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Diary of a Trauma Nurse
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About Me

My name is Cory. I am a mom, a wife, a NaNa, and a critical care nurse that lives in Nashville, TN. I have found my calling in ER/Trauma/ICU. Each day I find myself experiencing life changing events and hope that by reading my posts, you will experience and feel some of what I do. If you read nothing else, please take time to read "The Hardest Question Ever Asked". It's my very first posting. And if for some reason you think you see your story don't. It's not about you or anyone you know. =)


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Places to Go

Nursing Wiki
Am Assoc Critical Care Nurses

Nursing Blogs

A Day In The Life Of An Ambulance Driver
Adventures In Nursing
Adventures Of GuitarGirl RN
All Kids and No Play
Backboards and Bandaids
Disappearing John RN
Emergency-Room Nurse
Head Nurse
Not A Wanna B A Gonna B
Nurse Ratcheds Place
Weird Nursing Tales

Doctor Blogs

A Happy Hospitalist
Adventures In Medicine
Doctor Anonymous
Fat Doctor
Kevin MD
OB/GYN Kenobi


Kathys Lifes Journey

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

NON-TRAUMATIC but certainly a life changing experience

Ok, to my loyal followers (even though I haven't blogged in quite some time) I hope you will please take the time to read this.
My husband and I have recently purchased a second home for which we are very grateful and extremely proud of.  We have 40 beautiful acres of land where the sunsets are unreal.  [see below]

Our first sunset at our new home: 

Although we did not aspire to own two homes, we are currently trying to sell the home where we got our start as a family.  (Please feel free to share)  Our current home   

My reason for posting is because if there is ANYONE who may need aassistance with their mortgage needs, the person who helped us and helped our daughter purchase her first home [below] at 23 years of age is someone who is beyond helpful.

Dean Germain   The best of the best is someone I had never met, never dealt with and never spoken to.  He is someone I will recommend until the end of my days.  It's a rare occasion that you meet someone that loves their job but loves helping others just as much.  Dean answered questions at 2pm, 10pm and on Sundays if I asked them. (Not that I encourage you to do that-:) ) He is one of the most ethical people I've ever met.  I felt like I was working with a friend rather than a mortgage company.  Waterstone Mortgage Company obviously sets their bar very high and I am so grateful to have met Dean.  I will continue to work with him in any future endeavors.

If you know anyone that may need assistance, please send them Dean's way.  How to contact Dean No, I do not get anything for posting this other than the satisfaction that I may be able to give back a tiny bit that I received.  Dean Germain is the best at what he does and I am so grateful to have been connected with him and his company.  THANK YOU Dean.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 9:09 PM

(0) comments

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 Nurse of the Year - Managed Care Category 

  I am grateful and humbled at this award presentation. I feel so very honored to have been nominated by three amazing co-workers who felt that I was worthy of being called Nurse of the Year.   To be recognized on such a grand level for just doing my job baffles me but I am thankful to have been chosen so special thanks to the panel of nursing professionals who also felt me worthy of this honor.  I would not be where I am today without the support of my family.



CoryTraumaRN posted today at 9:39 PM

(0) comments

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Hoping to start blogging again soon but for now this is what I'm feeling.......

This is just to say how happy I am and how lucky I feel to have you for a daughter. The day I first held you in my arms, you put an eternal hold on my heart... and the passing years have only increased my love for you. You've become a woman who is more wonderful than I ever imagined you would be. It's so much fun to be with you and share the happenings in your life, and when we're apart, I still feel close to you. I'm so proud of where you are in your life and love seeing you with your little family. No matter how big your family gets, how many children you have or how far away you are, you will always be my beautiful little girl.  I love you Ashley Nicole!


CoryTraumaRN posted today at 7:51 PM

(0) comments

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Funny Memories from Nursing School

Thinking back to Nursing school some 12 years ago, I still smile at some of the memories made with my healthcare comrades.
I remember on our first day our instructors telling us to look around the room and take note of the number of "wannabe nurses" in the class.  One was scantily clad showing more skin than clothing (truth) and heavily made up.  (At first I thought she'd wandered into the wrong room and definitely didn't think she'd make it) Some were yawning obviously bored and wanting to get into the guts and gore, some were sitting in the back literally shaking with fear (never understood that) and some had bright eyes and an eagerness that left no doubt they were  wanting to soak up every last ounce of nursing that they could (I was in this category).  Our instructors told us that less than half of the people in the room would graduate with us and 1/4 would not make it through the first semester.  They were right.  The chick in hooker heels and shorts that left nothing to the imagination stayed in for about a week until she was told that she had to start dressing "appropriate".  Several didn't like going to the hospital to get assignments.  "What?????"  And some just decided that it would be too much work and they could get a paycheck elsewhere.

My mantra is and will always be "NURSES ARE BORN, THEY ARE NOT MADE."  The nurses that were "born" are easy to spot, you'll know without a doubt.  Their first ingredient is compassion.

So our journey as nursing students begins......... we studied and learned and read and tested and then it was time for Clinicals to begin!!!!    So me and my motley crew of fellow students meet at the hospital.  This is where the funny memories begin.


1.  A nursing student was instructed to give her patient a tylenol suppository.  Imagine our surprise when she came out of the med room with a tylenol caplet and some lubricant!!!

2. Another student and I were in the same room beginning our assessment of our individual patients.  I was busy getting my vital signs when I hear the other patient say "OW! That hurt." I hear my cohort apologize and less than a minute later the elderly patient again says "OW!!! What are you doing????"  After a quick nursing student huddle in the corner of the room, and when I finally stopped laughing I showed her the proper way to use the thermoscan (a digital thermometer used in the ear.)  The button that she thought started the temperature scan was actually the "eject button" for the thermometer cover.

3. When it was time to start IV's a fellow student offered to go gather supplies that we had on our list: Tourniquet, alcohol swabs, 16 or 18 gauge catheter, tape, clear dressing and a heplock or injection port.  There are no words to explain the look on the nursing instructor's face when the student walks in with an arm full of supplies including a foley catheter stating "I could only find a 12 french."

I could go on and on and on, but I will save more for later.  For my wonderful nursing students who read my blog, here is some advice that will be priceless in your career:

Don't beat yourself up. You are going to make mistakes, you're new at this and nursing school only gives you a small perspective on what to expect. I can't tell you how many times I went home crying because I felt like a failure. You will feel this way too, prepare yourself. And if there ever comes a time when you feel like you know everything...stay away from me and my family. No one knows everything and it's scary if you think you do.

Always work as a team. Nursing is about teamwork, not about who got the highest grades, who can run the quickest code, who can chart the fastest or who has the most knowledge aka: SuperNurse.

Be a Mentor. When you are a seasoned nurse, be kind to those nursing students who show up with bright eyes and an eagerness that reminds you of your own.  I do and there's nothing better than helping a new nurse become an awesome nurse.

"Every time you help someone it comes back twofold."

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 3:46 PM

(8) comments
NON-Trauma Update

Wow, it's been a really long time since I've posted, somehow life just takes over and the things we love to do that are lower on the priority list get pushed to the side.
Landon Cruz - 2010
I was rereading some of my blogs and realized that I had not shared pictures of my grandson (Landon Cruz) since he was 1 year old.
Well, since that time, we have added a grandaughter (Lashay) to our family as well as a soon to be grandson (Colton) who is the son of my daughter's fiance.  They are all precious so bear with me while I proudly post my Nana Pics. :)
Lashay Michele at 5 months (2010)
This picture makes her PaPa proud!(2012)
Colton Daniel - my 3rd pride and joy-(2012)
My 3 angels: Landon (4 1/2) Colton (2 1/2) LaShay (2)

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 2:17 PM

(1) comments

Monday, November 14, 2011

Suggestions for bitter ANONYMOUS commenters

Suggestions for bitter commenters who have missed their calling, did not pursue their dreams of a career in a medical field or are just looking for company to join in their misery.

1. Read then REread the blog you are going to comment on
2. Research the topic prior to posting to prevent posting incorrect information
3. If you disagree with something, say you disagree, do not post false information
4. Try to find a new hobby other than looking for blogs to attempt to discredit the blogger
5. Grow some and post your name
6. Get a life

But most of all........ have a great day!

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 10:54 PM

(8) comments

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ambulance Calls:

Imagine the ambulance coming screaming down your street to find out it was to bust a boil, clip a hangnail or check on smelly body parts.........

*Do people really call the ambulance for flatulence?  Yes they do.

*Do people really call the ambulance for a cough?  Yes they do.

*Do people really call the ambulance because they are intoxicated?  Yes they do.

*Do people really call the ambulance for constipation?  Yes they do.

*Do people really call the ambulance for tobacco use disorder?  Well, I can only imagine what he called for but that was his diagnosis in the ER.  

****Shaking my head****

The average cost of an ambulance call is $700.00.  In one year, 30 people accounted for 2400 ambulance calls.  One of those 30 people called 243 times.

Why is this blatant abuse tolerated?  

People, please realize that while the ambulance is rushing to get you due to back pain you've had for a week, there are reall 911 emergencies out there that they AREN'T going to.

(Please excuse the frustration)........

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 11:01 PM

(17) comments
Obamacare's Unkeepable Promises
The Washington Times, October 21, 2010

By Dr. Milton R. Wolf

We are witnessing the unmistakable collapse of an American presidency. While this may not yet be irreversible, it certainly was predictable and preventable. Chief among its causes has been the unbridled hubris that prompted this president to force Obamacare, the government takeover of the finest health care system in the world, against the clear will of "we the people" while turning his back on the free-market principles that once made us the most prosperous nation on earth.

A diminished president, even - or perhaps especially - if his fate is self-inflicted, is not good for America and should not be pleasing to any patriot regardless of his or her political leanings. It certainly is not pleasing to me, as this president is my cousin. But as a physician who took an inviolate oath to my patients, I am duty-bound to take this stand, particularly after watching Barack Obama make so many unkeepable Obamacare promises:

Obamacare would reduce our deficit. We were to believe that millions of Americans would be added to the insurance rolls, that medical care would not suffer, and somehow, almost magically, costs would go down. We might as well promise it will never rain on weekends. Gravity caught up to this wishful thinking, and even the president's own actuary now admits the overhaul will increase, not decrease, the deficit.

Obamacare would allow you to keep your doctor and your current insurance. How can you keep your doctor if your doctor can't keep his practice? The New England Journal of Medicine reported a survey that showed nearly half of America's doctors are being forced to consider leaving their practice if Obamacare is implemented. And businesses already are finding they can no longer provide the same insurance policies to their employees that they had before Obamacare. Oklahoma's Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, also a physician, estimates 90 million Americans will lose their current insurance policies because of the takeover. Millions of them will be forced into Medicaid and government exchanges.

Obamacare would not jeopardize senior citizens' care. The continued viability of Medicare Advantage is in serious jeopardy because of Mr. Obama's Medicare cuts to pay for other parts of his health care overhaul. Companies already are announcing that they can no longer offer this very popular free-market Medicare reform. What's more, fewer doctors are able to accept Medicare patients with the downward pressure on reimbursement levels, currently stuck at 1980s levels. Too often, physicians' practices cannot survive being in business with the federal government. Already, 42 percent of doctors do not accept Medicare, and that number is increasing. Your shiny government-issued Medicare card is meaningless without doctors who will accept it.

Obamacare would not ration health care. The president promised time and time again that he would not ration health care, and then promptly, under the cloak of a recess appointment, installed as the head of Medicare a man who would do it for him. Dr. Donald Berwick has announced unambiguously and with glee many times over that he will indeed ration America's medical care (in addition to his own bizarre promises to redistribute your wealth) but he assures us that he's our intellectual better, so it will be fine. He also declares he's "romantic" about the British-government-run system and specifically admires how the British purposefully undersupply medical needs to alleviate "bottlenecks." They've been alleviated all right. Britain's colon cancer mortality rate, for example, is 40 percent higher than America's; breast cancer 88 percent higher; prostate cancer a staggering 604 percent higher. All those unnecessary deaths unburden the system of patients seeking care. Some might call this rationing. Mr. Berwick, by the way, created his own health care golden parachute to assure that he and his wife would never be forced to submit themselves to the Medicare rules he creates. How convenient.

Obamacare would not raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 a year.

"I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes." New excise taxes on pharmaceuticals and medical products will, of course, by necessity be passed on to the patients who depend on these lifesaving medicines, pacemakers, MRI machines or even tongue depressors. Even more flagrant, there are new Obamacare taxes on everything from tampons to tanning salons, from gold to the sale of your home.

Obamacare would create 4 million new jobs, 400,000 almost immediately. Not to be outdone, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added this grand promise of her own. However, since the health care takeover was signed into law, no such jobs boom has occurred.

Obamacare hearings would be held in public. Unlike the other promises, this one could have been kept and in fact may have prevented all these other catastrophic failures, but sadly, it was wantonly ignored by this president. Candidate Obama pledged eight times to hold health care hearings in public. Invite the C-SPAN cameras, he said, because open hearings would allow Americans to know who was on their side. Indeed it would have.

Mr. President - Barack - I offer to you the next best thing. Let's you and I hold a public discussion on America's health care for those C-SPAN cameras once and for all. I know your administration is desperately attempting the full-court press to promote your health care reform as it continues to suffer badly in all the polls, and you with it. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius even said Americans need "re-education." Let's finally give Americans the honest and cordial discussion they deserve. You know that I have dedicated my life to serving patients, and nowhere will you find a person who will be more respectful to you. You also know I hold nothing against you personally. I understand you may feel, as a lawyer, that you're a little out of your element discussing health care with a physician, so I urge you to bring Dr. Berwick along. America deserves to hear, at least one time, from the man who holds more health care power over them than even a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Until then, what should we do? We must defund, repeal and replace Obamacare before it defunds America, destroys the finest health care system in the world and replaces it with a European social-welfare government-run version.

Can we really repeal Obamacare? Let me be clear. Yes, we can.

First, in 2010, elect candidates who understand that health care freedom - like our other freedoms - saves lives. Elect candidates who pledge to first defund Obamacare immediately and then will vote for its repeal. Second, let's convince this president that it's in the nation's best interest - and his own - to undo this unholy government takeover that bears his name. If we cannot, then in 2012, let's find a president who will.  Link to Original

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 10:48 PM

(6) comments

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Reposting from Original post on 3/16/09 


I am a nurse.

I went to school for 4 years.  I sat through long, harrowing lectures, studied for hours upon hours, spent my weekends doing research papers while my kids went on trips, I sat through very intense, nerve-racking boards, or the NCLEX as it's better known.  I deserve my initials behind my name:     R.N.     I earned them.

I read a blog from a VERY cool chick ERRN about Veterinarians calling themselves "doctors" that got me thinking of all the patients, families, friends of patients, cousins of friends of families of patients that over the years have told me that "mama is a nurse" or "sis is a nurse" or "I'm a nurse" because they:

1) Work as a Administrative Assistant in the ER
2) Work as a CNA on the med-surge unit or in a nursing home
3) Work as a CMA in a doctor's office
4) Work as a phlebotomist in the hospital or doctor's office
5) And most recently, someone who is nothing more than a medication "pez dispenser" and doesn't know one thing about the medication she is distributing and will flat out tell you she doesn't know.

The list goes on..........

Let me start by saying, not one of those jobs is less important than mine. (Except number 5)  There are many jobs I've held that I could NOT have done without the absolutely AWESOME CNA's I've worked with. (Some not so hot......but whatever.....)  Back to what I was saying.........

If you pass medications and are certified to do so, kudos!  That is great.  We both do that.

If you work as a CNA and take vital signs, give baths, wipe poop, feed patients, and give them extra TLC, then we both do that as well.

As a phlebotomist, you draw blood.  In Critical Care, we do the majority of our own blood draws as well, but it's out of arterial lines, sheaths, shunts, central lines, and yes, the occasional peripheral sticks.  Many times I've needed a phlebotomist badly!

I can't say that I could do the work of an Administrative Assistant in the ER because they run their asses off, but I have done many of my own orders in the ER , so we have that in common.

What I do want to say to the friends, families and friends of cousin's families, they are NOT nurses because they work in a health care setting.  I know you are proud, but be proud of what they do and call a leopard by it's spots!

I have a friend who is a nurse and has been for many years.  Even before I became a nurse, when speaking with her husband, he would call her a "doctor."  I never understood this and realize now that for one he either has little respect for nurses or has great pride for her or doesn't know the difference between the professions.   I just know a doctor that spent 12-15 years in school would not appreciate someone who went to school for 2-4 years calling him or herself a doctor.  Especially when the two jobs are nothing alike.

Same here.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 5:44 PM

(5) comments

Sunday, July 11, 2010

When You're A Nurse:

When you're a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 12:37 AM

(2) comments

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nursing Students - One of my main reasons for blogging:

Some of the following are comments that I've received from Nursing students/aspiring nursing students and wanted to share one of my main reasons for blogging. I love teaching new nurses (and have been a mentor for multitudes) but never realized by sharing my experiences, it would encourage others as it has. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I do. And thank you to all the up and coming nurses who I know will make such a difference in other's lives!

I'm currently a nursing student going into my 2nd semester in the fall and I just read your blog from beginning to end. I've laughed and cried and am more inspired to become a trauma nurse by reading your blog. You are a great blogger and a great nurse. Thank you so much for all that you do!!!


I am 25 years old and work as an accountant. It is not a fulfilling job for and I am not satisified either personally or professionally. I have wanted to be a nurse since I used to spend many hours in the hospital visiting a sick grandparent. I was always inspired by the care and knowledge those nurses had. I have recently been thinking of taking a leap into the field of nursing. Your story is inspiring and I hope that if I choose to pursue nursing, I will be as passionate about it as you are. Thank you!
# posted by Anonymous Jennifer : 1:44 PM

I love reading your blogs, so please keep posting. I'm getting ready to begin Nursing 203 and I'm sure when the stress level elevates, I'll need a laugh or two. Cassandra

I love reading all your blogs!! Because of you, I plan on pursuing a career as a trauma nurse after graduation in June. I have always been interested in the medical field but reading your blogs has made it much more clear on how bad I really want to be a RN. I know it's a lot of work and that with being a nurse, you face ups and downs but to be able to help anyone or impact their life in some way, is the real reason why I want to become a nurse. If you could give me any advice at all, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for the great blogs! =) -Brittany

I am a senior in High School and I just finished our senior project involving the career we want to persue after high school.. and I an VERY interested in Nursing. I just wanted to let you know how much you have inspired me even more to persue this career. Iv'e always been pretty interested in trauma, but ever since I read some of your stories of your experiences, it really made me realise how much I want to make a difference in society just like you. I just wanted to thank you for making a difference... I hope I can become like you someday.
# posted by Anonymous sara : 4:41 PM

I'm now 28 and am going back to school...hoping to get into a nursing program this fall to get my ADN. It's my dream job to be a trauma nurse. I randomly pop by your site and read your entries. I love your posts...and, hopefully, one day I can be like you. :)
# posted by Blogger Jennie : 12:17 AM

That is really beautiful and I am keeping it with me under my name badge so I remember when the day has been too long. I am so glad I found your blog. I will finish nursing school next May and I am excited and terrified all at the same time. I work really hard to learn as much as I can squeeze in my brain, because I love patients and want to be the best I can be for them. I am 32 with 2 kids and a husband.... so I relate. Trauma is where I think I belong and your posts make me smile and cry and give me confidence! So thanks!

# posted by Anonymous Andie from Nebraska : 4:48 PM

Thank you for responding to my comment. You are absolutely right to say that I went into nursing for the right reason. I had wanted to become a nurse for a very long time. While in nursing school I got very sick and was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma with mets to the brain, not long after lost my grandfather to cancer, then found out my grandmother had breast cancer. All of this only made me stronger and made me want to continue on the path of nursing and be as great as the nurses that cared for myself and my family. I will NEVER forget how wonderful those nurses were. I know how stressful and scary it can be to be in the hospital, and I want to be able to make the patients as comfortable as possible.
Your writing has been an inspiration to me and I hope you continue to write and inspire me as well as others. Thank you so much for taking the time to write! If you ever have plans to visit Florida we'll have to meet!

I am a 29 year old mother of five. I came across your page while doing research for an essay in my english class. It is about the carreer that we have chosen. I have a passion for emergency nursing. While reading your page and your stories i am even more motivated to persue my dream in hope that I too one day can as many life changing expererences as you do. You have inspired me....thank you

This is such a great message. There were many nights where my parents thought I was somewhere I wasn't. I was always the "good girl," got straight A's, etc. They never thought I'd sneak out or go to parties. Looking back, there are SO many horrible things that could have happened to me. I simply thank God for His protection. It's so true though...KNOW WHERE YOUR KIDS ARE...even if you don't think they're the "type" that would be doing *something.*

My names maria and im 16years old.Well ive read alot of your post and the little about me section that you put. && thats EXATLY what i want to be. (Trauma/ER/ICU) && i was just wondering if you can answer some questions and stuff lol. If you have like a facebook or anything that would be great. Please get back to me as soon as possible. Thank your for your time :) -Maria

Hey Cory, My name is Madalina, and I have been reading all your postings , i wish u to post more often because your stories are great and you r really a winner by everything you r doing , I hope one day I can speak out just like you ,i am preparing to become a trauma nurse .... english is my second language so please excuse my misspells .
ps : hope u dont mind i post on this story of yours , but i just finish reading all of them
# posted by Anonymous madalina : 4:57 AM

I love to read through blogs like yours because it gives me a sense of what I am working so hard for in nursing school. After reading this post I have come to realize more than ever that nursing truly is the hardest and most rewarding career out there. I am so proud that one day I will be working with someone like you. Thanks for all the inspiration that you give to us struggling nursing students.
# posted by Blogger Christy : 9:34 AM

I'm so glad that I found your blog. I intend on reading every post. I have always been medically inclined, I'm 20 years old and my name is Talia. I want to be a Trauma Nurse. I've always wanted to work in the medical field. After all the years of watching every medical show under the sun and seeing in real life I know thats for me. Im not asking for a mentor but I can tell you now your blog is going to inspire me in ways unknown to you. If you do have words of wisdom or advice I ready with open eyes and a pen! - Talia

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 11:40 PM

(0) comments
There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.
-Elisabeth Kubler-ross

Sometimes we nurses just have to say "ok, enough" it's time to spoil myself. (Of course this trip hubby was the one spoiled. LOL)

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 11:33 PM

(0) comments

Thursday, May 06, 2010

PLEASE . . . drive safely.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 9:19 PM

(6) comments

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

THE 411 ON 911
1. “Denial kills people. Yes, you could be having a heart attack or a stroke, even if you’re only 39 or in good shape or a vegetarian.” —Dennis Rowe, paramedic, Knoxville, Tennessee

2. “Don’t call us for a broken finger. If there’s no real emergency, you’ve just clogged up the system.” —Arthur Hsieh, paramedic, San Francisco

3. “Your emergency isn’t necessarily our emergency. In my region, we send an ambulance for all calls, but we don’t use the sirens unless it’s Code 1, which means someone’s bleeding or having chest pain or shortness of breath—basically things you could die from in the next five minutes.” —Connie Meyer, RN, paramedic, Olathe, Kansas

4. “Don’t hang up after you tell us what’s wrong. The operator may be trained to give you instructions in CPR and other medical procedures that could be lifesaving.” —Dennis Rowe, paramedic

5. “In a true emergency, we’re not going to drive 30 miles to the hospital that takes your insurance when there’s a good one two miles away. But if there are many ERs near you, know which one you prefer because we might ask. Find out where your doctor practices, where the nearest trauma center is, and which hospital has the best cardiac center.” —Connie Meyer, RN, paramedic

6. “In most cases, we can’t transport someone who doesn’t want to go. Uncle Eddie may be as sick as a dog, but if he says he doesn’t want to get in an ambulance, we need to respect his wishes.” —Arthur Hsieh, paramedic

7. “If the patient is stable, and 97 percent are, there’s no reason to drive 60 miles an hour on city streets. Have you ever tried to put an IV into someone’s arm in the back of a speeding ambulance?” —Don Lundy, paramedic

8. “We hate it too! But don’t be angry at us. If you’re waiting, there’s one reason: We’re out of beds.” —Jeri Babb, RN, Des Moines, Iowa

9. “The busiest time starts around 6 p.m.; Mondays are the worst. We’re slowest from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. If you have a choice, come early in the morning.” —Denise King, RN, Riverside, California

10. “People who are vomiting their guts out get a room more quickly. The admitting clerks don’t like vomit in the waiting area.” —Joan Somes, RN, St. Paul, Minnesota

11. “We like the rapid turnover, so we don’t want you stuck in the ER while you’re waiting to be admitted. If we wanted to care for the same patient for hours at a time, we would work on an in-patient ward.” —Denise King, RN

12. “Never tell an ER nurse, ‘All I have is this cut on my finger. Why can’t someone just look at it?’ That just shows you have no idea how the ER actually works.” —Dana Hawkins, RN, Tulsa, Oklahoma

13. “Don’t blame ER overcrowding on the uninsured. They account for 17 percent of visits. The underlying problem is hospital overcrowding in general.” —Leora Horwitz, MD, assistant professor, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

14. “We don’t have time to read the background on every patient. So if you’re having stomach pain, and you’ve had your appendix or gallbladder removed, tell us so we don’t go on a wild-goose chase.” —Dana Hawkins, RN

15. “Be honest about whatever happened. Don’t be a hypochondriac, and don’t answer yes to every question. It will only screw up your care.” —Emergency medical technician, Middlebury, Vermont

16. “I once had a patient say he didn’t take any medications. Later he mentioned he was diabetic. I looked at him and asked, ‘Do you take insulin?’ He said yes. Well, that’s medicine.” —Allen Roberts, MD

17. “If you haven’t had your child immunized, admit it. That’s important information for us to have.” —Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, emergency physician, Torrance, California

18. “Some ERs don’t allow more than one visitor per patient for a reason: You get in our way. Nominate someone to be in the ER and have that person relay information to everyone else in the waiting room.” —Donna Mason, RN, ER consultant, Nashville, Tennessee

19. “Tell us about any herbal treatments you’re taking. I treated a young man who had put aseptil rojo on some abrasions. It turned his urine red—but we didn’t find the cause until after we’d done a lengthy workup.” —Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD

20. “It’s not uncommon that I get a patient who refuses to have the tests I recommend. I had a volatile conversation with a family who didn’t believe in medicine. What did you expect in the ER?” —Joan Shook, MD, emergency physician, Houston, Texas

21. “Never, ever lie to your ER nurse. Their BS detectors are excellent, and you lose all credibility when you lie.” —Allen Roberts, MD

22. “Some of us are pretty good at spotting people who come in to score pain medication—especially if you’re specific about the drug you want or you don’t look like you’re in that much pain but you drove an hour from your home to get there.” —Denise King, RN

23. “We hear all kinds of weird stuff. I had a woman who came in at 3 a.m. and said she’d passed out while she was asleep.” —Emergency physician, suburban Northeast

24. “Get rid of your entitlement mentality. It’s bad in your general life but really bad in the ER. We’ll treat you, but we might not be nice.” —Allen Roberts, MD

25. “Your complaints about your prior doctor will not endear you to us. The more you say, the less we want to deal with you.” —Allen Roberts, MD

26. “If you come in with a bizarre or disgusting symptom, we’re going to talk about you. We won’t talk about you to people outside the ER, but doctors and nurses need to vent, just like everyone else.” —Emergency physician, suburban Northeast

27. “If you come into the ER with a virus, don’t get mad if we can’t tell you exactly what it is. If we’ve ruled out any serious problems, you’re going to have to follow up with your primary care doctor.” —Jeri Babb, RN

28. “We really don’t have anything to offer the person who comes to the ER with cold symptoms that have lasted a day or two. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.” —Emergency physician, suburban Northeast

29. “It’s common to see families who have overmedicated their kids with asthma medication. You can’t just give your children two or three times as much as they’ve been prescribed.” —Joan Shook, MD

30. “Because so many hospitals are overwhelmed, we may not be able to unload the ambulance as soon as we get there. We’ll stay with you until we can hand you off to the nurses. We do the best we can with a bad situation.” —Connie Meyer, RN, paramedic

31. “No, I don’t know what your insurance covers.” —Allen Roberts, MD

32. “If your doctor sends you to the ER so you can be admitted to the hospital, ask him to send the orders to the hospital instead. It’s more paperwork for him but could be quicker for you. And it doesn’t jam up the ER with nonemergency patients.” —Denise King, RN

33. “Some patients withhold information they’ve already received from their primary care physician just to see if we come up with the same diagnosis or treatment. Don’t. All you’re doing is slowing us down.” —Joan Shook, MD

34. “Some people have no clue how close they came to dying before being saved by emergency interventions. I’ve seen serious stroke, heart attack, and trauma patients lead normal lives after events that should have killed them. If only they knew.” —Ramon Johnson, MD, emergency physician, Mission Viejo, California

35. “ER staffs are pretty good at zebra hunting—recognizing an unusual diagnosis—because we’re looking at your symptoms with fresh eyes. We’ve diagnosed cancer and brain tumors in the ER.” —Joan Somes, RN

• Average cost of an ER visit: $707
• Number of visits to U.S. emergency rooms in 2007: 117 million
• Increase in the number of ER visits from 1996 to 2006: 32%
• Average time spent in the ER: 2 hours, 40 minutes
• Number of ambulances per year that are diverted to a different hospital due to lack of staff and space: 500,000

• Bring someone with you, or have someone meet you there.
• Check the heart attack and pneumonia success rates of the ERs near you at
• Make a list and carry with you at all times: your doctors’ names and phone numbers, medications you take, food and drug allergies, a short medical history, phone number of a relative or friend to call in an emergency (find a form online at
• Enter your emergency contact into your cell phone too.
• Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street. The faster EMTs can find you, the faster they can help you.
—Becky Batcha

• Loss of consciousness
• Chest or severe abdominal pain
• Sudden weakness or numbness in face, arm, or leg
• Sudden changes in vision
• Difficulty speaking
• Severe shortness of breath
• Bleeding that doesn’t stop after ten minutes of direct pressure
• Any sudden, severe pain
• Major injury, such as a head trauma
• Unexplained confusion or disorientation
• Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
• Coughing or vomiting blood
• A severe or worsening reaction to an insect bite, food, or medication
• Suicidal feelings

HELP YOURSELF: LEARN FIRST AID “Something as simple as knowing how to apply pressure to stop or slow bleeding can save a life,” says Marni Bonnin, MD, an ER doctor in Birmingham, Alabama. To keep handy: the American College of Emergency Physicians’ newly updated First Aid Manual ($14.95;

1. “People call 911 for the wrong things all the time. They wait too long to call—or don’t call at all—when they’re having a heart attack or stroke and we could actually save their lives. But they don’t hesitate to call for non-life-threatening things. I once had a guy call who turned out to have a hangnail.”
-Connie Meyer, RN, paramedic, Olathe, Kansas

2. “Even though we go on 20 calls a day, we try to remind ourselves that calling 911 may be a sentinel event in your life. We’re not Dr. Phil, but we do try to be reassuring.”
-Anthony Kastros, fire department battalion chief, Sacramento, California

3. “The 911 system was designed to help people in an emergency—not as a social agency or friend.”
-Don Lundy, paramedic, Charleston County, South Carolina

4. “I’m amazed at how many parents are reluctant to administer any first aid. If your child has a cut, apply pressure.”
-Joan Shook, MD, emergency physician, Houston, Texas

5. “Just because you told the triage nurse your problem doesn’t mean the doctor in the ER knows why you’re there. Be prepared to tell your story several times.”
-Linda Lawrence, MD, emergency physician, San Antonio, Texas

6. “I’ve had patients come in and say, ‘I haven’t been breathing well since yesterday.’ I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, really? Why didn’t you come in sooner?”
-Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, emergency physician, Torrance, California

7. “If three of your relatives are with you, only one of them needs to tell the story of your illness. I realize it’s validating for everyone to tell their version of events, but I’m not here to validate you.”
-Allen Roberts, MD, emergency physician, Fort Worth, Texas

8. “A classic way a doctor-patient interaction can get off on the wrong foot is if a patient comes to the ER to get antibiotics. Most infections are viral, so they don’t respond to antibiotics. If we say you don’t need them, don’t argue.”
-David Newman, MD, director of clinical research, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, New York City

9. We had an injured woman in our ER who said indignantly, ‘Do you know who I work for?’ In unison, all six of us who were treating her said, ‘No, and we don’t care.’”
-Allen Roberts, MD

10. “People are all up in arms about universal healthcare. Well, guess what: Those of us working in the trenches have been providing universal healthcare for years.”
-Arthur Hsieh, paramedic, San Francisco

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 8:17 AM

(1) comments

Saturday, January 30, 2010

To The Nurse At The Walk In Clinic:

"You're an idiot and give nurses a bad name!"

My daughter had a sore throat for several weeks and it appeared to be strep from the white craters all over her tonsils and in her throat.
I suggested she go into the local walk in urgent care center. So, everything after this is what she relayed to me after her visit: (Keep in mind my daughter has grown up in and around hospitals.)

After the typical long wait my daughter was taken back to an exam room. Her vital sign were taken and the nurse left the room. A few minutes later the doctor came in and examined her by using his otoscope in each ear and then putting it in her mouth. Then he left.

A few minutes later the nurse came back in the exam room with gloves already on. The exam room has a door. So, I'm assuming unless he has very talented thighs, the gloves touched the doorknob. The nurse then stuck a long handled q-tip into the back of her throat (not swabbing, I asked) made her gag and left the room, still wearing the same gloves and holding the swab out in front of him like it was a torch leading his way. Yep, you guessed it, a few minutes later, the nurse came back in the room wearing gloves. The same gloves? Who knows. He then took them off as he had to rifle through the drawer to find the glucose monitor and strips. So now, WITHOUT GLOVES and WITHOUT ALCOHOL, he proceeded to stick her finger to check her blood sugar. Even my daughter knew that was wrong. He didn't give her a cotton swab or a bandaid so she proceeded to drip blood everywhere. Finally he decided to get her a bandaid. Her sugar was ok so the physician came in, told her she didn't have strep and prescribed her cough syrup with hydrocodone and left.

What is healthcare coming to? My biggest disappointment is that my daughter didn't say anything. All I can say is the nurse at the walk in clinic needs to thank God that I wasn't with my daughter!!!!

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 6:05 PM

(12) comments
Left for dead . . . . . by a Nurse!

The first line of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics begins. . .
"The nurse provides services with respect for human dignity"

The last line of marriage vows is "until death do us part"

One night when I went in to work I got report on one of my patients who was a quadriplegic. He was malnourished and wasting away. His electrolytes were jacked up and he had a severed spinal cord. Apparently he wanted to die. Not saying anything derogatory about anyone, but that is the report I got. Oh yeah, and "Jim" was 29 years old, married, and had two little girls.

Jim was angry, bitter and rude when I went in to assess him. I normally have an easy time bonding with my patients but it was not happening with Jim. He didn't want me or anyone in his room. He refused to be turned, refused his medication, had refused food and wanted to be left alone. I didn't understand.

I was thinking that Jim must be in a lot of pain, not just emotional, but physical. I looked at his MAR and noted that he had nothing ordered for pain. Knowing about phantom pain, I woke the Dr and asked if I could have an order for some PRN pain meds for this member. The Dr balked at this and I pleaded for him to just order it times 3 q 4-6 hours. He agreed.

I went into Jim's room and he immediately told me to get out. I asked him to just listen to me for a minute. I told him that I didn't know what he had been through but I knew he had to be in some serious pain. I then went on to tell him that I bet his pain was a burning pain in his groin and in his legs. He started to listen. I explained phantom pain and that it is a very real pain. I said that I had no idea what he had been through but I knew he was angry at the world and I understood. He told me that I could never understand. I offered him the pain medication as a peace offering and he accepted it by not saying no. I told him I had to reassess his pain in 30 minutes so I would just wait. He got quiet again but agreed. A few minutes later Jim started to talk to me. (Narcotics are wonderful assistants at appropriate times.)

Jim had a wife, who was a nurse and two beautiful little girls who he loved with all of his heart. His wife had been talking about a divorce for awhile and that was the last thing he wanted. He didn't want his family broken up. He then told me the most horrific thing I've ever heard. A week before, he had been shot in the back of the neck (C-2) and left for dead. . . . by his wife!!! Who is a Nurse!!! Or was, rather. I'm sure by now she has had her license, revoked (at the very least) and is spending time in the big house!

I sat there and didn't know what to say. I didn't think I could find the words to even express the way I felt, much less even think that I knew the way he felt. All I could mutter was "I'm so sorry." He continued with his story. His parents who lived 200 miles away kept calling his house and all he could do was lay there and listen to the phone ring and pray. When his parents who he spoke to daily couldn't get ahold of him or his wife they grew concerned and drove the 200 miles to his house. Looking in the window, they saw him, broke into his house and called an ambulance. He had been told by the doctors that he was very lucky that his respiratory drive hadn't been shut down as his C-spine injury was very high. Jim stated that he didn't feel lucky at all. We continued to talk and before long I realized that I'd been in his room for over an hour. I had to go check my other patients. Before leaving, I asked him if I could please turn him and he said no. I made a deal, pain medicine before turning. He agreed. I told him I would be leaving in a couple of hours and would be back that night. He asked if I would be his nurse again. At that moment, that meant more to me than helping to save a life!

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 5:46 PM

(9) comments
Hey Girl, You Forgot Your Book at the Crash Site!

Warning: This is just a rant I have to get off my chest. Trauma story coming up next! (However this could have been a Trauma Story. Thank God it wasn't.)

A driver’s license does not gurantee intelligence, nor do traffic laws interrupt or prevent stupidity. Bad drivers are bad drivers. Several weeks ago (2 weeks before Christmas) my son and my husband were following me to an important meeting when all of a sudden a girl, probably about 23 years old driving a Ford Taurus hit them because she misjudged the timing and apparently the space between vehicles. My husband was driving our Dodge Durango and to give you an idea of the impact, after spinning 180 degrees and stopping, there was no doubt our Durango was totaled. The rear drive shaft was knocked off and was dragging on the ground! It was unable to be moved until the tow truck got there. The girls in the Ford jumped up over the curb onto the lawn of a business where they sat. At least nobody was hurt. My son and my husband were sore but ok. Thank God.
The girl/girls didn’t apologize albeit they didn’t speak very much English, but if you cause someone that much distress and potential harm, I would think that you could at the very least say you're sorry.
Anyway, this led to hassle upon hassle with rental cars, insurance claims, car payoffs and the search for a new vehicle for my husband. What a way to spend the holidays. We finally found one on New Year’s Day. This is his new toy. Niiiiiice.

Anyway, to those of you that are bad drivers, here's a book you may want to trade the one above for:

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 3:46 PM

(0) comments

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness - Pink Glove Boogie

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon put this video together to
raise breast cancer awareness and it's so cool that they included everyone in it! Had to share it! Love the janitor at the end! (His mother actually died of breast cancer.)

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 2:22 PM

(7) comments

Friday, December 04, 2009

Blog for Brit (to make her smile)

Ok, before, during and after working in Trauma, I worked in various emergency rooms. In general, working in the ER especially at night can be heinous. Part of our job as ER nurses is to make your unfortunate experience as pleasant as possible. We do try really hard to keep things moving as fast as possible in the ER but as you can imagine, the continual flood of mayhem and carnage makes this challenging. In addition to the pandemonium, we have the non-emergent emergencies such as the teenager with the socially crippling zit so I decided to share a few blurbs of some of the more memorable patients.

1) Lady calls the ambulance for flatulence. Yes, for flatulence. Ok, I’m not a doctor, but I feel safe in saying that she could have paid 2.79 for a box of bean-0 or Gas-X rather than the 895.00 that was charged for the ambulance. Because as you know, flatulence requires the ACLS wagon!

Now, we get to the ER and her diagnosis is . . . wait. . . ………. wait for it………..……hemorrhoids! YEP! So here we are with an additional bill for the ER visit that could have been taken care of with some Preparation-H!!

So, this evening probably cost around $2,000.00 and all it needed was some “O” “X” and “H”. Ka-Ching!!!!

2) Ok, this one was a walk in but apparently “pediculus humanus capitis” is an emergency. To the rest of the world, this is known as head lice.

People, keep in mind that you want the LEAST amount of exposure to others in a case like this. We all itched for the rest of the night. Funny how that happens.

3) An elderly man who cathed himself with a coffee straw because he “just couldn’t pee and it was starting to hurt.” Did the coffee straw NOT hurt you genius? And anyway….it would have at least taken a Sonic Route 66 sized straw! Geez!

4) This is a little more crass but true. A guy literally dumps his girl at the ER (slows at the doors and she gets out) with a “vibrating device” stuck in a “nether region”, and not the “normal nether region.” The girl went to x-ray and it kept on going, and she went to surgery and it kept on going and going. Guess she used Energizer. OOOP!

5) The sweet lady that comes in after fainting at her doctor’s office while having blood drawn.

So what is the first thing we do in the ER? Yep, draw blood. She passed out again. When she woke, she said “oh I always pass out when I have my blood drawn.” So why is it that you are in the ER again?

6) Ok, this one really got me. A female paraplegic patient comes in via ambulance. Of course I immediately feel compassion for someone in such a state. EKG leads placed on patient, vitals taken, foley in place r/t obvious incontinence, some 02 for a slightly below normal Sat. When the physician comes in to assess the patient and find out her reason for the ER visit she states: (I kid you not) “I want a cheeseburger.”

It has taken me a LONG time to see the humor in that one.

7) The guy who was seriously over utilizing the emergency room. A report showed that this patient had been going to 4 or 5 ERs in one day and always the same complaints, low back pain or abdominal pain. When questioned about this he stated “it’s not me.” I told him, of course it’s you. Your insurance card and identification are shown each time you go to the hospital. His reply? “My insurance card might be going to a lot of ER’s, but it’s not my body in the bed.”

And I'm just certain one day with all the radiation exposure from the 70 x-rays per week, this guy's bones will turn into a pile of dust.

8) And my final little blurb………I’d heard of this happening but was not prepared when it did. You ALREADY KNOW, don't ya! A very, very large woman came in complaining of chest pain. While quickly rushing to get her on the monitor, put a gown on her, start an IV and draw blood, we lay her back slightly and from Lord only knows where, out falls a remote.

Her response? Not “OMG I’m so embarrassed” but......“I’ve been looking for that!”

So to all my brothers and sisters who continue to do this day in and day out, sometimes thanklessly, you can look forward to being at the table with the biggest and best goodie bags in Heaven, I’m sure of it!

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 9:52 PM

(7) comments

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My Saturday Serenity Picture

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 11:04 PM

(3) comments

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Hopefully I will be in this beautiful country before too much longer!!!

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 10:06 PM

(3) comments

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 7:31 PM

(6) comments

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Serenity Picture For Today and Current Favorite Song

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 10:52 PM

(0) comments

Friday, August 14, 2009


There may be days
when you get up in the morning
and things aren't the way
you had hoped they would be.
That's when you have to
tell yourself that things will get better.

There are times when people
disappoint you and let you down,
but those are the times
when you must remind yourself
to trust your own judgments and opinions,
and to keep your life focused on believing in yourself
and all that you are capable of.

There will be challenges to face
and changes to make in your life,
and it is up to you to accept them.
Constantly keep yourself headed
in the right directions for you.
It may not be easy at times,
but in those times of struggle
you will find a stronger sense of who you are,
and you will also see yourself
developing into the person
you have always wanted to be.

Life is a journey through time,
filled with many choices;
each of us will experience life
in our own special way.

So when the days come that are filled
with frustration and unexpected responsibilities,
remember to believe in yourself
and all you want your life to be,
because the challenges and changes
will only help you to find the dreams
that you know are meant to come true for you.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 8:32 PM

(5) comments

Friday, July 31, 2009

Serenity. . . .

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 12:00 AM

(2) comments

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I will post more for your entertainment soon!


CoryTraumaRN posted today at 10:23 PM

(3) comments

Monday, July 13, 2009

INSPIRATION: This made my day and I hope it does yours too.

The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…

“I made a difference for that one.”

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 7:19 PM

(1) comments