5 Things: Five Of My Favorite Albums

In no particular order:

1) Peter Gabriel’s So album.

2) R.E.M.’s Life’s Rich Pageant album

3) Suzanne Vega’s (self-titled) first album

4) Godspell Soundtrack (1971 Off-Broadway Cast)

5) The Damned’s Phantasmagoria album

Looking at these, I do see a pattern. Well, except for the Godspell album. The rest of the listed albums came out in 1985/1986.  I have owned these on cassette, as well as vinyl; and now CD.  I don’t have anything profound to share. At least, nothing that would mean anything to anyone else.  These albums resonate in my memory. They take me back to my early college years.  I was quite the raging idiot in those days.  Luckily, I have come a long way since that time.

AUTHOR SIDE NOTE: The play, GODSPELL, is religious.  It is based on the Book Of Matthew, which is the section of the Bible that has to do with the life of Christ. My appreciation for this album is based on the incredible music, meaningful lyrics, and clever presentation. For the record, my spiritual path took a different direction over time. I am not proselytizing, nor do I seek to be subjected to the process. I believe everyone is responsible for their own spiritual choices. For those seeking enlightenment, please consult your local priest/minister/Imam/Shaman/ Priestess/Wise woman/ etc.

Top 10 Things That I Love About Nursing


10) Patient Education –  I have always wanted to be a teacher.  As it turns out, nursing includes quite a bit of that.  The good news is that the audience is only patients and/or their families, instead of 35 bored, distracted teenagers.

9) Patient Advocacy – There is something very empowering about being the voice of a patient, especially one that is not able to speak up for themselves.

8) Teamwork – There is something very synergistic about working with others, especially if there is a good sense of teamwork.  Coworkers go beyond being other people at work.  They become friends (or work family, at times) and everyone looks out for each other.  The support and encouragement from them can give you more energy to get through a rough shift, as well as make an smoother shift seem even better.  It is also empowering to be able to share insight and discuss how to manage new issues as they arise.  Unfortunately, not all employers provide and/or maintain this kind of environment. Sometimes, you have to work to find them.

7) Scrubs – Having spent decades in the corporate world, I can speak from experience that dress clothes and neckties suck.  Scrubs rock.

6) Improved Time Management Skills – The constant practice of assessing the situation, available resources, and knowing how long it takes to complete a task carries over into my personal life.  Juggling family demands, as well as academic and social demands seems easier, if that makes any sense.

5) Confidence – I am far from being an experienced or expert nurse, but I have faced down some fairly emergent situations that do provide some perspective on what it means to be in a crisis.

4) Doing Something Meaningful – Some people look to make a difference in the world. It is not a requirement, but when applicable, can add an extra layer of satisfaction.

3) Respect – Nurses rank as the most respected and most trusted profession.  I chose nursing because of the overwhelming desire to take care of others.  However, it is nice that I am in a profession that is respected.  It can be troubling, and sometimes annoying when new acquaintances (and even strangers) solicit me for my medical opinion.  A cashier at a gas station, one morning, started rambling on about changing medications. I did not know her.  I just wanted to finish my drive home to get some sleep.  I told her to ask her primary care physician.

2) Evidence-based practice – Anything a nurse does is based on evidence-based practice. In other words, nurses study an issue…..do research….test the findings….then use that data to shape our practice.  Not only does science rock, nurses use it to support their work.

1)Plenty of opportunities to learn – There are so many aspects and layers to nursing that the learning process is always on-going.  Our profession requires continuing education credits, but there is always formal training at work (on-line/in-person classes) as well as informal training (getting a patient with an illness/injury that you’ve never seen before).  For those of us who pursue more education, there are always classes toward a bachelors, masters, or even doctorate.

Top 10 Reasons the GOP Does Not Want Hold Confirmation Hearings For The Supreme Court


10) They are still looking a secret treasure that Justice Antonin Scalia is rumored to have buried in his office.

9) The GOP are still combing through the Constitution for a “If I can’t have my way; you can’t either” loophole.

8) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still bitter after getting called “Mr. Magoo” by all of the popular Congress kids.

7) They have to wash their hair that day.

6) Their psychic advisor warned against making any decisions for the next year because Mercury is in retrograde.

5) They need to check with large corporate special interest groups to see if it’s o.k. first

4) Leaving the such an important decision to President Donald Trump makes perfect sense. (and people say the GOP are out of touch!)

3) There is a movie marathon on Lifetime television, and they just want some “me” time right now.

2) They are still in-fighting about whether or not to host “bring your daughter to work day,” but are struggling to figure out what they actually do for a living to be able to explain it.

1) Obstructionism, pure and simple.

Senate GOP: No hearings for Supreme Court nominee

Top 10 Things I Learned While Vacationing In Disney/ Universal Studios


10) Florida traffic laws require drivers to be engaged in, at least, three (3) non-driving activities that include, but aren’t limited to: eating, drinking, operating two cell phones, smoking, dancing, trapshooting, playing Marco Polo, and filling out tax forms. Anyone actually paying attention to driving will face steep fines.

9) Tourist apparently enjoy passing gas in line at amusement parks.

8) Not all Ten dollar hamburgers are created equal.

7) The song, “It’s A Small World” is still just as annoying after the first verse.

6) Butter Beer, at the Harry Potter section, is delicious.

5) Starbucks coffee tastes just as bad in Florida, as it does it Pennsylvania. Luckily, Dunkin Donuts coffee was available.

4) Nearly half of my memories of these parks involves me waiting in a line.

3) This is a must-see destination for anyone interested in pursuing misanthropy as a hobbie.

2) The light sabres will not actually defend one against anything.

1) Disappointingly, Interactive wands from Harry Potter are not designed to clean hotel rooms, convince pay toll tellers that you’ve already paid, or make ride lines any shorter. And, once you get home, are unable to help you unpack or do laundry.

Top 10 Reasons To Look Forward To The Apocalypse


10) Camping fans will be able to extend their skills into daily life. Every day is camping day.

9) Student loans?!? What student loans?!?

8) Robocalls can’t happen if the phones don’t work. Leading to #7…..

7) Texting while driving….along with driving won’t be possible.

6) Solitaire means having an actual card deck.

5) 24 hour news channels will revert back to the local rumor mill….with no loss in reporting accuracy.

4) Neck ties and ironing will likely fall out of favor.

3) Not only will your alarm clock not go off, you probably won’t be going to work anymore.

2) People will have to manufacture their own drama, rather than rely on Facebook anymore.

1)The Kardasshians will be trying to keep up with us.

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.


Troubleshooting IV Pumps: How To Stop (Some) Of The Beeping


These machine used to frighten me in nursing school.  They have evolved into being an occasional annoyance when they make their beeping sound (or otherwise choose not to work they way they are supposed to). Here are some tips for newer nurses:

1) Don’t overthink things. Make sure the pump is plugged in, and not running on battery power. The pump pictured above will beep when the battery is running low. This can be really easy to check, especially when you set foot in the room at the beginning of the shift.  Before you leave the room, add checking the plug as part of your routine – along with making sure the bed is in the lowest position, bed/clip alarms on and functioning, three rails up, etc.

2) “HIGH PRESSURE” alarms can be somewhat tricky to identify. It can be as simple as making sure that the IV line is not kinked, or tucked under the patient from an earlier bed strip. It can also occur when the IV site is located at a joint, antecubital or wrist.  You can try stopping the pump, adjust the IV tubing, then start it up again. If that doesn’t work, sometimes swapping out the IV pump and/or switching out the IV tubing will work. However, if you are only dealing with small IV infusions; switching out tubing is probably out of the question as you’d waste over 20 mls of medicine with the switch out.

3) “AIR BUBBLE” alarms, which used to terrify nursing students, can be dealt with in several ways. My favorite would be the “guitar strumming” method, where you hold the IV tubing near the pump – then “strum” the line – to work air bubbles away from the pump. You can also consider re-priming the pump, but that could keep you busy for awhile. Remember that “time management” thing?  The bad news is that even microscopic bubbles will set off the alarms.  The good news is that a few tiny air bubbles aren’t likely to harm the patient.  The bad news is that there isn’t a general consensus on what that amount it.Here is a National Institute of Health article on embolisms.  Use your own critical thinking skills to assess your own pumps, please.

4) If all else fails, read the error message on the pump.  I am not familiar with ALL pumps; just the electronic nightmare generating machine pictured above. If you believe there is something wrong with your pump, take it down immediately! Follow your facility’s guidelines for labeling out-of-commission/broken items.  Pumps that aren’t working correctly could mean no medicine is given (bad) or that too much medicine is given too quickly (very, very bad).  Again, use those critical thinking skills for your own situations, please.

5) Ask peers for help. Try to do some troubleshooting on your own, but don’t be afraid to ask others for help.  You are just looking for ideas, not necessarily have them do it for you. Remember what they show you. Thank them for their time. In time, you will develop your own troubleshooting bag of tricks.