My first—and last—clinical rotation was at a newly built nursing home attached to a community hospital near school. I didn’t have a car on campus, and hitched rides from classmates who were typically commuters with night jobs.

They were a tougher, more sophisticated breed of young women than I was used to in my hometown. They smoked, but their voices still seemed naturally lower-pitched than mine. They never squeaked ...

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"Grandma Lilly is 87-years-old and in the ICU. She’s on a ventilator with her wrists restrained to the side of the bed. Grandma can barely see because her eyes are puffy: scleral edema. And her heart races: 140 beats per minute. Her blood pressure is low and Levophed and vasopressin drips are ordered. Her family can’t talk to her as she phases ...

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"The pharmacy department plays a vital role in hospitals. They prepare and dispense medications. Sometimes the pharmacist will receive an order from the doctor on a med whose written dosage he is not sure of. In some cases, the pharmacist will call the nurse in order to get clarification on this. The problem here is that ...

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I am about to express a wildly under-advertised piece of advice: Our nurses are our most valuable resource. This reality has been true for physicians for many years, but with months of lost time on in-person rotations, it will be true for us more than any other class. My career in medicine started while working as an ED tech. It was a night shift job to get me through my degree ...

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I had to earn my “stripes” in ICU. After I graduated from nursing school, the “big” hospitals wouldn’t take me into the ICU, as I had no experience as an ICU nurse. Back in the early 1980s, there was no such thing as an internship program. I desperately wanted to become an ICU nurse. So a small-town county hospital took me in. It was a six-bed “ICU,” and I slowly learned ...

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I recently saw a powerful video about an amazing nurse who is a foster mother to children dying of cancer. She lovingly cared for them no matter the circumstance, the difficulties, or the heartbreak that came with each and every death of one of these precious children. It broke my heart to see and hear. It caused me to reflect on how fortunate we are to have people with hearts ...

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Nursing has always been my passion. The idea of spending hours at a patient’s bedside, putting in blood, sweat, and tears to save a life. Now that is living! I was made to be a nurse. I’m not afraid of hard work. I have worked 13 consecutive hours without as much as a bathroom break; more often in my career, this is the case than not. I’m not afraid of ...

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"Over a period of about two years, our city experienced a very large influx of seniors. One nearby town grew by over five thousand people. This, in turn, created a surge of patients coming to the hospital. As most were older, they often had multiple medical conditions. They would almost always require more complex care. The whole system became overloaded because, ...

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Every year, National Nurses Day is celebrated on May 6 to raise awareness of the role nurses play in society. The date also marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which begins on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. In addition to the annual celebration, the World Health Organization has smartly declared 2020 the “International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife,” in recognition of their ...

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An excerpt from The View From The Wrong Side Of The Day: A Story About Nursing, PTSD And Other Shenanigans. I'm not exactly sure when things first started to get bad for me. Thinking back, it was all rather like the analogy of the frog in the ...

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It’s been said that history doesn’t repeat, but it does often rhyme. And as we’re learning during COVID-19, lessons from the past can be a guide to help us navigate a modern pandemic — if we listen to the rhythm of history.

For a little more than two years in the middle of the 19th century, Great Britain, France, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia fought the Russian Empire for ...

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An excerpt from Nurses are Nuts. The pharmacy department plays a vital role in hospitals. They prepare and dispense medications. Sometimes the pharmacist will receive an order from the doctor on a med whose written dosage he is not sure of. In some cases, the pharmacist will ...

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I am an ICU nurse in Manhattan. I have seen my share of trauma, critical illness, and sorrow. But what is happening in my hospital and hospitals across America is on a scale of tragedy not even the most seasoned clinician has experienced. My hospital looks like any hospital in America. Serene on the outside. Typical day. Any day of the year. ...

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Nurses are not getting the protection they need to care for COVID patients, and no one seems to care. Where is the outrage? Nurses are at the COVID patients' bedside 24/7. We all know the medical staff is not wearing the proper gear at all. If supplies were adequate and protocols were being followed,  they would be wearing N95 masks or PAPRs. If they do have N95s, they are being told ...

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It is all about the nurses and the respiratory therapists.  I watch countless brave actions every day in the ICU.  These are people who, in “normal” times,  spend nights, weekends, and holidays caring for the sickest of the sick. They are modestly paid, and often have little control over their schedules.  They balance a stream of demands from doctors, patients, families, and an insatiable electronic medical record that demands constant ...

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I have had the privilege to serve alongside hundreds of nurses in the nearly 40 years since I started medical school. This includes inpatient and outpatient settings and 20 years of leading medical missions around the world. There are five amazing nurses in my family as well. I have learned from every nurse with whom I have served. This has made me a more compassionate, caring, and empathetic person, and ...

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As I struggled my way through nursing school, I never expected my first job as a nurse to feel like this; I was too busy dreaming of the day when I could hold the title of registered nurse. I never expected to come home crying. I never expected that, at times, I'd mumble the words "I hate my job." I never expected many of the challenges I face daily— but here ...

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On 9/11, firefighters and other first responders rushed in to protect others, and for that, they will always be heroes. Today, health care workers are rushing in to heal those with COVID-19 – at great risk to themselves. Health care workers are the true heroes of this crisis.

On routine days, clinicians caring for patients at the bedside are at far greater risk than most people in ...

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I am 64 years old. I was a nurse for 34 years, retiring a year, and three months ago, I worked on the medical-surgical floor, ICU, and the last 30 years, in the emergency room. I retired because I'd had enough. This year has changed me. My life no longer revolves around my ER job. I am not exhausted from 12-hour shifts, taking at least a day to recover. I no ...

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Nurses are responsible for patient care. They are the ones at the bedside 24/7. There is no one who spends more time with individual patients. They are the ones most in danger in the coronavirus pandemic. The news gets grimmer every day about the inevitable surge coming across the country. Forecast of death tolls in the 100,000 to 200,000 range, if not higher, is terrifying.  If the death toll is that ...

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