Monday, 28 January 2008

Before the New Semester Starts

Well I have two weeks off before the new semester begins, so with all my essays and paperwork handed in I'm off to do a little drawing. I'll be dropping in and out so no one will notice, honest and I'll be back here getting things ready next week.
Interestingly enough I discovered that you can blog with Word 2007 to Blogger (and Wordpress). So I'll type some stuff up although it will appear retrospectively when I reconnect to the internet. Also (because I have very little life outside of the internet) I noticed that Windows Vista shows up as Windows NT on my SiteStats. I know this only because I made the mistake of deleting the cookies and not replacing the 'Don't show hits from the computer' before blogging. My commiserations to anyone that is suffering from Vista-itis. Now I know why Mac geeks have that knowing Mona Lisa smile thing going on. Should never have given up Windows XP.

Friday, 25 January 2008

I'm Moving To Germany!

OK not right now but if one doesn't get opened in the UK by the time I'm 60, I'm going!
Europe's First Gay Nursing Home Opens In Germany! So there you go....
I'm reminded of a conversation from early on in the course where we asked ourselves what our generation would be like when we are the ones populating the care homes of the nation.
So based on the Activities of Living (a la Roper, Logan and Tierney), Us in a Care Home.
Maintaining a Safe Environment - I think we'll have to have the driver's licences removed forcibly but we will HAVE to be protected from ourselves so we don't get too close to those motorbikes, mopeds, fairground rides, skateboards.....
Communication - We will still have our mobile phones and blogs/ Bebo /Facebook pages (which will be so many shades of out-of-date the carers will have a good laugh at them). Of course the only problem with all this is that we will need these pages to remind ourselves of what we had for breakfast.
Breathing - In, Out, In Out..... The air will be clear by then but our lungs will have been ruined by the car fumes.
Eating and Drinking - There will have to be 2 different menus. 1 healthy with salads and 1 unhealthy filled with chips. Which should cover our different tastes. All with an open bar.
Elimination - I see no more problems in this area than there already is.
Washing and Dressing - We will be sat in our chairs watching our cable/ satellite TV in jeans and t-shirts. Almost exactly the way we do now but with grey hair.
Thermoregulation - Ponchos anyone?
Mobilisation - Wheelchair races down halls. Oh wait I think that comes under Maintaining a Safe Environment....
Working and Playing - Aside from the racing down hallways and surfing the net, we will be getting up to dance at every opportunity with all the cheesy dance hits, which will be about as modern as classical music is to us now.
Expressing Sexuality - All I can say is I hope Ann Summer's has a geriatric line for our arthritic hands by then.
Sleeping - Generous double beds, thick fluffy pillows and NO alarm clocks, that my retirement dream.
Death and Dying - We won't be phased by the thought of death for we will have spent our lives helping others come to terms with it. It really is the next big adventure.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Little Of This

I'm getting a little more drawing done now that the pressure is off me for the different essays. I guess I should have said but the third one passed with a B and the first redraft passed too. So one more essay and to finish the writing from placement then I can take a break till the start of the next semester in February.
I spent 13 minutes on the phone to my phone provider sorting out a new contract (they like repeat business so they'll hand over anything I want). WEEE my new handset arrives tomorrow!
So until Monday it's back to FBC, U+Es and why am I doing this again?


I'd like to introduce a few people that will crop up from time to time in this blog (they don't have their own). All the names have been altered to protect others, they know who they are. Of course if you think I'm talking about you and you don't like the name I've given you then feel free to find me and slap me around the head.

Dee Dee is a snappy dresser (please don't judge her on her choice of weemee clothing). She just happens to be both my friend and in my class. To be honest we spend far too long talking on MSN messenger than in real life recently but that doesn't stop it being an animated rant-fest.

Suggs spends a lot of his time on MSN correcting my idiot-like mistakes but he is an expert on Search and Rescue and photography when he's not applying for a better job. I should point out that he is not a dog but this is the best Google could come up with for Urban Search and Rescue Dogs. We met when I was a university the first time around, although he got his degree and is still planning to use it to become an officer in something called a police force?

The last 2 people I'd like to introduce are Lele and Zuzu, two more students. They are like yin and yang, not sure what that makes me but it's the best way to describe them. We have started some fantastic arguments, almost coming to blows over one topic Zuzu and I.

So that's the happy little crowd. There are more but I guess for the moment these 4 people put their tuppence into the mix more than anyone else.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Assorted News Stories

First off: I was shocked to hear that Heath Ledger had died of a suspected drug overdose earlier. What a waste of a young life, he was only 28. Part of me doubts that it was unintentional. People who wish to kill themselves know they need to take more than 1 or 2 over the recommended. Also many only use low doses as a cry for help, which this is unlikely to be. It's rare that taking 3 instead of 2 would cause such a reaction, since death was a cardiac arrest and not anaphylaxic shock. I guess the world will know soon enough why he thought this would be the only way out.

Second: A lighter story since the wording has been changed. There's a new strain of MRSA. The original wording said it was attacking gay men faster than the general population. Unless it was attacking the *coughs*gay* gene (and please don't get me started on that one!) why would any bug target such an odd section of the population? Yes certain ethnic groups are at greater risk of diseases (e.g. MI) but only gay men? The crystal ball is showing an AIDS scare again! Do you want to know why I think it spread more among the group studied? Because only 1 neighbourhood within San Francisco is affected. It's like a ward or class, of course it's going to spread faster in a closed community. Ugh... it's the MMR jag / Autism study all over again. "These 12 children have autism. They also had the MMR jag. Ergo the MMR jag causes autism."
Stupidity knows no bounds, even in the healthcare system.

First Post Of The Day

To the girl on the bus this afternoon:
First up your skin is orange, which I would get looked at if it wasn't for the tide marks all over your hands that tells me it's a fake tan. Second your hair is bleached and straightened beyond all compare and the braiding just tops the look off, along with the HUGE silver hoops jammed into your stretched earlobes. Lastly my one great problem are the chewed to heck fingernails covered in sparkly pink nail polish that even I grew out of when I was about 15 (and that would be considered old). I know you are better than this.
Don't look at me like that, yes I look scruffy. I'm hiding a tunic behind this old fleece jacket and these black trainers have survived 2 placements now (they are tired from use already). My placement is over and the knees of my uniform trousers show it. They are worn and covered with dust and dirt from kneeling on peoples' floors redressing their wounds and caring for them. My nails are cut short and unvarnished, so that they don't tear the skin of the vulnerable older adults I work with and they can no longer be reservoirs of infection.
Am I better than this? I can clean up but I like my dirty knees from being with patients and the fleece has been with me since the beginning. I like being a nurse, even a lowly student. So no I don't want to change.
But I'd reconsider the orange skin.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Friday, 18 January 2008

For The Lecturers That Should Know Better....

... and an entertaining refresher course for those that do.....
Powerpoint Etiquette (from Not Nurse Ratched)

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Bus Tales

2 comments on life from fellow bus passengers today.
First up. Early this morning as we arrived at one of the larger bus stops (the kind were everyone needs to get off) and so the contents of the bus are filing out including the woman in the wheelchair. This took a little longer than normal since she had to get round the slightly daft safety rails. I swear to you the 'able bodied' (not able minded I can assure you) woman waiting to disembark beside where I was sitting actually tutted. Just because she was being held up.

Second. On the way home I was unfortunate enough to be stuck in the midst of a bunch of school kids. Not the most fun place to be till a few seats away a couple of girls spotted what must be the best looking boy in the year above getting on at the next stop. What followed was the most pointless preening ritual I have ever witnessed. I say pointless because the boy didn't even notice they were on the bus.

Nice to see that high school hasn't changed a bit since I left and that people will be asses no matter how un PC it all is.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Hearts, Bones and Ranting

Rant causing new study.
So Calcium tablets are hardening arteries and causing heart attacks, eh? Oh I can just see how this one will pan out...

"Sorry Mrs Bloggs you have osteoporosis but we can't give you bone strengthening calcium because you'll have a heart attack instead. With coronary arteries like those it's to be expected. So we think you should wrap yourself in cotton wool and never go out of the house again."
“Oh doctor, I can’t do that.”
“Well then you run the risk of a hip fracture the next time you fall on those icy and damaged pavements.”
“That doesn’t sound good.”
“It’s not. If the bones are too weak, we cannot repair the fracture. You could be in hospital for ages and never really be able to walk again. So you’ll have to sell your house so you can pay for your nursing home. Where the staff don’t really care don't really care, will let you fall and give you a few bugs along the way.”

Tough call.

With thanks to Dee Dee for her true ranting skills!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Community Gets Shaken Up

Has anyone read this? O.K. Quick overview: the new plans are for a pilot wherein the District Nurses, Health Visitors and School Nurses become one giant team, with the same job title and responsible for all 3 areas.
This is colossally stupid. I know District Nurses that don't like working with babies (which is why they're not Health Visitors) and Health Visitors that don't like dressing leg ulcers.
I might be looking into my big blue crystal ball here but it's not going to be good for the patients. I mean really it's 2 separate courses DNs and HVs don't work in the same areas. Little Old Ladies and Young Babies are 2 different worlds. You can't really compare these to jobs aside from they are both nurses, they both care and they both work in the community.
It's all going to end in tears and they won't belong to the SNP, I can guarantee that.

Monday, 14 January 2008


I had to make a choice and it's left me heartbroken. I had to choose between 2 things that I loved because they couldn't go on together.
"neither can live while the other survives"
I only hope I've picked the right one.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Secret Lives of People

Sometimes peoples lives are obvious by the objects in their rooms. It's something I ever get to see in hospitals. They might have a book or magazine which would show their interests but that is nothing compared to getting a look at their family photographs or seeing how they live.
It is incredibly intimate. After awhile you become somewhat immune to the human body, nothing disgusts you. You never become immune to the person inside, the stories they tell, how much they are in pain.
It's their houses that give people away. It shows the last time they were able to decorate or clean or able to be fully live their lives they way they used to. Their families are reflected in the plants and flowers, the pictures on the walls. Of babies going to school, then graduations or weddings. Partners, now gone, still stand in the faded photos next to the younger version of your patient. They display uniforms and clothing of times past, for finer times and different days.
They are human beings. They are loved and have been loved. They have seen the tough times and the good. These people might be your mother or father or auntie, they might not but they are to someone. Once a daughter or son, then father or mother, wife or husband, sister or brother. Now... Now they maybe alone and reaching out for a moment of your time or maybe just relief of their pain and a touch of comfort.

It's A Difficult Time

I've been working on a few half decent posts, the redrafts of my two essays and some writing up I need to do for my placement. Which would move faster if I stopped procrastinating. So towards that end I'm cutting myself off from Blogger for the rest of the day. I should cut myself off from 4 on demand but hey one addiction at a time.
I'll try and get the Secret Lives of People up before the end of the day.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Starting To Wonder

Why? Why me?
Actually I know why because I was stupid enough to leave the essay till the last minute that's why another one of the three has failed. I'm sure the up writing essays till 6am is not a good way to go about it.
Anyone watching Holby City? LIMPET?? Limpet - meaning a patient's relative that hangs around for too long. That's a new one for my collection of slang terms.
Also quote of the night -
"She's been reading the BMJ,"
"Well somebody's got to."

Protests Against Homosexual Donation Ban

There have been protests in Canada by students over the possibility of discrimination of homosexual men through their being banned from blood donation. To be honest their notion of discrimination is not unjustified. Especially if the wording only seems to ban homosexual men because of anal sex, while others would not be questioned.
The wording is important. All anal sex comes under the category of high risk behaviour along with IV drug use and participating in unsafe sex of any kind. All these activities would put you at risk of catching HIV, hepatitis, etc. If I remember right (and it has been some time since I was able to give blood) the wording on the form went along the lines of anyone who has had anal sex. No time specification.
However the FDA's policy also excludes the IV drug abusers, those who have received transplants and people who have lived in the UK (because of our vCJD). An outright ban on male homosexual donations is not all together discriminatory, certainly in this case because they are not the only at risk group. Even with the changes in HIV testing, for the safety of patients, high risk donors should be excluded. Yes I migrated from Canada to talking about USA's policies because the ban was considered for lifting in 2000. Subsequently it was not lifted due to there still being some considerable risk even with the changes and greater accuracy in HIV testing.
Which is why for the moment I cannot see the policy changing in the USA, UK or Canada. No matter if it does look like discrimination. Blood transfusions are risky enough without adding to it.
Information also found on:
Slap Upside The Head
Pink News
BMJ Article about the FDA ban (2000)
FDA Policy from the horse's mouth

Saturday, 5 January 2008

You Have Been The Worst Year Goodbye!

O.K. I promise never to quote Anne Robinson again, but 2007 has been a bit of a bad year and to be honest I'm glad to see the back of it.
So I'm making my own meme to depict my year as a top 10.
1 - Number of times I've fallen in love this year
2 - Number of times I've had to move flat
3 - Number of times I've failed exams
4 - Number of placements I've had
5 - Number of times I've had to see a dentist, mostly in pain
6 - The hour of the day I've stayed up till to finish an essay
7 - The average hour of the day when I have to get up, between 5am starts and 10am lie-ins
8 - Number of lecturers I've spent time tracking down, for one of any of a selection of reasons
9 - Number of times I've seen a doctor, not placement but through various ailments
10 - Number of very close friends who have really stood by me this last year

I have a 12 too. The number of flu shots I've given out (well I gave them under supervision).
I'm looking forward to 2008! Really, even if I did spend my birthday in the dental hospital getting another tooth pulled out.

New year was a riot! I went off to the very north of the coldest, wettest part of the British Isles and spent 4 days with some very good friends and some beer and some boardgames (a very good combination). Only down side was the tooth ache. Hence the trip to the dental hospital and the out of hours service. That's the 3rd tooth out in 2 years. This one had to come out after a massive infection in the gum from the traumatic extraction a couple of months ago. A blender is cheaper and less painful than root work and the teeth usually aren't worth saving for some reason. Ah soft diets! It's all molars so my "I care" patient smile isn't affected.


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