Saturday, April 11, 2009
In re-reading my first post, I realize that it portrayed me as a very dark, very unfunny, very serious person...which, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am NOT. Interestingly, though, it was written just prior to two articles appearing about patient safety and medication errors occurring in Boston hospitals. Medication errors, now THEY are unfunny. Despite all of the safety measures and the new technology in place, medication errors happen with alarming frequency. (Any nurse out there who has never made a med error, raise your hand. Ah, I thought not.) Anyway, my apologies for the tone of the post. I do love my job as a nursing faculty member, although I would throw it all way if I were offered a contract playing second base for the Boston Red Sox. (Are you listening, Scott Boras?). I've pretty much closed the book on that idea, for many reasons, but primarily because I am now old enough to be the mother to most of the Sox players....although being Tim Wakefield's mom would have meant that I was a very precocious twelve year old.
Friday, April 3, 2009
I'm told blogging is easy and that anyone can do it. Perhaps the physical part of it is. It's easy enough to sit with the laptop and type. But the hard part is deciding what to write. It is said that one should write what one knows, so I will start there. I can say with complete confidence that I "know" nursing. I know what it takes to become a nurse, and I'm not talking about which courses one must take in order to graduate (although I am intimately acquainted with that part of it). The 'becoming' a nurse, now that is a little more difficult but not impossible to convey. I try to explain it to my nursing students, hoping my experience will save them a lot of time and grief later on, but of course, at this point in the academic year (with two months to go til graduation) anything I try to tell them is falling on deaf ears. They are about to leave a very sheltered, very controlled world in which experienced clinical instructors, preceptors, etc have watched over them, held their hands, kept them from making mistakes. The rules are about to change, and I fear for them. The world they are going to enter is one in which they will hold patients' lives in their hands. One in which a medication error can mean the difference between life and death. One in which a call bell left unanswered for too long can mean a patient falls and is seriously injured. One in which the shift is not six hours long, with an hour preconference and an hour postconference, but one in which they will hit the ground running and not stop to eat, drink, or pee for 8, 12, or even 16 hours. And in this new world, not everyone will be 'nice' to them. Their inexperience will be the stuff of staff gossip. The off-hand comment will be repeated by others until it bears no resemblance to the original, innocent comment. I want them to know this, not because I want to scare them, but because I want to make the transition less painful. They are all my children in a way, and like any good mother, I want to protect them from what I know is in store for them.