Here’s To Our Nurses

My Dad’s pneumonia this week isn’t the first time I’ve lived in a hospital with a parent (I’m sure many of you had more experiences, including as patients), so this isn’t the first time on this blog I’ve praised the frontline soldiers of our health care system: the nurses.

Can there be any more challenging job requiring almost inhuman patience than dealing with sick, cranky patients? It is a wonder how they cope, and from what I’ve observed they always do. But they have feelings too. After an encounter with what sounded like an unruly and unreasonable family member, I heard one mutter under her breath out of earshot of the woman, “I came here to take care of people, not get yelled at.”

These days nurses at some hospitals wear walkie-talkie devices on cords around their neck that blare live voices from throughout the hospital demanding tasks to be done and interrupting what they’re doing, including serious conversations with a patient or in the middle of an important current task. It’s beyond multi-tasking. They often cannot finish one thing without rushing to another, then back to the original, only to be pulled away again.

As our nurse, who tends six patients per shift (plus others when colleagues need backup), was inserting a tricky IV she got one of those annoying verbal blasts for the third time during the procedure. She looked at us, pulled the cord away from her neck and pretended to throw it out the window.


61 thoughts on “Here’s To Our Nurses”

  1. Note about comment in previous article: the Oklahoma bombing directly affects the agency I work for.  Seven USDA employees were killed by the terrorist.  We honor them  as best we can, plaques, room naming, tree planting, memorial setting in our garden and a large painting of the group, one I look at as I walk by several times each day in the office.  They are a reminder that terrorists come in all colors and kill people.

    Reagan did his best to demonize those who  work to make America better, safer and more productive.  And his spawn have continued the hate.  Because they have to create strawman targets to shoot down.  What is better than a group that cannot fight back?

  2. re those pneumonia shots, this from WebMD:
    Adults 65 and older need two vaccines to better protect them from bacterial infection in the blood (called sepsis), meningitis and pneumonia, according to a revised vaccination schedule from the 2015 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
    The committee recommended that seniors get both the Prevnar 13 and the Pneumovax 23 vaccines. As their names imply, Prevnar 13 protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria, and the Pneumovax 23 protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
    Why not just get the vaccine that covers more strains? Because the two vaccines work in different ways, which appears to offer broader protection, according to Dr. Sandra Fryhofer. She is an adjunct associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and author of an accompanying editorial in the journal.
    sooo get those shots, both you poobah and your dad!  drink lots of water (carefully not in gulps, no beer chugging) and chew your food a la nancy Reagan…. (the docs also warn that poor dental hygiene can be a contributor to pulmonary aspiration pneumonia) and floss.

  3. I’m glad your father has competent care. My mother spent the last few weeks of her life under the “care” of an idiot who wasn’t competent to care for a pet rock. The high (low) light of this nightmare was the time Nurse Scumbag dropped my mother’s feeding tube on the floor then picked it up, inserting it into my mother’s stomach. I looked at her with the biggest smile I could muster & said: “I hope if any of your family members are ever in a hospital they get a nurse just like you.” Nurse Idiot smiled & said “Oh honey, that’s so sweet.” / I meant it. Every. Single. Word.

    Being in a rural area limits the hospital choices. We lived in a poor county with few options. Bad Healthcare workers, like bad teachers, tend to haunt their communities for life. Complaining would not have made a difference & we knew it. I hoped daily that Mom would die – to end the nightmare she was living & to end the nightmarish toll of anger & heartache on her family. The memory of what this did to my father still brings tears to my eyes.

  4. Silencing Elizabeth Warren backfires on Senate GOP

    The Senate has silenced Elizabeth Warren.
    And by doing so, majority Republicans just handed the liberal firebrand a megaphone — further elevating President Donald Trump’s fiercest and most prominent critic in the Senate and turning her into a Democratic hero.
    The rebuke of Warren came after the Massachusetts Democrat read a letter written 30 years ago by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., opposing the nomination of Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship.
    Warren cited the letter during a debate on the nomination of Sessions — now an Alabama senator — as Donald Trump’s attorney general. Reading from King’s letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986, Warren said: “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge.”

    Republicans cried foul — charging that Warren violated Senate rules against impugning another senator. A vote along party lines upheld that decision, turning what could have been an ordinary late-night partisan floor speech for political devotees into a national story.
    “They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth,” Warren later told CNN’s Don Lemon.

    Warren is now forbidden from participating in the floor debate over Sessions’ nomination ahead of a confirmation vote expected Wednesday.
    “I literally can’t be recognized on the floor of the Senate,” she told Lemon. “I have become a nonperson during the discussion of Jeff Sessions.”

    By Tuesday night, the hashtag #LetLizSpeak was trending on Twitter.
    Warren used Twitter to attack Sessions and McConnell.
    “I will not be silent about a nominee for AG who has made derogatory & racist comments that have no place in our justice system,” she wrote.
    In a follow-up tweet, she said: “I will not be silent while the Republicans rubber stamp an AG who will never stand up to the @POTUS when he breaks the law.”
    And then: “Tonight @SenateMajLdr silenced Mrs King’s voice on the Sen floor – & millions who are afraid & appalled by what’s happening in our country.”

  5. wapo noted:

    As the exchange spread on social media, some were quick to point out that McConnell was recently the target of a personal attack on the Senate floor. In 2015, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) accused him of lying to his colleagues and the press, saying “he is willing to say things that he knows are false.” There was no Rule 19 invocation then.

  6. Even floor nurses these days are the equivalent of MD interns from decades ago, doing procedures and making decisions not expected of RNs decades ago.  ARNPs perform functions once reserved for general practitioners.  For many smaller communities they have become the “family doctor” and in cities the backbone of Community healthcare.  Armed with computers and their well trained diagnostic skills, they do virtually everything other than the most rigorous of specialties.

    Oh and should you ever need a great “Doc” in Tacoma,  mine is Svetlana Vasilkiv, ARNP.  She’s an immigrant from the Ukraine and has family there threatened by Mr. Trump’s best Bro in the Kremlin.


  7. winning the wtf award of the week, it’s kellyanne!

    Are they (falsehoods) more important than the many things that he says that are true that are making a difference in people’s lives?” Conway asked.

  8. The three voices taking the lead in defense of democracy in America:

    Elizabeth Warren: She is fearless, witty, cunning. The strong oak in a forest of weeping willows.

    Al Franken: His intelligence is a beacon of hope for anyone losing confidence in government. He is abrupt, brutal, takes no prisoners. Watching nominees dissolve into puddles, struggling to process the questions he has asked – boing… boing… thoughts bouncing back & forth in their noggins – is a thing of beauty. Senator Franken reminds us being smart & prepared is a plus for competent government.

    Keith Olbermann: He is the only media person who can stand toe to toe with Bannon Inc. Remember, he took on Breitbart during the Occupy days. He has had everything – literally – thrown at him from both idealogical enemies & so-called media colleagues. What doesn’t kill one makes one stronger. Mr. Olbermann has the cachet & history of always speaking out & fighting the good fight. His intelligence & analysis is mind boggling, efficient, to the point. He identifies the problem better than anyone. No sugar coating anything with Mr. Olbermann around. He also has a devoted audience which crosses Party lines. He speaks truth; people respond.

    As a concerned citizen who cares about this country, hey, Democratic Party, rebuild with these three as your blueprints. They know what they’re doing: Clear vision. Progress is a good thing.

  9. tpm’s headline:
    Top Trump Adviser Says Untrue Remarks Aren’t More Important Than True Ones

    and an interesting observation in business insider:

    Pressed by Tapper about Trump’s repeated falsehoods, with the CNN anchor asking whether they distracted from what Conway said were “the many things that he says that are true that are making a difference in people’s lives,” she said they served as distractions only “if they’re covered.”


  10. too cynical to think Republicans are boosting Warren with her base in hopes that she is the 2020 nominee?

  11. on that comment at very end of above vid, from rollingstone:

    John Oliver, a green card holder and two-time Rolling Stone cover star as he bragged in his interview on The Late Show Tuesday, spoke to Stephen Colbert about whether he’s concerned he might be thrown out of America “like a tea bag” in the face of Donald Trump’s immigration policy.

    “The crazy thing is it’s probably not gonna happen, but there is a non-zero chance of it happening now,” Oliver said.

    “So yeah, I am slightly concerned. I have an American wife and American son now, but who knows what’s enough? Having a green card used to be enough. But yet what we saw with that executive order on immigration, that debacle, things were not what they supposed to be.”

    Oliver then slammed Trump’s executive order for not allowing military translators into the United States, adding the president never sacrificed anything for this country.

  12. The Dems may have someone for 2020, I think Sen Al Franken might be a viable candidate.  Celebrity, political experience, and strong.  Oh, most importantly, he is not on Social Security.  As much as I like Warren, she will be 71 in 2020.  She is one of the Dems most important people and will be so in four years.  But not as a presidential candidate.  Franken should be on a short list to begin an exploratory campaign very soon.

  13. also from rollingstone is their interview with oliver… here’s a sample:

    on brexit

    What did that vote reveal for you?
    It’s hard to unpack the general shift toward the right in America and in certain parts of the world. The moment in that pathetic Brexit campaign that seemed to resonate most afterward was [conservative member of Parliament] Michael Gove saying in an interview, “People in this country have had enough of experts.” And that turned out to echo throughout the year, especially in the U.S. You can understand, right? Being lectured is annoying, when you’re a kid and throughout your life. But it turned out there was less collective investment in facts than people thought.

    and about kellyanne

    Is interviewing her essentially pointless?
    In general, it’s very dangerous to keep the old campaign architecture around with this presidency, to have an eight-person panel on CNN debating whether or not he said something. “Did he or did he not do this thing we watched him do?” There’s actually serious harm in that discussion. And, yeah. I really don’t see the point of talking to Kellyanne Conway because her language jujitsu is so strong. You know she can look you in the eyes and tell you the opposite of what you just saw happen, and she will be more confident in her answer than you are in your question.

  14. The Republicans can do whatever they want. Hoping that no one candidate comes to the fore re: the Democratic Presidential race too early. Keep options open, cast a wide net. Most important is rebuilding confidence & enacting a competent strategy. Put the right minds in place.


  15. I do so hope those in his audience whooping and hollering were the same sycophant staff he took to the cia for his canned applause.  it’s worrisome if otherwise.

    nytimes: Trump’s Mix of Politics and Military Is Faulted

    President Trump opened his remarks at MacDill Air Force Base on Monday with a campaign-style celebration of his election victory, citing polls that indicated he had won the votes of a large percentage of the military.
    “We had a wonderful election, didn’t we?” he proclaimed to an auditorium packed with officers and troops. “And I saw those numbers, and you liked me and I liked you. That’s the way it worked.”
    A day later, defense policy experts — and retired officers, who are free to speak publicly about their concerns — complained that the new commander in chief had sent the wrong signal to the military, which is sworn to faithfully carry out the lawful orders of the president, regardless of party, and is supposed to stay above the political fray.
    “When President Trump suggested that it was good to support him and said he was so thankful for the support of the military, it showed that he doesn’t understand what the military in a freely elected democracy is supposed to be doing,” said Mark Hertling, a retired Army lieutenant general.
    “The military takes an oath to defend the Constitution, not certain politicians,” he added.
    Mr. Trump’s trip to MacDill follows similar appearances at the Pentagon and the C.I.A., both of which the president used as a backdrop for comments that veered into politics
    With Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at this side, Mr. Trump signed an executive order last month restricting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The signing was conducted in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes, which is dedicated to the more than 3,460 recipients of the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest decoration. Mr. Mattis did not know that the order was to be signed until shortly before that event, and he had no input in its formulation.
    “This is part of a pattern,” said Andrew Exum, a former Army Ranger officer who held a senior policy position in the Defense Department on Middle East issues during the Obama administration. “Whether it is the Memorial Wall at the C.I.A., or the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, he is using institutions that have previously been walled off from politics to generate political support for some of his more contentious policies.”
    “If the military is seen as a Donald Trump institution, that’s dangerous as well,” Mr. Exum added. “It could create the impression among young Americans that the military is a political institution.”

  16. from tpm:

    “In my view, it was totally, totally uncalled for,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s invocation of Rule XIX to silence Warren. “Sen. Warren wasn’t hurling wild accusations. She was reading a thoughtful and considered letter from a leading civil rights figure. Mr. President, anyone who watches the Senate floor on a daily basis could tell you that what happened last night was the most selective enforcement of Rule XIX.”

    Schumer compared the incident to when one Republican senator called then-Majority Leader Harry Reid’s leadership “cancerous” and said Reid “doesn’t care about the safety of our troops.” Schumer also emphasized that he did not “run to the floor to involve Rule XIX” when Republicans accused him of crying “fake tears” during a press conference after the issuance of President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.

    “Mr. President, there is a shocking double standard here when it comes to speech,” Schumer said. “And unfortunately it is not constrained by the four walls of this chamber.”

    “While the senator from Massachusetts has my Republican colleagues up in arms by simply reciting the words of a civil rights leader, my Republican colleagues can hardly summon a note of disapproval for an administration that insults a federal judge, tells the news media to shut up, off-handedly threatens a legislator’s career and seems to invent new dimensions of falsehood each and every day,” he continued. “I certainly hope that this anti-free speech attitude is not traveling down Pennsylvania Avenue to our great chamber.”


  17. Craig – That is exactly what Repugz are doing.  They are promoting Elizabeth Warren.     How they can be so blindly emboldened to support Sessions, DeVis, Tillerson…they have either forgotten there will be an election in 2 years…or they think we will never have another election and they will stay in power.

    As irritated as I was with the DNC, I may have to suck it up and vote Dem in the future…not that it matters since I live in TX.  My only assistance could be in voting for the least offensive Repug in primary election.

    Glad Mr. C has good care.

    SJ – I’m sorry you had to go through that. I understand bad care in less populated areas from watching my family in my younger days.   You get what you get; some were incompetent or careless, and some were downright mean.

    Don’t get sick.


  18. I have no problem with Sen Elizabeth Warren speaking for me.  I think she is youthful enough that she could run at 74 but I hope she stays in the senate for a long long long time

  19. BiD – 2005 Bush, the VI, floated out not holding the 2004 November voting if there was an elevated terrorist threat.  A month or so late the threat level was increased.  I would not put it past fish mouth to try the same stunt.

    It looks like most of the fashion retailers are dropping Ivanka line of stuff.  Even Mr. Peebody schlepping the stuff is not helping.  I cannot think of any other president debasing the office to such a low level.  It stinks.  The stains will be very difficult to remove.  The same can be said of the Congress.

  20. So Melanoma isn’t just taking of her son she is also making deals to expand her brand

  21. usatoday: Democrats pick up where Elizabeth Warren left off, read King’s letter without rebuke

    Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., took up Warren’s cause and continued reading from King’s scathing letter. Udall’s remarks were not challenged by Republicans, nor were the statements of Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who called the Senate shutdown of Warren’s criticism a “gag rule.”

    Hirono also called into question Sessions’ independence from the president, who Sessions strongly supported during the contentious primary and general election campaigns.

    “I will vote against Jeff Sessions,” Hirono said. “I am seriously concerned about Jeff Sessions’ willingness to say no to the president when he needs to.”

  22. Apropos of some-damn-thing-or-other :

    The orange glaze on the old Fiesta Ware was uranium oxide and dangerously radioactive.

  23. the uproar seems to be over the retweeting on the official (taxpayer paid?) twitter acct as much as the initial tweet on his personal ? acct.

    cbs atl:

    Trump’s tweet attacking Nordstrom, and indirectly promoting his daughter’s clothing line, has raised eyebrows among ethics hawks in Washington. Government officials are barred by ethics laws from using their status to promote a company, a restriction former President Barack Obama extended to include the Oval Office during his presidency.

    Trump has both applauded and denounced private companies and businesses repeatedly on Twitter, but this is his first time doing so while in office and beholden to ethics laws. The legal questions raised by earlier tweets, like his promotion of L.L. Bean, could get answers now that Trump’s publicly taking his daughter’s side against Nordstrom.

  24. il papa f said today:

    “In the social and civil context as well, I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges,” he said, according to the AP. “To not respond to evil with evil. To defeat evil with good, the offense with forgiveness. A Christian would never say ‘you will pay for that.’ Never.

    “That is not a Christian gesture,” he continued. “An offense you overcome with forgiveness. To live in peace with everyone.”

  25. cillizza: Why you should pity Sean Spicer


    Imagine if you started a job less than a month ago and you found out your boss said all of those things or, hell, any one of those things about you. You’d be crushed. Now add these facts: 1) You are the single most visible face of the Trump administration — besides the president himself — and 2) You know that every reporter you deal with has read all of the stories in which your boss undermines you.

    Now add one last cherry on top: Your boss is continually monitoring and judging your every word, facial expression and wardrobe choice.

    Not exactly a fun situation, right?

    The truth is that even if Trump had gotten his first choice as press secretary — because of all the leaks, we know he didn’t — the chief executive probably would still be unhappy with his or her performance. Trump quite clearly thinks he is his own best press secretary, pollster, media consultant, lobbyist and policy guru. In Trump’s eyes, no one does it better than him. Not Spicer, not anyone.

    The problem for Spicer is that he is the only White House press secretary right now. He’s the only one being put in an impossible situation by his boss and some unnamed colleagues of his. He’s the one with the worst job in Washington.

  26. patd – today is a break out day.  First advertising his daughter stuff, then doing it on the tax payers site.  Second trolling for a date, and not a date like his wife, but someone like his son-in-law.   It is starting to look like the guy is going to do a coronary or a Nixon.  I can’t wait to see what he puts out drunk at 3am.  What will the alternative universe provide as excuses, or people blamed, for these messes tonight?

  27. A friend in LA just told me there are police checkpoints looking for illegal immigrants all over town.  Paperz, bitte.

  28. If liberals can figure out a way to make concessions on abortion and gay-marriage, they can start speaking to American (fake)Christians.  Heresy, I realize, but have fun losing elections until then.

  29. Although an early Twitter user I rarely bothered with it after my campaigns.  However, to be on top of today’s minute by minute disaster reporting from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave it is imperative to check in a few times a day for the laughs.  With the so-called president using his small callused thumbs to output gibberish all day and night logging in is a must.  Not that what he tweets is the goodies, it is the responses that are best.

    Here is an example which might have been lost but for someone tweeting it. Superwhatever

  30. I was in the hospital for 24 out of 31 days in October. I had several ER visits. I’ve been poked for blood and IVs. I had a major surgery, plus 2 minor procedures to get an IVC filter and a power med port. I’ve had 3 chemo infusion treatments, coming up on the 4th next Thursday. I’ve been to numerous appointments, had numerous tests and scans and ultrasounds oh my. 

    In all those procedures and in all that time, the nurses and technicians responsible for my care have been unfailingly professional, polite, and caring. I couldn’t have gotten through it with the attitude I have if, even to the slightest degree, I suspected that these people were not invested in my health and recovery.

    I got a chance while I was in hospital to be under the supervised care of three nursing students. They were amazing. One of them told me that his greatest joy in his work is to help his patients – he said it that way, “to help my patients” – feel clean. When you struggle to bathe yourself because you are too weak to stand up, having someone there who willingly wants to help you get clean because he understands how important it is to you to feel like a person and not just a patient…well, I can’t describe it.

    Being ill is rotten. We only escape it for so long based on our genetics and lifestyles. We’ll go through it with our parents. We’ll go through it ourselves. We may go through it with a child, and I can’t think of anything more heart breaking than to see your child be ill and not be able to fix it. The one thing other than our own attitudes that gets us through, is the care we receive from medical professionals. When they are good, they are our lifeline. They add to our strength.

    I could never go into this field. It can be uplifting, but also so sad. I sit in a room every 17 days with at least 12 other people going through their own cancer battles. That’s just my 2-3 hours of infusion. It goes on all day, 5 days a week. Cancer will kill some 1600 of us every single day. But many of us will survive. And those oncology nurses treat everyone with the dignity and respect that everyone deserves as we fight for our health, and sometimes our lives. They treat us like people, not just patients.

    I got a little emotional writing this. My docs and surgeons are the ones who made the diagnosis and the treatment plan. I follow it. But my nurses and techs…they are the ones who help me get to the end of it. Nurses rock. Especially the nurses at Overlake Medical in Bellevue WA.

  31. “I can’t wait to see what he puts out drunk at 3am”

    “Trump doesn’t drink alcohol.”

    Bink, BB need not wait until 0300—the guy is obviously drunk with power 24×7

  32. Awesome job blocking zero cabinet nominations (DeVos, especially), so far, Democrats, so glad i voted for you 🙁

  33. Ha! Lindsey Graham says that the Dems are being pushed by folks on the far left like Liz & they can’t handle it.   Like Repugz are  handling TrumPence, Lindsey?

    Time for “her” to finally be silenced, Lindsey?  I don’t take everything I hear to be sexist, but that comment certainly came off that way.

  34. folks, I could use some thread posting help. Just got back from hospital, exhausted, haven’t seen a lick of news since GOP made E Warren a martyr.

    Me and Dad can see a clearing through the trees but not there yet. We laughed today about the time we were deer hunting, fell asleep, woke up to see a multi-point prize buck looking at us like we were idiots, we were too ashamed to shoot so he just ambled off in disgust. Dodging the reaper again feels like that we concluded.

  35. boss, you have two pending posts awaiting….

    wakey wakey.  hope all slept well, are recovering  and rested up from the ordeal.

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