Monthly Archives

September 2015

Inspiring posts and pictures from Show Me Your Stethoscope on Facebook

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Sometimes I am so floored by this entire thing that I just flip through posts and cry.

I am mostly leaving names out, if your story is here and you want to have your name mentioned, please comment or PM me on Facebook.

This beautiful girl, with her Nurse Stethoscope.  A Bride from Ohio.


Captioned: Wedding day bling!!!!

This beautiful pediatric OR nurse. I cried when I saw her.


Captioned: Because you can’t save them all.

And some History….


Captioned:  Ensign Jane Kendeigh, a US Navy nurse, was the first Navy flight nurse to reach Iwo Jima after the Allied invasion, March 1945.

Something that came from me that someone liked.  Because, it’s important and it’s my blog! 🙂


Captioned: Janie’s comment today about nurses “eating their young” has been around since I started almost 25 years ago and it’s a sad thing we have in our profession. Here’s a meme I created that gets to the point. Share if you like.

And this…


Captioned: Yes, Because I wanted a new tattoo…. Because of this new page and our newfound camaraderie. Because my mom died after her battle with breast cancer at the young age of 55… But MOST OF ALL…. BECAUSE I LOVE MY CHOSEN PROFESSION! RN, BSN!!!!

This completely amazing gathering for unity.


Captioned: Niagara University School of Nursing faculty and students proudly support the nursing profession and Show our Stethoscopes

Unbelievable Selflessness


Captioned: Hey all my medical friends, any one else use their “doctor” stethoscope on medical missions?? I have been blessed and have been able to go on 13 medical missions from as far as Ethiopia to multiple countries in Central America. Getting ready to go do some GYN surgery in Honduras.

Remembering your mentor


Captioned: This lady was in many of my MA classes, taught me the secret to blood draws using a butterfly needle. Last night she was on a road trip and was in a fatal accident. The Medical Field lost a wonderful woman but heaven gained one heck of a lady. R.I.P

We all know how important coffee is.


Captioned: I was just in Wawa (running late for work) buying large coffee & BC powder (night shift nurse essentials). The lady in front of me asked me if I was a nurse and when I said yes said, “then let me buy your stuff”. She then said that she appreciated all that nurses did for her dad, and that he had wonderful nurses. I hugged & thanked her and will proceed to have a wonderful, albeit I’m late NOC.

The funny and endearing moment she knew nursing was for her.


Captioned: Another post reminded me of a funny story from my childhood. In third grade our teacher had us each write down what we wanted to be when we grew up and why. Then we read them aloud in class and she collected them to put in our end of the year book. When she called my name I stood up and proudly said “When I grow up, I want to be a nurse so I can help hurt people!” The class erupted in laughter and then I realized how my sentence could be taken the wrong way and said “No, no, I mean so I can help people who ARE hurt. Or sick. I don’t want to HURT them.” I was so embarassed but can laugh now.My mom kept that book for years. I hope it is still in the attic today. But I am now an LPN and I will have my RN-BSN next year. Here is a pic on first day of clinical last term proudly wearing my doctor stethoscope to go help my “hurt people”

Helping when unasked. This is not an everyday thing.


Captioned: Quincy Mass. Thought I’d pass it along

Personal stories that make us ‘have stuff in our eyes’


Captioned: Started my medical career at the ripe age of 19. I was a Phlebotomist/Er Tech/Nurse Extern for 4 yrs until I finished my Bachelor of Nursing. I absolutely love my job. Regardless of the student loan S Everyone has a calling and my best friend and boyfriend walked the Heart Walk in WPB FL today after getting 7 stents and a cage in his IVC. I could not be more proud.

More later.

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How can Safe Staffing impact healthcare outcomes in the United States?

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What is your average day like at work?

Are you appropriately staffed or are you tripled in the ICU? Do your patients see you once an hour or twice a shift? Do you find yourself clocking out so you won’t get ‘in trouble’ for finishing your charting because you were too busy to chart a thing all night?

What are the implications of poor Nurse to Patient ratios?vitals_hazards.190.1

Comments from the Members of Show Me Your Stethoscope:

Anonymous:  I took a 5th ER Patient in the Hallway.  He went into V-Tach within an hour.  It was a good outcome but very stressful.

Anonymous: When I worked ER as a tech, before I graduated nursing school, we had a bad night staff wise. I needed help with a patient but no one was available. I ended up dislocating my shoulder and tearing my labrum trying to catch a 96 year old patient. He started to fall and I instinctively tried to catch him. 2 surgeries, 2 years on and off of PT and still hurts.

Anonymous:  One of my patients, a 95 year old, fell and broke her neck. She died three days later in ICU. It still haunts me to this day.

Anonymous: I made a very serious med error. A long term acute care brain injury patient was on phenobarbital for seizure control. Let’s just say I administered the right dose of the very wrong drug. The patient was not harmed and the physician, supervisor, and patient’s mother were understanding, but I was devastated. I was caring for 15 LTAC patients on 3-11 shift that night. I had been an LPN about 10 years at the time. That was 18 years ago.

Anonymous: When I recently have worked in rehab, 23 patients to me – 1 RN. (Mind you, I was the only RN in the building for over 120 patients as well.) Was supposed to have 2 CNA’s. A CNA from our LTC called off so a CNA from our rehab side was sent to another floor. The one I had was told to “float” between different floors as well.
I had a patient with a trach/foley/Peg tube yank off his O2 20+ times. Had another patient in his 80’s in a C-collar (cervical spine fracture) A+O X 1 yanking it off and I put him back into bed myself 35+times in less than 8 hours. Had another patient that same night actively dying, getting naked in bed hollering out for their loved ones. 23 patients and 1/2 of a CNA. Medication administration on 23 patients; 5 FSBS; 4 sliding scale insulin; 2 IV drips for Vanco; Wound care on 9 patients that night; foley care on 3; Peg tube care on 1; trach care on 1; O2 monitoring on 18 patients; 7 complete bed changes; 14 incontinent patients, and I lived to tell about it. These are real staffing issues. I now do RN case management for home health. I have no desire to go back to floor nursing until staffing becomes a reality. Our licenses are on the line. Patient safety is a severe and sad issue. Facilities care about 2 things: their census and how much money is pouring in from Medicare and Medicaid.

And from the other side of the stethoscope:

Janie Garner: When my sister was in the hospital, they were severely short staffed.  A nurse came in to change her PCA pump and kept getting patient related phone calls, and the pump was alarming ‘air in line’.  I had to shout to stop her from priming the tubing full of concentrated hydromorphone into my sister’s IV.  

Read that last one again.  If my sister had been alone in that room, she would have received a fatal dose of dilaudid.  If my sister didn’t have a nurse in the family, she would have died.  I know what unsafe staffing levels can do from both sides of the stethoscope.  And that nurse would have NEVER gotten over it.  Let us remember that Nurses have committed suicide over medical errors.

So, safe staffing levels have been an issue since Florence Nightingale put on a cap.  The lady with the lamp probably didn’t pee for 12 hours either.  There are places in the US where staffing levels are mandated, and it works.  It is a proven fact that safe staffing reduces medical errors.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are hospitals still refusing overtime when floors are short staffed, and not retaining agency staff or hiring more nurses to keep our patients safe?
  • Why does a nurse have oversight for an entire facility, 23 LTAC patients and half a CNA?
  • Why do support staff have to be physically harmed because there is insufficient staff to help with patient transfers?
  • Why are nurses so rushed that they make medication errors?

I think you can answer this for yourself.  There are occasional days where everyone on a nursing unit caught the same virus, but if you are working short every day, it is because your employer is trying to better their bottom line.  This is about money for the corporation, not about your patient’s safety and the safety of your license.

If all staff refuse to work under these conditions, your facility will eventually change.  Refuse inappropriate, unsafe assignments.  Do not move patients by yourself; call your charge nurse or nurse manager and politely demand help.

If you only read the stories of the healthcare professionals that submitted these comments, you can answer for yourself how safe staffing will impact healthcare.  You are a member of Nursing.  Please protect nurses in places where they have no collective bargaining and fear for their jobs.

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ShowMeYourStethoscope – Inception

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On September 15, 2015, I saw that several news outlets were publishing stories about comments made on a talk show about Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson.  Here is the rest of the story.

I am Janie, the creator of Show Me Your Stethoscope. I am an RN, a mom of two boys plus a bonus son, and live south of St Louis, Missouri. My background is in ICU and ER, and I recently began working in Cardiac Electrophysiology.
I am completely overwhelmed by the response I received when I created this very public Facebook group. I was originally incensed at the gall of the hosts of The View, and the way they spoke about Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado. Kelley poured her heart out to America, and it is obvious that she has a huge passion for Nursing. We need several hundred thousand ‘extra’ nurses to combat the nursing shortage expected by 2020; the disrespect expressed for the nursing profession by influential women with a voice was appalling to me.
I immediately created ‪#‎showmeyourstethoscope‬. I live in the Show Me State, so the name came to me without much trouble. I invited nurses to invite every healthcare provider they knew, and to show us pictures of themselves with their ‘Doctor Stethoscopes’. Just like that, Show Me Your Stethoscope was born. Nurses practicing at every level, Physicians, CNA’s, Paramedics, EMT’s, MA’s, RRT’s, RT’s, and every other healthcare discipline that you can think of flocked to the group to show me their stethoscopes.
I watched the group grow to 50,000 in 4 hours. When I woke up, we had 100,000. An hour later it was 130,000. A week later, and we are over 800,000 and still receiving literally thousands of comments per hour.
In this group I have read stories that made me laugh, made me cry, and made me wonder at the huge group of heath care professionals amassed in this space on the internet. I have heard stories of love for patients, passion for taking care of people, and had my career choice reaffirmed more times that I could even venture to guess.
I realized we had a potential platform for the voices of well over half a million healthcare providers to be heard. How could anyone have that in their hands and fail to use it? I realized that from this place we could do good things for people all over the world, and sure enough the world came to us. We have Nurses in the Show Me Your Stethoscope from so many countries I wouldn’t dare to try to list them here. I know I would leave several out. There are nurses from every populated continent on the earth gathered here.
In this one small place.
It might leave you in shock or make you cry, But let me tell you another story…
In 2011, my oldest son was killed at the very young age of 17. He was hit by a 9 ton tow truck as a pedestrian. I went back to work after about three weeks, still in a daze. That very night, a fellow nurse asked me if I thought Alex was ‘scared when he saw the truck’. I immediately called for relief and reported off for what I thought was the last time. Bedside nursing was over for me.
I accepted a desk job with the company I worked for at the time, SSM Healthcare. It was my job to answer the phone and get patients admitted to appropriate levels of care. I did not leave my home. My soul shriveled to nothing and I was living as the husk of a human being. However, eight months later I admitted to myself that Alex would be ashamed of me for hiding behind a telephone instead of taking care of the patients I loved so much. I was doing nothing for my fellow man, and it was time to move on.
I accepted another position with SSM Healthcare as an ED RN. I made wonderful friends, got a lot of great experience, took care of people, and continued to live as the empty shell I had become. Eventually, I moved on to my current position.
Eight days ago, I read a story online about Kelley Johnson.
Today, though my soul has been crushed by the death of my beloved child, there is a spark of life. My purpose to help others, improve situations, and save lives is igniting that spark. I see Show Me Your Stethoscope as the vehicle that will convey me to that goal.
I feel like I can become useful. That is a powerful thing.
The Administrative Team of SMYS is made up of some of the most passionate and articulate professionals I have ever met. We have Admins with graphic design, writing, education, and advocacy experience. We are all unpaid volunteers attempting to organize the grassroots revolution of healthcare. We have already worked hundreds of collective hours to bring advocacy and charity to this group. You do not know yet what is going on in the background, but I know you will be pleased.
I ask that you trust us to organize and shape this group into a platform from which healthcare professionals can advocate for themselves. I implore you to assist us in charitable works, and show the world that healthcare professionals are able to accomplish anything. I dare the nurses to educate the public about the education and expertise required to safely care for their families.
Show the world your stethoscopes.

#smysofficial #showmeyourstethoscope

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