Monthly Archives

May 2016

I am not sure it gets any worse than this

By | Advocacy, underserved populations | 3 Comments

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An 86-year-old Florida man said he killed his wife while she slept because she was in poor health and he could no longer afford her medications, according to an arrest affidavit.murder

William J. Hager of Port St. Lucie said he had been thinking about killing his wife Carolyn for several days because she was in pain. After Hager shot his wife Monday morning, he went to his kitchen and drank coffee, called his daughters and later dialed 911.murder (1)

“I want to apologize I didn’t call earlier. I wanted to tell my kids what happened first,” detectives quoted him as saying.

Hager faces a first-degree murder charge.”

Ok, so this happened.  

What the hell is going on in this country? Where is the disconnect? The elderly should not have to go without their medications because of money! Is this a case of the medicare doughnut hole? Did this guy not know that he could ask drug manufacturers to give him discounted medication for his wife? Was the PCP unaware of the situation?

Didn’t it occur to him to go to a hospital and tell them he felt like he wanted to kill his wife? Was he mentally ill? Couldn’t he call his daughters and ask for help?

This man is 86 years old and will spend the rest of his life in prison.  waldenu_minitype

And if he is telling the truth, he shot his wife to put her out of her misery.

I am ill. Seriously.






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Reflections on an Event

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Nurses from all over the US gather to support and raise awareness for staffing ratio legislation. Photo credit: David Miller, RN.


Written by David Miller, RN

I’ve never “rallied” before. I am not the rallying kind.

I have watched rallies, protests and marches. There was lots of yelling and noise, and threats of violence or consequences if the agenda or cause was not acted on by those in power. It frequently devolves into an ugly scene, with news cameras covering the mayhem.

This rally, The Rally for Safe Staffing Ratios, was nothing of the kind. The speakers were emphatic and emotional but there were no angry outbursts, or calls for ousting of political leaders. There was no political rhetoric or campaigning. What I saw was a group of nurses, family and friends who gathered to bring to light an issue that all nurses face at some point—not having enough help to safely take care of the patients on their assignments. This can result from inadequate staffing, staff call outs, or other reasons. The stress of knowing we are unable to get to every patient that may need our help, or possible mistakes that could be made can be overwhelming. It is too much for many to take. I have personally seen recent nursing school graduates quit their jobs over this stress. This saddens me, as Nursing can be one of the most rewarding careers out there.

This rally was an amazing example of how people of every race, gender, political opinion, religious beliefs (or non-belief) could come together to speak from the heart about why we do our jobs: patients, and patient safety. This is not about Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives or any other political party. Do we have all the answers? Not yet, but we must begin to talk about it. We must work together to find the solution. I am proud to have been a part of this rally and I look forward to what lies ahead. Nurses United for Patient Safety: it’s a cause I believe in!

dm_cameraDavid Miller is a long term care RN that hails from Virginia. You can see his portfolio of photography work here. If you’re looking for images David captured while in Washington D.C., you can view and purchase them here.

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#NursesTakeDC 2016

By | Advocacy, Events | 17 Comments

The only word I can use is ‘Humble’shirt21

I am humbled to have been a part of this.

I am humbled to have been able to meet so many of you

I am humbled that so many of you worked so hard to get me there.

I am humbled that any of you actually wanted to talk to me.

I am humbled that the original Rally Team (Doris, Cathy, Melissa, Pam) were able to get such great speakers.

You get it.

I am so thrilled to have met so many of you! The turnout was great! No Rain! Yay! I do have a blister on the bottom of my right foot the size of a small country, but I bet I will live.

So, next year starts today.  Take off work on 5/12/2017.  Do it today.  I am going to try to reserve a block of hotel rooms while we are here.  RSVP by leaving a comment.  But do not just RSVP to feel involved.  RSVP because you mean it.  Be the change you want to see in the world. Ask 5 friends to go.

There WILL be cake.

One step closer to #SavePatremedy




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A kidnapping. Nothing left to do except assign blame.

By | Advocacy, Events | 2 Comments

I had an eventful day on Wednesday.enhanced-21683-1394583643-2

First my flight was delayed and my connecting flight was rendered useless.  SW Airlines told me I would have to wait and get to DC at 11pm. You know, after all of the pre-rally events were over.  I spent some time pleading my case to a completely disinterested customer service representative who told me I had a bad attitude. Because everyone should be thrilled when the event they have been planning for months goes completely awry.  What was I thinking?

So after the crew of SMYS started a social media storm, SW Airlines was able to get me on a direct flight to Baltimore. Yay Southwest!  Not ideal but workable. I BARELY made it to the airport, and the door to the plane was closed almost directly behind me when I boarded.  SW Airlines sent me a happy tweet when I checked in!

Then mother nature had her way, and we had a hailstorm; necessitating a hail inspection prior to takeoff.  I was sitting between two gentlemen who liked to sit with their legs spread apart, and I was all scrunched up in the seat. One of them pulled out an empty cool whip container now filled with some disgusting smelling vegan concoction. How Do I know he was vegan? Do you need to ask? He told me as soon as I sat down.

Unpleasant flight or not, I landed in Baltimore with enough time to get to the pre-rally event! YAY!

And then, j squared happened.  

The Jen squad, (Jennifer Lombardi Story and Jennifer Layer) picked me up at the airport approximately 90 minutes after I landed.  I suspect they were lost.  The reason I suspect this is because Story was driving.  If Layer was navigating there is no way they drove directly to the airport.  Layer had been up for nearly three days, and then DROVE to DC.  Don’t worry, people from the southeast.  We are making sure she sleeps prior to the return trip.  We are all about your safety.  These two were so slap-happy they gifted me with something from the mini-bar in their room.  I will not completely describe it since this blog is NOT for mature audiences only, but please be advised that ‘ribbed for her pleasure’ was included on the packaging. And, ‘batteries not replaceable’

It was at this point I discovered that we had to pick up Julie Sierra from Ronald Reagan Airport.  OK…..not what I expected at the time, but OK! We would just be a few moments late.  Except that SOMEONE in the car was navigating and tried to take us to Dulles.  After about an hour and a half drive, I looked around and went “Jens, I haven’t been to DC in 25 years but this is NOT the way to Ronald Reagan airport! you are taking us to Dulles!”

At this point, we had a change in personnel.  Someone named Layer was fired from her position as Navigator.  Mistakes had been made, and we are nurses.  The only thing left to do was assign blame! Cv

Jay retrieved from the airport, we drove through a McRestaurant and hastened to the venue.  Now good and late, but in time to meet a whole lot of people.

And they were lovely people.

And the Jen Squad saved me from Baltimore.

And I got to meet Jalil Johnson in person for the very first time.

And we had a great rally.  But that is for another blog. 🙂








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The things I have been doing – I allegedly made a med error on myself.

By | Advocacy, Unity | 2 Comments

I hate packing, and I hate leaving the house.nursborn_sq

I mean, HI! So EXCITED to go to DC 🙂

I have a love-hate relationship with traveling.  The love part is when I come home; the hate part is the rest of it.  I am a dyed-in-the-wool homebody.  Being a guest on RNFM Radio was actually a whole lot of wmhuman interaction for me. It becomes more and more obvious that Electrophysiology is the perfect specialty for Janie.  Either I am sedating a patient, (and I guarantee you that anyone I sedate is not talking to me) or I am having a meaningful relationship with the Claris Workmate Recording System….. which looks like a whole lot of multicolored squiggles to most people.

It is my friend, and it always tells the truth 🙂

Yeah, so that was weird.  I know. We will not talk about that anymore.waldenu_minitype

So, in other news, I am still going to DC in the morning.  My family is tiptoeing around hoping I will not decide to stay home.  Only because this has happened before.  What they don’t know is that wild horses nurseentrecouldn’t drag me away from DC this week.  I am completely motivated to get on a plane and join my fellow NurseWarriors! (TM) in our fight for safe staffing ratios.  I may even bring a dress.  Maybe.

To prepare for this event, there have been people with several organizations organizing, ordering, dreaming, creating, fundraising, gathering, purchasing, networking, and cajoling all of the necessary elements into place.  It is tireless, mostly thankless, and pretty darn frustrating. Organizing nurses is like herding cats, if I am honest. Keeping everyone focused on the endgame, and untangling them from the details takes up a lot of time.  However, it is also the most exciting thing that nurses have done since the 90’s, and I think we all know what that was.  Here we are, in 2016 with the same poor staffing, additional issues complicating our practice, and less time than ever to spend with our patients.  Remember the patients? They have been lost in the shuffle of for-profit healthcare, patient satisfaction, and increasingly heavy documentation.

We do remember the patients. And this is why #NursesTakeDC.INA-Official-logo204x116

Not everyone could arrange to go to DC this year.  Some of you are in Texas, Arkansas, or Arizona.  And some of you couldn’t leave home.  Some of you were afraid of retaliation by your employer if you attended such an event. We are there for you, we will represent you, and hope you can attend next year. Be a part  of the rally;  watch the LiveStream <—Click  of the event on YouTube.  Please go subscribe to our empty YouTube Channel which will soon be full of safe staffing goodness! 🙂

Even though I am a homebody and would prefer to stay at home where I do not have to premedicate to answer the door, I am proud and grateful to be a part of this wonderful event.  I am humbled to be a part of nursing history.  I am grateful to the following people, in no particular order for the following logo

  • David Miller for photographing what will be a piece of our history
  • Jalil Johnson for doing everything I hate to do. Also, for being a tireless advocate for nurses and nursing.
  • Kelley Rieger for getting money to buy signs, fund scholarships, serve appetizers, and such things
  • “Phillip and The J’s” (Jen, Jen, Joan, Jen, and Jay) for doing tons of message board moderating so I can do other stuff (Annie, Sarah, Tommy, etc) 🙂
  • ZDoggMD (Zubin Damania, MD) for supporting nurses in word, in deed, and in song.
  • PJ Allen-Thomas for creating all of the beautiful graphics, and designing all of the T-shirts.  If something was awful, I did it.  (and she cringed)ste
  • Rebecca Love, for sharing her technology and believing in all of us.
  • Sharon Reynolds and Annie Chartrand for managing the joins lobby…say no more.
  • Cathy, Pam, Melissa, and Doris, for everything Rally.
  • Sarah Evans for going to the Rally with me so I cannot cancel.
  • Kelsey Rowell for all of the RAW ENTHUSIASM!
  • Alley S. for pointing us in the right direction and advocating for us, always.
  • Mica Frey-Harris for being an awesome leader, and also for the sweet digs 🙂
  • Vanessa, Nichole and Tama for getting those state rallies DONE.
  • Andrew Lopez for all of the social media advice.  He is the hashtag master.
  • All of the speakers and legislators who are attending.
  • Alex Hopper, Webmaster for tirelessly dealing with my nonstop demands.  And for being pretty.
  • Pat
  • Linda Kirk for Cake Duty, present wrapping, and all kinds of other stuff.
  • The Rally group for awesome discussion, troubleshooting, critical thinking, and BEING THERE!
  • RNFM Radio (Kevin, Keith, and Elizabeth) for somehow making me sound ok.
  • All of the people I forgot who hopefully will not be mortally offended.
  • The Cast of the View for being clueless about what nurses do.
  • All of the businesses who have sponsored this event and given donations for the raffles. (logos in post)
  • Every single solitary person who decided to show me their stethoscope. 

I know I forgot lots of important people.  I am exhausted and I may possibly have made a med error on myself last night.  I know you guys love it when bad things happen to me.

Just FYI, when you mean to give a patient 2 colace, do not give them 2 bisacodyl.











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