Wednesday, October 15, 2014


This is The Thing right now in the world of nursing, especially the world of MICU nursing, where an Ebola patient seems bound to end up.

I work at a level 1 trauma center, a huge teaching university, a medical center that receives patients from the surrounding region on a daily basis. And in case you're wondering... no, we have not been trained or briefed or in any way notified of what we are to do should someone arrive with Ebola-like symptoms. Just yesterday the ED held an Ebola-preparedness drill. Just yesterday. For several weeks now, our nurses (part of a 4,000 strong nursing union) demanded preparedness information. Just yesterday Ebola was discussed in a general staff meeting on our unit, where we were told that ours is not to be the unit that accommodates an Ebola patient.

Still. The panic is rising among nurses. We are the ones suctioning sputum, wiping up vomit and puke, and breathing in droplet-laced air. We are the ones going in there every 2 minutes to adjust pressors, silence alarms, push meds, etc and so on. If anyone is going to contract Ebola, it's us. And now we're FREAKED. OUT.

I have no intention of caring for an Ebola patient. The rumor now is that only volunteers will be trained and utilized if an Ebola patient should come along. Trust me when I say I won't be among the volunteers.

Also: my dad just called to tell me to quit critical care nursing, and go work in a nursing home. Ebola or no Ebola... that's NEVER gonna happen!

Monday, October 13, 2014

these are not my people

These are not my people...
That's the thought I continuously have in my head during my first "graduate" class. My classmates, most of whom are practicing nurses, are not ICU nurses, and for that matter are first or second year nurses to boot. They don't understand my depraved ICU sense of humor. I feel like I'm surrounded by a different species of nurses. The funny thing is, many of them are interested in being nursing faculty.
I ask you, how can nursing faculty be effective in a field that is so intensively hands-on, learn-as-you-go, experience-based? Can a nurse with only two years of bedside experience in general med-surg really guide BSN or MSN level students who intend to practice at the bedside? Or are they simply considered theorists, leaving the rest to be learned by preceptors via clinicals?
I'm not a huge fan of academia. That being said, I find that I excel in it. Writing comes easy to me. I know what they want from an assignment and I give it to them. But I don't believe in it, necessarily. I don't think the focus is where it should be... the type of learning we should be experiencing, in my opinion, as nurse practitioners should be somewhat akin to med student and resident rounds. But maybe that's to come? This class on health status and trends seems more like the nursing profession indoctrinating its young, and less like preparation for actual advanced practice.