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New Look! And Some Story Submissions

Recently, someone asked if they could use my logo on their brochure (neat!!).  I gave permission, then realized that maybe it would be nice to have a real logo.  I asked a dear friend of mine if she wanted to work on it and she agreed.

So what you see there at the top is the new logo!  I absolutely love it.  I think she did a fantastic job, and I wanted to give her credit here!  Her name is Meg Pike – this is her website, and this is her Facebook page.  Thanks Meg!!  It’s perfect!! (Don’t blame her for the colors – I picked them out.  Ha.)

I have a confession to make.  I have always welcomed story submissions (and I still do!), but I am not always very good about posting them.  To my great embarrassment, Bongi sent me one in 2007 that I held on to, but never posted.  Apparently in addition to being severely procrastinatory, I also hoard story submissions.  I emailed him to ask if he’d already posted it to his own blog; I’m assuming he did.  If he didn’t I’ll post it here.  (I promise!  Right away!  Fast fast!!)

I do have a submission from Jeanne from 2009.  She writes:

Have you ever leaped to the conclusion that a patient is a bit confused only to have him redeem his grasp of the situation by proving himself to be spot on?  Consider a 92 year old patient  who required assistance out of bed by myself and a nurse’s aid. He was your quintessential little old gentleman whose English pronunciation, as well as  sensibilities, had all the old world charm of European Italy. We also knew him to be vague, at times, with poor insight.

As we assisted him to the side of the bed for a transfer, he began to moan, “I’m a man, I’m a man.” We assumed that his consternations were related to his need to be assisted by women, and were strictly sociological in nature. We reassured him that, as a “man,” he was gaining strength with physical therapy, and that he was a “fine, strong man.”  Nonetheless, his protestations persisted, “I’m a man, I’m a man.”  We, in an effort to get the transfer accomplished, continued to reinforce to him  just what a fine man he was. Nonetheless, he continued wailing, “I’m a man, I’m a man.” Finally, I  got right down to eye level, hoping I could focus this gent back onto the task at hand. He looked me straight in the eye and proclaimed, “I’m a man. I’m a man. And I’m sitting on my goddam balls!!!”  Needless to say, this brought everyone down to earth in very short order,  and situation resolution was achieved.


Oh my.  Another story, this one from Alan RN, (also from 2009):

One of the times I felt I really helped a patient as a nurse occurred in the early ’80′s.  A male in his late 30′s had a motorcycle accident requiring a below knee amputation after post-op infections.  I worked with him in the ortho clinic over many months and learned he was a Vietnam veteran.  I was a Navy corpsman in the early 70′s but with no deployment to Vietnam, yet he still called me “doc” and we swapped military stories.

About a year later he returned after another motorcycle accident, now requiring another below knee amputation.  He was post-op on the ortho floor when I learned he was back. He was quickly earning the negative reputation among the nurses and physicians as a “biker”–throwing stuff, swearing, etc.  I talked with him and he confided in me that he was “going crazy” because of the child crying next door.  In short, the crying triggered what we now are learning more about–post traumatic stress syndrome and he was afraid to bring it up to the staff and not appear macho. Fortunately I had seen this in war vets while on active duty.  I spoke with the nursing staff and residents, and advised them to “back off” him and change his room.  Things went better for him after that and he calmed down enough to work with the staff through his admission.  These days with shorter length of stays it’s tough to learn enough about a patient–something to keep in mind if a patient is acting out, with more vets returning to civilian life now.


And finally, here is one from Linsey, RN (from 2010.  Hey, we’re getting there):

I hope that everyone reading this can congratulate me on my first ever blog experiences.  I am currently studying for my BSN and learning about blogs was a assignment of mine.  CodeBlog has stood out to me because it is unlike any other blog that I found and I will visit the blog regularly to see what interesting stories people are sharing. (Thanks Linsey!  Sorry it took me 2 years to give you your first blogging experience.)

I am a new nurse and have been at this career for three years.  I think that I will probably consider myself to be a new nurse until I hit the ten year mark because some days I am totally comfortable but some days I am totally lost.  There are nights I go home and can’t stop thinking about the events of the day… did I remember everything… will I get the infamous phone call from my manager that I messed up one of the fifty pages of paperwork I did that day.

Since I was a little girl playing with my tea-set I wanted to be a nurse.  Some kids change their career aspirations but all I ever wanted to be was a nurse.  In high school I almost lost my dream and fell into a downward destructive spiral… And then I buried my ten year old cousin and close friend.  That experience made me realize that I was wasting my life and I lost my bad friends, made some good friends and jumped right into school.

This experience and those of my family who have also had similar problems have made me the kind of nurse I am today.  I have learned to be patient with those around me whether they are staff or patients.  I have learned to accept all people for who they are rather than what society wants them to be.  Finally I have learned social skills that can’t be taught in a class but only learned through one’s life experiences.  Nursing has completed my life and soul.  It is wonderful to be in a profession that on most days, I am excited to go to work, I am excited to help people and gives me opportunity to realize how small my problems really are…That to me is the essence of nursing.


So there you have it.  Instead of being 5 (FIVE!) years behind on story submissions, I am now only 2 years behind.  Thanks for reading :)




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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

At the end of December, codeblog turned 9 years old.  It amazes me that I’ve been doing this for that long.  I was so excited when I was asked questions for the Reader’s Digest article “50 Things Your Nurse Won’t Tell You.”  My comments appeared in print, and in the online version here and here.

For that last link, the quote was this:

“If you ask me if your biopsy results have come back yet, I may say no even if they have, because the doctor is really the best person to tell you. He can answer all your questions.”

This blog took issue with that comment:

“And still another nurse admits that the nurse might falsely say that biopsy results are not back, “because the doctor is really the best person to tell you. He can answer all your questions.” The physician may be the best person to tell you about some things, but he–or she–can’t necessarily “answer all your questions”; nurses are more expert about a number of aspects of patient care. “

I stand by my comment.  If your biopsy results come back with a specific form of cancer that I know nothing about, I’m not going to march into your room and say, “Hey!  You have cancer!  Unfortunately I have no idea what they will do to treat it, if it even can be treated, or what your prognosis is.  And no, I also have no idea when your physician will be in to discuss these things with you.”

There have definitely been times in my life that I have just wanted to know.  But I think those times have been fairly straightforward.  I would have probably paid good money for someone, anyone, to call me with my betaHCG results when I was having symptoms of a miscarriage, but instead I had to wait for the doctor to call.  No one else would tell me.  But I had already done hours and hours of reading about what those numbers would mean and felt fairly prepared to interpret them on my own.  Every minute I had to wait was agony.

I think things would be different if I had no idea what to do with the results.  I would most likely be okay waiting a few extra hours for some results if I could get them from the doctor who could then answer my questions rather than have someone less knowledgeable report them.

Then again, maybe there’s something to be said for getting results and having a chance to do my own research so that I would have a chance to let the information sink in and be able to come up with appropriate questions.  I guess it’s a grey area.

Anyway, I was completely tickled to be in Reader’s Digest.  My grandmother read a LOT and I spent a lot of time with her when I was younger.  I also started reading a lot, and she had many books around.  When I went through all the books, I asked her what I could read next and she found a box of old Reader’s Digests for me to go through.

I (metaphorically) devoured them.  I remember one had a story about the Titanic and what happened hour-by-hour.  I read that probably 5 or 10 times.  Every issue had several interesting things to read.  She renewed her subscription and I was so excited when an issue would arrive.

I think she would be so proud that my name was in RD.  I wish she were here so I could show her.






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My turn to be interviewed!

Online Nursing Degrees is doing a series of interviews on nurse bloggers.

To learn more about how nursing students mature into seasoned healthcare providers, we studied popular nursing bloggers to see what they had to say on the subject.

We found the voices of dedicated professionals with intelligent conversations and compassionate stories illustrating what is happening: in hospitals, classrooms, organizations, public health, state-run or federally sponsored institutions, private hospice care, and more. These are nurses (some currently students themselves) who intimately understand the questions, concerns and the feelings shared by many nursing students: they embody the statement, “Been there, done that.”

You can see the whole series here (we are at the midpoint now, each day another link will go live).  My interview was posted today.  Enjoy!

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Grand Rounds here next week!

But for this week, Grand Rounds is up at ACP Internist, with a nifty newspaper title theme!

As for next week, as the title says, Grand Rounds will be hosted here at code blog for the 5th time.  Please send submissions to codeblogrn gmail com and put “grand rounds” in the title of the e-mail.  There will be no theme, so feel free to submit whatever you want!

Just as an aside… I consider this guy to be one of the funniest people on twitter :-)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

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Hey, one of my posts is in a BOOK!

A long long while ago, Rosalinda Alfaro wrote to me and asked if she could possibly include this post in her next book about Critical Thinking.  I said sure, I signed some papers, and then didn’t hear back for a year or so.  I found out a few months ago that the editors agreed to include it, so there it is!  In print!  In a book!  About critical thinking in nursing! Who would have thought…

Anyway, this is the book: Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgment: A Practical Approach to Outcome-Focused Thinking. I am very excited!

Change of Shift is up at Digital Doorway this week.  The theme is Life in a Fishbowl and Keith managed to make sense of it all while also tying it in with nursing posts.  :)

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Code Blog Gets Four Calling Birds

Ever want to know who my favorite reindeer are?  How about my most embarrassing moment at work?  I dished it all over at Addicted to Medblogs!

And that picture?  That is soooo totally me, right down to the white fur-lined knee-high platform boots :)

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New Home!

Welcome to codeblog’s new home!

There are a few things to tweak here and there… the search page works, but the results come up on the old color scheme.  Just goofy little things like that!

Someone told me that the page takes a long time to load due to the circled background.  I tried to figure out how to make it a smaller file, but was unsuccessful.

For those who voted that they wanted more personal stuff on the site, I added twitter to the side bar.

I’ll still be taking and publishing submissions, and there is a link at the top of the page to submit a story.

Thanks to my husband for allllll the work he did!

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Thanks to those of you that answered my poll. To the 3 people that told me I should stop – I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I think codeblog will go on. :)

Codeblog will go on, slightly repurposed. Only slightly!

Until that’s all taken care of, I’ve pruned my sidebar, a la GruntDoc. I was really sad to delete some of those buttons. I know many more medblogs have started up and are thriving, though, so new buttons will be added as I come across them! If I have deleted your button by accident, or you want me to add a button for you, email me at codeblogrn ~at~ gmail . com.

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Where I’ve Been

Where to start?

As I’ve said in the past, I’ve never been a very prolific blogger. I don’t subscribe to the idea that one can’t have a successful blog if they don’t post several times a week. Unfortunately, I’m now blogging even less than my own personal threshold.

Part of it is motherhood. My son is a very busy little guy and I’m enjoying spending lots of time with him.


Another thing is that I’ve been working from home this summer. Thus, many spare moments have gone into finishing that job. Lastly, I only work one day a week in the ICU. I simply don’t see anything interesting to write about because of working so infrequently.

PixelRN wrote a post about how one could be a better blogger by just writing posts after imbibing some wine. The idea is to let down your guard a little and post sans insecurity. I’ve always been a little distant in terms of my personal life on this blog, but now I’m finding that I have little else to blog about. My personal life is taking up all my time! :)

**(We interrupt this post to take a trip to the park.)**

See, that was fun, but now I’ve lost all my concentration and momentum!

I’ve considered putting Gabe in daycare and going back to work more often. Honestly I think he would LOVE daycare, but I don’t think I would love being back at that particular job. (I wonder if my boss still reads my blog…. I have a feeling I’m about to find out). What I’d really love to do is work in fertility (Sorry, erm, “reproductive health”) clinic. Anyone have any leads on that??? :)

So I’m not sure in which direction I should take this blog. I know for absolute certainty that I will leave it up. I have a lot of links out there and I hate dead links. But as for what to post… I don’t know. I still get story submissions. Maybe I could focus more on those and use this blog as a forum to give nurses out in the trenches a voice. Or I could focus more on my personal life, but to be honest I’m not sure anyone would want to read about it. That’s not self-disparaging; it is merely truth.

I also know for certainty that this place needs a facelift badly. It’s had the same look for over 5 years. My husband put SO much work into it that I feel bad changing it around.

Anyway… thanks to the 5 of you who have kept codeblog on your blogrolls. Perhaps I’ll leave the fate of this blog up to a vote:

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How Do You Explain?

I’ve updated the sidebar links again. My loooovely husband got me my Image Manipulation Program of Choice for Christmas and it’s been so very nice playing around with it again. I’ve added some blogs, deleted some, and in checking to make sure the links work, I’ve noticed that some of your blogs underwent a makeover. So if the mood struck, I went ahead and redesigned your button.

As always, if you don’t like your button please feel free to make one of your own and I’ll replace it. You need to stick it in a .jpg file that’s 90 pixels x 25 pixels. Yeah, it’s small.

Here’s a story submission from “traumanurse,” and she sent it almost an entire year ago:

I am a fun-loving person. I work in a Level One trauma unit. We have a lot of fun as all the RN’s and MD’s are great people and we make a great team. This helps a lot with all the drama in trauma.

We have a few resus’ every week. And these are fine – training and adrenalin take over and we actually manage to maintain a sense of humor before, during and after- but it’s going home that gets me.

How do I explain to my small children that I am not a mommy right the moment I get home? That I need a couple of minutes to myself just to become a mommy again? I am the highly professional person that has just witnessed the life seep away from someone’s husband, father, child, and now I have to be the referee in the fighting, dish up equal portions and put Barbie’s shoes on- so they stop slipping off. I think is the main reason I prefer night shift is because you get home when everyone is asleep – so I can do mindless things like water the garden or feed the cats – or just sit and stare into space.

To explain to a non-medical person what it’s like is very difficult. In a resus- it is not a human being. It is not someone’s dad. It is an airway, a chest, a blip on the ECG; a vein to put a drip up. A pupil that may or may not react to light. These are the patients that you leave behind when you go home – nonsensical and they don’t haunt your dreams. It’s the ones that grab your hand, that make you look at them, that make you SEE them, who make it difficult. How do you explain this to your five year old? That fine line between life and death. That fight to keep someone from going to the “light.” There is no light in the trauma unit/ICU – there is only the adrenaline taking over – the clear instructions, there is no pain – no emotion – until it’s over. Until someone said those words: “time of death”.

How do I explain this?


I’ve sometimes found it very difficult to come home and act as though something emotionally earth shattering hadn’t just happened. Sometimes it’s hard to get back to “life” because whatever has your brain scrambled won’t leave your thoughts. Sometimes I’ve found that it’s because it doesn’t feel right to go back to normal life. After witnessing and being a part of a profound moment in someone’s life, it feels like you literally have to take some time and process it and honor it in a way before you can get back to your normal life.

I usually take the drive home as an opportunity to absorb events that happen at work. Sometimes it takes me a lot longer – days, even. There are some situations at work that still haunt me years later. I have a feeling it’s like that for almost everyone.

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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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