About the Blogger

For a long time, I’ve had a private blog that I’ve shared with a few close friends. More and more, I feel like I need to have a place to speak openly and honestly and publicly.

I am a feminist who is still learning about feminism in depth, practicing intersectional feminism. I am genderfluid and bisexual. Pronouns they and them will work best for me. I will make mistakes on this journey, but I will also grow.

I’m a registered nurse working in an inner city teaching hospital. I’m studying for my BSN and plan to pursue a Nurse Practitioner’s license. I am an active member of the American Nurse’s Association. I cannot give medical advice. I will not violate HIPAA. My patients deserve their right to privacy. So you may hear things nurses have said, questions that have been asked, doctors have done, but you will not hear any identifying information about my patients. Confidentiality is one of the basic tenants of the nurse-patient relationship, and should any patient find this blog and recognize me, I want them to know they will not read their story on this blog.

I am a burn survivor.

I love my cats. Grimalkin is the cat you see on this page.

I don’t back down from a fight. Unless I’m wrong. I might not realize how wrong I am right away. When I do, I apologize.

I write poetry and short stories. Some may show up here.

I TYPE IN CAPS AND SWEAR A LOT.

If there’s anything you’d like to see on this blog, please let me know. Because while this blog will deal with my history and how it affects me, it’s really all about you.

  1. Nice to meet you… I was turned on to your blog after a friend linked it on facebook. I am also an RN and studying for my BSN. :)

  2. Hi. I have a degree in Women’s Studies and I am a new grad RN (having a rocky start), and also a “soulless, unwashed carrot”. I stumbled upon your blog and I am so happy I did.

  3. I read your blog about the Effects of Nursing from a Facebook link. Surprised and saddened about some of the rough comments. I’ve been an ER RN over 15 years and currently a House Supervisor for the last 10. Keep writing because I’m sure it helped nurses.. Debriefing and venting is always a benefit!

  4. A friend linked your blog on my Facebook. I’m a CNA in an inner city hospital, hopefully starting my nursing classes this spring at the age of 35. I worked for years in the financial services industry before I got so burnt out that I realized if I didn’t change careers I’d likely end up jumping off a bridge.

    I love my new career but between my own chronic health issues and the emotional toll of the job, a lot of my family/friends just don’t get it when I have to miss family functions, weddings or other social invitations because I need to sleep. (“You don’t go to work until midnight…I don’t see why you can’t do X Y and Z in the midafternoon!”)

    I tend to be really hard on myself for not being able to be all things to everyone. Thanks for the reminder that I’m not a horrible person because of it.

  5. Hi! I just had to say your blog really is spot on…and I mean there is not one nurse who hasn’t felt this way! I shared this with a night nurse coworker who had a breakdown at the beginning of her shift last night and it really helped her. Our shafting nurse to patient ratio keeps going up and not only that the patient acuity level is too. We are on a med-surg floor but we are getting patients who are ICU patients, but instead of two…we are getting 6! Sometimes it’s a little overbearing but your article reminds me that our coworkers are our backbone and like a family. Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone :-)

  6. I am a retired RN who specialized in Geriatrics for the large part of my 42 years work life. I retired with some health problems and never looked back – even though I LOVED my work. I don’t believe I ever worked a day that I did not feel good about some part of it. I know that it is very HARD work and not everyone is meant for this career. If I met someone who did not love going to their job at least 1/2 time, it’s time to find something else. We tried to find lots of humour most days and that REALLY puts some situations in perspective. Death is part of living and I felt it a privilege to be able help a patient into the next life. Families became wonderful friends.

  7. I just read your post, and loved it. I’m not a nurse, but in the social work/ personal care worker field…. And am new to it…loving the rewarding work, but having huge difficulties coming home, and leaving work at work. How do I, or is it possible to subscribe to your blog?
    Thank you.

  8. So very refreshing to meet another with my similar views…I’m an LPN who is going back to school for my RN and also write poetry and speak my mind freely without bounds….though-as the years continue to etch themselves into me, I am learning appropriate ways to communicate. Swearing is a must – still! So nice to hear your thoughts….thank you.

  9. I have been catching up on your blog since a friend and fellow nurse posted a link to Nursings effect on Nurses on facebook. I have been an RN for 12 years. Most days I love it. But sometimes I have to fight the urge to go play in traffic after one of THOSE shifts. Thank you for raising the awareness of the combat fatigue of nurses.

  10. Bonnie Reimer,RN

    well said.

  11. God Bless the Nurses, It is a job like no other.

  12. Wow! You said it sister! it just seems like cutting unnecessary costs and maybe adding another nurse per shift would help decrease the physical, mental and emotional toll. But who are we to say anything?? Just the caretakers, doctors go-between, family supporters, lifesavers, etc……Nurses need a louder voice. It’s not fair to fear your upcoming shift. We are nurses bc we care about others but our mental, physical and emotional needs are important.. We must stand up for each other and voice our needs. Each shift is new and different, patients and their families leave and new come in… You could have 6 of any type of patient really. Blood transfusions, returning postoperative from sx, nursing home pt with multi wounds, exhausting family members, pain meds, pain meds, pain meds, ng tube insertion and suction, peg tube feeding, dressing changes, at least 3 new IV starts each shift, not to mention charting which takes the longest. So please don’t treat nurses poorly or like they are servants because they know how to prioritize and they are exhausted. Lol and it’s never just 12 hours haha, I wish

  13. I love this article especially the part about never thinking that you have done everything for the day e.g charting. Boy does that go on & on! Nursing is such an emotionally draining job!! I love how a patient tells me that am being paid so much money because I just want to burst out laughing!! I am a psychiatric registered nurse who works 8 hour shifts, never have time to eat my dinner meal or use the bathroom when I want. In fact I usually eat my meal at midnight or 1 am if I am lucky to get home around that time. I work the 3-11 shift. I am so glad that other nurses feel the way I do that there must be more to life than this. I even had my supervisor ask me if I would come in on my day off: 12/31. I yelled out Heck no! He laughed while walking away. I love my patients sometimes but I really need a mental health day more and more as time goes. I do sympathize with the nurse who was sad about missing the game but am glad there are still nurses who would offer to help her. That says a lot about nurses!!!

  14. Nursing isn’t what it used to be. People have little respect for what we do now a days. I’ve worked as an RN for over 30 years & it seems we are treated like crap!! Not only from some of the patients who expect to be waited on, as if we were running a restaurant. But also from administration. We are used to the max & if we let them, they will use us up until we have health issues of our own, not to mention the emotional drain the work can cause. I love caring for people & helping them through some of the roughest hours of their lives. To me it’s an honor to be there for others, offering support & encouragement. But, it becomes harder to do this when I myself may be going through some of the toughest times in my life. Balancing family life, caring for aging & ill parents, trying to plan wedding and working full time is nearly impossible. Something, or someone has to be left out at times….usually it’s myself. I used to have time to get a massage once in a while, or spend a day relaxing doing something I enjoy, but those days seem to be over for now. I’m longing for a break…and have time off in Feb. in which I had hoped would be a honeymoon, but due to my parents needing so much help I haven’t planned the wedding. Hopefully I will soon get a trip for my fiancé & myself booked. Anyway…..hang in there nurses!!! We are strong or we wouldn’t be nurses! Things will get better!!! Encourage & support your co-workers. Speak up to administration when it’s needed. We are valuable and necessary for hospital to run. It’s up to us to say something when we are put in situations that seem unsafe. Working 16 hours is not safe. Why are there laws limiting hours of work for truck drivers, pilots, air traffic controllers, etc., but none for doctors or nurses?

  15. I love your stories

  16. linda batcho, lpn

    Thank you so much for your blog it is so true I posted it on my FB ssite I can’t wait to see the responses, I hope someone will read it . But with it being New Year’s and all we’ll see. Thanks again so very well put. Won’t you love to set up a site where only nurses could vent without fear a retaliation. There is a local hospital who employees FB pages are monitored for their content and have being fired for some of their post. No free speech in Jersey.

  17. Dear Grimalkin, I read your post regarding coming in early so another nurse could make their child’s game. I celebrate and commend for helping her out. As nurses, we NEED to support and care for each other. Nurturing each other enables us to nurture our patient’s to an even
    higher degree! There will always be holidays, birthdays, funerals, etc…we are, after all, human. My personnel opinion is that anyone who says you should get out of nursing if you can’t accept the challenge of having to miss a birthday, a holiday, ect. may be the ACTUAL person who needs to pursue a different career…after all, they are forgetting the most fundamental ingredient of all in nursing…COMPASSION!

  18. Saw the posting on facebook…….wow did it resonate with me, I have a wonderful career BUT, THERE IS ALWAYS THE BUT………yes we do give up a lot…..32 years in the profession as an R.N. ….wife, mother, tried to volunteer and ” have a life” around shift work….not easy. Keep up the great work and telling people how it is !!!!!! All the best for 2014. Cheers, Jane

  19. Well done. I became an RN in my 40’s, after years in academia, and multiple degrees. You presented an amazing and realistic perspective of being a nurse

  20. I am a nurse working in a hospital and I too present as straight…..you hit the mark with everything you say….. But you did miss an important ongoing issue that is defeating and destroys confidence. Female white nurses often do not support each other and in fact take pleasure to “report” mistakes to their manager …. These errors made by fellow nurses could be dressing changes, medication errors, charting mistakes, IV tubing changes, expiration dates and more. That is not to say that Patient safety must come first….that goes without saying… But to report an error to the manager is not the way to prevent future errors… It only serves to “get that nurse written up”. The outcome would be far better to speak with that nurse to mentor and support them discussing the circumstance surrounding the error and ways to prevent future errors. Nursing is such an exhausting emotionally difficult job…. Why would we not help each other to learn from mistakes? I guess the reward the “reporter ” gets to their own ego must be a better feeling than knowing you have helped and supported .. Maybe even taught a fellow nurse!

  21. I had to find my own way to let out a lot of what I feel as an ER nurse and I used my talents in film making to do so. Check out the link my movie The Shift. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375671/combined

  22. My son died at the Sloan Kettering pediatric unit some 20 years ago, after spending most of his last two years in hospital. My son was not unusual — most of the children in the SK pediatric unit die in hospital, since the kids at SK tend to have the most serious cancers. In a high-stress place like SK, bad stuff tends to happen on a routine basis. Sometimes a nurse loses his or her temper during a shift, or fails to respond in a timely way, It was not unusual for nurses to burn out after only a year or two in the SK pediatric unit. My wife and I saw all this — and more — during our many days and nights at our son’s bedside in the hospital. Still, more than 20 years later, we remain deeply grateful for the extraordinarily professional and, yes, loving care that these nurses provided to our dying son (and to us, his parents, during the ordeal). We thanked each of the nurses at the time. I wish we could find each of those nurses now, two decades later, to thank them again, and let them know how much their service meant — and still means — to us. God bless nurses.

  23. So glad I found your blog… Yesterday for a while i taught your were living in Ireland because of the picture on your homepage which looks like the Cliffs of Moher. Then I understood you were in the US. Nevermind.
    I just read your text untitled “Yes, You Did.” Strong resonance with where I’m from. Thanks for sharing this personal text, it must take a lot of guts, and much respect for what you have achieved since then.
    Did you write about forgiveness by any chance ? I would like to know your thought about this…

    Much much much love for you and your kinfolks !

    • I have not written about forgiveness because the harm caused to my body is extremely hard to forgive. I am in daily pain due to my mother’s actions, and forgiveness is a long road.

  24. Hi JoAnne,
    Thank you for sharing your writing. It is hard to be wrong in public and to admit it. I have had to learn the hard way a couple of times!
    I am a blogger and Women’s Studies instructor and I’d like to teach your blog post in , “Leaving White Feminism” on a unit on feminism and blogging. I will only do so with your permission. If you choose not to, I totally understand as well.

    ~Renina

  25. No, thank you. This work is timely and important. I will let you know what they say:)

  26. I’d like to comment on the effects of Nursing on Nurses. I know you’re not accepting comments, but I need to comment. You are absolutely right. I have been a nurse for 38 years (20 years of which were nights) and I swear, too. And drink (a small pour nightly!). Imagine that. Only another nurse does understand the hours, the demands, the missed parties and late parent-teacher conferences. Only another spouse of a nurse understands that we don’t REALLY know when we’re getting home. Keep up the good work and continue to be good to your co-workers.

    • You are welcome to comment here or on other posts. That post became a burden to me because I did not want trolls to overrun the post, so I finally, after several months, turned off the comment. Thank you for your comment, if these were the kind of comments I was getting, I would not have closed the comments.

      • I must say that I have found your BLOG only after completing my MSN scholarly paper titled Nurse Bullying: Nurse’s Dirty Little Secret. I have been a nurse for 32 years and have seen nurses come and go with no real stated reason for their giving in. We have all known the reason!!! But how do you say to a colleague, “Take it to the playground because you are acting no different than a child in a sandbox?” I have found and research supports that people feel their strength/power is in their knowledge. Knowledge of their patients, knowledge of nursing, knowledge of anything. They keep it close to themselves. What nurses, people, adults or children do not realize is the real power is in the sharing of that knowledge!! In sharing of the knowledge and experience we all gain, respect, credibility and are perceived by others as being in a supportive mentoring or precepting role. Their is the strength and “power”. Nursing Bullying can be called whatever the most current buzz words you want. Lateral Violence, Horizontal Violence, Workplace Incivility, Nurse on Nurse Violence or whatever new term comes down the pike. As I tell my nursing students when they comment on the verbal or non-verbal behaviors they see, “If you don’t like what you see it is up to you to make the choice to accept it and be a part of the problem or to reject the behaviors and work towards a change.” I know easier said then done but when it comes to Nurse Bullying a political figure once said “You can lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.” The only way to change the problem is to give it a name. The name in this case is Nurse Bullying.

      • The reason I use the term “Lateral Violence” is because it is happening to two people who have the same job title and happens across the title, not down. Bullying is when one uses a position of power to bring harm to another individual. That is why I make the distinction between lateral violence and bullying.

  27. I am A Medical Assistant, continuing on to get my RN or PR (haven’t decided yet) I want to know how I can receive your blogs . I found yours on another RN’s facebook page. I would love to read it on a regular basis

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