Monthly Archives: January 2014

Happy Backwards Day!

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Has the week been kind of boring? Have you been wishing for the perfect excuse to shake things up a bit? Well here it is! Today is Backwards Day! Go on, find the inner child in you and if only to humor yourself, do everything- and I mean everything- backwards! Write backwards, read backwards, talk backwards, walk backwards- just avoid the walls please- and basically whatever has to be done, do it in the reverse order. And if you’re a pediatric nurse you can have extra special fun with this, as kids for some reason get a kick out of doing things the wrong way. Here’s to Backwards Day!

Dress Backwards:

Show up to your shift with the back of your scrubs in the front. The adults may stare at you and wonder if perhaps you’ve lost it, but the kids will find you hilarious. In fact, the Skechers mock wrap top may look kind of good backwards, considering it’s got an all around elastic! And if you really want to get your young patients giggling, wear your shoes on the wrong feet, and your earrings on the wrong side of your ear. Don’t worry, it’s a good kind of crazy!

Dessert First:

Your young charges will love you for this. At meal time, tell them that in honor of Backwards Day they MUST eat their dessert first! Their parents might be horrified, but these children stuck in the hospital deserve something special once in a while. Besides, a little dessert never hurt anybody!

Mix It Up:

If your checkup routine has been the same since forever, now’s your chance to finally mix it up; providing of course that it won’t compromise the health of your patients. Take your patient’s temperature before his/her blood pressure, or ask them how they’re feeling all the way at the end of the checkup instead of right when you walk in. Kids are very perceptive and they’ll pick up on these minor changes instantly! And guess what, they’ll even ask you about it and then you can launch into your Backwards Day speech.

It all may be a bit silly, but it’s fun! So don’t let anyone stop you from exploring your wild side. Oh, and don’t forget to walk out backwards when you leave the room. Have a great Backwards Day! Or should I say, yad sdrawkcab taerg a evah!!

It’s National Handwriting Day!

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Yes, you read that correctly: It’s National Handwriting Day! Way back when in 1977, the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association actually established January 23rd as a day to re-discover the simplicity of your very own handwriting. And no, they did not just pick that date out of a hat. January 23rd is the birthday of the one responsible for what is probably the most famous signature of all time- John Hancock. So get ready to reacquaint yourself with the good old fashioned pen or pencil. It’ll be a nice change from all the typing and texting we’ve gotten used to over time. Oh, and not to make you feel too bad about using such an archaic communication tool, here are some fun facts about handwriting!

1. Just like you don’t share the same set of fingerprints with anyone else in the world, you also don’t share your unique handwriting with anyone else in the world.

2. Research has proven that you remember information better by actually writing it out than typing it. That should be reason enough to keep your pen handy!

3. Our brains control our individual handwriting, which basically means that if you’d learn to write with your toes- yup, some people actually can!- you’d have more or less the same exact handwriting as when you write with your hand.

4. It’s been reported that 85% of students complete their SATs in manuscript, while just 15% write in cursive. Here’s the kicker though: On average, those that write in cursive score higher!

5. Last but not least, perfect penmanship is indicative of a communicative person, while an indecipherable scrawl is the hallmark of a secretive individual who likes to keep his thoughts to himself. Hmmm, I wonder what that means for those guys in medical scrubs who are in charge of the well-being of our nation. If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m talking about doctors and their totally illegible handwriting!

Hang on, before you log on to your email account and get ready to forward these interesting bits of information to your friends and family (don’t pretend you were going to mail them a letter- you weren’t!), maybe take the message of National Handwriting Day to your patients and write out, in your own unique handwriting, a meaningful get well card!

I Need The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

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Yes, it’s true, people lie. In fact some of the biggest liars out there are, surprise, surprise…our wonderful patients. If you’re a nurse reading this I have no doubt you’re rolling your eyes, sighing, muttering under your breath, and wishing me to give you a solution. Sorry, but unfortunately  I do not have the answer to your prayers. However, if you’re the newbie on the floor here’s a quick list of some of the top things patients will lie about, no matter what! And give it a few days, before you know it you’ll be just like all the seasoned pros, sniffing out those fibs before the patient finishes getting it out.  So here it is; your patient by all means will not tell you…

…How Much It Hurts

There you are, all professional looking in your spanking new nursing scrubs, and instead of the loving care you planned on dispensing, you’re standing open mouthed as your patient puts on the performance of his life trying to convince you that his pain is waaaay past the 10 you told him was the highest number on the scale. Never fall for it. All he wants is that extra dose of Vicodin. You know how it goes though, no pain no gain!

…How They Got Sick or Injured

You’d think that once they landed themselves in the hospital or doctor’s office, they’d give you all the petty details leading up to the visit. Think again! Despite the fact that logic dictates telling the truth so that they can get the proper treatment, you’d be surprised to see how creative patients can get when describing just how exactly they got that nasty gash. And get this; some patients will even fake their symptoms so that the doctor will squeeze them in to their already tight schedule. Then of course, they’ve got to run with that story.

….About Bad Habits

For some reason, patients are always on the defense when it comes to their bad habits. Drinking, exercise, diet, smoking etc.; these are all vices the patient would rather hide then admit to, even though it can make all the difference in helping them get better. Everyone wants to seem healthier than they actually are, even if it’ll harm them in the long run. And it’s your job as the nurse to convince them otherwise.

The list goes on. They won’t tell you their entire medical history, and they won’t tell you if they’ve been taking their meds or even which meds they are taking. Whatever it may be, you’ll find yourself catching these patients in the act before you even manage to whip out your shiny new stethoscope, and hopefully you’ll be able to set them straight. Here’s to the truth!

What New Year’s Resolution?

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It’s been one week since we ushered in the New Year, and one week since we oh so confidently declared that this year we would stick to our New Year’s resolutions. Can I tell you a secret? It’s been a mere 7 days and statistically, already 25% of the population has not kept to theirs. And guess what the number one resolution for 2014 was: Drumrollllll please…LOSING WEIGHT. No wonder so many people have fallen off the wagon. Losing weight is super hard, even if you already have those adorable, slim fitting, figure hugging nursing scrubs hanging in your closet, waiting longingly for you to take them out to play. No matter; if you have moved up in life and are this year a member of the 75% who are still going strong, here are a couple of tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, whatever they may be. Oh, and not to be a buzz-kill or anything, but next week the number drops to 71%.


Make sure you haven’t set yourself an unattainable goal. It’s got to be SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time specific. Let’s take our dear nurse friend who already has those super cute scrubs hanging in her closet. If she wants to fit into those ASAP, she needs to be SMART about it. She can’t simply say, “I’m going to lose weight!” She’d be setting herself up for failure. Instead, she needs to specify how much weight she plans on losing, in what period of time, and of course her ideal weight has to be realistic.

Track Your Progress

Back to our friend; I think we ought to name her. We’ll call her Nancy. She needs to monitor her eating habits to see what her triggers are, and then work on avoiding them. She also needs to weigh herself at set intervals; but only at those set times, otherwise she may get discouraged. If Nancy is really feeling great about her progress, she can even try on those scrubs in her closet from time to time to see how slowly but surely she’s actually fitting into them. Use your calendar app on your phone to mark each milestone.

Reward Yourself

A great way to help keep your eye on the prize is by rewarding yourself every now and then for what you have accomplished so far. Back to Nancy; if she loses 8 of those 20 pounds she’s itching to shed, she might want to buy herself a little treat. Perhaps that great pair of earrings she’s been eyeing. By giving yourself an incentive to keep going, you keep the resolution fresh and exciting.

You Are Human

It may not seem like it, but keeping in mind that you are only human and that slip-ups are inevitable is a great tip. Instead of getting disheartened and throwing away everything you’ve accomplished up until now, you will tell yourself that it was a one-time thing, and resolve to keep on going. For 70% of goal setters, that first failure actually strengthens their resolution, making it an even better journey. Hear that, Nancy?

It may seem like a long haul but the efforts are worthwhile. And if Nancy keeps at it, she’ll be able to purchase many more fun scrubs. In fact, I bet she’d rock the Cherokee Flexibles mock wrap top 2915C. Keep at it everybody!

Bright Eyes and Bold Scrubs

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Hospital coding is every nurse’s second language. You’re on the run as soon as there’s a code white, and spring into action for a code blue. But there’s another code. Not quite the medical emergency, but still warranting immediate attention, it’s code ‘under-eye circles.’ Nothing shouts, “I’M TIRED,” quite like those dark, heavy bags marring your otherwise beautiful face. And while you may think it’s absolutely unavoidable given the lack of sleep that comes along with the job, there are quite a few tricks to keep you looking bright eyed and fabulous throughout the day. You know what they say, “If you can’t make it, fake it!”

Work Those Lashes: 

You may be functioning on a mere 4 hours of sleep, but that is no excuse to look half dead. Cue the lashes. While not everyone is naturally blessed with lashes ala Kim Kardashian, you can do your fair share to try and achieve those long, curled, and oh so thick eye lashes. Simply use these tips and even the prettiest of your colleagues will beg to know how it was done. All you need is a great wand of mascara and an even better eyelash curler.

Lashes which are uncurled are like curtains blocking your eyes, and so you’ll first want to curl them away from your eye. Like this you create the illusion of bigger eyes and you will in fact be opening up your eyes to the world; or in this case your colleagues and patients. Next, run some very black, lengthening mascara through your lashes; and your eyes, no matter what their color, will pop and shine. Wear a bold, solid colored scrub top to give yourself an added dose of ‘wow’. It’s foolproof and takes no time at all.

Hide Those Bags:

No woman ever wants to look like she just woke up, and a good tube of concealer can help the situation. The trick is to gently dab it under your eyes as opposed to rubbing it in, so that it blends in nice and smooth. Remember, you don’t want the world knowing it’s been a long week. Also, go for a concealer with yellow or peachy under tones that it is one or two shades lighter than your skin. This will help your eyes look brighter and more awake.

Wear White:

You may not have a white eye pencil in your makeup bag, but if you’re a tired nurse, now’s the time to add it to your collection. One of the dark areas women often miss are the inner eye corners. For an instant makeover, apply white eyeliner to the aforementioned corners, focusing on the area around your tear ducts, and then smudge a little with your finger for a more subtle effect.  If you’re feeling really puffy eyed today, opt for a pearly eye shadow as well, and apply just under the brow bone. You’re brain may be screaming in exhaustion, but your face will be red carpet ready.


This last tip is a cop-out but works just as well. If you want to draw attention away from the tired eye, go for a bold lip. Wear a ruby red, a popping pink, or a deep plum, and all anyone will notice is the wow factor that is your lips. If you go this route though, make sure to be wearing a great set of printed scrubs as well. You might as well be taking the distraction to the next level, right?

Now run along and try out these tips; you know you can use them already today!