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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Change of Shift: Volume 1, Number 22

First, a moment of silence for all of those affected by this week’s tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Thanks for joining me this week for a Change of Shift much less creative than Geena’s poetic last offering.

Thankfully, the submissions for this issue are wonderful, and speak for themselves. To wit:


Everybody has that “first crash” story. But what if it happens on your first clinical shift as a student nurse? Faith gives a candid account of how she reacted and how support from other members of the team helped her process the event.

Often the unsung heroes of our realm, healthcare security officers sometimes deal with challenging patients before we’re ever made aware of them. The Forgotten Blue Line tells a moving story of intervening to save a suicidal patient who could just as easily have slipped away unnoticed.

Amidst the everyday aches, pains, and injuries, sometimes a real time bomb lands in your midst. Luckily Nurse William recognized the signs and moved quickly when it counted.

In the Emergency Department, there’s a whole range from not-sick to truly-sick that show up in Triage. We get pretty good at picking out the ‘not-sick’ – but every once in a while, as ERNursey points out, the truly sick speak for themselves.

What do you say when your postpartum patient tells you calmly that she requires veterinary equipment to pump milk for her newborn? Gotta hand it to Labor Nurse for doing so in a graceful way.


Of course nursing offers an amazing array of choices in terms of specialty. PixelRN explores her motivations for choosing a career in critical care nursing, and ends with some great advice for nursing students and nurses who haven’t yet decided how to specialize.

All too often, in today’s occupational climate, you hear nurses counting down the days till their retirement. Julie at Life in the NHS tells an inspiring tale of a nurse in her late eighties who’s still actively caring for patients.

For nurses interested in professional advancement through earning a bachelors or masters degree, there are many online options. But is online learning for everyone?? Kim, founding goddess of Change of Shift, presents a wealth of information to consider if you’re thinking about embarking on an online degree program of your own.

We’ve all heard the tired “RN stands for Real Nurse” bit. But what does it truly mean to be a real nurse? Mother Jones RN tells a tale of persistence and finishes with some can’t-argue-with-that characteristics of real nurses.

Everyone has their opinions on management style. Some managers have figured out how to have happy, productive employees…and some haven’t. An illustration-as-tribute, compliments of yours truly.


ABG interpretation: Love it or hate it, there doesn’t seem to be any grey area. Often, though, the reason we hate ABG’s is because they make us feel dumb. Not Nurse Ratched presents a method that may prove more user-friendly.

Pediatric patients with fever should all be given prompt doses of antipyretic, right? Or should they? ImpactEDNurse gives a very thoughtful and well-researched exploration of the question ‘to treat or not to treat.’


Sentinel events happen in healthcare, and when they do, they most certainly impact the staff members that were involved. MSSPNexus presents some guidelines for helping staffers process those events and learn from them in a constructive way.

We all know that a life spent as a caregiver, in one form or in many, can take its toll on the soul. Hueina tells us how to avoid nurturing burnout as we nurture so much else.


Your co-workers could have it. You might be suffering from it right now, and you might not even recognize it as an affliction. What dread disease is this? Nurse pre-vacation syndrome, as detailed by Digital Doorway.

Thanks for reading, and thank you to everyone for your great submissions - and if you like what you see, please let the individual authors know by commenting.


Rita Schwab - MSSPNexus said...

Nice collection of posts - and anyone who can host Change of Shift in the midst of opening a new hospital ED gets a hat tip from me!

Mother Jones RN said...

You did a great job hosting CoS. Thank you for including my post.


Kim said...

Great job!

Dang girl, you didn't tell me you were opening a new department! Whew!

Thanks for hosting!

Keith, RN said...
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Keith, RN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith, RN said...

Thanks for hosting! Very nice job!

ERnursey said...

Wonderful job, good luck on your new ER

Linda said...

Thanks for hosting CoS. You did an excellent job at enabling the procrastination of this nursing student :)

Hueina Su said...

Wonderful carnival. Thank you for including my post, and I wish you best of luck with the new ER. :)

Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul