Showing posts relating to: The Lifestyle: My NP Life

Leeches and Maggots and Skin Grafts... Oh My!

OK, this didn't actually happen in the ER, but it does fall under the category of 'make you want to barf'.  So, I have decided it is an appropriate addition to the Last Night in the ER series.  Apparently in 2004 the FDA officially approved leeches for use as a 'medical device' which led to one of my grossest NP experiences.

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The Abscess Explosion Incident

Draining an abscess is not hard.  But, it does take a little practice to develop your own pus-draining style.  What little speech do you give to the patient to explain the procedure (mine is somewhere along the lines of "this is probably going to be the worst pain you have ever experienced but please just don't kick me in the face while I stick this needle in your butt")  Well, in my earlier days of practice I was a bit stylistically challenged when it come to the I&D resulting in what we will call the 'abscess explosion incident'.

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The Night Shift: Is a Non-Traditional Schedule Right For You?

One of the great things about the nurse practitioner career is the variety of job and schedule offerings.  Want to work five days a week 8 to 5?  There is a job for you.  Looking to save on childcare, leave your husband in charge of the kids and can therefore only work on weekends?  There are a plethora of clinics and hospitals who would love your help.  As an NP, there are an endless number of scheduling possibilities allows you to create the lifestyle that best fits your needs.  Working as a nurse practitioner with a very unconventional schedule, what do I see as the positives and negatives of opting for the non-traditional?

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When You Can't Help

Most of my patients I can help.  I can fix cuts, scrapes, babies with fevers, cases of influenza and manage diabetes and hypertension.  In those patients that are beyond medical help I can usually justify my inability to fix- they have drank themselves or eaten themselves into this condition.  Or, maybe they are just old.  They have lived a long, satisfying and complete life.  But on occasion I am struck with sorrow and a feeling of helplessness.  I don't know how to react when something is beyond medicine, beyond my ability to fix. 

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New York Soda Ban: Can Government Legislation Really Impact Lifestyle Change?

I am not a giant-sized soda drinker and I also do not live in New York so initially I did not really care what happened surrounding Bloomberg's legislation limiting the sale of sugary drinks.  But then I noticed they were also taking away the venti Frappuccino.  What?!  Don't they know I work the night shift.  Did New York lawmakers forget to consider the number of car accidents they are going to cause related to drivers falling asleep at the wheel?

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EHR: What Happened to Quality?

I am pretty sure the IT guy at my last job purposefully picked the EHR program we used for his own personal job security.  The more problems, the more we needed him, right?  I mean, that thing was so strung together it was unbelievable.  No wonder many medical practices are resistant to make the transition to EHR even though the switch to computerized records is about 20 years overdue.  This is not the only time I have been in complete awe of the shortcomings and just plain lack of quality of various EHR programs.

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Antibiotic Overuse: Both Physicians and Patients to Blame

Today physician blog KevinMD posted a guest post written by Dr. Michael Kirsch, a blogger and gastroenterologist with whose opinions I frequently align myself.  In his post, Dr. Kirsh discusses the ever-present battle of antibiotic overuse and the reasons for the abuse of these medications prompting me to discuss the topic as well.

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Do Toddlers Really Need to Be Treated for ADHD?

I forgot one of my pet peeves in my post last week so I am devoting a whole post to this particular peeve as I find it rather alarming.  What is it?  Toddlers on ADHD medications. 

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Don't Bring Me Your Poop! My Pet Peeves as a NP

Over my years of working as a nurse practitioner, I have developed a few pet peeves in my practice.  My patients all mean well, but occasionally there are things they do that gross me out (yes, even I am susceptible to the dry heaves) or just really annoy me.  What patient behaviors sometimes just get to me?

1. Bringing in the Unsolicited Stool Sample


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Does Pinterest Promote Unhealthy Eating?

As a female under the age of 45 (just let me stereotype here for a minute), I of course love Pinterest.  The photos, the food, the home decor and the fashion- I rely on Pinterest for inspiration whether I am looking for the perfect new pair of Fall boots or ikat throw pillows to distract visitors to my home from the puppy-chew-hole in my living room couch.  While reading from fellow blogger Janet Helm's Nutrition Unplugged, I was slightly annoyed by her disdain

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Free Birth Control: What's the Scoop?

I went to pick up my birth control prescription earlier this month.  As I handed my credit card to the pharmacist to pay the usual $19.99, she said "Oh, it's free now".  Great!  I immediately took part of my savings and spent it at the frozen yogurt place next door (no wonder they say birth control makes you fat). Following my impulse fro-yo purchase (vanilla with Oreos if you must know), I began to reflect on exactly why my OCP's are now free.

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How Do You Become an ER Nurse Practitioner?

I have had a few readers contact me asking what specialty they should they should choose in their nurse practitioner program if they want to become an ER NP.  Other readers have asked how to find a job in the ER.  After all, the emergency nurse practitioner does top our list of highest paying nurse practitioner specialties.  Allow me share my thoughts and my story.

What Nurse Practitioner Program Specialty Should You Choose?

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