Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Quote from a new patient:
"I have dissociative identity disorder, and my main alternate personality keeps trying to help me kill myself. She ususally gets me to overdose. That's why I only pick up my meds a week at a time."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quick announcement

Just a quick reminder to my fellow staff members:

If someone is having a medical emergency, CALL 911!
Feel free to call the nurse after that. That's what I'm here for. But please don't call me first, demand that I come to your building two blocks away, and when I ask why you haven't called EMS on that lady having a seizure in the lobby, respond with "she said no when I asked her if we should call them!" (If you can talk during a seizure, you're probably faking it. At the very least, it's not a typical thrashing grand mal seizure where there's concern about managing your airway.)
I'll let you in on a little secret. In addition to having nice muscles, the paramedics have much cooler gadgets than I do. I have a stethescope. They have IV fluids. I can check someone's blood pressure--they can intubate someone and force them to breathe until they get to the hospital. Call 911!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I like my job. (Unlike my previous jobs in hospital med-surg nursing, 95% of my patients can walk under their own power. ) But sometimes life with my co-workers can get a little weird. Not "doing yoga at lunchtime" weird. More "out of touch with reality" weird.

Mass e-mail from the head of risk management: "Please register for mandatory training on the 15th. If you don't know what it's about, it may not apply to you. Please ask your supervisor for more details."

"I'm trying to make mandatory meetings a little more fun. So next month, dress up as your favorite super hero for the unit meeting," the big boss said. (This was immediately after he mentioned famine and mental health in Soviet Russia and how "suffering is good for the Russian soul.")

Anyone know what Nurse K looks like?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thanks anyways

Honesty may not always be the best policy. For instance, look at this quote I found in a patient's assessment:

"Military: He has never served. He says he applied in high school, but they turned him down for psychological reasons. When they asked why he wanted to join the army, he said it was so he could kill people."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Overheard at work

One of the things I love about my job is the way we're very open when discussing our own mental health. After spending so much time trying to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness and help our clients overcome it, we're pretty fearless when it comes to talking about our own issues. But sometimes it makes for some odd conversations in the breakroom.

Social worker: "I guess it's just part of my illness talking. I worry too much about making sure my job gets done right."
Secretary: "You're great at your job! I think the problem is you worry about the wrong things."
"What do you mean?"
"Have you seen the yahoos who want to be President this year? Now that's something to worry about!"

Friday, November 18, 2011


A lot of what I do is contacting patients about their medication issues. But when a new problem popped up ten minutes before my lunch break, I decided to see if someone else could handle it.

"Carlene," I asked the secretary closest to me, "Can you call Mr. Felonious and tell him we faxed his prescription to Local Pharmacy?"

"Sure thing." Carlene turned to the other secretary. "Judy, can you do that for HelloNurse?"

Judy looked nonplussed. "I guess so, but why can't you call Mr. Felonious yourself?"

"He robbed my parents' house for drug money about four years ago, so I try to avoid him."

"That has to be weird--he has appointments here every week," I said.

Carlene chuckled ruefully. "Especially since his family still lives across the street!"