I walk out my front door today to do my obligatory walk around the block with my pups. Two police cars with blue lights flashing, lead a caravan of over 100 motorcyclists to a funeral for one of their fallen brothers. They revved up their motors in the procession, I guess, as a sign of love, of brotherhood, of kindred spirits in the motorcycle world. I choked up. I was ready to ...

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Smoking was cool. And he started smoking at the age of 15. Two packs a day — every day. When he was 32 years old, we had our first-born son. And he decided to quit cold turkey. But the damage was done. Somehow, someway, it would catch up with him in devastating ways. By the time my husband was 66 years old, he developed shortness of breath and chest pain. With exertion and without ...

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My anger rises when I see the TV "nurse" with her short white dress and her breasts spilling over her pronounced cleavage and her submissive voice speaking to this muscular male MD. Her quick giggle and pretentious demeanor is a stereotype portrayed across the land. And the reality of what we really do goes unnoticed. We have people shouting: "Bring me a coke!" "A blanket, hurry up!" "The food is too cold ... the food ...

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All of us nurses and physicians in the ED and ICU knew him well. He was a young, 21-year-old. A smart, articulate guy who kept going from one hospital to the next. He had a system down ... almost. This young man was a drug seeker. He knew all about seizures and how an Ativan IV push felt during the "seizures" he allegedly was having. Even though he had several identities and different ...

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Perfect nurse. Perfect manager. Perfect puppet. An ICU physician once told me: Nurse managers have a life cycle of a mosquito. Fast and furious And then gone. Deleted until the next one shows up. It was the perfect ICU. Twenty-five beds. Dynamic intensivists. Phenomenal. And they respected us nurses and collaborated with us. We had perfect cerebral perfusion together. Experienced ICU nurses who knew what to do like clockwork — teaching the younger new nurses. Teaching them the facts of ICU. ...

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Our 20-bed ICU finally captured 10 intensivists — all board-certified in critical care medicine. We were fortunate enough to have one of these doctors in our ICU 24-7. Of course, they all practiced professionally with expertise. But I remembered this one the most: Dr. Jason McKenzie (name changed for privacy). He easily became our friend and "go-to" person. Clocking in at night and finding out that Dr. J was our doc, would give me ...

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If you went to go to a museum in New York City and saw a live heart encased in glass, still pumping and pulsating — it would be my heart, shredded into a thousand pieces all in disarray. But it still would be pulsating. This describes my life as a nurse. Nursing was a vacuum that sucked me dry and left me dangling with nothing more to give. Three years left ...

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In 1976, we couldn't wait to be nurses. Our starched white dresses with the nurse caps and stripes symbolized our graduation status as we were called one by one to receive our diploma and a rose. We took an oath to care for the sick, to be professional, to critically think, to respect doctors and to respect patients and family members. And to respect each other. It was the age before computers. We ...

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I have to work tonight. It’s Saturday. And I don’t want to go in. It’s springtime, the skies are blue, birds chirping, and the flowers show off their magnificent colors. But it’s Saturday. And along comes being a nurse. We have mandatory weekends, mandatory holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter and Independence Day and Memorial Day. Mandatory. And even on my day off when I get a real nights sleep, I think ...

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I was 5 years old on a busy New York City street with my mom, dad, and two sisters. A large man in shabby clothes holding a garbage bag in his hand stood on the corner waiting for the light to change. My dad reached into his wallet and handed the stranger a $20 bill, patted him on the shoulder, and said, "Have a good day, my man." Dad knew everybody — ...

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