Friday, August 20, 2010

Nursing and Trees

There's kind of a charting rule in nursing. Redundant documentation is a waste of time. There's absolutely no good reason to duplicate information in your documentation, especially when it's written over and over again. Let me explain: I am a home health nurse. We are essentially "allotted" a certain amount of time to perform an assessment on a patient, provide the indicated care and treatments, and document everything in writing. Our assessment and care for a patient admitted to home health is documented on some 15+, printed back and front, stapled together pages. Then add to that another 8+ pages of assorted documents, and add that up... A LOT OF PAPER, and a lot of writing.

OK, so I am certainly not complaining about required documentation. That's necessary for obvious reasons. Nurses are used to it - it's just part of the job we come to accept. What I AM complaining about however, is all the DUPLICATE documentation. I am finding it harder and harder to tolerate the waste of time (and it can add up to a lot of time over the course of a day... a week...) that writing things like a medical record number, or patient's name, or their pharmacy... over and over and over again... well, you probably get the point.

OK so after the nurses document this "book" on every patient (extensive documentation is done every two months, yes, every TWO months) and add to that all the notes from "regular" visits... OK, so I got off track here and created a run-on sentence, but it's my blog and I am on a roll.... I digress... so after we write this book, our office staff takes the time to input ALL this data into a computer. Hmmmm, does this make ONE BIT OF SENSE to anyone? I don't even own the company, and I get paid on an hourly basis, but I still care that this many trees are being wasted through the shredder at my work each day. And I care that my time is being wasted this way too!

Take the money you save on paper and buy a cheap laptop for all the nurses and therapists. Invest in some smart (NO redundant charting allowed) software. Let me chart on the computer when I am with the patient. I can place my laptop on a docking station at the office where the data is uploaded to the master mega computer... then the office gals can do whatever they need to do with the information from there, and NONE of us ever have to do this crazy duplicate, time-wasting, manual documentation ever again. And guess what? We'll have more time to spend taking care of our patients, which is what it's all about anyway.

I've had a difficult few days at work, and this charting is just the icing on the freaking cake for me. My attitude about this is ugly and I am sorry it's showing right now. I love, love, love patient care - as much as any nurse on the planet - but wasting my time with senseless, antiquated methods of documentation really pushes my buttons. And since this is my blog and no one reads it I feel very safe venting here! LOL!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Slow Roasted Chicken & Strawberry Cobbler

It's Sunday. I didn't intend to cook today. But when my kitchen calls, I have a hard time ignoring.

Geez, I just realized this is the third day in a row that I've blogged.

I've been wanting to try cooking a whole chicken on the grill. You know, the method where you put a whole bird over a can of something (Dr. Pepper, Coke, beer), so I Googled and found a few ideas. I decided to use Dr. Pepper with a little fresh rosemary since I really love rosemary and I happen to have some growing in my tiny herb garden outside my kitchen. I used a prepared rub (one that we like that is actually a pork rub) and let it sit in the frig for about an hour. Then I inverted this rather large roasting chicken over the opened can of Dr. P (with several sprigs of rosemary dropped in) and hubby cooked it on the grill for a little over an hour. So now it's sitting in my kitchen in all its yummy glory, tempting me, and testing my patience while we wait for Taylor to get home from work. It's smells divine.

While the chicken was on the grill I made a large dish of baked beans and a strawberry cobbler. Both of these dishes rate a 10 on hubby's food perfection scale. Both are simple recipes that I make regularly.

Taylor's home so it's time to eat. Wonder if there will be any leftovers?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Disaster Team Training & Sewing Machine Dreams

I got up WAY too early today, but it was for a worthy cause. I had a disaster team training session at the KY Baptist Convention office in Louisville. The class was on Disaster Grief Counseling and it lasted until almost 2 p.m. It was a nice class, and I got to see a few of the medical team members that went to Haiti with me in March, but the best part of the class was meeting a new friend, Tina. She is a nurse too, and she spends many weeks each year doing medical mission and humanitarian work in other countries. I was thrilled to meet her. She's a nurse educator at the University of Cincinatti, and she actually takes students on most of her international mission trips! How cool is that?!?! Coy at the KBC mentioned that we might have the opportunity to go on a humanitarian trip to AFRICA next summer!

I don't make it to Louisville on a regular basis but since I was there today, and since it was only 2 in the afternoon, and since I was only 10 miles from the closest Viking dealer, I had to drive over to The Smocking Shoppe and test drive a fancy sewing machine I've been drooling over. Husqvarna Viking (yes, the same Husqvarna that makes chainsaws and the like) makes sewing machines that are among the best in the world. I bought a simple Viking machine a few years ago and have wanted one of their top-of-the-line models ever since.

I went into the Shoppe thinking I'd inquire about the Sapphire - the model I thought I wanted - but was informed by the wise, wise staff (or should I say clever saleslady) that what I REALLY wanted was the Topaz model. Well, she was probably right, even though I didn't even know the Topaz model existed until she showed it to me. Well, an hour long test drive confirmed my worst fears. I indeed DID want a Topaz, and the price difference was only about a thousand bucks. Notice I said the price DIFFERENCE. Yes, they are expensive machines.

I work hard. I work hard and make my own money. I deserve to spend a little on me, right? This is what I told myself over and over in that Shoppe, and I was within moments - mere seconds - of yelling "SOLD", paying the lady, grabbing all the goods, and burning up I65 toward home so I could stay up all night playing with my new toy. My heart was racing, and my head was spinning with visions of everything I would create with my new mega-machine.... when the clever saleslady said ONE WRONG THING that ruined it all - and lost her a sale. My blood went cold in an instant, and I was out of that Shoppe within minutes. Oh, I was nice. But I think she got the point.

Maybe it was a blessing in disguise (I just love it when that happens) because when I got home I did some research and found that the lowest price she quoted me was probably a few hundred more than I could get it somewhere else for, PLUS the reviews on that particular model were mixed. A few too many negative reviews for my liking. I am thrilled with my decision to leave that Shoppe without paying the lady.

I recently put the purchase of a longarm quilting machine on hold due to the fact our home is for sale and a longarm machine setup isn't something you want to be moving from house to house. It literally requires a room of its own. I really can't afford to own both a longarm AND new sewing/embroidery machine, so I might have to flip a coin to see which one I will try to get. The sensible me says I don't need either one, and the sensible me usually wins. In fact, I sense that my husband will likely get a new boat before I get a new machine...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time To Blog? Maybe When I Sell My House!

I'm not one to wish time away. In fact, I really would like my life to be a little more simple... okay, a lot more simple! I know I share this desire with a lot of you, and I think about it every single day. I dream of simplifying my life with a smaller house and less stuff to clean and clean around. I can't believe how many hours each week it takes to keep a house in order, and I am one of those people who loves having my home clean and comfy and organized. My home is nice and I am thankful, but I am ready to move on to something smaller and simpler. A sweet family with lots of kids needs my house, and I need a little cabin in the country.

So what's the best way to sell a house when it seems no one else wants a big house either? So I wait...

I've been reading several blogs lately (a few minutes here and there most weeks) and it's really gotten me interested in trying to make time to blog. I've tried a few times and not been too successful. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to get on here and try again. Maybe, when I sell my house...