Facebook & The Fine Art of Defriending


The surface of Facebook may be a shiny facade of blunt cards, pets subjected to silly wardrobes, and people going into way too much details about their lives. The reality is that Facebook has also placed an unnatural framework on relationships. This uncomfortability has given us the term “defriending.” f

According to this website,  over 1 billion people actively use Facebook daily. So, if you are reading this; you statistically are likely to have experienced the phenomenon I am about to describe.  According to another website says that we have an average of 350 FB friends.  Chances are, it’s a mish-mosh of current and former coworkers, childhood friend, neighbors, people you may have met at social functions, friends of friends, extended family, ex-boyfriends or girlfriends, and people from various other sources in your life.  The reality of friendship is that reality offers many levels of intimacy. Some are very close friends. Some may have the potential for that, but are still rather new. Some people may share some common interest, but ultimately will never be that close. Some we have very basic interactions with, but are not likely to go beyond that. Some may have been close once, but life paths may have taken you both in two very different directions. As we age, our perspective on life changes. Our political, religious, and social views change over time. On top of that, electronic social interaction do not share the benefit and nuances of physical gestures,  vocal tone/pace/ inflection, facial expression, and delivery to also indicate meaning. What does Facebook offer us? We can either be their friend or not their friend.

We see Facebook friend requests sitting in our profile when we check in on-line.  Some we accept quickly. Others, we wait.  Then, we may accept or delete later.  As our Facebook friend list grows, we may start to reevaluate who is on it; especially if that particular user decides to overstep social, political, or religious boundaries that we don’t feel comfortable with.  We are faced with struggling to choose between taking them out of our news feed, filter them from our wall posts, or defriending.  I have found that defriending someone can really cause people to get upset.  I have defriended people that I don’t feel particularly close with, but their response was to message me to ask why I did it.  I have also had defriended people call my mom to ask why they defriended me.  What people don’t seem to understand is that friending (or defriending) is my choice. I simply want that expected…..and leave my mom out of it.

Facebook has generated this uncomfortable dynamic, but no one seems to talk about it.  Facebook is also responsible for a great deal of useless drama, not to mention that it can get people in trouble for any number of reasons – including causing them to lose their jobs.  I will admit that I am old, but I think that we collectively need to rethink how documented our lives need to be electronically.  One major advantage about acting like an idiot in real life means that one does not have to worry about “going viral” and end up on Good Morning America to defend obnoxious behavior to the masses.

Doomsday Preppers, The History Channel, and when the SHTF


While digging through YouTube videos to find new music, as well as nurse bullying info; I found a bunch of Doomsday Preppers/When the SHTF stuff.  Apparently, my NURSE BULLYING (her story) post is from The Patriot Nurse. From what I’ve been able to see, she is an experienced nurse who has an established following who watch her post-apocalypse survival tips. They range from the medical to the social aspects of things to consider when the SHTF (which is prep talk for excrement hitting the fan).  I know that Doomsday Prepping is a television show (I’ve seen a few episodes). The theme has also managed to appear in Pinterest, which is a nice change of pace from womens’ hair styles, clothing, and “smokey eye” tips.  Still, I hesistate about embracing the end-of-the-world movement.

As if the prepping movement needed any help with resting the depressing thought on our collective shoulders that the world will eventually end as we know it; the History Channel offers up a great line-up of shows that share the same theme: We’re All Gonna Die!  Featuring the predictions from Nostradamus, or some computer program that has allegedly made its own apocalyptic predictions.  There are also segments on Biblical passages, including the book of Revelations, the rise of the Anti-Christ, and the End of Days.  There seems to be no end to the film footage of terrorist acts, explosions, gun play, and other violent acts to drive their point home. Oh, I am not sure if it’s the History Channel, but there is also a TV show called Life After People. It shows the world in decay after people are no longer around. It will look a great deal like the I am Legend film (Isaac Asimov’s book made into a film, starring Will Smith).

After watching such shows and/or youtube videos, I usually end up having nightmares for an evening or two. Now, what do I do with this?

  • Go full out prepper – Build a shelter, buy generators, meds, weapons, etc.
  • Go partial prepper – Build shelves in my garage, get some stuff
  • Go mini-prepper – Put together a bug-out bag
  • Embrace the chaos when it happens

If the societal infrastructure were to collapse, due to any number of scenarios; my guess is that the freefall we would experience could last months, if not years.  We have no idea what parts of the system would emerge as the new norms.  Money, in any of its forms, would be obsolete. Much of our wealth is stored electronically. If the power grid were to fail, we would lose access to that data. I am guessing the barter system would come back, that is….once the rioting slowed down. Nature abhors a vacuum. Panic, fear, and hate are all temporary states. People would freak out, then likely settle down after a time.

Healthcare priorities would change as the sickly, injured, frail, and weak would ultimately die off as medicine, medical equipment, and supplies would stop being available.  For those newly injured or maimed under the absence of the current health care system would find themselves divided into one of two categories: those we can save and those who are/will be beyond help.  I can’t imagine that playing out well. While we would reap some benefit of having vaccinations, the pathogenic threats would rise – especially if the waste removal system were to fail. The historic blending of waste and water supplies will not bode well for the masses.  The concept of infection control would be harder to follow, for those even aware of how to maintain it.

The demand for certain skill sets will arise. Here is where we will see drastic changes in how we contribute to society. The Haves-&-Have-Nots will change from financial to those who have the ability to work with their hands.  Building, creating, and repairing skills will become valuable. Those in health care will probably have some value in the new world.  Those in education will have a place in the new world, especially when the emphasis changes from rioting to society rebuilding.  Those who lived off the system, who may not have had the benefit of specific training, or even those with general office skills may be at some disadvantage.  Those familiar with hunting will obviously have some advantage, although the wildlife may not be able to keep up with the demand – if the food supplies dwindle too quickly.  Farmers will have some advantage as well. Which points out the next issue, those who don’t have may feel compelled to take from those that do. That’s gonna be ugly. Those in law enforcement may find themselves falling back to protect themselves, like everyone else. The demand for rules may take some time to become valuable again. Education and the need to train the next generation may also take time to gain value again. Books will come back into vogue again.  Knowledge and skill  not be something we can Google.

I can’t help but think that most Doomsday Preppers are thinking that we will be living in a RED DAWN movie existence….or some kind of post-Pinterest experiment.  I think, however, we are probably looking at something a lot messier….like third-world country messy.  Unreliable power, unstable social structure, and the masses fighting to gather their own resources.  It will be ugly. I am not sure that even a bug-out bag will help all that much.



The Patriot Nurse: Why Nurses Eat Their Young -(her story)


Why Nurses Eat Their Young: My Story

This YouTube video is one woman’s perspective on the culture that allows nurse bullying. She boldly shares the darker side that most nurses, statistically, face in the workplace. There is a lot of truth here. She does describe the ‘trial by fire’ (my words, not hers) that nurses face through our training, orientation at a new job, and after being in the field for awhile. Personally, I agree with a good portion of what she offers to counter this negative dynamic.

5 Traits to Look For In A Manager


5) Great managers are advocates. They help you work towards improvement, as well as present you in the best light possible to higher management.

4) Great managers are accountable.  They hold themselves responsible, as well as their team members when things go wrong. They look for solutions, not somewhere to place blame. Problems are framed as opportunities to address issues, not baggage for employees to carry around.

3) Great managers are honest. They give credit where it’s due. They lead fairly, and apply rules and policies equally to each employee.

2) Great managers confront problems. They address small problems before they become bigger problems.

1) Great managers praise publicly, and correct behaviors privately. Unless a behavior is so egregious that it needs to publicly addressed, then the redirection should be to a private area to handle the issue privately.

This applies generically, not just to nurses. Having been in the workforce for several decades, I have seen and experienced these traits (as well as their opposites, unfortunately) in a diverse range of work environments.  If one does not experience this in their work place, the intensity of the problems will vary.  Also, the dynamics of the situations may or may not change – especially if the willingness to change only exists on your part as an employee.


Nurseeyeroll: When Your Patient Starts Crying

If they really trust you to do a good job with their loved one, that will put them at ease and support them by taking one big stressor off their plate. I don’t mean all of the technical stuff like getting all of your charting perfect, interpreting lab values, giving all of your meds precisely on time, or consulting with the interdisciplinary team. I mean the more basic stuff. Things like taking extra time to comb their hair, getting their favorite flavor of Jello, or trying to connect with them and make a joke to get them to laugh…that can really mean the world to someone. If they trust that they or their loved ones are safe and cared for in your hands, that itself provides emotional support.

Nurseeyeroll: When Your Patient Starts Crying

Nurses get front row seats to every aspect of patient care, including facing and dealing with the sometimes-tangled arena of emotions.  The post I am sharing offers some good insight into managing those situations.

Blog: Nurses That Vaccinate

Nurses That Vaccinate: An Open Letter To Jenny McCarthy

I found this blog post while surfing. I am sharing it because it is something that vaccinations are something that I support….and that I am annoyed how people let celebrities trump science.  There are many other television celebs that really need to step off screen and shut up.

One of my research papers in nursing school included this topic, specifically, on the topic of Thimerisol (a mercury compound that used to be used as a preservative in vaccinations).  This topic was made visible to the masses when Jenny McCarthy presented her son as being autistic as a side effect of receiving vaccinations with Thimerisol.  Her desire to champion a cause led her to becoming a mouthpiece to a group of people who do not support vaccinations (sometimes called “anti-vaxxers”)  One of the main sources against vaccinations was an English study done by a Dr. Andrew Wakefield.  His study was published, presented to the scientific community, and spent about 10 years in the public eye. However, the scientific community questioned the study. A subsequent investigation found that Dr. Wakefield had distorted the data and the study was discredited – even retracted by the British Medicine Journal that originally published the paper.  Unfortunately, many decided to continue to embrace the emotion to allow them to ignore the data to continue to vilify vaccinations.  As it turns out, Jenny McCarthy has also retracted her stance against vaccinations.

The Thimerisol issue, by the way, was created when the pharmaceutical industry came up with a solution to preserving vaccinations.  Early vaccinations, when they were first becoming mass produced, would spoil and either lose efficacy and/or become toxic with contaminants.  Thimerisol was discovered to nearly wipe out spoilage, and make vaccinations more stable with a longer shelf life. They were used for decades, but came under scrutiny in the 1970s.  Studies were done to see if there was any effect. The research done my many countries, using wide demographic populations, over many years yielded answers. There was either no effect or no direct correlation between the use of Thimerisol and any illnesses/disease (including autism). When I have time later, I will create a resource page to show the articles I found on this (and many other issues).

Yes, Thimerisol is a mercury compound.  However, mercury comes in three forms: elemental (think: early thermometers), methyl mercury (see: Minimata disease), and ethyl mercury (does not bioaccumulate, does not share toxicity as other forms of mercury, and has even been shown to be excreted from the body, babies included). Thimerisol, a member in the ethyl mercury group, was still phased out of vaccinations as a precaution. By the time Jenny McCarthy brought this issues to the public, Thimerisol had already been taken out of nearly all vaccines.

Science may not lie, but it can be presented by people who have their own agendas. Even without celebrities like Jenny McCarthy (a nursing school drop-out, btw) muddying the discussion waters, scientists who let either emotion or funding source determine the conclusion of their results is just as damaging. One of the saddest things about this (and related issues) is that there seems to  be no shortage of people who do not grasp the value of science.  I fear that we are returning to an intellectual age much like that found in the Middle Ages.  Messhugganuh.


5 Things I’d Like To Tell My Patients | RN Meets World

5 Things I’d Like To Tell My Patients

Source: 5 Things I’d Like To Tell My Patients | RN Meets World

The text from the link :

I think you all have an idea of what I’m talking about, whether you’re a nurse, a CNA, a student, or even an employee of one or your hospital’s ancillary departments. There are always those things, the things you wish you could say to your patients that would be taken as respectfully as you intend them to be. The things that as healthcare workers we experience every day, but know our patients have no idea just the burden that it places on us when these seemingly insignificant actions are put into play.

A few weeks ago, I asked the question of If you could say anything to your patients, what would it be and it was met with an amazing response. Many of your ideas had me laughing and nodding in agreement. So without further ado, here are five of what I considered to be the most universally applicable responses:  

  1. When you use your call light, please tell me why you are calling. This is huge, and when it comes down to it, it will save you and I both some time. While “I need help” or “I need my nurse” will get you a response, it is incredibly helpful to know what I will be walking in to. Do I need to come personally, or can I send a CNA if I am tied up? Are you having shortness of breath or chest pain that would necessitate me dropping everything I am currently doing with another patient, or do I need to swing by your room to deliver some nausea medicine as my next stop? If it’s just another can of Coke you want, let me know so I can grab it on my way down to your room instead of having to make another trip.
  1. Please, put your cell phone down. This isn’t airport security, or the DMV, but I would appreciate the respect of putting your phone down when I am trying to ask you questions. If you feel up to it, talk all you want on your own time, but I am here to be your nurse, not your personal attendant. To “come back later” puts me at a serious inconvenience when I’m trying to juggle the care of anywhere between two and seven patients. I understand that emergencies come up, and you may need to pick up your phone to quickly reassure your loved one who may panic if you don’t answer that everything is okay, but please, please, please don’t use med pass and assessment time as an opportunity to engage in a catch-up chat with your long lost cousin who wants to make amends now that she found out you’re having a health scare. Just call them back.
  1. Do you really understand what 10/10 pain truly means? I don’t doubt you are hurting. I can see it in your vital signs. I can see it in the grimace on your face as you try to get comfortable in a hospital bed that is anything but. I can see it in the bumps and bruises and incisions that mark your body. I understand that pain is subjective, and if you’re one of the unlucky that’s been given the curse of chronic, unremitting pain, I may not see anything at all because you’ve learned to so bravely continue about your daily life and not allow it to hold you back.10/10 pain means the worst possible pain you could ever imagine. Is there not anything that could possibly happen to make you hurt worse? I’m not the one in your shoes, and I can’t claim to feel what you feel, but I have a hard time believing that the discomfort you are feeling from your nitro headache is anywhere close to how you would rate losing an appendage. A pain scale is subjective, I understand that, and what you are able to tolerate could be vastly different than that of the person next door or even me personally. But still, give some consideration to how it would feel to have an arm or leg ripped off or unsedated surgery and then tell me where your pain level falls.
  1. Sometimes making you happy and making you better are not one in the same. When it’s possible, I promise I will do everything in my power to give you the best of both worlds. But when you’re scheduled for an endoscopy in a few hours, I’m not going to feed you. When your blood pressure is reading dangerously low, I may not be able to, in good conscious, give you the maximum dose of your pain medication. If you are admitted for heart palpitations, I can’t give you your daily cup of caffeinated coffee. This isn’t me being mean, lazy, or restrictive; it’s me being responsible and caring more about your health than your happiness when the two worlds are mutually exclusive.
  1. I wish you could see what I truly do. I do this job because I love it, and couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. But when you make comments like “You’re not doing anything” or “My nurse was barely in here this shift” they can be incredibly hurtful, because you don’t see the half of what I do. For every ten minutes I’m in your room, it’s likely that I’m spending an hour managing your care from the command station that is the nurse’s desk. I’m on the phone with doctors, conversing about your latest test results, updating them on your condition, even suggesting interventions that I feel will make you more comfortable. I’m walking down to the lab to hand-deliver your blood and specimens. I’m double checking with pharmacy to ensure the doses and frequencies of your medications are correct for and do not put you at risk with their interactions. When I’m not doing that, I’m on my computer, documenting every little abnormality I saw on my assessment so that changes in your condition can be quickly met. I’m reading through your orders the notes that the doctor made and making sure that I’m up to date on your treatment plan and that nothing is getting lost in the shuffle.

So please, coming from a nurse who cares about her patients and care about her profession as I feel like the majority of us do, don’t say that I don’t try.

Author note: I really liked this list, so I am sharing it…and encourage comments from others (including nurses). =)