Saturday, February 4, 2017


I've been experiencing one of my mid winter brain freezes and had difficulty coming up with a coherent post so I stuffed a bunch of  3X5  index cards into my pocket and wrote down thoughts as they jumped into my  head. These were some of  the  nursing related thoughts that came to mind. Please don't ask about the non- nursing thoughts. You really don't want to go there!

A nurses (often twisted) sense of humor is inversely related to their proximity to mayhem, misery and tragedy. Utilization review nurses are a dour, unfunny bunch. OR nurses especially after a long messy case will have you laughing like a  hyena. By the way, have you heard the one about the surgeon's daughter and the itinerant autoclave repairman?

Any dropped needle or sharp object will roll or slide to the most inaccessible location with the bevel or sharp side up.

I probably mentioned this previously, but it bears repeating because it's a very reliable prognostic indicator. If the overhead lights are adjusted more than 3 times for a surgery on the same site, the prognosis is grave. The rule is invalid if a technical problem occurs such as a burned out bulb or the light fails to maintain position.

The likelihood of a glass IV bottle breaking is directly related to the stickiness and/or messiness of it's contents. Albumin and plasma are prime candidates for breakage.

Alcohol causes more pain and suffering than cancer and heart disease. Alcohol, gun powder and gasoline do not mix.

Why is the dying process so similar to a birth?

If you are working just for money all the fun and rewards of life are gone.

The higher up the nursing hierarchy you ascend; the worse clinical nursing skills become. A new highly educated nursing supervisor was bragging to us in the OR  about her credentials and one of my co workers hollered out "Yup, you are educated, but can you load a sponge stick with one hand?"
Nope she could not. That put an end to some of the BS.

No sales people are needed for a truly effective drug. When was the last time you heard a sales pitch for penicillin or digoxin?

Hospitals today are loaded to the gills with a plethora of personnel that never touch or directly help a patient. Office sitters and self proclaimed big shots in every department with computer geeks interacting exclusively on  flat screens. If you want a graphic  indicator of how many superfluous people are employed in hospitals observe the difference in how many cars are in the parking garage on weekdays vs. weekends. VA hospitals are the most dramatic.

Regardless of personal religious views, always bow  your head when a patient asks you to pray with them.

You will never know how much it meant to that patient you stayed over past your shift to do something special for, and that's the way it was meant to be.

Never force an intramedullary fixation device into position - use a bigger mallet


  1. A wonderful post!!

    I was lucky enough to only drop ONE bottle to floor in my career ~ a nice, brand new bottle of lipids...
    Can you say "sticky mess EVERY WHERE mixed with glass shards"???

    Did you ever hear about a magazine called "Journal of Nursing Jocularity"??? It came out in around '91, and ran through '98. It was awesome!! I found it interesting to note that 75% of the articles/jokes in it came from either ICU or ER nurses... but a good number of them were also from OR nurses!
    I still miss it today ~

  2. "The higher up the nursing hierarchy you ascend; the worse clinical nursing skills become."

    Replace "nursing" with "police", and "clinical nursing" with "street", and it's still true.

  3. Off. C ~ I always have thought that nurses & cops were a lot alike!!

  4. Why is the dying process so similar to a birth?

    Would you care to elaborate on that please? In what ways are they similar? I confess to a very limited experience with either.


  5. @bobbie - I always thought the same thing, especially with ER nurses, who we interacted with a lot. Lorraine, if you read this, I still have a crush on you! :)

  6. Portia- There is a very eloquent blog about death and dying as a process by a hospice nurse that calls herself a midwife for the end of life. Its at: She has a way with words that far exceed my foolish ramblings.