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Inhabiting Your Digital Device

Doc Rob at Musings of a Distractible Mind has recently signed on to Quick and Dirty Tips and is announcing a birth… the birth of his podcast :)

I’m quite pleased to report that Doctor Rob’s podcasts are as clever, whimsical and amusing as his posts are.  You can go to the website above OR download the podcasts from iTunes (and you can even subscribe!)

Here is the press release:


The HOUSE CALL DOCTOR’S QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS FOR TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH, hosted by Dr. Rob Lamberts, joins the highly successful Quick and Dirty Tips iTunes podcasts on July 14, with free content also available for download at www.quickanddirtytips.com.

How can I lower my cholesterol? Is Tylenol really safe? Why do my bruises itch? No topic is off limits for the House Call Doctor—the newest addition to Macmillan’s Quick and Dirty Tips self-improvement franchise. Dr. Rob Lamberts practices full-time in his primary care private practice in the southeastern US.  He is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, and has doctored for the past 15 years. Lamberts’ recent involvement in the advocacy of electronic medical records has received national recognition and his popular medical blog, Musings of a Distractible Mind, was named one of Tara Parker-Pope’s “favorite medical blogs” in her New York Times Well blog.

With his trademark sense of humor and straightforward advice, Dr. Lamberts answers a wide variety of questions in this QDT podcast, mixing his extensive experience in the medical field with accessible advice that is both accurate and easy to understand. Filled with friendly and in-depth answers on listeners’ most pressing health issues, House Call Doctor offers progressive and innovative ways to look at medicine and the healthcare industry as a whole.

The House Call Doctor’s first series of podcasts will cover a wide range of health concerns and medical inquiries, including:

-        What do I really need to know about cholesterol?
-        How do I talk to my doctor about medical information I’ve found on the Internet?
-        Where do bruises come from, and how can I get rid of them?
-        What are the dangers of using popular pain relievers, such as Tylenol?
-        What should I look out for to prevent the over use of antibiotics?

Dr. Lamberts’ expert tips will give listeners the tools they need to understand their bodies better and improve their health and quality of life. His goal with the House Call Doctor is to “make medical things easier to understand and hopefully to offer a little entertainment in the process.” As Dr. Lamberts says, “People want to understand their health, but unfortunately many of the explanations out there are either confusing or boring.”

Quick and Dirty Tips, known for both its friendly and informative style and its innovative digital content distribution, has already introduced fourteen fascinating experts on a variety of subjects to millions of fans via podcasts, audiobooks, and online interaction. Popular Quick and Dirty Tips shows include: Grammar Girl, Sales Guy, The Dog Trainer, and Money Girl.

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Change of Shift – Fourth Year!

Change of Shift has entered its fourth year!  Yep, we’ve had 3 years of posts written by and for nurses in this biweekly carnival.  Kim has been thanked to the hills and back, so I’ll just say – GREAT JOB!  Organizing a carnival is not for the faint of heart.  Well, neither is being a nurse for that matter….

Kim is hosting this anniversary edition and it has some great posts that were both sent in and sought out.  Enjoy!!

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Medical Bloggers Discuss Healthcare Reform

I participated in a podcast about healthcare reform.  We first listened to a Q&A between Dr. Val and Dr. Bob Goldberg at CMPI-Advance.  After that we were invited to ask questions.

Dr. Goldberg is into policy, not bedside healthcare, so I think my question threw him for a loop.  I asked about futile care and how it fits in with healthcare reform.  His answer took on a very strong “ethics” angle, which is not the direction I had intended for my question to go!

Despite my derailment, the other bloggers that participated in the call asked excellent questions – they are Kim, RN from Emergiblog, Dr. Wes FisherDr. Edwin Leap, The Happy Hospitalist, and Dr. Brian Vartabedian.

You can listen to the podcast at Better Health.  Thanks Dr. Val for the opportunity to participate!

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The Humanity of Doctors

Nicole writes:

Doctors in general are type casted to fit a certain mold of the friendly family-man who helped you when you were a child.  You typically grow up with this mental image of your first pediatrician and the way he gave you lollipops when you behaved yourself during traumatic incidents like shots.  Doctors have typically been painted in the light of a saint, because for many people around the world, they have served to offer them a bit of humanity when the rest of the world turned their back.  The doctors who have helped treat patients in Haiti, African nations, or even war and poverty-stricken area are some of the most outstanding individuals that modern society can produce.

One of the first books I read in college was entitled The Rape of Nanking, which chronicles the destruction that the Japanese army caused on the Chinese city of Nanking.  Some of the main stories that stood out to me at the time (other than the fact that this huge massacre goes largely unnoticed in history books) was the account of the many Western doctors who offered their services to the residents, risking death in order to stay with their patients.  Once the war fully broke out, most foreigners fled the city, although around 25 remained in order to provide some protection for the citizens, establishing the Nanking Safety Zone.  The Zone itself was centered around the U.S. Embassy and was run by Nazi Party member John Rabe who was responsibility for saving nearly 200,000 Chinese citizens from death.  While this is an example of an old historical event, it is still a telling sign of the dedication to many of these aid workers; the Westerners who remained in this zone were true humanitarians who risked death every day in order to provide their services to Chinese refugees.

These types of scenarios are still occurring around the world, with more and more doctors opting to work in non profit sectors, thereby bringing aid to disease ridden nations.  Zimbabwe is one of the African nations which contains a multitude of illnesses with no funds to combat them; Doctors Without Borders “is an international medical humanitarian organization” which helps assist citizens who live in areas like Zimbabwe where diseases run rampant without government interference.  This non-profit organization was created in 1971 in order to help people around the world who are plagued by epidemics and violence; many third-world countries are unable to sustain their own populations and are in desperate need of such aid.  Zimbabwe itself is currently amidst the deadliest cholera outbreak in two decades because of the lack of proper sanitation and water supplies.  Many doctors around the world have flown to such places, leaving the comfort of their Western way of life, in order to make a difference in the lives of these people who have been driven to the brink of survival.

While these specific descriptions of doctors are no longer what many people around the U.S. imagine when they bring up doctors, it still holds firm to my own beliefs.  In a country where there are more lawsuits against doctors than praises for them, we need to remember that the entire purpose of a doctor is to save lives; this may not always be the case because of drastic circumstances, but they are true saviors in a time where many countries need them the most.

This post was contributed by Nicole White, who writes about ultrasound tech schools. She welcomes your feedback at Nicole.White222 at gmail.com

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I Don’t Know How You Can Do This

Or the other statements, “I could never do this” and “It takes a special person to be able to do this.”

These words are usually uttered by family members who walk into an ICU room to see me calmly managing a patient on drips and vent, hooked up to monitors and other various tubes and wires.  I’m sure these words are spoken many many times every day all over the world.

I appreciate hearing it, but it always makes me think of the jobs that I could never do. Sure, there are lots of jobs that I’d simply be unhappy doing, but there are a few that I’d almost rather starve than do.

I could never be a dentist or hygienist.  I cannot handle dealing with teeth.  If I see my that my intubated patient has a loose tooth, I’m done for.

I could never be an exterminator.  In fact, I was talking to an exterminator the other day (If you don’t live in California, you are probably not aware that it is, in fact, resting atop a gigantic ant hill).  He was friendly and chatty and I myself mentioned that I don’t know how he was able to do what he does because I literally shiver with disgust at the mere PICTURE of a large bug.  He then asked what I did and I replied that I was a nurse.  He looked at me for a moment and said that the site of blood completely freaks him out.  There’s no way he’d ever work in the medical field.

Within my own profession, I can imagine doing almost any type of nursing.  That isn’t to say that I’d enjoy it or even be good at it.  But there is one branch of nursing that I will never go into.  There is one patient population that I cannot even begin to cope with taking care of, and that is burn patients.  I don’t know how you can cause someone so much pain day in and day out, even if it’s in the name of healing.   Any burn unit nurses out there?  How on earth do you work in such a unit?

What are some jobs that you could never do?

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Change of Shift Vol 3 Number 24

Hello!  Welcome to Change of Shift, the carnival dedicated to nurses and nursing!

I’ll start out with a couple of posts about an entity that most nurses everywhere deal with:  families.  Family members can be a huge help, or they can be the bane of our existence.  Usually they lie somewhere in between, being neither overly helpful (which is good if the family “helps” by silencing IV pumps and ventilators) or especially annoying.  Nurse Ausmed starts us off with a potpourri of family scenarios.  Just as patients come in all shapes in sizes, so do families!   Next is Chris at the Man-Nurse Diaries who submitted what turned out to be part 1 of a 3 part series about the same patient:  Never Say Your Family is Crazy Unless You Really Mean It describes a seriously dysfunctional family unit.  You will also wonder how on earth these four people have managed to make it this far.

Our carnival mama, Kim, submitted a hil-a-rious post from the past: Oh, the Games People Play.  First of all, congrats on obtaining the coveted Cherry Ames game, and second of all, the sentence “Team Patient arrives supine on a movable gamepiece” had me laughing hard enough to wake the toddler!!   Go read Kim’s play-by-play of her shifts in the ER.

If the blog Reality Rounds was an ice cream sundae, I would have some serious weight issues.  I really enjoy this blog – the writing style flows so well.  This week’s submission “Code Lactate” describes the author’s first day back at work after 12 weeks of maternity leave.  Talk about having to get back in the saddle in a hurry!  You know how nurses sometimes barely get enough time to pee or scarf down lunch?  It can be even worse for a brand new mom!

Now on to traveling.  Nurses have a great opportunity to travel and work at the same time.  In the post “Is travel nursing a vocation or vacation?” The Pulse describes the pros and cons of 5 different destinations.  Dubai anyone?  Speaking of traveling, have you ever thought about the travels of your favorite pen?  Kathy at Nurse Connect describes the average day in the life of your…. pen.  Your favorite “cool pen.”  I bet you had no idea!

Shrtstormtrooper at Fundus Chop (you know there’s a story behind that name. Oh, wait – there really is!) writes about her ridealong with EMS.  She points out that even in ER, you have at least some very basic information about the patient who is about to grace your threshold  This is not the case with EMS, where the little info you’re given may differ vastly from the actual situation you encounter.

Much has been written about Information Technology in the health setting.   Barbara from Florence dot com writes about “meaningful use” of such technology and what that means to different types of patients.

Bedside nurses do a lot of bending and twisting and turning.  The Back Pain Blog submitted a post entitled “Herniated Discs and Bending” which describes the ways in which a disc can herniate… and not herniate.  It also includes some tips on how to keep your back and spine healthy while doing all the crazy maneuvers we nurses sometimes have to do!

Are you confused by heart blocks?  Not Nurse Ratched provides us with a helpful Heart Blocks Cheat Sheet, complete with further commentary and simplification in the comments by the one and only Ambulance Driver.

Laura at Nurse Connect wrote the post “Are Nurses Health Coaches?”  I believe so, and Laura well describes the ways in which we are.  The problem comes when the patient is discharged and leaves our care.  At that point they no longer have the regular influx of information and encouragement that they did while they were in the hospital.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a nurse?  In her characteristic tongue-in-cheek style, Head Nurse lays it all out for us – the top mad skilz one needs in order to be a successful nurse.

What if you could work in an environment wherein you didn’t have to have an iron nose?  AJN’s Off the Charts posted Virtual Nurses in a Virtual ICU.  A virtual ICU is basically a second set of eyes to monitor the patient; however, this second set of eyes may be hundreds of miles away!  This may be a great use of nurses who have vast experience and knowledge but can no longer physically work at the bedside.  But is it better than just beefing up staff at the patient’s actual location?

Lastly, here’s this edition’s Top Lists:

Top Ten Reasons to Date a Congential Heart Defect Survivor!

Top Fifty Nursing Blogs (they wisely included me in the list this time!)

100 Best Sources for Nursing News

And for those of you that will be graduating in a month or so:

100 Useful Job Search Tools for Recent College Grads (those tools geared towards healthcare professionals starts at number 59)

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Change of Shift.  It will next be hosted at Florence dot com on June 11th.  Barb requests that you get your submissions in by no later than June 9th at 10pm EST.

Have you been keeping up with the Adventures of Bob the Nurse?  Keith is looking for more people to host Bob!  If you are interested in visiting with Bob and taking pictures of his adventures, contact Keith through his blog Digital Doorway.

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Bob the Nurse Visits California!!

Keith at Digital Doorway sent Bob off to vacation here in California!  We’ve had lots of fun hosting our visitor, as you can see in the pictures here, here, and here!  (That last one is my personal favorite!)

Change of Shift will be hosted here on Thursday, so get your submissions in!  codeblogrn at gmail, or use Blog Carnival.  Looking forward to reading some more!

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Beam Yourself Aboard Change of Shift…

…. Which is up over at Emergiblog!  The only Star Trek I ever really watched all the way through was Voyager (ok… and lots of the Captain Picard one), but between her effusive praise and my husband’s nagging encouragement, I have a feeling I’ll be seeing this new Star Trek movie at some point!

The next Change of Shift is here at codeblog in two weeks.  There is no theme, just send some good posts :)  to codeblogrn at gmail.

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Here, Have a Poem

I don’t really read poetry… but this is the first poem to be submitted as a story to codeblog and I actually kind of liked it.  Richard Greenall writes:

Mine is not a story as such but a poem about a woman I cared for on m general ITU who had suffered lung trauma after smoke inhalation.

Weariness, like a wave,
Cascading through my head.
Causing thoughts, too deep to voice,
To be thrown up deep inside.

Awake! A cold rush of air to the lungs,
Feels good to breathe,
In… and out. In…. and out.
So easy, calm… effortless.

Beside me she lies there still,
Looks calm – thoughts racing inside.
What has life come to?
A monitor and peering eyes.

If she could talk, what would she say?
Will I get through this day?
The power of life, the call of success
Would make my answer, a sure yes.

Copyright Richard Greenall 2007

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The Adventures of Bob the Nurse

In case you missed it, a new blog debuted on the most recent edition of Change of Shift.

That blog is The Adventures of Bob the Nurse and was started by none other than Keith at Digital Doorway.

Bob the Nurse is an action figure that lives a very, well, adventurous life.  His blog is a photo blog depicting his various antics.

I’m very fond of this concept (you know, stealing your neighbor’s garden gnome and taking pictures of it in front of Niagara Falls or some such place).  When I moved to California, I stole borrowed took the coffee pot from the dialysis office with me.  I bought it a little wig and some googly eyes and took pictures of it at interesting places along the way as I drove here from the midwest.  The dialysis nurses were some serious pranksters, so this was my final prank on them.

So I find The Adventures of Bob the Nurse very amusing.  My favorite picture so far is this one.  I think it’s hilarious.

Keith explains the concept for Bob the Nurse in this post.  If you think you can broaden Bob’s horizons even more and would like to have him as a guest, contact Keith or leave a comment on Bob’s blog.  I have already offered – there are lots of places around here I can take Bob :)

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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