Nursing ring theory: Care goes in. Crap goes out.

  Susan Silk is a clinical psychologist who is also a breast cancer survivor. In a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, her friend Barry Goldman recounts the day a friend wanted (needed) to visit her immediately following surgery: Susan didn’t feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague’s response? “This isn’t just about you.” “It’s not?” Susan wondered. “My breast cancer is not about me? It’s about you?” Following her experiences at this time, Susan developed a technique to help people stop communicating un-skilfully (or even harmfully) to the wrong people during times of crisis. She [continue reading this...]

when your patient says thanks....

The other morning I was approached by a patient in the hospital foyer. She just wanted to say thanks for the care I had given her. Then out of left field she said, “and I love following your blog and Facebook page….but I must say I’m a bit disappointed you didn’t write anything about me. …..wasn’t I interesting enough?” Strangely enough, I have had this happen 3 times over the last month. Patients who recognised me from this blog or my Facebook page, which I do not deny feels sorta nice & elicits mucho self ego-stroking (which is not so [continue reading this...]

nurses fuck cancer.

I’m sure your have seen the powerful slogan: Fuck Cancer. Well, I am going to tell you that our profession has the power to not only fuck cancer, but to fuck cardiovascular disease, fuck chronic respiratory diseases and fuck diabetes. Between them these four diseases are responsible for 60% of deaths worldwide. In low and middle-income countries they will kill 90% of their victims before the age of 60, and will inflict an added economic burden on those countries surpassing 7 Trillion dollars by 2025. Go back and read that again and think about it a little. As nurses we [continue reading this...]

the Mississippi of airway management.

I just have to tell you this story. I swear it is true. Last evening I was flying home from a Critical Care and Social Media conference in Sydney. I had settled into my window seat and was flipping through the flight magazine. It was a smaller prop aircraft and everyone was pretty much seated, the last few stragglers flopping into their seats. I love flying in these smaller planes as they cruise at a much lower altitude and you can enjoy the scenery passing by below. It was just on dusk so it promised to be a beautiful flight. [continue reading this...]

Is it OK to call your patient

Well this is what I think. Your patients name might be John or Judy, it might be Carl or Candy, it might even be Mrs Smith-Campbell Hewitt III or Mr Vidovich. But your patients name is not Sweetie, nor Honey, or Hon, and it is especially not Darl. These names should be reserved for partners and lovers and desert descriptions. If you cannot remember your patients name then Sir or Ma’am will substitute until you do. Or if you find that too formal, just don’t call them anything. Remember: the patients name is perhaps the most important word they will [continue reading this...]

Is it Triage? Or is it Bricolage?

Australian Emergency Departments all use the Australasian Triage Scale (ATS) to triage every patient presenting through its doors. Triage can be defined as: A process of assessment of a patient on arrival to the ED to determine the priority for medical care based on the clinical urgency of the patient’s presenting condition. Triage enables allocation of limited resources to obtain the maximum clinical utility for all patients presenting to the emergency department.’ The triage nurse applies an ATS category in response to the question: “This patient should wait for medical assessment and treatment no longer than…. Australasian College for Emergency [continue reading this...]

The Thunderbox Papers: Adult Cardio-Resp Arrest Algorithm.

The Thunderbox Papers are a set of short pithy one page information sheets. The idea is that you stick one on your toilet door for one week and commit to learning the information during each visit. A Thunderbox refers to an old Australian ‘out-house’ or outside toilet. These toilets were often nothing more than a small drafty wooden shed containing a seat over a deep hole in the ground. Toilet paper consisted of old pages from newspapers or magazines threaded together with string and hung on a hook. I will post a Thunderbox Paper here every week or so. Stick [continue reading this...]

Night shift nurses. Strength in a silo?

Night duty. Personally, I hate, hate, hate, hate it. But I have the greatest respect for those nurses who either do a lot of it. Or chose to make it their life. A study to be published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing looks at the experiences of nurses working the night shift at three regional hospitals in Australia. Data was collected via questionnaires, interviews and diary entries over a six month period in 2010 and was augmented by a series of semi structured interviews. Of the 14 study participants, 10 were on permanent night duty and all were female. [continue reading this...]

An open post to my community.

The following post in no way represents the opinions, policies or strategies of my employer. Nor does it necessarily represent the opinions or feelings of my colleagues. —————————————- The US is currently experiencing quite a bad influenza season. Healthcare services and drug supplies are being stretched to the limit in the United States as the authorities warn this year’s flu season is severe. Official figures indicate that influenza is now “widespread” in 41 states, with high numbers of cases reported in New York, where state governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a public health emergency. Robert Glatter, an emergency doctor at [continue reading this...]

Nurses are F*cking C*nts. Verbal abuse in our workplace.

There is an article published by Journal of Advanced Nursing, titled Mosaic of verbal abuse experienced by nurses in their everyday work that should be read by every nurse that has tolerated  demeaning or verbally abusive behaviour whilst on duty, and also by every member of the public who has had a nurse care for them. This was an observational study conducted over 1150 hours at inpatient and emergency department wards in a large acute metropolitan teaching hospital on the outskirts of a major Australian city. It found an everyday, sustained ‘mosaic’ of non-verbal threatening behaviours, verbal insults, threats and [continue reading this...]

  • will soon be gone. (3)
    • Zeke said: Are you keeping an archive of this site on the nurse path site?

    • jelly said: Just work a few more hundred Sundays!

    • matgrad said: Bye Ian will miss the site but as you say everything has its day. Good luck for the future.

  • Nurses are F*cking C*nts. Verbal abuse in our workplace. (32)
    • Rose said: I have read this article and found it very relevant to me and my own experience.Unfortunately a lot of people think that it is quite OK and acceptable to take out their anger and frustration against a sometimes inadequate health system on nursing staff. I also think that gender is an issue as I often feel that female nurses are...

  • Nominate Now: Social Media Nurse of the Year. (21)
    • Belynda Abbott said: I would like to nominate 3 amazing nurses that contribute to nursing and social media in many different ways: 1. The amazing Philip Darbyshire @PDarbyshire and blog&view=entry&id=44& amp;Itemid=13&utm_source=b uffer&utm_campaign=Buff...

  • When a patient leaves with cannula in-situ. (17)
    • Andy said: Good thinking! At my hospital the Oncology staff are trained/instructed to bleed CVADs before every use regardless, to remove potential clots, discard, flush, then use. Another excuse if you need it ;)

  • bully nurse. (40)
    • G Boucle said: This is not surprising at all to me! Nurses can and do bully patients, I was on the brunt of this after a surgery with spinal fusion on 5 segments! The pain was blinding, they bickered in front of me over who would change the cath bag on the floor already filled and looking about to burst, I found this extremely upsetting....

  • The art of bleeding. Art, insult…or just plain WTF? (6)
    • Contrarian said: I have seen at least one, maybe two live performances of the Art of Bleeding (they were performing at the periphery of other attention-immersive events). Of course the nurse-slut costume is a standard image, but they turn it on its head and dissect it. So, yes, as they say, while the nurse slut draws in the viewer, the viewer is...