Moral Distress in the ICU: Can you avoid it?

Moral Distress in the ICU

There is no doubt that working in the ICU can be a source of moral distress. I’ve been spending the last few months doing hospice home care and I’ve been thinking about going back to the hospital for various reasons. The last time I worked as a nurse in the ICU was the summer of 2009. I took a three month contract in the MICU. Not my first choice of employment, but I needed the money, and the work was familiar to me. Read more

Documenting in the EHR in ALL CAPS

Documenting in the EHR in ALL CAPS

On the first day of my allscripts instruction, I was advised that when documenting in the EHR, I should always use all caps, in other words, to always type in capital letters. As someone who is trained in graphic design, this irked me! Capital letters should be used for a reason, not as a default. It also bothered me knowing that typing in all caps on the internet is an analog for shouting. Read more

The Pelvic Exam: How often do you need one?

The annual pelvic exam. No one likes it. It’s quite unpleasant. It may even prevent patients from seeking a yearly well-visit. So is it really necessary?

The American College of of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) seem to think so. They still recommend a yearly pelvic exam, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support its efficacy as a screening process. And they also acknowledge that the evidence neither supports nor denies its value. Read more

What PPE should be used when caring for an Ebola patient?

There’s been a lot of chatter on twitter as far as whether hospitals are doing enough to protect nurses who come in contact with an Ebola patient. I’ve also seen the sentiment that we shouldn’t be spreading fear, because Ebola isn’t an airborne virus. And the rallying cry that, “Protocols work if we follow them correctly!” There’s no question that these discussions are needed. There seems to be much confusion over what we should be doing. Read more

So You Want to Quit Nursing

frustrated_woman

You’ve tried being a nurse in different care areas. You’ve tried changing your attitude. Meditation, spiritual guides, life coaches, self-help books. And alcohol, lots of alcohol.

Despite all of these interventions, you’ve come to the conclusion that you aren’t really feeling the love anymore. You’re ready to to quit nursing. Read more

The Retreat from (and return to) Blogging

I’ve been thinking about NotNurseRatched’s post about the state of nurses in social media. I’ve definitely retreated from social media for some of the reasons she describes (incivility, name-calling, pitchfork wielding), but the truth is that I want back in. I love blogging. How much sense does it make to give up something you love because of a little unpleasant conversation? Read more