Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Archive for October, 2011

The In ‘N Outpatient by Kris Harty

“I’m a band-aid ripper-offer.”

“And what does that mean?” I asked Pamela, my book’s editor, over coffee last week.

“It means I’m decisive. I make a decision, quickly, and then dive in and put plans in place to make the decision happen. I’m not much on looking back and second-guessing once the decision is made. Full throttle ahead.”

I’m a band-aid ripper-offer wanna-be. There’s been a few times when I have been, and I admit, it felt good. I’m working on making it more a part of my regular routine.

I’m more of a cautiously-lift-up-the-corner-of-the-band-aid-and-ouch-realize-this-is-gonna-hurt-and-oh-I’m-so-not-quite-ready-but-I’m-sure-I-will-be-after-I-think-about-it-just-a-little-bit-more kind of person.


Sometimes time doesn’t help at all. The resulting decision is usually the same whether we decide it now or later.

We often know the direction we need to go long before we commit to it. We don’t need time to re-consider; we need time to adjust to the new direction before saying it is so.

This I do a lot.

Yet some of the biggest decisions of life I’ve made quickly. They often seemed so clear cut, so right, so on track. Something pushed me toward that direction as the obvious choice although it may not have seemed likely to other people.

Other decisions, typically smaller decisions, are the ones I hem and haw on before finalizing the next move. They can be excruciatingly difficult and time-consuming. What flavor ice cream, for example.

So many choices, so few taste buds.

Most of us probably remember our mothers tugging off band-aids from us as small tikes. I, for one, would wince and look, then look away. Then look, then grimace, then yowl.

Looking back, it was no doubt far more painful for her than for me.

YANK. Off it came. No more dreaded anticipation. No more imagining it worse than it really was.

Don’t we still sometimes carry out that process as adults when making choices? We agonize over making the right choice. This or that? That or this? In actuality, it’s rarely going to turn out badly either way. We simply need to make a decision and move forward.

Yet we putter with the band-aid, looking at it, then looking away. We almost start ripping up the corner, and then we stop and think about it some more. Seriously, what are we waiting for? Decisions usually involve change, and while change certainly can be painful, we often prolong the pain far longer than is necessary.

If we would simply make the decision and the change all in one quick fluid motion, life could move on and we’d be the better for it – much sooner and with much less suffering.

Do we ever learn? For some of us – ahem – it takes a lifetime.

I’m determined to be more like Pamela, more of a band-aid ripper-offer than a band-aid-putter-offer. Next time there’s a band-aid on my body, I’ll be yanking it off in one fell swoop, as my mother used to say. Or maybe in two fell swoops. Or three…

I’m so excited that my first book is now a published reality! A Shot in the Arm and A Strong Spirit: How Health Care Givers Help Patients Persevere…No Matter What! A Lifelong Patient Opens Her Heart and Journal. I wrote this book out of respect, love and admiration for YOU – the professional health care giver. You’ve kept me alive and walking through four decades of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. That’s worthy of a medal, but alas, medal-making is not my skill. But I can write a book. If you’d like an insider’s view of how you can and do make a difference to your patients, then I humbly suggest snatching up a copy while it’s hot off the press. Packed with inspiration and application, it’s a quick 2 ½ hour read that I hear can be life-changing. Available on Amazon ( and wherever books are orderable in stores or online.

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