A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Culture and surgery

arab women

I am a nurse and I work in surgery. Today I had to deal with a family of Arab culture. The wife was having surgery for cancer and she arrived to the pre-op area in a head to toe burka. Her husband and his two brothers were all very possessive and would not allow her to answer any questions, or even talk to the nursing staff.   They also insisted on having “only female staff” taking care of this woman. The supervisor was notified and the schedule was adjusted to accommodate this family. There was a surgical resident that was taken out of the rotation, the attending anesthesiologist was changed out with another female anesthesiologist from the GI lab, and the circulating nurse (myself) was changed out with another nurse in urology.  

This sounds great on the surface… making accommodations for the psychological wellbeing of the patient. However, this is quite the opposite. It compromises care for not one but a multitude of patients. I was once the service coordinator for general surgery which covers oncology. I am experienced and current in my certifications with everything related to oncology. On the other hand, I know next to nothing about Urology. I feel that I may have been doing a dis-service to the poor patient that I took over for. The nurse that I replaced was the actual service coordinator for that service. She had had the best possible staff available … and then she was down-graded to a novice. The Urology nurse is probably the best in the Northwest region of the United States.   By the same token, she had only limited knowledge in oncology surgery and was doing a dis-service to her patient. This same dilemma was true with the anesthesia team, the surgical team and the recovery team. Because of the strange and silly cultural issue, this family compromised the care of four other patients.

Because we are professionals, we strive to do our best with what we have to work with. We still give the best care possible.

The democrats whine about a “war on women” that is ongoing within this country. But what I see is the best care and the best possible respect given to, not only women but people of all cultures.

I’d like to see what kind of care this poor woman would have gotten in her home country. Would she have been able to demand, and receive,   surgery with an all-female staff? Would she have gotten surgery at all? Something tells me different. In a country where farm animals have more respect and overall value than a female human, this woman would have been left to die a miserable death. Even worse, she would have been ( and still is, if she survives her illness) subject to being “stoned to death” for a host of social crimes, including simply being suspected of infidelity.   A place where they torture and murder women for entertainment or “casting shame” onto the family gets an automatic pass, while we, here in America, are the ones who lack tolerance and acceptance of diversity. We are accused of having the “war on women.”

It’s a crazy world in which we live.




I don’t have anything against anyone who’s attempting live a more healthy lifestyle. I can really commend them for the effort. With the fast foods, saccharine, free samples, and cooking shows, it’s getting to be a real challenge. Heck, even when you adhere to your diet, stay at home and eat only healthy foods, the Girl Scouts come to your door to peddle their little delicious nuggets of sinful delights. Those chocolate macaroons they sell, are pure evil. Because of all of the temptations out there, I’ve simply given up trying to follow a special regimen. My diet plan, called “the John diet,” after the guy who struggles with his weight and then blogs about it.   This diet is incredibly simple and seems to work for me. To do this diet, I simply try to eat less and move around more. No special cabbage soup concoction. No pills, no Chinese acupuncture, no cutting some essential protein from my diet. I try to take in one or two less servings per meal and I make an honest effort to get up and go outside to do something at least once a day. It’s amazing how well this works. I still eat mostly the same foods, just a little less. I even try to make an effort to eat more vegetables, or at least a little bit more higher quality foods. That said, I can appreciate the efforts in maintaining a diet, losing weight, or a regular exercise program. When I diet, my reward is that I weigh less and I feel better. I don’t brag to everyone and everything that has auditory organ.

I don’t care if you eat only nuts and tofu. I don’t care if you do a marathon a week.   I’m a Libertarian, for goodness sake. What you do is your life. I work with a bunch of militant vegetarians. What really gets my hackles up is when they attempt to change my lifestyle.  

Today at work, I had some leftover macaroni noodles and a country fried steak. I admit that it wasn’t the healthiest choice. But it was leftover. It tasted good. And I saved about eleven bucks if I’d have eaten even the cheapest meal at the hospital cafeteria. While I was quietly eating my meat patty, one of the other nurses looked over and said, “hey, you know that eating meat can cause heart disease… you should eat vegetables, blah, blah…” She immediately made me irritable and I shot back, “you know… heart disease is practically non-existent in the bovine world, and cows are made of 100% meat. So one little meat patty isn’t going to kill me” She could see that I was getting worked up into a lather and decided withdraw.

It’s not the intrusive liberal friend that irritates me, my issue is the utter hypocrisy of the liberal mindset of all liberals in general. They frequently advertise themselves at tolerant, understanding, and live and let live, but they don’t. They don’t even pretend to be of a Libertarian attitude. They are all about the control others.   Like an angry parent, they think that they know best they can’t rest until they are able to force everyone to do things their way. If everyone went as they wished, this would be a Utopia. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Our President is from a Liberal mecca. They have total gun control, and a total socialistic government in his home state. And yet Chicago is near bankruptcy and it is the murder capital of the United States. When will they understand that not only is the liberal way not working, but to force control of other people will not be tolerated.

And please, no stupid comments about what I’m eating… and let me eat my meat patty in peace.

Liberal Alert!


ATTENTION LIBERALS: do NOT look at this picture. Your head will most likely explode.

A pro-life Christian woman in front of the bastion against government control, drinking from a cup purchased at “Chick-Fil-A.” Yep, it’s horrible when the system has failed you in your effort to push your Communist agenda.


A History Lesson

Do you know what happened
164 years ago this summer…..

September 9, 1850?
California became a state!
The people had no electricity.
The state had no money.
Almost everyone spoke Spanish.
There were gunfights in the streets.

So basically NOTHING has changed except,
then the women had real boobs and the men didn’t hold hands.

And that, my friends, is your history lesson for today



I was at the gas station the other day getting a few dollars of gas to get to work. The little Mexican gas station attendant pumping my gas came by my window and attempted to sell me a car wash. “Hey man, how about a wash? You know that truck is looking a little dirty” I mean, what’s going on here. This guy has pumped gas for me for years and now he’s hocking the wash. I felt kinda bad, but I said, “hey, don’t you know we’re in a recession? I can’t afford a custom wash.” I looked up toward the sky and said, “it looks like it’s a 60% chance that my truck is going to get a wash today anyhow… and if I can find a puddle, I just may get the deluxe undercarriage rinse.” He stomped off to get my gas receipt.

Well, I unexpectantly had some property back in Alabama sell. Suddenly, today I got a nice stimulus check deposited in my bank account. It felt pretty good.

As a Ronald Regan conservative, I still believe in “trickle-down economics.” So I went right down and had that little Mexican guy wash my truck.

Damn Right I’m Patriotic


Why should I listen to doctors?

Holiday Weekend


Yep, the people in the government claim that they do this for “our safety.”  Most liberals are well accepting of this regulation and everything big government has to offer.  I know that it isn’t.  It’s really all for control.  Really, the government has no care in the world about it’s peasants.

Have a Happy and Safe Independence Day


Today we celebrate the freedoms we used to stand for and the individual liberties we used to have. We celebrate the actions of men greater than ourselves who refused to live their lives devout of liberty. Today we celebrate.

What fools we have become. Since when did liberty become the punch-line of a cynical stand-up comedy routine? Since when did our laws become an amphigoric web intended to control every aspect of our lives?

Enjoy your celebration this 4th! While you are enjoying all that freedom you have, make sure you don’t do any of the following:

Dance at a Federal Monument, grow the wrong plant, start a lemonade stand without a license, throw a Frisbee on the beach in LA without lifeguard approval, expose the governments embarrassing secrets, choose to not wear a seat belt in your own car, choose to not buy products that the government mandates you to purchase, expect any kind of privacy whatsoever, refuse to help “Law Enforcement” violate other people’s privacy (I have personal experience with this one), collect rain water, choose what to plant on your own farm, be homeless, be poor and unable to pay back a government backed student loans, wear an American flag t-shirt at school, own the wrong dog, chew your toast into the shape of a gun at school, purchase milk that came out of your neighbors cow, the list goes on and on and on…

I, in the spirit of rebellion and independence from tyranny, am going to go break a local law against fireworks.  I went and purchased some real fireworks from the great Libertarian state of Montana.   Yes, I will be responsible and take safety precautions not to burn anything down. No, I will not be getting a permit. This might be petty, it might be simple, but I am going to enjoy my freedom and my Roman Candles. Enjoy the little things in life.

May all of you have a rebellious celebration of your independence from Tyranny.

Another Intern story


Another nurse friend sent me this one. I thought it was really funny.

A very ill patient had just peacefully passed away. The charge nurse called the covering night Intern and asked him to do the “final assessment” and pronouce the patient’s death (write the necessary progress note, call the attending physician and family, fill out the necessary paperwork, follow up with pathology, etc). Apparently, this very new Intern had never done this before. He assessed the patient as asked, looked a little bewildered . . . then made the sign of the Cross with this right hand and said, “I now pronounce you dead”.

Good luck out there. And remember to stay healthy for, well at least a few more months.

New Inern


Well, it’s that time of the year again.  June 1st.  This is rumored to be the most dangerous time of the year to get admitted to the hospital.  June 1st is the day that medical students are magically transformed into doctors.   Graduation day, and then loose the new “doctors” to the hospital.  The problem, they are all fresh, new and unfortunately, book-leaning is very different from real life medicine.  The attending physicians are supposed  to be there to fill the gap and give a nudge and a guiding hand.  The attending physicians are unfortunately,  like anyone else.  They want to do their work day and get some rest.  After say, five or six in the evening, you’re on your own with the interns holding down the fort.  After hours is a very risky time to be sick.

It’s June 1st.  I was heading to the locker room to change clothes after a hard day.  I ran right into an intern asking me a rash of questions, some of which, I answered accurately and some I simply made up.  For example,  it went like this… “Hey, how do I get into the OR?  How do I get into the locker room?  Hey, I don’t even know how to get past these doors.”  I said, “that’s is an easy one.  See there are these pads on the wall by every door leading into the operating room in the main department on the inpatient side.  They are retinal scanners.”  He looked a little confused.  Actually they are simply motion sensors that you wave your hand across to open the door and they open… just like Safeway.  However,  I made up this elaborate story about security in the OR and how we can only gain access through a retina scan.  I went over and put my eye over the little round hole on the plate and the door opened.  “See, there it is.”  His face lit up and he smiled.  “Now lets see if your retina has been recorded into the system.  Go ahead and put your eye to the scanner.”  He did as I asked and the door magically opened.  “Hey, I guess I’m in” he said with a huge smile.  “But why is the thing so low?  I have to bend over to get my eye to the scanner?”  I smiled and said without a beat,  “this hospital is ADA certified, that’s for people in wheelchairs.”  He seemed to think this was an acceptable answer.  He went on to the locker room and I went on my way.

The next day when I was coming back to work, I had totally forgotten about my interaction with the young new intern.  Then I came around the corner to see this same guy at the same “retina scanner” door.  Except this time, he had about seven other interns with him and he was explaining the new electronic doors.  He was explaining the whole story that I had told him yesterday.  A wave of regret came over me and I felt terrible.  I had to confess.  I told him the truth.  I confessed that the door  was not special and it was just like at Safeway.  It opened for everyone… no security at all.  He actually argued with me, “no it can’t be… It opens when I look into the scanner,”  he said.  I walked away wondering how this little joke had gone so wrong.


Those new interns are so gullible.


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