing crankiness with compassion. For each patient I pulled up the rolly stool and sat down, listening to their stories and concerns without time pressure or ringing phones. I had time to look up information, print handouts, and answer their questions the way I was taught to do in nursing school. In short, because the phones were down, I spent Nurses Day, well, nursing. I felt fully engaged in the work, and remembered why I chose this noble profession.

By noon, the phones were back up. My headache and hoarse voice were gone. I realized I was having a great day.

Later, while I was fetching a cup of water from the water cooler for a patient to swallow pre-meds, our manger stopped by. “Hey you, how’s your Nurses Day?” he asked, affably.

“Great!” I replied. “The phones were down the first half of the shift.”

Not missing a beat with his quick wit, he winked and said, “Oh yeah. I arranged that as a gift. Have a Happy Nurses Day.”

And I did.

Disclaimer:  No patients were harmed in the making of this post.


Friday Nursing Blogs Roundup, More or Less

April 19, 2013

By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

BostonAnother Friday in New York, and it’s time to do a quick tour of the nursing blogosphere after a grueling week in which the city I will always think of as home, Boston, took a major hit on a holiday that always marks the end of a long winter, the first stirrings of spring, the Red Sox playing in the morning, no one at work, glimpses of marathoners passing in the distance up still salt-stained avenues under barely budding trees, usually in bright sun and a gusty breeze with an underside of chill.

I have noted ad nauseam in the past that blogs have life cycles, wax and wane, flourish or fade out. And that’s okay. Though maybe blogs should go to a blog graveyard at some point, or be given a proper burial, or demolished like old buildings in a great controlled cinematic whoosh of collapsing pixels and pixel-dust. Or, in some cases, put in a museum to mark a moment in Web history or preserve particularly lively voices and experiences for posterity.

Enough throat clearing. There isn’t much out there to report this week. We try to collect links to sane, more or less active blogs on our nursing blogs page. A few nurse bloggers are perennially engaging and active, and a couple of these excellent bloggers even write occasional posts for this blog, so for once I won’t draw attention to them. But here’s what else I could find:

We the people. Many nurse blogs and Twitter streams and Facebook pages have been posting links to a petition to the White House to remove barriers preventing advanced practice nurses from practicing to their full scope. The petition has until just April 22 to reach the required 100,000 signatures; the last time I checked, admittedly about a week ago, it was only about a quarter of the way there. If you happen to know Justin Bieber, please ask him to publicize this. In lieu of that, consider sending it to your social media connections, and take a moment to sign yourself.

A brief note on the readability of blogs. By “readability,” I’m not talking about style, as you’d expect, but more about how easy and pleasant the blog is to read in an actual physical sense. The right word might instead be “legibility.” Or, put another way, did you choose a green or black or red background for your text? Though it’s nice to be reminded of the early days of the Web and the idiosyncratic appearance of many blogs, I now find blogs with such colored backgrounds almost impossible to read. Consider making a change to something closer to the traditional black text on a whitish background. And consider avoiding flowery fonts.

More on nurse staffing and why it matters: at the INQRI (Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative) blog, further confirmation that “better nurse staffing, education and work environment contribute to patient outcomes”:

A new study in Medical Care, conducted by Matthew McHugh, an RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar,
finds that the lower mortality rates at Magnet Hospitals are achieved
in part because of investments in nursing. This study reflects many of
the findings of INQRI studies into the impact of nurse staffing, work environment and education on quality of patient care.

Conference tips. At In the Round, the blog at Nursing Center, a short post lists “tips and time-savers” for those of you who from time to time attend professional conferences. I used to go to a lot of them, and they really do take practice and some strategy.

Already sick of Nurses Week and Nurses Day (and still wondering about whether to use an apostrophe s or just an apostrophe or nothing with them)? At Impacted Nurse, there’s a strangely heartwarming yet appropriately skeptical piece called “Note to Nurse Day: I don’t need to write some silly note.”

And that’s really it for today. Have a great weekend, and let us know if you find a really good nursing blog we don’t know about yet.
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