Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

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Blogging: As Many Voices as There Are Nurses

August 20, 2014

By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor

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

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

A recent check reveals that a good percentage of the blogs on our nursing blogs list have been relatively active over the past few months. A few have been less so. I didn’t see any posts about the ice-bucket challenge, and that’s okay. Here are a few recent and semirecent posts by nurses that might interest readers of this blog:

Hospice nursing. At Hospice Diary, a post from a few weeks back is called “Dying with Your Boots On.” An excerpt:

As I drove down a switch-back gravel drive in the middle of nowhere, I pulled into a driveway and there in a sun-warmed grassy yard sitting perfectly still on a garden swing among buzzing bees and newly bloomed flowers was a fellow in a crisp white shirt, a matching white cowboy hat, black leather boots and a crooked smile.  I stepped out of my car and told him for a moment I thought he was the garden scarecrow, until he tipped his hat.

Nurse-midwifery. A post on At Your Cervix: Tales of a New CNM, First Year gives a short nuts-and-bolts glimpse of the author’s daily work life as a certified nurse-midwife. Those considering this specialty may benefit from one person’s experience of the pros and cons of one workplace:

I thought (as I was taught) that I would have more autonomy in practice . . . the two physicians are truly the “bosses.” Everything needs to be run by them . . . I definitely have more autonomy in the office setting. There was a big difference in reading/learning about prenatal care and GYN care, versus doing it. I didn’t learn (or have clinical experience in) nearly enough GYN clients! I think the number of GYN clients for clinicals was only about 35.

For the ‘research-minded nurse.’ At the INQRI blog—that is, the blog of the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, which has a stated goal “to generate, disseminate and translate research to understand how nurses contribute to and can improve the quality of patient care”—you will find even-handed and brief summaries of recent nursing research on topics such as the potential for hourly nursing rounds to improve patient care.

Renewal. If you’re taking a vacation and going somewhere more peaceful this summer, sometime AJN blogger Amanda Anderson has a contemplative post, “The Place Where Noise Becomes Sound,” at her blog This Nurse Wonders. It starts like this:

Summer has finally found me. Somewhere in the long train ride west, between naps and riders and minutes of staring at passing trees, I listened.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Writer or Nurse? The Costs of an Untold Story

June 4, 2014

Amanda Anderson, BSN, RN, CCRN, works in critical care in New York City and is enrolled in the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing/Baruch College of Public Affairs dual master’s degree program in nursing administration and public administration. Her blog is called This Nurse Wonders.

via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

I found myself getting annoyed with a dying cancer patient today. I don’t think this is an occurrence any honest nurse would deny, but when I could feel my blood pressure rise every time she dry-heaved, I knew it’d been a mistake to come to work this morning.

Not my proudest moment.

You see, I’ve felt my nursing self change of late, with an urge growing within me to slowly step back from the bedside, at least for a bit. Perhaps it’s school and the clarification of future goals forming in my mind, but clinical work has felt more like job-work, and this other work, this future work that largely centers on telling my nursing story, is becoming what I think of as calling-work.

Staring down at my poor patient, I realized I’d swung the balance of bedside work and calling-work too much to one side lately. I’ve been working—as a nurse—too much, and working—as a writer and a student—too little. After seven years of bedside nursing, and the joys and trials of per diem work, you’d think I’d know better and respect my limit on 12-hour work.

But my wallet calls out to me in a loud voice of alarm, drowning out the subtle, more compelling but also riskier voice of my story. I knew this morning, when I responded to a call for work, that I should stay home and pick up the pen that I’d left lying motionless since finals began two weeks ago. I knew I needed a solitary day to sit and reflect, write and muse. And I knew that the unpaid hours of writing would pay off far more than the hourly rate I’d receive for my shift in the hospital. Maybe not in money just yet, but definitely in peace . . .

I followed the voice of my bills, though, and clocked in at 7 am. It wasn’t even 11 by the time I was biting my tongue and taking deep breaths in the presence of my poor patient’s agony. How could I be so incredibly insensitive to such pain? Or, to reframe my own inner query: how could I neglect my own needs, and thus compromise my ability to compassionately tend to hers? Read the rest of this entry ?

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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, NotionsCapital.com, via Flickr Creative Commons

Blogging – What Jolly Fun!/Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, 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 ?

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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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Unanticipated Codes

February 20, 2013

By Marcy Phipps, RN, a regular contributor to this blog. Her essay, “The Love Song of Frank,” was published in the May (2012) issue of AJN. She currently has an essay appearing in The Examined Life Journal.

Code cart/courtesy of author

Code cart/courtesy of author

My mentor once told me that there are almost never unanticipated cardiac arrests in the ICU. I’ve found this to be true. Certain indicators, like laboratory abnormalities or particular cardiac rhythms, can foretell a Code, and sometimes subtle signs trigger an instinctual foreboding that I’ve learned never to ignore.

The conviction that a Code Blue can be anticipated provides a sense of security; if the arrest is anticipated, then it may be preventable. And when it’s inevitable, at least anticipation allows for preparation. I strongly believe this. And yet this weekend my patient coded and I was caught completely off guard.

I had just remarked to one of my colleagues that my petite, elderly Chinese patient (some identifying details have been changed) was looking so much better than she had when I’d admitted her earlier that day from the floor—she’d been in respiratory distress, in a hypertensive crisis, and in need of immediate dialysis. All of the various specialty consultants had seen her and collaborated and I’d had the thought that Ms. M’s day would end very well, that it would be one of those nursing shifts where I’d see a metamorphosis from dire straits and distress to comfort.

My shift was nearly over and I was standing at Ms. M’s bedside, monitoring her breathing, which had very suddenly become irregular. I was slightly distracted by her husband, who was standing at my shoulder and very upset. He was speaking in a heavily accented staccato that left me blinking, with a vague impression that he was angry at his children. Exactly why, I never did discern—for as he spoke, his wife took one last ragged breath, her eyes rolled upwards, and her EKG began registering electrical activity with no matching pulse to be found.

The respiratory therapist managed the airway while I started chest compressions. The rest of the Code team showed up; everything went as it should. Ms. M survived, intubated but responding. Mr. M, as a witness to what must have felt like mayhem, was traumatized. And I was rattled far more than usual—and more than I like to admit. I can only surmise that my stress response was related to my lack of anticipation in this case, for not only did I not see the arrest coming, I’d thought Mrs. M’s condition was moving in the totally opposite direction.

I discussed the situation with a good friend who happens to be a chaplain. I told her, not quite rationally, that I wanted to participate in a thousand completely unanticipated cardiac arrests in the hope that repetition would dull my emotional reactions, leaving automation and efficiency without distress. Perhaps then, I told her, I wouldn’t be as aware of family members while doing chest compressions and wouldn’t go home feeling like I’d watched a car accident play out in slow motion.

I also told her I wouldn’t be writing a post about this, as I felt my response was overdramatic. I was too experienced to be this shaken.

But she urged me otherwise, reminding me that nursing is not for the faint of heart, that years of experience don’t make certain difficult aspects of it any easier, and that it’s always good to write and to share.

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Diabetes Plus Marijuana Plus Medical Errors Minus Nursing Blogs

January 12, 2012

What’s new in health care news this week?

Diabetes everywhere. There’s an entire Health Affairs issue devoted to the topic of “Confronting the Growing Diabetes Crisis.” It looks at many interrelated issues, such as the personal financial burden of having diabetes over the course of a lifetime, whether it’s best to put scarce health care resources into focusing on prevention or treatment, models for community-based lifestyle programs for those with type 2 diabetes, the positive effects of the Affordable Care Act on giving those with diabetes access to affordable health insurance and crucial care, genetic factors related to type 2 diabetes, and a great deal more. Inevitably, many of the articles focus on type 2 diabetes, which is so closely linked to America’s obesity epidemic.

by Jorge Barrios, via Wikimedia

Joint studies. The New York Times reported this week on a large government study showing that, whatever one believes about marijuana’s psychological effects or the efficacy of its various medical uses, long-term marijuana smoking—at least one joint per day, every day of the year—does not impair lung function or contribute to the development of COPD. Will this change anyone’s mind about whether this drug is evil, a panacea for all ills, or somewhere in between? Probably not.

Unreported harm. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a report last week stating that only 14% of medical errors and other events that harm Medicare patients were reported by hospital employees. The report calls for improving reporting systems and the creation of a list of “potentially reportable events.” According to the New York Times story on the topic, adverse events that have gone unreported include “medication errors, severe bedsores, infections that patients acquire in hospitals, delirium resulting from overuse of painkillers and excessive bleeding linked to improper use of blood thinners.”

Which leads us (or does it?) into nursing blogs. Many of the ones in our blogroll have been pretty silent in the past few months, or longer, and it’s not clear why. Some bloggers are taking a break, some have burned out or decided to use their time for other things (like going back to school), some have simply decided to spend more time on Facebook or sharing their thoughts by ‘microblogging’ on Twitter (or are simply playing lots of Words With Friends on their smartphones). There are almost certainly many interesting new nursing blogs we don’t yet know about that are taking their places. If you know about them, please let us know. We need to take some time and do some digging. And we plan on doing a serious revision of the blogroll in the next few weeks.—JM, senior editor  

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Social Media and Nurses — Does Betty White Have a Point?

August 9, 2010

50 Social Media Icons/Ivan Walsh, via Flickr

By Shawn Kennedy, AJN interim editor-in-chief

I’ve been extremely busy and have had trouble finding time to write a post for this blog. And it’s not enough just to write a post—we’ve got to think about what should go on Facebook and what should be Tweeted, whether we should do a mention in the eNewsletter and if a topic deserves a spot on AJN’s home page. All this communication takes time.

When she hosted Saturday Night Live, the inimitable Betty White acknowledged all the fans on Facebook who were the driving force behind the campaign to have her become the host. She confessed she didn’t know what Facebook was, and said, “Now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it seems like a huge waste of time.”

Facebook and Twitter sort of remind me of the Valentine’s Day card exchange in grammar school—everyone bought boxes of 100 cards (actually, more like small, cheap postcards) so you could give them out and, hopefully, get as many in return. It was about the number of cards you could collect—even if they were from classmates you didn’t care about or even disliked. You felt good if you had lots of cards and people saw that you had lots of cards; getting just a few cards made you feel friendless.

I know why we at AJN are involved in all this e-media and social media—we want to connect with you, our readers and potential readers, and learn what’s important to you, what’s on nurses’ minds, so we can provide information that fits your needs and is important to your work. For the last 100 years, we’ve done this in print format, teaching videos, and conferences, but now there are many more venues for disseminating content. So we Tweet, blog, Facebook, comment, link, e-mail, and do everything we can to connect, deliver content, and get feedback. (Bonus: we have found some new columnists and authors through our e-efforts, and we’re constantly trading tips with other health care editors, journalists, and writers.)

But I’m still stymied about why so many nurses, who are extremely busy people, spend the time it takes to do all this connecting. Read the rest of this entry ?

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