Archives for category: Nursing

What is going on? TWO posts from Nurse Angry in one day?

Well, Nurse Angry admires Dr. Jason Fung, and was moved to comment on his most recent blog post, so here it is. She was reminded of something Nina Teicholz wrote in “The Big Fat Surprise”:

“Despite his other successes, being on the unpopular side of the cholesterol debate made a bitter man of George Mann. As he approached retirement in the late 1970s, a tone of torment crept into his papers. An article he wrote in 1977 began: ‘A generation of research on the diet-heart question has ended in disarray,’ and he called the diet-heart hypothesis a ‘misguided and fruitless preoccupation.”

I guess the big fat surprise for all of us here is that nobody seems to be listening, and it’s really unclear why. When I started reading up on nutrition a few years ago I felt like an idiot. How could I not have known the things I was finding out? I’m a nurse! And I’m interested in nutrition! How embarrassing. But since then I’ve realized the enormity of the task in front of us. I’m trying not to be bitter, but it’s hard. Especially the cancer thing makes me furious. Such a waste.

Yesterday I had the good fortune to attend a very small seminar with some heavyweight speakers where the topic was “A healthier Sweden”. The first map posted here was shown and the speakers talked about the focus on DM 2-why?, an app to help people become physically active, youth in chosen areas being empowered by sport, community and taking responsibility, how much liberty a school can take in promoting health, public health seen through the eyes of national insurance and the whole insurance system, and more. It was all very interesting, but not once was diet discussed. The only times it showed up at all were in 2 single lines on sugar on the pages of 2 different powerpoint presentations which were SKIPPED OVER because of time constraints.

We can’t give up!


Nurse Angry is reblogging Kristina’s Krazy Adventure because Kristina is angry. Nurse Angry is equally angry.

NA started reading up on nutrition because she wanted to know why (if it really is so) people of Asian descent seem to more easily get type 2 diabetes, because her daughter was born of Indian parents. Nurse Angry is not overweight but suspects that the “healthy” low-fat vegetarian diet she was eating caused fertility issues. At this point she’s gone through a bunch of books starting with Ann Fernholm’s “My Sweet Heart” (original Swedish title is Ett sötare blood- A sweeter blood, but available in English as an e-book), and another one of hers about children and sugar, John Yudkin’s classic “Pure, White and Deadly” Robert Lustig’s “Fat Chance”, and she just recently finished Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. Obesity, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, fertility problems, acne… the carbohydrate content of our diets seems like it’s killing us and worst is sugar and refined carbs. At this point Nurse Angry feels like we are all living in a parallel universe where government information on nutrition and a healthy diet is worthless at best and cannot be said to be based on science but more on big money, mistakes and prestige. She is convinced that what she learned about nutrition and a healthy diet in nursing school was wrong and is trying to figure out how she can help put things right again when she next switches jobs. Let her know if you have any bright ideas.

Kristina's Krazy Adventure

I have been thinking about how much I’ve learned since I started blogging and it actual amazes me the knowledge I’ve gained since January. I considered myself quite knowledgeable in the area of food and nutrition just as a person who likes to be well informed and enjoys learning. However, I have never learned so much about food and nutrition so much as I have just in the past nine months alone. I considered myself one of those people who knew what I should be doing but just wasn’t doing it. I was too lazy or my willpower just wasn’t good enough to compete with “healthy” eating. I have felt that way since the beginning of high school when I saw a doctor as they were concerned that my thyroid may be under active and that my numbers were a little bit under what was considered normal. I vividly remember…

View original post 1,806 more words

Carey has opened Pandora’s box. Since Nurse Angry  started writing again there seems to be no end to the non-subjects that pop into her head. And she has figured out that this is a good way to use those pesky leftover minutes during telephone hours. The ball is officially rolling again, so you might want get out of the way.

The original idea for this blog was that Nurse Angry was literally sleepless in Stockholm, and that together with general parenting issues. Having a small child, construction work, general city noise and two madly barking dogs upstairs almost did Nurse Angry in. But things have changed. Construction work and general city noise continue, but small child is now medium child and what’s more: the dogs moved out yesterday. Woof!

Nurse Angry started the workday by talking to the vacuum cleaner: “Did you do your job? No, not really. Get back in there.” She picked him up, put him back in the hallway where he belonged and shut the door. This little robot  is one of Nurse Angry’s favorite people. He’s surprisingly strong. He can move over the threshold and open the door into the waiting room if it’s not closed really hard. Nurse Angry has started thinking of him as one of the team. She hardly ever has to get the regular, boring vacuum out.

If you happen to be interested in industrial robotics, check out SVIA. There’s a cool, short film, Meet the Creatures which has human acrobats portraying robots.

Hooray for robots! They’re going to kick our butts in everything!

And speaking of creatures….”Clinton lured Trump out onto thin ice” was the headline in the Swedish newspaper that met Nurse Angry this morning. She is rubbing her hands together in glee. She CANNOT WAIT to get home tonight and watch the first presidential debate. This could be like watching the two toughest kids who were mean to you at school beat each other up.

For her next act, Nurse Angry will learn how to write a short, meaningful blog post.

Nurse Angry has recently started working with an ear-nose-throat specialist. Tragically, this does not give her immunity to afflictions in said area. Ahhh, laryngitis! Nurse Angry wishes she could take a magic pill, but a virus is a virus so she’ll have to make do with fluids, voice rest and cough sedatives. virus1Awww, isn’t he cute!

Nurse Angry does not know how it is in the rest of the world, but in Sweden we convinced ourselves that the horrific, no-sun summer of 2012 was the cause of the epidemic of viruses that plagued us fall-winter-spring. But summer this year was wonderful and now everyone is sick again. Small person in the household has already been sick 4 or 5 times since going back to preschool and the teenagers have fared only slightly better. Not to mention the myriad illnesses of Nurse Angry herself. Only the Old Guy stays pretty much healthy, wealthy and wise.

Flu attack! How a virus invades your body:

 Here in Stockholm (affectionately known as The Capital of Scandinavia, see earlier blog) nobody seems to know how to wash their hands or to cough/sneeze into the crook of their arm. And personally Nurse Angry thinks it is a bad idea to go to work sick or send kids to preschool sick. We’ve all done it but maybe we should rethink that equation.

The Big Picture Book of Viruses!!

Once upon a time Nurse Angry saw a TV program about viruses. It was scary.  This was back in the early 80’s. And at the end they asked one of the researchers “Who will win the war between man and the viruses?” He answered without hesitation, and Nurse Angry’s readers are smart enough to know what the answer was that has haunted her ever since. But there is an upside: we probably don’t need to be so worried about global warming because the viruses are definitely going to get us first. So party on. And pass the Cocillana. Tastes so strange that Nurse Angry just has to wonder what even stranger taste is being masked.

Thanks to a most kind reader by the name of Carey, Nurse Angry  discovered to her horror that she has neglected her blog for more than a year.  Neglect is a Very Bad Thing.  A neglected patient is a dead patient. Or at least an angry patient. And we can’t have any angry patients, can we?

If this blog was a houseplant, even a cactus, it would have kicked the bucket long ago. The main reason for her major blog neglect is that Nurse Angry  SWITCHED JOBS. So she now can send reports from the fast and furious front of primary care.  You think that was a joke, right? She is in fact sitting on the proverbial gold mine of ideas. In the ER, yes, people complained, mostly about having to wait. Telling them they don’t want to be the person who gets immediate treatment because that means they may actually be sick for real did not always make Nurse Angry popular. But it was hard to take these complaints seriously as Nurse Angry usually had something more pressing vying for her  attention. Blah blah blah, I’ll see you in an hour, maybe two. Find something to read or play with your iPhone like everyone else.

The truth is,  you have not seen angry patients until you have worked in primary care. Because when someone has a really REALLY sore throat they have a LOT of energy to find stuff to complain about and give orders.

STILLEBEN MED GLIDSLEM / STILL LIFE WITH LUBRICANT A direct translation of the Swedish "glidslem" might be "glide slime"



This stunning still-life is just one example of what Nurse Angry has identified as Spontaneous Hospital Art, a subgenre to the more easily identifiable group of works known as Hideous Public Art Nobody Asked For. This piece could be seen in an examining room at the ER. Here, a plastic orchid in repose on a cotton doily, harmonizing beautifully with an open bottle of surgical lubricant. Notice the maximum effect of this bold splash of red in an otherwise grim health care setting. See how both objects appear to be leaning in the same direction, which, coincidentally, is in the direction of the door.

Nurse Angry’s Art Interpretation class, lesson 1. A timely reminder to the modern man in the true spirit of Ferdinand: Don’t forget to stop to smell the flowers while having your prostate examined.

Nurse celebrating her invisible pay raise with an invisible Cuban cigar.

With thanks to Sara Lundsten from whose FB page I lifted this photo with its priceless caption. Beautiful.

Sjuksköterska firar sin osynliga löneförhöjning med en osynlig kubansk cigarr.

why an employer might think you would want to see this on your break, or even just when relieving yourself?

In case you need to give CPR while sitting on the toilet

Well, that would be the same place of employment where you didn’t even have time to eat this:

The carrot that got away

Nurse Angry carried that carrot to work and back home again. 3-year old ate part of it. Nurse Angry has  discovered that when doing CPR it is in fact better to count compressions in your mother tongue. Otherwise, you can get a tiny bit mixed up. One thing’s for sure: 19 does not come after 13 in ANY language. Nurse Angry challenges you to count out loud in another language when under pressure, or when very physically tired. Such as toward the end of a shift or a demanding jympa class. If you don’t know what jympa is, Nurse Angry orders  you to Google it.

And by the way, could someone make a guess what this could possibly be? Nurse Angry spotted it on the ceiling of her dining room. She doesn’t think it was there when she moved in. 2,4 meters up.

And just WHO is going to clean this up?

Nurse Angry is not a natural at orthopedics. But she will now give you 5 reasons to love and embrace it.

1. You don’t have to take all that many EKGs or urine samples.

Well, unless there are a lot of broken hips. Or old people who have fallen for mysterious reasons. At least you will see no overdoses or hemorrhoids, hey, look on the bright side!

2. It’s lively.

Patients are either in pain and screaming for relief, or they only sprained something and are so bored by waiting that they have to yell at the staff just to stay awake. Bonus points are given for being harassed by a patient’s friends, relatives or other members of staff. Orthopedic surgeons are not known for their tact and gentle ways, so get ready to duck if you ask a stupid question!

3. It’s very social, you get to see what it’s like to run a café and you get to spend a lot of time in the bathroom.

There are usually a lot of patients. That means a long wait for a lot of people who are not urgent cases. They get hungry. And if one little old lady gets a sandwich and a cup of coffee, EVERYONE wants one. Even the people who could walk to the cafeteria. And their families, friends, neighbors, whathaveyou. Then, everyone needs to pee.  EVERYONE.

Once Nurse Angry was in the ER with a sick friend and a patient called 911 (112 in Sweden) and told them she was at the hospital and nobody would take her to the bathroom. Nurse Angry took this person to the bathroom herself. Upon her return she told sick friend that no more than 20 minutes would go by before aforementioned patient needed to go again. Much to sick friend’s astonishment, she was right!

4. You learn to speak Orthopedic and it’s one of the few places people seem genuinely happy when you arrive with a tablet or a shot.

The downside is that until you do, you will get to think or say you’re not sure what it is, but the x-ray shows it’s definitely broken. And at Nurse Angry’s hospital only the practical nurses get to put on casts. We RN’s just run around with morphine all day long.

5. Orthopedics is usually relatively normal and you meet optimistic people.

No day in the ER would be complete without the guy running around in his underpants. Usually he’s there but isn’t an orthopedic patient. Ha ha!

In no other department do you so often meet patients who tell you with a straight face that they  paid for a half-hour of parking, have a puppy in the car, can only stay during their lunch hour, have a busload of people waiting to go to Oslo, that they fell down because they were drunk or that they can’t go home because their sprained body part hurts.

This is not an all-inclusive list. Feel free to add to it.

****Nurse Angry asks you to remember: If you are deathly ill  you will not spending a whole lot of time in the ER and you will not be in the orthopedic section anyway.  If you aren’t on the brink of death and are still conscious: bring a friend, some food and a good book. If you need to pee and need help to get there, the staff may take bribes of  Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream.

The other day, Nurse Angry was about to climb on her trusty bike after a particularly unentertaining evening shift. The boredom of routine tasks and repeated patient toilet visits made time go slowly, and recognizing a friend’s 95-year old granny in bad shape wasn’t such a fun thing either. But wait, something new happened- someone had put a sticker on her bike!

Harassment at work

For those who can’t read Swedish, it says: You are parked incorrectly! A map of parking places can be found on the intranet, do a search for “bicycle parking”.  Locum is the name of the landlord. Kind of cute, really. In New York they would probably just have thrown all the bikes into a dumpster and emptied it into the East River.

Nurse Angry has to admit that there were rather a lot of  bicycles parked on the grass outside one of the back doors. But why is it that there are too few or no bicycle stands at the strategic locations where people actually want to leave their bikes? Nurse Angry can promise you one thing: stickers are  not nearly threatening enough to get us to move our bikes. Locum, those of us working in healthcare who daily brave the road rage of Stockholm not to mention the insanity of the ER- we laugh at your stickers. We go to work 10 minutes early and leave 10 minutes late, unpaid, to change our clothes, we are NOT parking our bikes 2 feet further away than we have to.  Look INSIDE the hospital. A bunch of dirty old bikes on the lawn is much less of an eyesore than what can be seen at every twist and turn inside. It’s a disgrace. For example, how hard can it be to have a functioning toilet seat for the patients? Nurse Angry is often embarrassed by the state of things and is tempted to photograph all that’s unsightly and send it to Locum with the message: Start here instead of harassing overworked, underpaid bicycle-borne healthcare workers.