Thursday, February 05, 2009

Change of Shift: Welcome to The Fishbowl



In the days leading up to hosting this edition of Change of Shift, I gave a great deal of thought to the phenomena of the internet, blogging, Twitter, iPhones, Facebook, and the many technological advances that now keep us all connected and communicating.

That said, as much as I love these manifestations of our Digital Age, I also see these forums as proverbial fish bowls in which we all stew ourselves in the waters of public communication, often rendering ourselves vulnerable and naked as the observing masses watch our every move.



Over on Twitter, many of us now communicate in a "micro-blogging" format, using 140-word posts to get our message across to our myriad "followers". Twitter is, for all intents and purposes the newest digital fish bowl, and as more and more of us jump into the water, the pool sure does get crowded!

But before Twitter and many other manifestations of Web 2.0 emerged from the depths of the collective technological consciousness (bear with me here, folks), blogging arose as the newest form of armchair journalism, rendering many of us health care professionals suddenly able to make our voices heard, singularly and collectively. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and others suddenly found a venue in which their experiences, feelings and expertise could be readily shared with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of readers hungry for their fresh perspective. And for this opportunity, we are thankful, and we take full advantage of the digital soap box that blogging provides on a daily basis.

So, dear friends, welcome one and all to our Change of Shift Fishbowl, and thanks to Kim at Emergiblog for making it all possible. Feel free to swim with the school, make some new friends, and bask in the rich and teeming waters of the blogosphere.



Swimming over to the mental health section of the fishbowl, our favorite Therapy Doc bemoans the post-modern illness, Internet Asperger's Syndrome. Oh the irony of it all!

Speaking of mental health, my Twittering friend Strong One delivers two posts for this week's Change of Shift, the first being very wise advice for new grads and new nurses trying to care for themselves in the stressful world of health care delivery, the second being further advice for those same new nurses to avoid the trap of being a Know-It-All or its absolute opposite.




Meanwhile, Travel Nursing Blogs reminds us (for better or worse!) that tax time is here, and those ever-so-lucky traveling health care professionals can take advantage of significant tax benefits if they do their homework.

And as far from taxes as one could get, Miss-Elaine-ious regales us with the moving story of how an example of true caring makes her want to be the best nurse she can be.

Eschewing the written word, Robert Fraser of Nursing Ideas shares a video interview with a nurse who also advocates for environmental issues. Thanks for the multimedia post, Rob!




Lists seem to be a frequent theme in blog posts these days, and submissions to Change of Shift are no exception. So, for those of you who like their recommendations enumerated, swim over to the other side of our tempest in a teapot to peruse what's on offer:

A second submission from Travel Nursing Blogs gives us the Top 5 Reasons to become a travel nurse. What are we waiting for, especially in light of the aforementioned tax benefits!

USPharmD informs us of the Top 50 Genetics Blogs on the Internet.

And since iPhones are all the rage, Radiography Schools graces us with a list of 20 iPhone apps that can help you to improve your health.

Speaking of iPhones, there just seems to be no escaping their cultural domination, as Phlebotomy Technician Schools regales us with 20 iPhone apps for overwhelmed students.



Swimming on, we find Ultrasound Technician Schools discussing how the benefits of ultrasound far outweigh the potential negative effects.

And using laser therapy to help patients quit smoking is submitted for your consideration by Health and Nutrition Facts.

In terms of heart health in the face of menopause, Heartstrong shares the results of a new study that is certainly food for thought, as well as a second post outlining guidelines for preventing heart disease in women.

Dean Moyer of The Back Pain Blog offers up a two-for-one deal this week with his latest post entitled Health Care Reform and Sciatica Recovery. In Part One he covers what he (as a consumer) would like to see included in a national health care plan. Part Two is the continuation of an ongoing effort to answer reader questions about sciatic nerve pain.




Over at RehabRN, we are treated to a heartfelt post about the travails of nursing, of succumbing to winter illnesses, and the adaptation involved in order to be able to still love nursing at the end of the day.

Nearby, Nerdy (not-quite) nurse shares some very sage advice for women of all ages based on her experiences working in a OB/GYN office.

A guest blogger on NurseConnect discusses the stress faced by patients when they are transferred from one unit to another, especially in the ICU, a place that can certainly feel like a fishbowl.

And another guest blogger on NurseConnect discusses the ins and outs of writing letters of complaint to businesses that deserve them, as well as letters of satisfaction when all is well. This advice is well suited to experiences in health care facilities, so watch out!

The third offering from NurseConnect challenges us to assess the level of assertiveness practiced in our workplace. Are you ready to assert yourself with the big fish in your facility?


Meanwhile, over at Online Nursing Degrees, my blogger friend Jen wonders whether something fishy is going on, asking why there are so many hiring freezes when the nursing shortage is so dire.

Over near the coral, an interesting and thought-provoking post is offered by VP Medical News concerning medical providers who are reprimanded---or worse---for offering to pray with patients.

And on a very different subject, BookScoutLookOut brings us the story of being a first responder to the home of an overdosed heroin addict.



For myself, your host, I've been thinking and blogging about many subjects these days. On a personal level, my struggles with my health and recently chronic insomnia has been a preoccupation, ad nauseum.

On the macro scale, a recent Pentagon ruling to exclude veterans diagnosed with PTSD from being awarded the Purple Heart certainly raised my hackles, and the independent film "Ballast" brought my post-inaugural attention back to the plight of the rural poor in America.


So, my friends, it's abundantly clear to me that our blogging fishbowl is simply awash with talent, curiosity, compassion, and professionalism. These myriad forums for the sharing of information and opinion truly enhance our lives, and as long as we don't allow technology to usurp our humanity and our ability to connect face to face in the real world, we can hope to continue to benefit from this veritable flood of information for years to come.

Thank you for paying a visit to this edition of Change of Shift, and remember that there is life both inside and outside the fishbowl. So when the waters get too murky and visibility isn't so good, remember to draw a hot bath, take a walk, make a cup of tea, hug a friend, and jump back in when you've been refreshed. We'll all still be here, ready to welcome you back for a swim.



Note: The next Change of Shift will be hosted at This Crazy Miracle Called Life on February 19th. You can submit direct to the host or via Blog Carnival.


(All photos by NurseKeith)
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