Women of a Certain Age Love Ari Seth Cohen

10 Nov 2011

One of the high points of my trip to BlogWorld was meeting Ari Seth Cohen, the proprietor of Advance Style. Ari blogs about the silver haired set and hip fashion. Kim McAllister from Emergiblog tagged along when I met up with Ari at the Blogger booth. She tweeted in advance of our arrival, “ We will be there Ari Seth Cohen- glamorous ladies of certain age incoming !!!”

Meet Ari Seth Cohen

I was so excited when I read that Ari was going to be at BlogWorld. I found Ari’s blog about a year ago and I’m a huge fan of his work. His photographs are artistic and whimsical. Ari shows that age is not a barrier when it comes to fashion sense. Ari writes about his subjects who are wise and empowered. The New York Times did an article about Ari and his blog. In the article, Ari said, “The women who I photograph are confident. They know what they like, they know what suits their bodies, and they’re dressing for themselves. They don’t dress based on trends.” Ari’s blog gets over 100,000 unique visits a month because he writes about women like Ruth. Ruth is the gorgeous lady in the red dress. She’s 100 years old and keeps in shape by doing stretching out everyday, lifting weights, and by attending a Pilates class once a week. Ruth started taking classes in her late 80s. You go girl! Ruth proves that it is never too late to start living life to the fullest.

Ari has a book coming out in April, just in time for Mother’s Day. You can pre-order his book on Amazon.com. I want to thank Ari for being so nice to two older ladies of a certain age. We enjoyed meeting you.

Two Old Geezers at BlogWorld

9 Nov 2011

These two are Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets. I feel a close kinship to these guys because we are all curmudgeons. Now I have another reason to feel connected to them and it’s all because of BlogWorld New Media Expo 2011.

Meet The Girls….

There are two great things about BlogWorld. You get to make new friends, and meet friends that you haven’t seen in a long time. Meet my blog buddies. From left to right are Kerri Sparling from Six Until Me, yours truly, Mother Jones, RN, Kim McAllister from Emergiblog, and Jenni Prokopy from ChronicBabe. Kim and I met in the blogosphere five years ago. We are now best friends and the eldest bloggers of the group. One day when we were out running around the convention hall, Kerri said that Kim and I remind her of Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets. She said that she always sees us together, and that we play off each other’s humor. She didn’t mention the fact that we are both OLD. Kerri wouldn’t do that. She’s a nice whippersnapper. My new friend, Brittney, from The Nerdy Nurse agrees with Kerri. Click here to read her thoughts about the subject.

Kim and I were inseparable during the convention. We were even roommates. This leads me to my next question. Am I Statler or Waldorf?

Girls Night Out at Blogworld

5 Nov 2011

My mind is exploding. I’m at Blogworld New Media Expo and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. There are so many new things to discover. I wish I didn’t have to shut down my mind and go to sleep so I could keep learning 24 hours a day. My brain hurts.

Let’s start at the beginning. I’m meeting up with old friends like Kim McAllister from Emergiblog, and I’m making new friends, too. My newest friend is Brittney from The Nerdy Nurse. She’s a hoot. She’s real smart, too. Kim and I had dinner with her last night when she started talking about new things that are circulating around in the blogosphere. Stumble Upon, what’s that? And what do you say about affiliations and blogs? My mind started racing. Brittney didn’t miss a beat when she started rattling off the facts. My mind flashed back to when my younger daughter, who was eleven years old at the time, taught me how to turn on a computer and sign on to AOL. Then she taught me how to use email. That’s when my life changed forever. Now, so many years later I’ve started learning everything all over again. Kim and I just looked at each other. We are two old gals with a lot to learn.

Brittney must have noticed that deer caught in headlights look in our eyes. She gave us a poor pitiful look and said, “I need to help you ladies out.” She’s coming up to our room tonight to give us a tutorial.

Blogworld New Media Expo rocks. I’m coming again next year come hell or high water. Any blog affiliates out there want to sponsor my trip?

Occupying Wall Street and Lillian Wald

31 Oct 2011

Lillian Wald was a famous nurse activist and writer. She’s my role model. Lillian stood up for the little guy by providing health care to the poor, and she advocated for social justice during the Gilded Age. For those of you who may not know, the Gilded Age was a time of great wealth for a fortunate few in America. You might call these people the original 1%. Wall Street bankers and robber barons were buying politicians and running amok while building vast fortunes off the backs of the working poor. Sound familiar? It’s funny how history has a way of repeating itself.

I believe that Lillian Wald, the founder of public health nursing, would support the Wall Street Occupation if she were alive today. Lillian didn’t wring her hands when someone needed help. She got her hands dirty. I bet she would be encamped with the protesters, caring for the sick and blogging about Occupy Wall Street events. Nurses working the frontlines at the Occupy Wall Street protest rallies report that many people who come to the first aid tents, set up by National Nurses United, do not have basic health care coverage. Many are homeless and unemployed, and are in search of social justice. I know that a lot of people cringe when they hear that term. “Good God,” they gasp. “Social justice is code for Socialism.” Really? Lillian was all about social justice and I’m sure that she wouldn’t see anything wrong with people having a decent job, food, and a place to live. I’m also sure that Lillian would support the actions of NNU. The NNU has been protesting the financial industry’s role in the nation’s economic meltdown even before the advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Wall Street companies are buying up hospitals and gutting them for profit at the expense of patients, so the NNU is calling for a one-percent tax on Wall Street transactions that would fund new health care initiatives in addition to keeping other programs like Medicare off the chopping block. Lillian said that reform could be accomplished only when attitudes change. It’s time to change some attitudes, kick some butt, and put an end to this new gilded age.

Encamped nurses are bracing for what’s to come. They expect inclement weather, a flu outbreak among protesters, and the arrest of more nurses. Despite these hardships, nurses stand firm with protesters. Please visit the NNU webpage and see how you can help this historic movement.

Back on the Mommy Track

13 Oct 2011

I escaped my everyday life and I took a road trip to visit my kids. The flight was lovely, thank you Southwest Airlines, and the weather in the Midwest is perfect. The leaves are turning beautiful colors and the fall air is crisp and clean. The best part, of course, is getting to spend time with my girls. I’m back on the mommy track and I like it. It’s been a long time since my last trip to see my babies.

Of course, they aren’t babies anymore. Kids grow up too quickly and my girls are all grown up. My older daughter has a boyfriend and my younger girl is quickly becoming serious with her new beau. And so I lament: “When are you getting married? I want grandchildren.” I can’t help myself. It’s like some primal need overrides my self-censor button. I guess I’ve entered my second phase of motherhood. My kids are too old to hold on my lap, but they will never be too old to be in my life, or to endure my motherly advice/nagging about my impending grandchildren.

I wonder if they would get upset if I bought the vacant house across the street.

College Coed, RN

4 Oct 2011

Nursing instructors grading Exams in the 1950s. Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medical Archives on Flickr.

I remember it well. Cramming all night for a nursing exam, taking the test, and hoping for the best. It was a nerve racking experience for the students, but I’ve always wondered what it was like for the instructors. Check out these old gals. Grading papers was time consuming before computerized tests, but I bet they got some pretty entertaining answers.

Miss Jones, Medical Surgical Instructor: “Oh my God, I can’t believe this answer. It’s right up there with the excuse, “my dog ate my care plan.”

Mrs. Smith, OB/GYN Instructor: “I know what you mean. These young people are the future of our profession. Let’s work them a little harder and kick butt.”

Miss Jones: “Done! By the way, love your new uniform. White is definitely in your color wheel.”

My teachers worked me so hard, I thought my brain was going to explode. I know it was for my own good, and I learned a lot, but I was so tired when I graduated from nursing school that I swore I was never going to step foot in another classroom again. Over the years, the world changed. I need to keep up with new things, so I’ve decided to go back to school. No, I’m not taking nursing classes. I’d rather eat worms than learn nursing theory, so I’m enrolling in UC Irvine Extension’s Social Media Specialized Studies Program. Here are some of the classes that I’ll be taking:

Utilizing and Integrating Social Media Channels
Social Media Measurement and Evaluation
Transmedia Marketing Through Storytelling

I’m going to be a college coed. I’m so pumped that I’m going to start reading my textbooks now, and get ready for another bout of exploding brain syndrome. I’ll keep you posted.

Blogworld Wants You!

29 Sep 2011

You read it right. Nurses are needed now, along with anyone else who blogs about the healthcare system. It’s time to meet up at Blogworld Media Expo 2011. Like I said last week,
Johnson and Johnson is sponsoring the Social Health Track for the third year in a row. The three-day track will include 8 sessions, so there’s something for everyone. Rob Halper from Johnson and Johnson sent me the following message:

“Through the use of social media and digital technologies, patients, physicians, nurses and caregivers are obtaining information, sharing data and connecting with other like-minded individuals to help them make informed decisions that impact health outcomes. At the 2011 Social Health Track at the BlogWorld and New Media Conference in Los Angeles, organizers will bring together e-patient advocates, healthcare professionals, caregivers, healthcare providers and manufacturers to share insights, best practices and to discuss how digital approaches and social networking can be better used by patients and professionals to improve healthcare. Sessions in this focused track are for people who are interested in how the social web can be used to positively impact society, from members of the social health community (e-patients, e-doctors, online nurses and members of industry, etc.) to those interested in the effective application of digital and online technologies for change.”

Nov. 3rd:

Session #1
Panel Discussion: What companies can do to support patient needs.
Kerry Sparling, six until me
Jenni Prokopy, chronicbabe
Katie Loeb: Overflowing Brain
Moderator: Russ Stark, Brownstone

Session #2
Presentation: STOP being afraid of HIPAA regulations when you blog, tweet, or podcast!
Kim McAllister , Emergiblog
Jamie Davis, RN
Terri Polick, RN

Session #3
Presentation: Credibility in the Healthcare space
Speaker: Shwen Gwee, Edelman

Nov 4th:

Session #4
Panel Discussion: The use of digital applications and tools to change behaviors to improve health
John De Souza, President, Medhelp.org
Enoch Choi, MD, digital health/health 2.0
Raj Amin, CEO, HealthiNation
Sarah Colamarino, J&J, Text4Baby

Session #5
Panel Discussion: Establishing guidance for companies to operate successfully online
Moderator: Mark Bard, Founder, Digital Health Coalition
Panelists, TBD

Session #6
Panel Discussion: Physicians and engaging online in social health
Dr. Jen Dyer (Endo Goddess)
Dr. Bryan Vertabidian (33 Charts)
Dr. Val Jones, get better health
Moderator: Zoe Dunn, Hale Partners

Nov. 5th

Session #7

Whiteboard session David Armano, Edelman Digital and Marc Monseau, MDM Consulting

Session #8
Panel Discussion: Can social media improve how healthcare is managed? What can be learned from other industries.
Scott Monty, Ford
Shannon Paul, Blue Cross, Blue Shield Michigan
Moderator: Dakila Davina, Everyday Health

Check out the BlogWorld & New Media Expo website for more information. I’ll be looking for you at Blogworld.

Are You Smarter Than a Nursing Leader?

25 Sep 2011

Here is Clara Barton, posing with a new class of graduate nurses who received their nursing education through a correspondence course offered by the Chautauqua School of Nursing. Did you know that some of Clara Barton’s contemporaries did not view her as a legitimate nursing leader because she supported alternative ways of getting a nursing education? It’s kind of ironic that many nursing leaders back then didn’t view the founder of the American Red Cross as an equal. Some things never change.

It’s an old discussion. Are nurses with an advance degree better nurses? Do they make better leaders and does getting a degree elevate the profession? My blog mother, Kim McAllister, from Emergiblog brought my attention to an article that appears at HealthLeadersMedia.com. The article contains a quote made by Kim Sharkey, BSN, RN, MBA, NE-A, BC who is CNO/vice president of medicine at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta. Ms. Sharkey said:

“I ask my nurses: ‘When you’re sitting around the table with care managers, physicians, physical therapy, etc, do you really want to be the least-educated person at the table?’” Ms. Sharkey’s answer of course was no because she believes that an advance degree puts nurses at a more equal place at the decision making table.

I rolled my eyes when I read the quote. In all of my years of experience, I’ve never seen a nurse get dissed by a physician, a care manager, or a physical therapist because they didn’t have a long line of letters behind their name. Members of other healthcare disciplines judge nurses on their ability to deliver quality patient care, and on their ideas that they bring to the healthcare policy table. Frankly, I’ve only observed nurses, many of who serve in leadership roles, disrespect other nurses. Nurses not only eat their young, they eat each other. Nurses who attempt to create an elitist system undermine our potential within the healthcare arena, and ruin our credibility with others outside of the nursing profession.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-education. Having a nursing degree will give you a competitive edge if you want to go into certain fields, but it won’t automatically endow you with super powers, or give you leadership skills. Leaders have vision, clarity, and stubborn perseverance. I find it humorous, in a sad way, that so-called nursing leaders just don’t get it. Here’s a little FYI for the ANA. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steven Spielberg are just a few famous industry leaders who don’t have a college degree. And by the way, Clara Barton never earned her college degree either. She dropped out of school after her first year at Clinton Liberal Institute, in Clinton, New York.

Any nurse with intelligence, drive, and passionate can be a great leader. Please step forward if that’s you. Are you smarter than a nursing leader?

Nursing Beyond the Books

19 Sep 2011

Meet nurse Preen from the movie The Man Who Came to Dinner. Nurse Preen faced a common problem. She had a patient that drove her nuts. His name was Sheridan “Sherry” Whiteside, a caustic radio personality and critic. This is my favorite interaction in the movie.

Sherry: “Ah, pecan butternut fudge!”
Preen: “Oh, my, you mustn’t eat candy, Mr. Whiteside, it’s very bad for you.”
Sherry: “My great-aunt Jennifer ate a whole box of candy every day of her life. She lived to be 102 and when she’d been dead three days, she looked better than you do now!”

Nurse Preen gives a great speech when she quits her job:

“I am not only walking out on this case, Mr. Whiteside, I am leaving the nursing profession. I became a nurse because all my life, ever since I was a little girl, I was filled with the idea of serving a suffering humanity. After one month with you, Mr. Whiteside, I am going to work in a munitions factory. From now on, anything I can do to help exterminate the human race will fill me with the greatest of pleasure. If Florence Nightingale had ever nursed YOU, Mr. Whiteside, she would have married Jack the Ripper instead of founding the Red Cross!”

Oh yeah, baby! Let it rip!!! Give him that last parting shot. She says that she was going to quit nursing, but I bet she never did. Every nurse has a story about an infamous patient, and about why they never leave the nursing profession. Martin from Online Nursing Degrees posted a series of nursing interviews on their website. The series, Nursing Beyond the Books, is worth checking out. I wonder what Nurse Preen’s interview would look like. I want to thank Martin for including my interview in the series.

Blogworld New Media Expo 2011

15 Sep 2011

There are cops and then there are Dragnet cops like Sgt. Joe Friday. Joe carries a L.A.P.D. badge. That’s why he’s here. Blogworld 2011 is coming to his beat.

(Cue music) Dum-de-dum-dum “The story you are about to read is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

This is the city. Los Angeles, California. I work here… I’m not a blogger, I’m a cop. On November 3-5 bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and tweeter from around the blogosphere will descend upon the city. The reason? They want to grow their audience, business, and brand.

Just the facts, Ma’am:

Johnson and Johnson is sponsoring the Social Health Track for the third year in a row. The three-day track will include 8 sessions, so there’s something for everyone. There’s word out on the street that Kim McAllister from Emegiblog , Jamie Davis, AKA The Podmedic, from The Nursing Show, and some dame named Terri Polick, AKA Motherjonesrn, are coming to the expo. Details are sketchy, but I hear that they are going to present information that will keep health care professionals on the right side of the law when it comes to HIPAA. I like law-abiding citizens. Click here for more facts about Blogworld New Media Expo 2011.

There are over 5,000 men in this city, who know that being a policeman is an endless, glamourless, thankless job that’s gotta be done. I know it, too, and I’m damn glad to be one of them. Maybe I should blog about it. I’ll see you at Blogworld.

Nurse Ratched

There has been a lot of chatter in the blogosphere about medical bloggers and HIPAA regulations so let me make this very clear: I write composite stories about many different people that I've cared for over the years.

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Amanda Trujillo, MSN, RN, DNSc-NP(s) Media & Blogger Coverage