School Me Saturday 5/20/23- Finish Line?

Nothing like it being nearly June to have thoughts of the finish line dance in your head.

Not unlike sugarplums dancing in your head as you drift off to sleep on Christmas Eve night in Clement Clark Moore’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem.

The finish line I am referring to here is graduation.

The grand culmination of all of the sweat, and tears, and late nights, and papers, and tests. It is all leading to the moment of graduation.

Of the 4 graduations I’ve had, high school, ADN, BSN, and MSN, I have only attended 2. These were high school, and the ADN. The BSN graduation was in Illinois in December, and the MSN graduation was in Charlotte, in May 2020. Right smack in the beginning of the pandemic. Graduation was delayed two times until 2021 and I elected not to go because I was not doing large gatherings. Even masked.

As evidenced graduation does not have to be the end. There is always more to learn. More ways to grow.

Or not.

It is up to you and your wallet.

And where you want to go in your career.

But graduation is an ending and a beginning.

The formal education of the college degree has ended. Depending on what degree you receive there may be ongoing education credits required. I know there is for nursing. In my state, 15 continuing education units (CEUs) are required every 2 years for licensure if you are a registered nurse.

Or you could decide that a more advanced degree is desirable. It may be necessary for your career goals. You may be bored. You may, like me, be focused on what happens if I get hurt and am no longer able to be a functioning operating room nurse and want a backup plan. Or you may decide that retirement is may not be the only path you want to take and you need an alternative for retirement. You know, to keep your hand in.

Or your formal education may culminate in graduation. It is all okay.

Take a deep breath and happy job hunting.

CTIAT 5/18/23-pop tart cookies

Movie Magic continues.

In another nod to my childhood and adolescence, the movie chosen this week is ‘Earth Girls Are Easy’.

This is a 1988 movie starring Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, and Downtown Julie Brown.

A spaceship crashlands into a Southern California pool of a nail artist (Davis). The aliens in the spaceship are covered in colored fur. A hair stylist (Brown) helps the nail artist hide them.

With a lot of Nair.

The quote from the movie is “I gave them pop tarts and a makeover!”.

Instead of making pop tarts with crust, I wondered if cut-up, already prepared pop tarts can go into a cookie.

And of course, it can.

This may be one of my new favorite doughs. It is purported to be a sugar cookie dough but I bet I can change the mix-ins and change the cookie.

The only thing is that the original recipe has cream of tartar listed as an ingredient. And baking soda.

Cream of tartar is useful in stabilizing meringue, and prevents crystallization of sugar in candies, and is part of baking powder. This was useless as far as I was concerned. There was no rise, and there was no spread. Both of these ingredients are less than three months old. Next time I will use the full tsp of baking soda and not cut it with the cream of tartar.

Maybe cornstarch as an addition.

After the cookies finished baking, again with no spread and no rise, I flattened them slightly with the bottom of a glass. We’ll see how that goes over.

Remember, experimentation is the name of the Cookie Thursday is a Thing game.

Can’t do it

I can’t write today. I’ve begun and scrapped so many posts.

I am too mad.

Mad about the travesty that is happening in my own state. And in other states. So many other states.


Well, the state house and state senate passed a bill limiting abortion after 12 weeks in my state.

And the governor vetoed it.

And last night the state house and state senate overrode the veto. Aided by the democrat turncoat vote for me, and when I am in office, oops, I’m actually a republican. Calling a 12-week ban a “good compromise”. A middle of the road solution.

I call bullshit.

I did not vote for her.

But others I work with did. And they feel betrayed. And pissed.

12 weeks is just an arbitrary number. And the law’s restrictions placed upon women who are seeking an abortion in terms of time and money and money and money is sickening. Ugh.

Yeah, I know other states have it worse.

But did you know that this is just the beginning? Other states have already telegraphed their intentions to roll this country back to the 1950s.

When men were men.

And women were servants to the men.

And women suffered and died.

A lot.

The people of this country support access to abortion.

I say get out of our personal business. And our uteruses. A friend bought me a tee shirt that says “He who hath not a uterus should shut the fucketh up.” This baby is gonna get a lot of wear in the next little bit.

I can only imagine the impact this will have on the hospitals.

Beyond that, I can only imagine the death and despair that we are seeing in other, more restrictive states writ upon my own state. I wrote on a social media platform that women are dying and will continue to die. And for what?

So the small percentage of the population who dislike abortion, my own family members among the single-issue voters, can say that they slew the beast? And what will be their next target? I mean, we already know.

To the state representatives and state senator, I hope you know what you have wrought.


Monday Musing 5/15/23-New knowledge

I learned some things today.

I was at a curricula event geared towards, you know, actual instructors.

But there I was, feeling so out of place. During self-introductions, I admitted it to the group of about 28. I said I wasn’t a teacher. Not yet.

But I was eager to learn.

And learn I did.

And, to my surprise, much of it can be translated to nursing, and the operating room.

But the most surprising thing I learned is that PTSD mimics ADHD.

This means that there are a LOT of nurses running around thinking they have undiagnosed ADHD. When, in fact, we have PTSD from being a healthcare worker during a pandemic.

Mic drop.

After all, we kept it together to get through nursing school, one of the most rigorous educational offerings out there.

And it is only after the pandemic that we feel out of control and can’t focus on anything. All of a sudden, nurses are doom scrolling, and neglecting chores. Because they can’t focus long enough to finish anything.

I have heard this from many, many nurses.

Y’all know that nurses love to diagnose ourselves and then drop it.

It is no wonder that a lot of the nurses that I work with or come in contact with suddenly are wondering if they have ADHD.

Nope, just run of the mill Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This doesn’t mean the stress isn’t real.

I was the only nurse in the room, but not the only person affected. Teachers had it rough too, creating a new online curricula entirely out of thin air in what seemed like a minute, trying to shepherd their students through the new type of classes.

Makes you think that the pandemic isn’t done affecting us.

Not by a long shot.

According to the CDC covid data tracker, the US has a total death toll of 1 million, one hundred, twenty-seven thousand deaths as of May 6th. Yeah, the data is out of date. No surprise there. I miss the Johns Hopkins Covid dashboard.

My hospital was giving out online references for counseling, and stress management during the worst of the pandemic. Maybe, as a hospital, we all need counseling.

We need something.

This is why I continue with Cookie Thursday is a Thing. It’s a morale builder, for sure.

It’s not much, but it is something.

Post-it Sunday 5/14/23- full moon superstition

The post-it reads “There should be a support group for those who have been harmed by a full moon.”

Yeah, I know the full moon was over a week ago. And I definitely wasn’t harmed by the moon because it was my night off.


This is very true. Especially for the call team that had the full moon that was ALSO a lunar eclipse.

Talk about being double damned.

As a rule, the OR folk are superstitious.

Full moons.

Friday the 13th.

Step on a crack.

All sorts.

In my experience, there is something about a full moon.

Ask Labor and Delivery, they’ll tell you about the increase in labor. After all, the moon works on all bodies of water, including amniotic fluid.

Am I superstitious?


The Q word that rhymes with riot is especially hated.

And a Facebook memory just reminded me of a pair of shoes that I got rid of years ago because of the undue influence on the schedule, call and otherwise.

Superstitions are okay. Breeds healthy skepticism and all that.

And if one more person whispers the Q word in my presence, I will absolutely let them have the consequences. I’ve recently broken my 15 year not calling in sick record, and I will again.

Cookie Thursday 5/11/23-a day late, Happy International Nurse Day

Nurse’s week is exhausting.

There is so much to do. Lunches and breakfasts and awards celebrations.

Blessings of hands, massages, and 2nd week of the month meetings.

Capped off with a nursing banquet.

Busy, busy.

I baked the cookie of the week on Wednesday because I knew that Thursday was jammed full of events.

In keeping with the Movie Magic theme of the month, I wanted to do a cookie that paid homage to one of the best movies encapsulating my generation.

I offered a choice to guide the decision-making process: Back to the Future or the Breakfast Club.

I was either going to make a 1950s nostalgia cookie or a cookie inspired by the 1980s movie. Depending on what people chose.

And at the end of the voting, the Breakfast Club was the clear winner.

Now, what cookie to make.

In the movie, there are 5 examples of the teenage trope: the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, and the criminal. All in detention together. Bonds are formed, they drive the principal in charge of detention nuts. Good times.

There is a scene when all 5 are eating lunch together. The brain has the lunch packed by his mommy, the athlete has a calorie-laden meal to help with fitness, the princess has sushi. And the basket case, played by Ally Sheedy, makes a sandwich with Captain Crunch cereal and pixie sticks.

I know that cereal cookies are a thing. And have been done before. And I saw recipes for Rice Krispie treat marshmallow bars, using another sugary cereal. And an oatmeal-based cookie featuring another kind of cereal.

None of that was quite right.

And then I saw a different version of the cereal cookie. That used crushed cereal pieces AND a swirl of chocolate.

Definitely the recipe for this week’s make.

Except my chocolate swirl made all the cookies appear as if they were chocolate cookies when I mixed it in.

Oh, well, obviously they were well received.

I would be remiss if I did not note that today is International Nurse Day. And Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Obviously, the delay made sense.

Hug a nurse, with permission of course. We are the backbone of the medical profession.

Nurse’s Week/Hospital Week Awards

At my hospital, we celebrate quarterly awards.

Throughout the quarter, nominations are gathered and the subjects are identified.

And usually, late in the second month of the next quarter, after the nominations are all tallied, and voted upon, there is an award’s celebration.

May is atypical. Those of us who oversee the awards process have two double time it to ensure that the awards are ready to be given out during the week’s celebration.

This past quarter there were 90 nominations. Nurses, and CNAs, and techs, and dietary, and environmental staff, and front desk staff were all represented.

During the thick of the pandemic, I think our smallest nomination haul was 17. Not that we weren’t providing a valuable and valued service, but no one had a moment or a brain cell to spare to conceptualize and nomination, let alone write one.

Tomorrow, we will be giving out all the awards. I have been writing the script for the presentation. Because we added a new award, that of the Daisy Leader. There have always been a few leader nominations, consistently, and the push was for our hospital to do a Daisy Leader award. This one won’t be quarterly, it will be twice a year.

Because the awards should be about the front-line staff. And those of us who have been at the bedside the entire pandemic.

We even had a student nomination this quarter, the first I believe. And a few nominations for trainee nurses.

Tomorrow, we raise a cinnamon roll to the memory of Patrick Barnes, whose family started the Daisy Foundation. The hospital started the other two awards, the Rose and the Sunshine, because nurses can’t do it alone. And it takes quite a few people to get patients home safe.

I’ll probably cry, I always do.

But we will celebrate those team members who have been singled out by their peers, and by the patients to celebrate them.

Collecting nominations for quarter 2 now.

Monday Musing 5/8/23-Happy Nurse’s Day/Week/Month!

Depending on who you ask nurses should be celebrated every day. There is Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12, and there is Nurse’s Day on May 6th. And the ANA wants us to celebrate the entire month.

Remember last time they wanted to celebrate the entire YEAR? And what a year it was!

Granted this was 2020. And we all know what started that year.

I’m good with a week.

Nurses remain the top trusted job in the United States.

However, the profession has slipped to 79%. We are still the most trusted. But the number is dipping.

I blame social media. And the anti-vaxxers.

Both, it is both driving down the number. And the killer nurse in the UK, and the increased media spotlight on honest to goodness human mistakes that happen when you are staffing a hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Every single nurse I have ever had the pleasure to work with deserves accolades. Even the ones I didn’t and still don’t care for.

Raise a glass to those nurses who line up to care for the ones who need it. And do all the jobs that others won’t do, because they are hard, and sometimes gross, and can be soul-sucking. Who continually seek out learning and enrichment, not for advancement or to get off the nursing floor. But because we care. \

Not you, nurses in Florida who bought their diplomas without putting in the hours studying and the hours learning how to care for hospital patients. You, you should be ashamed of yourselves. We all know you aren’t and see nothing wrong in what you did. But try.

To the other nurses, raise a glass and toast your coworkers and yourselves. Healthcare would not be the same without us.

Post-it Sunday 5/7/23-calling out sick

The phone note reads “Last time Kate was sick was August 2014, last time Kate called out sick was when she had shingles in DC in 2008.”

knock on wood

That is 15 years of not calling in sick.

The streak is broken.


I had to call in sick on Tuesday night because I had food poisoning. And the hospital frowns upon working under those kind of GI conditions.

Heck, I frown upon it too.

Hence the call out.

It had been so long since I had done it, I had to ask my manager how to call out.

And the thing about food poisoning? It is normally a short-term duration illness. I was back to normal on Wednesday. But the no call out streak is still in ruins on the ground.


Nothing to do but start again.

And hope that it wasn’t the tipping point inviting all the buggies in. Because you know that OR nurses are superstitious. And Friday night was a honker of a full moon.

Today it has been 5 days since I had to call out sick.

Every streak has to start somewhere.

School Me Saturday 5/6/23- May report

End of Spring semester was last week.

Thank goodness.

This is legit the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my academic career.

My husband says if a PhD was easy, everyone would do it.

I know, I know, I know.

It’s still hard.

But end of Spring semester marks the end of Year 1.

One down, two to go.

Summer off though. By that, I mean no classes. I am going to be doing a graduate assistant thingy for 6 weeks. From home. Cheerleading those in the RN to BSN bridge program. And keeping their spirits up.

The grades just came through for the statistics class. Don’t ask me how I pulled out a 90.1%. Lots of late nights, study sessions, reading, oh the reading. A few tears, too, I am not ashamed to admit.

Some things, like statistics, are unknowable.

That leaves me with 1 B + and 2 As.


And an awareness and acceptance of my shortcomings.

I have the chair picked out for my dissertation committee.

I have ideas of who else to choose.

I have a better idea of what I want to research.

And a plan for Year 2, starting in just a few weeks.

As I told my PhD cohort over our group text this morning when the stats grades were dropped, “The only way out is through.”