Listen to Your Doctor, Uncle Sam

16 Nov 2009

uncle-sam Dear Uncle Sam:

I know it’s been a rough week. I’m sure you’re grieving the lost of life at Fort Hood just like the rest of us, but I’m compelled to write you this letter. I hope you take it in the spirit in which it is meant.

I read an article at today that made me wonder about your judgement. Since when did you stop listening to your doctors? The article was about Dr. Kernan Manion, a psychiatrist who wanted to help troops before they went postal on military bases. Uncle Sam, Dr. Manion use to work for you at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Then he got fired. Why did you give Dr. Manion the boot for stating the obvious? He pointed out that troops at Camp Lejeune are getting bullied by superiors and dumped into an overwhelmed mental health care system when they asked for psychiatric help.

Uncle Sam, people snap when they get pushed too far. I can attest to this fact because I work with the aftermath of battle as a psychiatric nurse. We have an overwhelming problem within our military, and this isn’t just about Camp Lejeune and Fort Hood. Do you remember Sgt. John Russell who gunned down five fellow soldiers at a military mental health facility in Baghdad early this year? You turned a deaf ear to Dr. Manion when he tried to help our troops. You declined to listen to his diagnosis. If you don’t want to hear it from a doctor, maybe you’ll listen to a nurse. Bad things happen when you don’t take good care of your people. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you need to trust me on this. More people will die at the hands of their comrades if you don’t start listening to people like Dr. Manion.

Sincerely, Mother Jones, RN

Google Robbed My Piggy Bank

3 Nov 2009

Nurse Piggy Bank 2It all started so innocently. A couple of years ago I signed up for Google AdSense. It looked like a fair deal. I was working with a legitimate company—not a fly by night operation—so I figured that I didn’t have anything to lose. I won’t say that the money started rolling in. It didn’t. The checks were barely worth the postage, so I asked Google to hold onto my meager earnings and I started a Google savings account. It was my piggy bank. I was keeping that money there for a rainy day.

Many months passed. Then one day I really needed the cash. I’ll spare you the details, but I tried logging into my Google AdSense account. My account was closed and my money was gone. This is what I found instead:



    While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense
account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since 
keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our
advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.

Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the
interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We
 realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance
for your understanding and cooperation.

 If you have any questions about your account or the actions we’ve taken,
please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by 

The Google AdSense Team

I posed a SIGNIFICANT RISK to their AdWords advertisers? Apparently the AdSense Team shut me down and sacked my savings account because they think that I, Motherjonesrn, a nurse who can barely operate the camera on my iPhone, am a high tech guru Internet terrorist who is out to screw over Google. I wanted to learn more about this insanity, so I Googled the term “Google AdSense, significant risk.” Bingo! Google is screwing bloggers out of hundreds of millions of dollars, and the lawsuits are stacking up. At least I’m in good company.

Here’s some advice. Never trust Google, they’re thieves, and boycott Google AdSense. And Google AdSense Team, just remember that Karma is a bitch. You’ve been warned.

Read Aaron Greenspan’s article at the Huffington Post and learn how Google is stealing from bloggers.

RN Chat

30 Oct 2009

Meet Phil Baumann. He’s holding nursing chats on Twitter. I like this guy. He’s smart. I encourage you to join in the conversation. Sorry I won’t be at the next chat, Phil. I’ll be at work. Maybe next time, but until then, keep chatting.

To Serve and Protect–or Not

30 Oct 2009

We’d all be in trouble if law enforcement was doled out by insurance companies.

And the Envelope Please…..

28 Oct 2009

year-book-nurse1This nurse is smiling because today is a special day. Change of Shift is up over at Reality Rounds, and it’s time to announce the winner of the You’ve Come a Long Way Baby Uniform Contest, sponsored by I want to thank everyone for the entries. You guys rock! There is so much writing talent out there. Seriously. Why aren’t all of you blogging?


1st Prize goes to a Canadian nurse who goes by the pseudonym, Frosty Nurse. She doesn’t blog, so I’ve posted her entry on my site. Frosty Nurse is the winner of a $100 gift card from Here are Frosty Nurse’s thoughts about futuristic nursing uniforms:

    My perfect uniform of the future would always fit, stretch and move no matter what contortion I’m in, hours of work, what I ate or what time of the month or diet. It will never stick in any crack of my body. I will always be at perfect temperature: cool during hot flashes, warm while I run from the car to the building.

    Every tear I shed in joy or frustration would make a badge of courage, honour and proof that I cared to my every fibre. When I am tired, it would automatically energize me like a Double Double (or Starbucks in American). No matter how angry or sarcastic I am, my uniform would automatically diplomatize my words and make my voice heard to defend the best interests of my patient, team and myself.

    It would find humour and joy as often a possible and infuse it like an IV. The uniform of the future would repel negativity, body fluids, and cooties, but would attract the best that others can give so that we can continue to do our best. It would have tons of pockets and mind reading ability to find my pen, paper, equipment that always worked, instant recall of words, orders or confessions, and gloves that easily slides on every time.

    It would make me power nap even when I said I was ok, even in the most busiest times, even if only for a moment, then leave me feeling energetic so I won’t make stupid mistakes while I am rubbing my eyes. It would make me take my breaks.

    The colour would automatically adjust to make me look great so I inspire confidence to those who believe nothing more can be done and try again. The adjusting colour will make my words be of encouragement and hope to those who need to take another step to recovery.

    It would make me go pee when I think I could go a bit longer. It would make me laugh, say thank you, let me go home at the end of my shift knowing we all did a great job and not call back with “I shoulda tole ya”. And I would not look like the housekeeper, or the dietary aide. Oh yeah, it would not be a bright orange with bold stenciled letters with a red target that said ‘Nurse’.

    My ideal uniform would let me look in the mirror at the end of my shift and remind me of the day I realized that I needed and wanted to be a Nurse. And I would look neat, clean and confident like I just left the shower. It would immediately make me say after a brutal shift , “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who makes me care at all? I do!”

Our 2nd Prize winner is Ashley Kody, SN. She is the winner of a new scrub top from Come on Ashley, I know that nursing school is a lot of work, but you seriously need to start blogging. Your entry was great. Thank you for sending it in. I’d also like to give an honorable mention to Larry Fisher, the proprietor of Sairey Gamp, RN. He included a historical nursing photo with his entry. I’ll say no more. You MUST check it out.

Your Byline Has Blogger Envy

26 Oct 2009

headline_nurse2I never knew that newspapers use to hire nurses. This nurse is working in a big city at the news desk. I wonder if she had to have a journalism degree as well as a nursing license in order to write copy for a media outlet back when nurses wore their cap. There was a time when only journalists wrote the news. Now anyone with a computer, a video camera, and a website can out scoop CNN. Kim from Emergiblog told me that some bloggers and a member of the press got into a debate at BlogWorld09. I wasn’t surprised to hear this because mainstream media thinks that its the only legitimate source for news. Come on mainstream media, we both know what’s really going on here. You have blogger envy.

I’m sorry if I sound cranky, mainstream media, but I’m really tired of all your whining. I know you don’t think that citizen journalists check their facts and that we lack reliable news sources. Some of you have even said that our stories aren’t fair and balanced. Do you really want to go there, mainstream media? I’m talking to you Fox News and MSNBC. You’ve got your nerve to criticize anyone about their scruples. And let’s talk about your content, mainstream media. Really guys, Balloon Boy? There is no way that Walter Cronkite would have been caught flatfooted on that story. Everyone believed Walter when he said, “And that’s the way it is,” because reporters like Walter worked their fannies off to get the story right. Mainstream media, you blew it. Your game is off. You need to get your gumshoe reporters back on their beats. I hate to break it to you mainstream media, but you’re boring. It wouldn’t hurt you to let your hair down and go a little Gonzo with your reporting. Start channeling Hunter S. Thompson. He was a hell of a writer.

I think what really makes you angry, mainstream media, is that a lot of citizen journalists are the sources that YOU turn to for your news. My blogger buddies and I get contacted all the time by the media when reporters need reliable health information for their stories. I give great quotes. Now I hear that the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC has invited bloggers to come to talk their students. Take a deep breath, mainstream media. Embrace bloggers. We aren’t going away.

Via BlogWorld Expo 09 in Las Vegas

21 Oct 2009

Dr.-A2What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? I think not. It ends up on YouTube. Case in point. You must be careful when you are around Dr. Anonymous. He has a video camera, and he’s not afraid to use it. You’ve been warned.

The first med blogger track at BlogWorld/New Media Expo 09 was a wonderful experience. I want to thank Johnson and Johnson and Medpage Today for their sponsorship. I also want to thank Kim at Emergiblog and Dr. Val at Better Health for all their hard work. Kim knocked on doors and got things rolling, and Val help put the panels together. This shindig would not have gotten off the ground without YOU!

gun2I don’t know where to begin. Going to Las Vegas is like dropping in on another planet. It’s filled with a lot of stuff that can get you into trouble like slot machines, Elvis wedding chapels, and machineguns. No, that’s not a typo. I said machineguns. This is the first sign that I saw when I stepped off the plane when I landed in Las Vegas. It’s an ad for a Las Vegas shooting range where you can fire off a few rounds when you get into town. Whatever happened to the days of innocence when the most exciting thing you could do while you were in Las Vegas was get drunk, marry someone you didn’t know, and go see a Wayne Newton show? I got worried when I saw this sign, but then I thought what could happen at a blogger convention. After all, I was going to be surrounded by computer geeks and responsible health care professionals like GruntDoc and Dr. Wes. Right?

GruntDocWess Meet GruntDoc, seated on the left, and Dr. Wes. Don’t let their sweet boyish good looks fool you. They are a couple of wild and crazy guys. There are disturbing rumors circulating the blogosphere about these two. The rumors involve a bigwig keynote speaker from Ford Motor Company, bad acoustics, and something about getting thrown out of a banquet hall. Are these rumors true? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but let’s just say that I can’t stop laughing every time I see a Ford dealership. Good going guys! (Photo credit, Kim at Emergiblog)

Kerri1Then we have Dr. Anonymous and Kerri Morrone Sparling at Six Until Me. Kerri and I met a couple of month ago in Washington, D.C., but this was the first time that Dr. A. and I had met. He’s great, too, but he’s a little naughty, so we assigned Kerri to keep an eye on him. She did a great job. We didn’t have to bail Dr. A. out of jail or anything, although he did stay out late one night with the guys and didn’t come back to the hotel until almost sunrise. He was on his own that night. Kerri turned in early. She needed a break.

My2Docs2You don’t have to go into a casino to hit a jackpot. I love tee-shirts and exhibitors were giving them away inside the convention center. Dr. Wes and Dr. Rob Lamberts at Musings of a Distractible Mind helped me out by doing their Tyra Banks Top Model pose for the camera. Aren’t they handsome? You should see them do their runway strut. Thank you for modeling the tee-shirt for me guys. I deleted that video from my iPhone. You know the one I’m talking about. (Wink.) The world will never know what they missed.

At Blog WorldI think Paul Levy at Running a Hospital had insider information about what was going to happen at the convention. This is Paul participating in panel discussion via a teleconference. He didn’t come to the convention because of “scheduling issues.” Yeah, right. We get it. You have an image to uphold. You just didn’t want to be seen in public with a bunch of wild and crazy med bloggers. No offense taken, Paul. Maybe we will see you next year.

Looking into the Future, Looking into the Past.

6 Oct 2009

clock_tickingThe clock is ticking people. You have four more days to enter the You’ve Come a Long Way Baby Contest from First prize is a $100 gift card from I thought everyone liked free stuff. I know I do, so start writing. Tell what you think uniforms will look like in the future. Use your imagination. Your entry doesn’t have to read like a master’s thesis, it just has to be fun.

I felt like an antique this weekend thanks to some medical students on my unit. Why do students seem to get younger every year, and please don’t place the blame on my chronological age. I refuse to believe that I’m getting older. I forget how we got onto the subject, but somehow I told a group of medical interns that I graduated from a three-year diploma nursing program. One of the interns innocently asked me, “What’s that?” I felt so old when he asked me that question that I expected a museum curator to come out of the woodwork and cordon me off with a velvet rope. I answered his question. They were fascinated that they were actually talking to an “old time nurse.” They had more questions:

Question: “How did you keep you nurses cap on?”
Answer: Bobby pins.

Question: “What was it like working in a hospital without the use of computers?”
Answer: You don’t miss what you never had.

Question: “What did you do back then that you don’t do anymore?”
Answer: Kiss doctors’ butts.

They said I’m an awesome nurse. Is awesome code for Over the Hill? They’re good kids.

Where’s My National Nurse?

30 Sep 2009

Off-the-Charts1I miss my weekend alternative job. Working 40 hours a week is a drag. It takes me away from really important things like blogging and eating Godiva chocolates during the week. This week’s blog post is about something that really gets me charged up. We need an Office of the National Nurse, and nurses from around the world agree with me. They can’t understand why U.S. nurses are behind the times.

Diana Mason, American Journal of Nursing editor-in-chief emeritus, just wrote a post for AJN’s blog, Off the Charts The title of her post says it all: Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have an Office of the National Nurse? Diane attended a meeting held by the Institute of Medicine Initiative on the Future of Nursing. Two nurses from the UK were presenters: Ann Keen, Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Undersecretary for Health Services who chairs the Prime Minister’s Commission of the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England; and Jane Salvage, the lead secretariat for the commission and a former contributing editor for AJN. Keen told the audience that countries within the UK each have a chief nurse officer who is responsible for developing a national nursing strategy. Diane interviewed Keen and Salvage, and they told her that they didn’t understand why American nurses were not supporting the call for a CNO for the United States. Diane wrote, “In their eyes, a CNO who is on par with the surgeon general could help the nation to develop approaches to ensure an adequate nursing workforce, identify barriers to their full utilization, identify new models of care to better promote the health of the public, and develop strategies for removing the barriers that impede forward movement.”

It’s so simple. If our nursing colleagues across the pond can understand the value of having a national nursing leader, why can’t the ANA? Ego perhaps? I know that ANA headquarters is located just outside of the home of political backstabbing in Washington, D.C., but do they really think that it’s appropriate to spread misinformation about the proposed legislation in order to undercut those that they profess to represent? Come on, ANA. Take down that outdated information that you have up on your website about the ONN initiative. You know that the proposal was updated a long time ago in order to address your concerns, as well as the concerns of other nursing organizations. Here is the updated information about the campaign to establish the Office of the National Nurse:

    Supporters want Congress to designate an EXISTING position to be the National Nurse. The Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS would be the National Nurse. This position is ALREADY funded, but currently is a dual appointment shared with the branch of the HHS. We are asking that this job be made into a fulltime position. We aren’t asking for new funding, just a revamping of what’s already there.

    The selection process would remain within the USPHS. This will keep the position apolitical. In addition to the current roles/responsibilities of the CNO of the USPHS, we are also asking for this position to take on a broader focus. We want nurses to participate in existing programs of prevention so they may be replicated in areas of greatest need.

I really wish the that the ANA would stop embarrassing themselves in front of world nursing leaders and get with the program. Please take the time to learn why more than 75 prominent nurse leaders, international, national, and state organizations have endorsed and voiced their support for this exciting proposal. Visit the National Nursing Network Organization website to learn the facts, and you’ll be asking yourself why we don’t have a national nurse.

My friend Dr. Val Jones from Better Health gets around the blogosphere. She interviewed Paul Levy, President & CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Paul is a unique guy. He writes a blog called Running a Hospital, he is going to be a panelist at BlogWorld New Media Expo 2009, and he has some great ideas about how to improve the quality of care in hospitals. When I worked at the Greatest Hospital in the World, I’d take news stories about Paul to work and show them to my CEO, Mr. Grinch. I’d tell him that he could learn a few thing about running a hospital from Paul. Mr. Grinch would always ask, “What the hell is a blog?” Some people never learn. Thank God for forward thinking health care professionals like Paul Levy. Dr. Val produced these videos for Johnson and Johnson. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Am I hearing some applause out there? Val, I think your videos are great. If you are also a fan of Dr. Val’s videos, check out the links below. They will take you to another video series that Val produced for Johnson and Johnson: People Who Have Cancer Part 1,People Who Have Cancer Part 2, and People Who Have Cancer Part 3

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