Saturday, January 19, 2008

All those damned credential abbreviations again, and I have to go off and invent a new one. Sheesh. But hey, it applies to me. I'm the aged nurse, heading back into the ICU, following a few years of retirement. So, for all of you like me, RN = Reincarnated Nurse!

Reincarnated Nurse

I'm just an aged RN returning
To the original scene of the crime,
The question that everyone's asking
How many years has it been, since his prime,
While the average age of a nurse
In California, is just forty-seven,
30% of us, clock over 50
You might say, we’re just closer to heaven.

But I suppose, we can’t take all for granted
When you pluck an old nurse from the crypt,
You’ll want to check the degree of senility
And how many discs have been slipped,
Are any critical devices required
For the operation of their bodily functions,
What are the odds, in the midst of their job
You’ll be required to perform extreme unction?

He has twenty long years, in critical-care
How much he retained is unknown,
You can’t train an old dog; can you train an old nurse?
Perhaps his brain has been turned into stone,
But this vacant position, has been unfilled forever
Our list of applicants amounted to two,
No young-nurses applied, perhaps they all died
When they learned how much work they would do.

Perhaps an old nurse, is better than none
All the tricks of the trade have been learned,
He may have lost a little speed, after 4000 shifts
His aches and his pains duly earned,
His competitive spirit, still fires his efforts
His good deeds have no need to be overstated,
A legend in his own time, if you ask those who know
An experienced nurse, reincarnated.


Friday, January 11, 2008

First post of the New Year is about becoming sensitive enough to be aware of death at a distance. With Nurses, that is an important tool to have on hand. Critical thinking is good, but Visual Mortality Acuity ranks higher.

Visual Mortality Acuity

Just how far away
Can you determine death,
Can you sense the subtle vibes
Of a beating heart or breath,
Can you see a vapor trail
At 27 meters,
Do you hear the failing heart
By the backfire of its beaters?

Can you hear the deathman's rattle
As you stand outside the door,
Or the whisper of the raven
Softly chanting, "Nevermore",
I like to think, it's just the tailwind
Of a guy who's heaven-bound,
Doing solo flying
With the wings that he just found.

Can you measure rigor mortis
With a telephoto scope,
Can you guarantee a suicide
By the tension on the rope,
Can you call a drive-by shooting
And the bullet riddled brains,
By the ashen colored skin
As the blood pours down the drains?

When you're driving in your car
And there's a guy down in the gutter,
Can you tell from half a block
If his heart beat has a flutter,
Is he a catatonic schizoid
With a blank and staring look;
If you've had the proper training
You could read him like a book.

When you've learned to spot a dead man
At any distance you inspect,
You must study proper timing
To be sure you are correct,
Because uniqueness is the key
When determining a stiff,
This application of your senses
May require just a whiff,
Because death is an olfactory
Experience indeed,
A body laying undisturbed
Begins to go to seed,
And the germination process
Is a documented science,
The timing quite predictable
Like a clockwork geared appliance.

What this boils down to, folks
Is a measurable skill,
It is used by law enforcement
At the scene of any kill,
It can guide the health-care workers
In the plan of their attack,
The odds are, death has not set in
If the body is warm and slack;
So if you'd like to earn your license
With a handsome annual annuity,
Train for certification
In visual mortality acuity.