Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Archive for September, 2009

Get A Life By Loretta LaRoche

I was recently in New York and the department store windows were filled with the latest fall fashions. What blew me away were the shoes. In the last several years heel height has grown exponentially.

I remember thinking I was one hot mama wearing two inchers. Walking in them all day was never a picnic and when I took them off at the end of the day I felt that I had been let out of foot prison.

When three and four inches and six inches became the in thing I thought “Well I definitely am not going there”. I just knew that I would end up flat on my face.

I’ve watched other women with admiration and awe walk down city streets without any signs of pain on their faces. I’ve often thought they must have medicated themselves before they left the house. Either that or they’ve spent a lot of time at home walking around on stilts!

Well six inch heels will soon be relics as the latest shoe craze hits the fashion runways — which are eight to ten inches.

I know I sound jaded, but what’s the point? Oh I know all the reasons for heel height. It makes your legs look longer and sexier.

I’m short so anything that raises me above ground level works, but I don’t need deformed feet or to periodically fall of my shoes.

I suppose you could consider the fact that your heels might help you fend off a mugger. If you could manage to take one off and hit him on the head with the heel, I’m sure he’d be a goner.

Perhaps they should add that to the advertising campaign.

“Look great and feel safe”

“The shoe that attracts and repels at the same time”.

What fascinates me is how much more practical men are. Men are not remotely interested in wearing shoes that hurt or maim them. Most of them wear their sneakers with no matter what their wearing and often have the same pair until they die.

We, on the other hand seem to embrace shoes that are uncomfortable as if we were doing penance for our sins.

If the current trend continues, shoes may have to come with warning labels; “Walk at your own risk”.

However, there’s always a bright side. I highly recommend that anyone considering the medical profession consider Podiatry, because you’ll always have a lot of business.

Loretta LaRoche writes the Get A Life Column for the Patriot Ledger.

Posted in: Get A Life

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Who Knew? Heaven Can Wait!

After living to a ripe old age, Dr. Jones, a world-famous surgeon, passed away during his sleep. He found himself at the back of an extremely long line leading up to the Pearly Gates.

After waiting what seemed like an eternity, Dr. Jones decided that he shouldn’t have to wait in line. He walked up to the Pearly Gates and said to St. Peter, “I’m Dr. Benny Jones, world famous surgeon. While on earth, I saved many lives and cured countless illnesses. I don’t think I should have to wait in this line.”

St. Peter curtly replied, “Here in Heaven, everyone is treated the same. Now go back to the end of the line.”

As he walked to the back of the line, he noticed a gentleman in a white lab coat with a leather bag and stethoscope, obviously a doctor, walk up to the front of the line. St. Peter waved him right through.

Furious, Dr. Jones ran up to St. Peter and shouted, “Why did that doctor get to go right through?”

St. Peter smiled and said, “Oh, that was God. Sometimes he just likes to play doctor.”

Do you have a favorite doctor joke? Send it to us at We’ll share it with the world!

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Nurse Marge In Charge

Dear Nurse Marge,

I am so discouraged. Our nurse manager has said right along that we should go to her with any problems. And so I did, only to get her snapping at me. The week after that, my hours were down to nothing, although this week they’re back to normal. I really feel like this was done to punish me.

I talked to another nurse who has worked here longer, and she said, “That’s how it is here, you’ve got to keep your head down and cover your butt.”

Is that true? Is nursing really so hostile to change that going to a manager will inevitably result in nothing but headaches? I’m so upset about this: I thought nursing was about caring for the patients!


Staying Silent

Dear Staying Silent,

Covering your butt is always a good idea. Why do you think patients look so uncomfortable in gowns? It’s because their butts are hanging out!

Your friend is likely speaking from experience. However, there is a common mistake to confuse the way things have always been with the way they’re always going to be — the two aren’t the same.

Nursing isn’t necessarily resistant to change, but some nurses certainly are. One thing I’ve found is that many nurse managers weren’t ever actually nurses — or if they were, it was so long ago that the dust bunnies in their brain prevent them from peering that far back into their memories.

That’s why you have to couch your complaints in terms of what it means to the patient. Or, if you have a particularly slow nurse manager (and clearly none of them would be reading this column!) what it would mean in the long term, to them.

Rather than saying, “The crash cart isn’t being refilled regularly,” say “The crash cart isn’t being refilled, and if a patient codes, we’re not going to have what we need, and the patient may die.”

If this isn’t enough, you may need to take it a step further. “The crash cart isn’t being refilled, and if a patient codes, we’re not going to have what we need, and the patient may die. This means that they won’t give us positive ratings about their visit, and that will draw down our overall scores, and you’re going to be stuck in a six hour meeting about why numbers are off and what you’re going to do about it. If you made sure those carts got re-stocked, you could miss that meeting!”

You’ll never be a swab short of a save again, I can tell you that!

If you want your nurse managers to do what you want, you have to be able to convince them that it’s actually also what they want, in order to make their lives easier, more pleasant, and less filled with day long meetings.

Of course, this is a lot more work than keeping silent. That’s why many nurses keep mum. I personally work with a nurse, we call her Silent Sal. She hasn’t said anything since the spring of ’83. Changes have come and gone around Silent Sal; some have pleased her, some haven’t. We don’t really know, since she doesn’t actually say anything.

It works for her. It would be impossible for me. I think you need to do what’s right for you: if you’re going to speak up, learn how to do it in language that management will be able to hear. And always think of the hospital gowns: there’s a reason we like to cover our butts!

Good Luck!

Nurse Marge

Posted in: Jokes

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Star Charts by Suzanne LaBarne

Horoscopes just for Nurses!


Tension and stress can’t be completely eliminated by the use of remote-control cars, but it’s still worth a try.  Tap some of your buddies, and you can set up your own version of the brickyard behind the nurses station!  Hold off on the checkered flags, though — they’re likely to be considered a bit over the top.


Romantic concerns make it hard to focus on the workplace.  Rather surprising, especially for those of you who are cardiac nurses…it’s all hearts, people!  Things should settle down or blow up completely by Friday.


Don’t ask what that slimy substance your patient is slathering on their wounds.  They believe it will eliminate scarring, and this is one time where it’s just much better to let your know-it-all resident explain about the glories of infection.


If you’re a psychiatric nurse, Sagittarius, nothing this week will seem the least bit unusual.


If your completely immobile, pain level 45, unable to wipe her own butt patient can make it to the shower for a quick cigarette, Capricorn, don’t you think you can deal with what’s bothering you? You’ve dilly-dallied long enough.


Those strange rumbling feelings in your stomach? They’re called hunger, Aquarius: this week it will be imperative to eat before your shift — the stars don’t reveal many opportunities for long, leisurely meals during it!


A quick slip near the patient’s bed, a deft leap over the tangled IVs, and a tuck and roll to avoid the crash cart and guess what? You’ve made the Olympic Tumbling Team, Pisces! This week holds unexpected opportunities, but it’s important to make the most of them.


Sweet dreams are yours, Aries — if you can let the job go for a while and sleep! It’s hard to maintain proper boundaries, especially this week. Practice leaving the job at the job if you want family peace and harmony.


Confidence becomes an issue for normally stalwart Taurus. Don’t look to patients for reassurance that you’re doing a good job — you’re only as good at the last pain killer! Real validation comes from colleagues and from yourself.


You can do anything you set your mind to, Gemini! You feel invincible this week, with the world at your fingertips. Capitalize on this fresh burst of energy to get things done — but don’t take the invincible thing to heart, otherwise, you’ll wind up in the ER with all the other invincible people!


Your stars are full of references to memory and nostalgia, Cancer. You may find yourself looking backward, examining old motivations, choices, and situations from days gone by. Don’t get trapped in the history; the future holds more promise. This will be clear by week’s end.


If your unit had a soundtrack, what would it be? Put together a play list for your team, Leo. This will serve as an admirable distraction from everything else destined to happen this week, and that’s a good thing. Music can soothe the savage soul – and if you can get that hot young resident to dance along, so much the better!

Star Charts by Suzanne LaBarne are intended for entertainment purposes only!

Posted in: Games, Horoscopes, and Quizzes

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Bedside Manners: Women Doctors vs. Women Nurses: Be Ourselves Patricia L Raymond, MD FACP FACG

Women complain about premenstrual syndrome,
but I think of it as the
only time of the month that I can be myself.
Roseanne Barr

I can’t be myself. I feel at times that I am handling the nurses with proverbial kid gloves, as verses my latex-free variety.

I really try hard to engage my nurses in the care of our mutual patient, presenting the patients chief complaints and differential diagnosis and explaining our shared objectives, asking opinions, in short, treating my nurses as valuable colleagues. And I interact, interact, interact. “Howwuzyurweekend?” I inquire, and wait for an answer. And yet, in the words of Rodney Dangerfield, I don’t get no respect.

And yet when Dr Handsome steps up to the nursing station, the nurse-doctor dynamic shifts. And I revert to a wallflower at the high school sock hop.

Is it a pheromone thing? Is there nothing that I can do to offset the different way that women physicians, specifically Moi, are treated by staff? Do we need to bond over pedicures, which I loathe? (more…)

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