How to Sabotage a Shift (Niki Meets a Service Dog)

Chapter 56 Never, ever think your shift is easy and you may go home early. It’s the quickest way to sabotage it. The shift started well enough. I did vitals and passed meds for the two post-open heart patients first. They each have private rooms, and I chatted a bit with their respective parents. Transferring […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

At The Raleigh (Niki & Gerald Go Out for Drinks)

Chapter 49 In an upscale restaurant overlooking Santa Monica Bay, I’m standing behind a long table. Every seat is filled with PICU nurses, and staff from other departments celebrating Kris’s bridal shower. Above the chatter and laughter, Kris holds up a scanty piece of lacy lingerie, a gift inciting a round of cell phone photos […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

What Nurses Look Like (Niki Ponders Professional Identity)

Chapter 33 Back at work, the photo shoot is quickly forgotten in the revolving chaos of pediatric intensive care nursing. Despite the cute styles and print fabrics of the scrubs we wore on the set, tonight I’m wearing plain green scrubs pilfered from the OR.  You have to know someone with the keypad code to […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

Buy Yourself Another One (Foraging for food on night shift)

Chapter 27 While getting ready for work I struggle over wearing my hair loose around my shoulders, foregoing the usual scrunchy-bound topknot I wear when I haven’t bothered to wash it. “Pull it together, jeez,” I reprimand myself. “He’s still married. Don’t set yourself up like this.” Pulling into the staff parking lot, I look […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

It Makes Me Shudder (When the line between victim & perpetrator blurs)

 Chapter 23  The police officer stands silently in the doorway of my patient’s room, watching as I listen to her chest with my stethoscope. Her breath sounds are clear and equal on both sides. Next, I check the tube threaded through her nose into her stomach. It’s draining dark green fluid into a suction canister […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

After The Flood (Nothing angers a PICU team like child abuse)

Chapter 22 At Raquel’s house, I sat on the sofa listening to The Cowboy Junkies with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. Raquel brought me another mug of cardamom-spiced tea. Upstairs, Maddie played with her cousins. Raquel sat on the sofa next to me, and put her head on my shoulder like she used to […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

Is Everything Okay? (Niki’s nursing assessment saves a baby)

   Chapter 17 I woke up in the afternoon having slept poorly after the bad dream. Schlepping my way into the kitchen, I made a cup of tea. Simon dropped Maddie off from school, and then went back to coach practice. I helped Maddie with her homework while starting dinner. During dinner Maddie chatted animatedly […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

It’s Not Like You Work Five Days a Week (Twelve-hour night shifts are hard on marriages)

Chapter 14  For the third night in a row, I returned to the PICU. Shortly after shift report, the father of the child I told how to ask for pain meds for his kid walks in carrying three large boxes of pizzas. He sets them in front of me, on top of the nurses’ desk. […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Niki gets a speeding ticket)

Chapter 9 After charting on the fourteen-year-old boy with the AVM, I left the PICU to the well wishes of my coworkers: “Get some sleep, Niki. Good job.” As usual, I leave through the Emergency Department exit, glancing around before remembering that it’s after eight-thirty; Corey went home over an hour ago, and I stood him up […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off