Listen to JParadisiRN Interview on RNFMRadio!

 Keith Carlson (@NurseKeith) and Kevin Ross (@InnovativeNurse) invited me to guest on their internet radio show, RNFMRadio.com. In case you missed it, you can listen to the interview by clicking on this link. It was my second appearance on the show.
I had no idea Kevin is a Nurse Niki fan! We tried hard to avoid any spoilers, both for potential new readers, and for Keith, who’s only caught up to chapter 7.
Besides discussing The Adventures of Nurse Niki, the interview includes our thoughts on night shift, the attachment ICU nurses sometimes feel towards their patients or their families, Kevin’s love of daytime dramas, and me being asked to do CPR compressions in a strapless dress at a Christmas party. Oh, I read chapter 11, Beer for Breakfast from The Adventures of Nurse Niki on air too.
If you aren’t listening to RNFMRadio.com, you should. Keith and Kevin are not only entertaining, with an expansive choice of nurse guests; they provide a dynamic medium for the online nursing community to share news, ideas, and ventures in a collaborative spirit. If you’re not listening, you’re missing out!

01:09

Julianna Paradisi, Nurse Writer and Artist

Please join us for the second RN.FM Radio appearance of Julianna Paradisi, an accomplished nurse, writer and visual artist. Julianna’s paintings have been featured in the American Journal of Nursing and Scrubs Magazine, and she is… more

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rnfmradio/2013/10/15/julianna-paradisi-nurse-writer-and-artist

JParadisiRN Guests on RNFMRadio Tonight Oct 14 9pmEST/6pm PST

Great news!  I’m being interviewed on “RN.FM Radio: Nursing Unleashed!”, the newest internet radio station for nurses:

JParadisiRN’s interview is on Monday, 10/14/13  at 9pm EST / 6pm PST. You can listen in here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rnfmradio

In my LIVE interview, I plan on discussing The Adventures of Nurse Niki, authentic nurse characters, and writing a fictional nursing blog.

JParadisiRN

JParadisiRN

In preparation for the interview, I wrote a guest post for RNFM Radio:

The Adventures of Nurse Niki: Nurse Characters Doing Nurses’ Work.

If you can’t listen in, bear in mind that the show will be immediately archived and available for listening on Blog Talk Radio (http://blogtalkradio.com/rnfmradio), and will also be quickly available as a free downloadable podcast on iTunes.

Call-in # is: (347) 308-8064.

The link to listen in on Monday, 10/14/13   at 9pm EST / 6pm PST again is: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rnfmradio

I look forward to connecting with you then!

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 15: Two Separate Worlds is posted. If you’re a new reader, the chapters are short, so it’s easy to catch up. New chapters are posted weekly on Thursdays.

 Please Like Nurse Niki on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @NurseNikiAdven

Are Nurses Attracted to Gardening Because We Work in Close Proximity to Death?

On a beautiful late spring morning, I sat in my favorite chair, sipping coffee and writing. Through the window, I watched a hummingbird sip from the newly-potted salvia on our tiny deck. He is so at home that he actually perched on the railing while drinking from the tubular blossoms.

Hummingbird by jparadisi

Hummingbird by jparadisi

It was satisfying to watch. The hummingbird’s presence deepened my enjoyment of our small container garden.

Years ago, before changing course to make time for painting and writing, I had a huge garden. The limitations of container gardening make me miss my ambitious gardens of the past. As I write, I imagine a larger garden after I retire from nursing, whenever that may be.

What is the connection between nurses and gardens? I don’t think I know a nurse who doesn’t grow something, if only a lowly houseplant on a windowsill. Every spring, it’s common to find potted plant starts in the staff room from one nurse’s garden brought for another nurse to plant. I know nurses who raise prize-winning orchids. Another farms trees in his spare time.

Are we attracted to gardening because we work in close proximity to death? Does placing a dormant seed into carefully prepared soil, waiting for it to burst forth and blossom, satisfy something in our souls, deeper than merely beautifying our homes?

Nurses wear gloves to prevent soil from staining our fingers, keeping them from seeming unsightly as we palpate a patient’s vein to start an IV. Still, garden soil often seems cleaner, more wholesome, than the invisible bacteria populating the skin of human beings.

At work I overheard nurses giving one another advice on killing garden slugs. I was horrified when one said she snips them in half with garden shears. However, a few days later, when I found one in my container garden, I didn’t think twice about dowsing the poor creature in salt. Encrusted, he reared up, pillar-like, then moved no more. Was my action any less cruel because it evokes the Biblical image of Lot’s Wife? Are my coworkers and I applying oncology principles to gardening: both tumors and slugs must be removed, either through cutting (surgery) or by chemo?

My final observation about nurses and gardening is this: how little nurturing we are inclined to lend a plant for its survival. Universally, I hear, “If it doesn’t live, it’s not meant to be,” and I share this sentiment about plants. I wonder if nurses have such low tolerance for a plant’s inability to thrive because we give so much of our hearts to our patients?

What Makes a Shift Happy? The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 12 is Posted

The Adventures of Nurse Niki
The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 12 is posted!

In this week’s episode, A Happy Shift, Niki offers her opinion on why some surgeons don’t order enough pain medication for their patients. Do you agree? What do you think?

Off the Charts has this to say about The Adventures of Nurse Niki:

This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly catch up if you haven’t yet read any episodes.

                      Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

Comments on The Adventures of Nurse Niki blog are limited, however, you can interact with Niki on The Adventures of Nurse Niki’s  Facebook page. Please don’t forget to “Like” it too. Show Niki some love!

Thank YOU!! to the readers following The Adventures of Nurse Niki, the retweets of  @NurseNikiAdven, and those who not only Like Nurse Niki’s Facebook Fan Page. The support is very much appreciated!

Grief Debriefing Versus Beer for Breakfast: Chapter 11 of The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki
The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 11 is posted!

In this week’s episode, Niki reflects on sharing about patient deaths at grief debriefings, and how much extra time nurses already spend at the hospital for continuing education and skills training.

In contrast, Niki and friends from work finally make it to an after shift breakfast. There, they comment on men in nursing, the role of respiratory therapists (every ICU nurse knows skilled respiratory therapists are a crucial part of the health care team), and share thoughts on marriage.

Off the Charts has this to say about The Adventures of Nurse Niki:

This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly catch up if you haven’t yet read any episodes.

                      Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

Comments on The Adventures of Nurse Niki blog are limited, however, you can interact with Niki on The Adventures of Nurse Niki’s  Facebook page. Please don’t forget to “Like” it too. Show Niki some love!

Thank YOU!! to the readers following The Adventures of Nurse Niki, the retweets of  @NurseNikiAdven, and those who not only Like Nurse Niki’s Facebook Fan Page. The support is very much appreciated!

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 9 is Posted: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The Adventures of Nurse Niki
The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 9 is posted!

In this week’s post, Niki unintentionally stands ER nurse Corey up for breakfast after her patient’s early morning code. As if that wasn’t enough, Niki meets a traffic cop on her way home from the hospital.

Off the Charts has this to say about The Adventures of Nurse Niki:

This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly catch up if you haven’t yet read any episodes.

                      Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

You can interact with Nurse Niki on her Facebook page, and don’t forget to “Like” it. Show Niki some love!

Thank YOU!! to the readers following The Adventures of Nurse Niki, the retweets of  @NurseNikiAdven, and those who not only Like Nurse Niki’s Facebook Fan Page, but post comments too. The support is very much appreciated!

Advice for Administering Medications with Narrow Safety Margins

I read the order carefully, looked up the medication, and consulted with a pharmacist before giving it. Signing the medication administration record (MAR), I re-read the order. I did not see the same dose I read the first time.

by jparadisi

by jparadisi

Immediately, the blood rushed up from my feet to my ears, and I was lost in pounding waves of white noise. I made a med error! A serious one! I didn’t say these words out loud. Instead, I placed the patient’s chart and the empty, pre-filled syringe in front of the charge nurse. “I think I just made a med error — a bad one. Look at the order and the syringe. What did I do?” She read the order and examined the syringe. “You gave the right dose. You didn’t make a med error. Now breathe.” The pounding breakers of white noise subsided into the gentle lapping of my breathing.

Medication errors are potentially heart stopping: figuratively for nurses, verily for patients. ICU  and Oncology nurses have the added stress of routinely administering medications with  narrow safety margins to patients willingly offering their venous access. Further, neonatal and pediatric nurses have patients with less tolerance to any medication or fluid error than their adult counterparts.

While all nurses make medication errors, our goal is to develop strategies to avoid them:

  • Always check chemotherapy or any high risk medication orders beyond the five rights of medication administration. Our oncology services have standardized the double check into a checklist developed from the ONS Safe Handling of Chemotherapy and Biotherapies Handbook. It includes monitoring lab values, confirming appropriate regimen, lifetime dose (if applicable), calculating the correct volume of medication in solution, and more.
  • Don’t rely on memory: Look it up. Pharmacists are also a resource.
  • Consult with more experienced nurses, but don’t rely on their memory either. Look it up.
  • Do not allow interruptions during a medication check. This is not a time for multitasking.
  • Maintain current chemotherapy or other applicable education.

Despite precautions, errors will still occur. Owning and learning from them is the quickest way to move past a bad experience. Supporting a culture of safety in the workplace increases rates of both error reporting and prevention. Colleagues should extend support to one another.

Does your institution have a “culture of safety”? What advice would you add about error prevention? What experiences would you share?

I NEED HELP! The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 8 is Posted

The Adventures of Nurse Niki
The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 8 is posted.

In this episode, Niki’ makes breakfast plans with her friend from ER, Corey, and her PICU patient suffers an unexpected, early morning code.

Off the Charts has this to say about The Adventures of Nurse Niki:

This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly catch up if you haven’t yet read any episodes.

                      Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

You can interact with Nurse Niki on her Facebook page, and don’t forget to “Like” it. Show Niki some love!

Many thanks to the readers following The Adventures of Nurse Niki, the retweets of  @NurseNikiAdven, and those who not only Like Nurse Niki’s Facebook Fan Page, but post comments too. The support is very much appreciated!

“The Kid Has the Nicest Parents” Chapter 7 of The Adventures of Nurse Niki is Posted!

The Adventures of Nurse Niki
The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 7 is posted.

This week, Niki ponders physiological dependency on caffeine, expresses gratitude for having a healthy child, and receives an ominous report on her patient in the PICU.

I want to give a shout out to Off the Charts, the blog of the American Journal of Nursing, thanking them for including The Adventures of Nurse Niki in a Blog Round Up with some remarkable nurse bloggers. An excerpt from the post says some really nice things about Nurse Niki:

Episode six is now up at The Adventures of Nurse Niki, a newish blog written by Julianna Paradisi (her other blog is JParadisi RN). This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly catch up if you haven’t yet read any episodes.

Thanks JM!

You can interact with Nurse Niki on her Facebook page, and don’t forget to “Like” it. Show Niki some love!

Many thanks to the readers following The Adventures of Nurse Niki, the retweets of  @NurseNikiAdven, and those who not only Like Nurse Niki’s Facebook Fan Page, but post comments too. The support is very much appreciated!

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 6: Sometimes The Job is a Diversion from Life

The Adventures of Nurse Niki
The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 6 is posted. It’s not a happy chapter. Niki feels disappointed by marriage. Sometimes the best plans and intentions just don’t work out, and spouses shut down.

You can interact with Nurse Niki on her Facebook page, and don’t forget to “Like” it. Show Niki some love!

Many thanks to the readers following The Adventures of Nurse Niki blog, the retweets of  @NurseNikiAdven, and those who not only Like Nurse Niki’s Facebook Fan Page. The support is very much appreciated!