Author Archives: nowhitecoat

Making Mistakes

I’ve been working independently as a PNP for 3 years now and I think I’m getting pretty good at it. I have a panel of 600 patients and see some 16-20 families every day. I pride myself in getting thorough histories and providing holistic care.

Today I made a mistake. It wasn’t my first and it won’t be my last. It’s frightening when it happens. I am responsible for keeping my patients healthy, but when I am not at the top of my game, I put someone’s life in danger.

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Women Working

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I went to an all women’s college, chose a mainly female profession, and ended up working for a lady CEO.

I believe it has something to do with the special energy that is produced when women work together. It is powerful enough to sync your periods. I am truly blessed to see what happens in a female-run system; a system run on moon-time. It’s so different than the patriarchal status quo and so liberating. There are conflicts and challenges, but there is also more freedom to express your thoughts and opinions.

Sometimes I think that I am hiding from true challenge and in denial about how the world really runs. Then I think to all the difficult times I had as a new nurse or when playing sports and remember how much I have learned. The women in my life taught me so much, and I am constantly inspired to do better and be better by them.

There are a couple of men in my department and I wonder how they feel working with so many women. Do they feel their voice can be heard? What would the world look like with a system of woman leaders?

I believe the ultimate ideal is equality. How can we get there without changing the equilibrium?

My First 47 days working as a PNP

My FNP colleague once compared the first weeks of working as an NP to standing in front of a fire-hose. And indeed, I have to agree with her.

I am feeling the full weight of caring for a large number of children who are at high risk for poor outcomes.
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I finished my Masters!

After a difficult 2 years I have finally finished my Masters and am now eligible to get my NP license! It will take a couple of months for all the paperwork to be processed to get my license number and then I will be able to take the Boards. This summer I will work in a nursing position until all the certifications come through. I have a job offer to work as a PNP in a community health center and I am so excited! It’s going to be tough work with the productivity requirements (they want me to work up to seeing 20-30 patients a day), but I love the work and the government will pay back my loans if I work there 2 years! Yay for new beginnings

Lessons in Leadership: The Betty Irene Moore Speaker Series

The Betty Irene Moore speaker series has an interesting compilation of short videos of nationally recognized leaders. While there is no question that these are accomplished leaders with plenty of knowledge to share, their positions and interests were hard to relate to. I watched videos with Patricia Benner, Shirley Chater, and Jeannie Chin Hansen. I picked these speakers hoping they could shed light on the earlier stages of leadership development and how to grow within a role. While I consider myself a leader in nursing practice and look forward to helping other nurses advance in their profession, I am not interested in taking a position in policy, politics, or education. That being said, I was able to extract some valuable lessons from the videos that can be applied to direct patient care and team work in the clinic setting.
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I don’t know…

Here’s a story about how being honest about not knowing can lead to better patient care.

Medicine has a long past of thinking it knows best. Looking at medical history and changes in care guidelines you can look back and laugh. Yet over and over I see providers negate the worries of the parent and scoff at home care remedies. When will we start being honest with our patients about the fact that we don’t know everything?
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Newborns and their mothers

Lately I’ve been getting down on the thought of working independently as a health care provider. I don’t know how I’m gonna manage the push to see more patients and limiting visits to 15 minutes. I’ve been feeling the mental and physical toll of caring for my patients.
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Suture and Staple Removals

Today was a day full of suture and staple removals.

I saw an adolescent girl who sustained a laceration to her leg after standing on a glass table. The laceration was jagged, but the ER did a fantastic job of approximating the edges and putting nice tight sutures.

I have a few tricks for a successful suture removal. Continue

Straddle Injuries

Yesterday I saw a 2yo female a couple hours after she had suffered a straddle injury in daycare. She had fallen on a partition board that surrounded the play area and injured her groin.

This was the first time I triaged this type of injury, but I knew from reading provider notes that these injuries are usually minor and can result in discomfort with urination or bowel movements.
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