Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2019

Hx = History

One can have a history of codependent behaviors, a history with a substance (under our breaths, "hx of EtOh," to avoid embarrassing anyone), or a history with a particular person. History is, as the word suggests, subjective. There's the good kind of history as well--for example, the story of Florence Nightingale, and the history of nursing graduation rituals.
This already sailor-looking cap made a lot more sense once my dear friend Meg gifted me her mother's WWII nursing cap pin (complete with lovely anchor design), which made me wonder whether the history of nursing caps had something to do with the military.  The short answer is, no. Apparently, the nurse's cap was modeled after a nun's habit, paying homage to nuns being the earliest nurses. Florence Nightingale continued the tradition of the cap by making it part of a nurse's uniform that keeps hair neatly in place. We nursing students know that Nightingale was all about keeping the environment clean …

4.18. Gratitude, Remembering the Dead, & Pokemon

Our last nursing school exam, many of us lingered in our usual seats with our 100-question, filled-out scantrons far longer than necessary, because for how long these past two years were, at this final moment, we suddenly weren't quite ready for it all to end.
Pretty sure this is what our pinning ceremony will look like.
We have so many people to thank--one another, those who have been there with us, taught us, who helped us survive in some way, who watched our children, who are our children, those who gave us life or in some cases, saved our lives, literally or metaphorically, because first, there's living, and then, there's living life.

Becoming a nurse reminds us every day that life is short, unpredictable, and we should make every moment count.
And we remember and honor our dead, too. They say that every person you lose, they take a little bit of you with them, and you, in turn, keep a little bit of them. Not sure what it says about me that all my dead seem to come ba…

4.17. Giving Birth Dream

It's that time in the semester for Really Weird dreams. This happens to be a Giving Birth dream, which I'm sure has something to do with my regretting not studying my OB book for a particular, recent, exam.

In my dream I am pregnant, and am just considering Hey, Google-ing or using Naegele's rule to figure out when my due date is (although of course I don't remember the first day of my last menstrual perod), I feel a bit of pressure Down There, something slippery come out, and I reach down.

I have given birth to an intact bag of waters, baby suspended inside. The bag, incidentally, is a 1000ml IV bag of 0.9% normal saline, so I know it's sterile.
Instead of calling an instructor, or doctor, or 911, I try calling one of my classmates who precepted in OB. The call goes to voicemail.

My daughter comes up, concerned, and I calmly ask her to get some towels.

I wonder if there are still sterile gloves lying around somewhere from when we took them home from lab to practic…

4.16. To wean = gradually eliminate

There's weaning off a ventilator (breathing machine) in the ICU, and there's weaning a baby. Both are difficult, but as a mother who breastfed (reluctantly) for more than two years, I personally never want to go through the latter again.

1. One can wean off a ventilator using "Synchronous Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation": the ventilator provides a minimum of, say, 12 breaths a minute, and the patient supplies additional breaths. If all goes well, the machine delivers fewer breaths, and the patient breathes more and more on his or her own.
Similarly, the mother desperate for her body back may offer the breast for a reduced number of times or only fixed times a day. For example, 10pm, 4am, 7am, 5pm. Try telling that to the pacifier-rejecting baby who uses you as a human pacifier. All night long.
2. One can also use a T-piece (what it sounds like--T-shaped tubing), which replaces the ventilator and delivers humidified oxygen. The longer time the patient can tolerate w…