Skip to main content


4.14. Mercy Medical Center = Dignity Health

Dignity Health’s slogan is “Hello Humankindness” and Mercy, the hospital next door (across the street, technically), our benefactor, our teacher, has been beyond kind to us Merced College nursing students.
Let us count the ways.

The ED taught us how assessment and nursing judgment is everything.

OB showed us the most amazing thing in life—the beginning of life itself.

The ICU reminds us what really matters: airway, breathing, circulation, disability, exposure, and family.

Telemetry highlights the science and wonder of the human heart.

5th floor (home of my awesome preceptor!) covers everything from anemia to Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and cancer, too.

6th floor has procedures & drains & dressings galore, and all the assessments, too.

7th floor was where we as first semester Smurfs in royal blue, trembling in our hideous white shoes, first got our feet wet (sometimes literally).

We thank Dignity Health, Mercy Medical Center, for helping us grow from baby nurses to novice nurse…
Recent posts

4.13. Photo Essay: R = Resilient

Dear Mom,
It's been almost four years since you fell sick and passed. So much has changed since then, including me.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and startle because I think I see you. Something in the eyes, the lips that aren't quite certain but curl into a polite smile anyway, because it's what we've been taught. 
When you were my age you already had three children. I have just one, but she is everything (and more than enough). She gives me a reason to make responsible and strong decisions as a role model, because now it's about setting an example for what she should accept or not in her life one day.
Fist bump over hand shake.
Saying "no" and walking away and standing up, even when it feels uncomfortable or seems unthinkable, impossible.
 A belt is a belt is a belt. Sometimes a gait belt, sometimes punishment.
There have been a few.
We've lost a few matches in life, as well as a friend or two.
Leukemia, S. pneumoniae, HIV, all of them…

Guest Post: How to Rock Your Nursing Resume by Karen Walcott

So you’re about to graduate Nursing School? Congratulations!!! Now you have to think about landing your first nursing job. Writing a resume can be daunting so let me offer you a few tips.

1.Don’t use a Microsoft Word Resume Template: Recruiters and Hiring Managers are very familiar with Word Templates. They are basic, generic, and unoriginal. You want your resume to stand out so don’t use the templates. They are plenty of other options out there. a.Canva: Creating a free account on this website will give you access to customizable resume templates with modern layouts. b.Etsy: There are a number of shops where you can purchase beautiful resume templates. There are even a few templates designed especially for nurses. Check out shops like Templates Design Company, Resume Template Studio, and Caps Look. Their nursing resume templates range in prices from $5-$15.
2.If you’re just graduating from nursing school and do not have any formal nursing experience than your resume should contain the …

4.12. How to Make a Book Trailer (For Free!)

1. Get a trailer, preferably secondhand. 2. Fill it with books.
Okay, just kidding. It's actually even easier than that (and free!) to make your own book trailer. Here's how.
1. Find some images (including your book's cover image) that you like, and pick a bit of text to go with each image. The text could be exerpts from the book, praise, brief author bio, or general "tease"s or hooks to intrigue potential readers/buyers.
2. If you use Windows, the former Windows Movie Maker has been replaced by Photos, which is also free. If you use Apple, iMovie will do.
3. Create a new movie project in either platform. In Microsoft, add images to your project library and drag and drop them to your storyboard, where you can set duration (e.g. 5 seconds) and add text. In Apple, import images/videos, drag and drop into the film reel, and add captions.
4. In my case, I liked the captions in Microsoft Photos but hated the special effect, so I had to go to someone's house that …

4.11. DNR...

Dear Grandpa 親愛的爺爺,

Our response to the no-doubt difficult DNR decision before you is nothing but love, and great respect. You have been a role model to all of us, stern yet loving, wise but playful. You and grandma gave us the best Chinese New Year memories year after year, even now, when we return to Pingtung with children in tow, and you continue to create for us happy memories to cherish for a lifetime. We will always have the pebble-stoned beaches, the aboriginal culture museum, grandma's rice balls and pigfeet soup, all the good times--that love is forever part of us.

您一直是我們的楷模,剛毅兼關懷,智慧中帶幽默.您與阿嬤給了我們最溫馨的童年回憶,從小到大每年都如此. 如今我們帶著小朋友一起會去過年,他們也一樣有許多他們將珍惜一輩子的快樂回憶. 我們永遠都記得,在海邊玩水,原住民博物館,阿嬤美味飯糰與豬腳麵線--一切愛的片段烙在我們腦海裡.

One thing not many people in our family know: when my mother coded in the ICU and the doctor wanted us to sign the DNR papers, a "family friend" who was not family and we barely knew, who had become a recipient of confidential information after helping translate wh…

4.10. PAWS = Pet-Assisted Visitation Volunteer Services

Meet Frida, the most cosmopolitan, well-read dog ever. Pets provide more than entertainment, companionship or improvement in literacy (when kids read to dogs--at home or at library events). Pet therapy is an actual thing, though not in a Frida = Freudian psychoanalyst type of way. Rogerian psychiatrist, maybe:
Human: "I'm having a bad day."
Pup, speaking with soulful eyes: "Tell me more about your bad day."

The therapeutic value of pets has been extensively studied, and evidence shows that animals can directly influence a person’s mental and physical well-being. Having a pet, or spending time with a trained "therapy pet" in a hospital, treatment center or long-term facility can decrease anxiety and enhance mood in many patients.  

Penzi, devoted therapy dachscund!
Pet therapy has proven especially effective in people receiving cancer treatment and those with anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, PTSD, dementia, or residing in long-term care facilities.  The sim…

4.9. SATC = Sex & Taipei City

Interviewed here by her favorite librarian, Mimi, Yu-Han Chao is the author of a new short story collection, Sex & Taipei City (available now with Red Hen Press).
Mimi: That’s a really cute book cover. Did you draw it?
Yu-Han: Why, thank you, and yes, I did.

Mimi: Judging from the cover, these are cute stories about sex?
Yu-Han: Yes and no. The opening story is more explicit than the others, the lingering result of edits requested by a Zyzzyva editor when the story appeared in the journal. There are betel nut beauties and a grandfather obsessed with Japanese porn in the collection, but most characters are ordinary people, and the “sex” here has more to do with repression, gender concerns, failures of intimacy, and social (in)justice.

Mimi: Can you cite any direct influences or inspirations?
Yu-Han: Growing up in Taipei city in the 90s. Pai Hsien-yung (白先勇)’s Taipei People (台北人).

Mimi: So a sort of updated Taipei People?
Yu-Han: Not as up to date as it was when I first wrote it, be…