Hospital by boliston / Adrian Boliston, via Flickr.

Hospital by boliston / Adrian Boliston, via Flickr.

When I went looking for blogs by student nurses recently, I found plenty—but most appeared to be deserted, as if their authors had literally packed up and moved away after graduation. That’s understandable—and kind of a shame. Things can get interesting fast when one finds oneself suddenly working with real people in an ED or an ICU. Lucky for us, a few newly minted nurses are blogging on just that. (To comply with HIPAA regulations, most bloggers report that they alter patient details and scenarios.)

At Call Bells Make Me Nervous, Maha, “a shiny new nurse” (degree unspecified), blogs about her first job in a Canadian ED. She writes frankly about her night-shift interactions with patients and colleagues, and she tells a good tale, albeit with rather fierce humor at times. In “Older Nurses Eating Their Young”  she lets off steam about a nurse who belittles her in public. (Readers who can relate might take a look at “Bullying Among Nurses” from our January issue). In “Cheapskates and Freeloaders,” she chastises ED patients who seek amenities like taxi vouchers and extra food—“I’m not talking about the homeless/otherwise disenfranchised population, but regular joe-schmoes trying to scam me out of something or the other. . . . Courtesy people, courtesy!” But she’s just as hard on herself: one post has the self-explanatory title “Stupid Crap I’ve Done and Not Been Fired For.”

The Life and Times of a New RN belongs to a recent grad (BSN ’08) and RN working on a cardiothoracic telemetry step-down unit somewhere in the U.S.  She’s passionate about nursing, and about patient advocacy in particular. One recent post described her frustration when a non–English-speaking patient from Guinea received substandard care on her unit (“Health Disparities Enrage Me”).  And in “Knocking on Death’s Door,”  she describes caring for an elderly patient dying of cancer. “I stepped into the conference room as all the kids started to cry,” she writes. “I felt an obligation to be someone strong in their presence. I fought hard to get this patient morphine from a resident, and then sat with her holding her hand and asking her to tell me about her trips to Europe.”

BrainScramble, RNs author started blogging as a student nurse and has kept it up since she graduated (BSN ’09). She works as an RN in a surgical ICU in a small city hospital. In “1 Month Review” she takes stock of her first month—“I no longer crave the sickest patients. In nursing school, I was always clamoring for the worst-of-the-worst . . . frankly, I’m scared,” she writes. “What if I kill someone?” But then you can hear her taking a deep breath. “I need to learn [the] difference between vigilance and sheer paranoia. I’ll get there.” And in “Getting My Nursing Mojo Back” she talks about a “crabby” patient who over the course of the shift turns into “this ridiculously pleasant guy with a wonderful sense of humor despite his situation. . . . Nine times out of ten, that’s what happens.”

Here’s hoping these new nurses will buck the trend and keep blogging.—Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

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