Things I Learned This Semester: Three Down

nurse washuI’ve just completed the third semester of nursing school, and I’m back with some more little things I’ve learned, in no particular order.

On Maternity: The nurses in the maternity ward think they have the best job in the whole hospital! And there’s something to their opinion: the overwhelming majority of their patients are fundamentally well. No other part of the hospital can claim that.

On Level of Consciousness: It is not normal to sleep through a blood sugar check.

We All Need the Duhpartment of Research: Yes, sometimes we do need scientific proof of what seems to be perfectly obvious. That’s because sometimes the perfectly obvious gets proven right, and sometimes it gets proven wrong.

On the Passage of Time: It’s just as well I didn’t study back in the 80s or 90s. I might be one of those nurses who say things like “We’ve always done it this way!”

Sometimes Questions are Opportunities: When you can’t easily find that somebody has answered your question, there is room for you to run a study and find the answers for others.

On the NICU: When I arrived in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, I was prepared for a depressing day. Instead, I found the tiniest humans showing fierce fighting spirit and overcoming the odds every day, with help from extremely caring nurses… and of course a lot of equipment. It turned out to be a highly satisfying experience where I felt like I made a difference.

Preemies Need Coffee!: Well, not really. But a bit of caffeine does help them breathe better.

Magnetic: There is such a thing as a Magnet Hospital. Such hospitals are supposed to “promote excellence in nursing and healthcare.” Sounds very buzzword compliant, doesn’t it? However, it turns out that such hospitals do have lower mortality rates and brings in more revenue than it costs to attain. That last bit is why you’re likely to see more of them in the future.

And that just about wraps it up for my third semester of nursing school. Stay tuned for the final edition at the end of June!

 

“Did you see that ludicrous display last night?”

Wouldn’t it be nice if the networks would set their science fiction shows in the near future, so it’s obvious the science is made up?

Ok, I confess I watched the premiere of CSI Cyber last night. I also confess that I was expecting to watch for the heckling value.

csicyber

 

 

About the only things I’m willing to believe about the show are a) the FBI has (or should have) a cyber crimes division b) it’s possible to develop a code analysis tool that puts the bad stuff in red. Oh, and a Toyota Camry can’t float. Please note that although they lamented the fact that “it would take too long to brute force that long password (so obviously we feds just have to be able to bypass things things, you know, for the children),” they had a team member who used logic to figure it out. Also note that the existence of a back door in another system is what allowed the original crime to happen.

Also, ask yourself why you need your babycam (among other things) to be on the internet.

In Closing: most kids aren’t whisked away by strangers, no matter what you might see on TV; guess how many terrorists the NSA “collect all the calls” program has caught? ZERO.

Music Monday: In which I misuse Tom Petty

 

There’s been quite a lot of talk about, between, and across those that think vaccinations are wonderful lifesaving technology, and those that don’t. And for those who are saying “What’s the big deal? Measles are just a rash!” Roald Dahl has some words for you. Here’s one of the better summaries.

Let me briefly put my position out there: vaccines save lives; herd immunity saves the lives of those who are too young or sick for vaccines, as well as those for whom the vaccine didn’t work as well as it should. The risks associated with the currently available vaccines are tiny compared to the risks of being hit by lightning. Vegas is uncomfortably close to Disneyland, has its own supposedly unrelated case of measles, and 3 cases of whooping cough in one high school. All preventable.

Today’s latest round — politicians have waded into the fray. Should we then call it Measlesgate? Vaxgate? Maybe just Stupidgate. So the President went on the record as saying the sensible thing: “You should get your kids vaccinated.” The crowd that would argue about the American flag being Red White and Blue if the Kenyan Muslim Usurper President said so immediately swung into action! They couldn’t come out and say “No no no, vaccinations are dangerous,” because that would be too stupid. Instead, two people who want to run for President in 2016, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, said that parents should be able to make the choice for themselves about whether to vaccinate their kids. Dr. Dean is not amused.

Ok, let’s talk about parental choice and child safety. When it comes to keeping children safe, the law doesn’t allow certain choices. Parents aren’t allowed to choose whether to use a car seat for a baby, or whether their older children use seat belts. Parent’s aren’t allowed to choose to withhold medical care they don’t agree with in most states — even when the “child” is the one making the decision. We don’t let parents choose to do things that are known to put a child in danger (except let them play football, of course). The idea that parents should be able to choose to endanger their children (and those around them) is ludicrous.

In short, this is yet another argument where the facts just don’t support two sides to the issue.

In Closing: they hate us for our freedoms; Greece and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; yeah, that ain’t happening; no kidding; stereotypes; and Evangeline.

Every Afternoon

 

Translation: Every Afternoon in Grenada, Every Afternoon a Child Dies.

Here in Las Vegas, our Child Protective Services office is under fire. Here’s a dead baby found incidental to police serving another warrant. Here’s a boy beaten to death for lying about reading some Bible verses — sadly, school officials alerted CPS to a potential problem just hours before his death. Here’s a child sex abuse case. And the latest, a baby dead after having been removed with his 8 siblings from a home described as having “deplorable conditions.”

There’s a lot of finger pointing, a lot of shoulda-couldas. The fact remains that CPS — and the police — have limited resources to do a Herculean job: keeping every child safe.

But you know what? Every time some busy-body calls the cops or the CPS for a false abuse charge, or a kid or pre-teen left in a car for 5 minutes while mom runs a quick errand, or a kid merely being outside without direct adult supervision? The cops and CPS workers pushing that paperwork can’t spend that time investigating a real case of neglect or abuse. The end result is more kids hurt and more kids killed.

In Closing: walking is good for you; license to work; so much for “elected” officials; shoe’s on the other foot; I love Max.

News

Even though the stats say people read this little site regularly, the fact is not many people comment. One of the few people who I’d call a “regular commenter” was Cynthia.

It is with great sadness that I must report that Cynthia passed away this morning. She leaves behind a long-term boyfriend, assorted distant relatives, a grandson, and one daughter. That would be me.

In Closing: rubble bucket challenge; an interesting and relevant graph; on inequality and impounded cars; cop cams; one less one less problem; Karl calls ’em as he sees ’em; shhh, ancient oligarch secret; and thanks to bankruptcy “reform,” there is no hope of this getting better until the previous item miraculously vanishes; I still wonder why insurance companies haven’t put their considerable clout behind this; and won’t somebody please think of the children (unless of course they are brown).

 

 

Shorties of Badassdom

When Kids are Smarter than the Adults: Apparently, being accused of twirling a pencil with a pencap on it is a problem that is best addressed by a 5 hour interrogation evaluation, including a strip search and blood testing. No idea whether anybody thought it would be a good idea to call mom or dad. Elsewhere — and I would totally like to believe this is an April Fools joke except that here’s local coverage including an interview —  police responded to a couple of kids building a tree fort with guns drawn. The child’s reaction was “I was thinking that I don’t want to be shot today, so I just listened to what they said.”

Tired of LinkedIn?: It was a pain in the butt to figure out how to close an account, so let me save you some effort.

You know you want this: Your dose of NSA, surveillance, spyingSnowden, privacy, and related links.

Jobs: A few items about the minimum wage, employment, job creation, and income equality.

A weighty subject: Some miscellaneous stuff about food, calories, obesity, diet, and exercise.

College Math: Sobering.

News headlines you won’t see: yeah.

And a reason to reach out to your Congressman: The Better Off Budget.

 

To the Lady in Workout Clothes ahead of me at the Grocery Store

Hey dear, let me tell you why you’re never going to lose that 10 to 20 pounds around your hips and waist and why your hubby is never going to lose the gut unless you change your ways.

I’m not going to put all the blame on the expensive whole wheat crap that you think is good for you, even though you should probably only eat half that at most, and even though there is a case to be made for that being your biggest problem. Many experts think that’s good stuff, but you still should put some of it back on the shelf.

I’m not going to be too hard on you for the gallon of frozen yogurt. Again, you think you’re doing the right diet thing, even though it’s still got far too much sugar in it to be truly healthy. Maybe you only eat a tablespoon a day? Maybe I wasn’t close enough to see that it was one of those fat-free or sugar-free chemistry sets masquerading as real food?

I’m not going to put all the blame on the plentiful sports drinks in your cart, even though there is simply no way you are working out hard enough for them to be beneficial to you. Have you ever looked at the nutrition panel? It’s probably replenishing every calorie you “worked” off, and many of those drinks contain corn syrup. If you seriously worked out hard enough for these to be a good idea, you would never dream of wearing your disgusting sweaty workout clothes to a grocery store — even fresh out of the wash!

I am going to rag on you just a little bit for the 3 boxes of different kinds of crackers. For pity sake, if you want to eat something that goes crunch, try an apple or a carrot! You might get some vitamins out of the deal.

I am going to rag on you just a little bit for the fact that the only protein I saw in your cart was a pound of ground beef. Come on, that’s going to last a week? If you don’t eat some protein, your body is just going to steal it from your muscles. In case you didn’t know, muscle is what keeps you from looking like a complete blob.

But the one thing that I think is your biggest problem was the stack of 6 frozen pizzas. That proves that you only give the faintest lip service to eating healthy: pizza is neither low carb nor low fat. Ever. Just, please, tell me that’s not a one week supply. Lie to me if you must. You want a pizza? Learn to make that stuff from scratch. I can guarantee you’ll eat less of it because it’s harder than stuffing that frozen crap in a hot oven, it will be better tasting because you’ll use better ingredients, and healthier. Why healthier? You’ll actually burn some calories kneeding the dough, shaping it, and putting quality stuff on top!

Want to make that gut vanish? Try eating real, minimally processed food. Sure, you’ll have to spend more than 3 minutes preparing it, but you and your husband will both be better off.

I’d like to say at least your dog eats well, but you didn’t buy any dog food.

In Closing: would you like to play a game?; playing it safe; poverty tax; ever wonder what the numbers mean?; duh; travel tips; “let’s just take these laptops with no anti-virus to a hacker’s conference! What could possibly go wrong???”; parks; make “the PillOTC, prevent abortions; we don’t need “administrators” with no common sense having any authority over children, ever, for any reason.

Cat Ass Trophy

Or, Caturday, Film Festival Edition

Ok, I like cats well enough. I even have a cat. Sure, I occasionally look at pictures of cats online, with or without witty catpions (intentional misspelling). I’ve been sucked in by video of Maru the Box Cat at least once. I have posted about Stationmaster Tama and  library cats. IBKC and Cute Overload are linked in the sidebar. But you know, I think this cat thing has officially gone off the rails. 

Thursday night in Minneapolis, ten thousand people turned out for a festival of short films starring cats:

The crowd — easily double what organizers expected — packed the lawn outside the museum, spilling onto the sidewalks across the street. There were local cat lovers and out-of-state fans of Fluffy; many wore kitty-theme T-shirts or simply ears and whiskers. Some took real cats on leashes. A few dogs came, for irony.

They all settled in for a screening of cats behaving badly, or cutely, or mysteriously, sometimes all at once. That much of the audience had already seen the clips on YouTube did not seem to diminish the enthusiasm. Quite the contrary.

Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat allegedly wanted to be paid to attend. Inasmuch as Nyan Cat is animated, I’d like to know how that would even work. I won’t link to those furry freeloaders now just on principal.

Did they actually use film, or did they just cue up 60 tabs in YouTube?

In Closing: more stuff to do in Vegas; we don’t need no steenking warrant; just say no to huge birthday bashes for little kids; “The recovery continues to be skewed toward low-wage jobs, reinforcing the rise in inequality and America’s deficit of good jobs”; of course job growth is variable by region (which is why we need streamlined short sales nowDouble Dose of Ezra; is that where I’ve heard it before?; Etch-a-sketch; mathematically impossible; yes the Republicans have a place for single women, I guess; low carb diets do work; the study never said skinny monkeys, just underfed monkeys; and great timing.

Turkey Sandwich Wars

As nearly as I can tell, it started with a regional chain called Capriotti’s and a sandwich known as The Bobbie. It’s basically “Thanksgiving Dinner on a sub bun”: Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mayo. Delicious if a bit carb-heavy.

Then a local sandwich shop called Eddie D’s threw down with their own version. As Eddie himself put it, “I call it the Robert, because it’s the Bobbie’s daddy.” It’s served hot with turkey, melted cheese, stuffing, cranberry sauce and you can order it with hot gravy. Also delicious.

Expect some variation to come to fine dining near you and then eventually filter down to the casual dining set. The other day I was exposed to Marche Bacchus’s take on the Thanksgiving sandwich. Their version features housemade cole slaw, swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and cranberry coulis. A huge improvement over the turkey panini they used to serve.

I think this trend could be the next Slider of the culinary world.

In Closing: Iceland wants banksters in jail; and that’s why they fear Occupy; why is this not an election talking point?; food safety rules delayed; she gets it (BTW, love the content hate the font); walking changes linked to cognitive decline; loose lips sink viruses; upscale pawn shops (because the economy is so great); spoiled; doesn’t everyone need an espresso maker in their car??; seriously; the mayor is a cat; and why we wear pants.