An ICU Nurse’s Complicated Relationship with the Turn of the New Year

I wrote a post around Thanksgiving about the strange chasm between holiday bliss and hospital grief. After that post, our unit entered into a stormy December when we saw one tiny human go from just so new to the world, to an everything-altering diagnosis, to sick but cute and alert, to crashing onto ECMO and … Continue reading An ICU Nurse’s Complicated Relationship with the Turn of the New Year

PICU Nursing, Dec 2022: A Day in the Life

I was supposed to be charge nurse yesterday. But because staffing remained incredibly tight, and we had some extraordinarily sick patients in our unit right now (four on CVVH, a nurse-driven specialized form of slow dialysis; and one little baby on ECMO, the ultimate heart-lung machine for the sickest of patients), one of our wonderfully … Continue reading PICU Nursing, Dec 2022: A Day in the Life

Upcoming Webinar with Speaking Grief: Minimizing Burnout in Death Care Professionals

The Speaking Grief Initiative is doing such important work in recognizing and validating the reality of grief in our world, both personally and professionally. I'm so grateful to be a panelist in this upcoming webinar on "Minimizing Burnout in Death Care Professionals." While this webinar speaks first and foremost to the experience of funeral directors, … Continue reading Upcoming Webinar with Speaking Grief: Minimizing Burnout in Death Care Professionals

AJN’s Nurses Week 2019 collection of favorite articles

There are certain patient cases that never leave you as a nurse. They are the experiences that hold - and shape - the indescribable art of nursing as you learn how to read significant cues, listen to the unspoken, and hold another's heart while also holding your own as it comes undone. American Journal of … Continue reading AJN’s Nurses Week 2019 collection of favorite articles

Intimate Strangers: Article for AJN’s Aug 2017 Reflections column

Meeting a family for the first time, on the day they will say good-bye to their child for the last time. Taking care of the child's physical needs until it's time to be the one who turns off all that has been sustaining those needs. It is one of the most profound interactions a nurse … Continue reading Intimate Strangers: Article for AJN’s Aug 2017 Reflections column

A Strange Gift: The Bittersweet Calling to Nursing

(Post originally written Aug 16, 2012) Yesterday was the first time I’ve ever done postmortem care on a little patient, minus the partial experience I had as a nursing student a few years ago. Surreal hardly begins to describe the experience, from cleaning up a messy room that bears witness to the intense activity involved … Continue reading A Strange Gift: The Bittersweet Calling to Nursing