Thursday, November 20, 2008

paper mache as a weapon of mass destruction

Who knew paper mache could be a weapon of mass-destruction? Or at least, the weapon that mass-destructed my dining room. I was writing my nursing care plan, as I do every Thursday, and suddenly there were gobs of rock-hard flour and water paste on the dining room table and one of my forks was indelibly coated with a rock-hard paper mache veneer, and on the table--a gen-u-wine antique farmhouse table-- a mass of soggy cardboard, shredded newspaper and flour-and-water paste in various stages of hardness.

And I wondered, how did this happen? I remembered hours ago, hearing my nine year old, Mr. McP ask, "Where is the stapler?" I remembered Mr. McP showing up at my elbow every few minutes displaying a somewhat tubular object made of cereal box cardboard, cut into strips and stapled. I remembered that the tubular object had eventually taken the form of some sort of giraffe puppet, but I was so engrossed in my care plan that I did not heed what otherwise would have been clear warning signs that a major mess was about to happen. Mr. McP, bless his little heart, mixed his own flour and water to a consistency satisfactory to him, shredded a large pile of newspaper, and coated his giraffe puppet with it.

Actually, this isn't such a great story. It's just that when I saw the mess, I thought, "here is an example of how paper mache could be used as a weapon of mass destruction" and I liked the phrase so much, I had to use it in a blog entry, which I have, three times, including the title.

The point is, when I am writing a care plan, I can't pay attention to anything else, and when my children ask me questions, such as, for example, "Are you planning to cook dinner tonight?" I will say, "Are you kidding me? It's Thursday." Maybe they ate paper mache for dinner. I don't know, or care. Actually, I think they ate pop tarts.

The other point is that I just finished writing my last nursing care plan of the semester: five pathophysiology papers, one pathopysiology synthesis, analysis of all meds (tommorrow's patient is taking twenty-six different medications), a list of nursing diagnoses--11 diagnoses for this patient, plus an organized schedule of what my nursing interventions will be, covering every hour from 08:00 to 14:00. These will help me attain my goals for my patient, of where there are 11, to match her diagnoses. She will maintain an optimal cardiac output and optimal gas exchange! She will maintain an optimal fluid balance! She will not fall and hit her head and die of a massive head bleed! She will maintain optimal tissue perfusion to her perphery and to her myocardium! She will commit to quit smoking and she will state two strategies for weight loss! She doesn't know it, but I have a very busy day planned for her tomorrow. As one of my instructors says, "You don't go to the hospital to rest."

I will not have to do this again until the end of January, so I am quite giddy.


  1. You're very optimistic about your patient. You must be very new at this nursing thing.

  2. New? I'll say, I'm still a student. The instructors at my school like it when we make big plans for our patients.

  3. When paper mache has been used as a weapon of mass destruction, you must report it in a mass-like way, using the phrase as often as you deem necessary.

  4. wHoo-wHoo for the last nursing plan of the semester!!

    Does Soon To Be Ex-President Bush know that you found the Weapons of Mass Destruction and they were in your dining room all along!!