Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Corn phone, H1N1, and Nursing Students

We got the phone situation cleared up. After being totally frustrated by the Sprint store, we went elsewhere. I am not a big fan of Best Buy, but this can be said of them: they will sell you a phone and not barricade themselves behind invisible fortresses and/or pretend that logging into their computers is a process that takes fifteen minutes of unbroken concentration. While being ignored at Sprint, we browsed among their phones and found a cute one that is made of corn. Everything is made of corn nowadays. When we went out to dinner the other night, our "plastic" cups were made of corn. I think the expansion they're building onto my hospital is made of corn. So at Best Buy, when the salesman asked which phone we wanted, I said, "I'd like that stout, squat one that's made of corn." (And it does have a square profile, so "squat" is an appropriate adjective. I don't remember saying "stout" but Drama Queen and Miss G both insist that I did.) Apparently the Best Buy guys aren't educated about their products because our guy clearly thought I was crazy, but he was polite about it and he sold me a phone anyway, because, you know, it's his JOB. Equally important, I now have proof of being fabulously modern and enlightened since we buy phones made of corn now.

H1N1 has invaded my family, via Mr. McP who developed a fever of 101.8 and other classic flu symptoms. Several of his classmates had confirmed H1N1. He is now recovering, and so far no one else in our house has gotten sick. It really wasn't too bad and he was far sicker when he had the seasonal flu last winter. Everyone I talk to in person about H1N1 seems to have the same attitude I do--some mild concern but nothing approaching panic. Then the TV news does stories implying that our entire nation is in the grip of mass hysteria. One segment--I forget on which network--showed people lining up for hours to get the vaccine. They all talked about how frightened they were and how they would endure any hardship, just so long as they could get vaccinated. They interviewed one mouth breathing meathead who bellowed, "The side-effect of not getting this shot is DEATH!" Really? Consider this, Mr. Meathead: A "side-effect" of getting in your car and driving to your Swine Flu Vaccine Fiesta is also DEATH. (Potentially.) It amazes me how Americans freak out about any imagined threat, and yet blithely hop into their cars fifty times a day without a second thought.

Nursing students. I often felt out-of-place and unwelcome as a nursing student in hospital units, so I was looking forward to being helpful and supportive of any nursing students I encountered. The ones on my floor are first years, and some of them are terrified. I guided one through assessing our patient, something I always wished one of my co-assigned RNs would do with me.

At one point, a nursing student told me my patient had a question about a non-urgent matter. I was just going into that patient's room, but was addressing her more pressing issue, pain, so I forgot about the non-urgent question. Later, the nursing student reminded me, and I told her I'd forgotten but that I'd follow up with the patient in a few minutes, which I did. A little later, I noticed the nursing student had written in the chart: "Again, reminded co-assigned RN, Patience, to address patient's question about the [non urgent matter]." The "again" is a nice touch, no? It's more funny than annoying.

14 comments:

  1. When I hear that some people are standing in line 4-6 HOURS for their shots... I have to wonder whether I'm not taking it seriously enough?! I mean, really, half a day in line?! Am I missing something? Well, I don't want the shot even if I could get it at the drive-thru with a mocha on the side (hey, that's a good idea, though), so I think people are going mad.

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  2. What, you don't want to stand in line at the health dept with a bunch of other people . . . some of whom are probably contagious with the flu, but not yet symptomatic? ;)

    Flu shots aren't an option for us (egg allergy), but it's really not something I typically worry about, anyhow.

    We had an influenza-like illness in June. It was probably H1N1, since it was making the rounds then. I was sick for a week, my toddler was sick for about three days. The manbeast showed no symptoms, but he blasts all bugs with reiki, so who knows what's going on with him. Bug zapper freak, he is.

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  3. I am generally pro-vaccine, but we avoid flu shots like the plague. It's a long story that involves an egg allergy.

    I can't think of anything off the top of my head that I'd be willing to stand in line 4-6 hours for.

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  4. Media-induced hysteria drives me crazy too. People FREAK out about a handful of kids dying of a peanut allergy while thousands of kids die from car accidents, gun accidents, bike accidents.
    I admire you for being extra kind to the student nurses. And glad your phone problem got fixed.

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  5. Your notation happy nursing student sounds like he/she was about as helpful as toe fungi and most of my student teachers. It kind of makes me wonder why I take them.

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  6. Yep, get in line to get your dubious poorly tested vaccine for a relatively mild illness.

    I'm with all the above in that I will NOT be getting the shot, I'll take my chances with my immune system.

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  8. About corn, some say we are made of corn. If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend the documentary King Corn. Should be able to get it at the library or Netflicks. A slow start, but a definite wake up call about what our farmers grow, how food is processed and how corn ends up in our bodies in ways we never knew. http://www.kingcorn.net/

    Cheers to you, Patience, for making an effort with the nursing student. Too bad your duck is lame when it comes to appropriate charting techniques!

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  9. I had to laugh at your nursing student comment. Yesterday, mine charted her IVPB as 450 mg in the flow sheet. I had to chuckle. Hmmm...how she cleared 450 mg on the IV pump is still a mystery!

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  10. I just posted on xanga about cell phone woes. The regular non-corn kind. What is your policy on kids texting & phone privileges, by the way??

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  11. Kelly--at least she wasn't trying to code a baby who was contentedly playing with her feet! LOL!

    Tiff--I don't really have a policy about phone privileges, but I'm thinking I ought to implement one. We got a plan with unlimited texting, so their texting mania isn't costing me, but my 13 year old's *constantly* buzzing phone is ridiculous.

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  12. What is the deal with all the corn paraphernalia? I bought a pair of corn socks and was all proud of myself because they were biodegradable until I realized that corn cultivation is basically the devil where the environment is concerned. Is it a trick?

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  13. Flu shots aren't an option for us (egg allergy), but it's really not something I typically worry about, anyhow. Work from home India

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  14. Hi,

    This is the assistant editor for Hospital.com which is a medical publication offering hospital news, information and reviews. We also cover a wide variety of medical topics, some of these articles being relevant to nursing schools and issues around their prospective students (scholarships, grants, etc). We are in the process of giving the nursing industry a dedicated section from our site and are currently seeking online resources which can be offered to our readers of this section. If possible I would like Hospital.com to be included within your blog roll, offering our information as a resource to your readers and essentially building a relationship between our sites. Please let me know if this addition can be made, Thanks!

    Please email me back with your URL in subject line to take a step ahead and to avoid spam.

    Thank you
    Mary Miller,
    may.hospital.com@gmail.com

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