Adventures in Nursing: Flashbacks and Bad Backs

When they tell you there are many specialties in medicine, it’s true. I’m an oncology nurse. I take care of people with cancer. I know very little about laboring mothers or tracheostomies or cardiac stents. That shift I was on an orthopedic floor for only the second time in my nursing career. I was out of…

Hannah’s Voice

Young. Geez, she’s young. These were the first things that ran through my mind when I met Hannah*. I had to check the chart again to see why she was in our office. Lung cancer. Lung cancer? We met right after Christmas. I’m not sure if it was still in 2008 or if we’d passed the…

Newbie…again.

Have you ever worked all night in your sleep? Isn’t it a drag to wake up and think, “Aw man! I have to work for real now!”? I worked last night in my dreams. I can’t tell you how many IV’s I started! “Whyyyyyyy?!” I think my issue is because I’ve recently started a new…

Patience: Is Pain Worth The Wait?

My patient’s bony, bird-like hand gripped mine with extraordinary strength as she called, “Hurry up! Hurry! It hurts! Can’t you be quicker about this? Just get it over with!” My counterpart never skipped a beat as he bent over her other arm, needle searching for her elusive veins. “I cannot hurry this process, Joyce*. This…

Girl Interrupting

On my way to work this morning, I contemplated what I was going to write tonight when I got home. I’ve been thinking about writing a lot lately. Topics included: A rant about how I only get one mutual day off with my husband next month. An informative discussion about how Seattle is not truly…

The Doctor Who Cried

Doctors are funny creatures. Most of them have this other language, medical jargon, which they speak to their patients as if they’ll be understood. Some are so nerdy it’s hard to pay attention without wanting to laugh a little. Some don’t know who you are, or what you came in for without referring to your…

Cat…Nurse?

Mocha, the cat. My dad renamed him Bosco. Why? Who the heck knows. He renamed Mom’s cat too. And my current cat. It’s just a thing. Mocha has been with the fam since I started the 8th grade. Just so you know, that was a while ago. Like we’re pushing 17 years-ish? This was a…