« Change is good | Main | An angel in hospice »

May 04, 2005

Introduction to In Our Own Words: Medscape Nurses Blog

Keyboard72x721Welcome to Medscape’s latest  feature. We are celebrating Nurse’s Week in our new blog called In Our Own Words: Medscape Nurses.

We have posted several of the emails we received from our Medscape Nurses Medpulse newsletter survey asking readers to describe "what they do and why" in their professional lives. What a terrific response we received --  over 600 informative, creative, thoughtful emails in just a few days. We would have liked to include every single comment. Thanks to all who wrote! We will continue to add comments so be sure to return on a later date to see new and updated postings, as well as any comments made by readers.

We hope you enjoy these personal stories. Please share your comments, experiences, and thoughts with other readers.

Some things to know about the blog:

  • To post your thoughts on any of these blog entries, click on the comments link below the posting. You will be taken to a page listing the posting and a comments form box. The form requires that you add your name (or initials) and email address to submit the comments. You can preview your comments before they are posted. Tip: you can use your initials or first name only if you don't want to list your full name.
  • Most recent postings will occur first. You can click on the title,  such as " Far, far away," in the column on the right side to view all the postings for that title.
  • Postings will be linked to other relevant Medscape features relating to the topic.
  • Content and comments submitted to the blog may be edited before submission.
  • To view a larger image, click on the thumbnail (small image) provided.

    In Our Own Words  is designed solely for nurses to discuss issues related to their professional experiences.
  • Medscape does have the right (but not the obligation) in its sole discretion to refuse or remove any content that is available via the blog.
  • Messages that contain harassing, abusive or threatening content, have obscene or otherwise objectionable subject matter, contain spam, commercial or advertising content or links to any of the above may be removed and may result in the loss of your ability to use the blog. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.

Thanks to everyone for all of the wonderful submissions and for taking the time to write. Hopefully, these entries will help others to take a moment and reflect on their own path in nursing. Have a great Nurses Week!

May 4, 2005 in Introduction | Permalink


Compound Pharmacy has gained much popularity in the field of medicine. The medications are equally effective and safe for sick patients who cannot take the actual medications due to their personal allergies.

Posted by: Compounding Pharmacist | Jan 13, 2009 2:43:14 AM

Response to OmniPaula:

Hi there,
I appreciate your dilemma. Dropping in is difficult. I appreciated calls from Home Health representatives in my last position.

I felt that I was the one person that could disseminate valuable information to patients and staff about home health care options.

Legally, hospitals and physicians cannot refer to only one or two home health agencies. They have to rotate. The challenge for you is in getting new patients, obviously.

You absolutely have to network. Since you have had no luck with the individual facilities you try to market to, I would suggest joining your local Chamber of Commerce, for starters. Let those that you meet know what you do. Everyone has family and friends that ultimately may need home health care. Give them your card. Patients have the right to request whom they want to provide their nursing PT, OT and SW needs in the home, and you're bound to be their choice. Get support from your community, rather than healthcare institutions who truly are enmeshed with their "favorites".

Another approach is through assisted living and senior care centers. Get to know the staff and residents. Make it a personalized, "under the radar", atypical approach at marketing.

Otherwise, try to find that "one person" who truly recognizes the value of fairness. Ask them for one referral and make the follow-up so personalized that they won't forget you. The easier you make their work, the more memorable you will be.

I have also found that nurse practitioners are easier to reach than office managers, and social workers. Try a one on one lunch with office NP's and PA's.

Posted by: Kathleen | Jun 27, 2008 2:20:20 PM

I've been an RN since 1971. My nursing "escapades' have found me in ICU, CCU, Trauma ICU, Home Health, and most recently in a multi-physician Cardiology practice, doing primarily phone triage.

I do think there is a bit of discrimination against "older nurses", and I really believe it's our experience that puts us at the upper pay scale. I don't think it's uncommon for a lesser experienced nurse to land a job because it's cost effective.

Fortunately, not all employers are geared that way, but most likely, the majority.

I haven't worked for about a year and a half, but am about to embark on a new position at a Home Health Agency, and am very excited.

I've been writing and blogging. I've also done some freelance writing for health related websites, and I've enjoyed it immensely.

Personally, I'm learning a lot more about natural health options - it seems to me, everyone is looking for alternatives. The challenge is seeking evidence based alternatives for conditions such as pain control, blood pressure management. I promote nutrition, exercise, breathing, the benefits of acupuncture, and guided imagery for those who are looking for
non-traditional" approaches to healthcare. Of course, prevention is the key.

Any thoughts from other nurses?


Posted by: Kathleen | Jun 27, 2008 2:06:06 PM

Happy Nurses Week to all those who dedicate their time, hearts and talents to our communities!! You are to be commended for your dedication!!!

I would like to solicite your comments and suggestions;

I am a community liaison for a medicare certified home care agency. There are 67 licenced agencies in our county! I am having a difficult time capturing the nurse's attention to let them know of our outstanding outcomes in home care. I HATE popping in!!!! I have the utmost respect for your complicated, valuable time...I do not like to bring lunch (not because I don't want to feed you) but I can spend $250 and you will never remember which company provided lunch today!

I want to pull together a community awareness program and encourage companies to present their information at these meetings, instead of stopping by the doctor's office.

In our area, the hospitals have their own home care agencies, with an extremely large percentage of the patients being reffered to no one, but the hospitals home care. They also "OWN" Physician's in our area that are told they must refer to the hospital's home health. My only problem with that is, I NEED to work! My Nurses, PT, OT, ST, HHA's, Admin, PCM, office staff, etc...all NEED to work!

How do I get my information to you WITHOUT intruding on your day???

I come from a care management background and understand the value of excellent home care.

Your time and consideration are greatly appreciated!!

Posted by: OmniPaula | May 8, 2008 2:04:59 AM

I am a 56 y.o. RN who has not practiced in the medical field for 26 years. I have done medical/legal work as an RN paralegal. My license is active and I recently took a refresher course. I would like to get back into the profession but am not sure where I should test the waters. I need to refresh my skills. Any ideas?

Posted by: Billie | Mar 6, 2008 11:31:38 AM

Hi nursebubba,

I saw your comment here. I am very sorry for the difficulties you are having right now. It must be a very hard time for you.

I wonder if you are aware of some resources that are available to nurses with disabilities. Here are some useful links:

Exceptional Nurse

Beka’s blog

Healing Myself: Overcoming Dystonia

Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses Working With Disabilities

The Untapped Nursing Workpool: Nurses With Disabilities

I hope that some of the ideas and resources in these articles will be of use to you…

Take care.

Posted by: Susan | Aug 30, 2007 4:58:57 PM

I have been a nurse 29 years and have come to a very sad day in my career. I have a chronic neuro condition where I deal with alot of pain in my face. I have lost the last 4 jobs I have had as I am not reliable. This last one I had not even called in sick since November but was "let go" so I could take better care of myself. There is no cure so I probably will never work again as a nurse. So much of who I am is a nurse down to my innermost core. I sit here sobbing onto the keyboard as I just stay home. Thank you for allowing me to express how I am feeling as only other nurses would understand.

Posted by: nursebubba | Aug 30, 2007 12:59:44 PM

The nursing profession is great. Problem is, everyone complains about a so-called "nursing shortage," but well-trained, experienced nurses of a certain age are being discriminated against. AGEISM IS RAMPANT IN NURSE RECRUITMENT. I wish the ANA and specialty nursing organizations would address this severe problem.
Because, not only do patients need great nurses, great experienced nurses need to eat, pay rent and live like everyone else. Why is this pool of RN talent being ignored? Why is it okay for mature nurses to be reduced to poverty, hunger, potential homelessness because they've reached a certain age? Don't education, advanced degrees, broad nursing experience count? Don't younger nurses owe something to their seniors who carved out the niches they now hold because their elders developed nursing to the diversity it demonstrates today? Where is the conscience of Nurse Recruiters who deny employment to such RNs? How can they sleep at night knowing qualified mature RNs are going to bed hungry tonight? I'd love to hear what all the RN bloggers have to say about this problem. Remember, someday, sooner or later, you too will be an "older nurse." How will you get by (years ago their were no healthcare policies and no pensions for staff RNs)if no one will give you an opportunity...despite your qualifications/credentials?

Posted by: creativdoc | Apr 7, 2007 7:38:47 PM

I am looking for a Legal Nurse Consulting Program. Does anyone know of one where I can obtain a associates or a bachelors degree?

Posted by: Brenda | Feb 20, 2007 10:59:07 PM

Hi, I am a home care nurse who has been fighting a MRSA infection for almost 2 years from sitting on something sharp in a patient's home. Anyone else struggling with this?

Posted by: Lori | Oct 24, 2006 7:12:11 PM

I think nursing is a very nice profession; we need to provide best opportunity to forward this profession

Posted by: Susan R | Jan 27, 2006 2:54:54 AM

I am glad to see that a reputable site has finally found blogging! We need to network and support each other. I am currently working on my Adult Health NP at Florida State University online. Check out my NP blog if you would like http://www.arnp.blogspot.com Any nurse is welcome. I will be posting a link to this site so that others can find it as well!! Happy Nursing to all!!

Posted by: Nurse Practitioners Save Lives | Jun 2, 2005 1:42:51 PM

I have been in nursing for 11 years, the last 8 1/2 in OB. I see so many articles in nursing media that really tell the stories of our experiences and only we can know , truely, how we take care of our patients when there is not enough staff or supplies. I wonder how we can get our stories heard by the public so that maybe we can effect some changes with their help.
We need more nurses, more equipment, better insurances for our patients and ourselves so that we CAN do our jobs of healing, teaching, and caring.
It needs to be recognized that we are independant practitioners, not just following a doctors order.
We need the public to know that it is US at their bedside when they are hurting or afraid, not their doctor. And it also is not their doctor, but a nurse who is there to clean them and feed them, give them their meds, and hold them when they cry.
It is nurses that teach them about their conditions, meds, and other therapies.
It is nurses who can notice a change in their condition on walking in the room and it is nurses who do chest compressions and give life saving drugs in an arrest.
It is the nurse that must pick up the emotional pieces after the doctor has given a patient and/or family devastating news.
Nurses reach out to other specialties to coordinate care that is needed and doctors don't think about.
It is usually a nurse who gives anesthesia and monitors the patient under anesthesia.
It is nurses who make sure that instrument and sponge counts are correct.
All the things that we, as nurses, do for our patients are thought to be done by doctors, when it is the doctors whom, without us, would not know what is going on with their patients. It is also nurses who teach our doctors in their residencies. (we all know how scary July-December is)
We are undervalued by society, as are good teachers, firefighters and police. All of these are professionals our society cannot live without.
If nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals in the U.S., then why can't we stand up for ourselves on a national level and get some things changed.
That is what I hope we can accomplish. To be on common ground with doctors and seen as the partners in healthcare that we are.

Posted by: Cathy RN, Akron, Ohio | May 22, 2005 6:33:44 PM

This is a fabulous site. I read with so much pride the beautiful stories of nurses in many roles with such loving, tender souls.

I have been a nurse since 1971. I knew I wanted to be a nurse at age 12. My Aunt fell and broke her arm while visiting her dying sister. I helped the doc set her arm. He told me I would make a good nurse. So be it.

I was floated up to CCU as I was finishing my last year in the BS program. I fell in love. Been in Cardiology ever since. Facinating field. Right now, I work in a VA Hospital. It is such a privilege to work with those who made sure we would be free in America. Each time I am able to help one of them, I feel as though I am saying "thank you for my freedom".

I have worked in ICUs, CCUs, did a short stint as a head nurse (hated that). Went on for my masters as a CNS and then went back for NP as NYS does not allow CNSs to prescribe. Amazing how fragmented our rulers are.

I have never been sorry for my choice. I love what I do. I love the ability to really make a difference and I love the autonomy that Advanced Practice Nursing gives. I am facinated at all the advances being made now.

I have so many memorable stories that to pick one is really difficult.

Every time I can intervene and get a patient to change some of their life style in interest of living, I get a wonderful feeling. Everytime I pick up a heart murmur and can do something about it, I am thrilled. Currently, I run a Heart Failure clinic. There death rate is horrid. Everytime, I can get to someone who could not breathe and watch them get better and go on about their lives with proper care.....it is the best feeling in the world.

Of course, all days are not winners but usually I can salvage one really good thing from each day that it makes me want to come back tomorrow.

You all are so wonderful in all you do. Keep up the amazing work. Help those people out there who need you. Only you can be a nurse and offer what only nurses can.

God love and keep all of you.

Posted by: KB | May 16, 2005 8:27:00 PM

Winchester Medical Center went all out to honor Nurses on May 5th this year. They set up our conference center as an exhibit hall with displays from every Nursing unit - these included posters for evidence-related practice research and initiatives, Shared Governance Council Projects, and Case Studies. The food offered for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner was fantastic - Nursing Managers from each unit were there to assist in the process and show their support and gratitude. The local Mayor came and addressed the lunch-time crowd with a Proclamation; The chairman of our board (Senator Byrd, WV), and President of our Hospital System also came and checked out the displays from each unit.
We felt honored, supported, and valued. It was a great Day for Nurses at Valley Health!

Posted by: Gilda Gilbert | May 16, 2005 8:24:28 AM

Has anyone ever got an accidental needle stick? I did. The patient and myself are negavtive for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis ABC. The thing that really bothered me was after I got stuck with a needle, I was asked to sign a disciplinary action form. Has this happened to anyone else.

Posted by: Sally Songbird | May 14, 2005 11:07:14 AM

Very late at night... just finished a greuling 12 in the CCU. I have been in nursing for 14 years (my anniv is May 20th!!) and I have been in CCU that long.
LOVE critical care... but I am looking for the next step in my nursing career (I think.)
My co-workers are quitting faster than we can hire... and I feel like my next career step is just around the corner... I just don't know what it is!!! I don't want to leave nursing completely... but the bedside thing may have worn out it's welcome. Anyone share my thoughts? Any ideas what may tickle my fancy?
HAPPY NURSES WEEK TO ALL!!!! (and we deserve *way more* than just a week!!!) :)

Posted by: Molly Sinclair RN BSN CCRN | May 12, 2005 10:31:15 PM

I've been in nursing for 25 years, have an associate degree and am presently the patient wellness coordinator for our rural clinic. I've been thinking about taking online classes for my BS, but am concerned whether I have the time and desire to commit to this. Would love some feedback or recommendation on which online course to look into. Also, those that have done the online courses...how much time does it require? Thanks!

Posted by: LIZ | May 11, 2005 1:07:08 PM

I'm interested to see what this blog is going to be. As a "non traditional" (read "old") student nurse who has been hanging around the edges of the medical community for years, (Pharmacy tech, Orthopaedic Brace Fitter, Medical Assistant)I find the dynamics of the nursing community fascinating. I've always felt like I was standing on tippy toes watching you all through a window; now I feel like I'm standing in the door way.
Happy Nurses week to all of the present and future nurses reading this board!

Posted by: Mary Tornetta SN | May 11, 2005 7:02:48 AM

Kerry Dudley - I've applied to ST. Joseph's College in STanford, ME - I"m very impressed so far with what I've seen. Call 'em or look 'em up on the internet and see what you think. They're the only online program I've found that offers a fast-track from RN to BSN to MSN. :D I can't wait!!

I'm not sure yet what I wanna be when I grow up, haven't gotten that far yet. Currently working adolescent psych, but find myself crying a lot; at home, on the way home from work, even AT work. Not good, I know. I love what I do, I love my kids, but the staff are TOXIC!! It's to the point where I'm having chest pains - no, they're not cardiac related, they're purely stress. >

Good luck with your schooling


Posted by: Lys Warburton, RN | May 11, 2005 5:32:22 AM

Hey there!

I am a graduating RN with a blog of my own at http://mediblogopathy.blogspot.com if you'd like to check it out. I think blogging is an important tool for nurses to communicate with eachother in a social, relaxed, yet semi-private way - where we can share stories and de-stress about things whenever we need to. I've got a decent set of links to other nursing blogs on my site and would like to know about other bloggers and exchange more links!

Posted by: HypnoKitten | May 11, 2005 2:21:47 AM

Great idea! I have been in nursing for 32 years. Just completed degree work with RN-BSN online classes with Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing. What a terrific time to be a nurse.

I had my last day on Friday at my old employer and will now pray earnestly for what God has in store for me next!

Teaching is my passion, but ICU and post open hearts run a VERY close second to my heart. Nursing is a ministry for me and I can't imagine doing anything else. Am looking for a good online Master's program and may stay with Texas Tech. Wish me luck!

Regards and have a great week to all celebrating the field of nursing!

Kerry Dudley
Comanche, Tx

Posted by: Kerry Dudley | May 10, 2005 8:19:14 PM

I am so excited to see this blog. I just started a blog for alumni of the PNP program at UNC. I hope it will keep us in touch with each other as well as provide a space for sharing clinical updates, tips and information. I also hope that discussions will take place on hot topics related to practice. Thanks for always being so cutting edge.

Julee Waldrop

Posted by: Julee Waldrop | May 10, 2005 4:56:35 PM

This is a great site – as a nurse of many years I know that nursing encompasses many unusual and different areas – but your site certainly provides a port hole to them all. I enjoyed reading them. Great job.

Posted by: Sandie York | May 10, 2005 1:29:44 PM

I have been a nurse for 27 years. I read with awe the exerpts of my nurse colleagues. Their experiences, sadness, pride, and compassion were expressed eloquently. My personal nursing experiences have been acute care NP in the ER, musculolskeletal medicine, and now publishing. I think I have now come full circle. I am able to teach students not only from the book, yet from my experiences, and from my heart. Happy Nurses weeks to all my nurse colleagues.

Posted by: Sharon G. Childs MS APRN-BC, NP/CS, ONC | May 10, 2005 11:20:26 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.