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!


Honeysuckle in Bloom



In Closing: let the mental health circular firing squad of mostly half-baked ideas begin (but too many people my age and better remember these asshats for any real reform that involves hospitalizing more people); A few stray NSA and Snowden items for you; slipping away; real median household income; “choose between Satan and Lucifer”; yeah, maybe your doctor knows more than Wikipedia; the crushing weight of sex offender registries may force California to consider sensible changes; a startling video; an amusing video.

Bath Salts Shorties

Bottom line: “Even healthy oils are not calorie free.”

“You only think you need medication for that”: 5 psychiatric disorders with probable genetic basis.

Ancient Sea Creature: “The fossilized animal, an arthropod called a fuxhianhuiid, has primitive limbs under its head, as well as the earliest example of a nervous system that extended past the head. The primitive creature may have used the limbs to push food into its mouth as it crept across the seafloor. The limbs may shed light on the evolutionary history of arthropods, which include crustaceans and insects.”

Unintended Consequences: Keep up the fight, Karl Rove!

Bonnie Franklin isn’t even buried yet and she’s spinning in her grave: “[I]f [a single mom] wants to increase her take-home pay, what does she do? She has another child out of wedlock, right?… If she wants to lose it all, she finds somebody to support her and she gets married.” Right. You just keep saying that in public, Senator.

Mostly, it’s the sugar: Salt Sugar Fat author speaks. So does Stanford.

Great Beaches: I’ve only been to #6 and #8. I think #8 is far superior.

Bad news for the economy: Personal income and savings suck.

Bad news for the future economy: The student loan bubble sucks harder.

This is not new, people: The IRS doesn’t care if you got your money illegally, you still have to pay tax on it.

And yet look for it to be in the immigration “reform” cramdown: eVerify is like a no-fly list from the depths of hell.

Music Monday: Musicology and Modern Popular Music

Free term theme idea: Recurring Thematic Material in the Collected Works of Flo Rida.

If one were to listen to his entire discography, how many songs would seem to reference oral sex?

Regrettably, there doesn’t seem to be an official music video I could embed.

In Closing: a bounty I hope gets paid; waaah, the media isn’t telling why it might be a good idea to shoot 14 year old girls in the head for wanting an education (damn liberal media!); maps; quiet victory; this could be a bumpy election; confession; she’d be a Saint even without the Pope’s say-so; who needs effective antibiotics anyway?; science literacy; duh; and just say no.


Today’s BlogHer Book Club selection is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. As usual, this is a paid review but the opinions are my own. For more, be sure to start here. The first discussion item is here.

Dr. Brown is a researcher in “shame and empathy.” The central idea of this book is that we all experience shame — a lot of shame, most of the time — and that our shame causes us to develop mostly unhealthy coping mechanisms that are meant reduce our perceived vulnerability to others, but in actuality cause us to not connect well with others. Rejecting this cycle, embracing our vulnerability, and developing “shame resilience” allows us to live “Wholehearted” lives (her capitalization, not mine). We can only do this by “daring greatly.” This last is a reference to one of Teddy Roosevelt’s speeches, which you can hear here.

So here’s the problem: in Dr. Brown’s eyes, I am either ludicrously well adjusted, or I am a sociopath. I don’t fear people laughing at me. I don’t spend all day worrying that my child will have an accident a school and I won’t have been there to stop it. I don’t feel guilty about not looking perfect at all times. Do I occasionally screw up and have to say to myself “Well that was dumb and I shouldn’t have done that”? Of course I do! But I don’t dwell on it and I don’t let fear or guilt control my life!

Dr. Brown tries very hard to write an accessible book: references to pop culture such as Harry Potter and Hotel California; pseudo-catchy phrases like Gremlin Ninja Warrior Training; admissions that she has been known to use colorful language. She does occasionally neglect to footnote when “research says”. She has done TED talks, seminars, written multiple books, talked to oodles of CEOs, and even given a lecture for Navy SEALs — and she will mention “examples” from any of the above as often as she can think to do so. Perhaps the researcher is too close to her subject matter and needs to work on self-esteem.

However, the book is not without merit. Dr. Brown is correct that love and connection is a basic human need. It’s useful to know that all most some men are driven by the fear that somebody will think they are “pussies.” All of us benefit from understanding that there are people out there who will use guilt to manipulate others, including bosses, significant others, and even teachers. The first time somebody thought to say “there are no stupid questions” was almost certainly in response to shame. There is a nice list of questions for gauging an office’s culture in chapter 5.

Dr. Brown is also the author of I Thought It Was Just Me. Well maybe it’s not just her, but it certainly isn’t me.

In Closing: math; disappearing; rivalry; human rights; Fred spread; predator; that’s why; long memories.

Missing the Point

It is absolutely a tragedy what happened at the Empire State Building. Who can possibly predict that a guy who was laid off almost a year ago would come back and start shooting? Nevertheless, I’d like to digress for a moment to point out that it’s a lot safer to never hire a nutcase than to have to fire one. Screen your employees before you hire them, people.

So then let’s get into the nitty gritty, starting with this opinion piece talking about how NYPD officers use great restraint:

As a rule, it takes a lot to get NYPD officers to fire their guns at anyone. Despite a handful of isolated, but highly publicized, exceptions to this rule when officers have shot unarmed individuals over the past decade and a half, New York’s 35,000-officer force remains a worldwide model of firearms restraint and veneration for human life.


In rapidly unfolding and completely unpredictable situations, assessing the need to use firearms is often a split-second decision. It can mean the difference between life and death. Officers have to sift through confusion, fear and fragmented information.

In the incident outside of the Empire State Building, it is made more difficult because the street is one of the busiest in America. The officers had to take into account the risk of the gunman hurting potentially many people in the vicinity were he not stopped.

Look, nobody sane is disputing that they had to make sure this guy didn’t hurt anybody else. The man pulled his gun out and was clearly intending to shoot at the cops. This wasn’t a place to experiment with a taser.  What were they supposed to do, offer to buy him a latte and talk for a while??

The problem is not that NYPD had to shoot this guy. The problem is that out of the 16 shots fired, 3 hit the perp. All 9 innocent bystanders were shot by the cops trying to “protect” them.

Take aim at the real problem: aim.

In Closing: It’s the jobs, stupid; the important question is the one about whether his mom was born in Kansas; if no blacks support Romney and a minority of women and Hispanics and people under 35 support him, how can the polls possibly be as close as they’ve been? Are there really that many angry old racist men?; school internet safety; yep (so why are these guys still married?); if Republicans get their way, be ready for $10,000 per ounce gold; abused by the system; fake world leaders; can’t make this up; trash can babies; ok, but Goldman didn’t make the drought happen; over 20 serial rapists in Detroit so far; scary; probably not what life is like in Russia; and the old man speaks the truth.

Shorties Awakening

When Al Jazeera points this out, it’s a problem: School to Prison Pipeline. If you find this topic interesting (or horrifying, whatever), the ACLU is a great place to start.

Old Flowers: In this case, 32,000 years old. For those keeping track, that’s over 5 times as old as young-Earth creationists think the world is. <sarcasm> Miracle, or Satan’s lies? </sarcasm>

The Last Ninja: Is an engineer who admits that most of what he learned has no place in the modern world.

Break it down: Here’s where Google’s ad revenues come from.

Burnout: Half of doctors report some signs of it. I’m really disappointed that they didn’t even try to look at why they might feel that way.

It’s not your imagination: The middle class earned less than they did a decade ago.

Apparently Alabama law allows death threats on the job: Seriously.

That can’t be good: For all the news coverage of Romney talking about his energy plan, he specifically refused to go into details where the press might hear it (If this is true, shame on the press for not pointing out that they have an incomplete story). So, does he plan on making up details to suit his audience, or is his plan so out there that he doesn’t dare risk the general public learning the details? Either way, do we want him in charge? What is already known is attracting criticism from many places.

Music Monday

If you don’t know of these talented and funny ladies, allow me to introduce you.

In Closing: Good enough for Israel but not good enough for you; How many times must I point out that the 9/11 terrorists were frequent fliers??; socialism; tell me something new; yeah; beware of a new scam; and government regulations put fishermen out of business!!! Oh wait, no, it turns out that government regulations made fishermen both safer and more profitable.

Sign of the Bankpocalypse

Praise Sandy Weill, for he hath told the truth — and delivered you from Shorties.

Seriously, I thought I’d have to resort to Shorties today until I saw this little gem: Sandy Weill, the same man who had a giant game of “chicken” with Congress, forcing them to pass laws that allowed his company to become a huge “financial supermarket” now says that we should go back to the way things were after the Great Depression and break up “too big to fail” banks “so that the taxpayer will never be at risk, the depositors won’t be at risk, the leverage of the banks will be something reasonable, and the investment banks can do trading… they can make some mistakes, but they’ll have everything that clears with each other every single night so they can be mark-to-market.” He goes on to drop a second bomb: “There should be no such thing as off balance sheet.”

Really, Sandy? Why the change of heart? Has it suddenly occurred to you that if We The People don’t have any money, we don’t put it in the bank and we don’t buy things? Perhaps you realized that Japan never got out of it’s doldrums until the “zombie firms” were allowed to fail? Have a “spiritual” moment where fair play and the bigger picture somehow seemed important? Don’t get me wrong, glad you joined the “common sense” bandwagon. Just wish you’d popped aboard in the 90s instead of pooh-poohing sensible and necessary banking laws as “archaic” and “not reflecting the needs of the next century.

Too Big To Fail simply must become Too Big To Exist. Seriously.

In Closing: 1 in 5 companies misrepresents freaking lies about their profits; a conservative would probably say they need to get jobs!; two must see video clips; outlawing abortion kills women; what’s retirement?; wasn’t expecting that one; no wonder the “news” doesn’t say anything anymore; what a coincidence [you don’t want to get me started about Pyschiatric Institutes of America and why you’ll never ever get mental health care parity]; Give a big LOL to the State Department Anti-Terror Troll Team; and neither will I.

Shorties Night 3D

Ok, I’m all tabbed up so let’s get rolling!

Not sure what to think: Ron Paul wants to make sure kids aren’t subjected to mandatory mental health screenings. On one hand I don’t want to see kids needlessly medicated. On the other hand, I know people who really could have and should have been diagnosed with treatable mental health disorders as kids!

Side Effect: Women are suing cops for tricking them into long term relationships with their undercover alter-egos. Oops.

Never Thought I’d Link Glenn Greenwald: But he’s right about the detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act. It’s there in black and white, no matter how people spin it.

Cat Herding: How Occupy Portland outsmarted the cops (without necessarily planning it that way).

Good Grief: 10 things you didn’t know about “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

I hope they didn’t spend a lot of money on that research: “The more a person drinks the more likely they are to have unprotected sex, according to research.”

This looks good: Dark Chocolate Macadamia Bark with Sea Salt.

Remember this when your Christmas bills arrive: Minimum payments will eat you alive.

Let’s see if that’s more than talk: Most Americans think we need a third party.

Turns out the Military is a way out of a bad neighborhood in more ways than one: Military schools smack around local schools, particularly when it comes to poor and minority kids. Now if only there weren’t the occupational hazard of being shot at!

You’ve seen my musings: Now here’s Anderson Cooper on traveling.

Turning Japanese: 68% of Japanese cars sold in the U.S. were made here in America, in 29 plants that employ 50,000 people. For reference, “American” car manufacturer GM has roughly 68,000 employees in the United States.

About Time!: 6 Fannie/Freddie execs charged with fraud. They might actually go to prison. There’s another big mortgage fraud suit here in Nevada.

Dim Bulb: One idiot thinks those curly light bulbs are so bad, she says she’s giving incandescent bulbs as Christmas presents. Don’t let her kids anywhere near her car with a carton of eggs.

How does that work?: As condition of a plea bargain, a man had to agree to give up a home he didn’t own and never did own.

And Finally: A boy chokes on a meatball in the school cafeteria. The sad part is that rather than make sure all the staff know CPR, they will probably take meatballs off the school menu.