Friday, October 31, 2008


Do I have it in me? Can I do this? Will this make me happy? Oh the debt?!?!

I've been very hush hush about this, but I figure it's time to let the cat out of the bag. I'm going back to school. Actually, currently, I'm applying to programs. I spent most of September and October prepping for the GRE-not fun, took the GRE today-temerity, pure temerity, and now I'm polishing my essays. It's a wee bit stressful, all of this waiting and prepping, but I'm excited for the future. After much debate about what degree I wanted-MSN?, MBA?, MPH?- I decided on the MPH. Careful research lead me to schools with excellent programs and the option of a joint degree...just in case I'm bored and want to really have no life.

When I moved to New York, I had a two year commitment. Hard to believe that it's been over a year, time sure does fly. As luck may have it, when the 2009 fall semester begins, my commitment will be fulfilled. It's not that I want to leave the bedside, who wouldn't want the glamour of bedpans and bodily fluids, but I'm frustrated with my job. I feel stifled. I show up to work, do my job, learn as much as possible, but then I think about my patients and the plights that brought us together. I'm sitting there, taking patient histories, speaking with the fire and police departments, ruminating over what could have been done differently. Was there access to healthcare? Was there a language barrier or a knowledge deficit? Did socioeconimic status play a part in the accidnet? Regarding a MPH degree, I hope to focus on injury prevention while working to not only expand health care but also increase the ease of accesibility. Sure it's easy to grant someone the right to health care, but what if they don't have a car to get to and from, or if they work 3 minimum jobs to make ends meet and can't take time off? These are all things that you and I take for granted.

So where am I applying?
Columbia, Harvard, Yale, and Emory. Columbia, Yale, and Emory all have the options for a MSN/MPH or MPH/MBA dual degree, and although Harvard only offers the latter....I figure it would be cool to at least say, "I got into Haaaaavaad." (Maybe my Boston accent will return?)

All of the schools have unique opportunities-

Columbia- uh, location? I won't have to move! Dual degree with a great nursing program, opportunity to work with a professor who currently has a NIH grant in exactly what I want to focus on.

Yale- a super unique MPH with a concentration in health management. 1/2 business classes, 1/2 MPH classes. It's like a 2 -for-1 degree! Plus, I'm still only an hour and a half ouside New York, and I'm also only an hour and half from my family in Boston.

Harvard- my hometown ad my family! Opportunity do do research with their prestigious Medical school. Plus, to quote one of Memegrl's friends, "Going to Harvard is like getting "SMART" tattooed on your forehead

Emory- warm climate! Slighty cheaper tuition than the above mentioned schools. Uh, best of all the CDC is like righ tin their backyard! And for someone getting a degree in public health, the CDC is not an amazing resource but also incredible opportunity for making conection. Plus, I'd be close(er) to SheStartedIt's family and I sure do miss them!

A recurring theme, if you hadn't already noticed, was the issue of location. Although living in New York is great-where else can you get a whopping 400 square feet for $1700 a month?!?!?!-I'm not sure if it's worth staying and foregoing a amazing education opportunity. Tons of my friends from college live here now, but many of them are either in schoool or going back to school, so everyone is living in limbo. LC, MD (2nd years) and LR (1st year) are currently in law school, EM is starting law school in the fall, but hasn't decided where yet. Three of my friends from work are in grad school at Columbia and only working part time, but aren't sure if they will stay here after graduation. I have a friend in Dental school at Columbia, one in medical school at NYU, and another one at NYU's nursing school. See how complicated this is? I know most of you are probably thinking, quit whining, but true to my Type A-ness, I want to plan everything out and have it go smoothly.

Late one night at work, my friend K gave me some great advice. He told me that although many of the schools don't require it, to reqeust a personal interview. That way, I can get a better sense of them and they will get a better sense of me. It's easy to forget someone on paper, but when you have face to put with all that paperwork....

This is just the beginning of my journey, and I'll be sure to keep you updated. Any suggestions, advice, comments are welcome.

*Look out people, some day you are going to see Nurse Kelly changing the face of healthcare.* Now there's a bombastic comment.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Things 1 through 13

A letter to my patients:

To all of you who managed to burn yourself, be it by tragedy or plain self stupidity, I'm giving your fair warning Nurse Kelly may not be her usual cheery self this weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I'm usually pretty OK with getting shafted and working the shitiest hours weekends, but this weekend is the one weekend that I wanted off. Not only are all of my sorority sisters venturing back to Philly for a ChiO reunion, it's Penn's homecoming football game, but also by some miracle of God, the Phillies won the world series this week and there is a huge victory parade tomorrow. It's torture that I'm stuck here in New York with all that fun stuff going on. Here's a quick run down of what I'm going to be missing, in chronological order, except for maybe a few additional stops at Allegros for 40's..

1. Phillies Victory Parade

2.ChiOmega reunion

3. Happy Hour at Mad4Mex

4. Halloween Party @ Bone's apartment

5. Drunken Spectacle at the Blarney Stone

6. 7 am Mimosas at SMOKES

7. CHiO Homecoming brunch

8. Keg stands, 40's, and bottles of Andre in "the lot" @ 4047 Spruce

9. Stumbling to Franklin Field to throw toast on the field at PENN's homecoming football game

10. Power nap before going out again with the girls

11. Allegros and/or Greek Lady at 2am

12. Waking up wondering why my feet are black then remembering that I spent most of the night singing, dancing, and playing
beirut and flip in the Pike basement

13. Eating brunch at Izzy and Zoes

Sigh....I guess there is always next year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Best Salad Ever

After a great run yesterday morning and a few hours of studying, I was restless and decided to run some errands. I figured I'd head downtown to run a few errands. So I walk to the xxth street subway stop, swipe through the turnstile, ad then hear: "Due to someone needing medical attention at xxth, all local 6 downtown bound trains are halted. We are sorry for the inconvenience." Aww, gee thanks.
I walked out and asked the man at the ticket counter if there was another way for me to go downtown. I told him that I needed to get to Union Square. After he rolling his eyes and letting out a big sigh (uh, isn't this your job jacka$$???) he said, "Well, you need to take the local 6 train uptown one stop. Transfer to the 4 or 5 express, and then take it downtown to Union Square."

45 minutes later I made it down to the UnionSquare Farmers Market. My top priority was picking up a birthday treat for my dad (he's obsessed with this chunky orange marmalade from Beth's Farm Kitchen) but of course, this particular stand is only there on Friday and Saturday.

Not wanting to waste the trip (and what it a travel adventure it was), I perused the fruit and veggie stands. I went a little overboard and bought way more produce than I could comfortably carry home. By the time I arrived home, I had worked up an appetite from carrying the heavy bags. I immediatly got to work chopping, slicing, and dicing....

-baby spinach
-1 baby zuchini, diced
-2 medium carrots, grated
-1/4 avocado, diced
-1/4 baked sweet potato, cubed
-1/2 cup cherry tomatos, chopped
-1 small cucumber, halved and seeded
-1/2 cup jicama, chopped
-1 cup blanched broccoil, chopped
-1/2 cup white mushrooms,chopped
-1/4 cup purple onion, finey diced
-1/4 cup corn
-1/2 Fuji apple chopped

*I tossed in some dry roasted edamame for a little crunch
and dressed it with some sesame miso dressing.

Although I didn't get what I set out to buy, I was able to make the best of the day and now have a yummy salad for lunches and dinners this week. And on that note, I'm off to work.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

It's that time of the week again! Check out this meme here:

#1. Name something you use cream cheese in/on.
Blush pasta cream sauce

#2. Do you use yogurt in any recipes?
Yup. I use it as a substiute for sour cream.

#3. Macaroni salad. What do you like/put in yours?
cucumbers, grape/cherry tomatoes, chopped carrots, chopped purple onion- with Ken's light Ceasar dressing

#4. Share a recipe that you use sour cream in.

Summer Tomato and Crab Salad- from Wh0leF00ds
2 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 pound cooked crab meat
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and white pepper to taste
3/4 cup low fat or regular sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Put tomatoes, crab, chives, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper into a large bowl and toss gently to combine; set aside. Stir together sour cream, dill, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Spoon tomato and crab salad onto plates and serve with dollops of the dill sour cream on the side.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Take A Step Back

The following is a link to a blog- the blog of a fellow nurse, an alumna of my alma matter, a mother, and a victim to scleroderma. In one of her final blog entries, now published in the Washington Post, she captures something I've yet to put into words.

Diary of a Dying Mom

Please check it out.

Although I didn't personally know Michelle, her touching story and heartfelt words will forever linger in my heart. Both she and her family will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Always an Adventure

Dear Mr. Cab Driver,

First let me commend you on your driving skills. You ability to from 0-60 in between lights is astounding and putting the car in park at every light? Fabulous. Can we discuss your cologne? Maybe I'm wrong, but you drive the cab to work, not find a wife. Please do all of your riders a favor and limit the number of cologne squirts in the morning to two? thankyouverymuch. I know it's a bit of a windey trip to JFK Airport, but you win the prize for most roller-coaster like taxi cab ride. Remember when you had to say , "Mizzzz, Mizzz.. Ve arh haair." two times, and you saw that I was curled up in a ball in the back of your cab? Well that's because I was trying not to vomit all over your cab. Puh leaze, don't give me that pissed off look because I only gave your a five dollar tip! Your driving was a ghastly and the ride cost $50.00.

Dear TSA Personnel,

Why must your be such a paininthea$$? I get it. You hate your job, but why must you make my life miserable? All of my toiletries fit into the little baggie, so did it really matter that my expensive hair cream, hair gel, body wash, and face wash were 3.15 ounces each? I hate that you made me throw them out. Do you know what it's like travel across the country for a wedding without your usual beauty products? Well let me give you a clue...$&@(@*#&( &#&#(#&$(#* *#^$*(@)@&$^$*#)#&$!!!

Dear JFK Airport,

Why? Why? Why? Why must your hire the most unfriendly, grouchy TSA personnel? Wait, I already addressed this issue. Oh yes, onto your layout. Can I please have the name of the architect who designed you? I'd be fascinated to know their rationale behind making the A terminal 30 gates long and shaped like a "U" where the drop off is at one end and not in the middle. Maybe this wouldn't have been so annoying to me if I weren't at gate 30 with all the international departures and having to listen to each and every announcement in 3 languages. Did I, already, ask you why the prices at the St@arbucks inside the airport are 25% more than the already inflated Manhattan prices? Now onto the taxiing on the runway? WHATTHEFUCK. Your runways are like a convoluted circuit...up, down, left, right, backward, forward, diagonal, inside, outside, loop de doo. Umm, yeah, 55 minutes later (the 22nd in line to take off), we are up, up and away!

Dear Delt@,

At first I was floored by the great deal that I got on my flights, $379.00! In fact, had I waited 3 more weeks to purchase them, they only would have cost me $325. Granted, the economy is crashing and gas is cheaper but then again, I really shouldn't be spending excessively. BI understand that on a 6 hour flight it's not necessary to serve a meal, but peanuts, only peanuts? Now maybe you are trying to pacify the Atkins followers, but I couldn't;t relax for the entire flight for fear that some person with a peanut allergy would go into anaphylactic shock. This was a vacation for me, I really didn't want to play Nurse Kelly.
Also, what's up with having to PAY for a movie- $6.00 bucks? It's cheaper for me to rent a movie at home, bring it on the plane, and watch it on my computer. Suck it up! And for the sake of entertaining your customers, especially if you want them to be return customers, include a movie in the cost of the ticket.
Do you have a screaming baby policy? Would you have kicked me off the plane if I offered the mother of a SCREAMING baby some Benadryl? Or do you strategically place screaming kids to increase the number of alcoholic beverages that your patrons purchase? With regard to the latter -did I tell you how much I enjoyed my one Margarita Margarita and Cosmo and Corona. I'm also curious about your policy on deodorant. Is it mandatory? I'm guessing not, considering the woman next to me on the way home was was of the most pungent smelling people I've ever met. How about when you hand out blankets you also give out a complementary nose plug. Please feel free to take my advice to heart. PS-i left my trash in the seatback pocket, hahah- jokes on you.

Thank You Very Much.

Nurse Kelly

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well Worth It

Flight to Seattle: $379
Taxi cabs to and from the airports: $195
Perfect little green dress: $186
Last minute shoe and jewelry purchases: $110
Toiletries becuase the damn airport security people said your were over the size limit: $35
Bottle of water purchased AFTER the security check point: $4.25
Batteries for the digital camera: $14
Wedding Present: $150
Total Cost of less than 48 hours in Seattle: $1073.25

Dancing the night away and celebrating with your soroity sisters at Shelby's wedding: PRICELESS!!!

*What are my chances of M@asterCard using this for their next commerical and me earning some of my money back????

Friday, October 10, 2008

#50 FFoF

Week # 50 of this meme! Time sure does fly. Check it out for yourself....
#1. Pasta. How do you tell when it’s done? Do you cook on medium or high?
when it's fork tender. i cook on medium high.

#2. Deep frying. What kind of oil do you use?
i don't deep fry, but peanut oil does wonders for crisping!

#3. Grilling. Do you grill on foil or directly on the grill?
depends on what i'm grilling.

#4. Share a recipe that involves cooking something two different ways.Example, for lasagna you might fry the meat and bake the whole dish.

Slow-Baked Tofu with Stirfry
from The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life, and Spirit

3 cups Toasted Grain Pilaf or brown rice

1 teaspoon toasted-sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup of natural soy sauce (such as tamari)
2 tablespoons peeled, sliced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1 tablespoon ground cumin

16 ounces packaged firm tofu

1/2 head broccoli
1 large onion, sliced and peeled
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut match-stick style
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound snow peas, strings removed
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons natural soy sauce (such as tamari)
1/4 cup purified water or vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups peanut dipping sauce or 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 300°F

Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a baking dish. Drain the tofu and slice it vertically into nine 1/2-inch segments. Lay the tofu slices in the marinade and turn them gently, using a spoon, to completely coat each one. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes.

To cook brown rice takes about 45 minutes, so unless you are using leftover prepared rice start preparing it now.

Turn the tofu over and baste the tops with the marinade in the baking dish. Continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the tofu slices puff up, turn light frown, and become slightly hard. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. When completely cooled, cut into cubes.

Cut the florets off the head of the broccoli, slicing the large ones in half so they are all more or less the same size. You should have about 2 cups. Discard the stalks or save them for another stir-fry or for soups.

Sauté the onion, garlic, and carrots for 3 minutes in the olive oil in a wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat, being careful not to burn the oil. It should not smoke. Toss in the broccoli, snow peas, and mushrooms. Stir with a wooden spoon to keep the vegetables moving for another 2 minutes.

Stir the soy sauce into the vegetables, then add the water or vegetable stock. Drop in the cubed tofu, toss a few times, cook for 2 more minutes, then turn off the heat. Cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetables steam for about 6 minutes. Place 1/2 cup prepared rice on each of 6 plates, cover with equal portions of the stir-fry and top with some peanut sauce or 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Oh Where, Oh Where, Has Nurse Kelly Gone....

Oh where, oh where, can she be?
With her job all consuming,
And social life null...
Oh where, oh where, can she be?

Sorry for my lack of posts as of late, but I've been out straight. After returning to NYC from a lovely few days with my family, I jumped right back into the, workout, sleep, swim, work, workout, sleep, swim, work, work, work, work.... (no seriosly).

When I arrive home from work Wednesday morning, I will have been at the hospital 10 of the last 13 nights. Anyone want to trade social lives? I'm looking forward to my four nights off. Hopefully I'll rejoin civilization and have something of substance to write about. But until then, I'm off to sling bed pans, answer call bells, listen to the staff bitch and moan, debride wounds, give meds, draw and send labs save lives.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Another Week of FFOF

#1. Turnips. Love em or leave em?
I'm truly indifferent. If someone else makes them, I'll eat them, but they aren't a staple in my diet.

#2. What’s your favorite roasted dish?

#3. Salsa. What kind fo you like?
Medium-Hot extra chunky. Peach/Mango salsa is delicious in the summer.

#4. Share directions on how to make your favorite quick meal, meaning start to finish in about 30 minutes or less.
This is just perfect for the fall.

Faux Corn Chowder

finely chop 1/4 of purple onion, 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly slice a portabella mushroom, half a dozen cherry tomatoes. Briefly sauté in pan with 1TB EVOO with 2 tsp minced garlic just until veggies are tender.

put 2 cups of frozen corn in the food processor, puree until smooth.

pour corn mixture into saucepan with 1/2 c milk, slowly bring to simmer.
Add veggies, simmer 5-8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

enjoy with a hearty seeded roll and baguette.