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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. =)


May 2006
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January 2008
March 2008
April 2008
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January 2010
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November 2011
May 2012
August 2014
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June 2015

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

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Ok, I know that sounds kind of cruel but let me tell you, I have seen all the WRONG ways to attempt to kill yourself and I’m sure if I wrote that book it would be a best seller!!!!

People, do NOT shoot yourself in the gut, you will have a long, miserable hospitalization, many painful and pricey surgeries followed by the liklihood of having a lifetime of pooping in a bag. This is called a colostomy. Doesn't sound fun, does it?

One of my favorites is the guy who shot himself in the leg to see how bad it would hurt first. OMG! He actually told us that. Don’t think we didn’t get a chuckle or two over that in the break room!!!

Then there was the guy who had lain on the train tracks and had survived but had a leg amputated by the train. Several years later we see him in the unit again. He jumped off of an overpass into traffic on a busy interstate, was run OVER by a car and still survived. My words of wisdom to this fellow. “God don’t wantcha yet. Give it up man!”

Another was a guy who used an AK-47 and basically just blew his face off. It was horrific but he survived. He actually does talks in schools about not using drugs. Although he's pretty scary looking, he makes quite an impact.

And although you see people holding the gun up to their temple in movies, this is one of the saddest things you can do to your family members. What is going to happen is you are going to cause irreversible brain damage at the same time making yourself look like a cartoon character with bulging eyes. This was the saddest yet funniest looking trauma I ever saw.

We had a very young man drink antifreeze and in the end it did end his life but not after many days of painful suffering for himself and his family. They finally withdrew life support when all of his organs finally shut down.

Another favorite of mine was the dude who ate snake poison and convinced the assessing case manager that it was accidental ingestion!!!!! WHAT????? PEOPLE! Have you ever SMELLED snake poison???!!! OMG! You can barely BREATHE when you get close to it!

And then there is the ever popular Tylenol Overdose which many people think is a “safe way” to scream for help when in actuality it’s one of the most horrible and painful deaths you can imagine. But if you are lucky enough to get to a hospital, you get to drink this nasty smelling stuff called mucomyst and be put on a drip that is basically an antedote. I won’t go into the details that cause death, but if you don’t believe me, google it! (Tylenol Overdose)

So, if you are here actually looking for the quick and easy methods to kill yourself, sorry. Not giving it up that easily. Just remember this. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and tomorrow will always look brighter than today. And I can say that because I’ve been there!

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 5:00 AM

(2) comments

Saturday, August 30, 2008

GOOD vs EVIL In The Trauma Unit

Ok, you know how they teach us in nursing school we have to be non-judgmental and remain neutral in all cases and treat all patients the same, give equal care, yadda, yadda, yadda?

How do you do that when your first patient is a Youth Minister who has been in a devastating car crash with multiple fractures and internal injuries, is on full life support, PRVC on the vent, Levophed, Neo, you name it. He is loved by all, said to be one of the most devout and spiritual men ever and he's in his mid 30's.

And your second patient is also on full life support, intubated through the side of his neck where it was slashed in prison. He's shackled to the bed with two prison guards at the bedside. "What did he go to prison for?" I asked the guards. "He's killed numerous women" they said. "Oh nice" I'm thinking. This is going to be a challenge. It's bad enough this guy resembles Satan. No joke. Well, not that I've ever SEEN Satan or PLAN on seeing Satan but from pictures depicting what Satan looks like, he looked just like him. He had the fire red hair and the fire red long goatee.

Of course with most patients in these conditions we either have them on Fentanyl and Versed drips or Diprivan drips or all of the above. Each morning we do what we call a "sedation vacation" where we wake them up for a few moments to ensure that their neuro status is still intact. What I saw in the early morning hours from the guards is what finally made me realize that no matter what this guy has done, he is still human and deserved medical care. When we allowed him to wake up for a few moments the guards proceeded to tell him "you've died! you're in hell! "you got what you deserved!" I saw pure fear in his eyes. And on and on they went. I couldn't believe it! I was in shock!!! I immediately told my Charge Nurse who in turn contacted the guard’s supervisor and we had them removed and made DNRs. (Do not returns)

I’m glad I wasn’t put in the position but I have always wondered if they had both coded at the same time, which one would I have gone for first? Nah, I really don’t wonder. I guess I just like to think that I really do have that objective and non-judgmental nature we’re supposed to have.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 3:11 PM

(2) comments

Friday, August 29, 2008

One of my very favorites........

"Who are you to judge the life I live
I know im not perfect
And I don’t live to be
But before you start pointing fingers
Make sure your hands are clean"
-Bob Marley

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 6:04 PM

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This is something I read and it hit me like a brick!!! How true is THIS!!!!!!! WOW!!!!! Take it to heart people!!!! It is SO TRUE!!!! SO SO SO VERY TRUE!!!!

"There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who wont anymore, and who always will. So don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future."

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 5:58 PM

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August Sucks And I’m Glad It’s Almost Over!

I can’t tell you exactly why, but ever since my husband and I started dating, we noticed that August was an unlucky month for us. Nothing really stands out about it, our house didn’t burn down, our children weren’t kidnapped, we didn’t grow 3rd arms and we don't have atrocious breakouts of hemorrhoids but August has always sucked. And this year is no different.

At the beginning of this month, I believe it was the 2nd or 3rd of August, Micheal said something like “I can’t wait for this month to be over, it’s gonna be a bad one.” Now, I said something back about “self fulfilling prophesies” and boy was I right. This month has sucked. I could do without an August next year. Once again I have to wonder if I was a mafia hit man in a previous life and this is my payback month or something.

We ALL do things that deserve amending and most of us have true friends that help us through those times. Mine have been beside me without fail. Besides my family, Chris and Amie are God sent. They have shown what true friends are. I thought at one time I had many friends, a few in particular that really meant the world to me but when the chips were down, they all turned their backs which hurt in the beginning and then I realized, “what the hell” there is a reason that people grow old alone and there are reasons that people are miserable in their lives. What goes around comes around.

can say for certain though, through good and bad, through thick and thin, I am a true friend, no matter what. And for anyone that might be reading this and see yourselves here, I am a friend, and will always be here if you need me.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 5:33 PM

(2) comments

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Somone asked so I thought I would clarify this. Many of my stories come from the diary in my mind but ALL are TRUE. I worked Trauma from 2000-2004 so many of these stories are from that time. Some of my stories come from recent ICU experience and some from periods between 2004 and 2007 when I started in the ICU at the last place I worked. All names have been changed of course for HIPPA compliance but again, all are true and nothing has been added. Thanks again for reading!

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 1:56 PM

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NON TRAUMA Bits and Pieces

Ok, with a new grandson, you have to understand I have to throw in a few pictures here and there that aren't trauma related, right? It just wouldn't be right if I didn't share some of these pictures of my absolutely precious grandson Landon Cruz. He will be one year on September 6th. Thanks for being so understanding. Love you faithful readers!!!!!

Landon with daddy outside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Landon with NaNa outside

NaNa, Landon and Grandpa in our
front yard.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 5:33 AM

(2) comments

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stabbed With a Pen

(This is one of my favorite stories)

“Please take this medicine” begged my coworker to her patient, “it will help you stop getting sick!!!!”. The non English speaking patient with the trach refused to take the phenergan to stop his nausea. He was angry, paranoid, and was violently shaking his head. He told me in Spanish that he thought we were giving him medication to harm him. I explained to him in Spanish that the medication was to help stop his nausea and vomiting. He didn’t buy it. I sat beside him and assured him that we didn’t want to harm him but that we were trying to get him better so that he could get out of our unit. He was so close to moving to a regular room, having his trach removed and going home. He was pacing and acting very nervous. I walked out and told my coworker “sorry, I tried.”
Within 15 minutes there was chaos! There was ear-piercing screaming, we heard tables being turned over, people running, just downright pandemonium on the stepdown side of the trauma unit. Our emergency button had been pushed to call for Security and METRO PD and our trauma surgeons and residents were in the room instantaneously. The patient had become crazed, picked up a pen from the bedside table, grabbed his nurse around the neck and stabbed her in the chest multiple times. Holy Christ!!!!!
He was trying to kill her. It only took a few seconds for him to be taken down by our docs and when the police officers got there the trauma attending said “take him to jail.” The response, and this is the part I LOVE that makes it one of my favorite stories. The response was, “we can’t take a trached patient to jail.” So, you guessed it, the trauma doc reaches over, snips the trach ties, pulls out the trach and says “ok, NOW take him to jail.” I loved it.
Our coworker was out for many months but finally returned and we were so glad she did. You never know what is going through a psychotic mind, but then, you never know what is going through a trauma surgeon’s mind either. =)

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 9:25 PM

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

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 1:21 PM

(2) comments

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Annual 4th of July River Trip - Current River

What a blast!!!

Back: Jamie,Amie,Micheal and Me
Front: Corey, Ashley (our beautiful daughter)
Paige and Adam (our handsome son)

Me and my gorgeous husband

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 3:41 PM

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

This was just too good not to repost. Thanks Nurse Ratched!

Google Hospital

Hospital administrators all over the country are trying to figure out how to keep their nurses happy. Some are even hiring expensive consulting firms in order to find out what’s on our mind. People, this isn’t rocket science. All you have to do is ask. Personally, I think that the nursing shortage would resolve itself overnight if Google started running hospitals.

Imagine a chair like this at the nurses station. Google takes the welfare of its employees seriously. This decompression (stress) capsule is impermeable to sound and light. I can see myself crawling into one of these chairs when I’m stressed out. Sorry everyone, I’m taking a timeout.

Does your back hurt after transferring patients in and out of bed all day long? Google’s employee health department has the answer to your aches and pains. Professional masseurs, also known as eusses, are available to help Google employees get through their day.

I hate waiting to get on a crowded elevator, especially when it’s lunchtime. Look at this young lady entering the Google cafeteria. Google installed slides and fire poles, allowing employees to get around in a flash. Google serves good food, too. Employees can eat all they want from a vast choice of food and drink.

This is my favorite goodie from Google. These are private cabins where employees can attend to personal affairs. No more sneaking off to make personal phone calls. Some people might suggest that Google’s way of doing business would never work in a hospital. Google is different. After all, what kind of people enjoy working in an office building that looks like the inside of a big plastic gerbil cage? On the other hand, maybe that’s why Google would be good at running hospitals. Nurses are accustom to being treated like rodents by hospital administrators, so we would naturally feel at home within our new working environment.

I know that Google loves nurses. A couple of years ago, they chose Nurse Ratched’s Place a as a Blog of Note.

I wonder if Google is looking for a nurse blogger.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 4:34 PM

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“All Female Nurses Are Perverts and Unprofessional”

Ok, before you guys start commenting and calling me names, let me explain if I can keep from laughing long enough. The heading is the last comment I got (on my last post)from an anonymous and let me just add “quite indomitable” poster that I first rejected and then decided to go ahead and post.
I figure it is either a male nurse who has some real “performance issues” of his own, or a very bitter ex wife who still cannot get a life of her own. I’m going to bet on the second one just because I know she is still overly obsessed with our wonderful life. But, just for the fun of it, let’s say it is someone who isn’t even a nurse.
So, to the oh so courageous, bold, and daring anonymous poster let me tell you how unprofessional and perverted we nurses are. When your loved ones are lying in the critical care unit on life support and they can’t move and they crap on themselves, we go in and clean them up. We don’t enjoy particularly looking at genitalia or we would have gone into gynecology or proctology or some other form of “below the waist-ology”. When your loved ones are dying of low oxygenation because they are drowning in their own secretions we are the ones in the room suctioning out their lungs and their oral and nasal cavities. Not because we are orally fixated, it’s because we love what we do and we care about our patients.
We see death too often. We see family members turning to us asking us to help them make decisions to take Mom or Dad off of life support because Mom or Dad didn’t make that decision before their car wreck or before they were diagnosed with end stage cancer. We work long hours to make sure the patients AND families are taken care of. If for some reason you are someone that is not in the medical field, I truly feel for you the day you become a patient and you honestly feel that way about nurses.
And if you are a male nurse, you need to get out of nursing NOW! Today! I’m sure Hugh Hefner would hire you at his mansion doing something.
And last but not least, if it’s you, and you know who you are, isn’t it about time to get a life?
And to all of my sisters and brothers in health care……. Keep on doing the good work! There’s only good in return for what we do.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 1:31 PM

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