Things I Learned This Semester: Summer Nursing School

Another semester has ended, and that means it’s time for another set of interesting things I learned.

On Google Maps: When you notice Google suggesting a “short” route to an off-campus event that cuts through an historically bad neighborhood, it’s a good idea to assume that some of your classmates aren’t aware of that.

On Psych: I learned something important about myself: I am not cut out to work on a psych ward. However, mental health nursing does teach important skills that are needed in any nursing practice. There will always be patients and/or family members experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, or using ineffective coping mechanisms such as denial.

On Suicide Watch: Someone will tell the nurse almost anything if they think it will get them out of the legal hold. Oh, and these guys do important work.

On Assigned Groups: This semester I had the opportunity to work with people I would not have chosen. It was a good experience. You don’t get to pick your co-workers either.

On Florence Nightingale: Your brain is the most important tool you can bring onto your shift. Don’t forget to not only do your job, but leave the next nurse with the information she needs to do hers (please forgive my pronouns; most Med-Surg* nurses are still women).

On Alert: It is mentally exhausting to be paying close attention for long periods of time, even if you are mostly observing.

On Social Media: we say so much we shouldn’t online, that the Department of Health and Human Services can use Twitter to track potential emerging outbreaks.

On Nursing Specialties: Most people know there are jobs for nurses on hospital floors (Med-Surg = Medical-Surgical) and doctors offices. There are also nurses who provide home health, nurses who try to figure out how to reduce infections and other complications, nurses who work with the IT guys to make more effective hospital computing systems, and of course nurses who work in specialized areas of the hospital such as the emergency department, the operating room, or the catheterization lab.

More another day!


Diet Research? It must be January.

Yes indeed, it’s the first week of the year, and that means millions of Americans are trying to shed between 5 and 500 pounds. Some scientists were even willing to stick their necks out there and say fructose is a culprit in weight gain (a culprit not the culprit). Check the archives and you will find me many times saying that every weight loss diet that works requires drastically reducing if not altogether eliminating added sugars.

So Loyola University wants to help you out. They’ve got what they think are the top 4 reasons diets fail. Let me save you some reading:

  1. Underestimating calorie intake (e.g. eating too damn much)
  2. Overestimating activity and calories burned (e.g. imagining that an amble around the mall is just like a 5 mile run)
  3. Poor timing of meals (the dreaded “starvation mode“)
  4. Inadequate sleep (having a job and other responsibilities)

Really? I’m on board with reasons 1 and 2, although I see them as two sides of one coin. But do they really think that sleep is a bigger issue than unrealistic expectations in the first place, or diet plans that are for whatever reason unsustainable? Do they think that eating at the wrong time is truly a bigger issue than unsupportive friends and family who –subtly or openly — undermine the dieter’s efforts?

Want to lose weight without torturing yourself? Try eating reasonable portions of real food: plenty of veggies; adequate protein; no sweets, no crap that comes out of a box, no food-like chemistry sets. Hey, it’s no dumber than the other diets you’ve tried over the years.

In Closing: free classes; Downtown Vegas and F15; maybe now somebody will ask banks to follow the law pretty please?; Onnabugeisha; ha!; conform or be called a terrorist; Malala; why oh why did Texas give him a second term?; more employment data than you probably want; somebody inform Scalia that 24 is not a documentary; the estate tax is not a wealth tax, it’s a wealth moving into the hands of someone who didn’t actually earn it tax; it turns out you need facts before you can figure out what to think about them; well that’s gonna have conservative panties in a wad; the Romney Loophole; is anybody surprised by this?; and I think Brent may have been playing Black Ops 2.