FAQContact usTerms of servicePrivacy Policy

End Of Shift NEWS
End of Shift: A daughter who happens to be a nurse
A nurse is a nurse is a nurse, and once you become one, you can never not be a nurse. Generally speaking, I've considered it a rule to do my absolute best to treat my patients as if they're members of my own family. That way, despite annoyances and inconveniences, I can chalk it up to the situation at hand and not that the patient feels like a burden to me. But I discovered I haven't been treating my patients like...READ MORE »
End of Shift: Flowers for his wife
On the third anniversary of my 16-year-old daughter Laura's death, I reported to my 12-hour nightshift in the ICU where I had worked for 21 years. Laura tragically died at home on April 17, 2010, from a seizure caused by Rett syndrome. Although I miss her everyday, the anniversary is especially hard. That night, we received report and picked our assignments, as usual. I chose a new admission, Susan*, a 60-year-old...READ MORE »
End of Shift: My plan to beat the odds against Lou Gehrig's disease
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a dream come true for those of us with ALS. The amount of publicity and awareness generated by this social media phenomenon could not have been purchased at any price. The donations have been huge. Suddenly, ALS is pulled out of the shadows and into the sunlight. A whole new generation, who never heard of Lou Gehrig, now understand what ALS is. I am hopeful that with this increase...READ MORE »
Last call: RN looks back on finish of 34-year career
About two years ago I entered my final nurse's note into the electronic medical record system. It was the end of my 34 years as a professional nurse, the end of my daily patient appointments, the end of my last shift. I first wore a white uniform in 1977 as a nurse's aide in a large nursing home. As I put on the thick opaque white stockings and spotless white leather duty shoes for that 3-11 p.m. shift, I was...READ MORE »
Stay informed: Doing homework as a patient comes in handy for RN
As a nurse, there are times when you help others and times you need to help yourself. Just recently I experienced a situation in which I needed to help myself as a nurse. As I like to say, I had to keep it close to home. I don't always see my regular doctor, who practices in an office with several other physicians. After being examined by one of the other physicians, I was informed I had a streptococcal infection...READ MORE »
Making a difference
Amelia was a patient I will never forget. She was 23, the same age as my daughter. And, like my daughter, she had gone off to college. Even better, Amelia had studied in Paris. But while there, she developed a kidney infection, and acute renal failure followed. One kidney succumbed despite aggressive treatment; the other was compromised enough that she needed dialysis and blood transfusions to improve her anemic...READ MORE »
A pillar of strength
Over the years I have counseled and cared for many people with a diagnosis of cancer. Every once in a while, you meet a patient who will teach you and touch you forever. In this case I was educating, guiding and supporting a colleague I had known for more than 30 years. After experiencing severe headaches with auras of flashing lights, Mary was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme. After her first craniotomy, she...READ MORE »
A part of my soul
Clambering across the sandy terrain in mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, we arrived at the prison around 1200 hours on Dec. 10, 2010. As I walked toward the gates surrounded by my security team, their weapons drawn at the ready, I couldn't believe this is where nursing had led me: to a prison in Afghanistan. Inside, we were escorted by male and female Afghan prison guards to a small, sparsely furnished...READ MORE »
Like family
A 77-year-old man was admitted to our hospital for intermittent chest pain, which he said was causing heavy pressure. The patient, Mr. B., lived alone in a senior community. His wife had died a few years before and his two children lived out of state. After diagnostic testing, doctors told him he needed open heart surgery. There are medical risks for patients and families to consider with almost any surgery. For...READ MORE »
A hard lesson learned
More than 63 years later, a young mother's sorrowful appeal still haunts me. I was a second-year nursing student assigned to a toddler unit at the Babies Hospital at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (now Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital) in New York City. The instructors would encourage us to interact with our young patients after we completed our patient care assignments. We happily engaged them in activities...READ MORE »
Perspective from grief
Constance was in Room 5 on our maternity unit. At 44, she was an older mom who had lost her 8-year-old son four years earlier to viral encephalitis. I cared for her during my 12-hour shift and found her to be a pleasant and gracious Chinese woman who spoke in a lovely, accented voice. Every time I went into her room, I found her holding her baby, a beautiful, chubby-cheeked baby girl. Because of Constance's...READ MORE »
Rekindling the spirit
I am always encouraged by this quote from the philosopher Albert Schweitzer: "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle our inner spirit." A recent encounter with a patient did that for me. It was a Thursday afternoon when I reviewed my perioperative assignment for the next...READ MORE »
Mixing empathy with passion
She glanced to either side as she slowly ambled down the hall, her shoes like cement blocks with every step. Her teammates pretended not to notice her as she passed, but she felt their piercing stares on her back. There were no smiles, not one friendly face. Were these the same nurses with whom she had been orienting for the past few weeks? It was her first shift off of orientation, and she felt indescribably...READ MORE »
Courage to continue
Editor's note: The writer is the 2013 "Amazing Nurse" winner of The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future Amazing Nurse program (AmazingNurses.com). She was honored on the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page (Facebook.com/JnJNursingNotes) and shared her inspiring story with Nurse.com. I met the little girl who would make a lasting impression on my life the night she was discharged from...READ MORE »
The Power of Music
From a distance in the waiting area I could see her restlessness, hands shaking and face twitching. It almost looked as if she was having a seizure but it was nervousness, anxiety building up as she waited for her radiation oncology consult. Her husband sat patiently next to her reading the newspaper. I called her name and she jumped out of the chair. The initial nursing assessment took longer than usual. For every...READ MORE »