Monthly Archives: October 2012

the best way to lose your “virginity” Oct 26 2012

Saw this video on YouTube today.

This is the way I raised my daughters, the kind of values I wanted them to have…

Lena Dunham:Your First Time



1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Oct 19th Nurses against Obamacare?

There are still nurses who are unsure about Obamacare.

This is the clearest description yet…

click here

oh, and by the way – I have worked in low income countries where there was no public health infrastructure, and where women’s and children’s health was not supportedI wrote a book about my experiences. browse this site and you can find my FaceBook fan page, etc.

If we continue to support the current GOP congress, we are headed there sooner than we think.

please share the video above with every nurse you know!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Chummy” and nursing. a delicious archetype!

Call The Midwife!

be sure to click on the hyperlinks!

Yesterday was episode three of season one, here in Hawaii. I gather that my friends in U.K. and Oz saw this series last winter. And it has also been thoroughly reviewed. In that respect, this is like dating your best friend’s girlfriend – you feel torn between wanting to know what they thought on the one hand, and wanting to experience things yourself  with no forewarning.

My own bias?

I am person who hates most medical shows. If they don’t get the medical details just right, or if they do not show the emotional involvement of the nurses, or (worst of all) if they don’t show the nurses as full professionals with a practice of their own, I find myself turning the channel. trash.

Anyway, Call The Midwife is excellent. The portrayal of nurses is exquisite. A balance between the skill and what the nursing professors would call “caring.”


we all know people like Chummy. Imprisoned, I suppose, by the realization that she will never be captain of the cheerleaders. Her biggest obstacle is herself. I have several women in my life like Chummy, and I would not trade them for anything.

The setting is a convent in the East End of London during the post-war baby boom years, and there is a wonderful group of older female actors who portray the nuns. The convent does double-duty as the dorm for the younger nurse-midwives, and that is where the main character comes in.  But there is also – “Chummy.”Maureen Ryan, The reviewer for Huffington Post, wrote:

 Jenny Agutter provides “Call the Midwife” with a solid center as the head of the order of nuns with whom the midwives live and work, and several other razor-sharp character actors fill out other roles extremely well, but Miranda Hart, who plays Chummy, walks off with the show. By the time the sixth episode rolled around, the fate of her tentative romance with a working-class policeman made me alternately joyful and tearful, never mind all those babies or Nurse Lee. Chummy’s nervousness, her inherent kindness, her fear of upsetting her upper-class mother and the dawning realization that someone could actually love her are all depicted with delightful skill, sweetness and humor. A second series of “Call the Midwife” has been ordered, and if Chummy’s not part of it, I may stage a public protest.

I have had Chummy in my class. about a dozen times.

Oh no, that does not mean that I taught midwifery in the 1950s. That does mean that I have been privileged to see the personal growth of  certain young women who were previously sheltered from the world. Let me tell you about one such.

I will call her Barbara. Barbara was overweight and very near-sighted, shy and not athletic. At the University level, Barbara was taking classes alongside other students who had been cheerleaders in high school, or airline stewardesses,  or captain of their volleyball team.  Sometimes when I assess these latter type of students, it becomes clear that everyone gives them a bit more slack than they ought to have, simply because they have better social skills and are more outgoing. YAVIS syndrome is alive and well. Compared to these other students, Barbara was not an attention seeker.  Probably did not expect attention. Probably the kind of kid that was teased in junior high school.

Barbara at lab

Each student needed to be able to demonstrate various sterile procedures. Barbara’s hands were chubby, and it took five long minutes for her to don the sterile gloves. I took her aside and said “I have big hands too. When you have big hands, don’t rely on the gloves in the kit. always carry your own sterile pair in a size that you can don quickly.”

I always used to go to coffee at the same time as the whole clinical group, and I emphasize team bonding.  But it was at the University cafeteria that I noticed something. I was eating lunch while the students happened to be having a study session nearby. Every time there was a question, Barbara had the answer, and it was invariably correct.  She was a resource for her whole group, and they knew it.

And so I made my assessment of this student. I think her nearsightedness contributed to her lack of interest in sports.  Maybe she did not have the kind of social life growing up that her peers had as members of the cheerleading squad; but –  if it was a question of personal effort, hard work and study, Barbara was going to show them a thing or two.

Which was exactly what she did. When Barbara came to me and asked for a letter of reference for a prestigious summer internship at the biggest hospital in town, it was time for “payback.”  And what exactly did I do for “payback?” I wrote:

“Barbara is a bit shy at times but do not underestimate the effort or time that this person devotes to studying nursing.  She is a resource to her group and is very helpful in sharing her knowledge. She will work hard and will outshine the more glamorous students in her peer group. She will be a positive addition to any workgroup she joins.”

In other words, not just the stock letter of reference. She got the internship, and the rest is history. To this day she still does not know what I wrote in that letter. And the best part of the story is, I saw her not too long ago and she is still a staff nurse at that hospital, she loves her job, and seems to love her life. For me, the privilege comes when I realize that I got to be a part of her journey into becoming a professional person. I have had many other such students.

Back to Chummy

I like to think that nursing, as a profession, rewards skill and study, and is more than just a glorified charm school. That’s why I think Chummy is so intriguing.  I am predicting that Chummy will also learn and grow over the course of the series.

Leave a comment

Filed under NCLEX, nursing education, resume and cover letter, Uncategorized

Nurses take direct political Action Oct 17th – you are invited

When Nurses Talk, Washington Listens

(be sure to click on the hyperlinks!)

Summary: Wednesday, Oct 17th is the date for “Nurses CAN”

In case you haven’t figured out, nurses have a lot at stake in the election.  In my opinion and that of experts, to repeal Obamacare will be a disaster for nurses; and also, the GOP is presently waging a War on Women that is painfully real. The War on Women extends to women’s health, child health, equal pay for equal work, and  the like.

Here is your personal invitation from Karen Daley, RN, the President of the American Nurses Association. FYI, Karen Daley is a personal friend of mine dating back to the days when I was President of Maine’s Nurses and she was President of Massachusetts Nurses. At the national meetings of A.N.A., the states were seated alphabetically and so we got to know each other. Ms. Daley is an E.R. nurses who “came up through the trenches” as the saying goes – lots of bedside nursing experience.



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mitt Romney and the future of nursing – NOT

executive summary: PLease share this with every nurse you know. Nurses have a stake in this election. Vote!

Here is a video every nurse needs to watch, before they make up their mind as to voting for Romney.

This candidate has done everything he can to hide his agenda regarding women’s health.

and if you need more examples:

Every woman needs to know that if Rmoney is elected the agenda for women’s health will be to ensure that women are the property of any man who claims them. If you are raped, for example, the rapist has a say in whether you carry the baby to term.

we will return to the days of backstreet abortions.

Romney lies.  Romney will say anything to any group.

dating advice

When my daughters were teenagers, I used to tell them never to date any boys who lied to get what they wanted. Likewise, we should not be voting for politicians who lie.

Pretty simple, really.


Filed under Uncategorized

Please help me get funding for 2013 trip to teach critical care nursing in Nepal

No, you do not have to send money; but I would truly appreciate a vote in this contest!

Background: There is a contest called the “Stay Thirsty Grant” which will award $25,000 to each of four finalists.  I submitted a video to the contest, and now I need as many votes and/or video views as possible before Oct 30th.

If I am a finalist, I still plan to self-fund my 2013 trip during summer break, but I can use the money to

a) bring more donated nursing textbooks;

b) fund some stipends to pay Nepali nurses who will help teach; and

c) buy some ACLS mannikins that will support the mega-code component of my teaching. I can also

d) bring the course more widely through the country.

The video can be found by clicking HERE, on Niemczura Stay Thirsty Grant October 2012.

PS people already told me there is no single “vote” button – I think the votes are tallied according to the number of YouTube video views. So – please share this as widely as you can.

I will keep you posted in case I am a finalist.

Leave a comment

Filed under ACLS, Nurses Brain, nursing education