All Humans Are Welcome Here!

Category : Nursing

in 2002, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. I then practiced, mostly as a travel, agency and float nurse, until May 2009 when I decided the U.S. health care system is beyond broken and nursing is not good for my sanity. I sometimes wrote about it, but most the stories cannot be told. My training still applies to daily life situations, though.

Two women in KN95 masks perform a WFR mock disaster run

Nurse -> WFR

I’ve been retired from nursing for 12 years now, so I’m a bit rusty with all this stuff. For some reason I thought my nursing background would help my Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course feel easy. But since the WFR works on totally different algorithms than licensed clinical medical care, it was pretty challenging. I had to set aside everything I knew and do it a different way. Of course my understanding of physiology and pathophysiology was a leg-up, but I really had to back out of my nursie head and enter a new headspace. Ultimately this course was geared toward training anyone who wanted to be helpful in the outdoors in a way they wouldn’t get sued and have… continue reading

Cardboard box with colorful quilting cotton scraps inside

Fabric, Fabric, Fabric

When I was a kid, I got to go visit my Auntie Pauline back east a few times during the summers. I enjoyed the weird bugs, warm thunderstorms, and swimming opportunities we just didn’t seem to have in Alaska… and the fabrics. My aunt is a spectacularly talented seamstress and fabric craftswoman, and has a refined taste in textiles. Going fabric shopping with her was a treat. Just being in her magical sewing studio, among her collections of tools and materials, projects and commissions was a treat. I had already taught myself how to sew, but she taught me standards of sewing, and opened up the possibilities. Sad to say that despite our talents we are both mostly making face… continue reading

Creek Fire smoke in central Nevada

Flu and The Trail, part 2

This post is an update to my March 16 post, Flu and the Trail. It turns out you can thru-hike during a pandemic, but if you’re not still asking yourself “should I?” and considering your impacts on other people, I hope you’ll keep reading and hear me out. After volunteering several months of my life over several years to help thru-hikers on the PCT, I left with a bad taste in my mouth. I met several burned out trail angels who felt similarly, and noticed quite a few hikers themselves abandoning the trail shaking their heads. Why? Because thru-hikers are generally privileged, and often self-involved and entitled. It’s not exactly “rewarding” work to help people who don’t really need help…. continue reading

two pages print from PDF sewing pattern

Face Mask Sewing Instructions

The following are instructions for the face mask sewing pattern available as a PDF download in the Little Package shop. I drafted this pattern off the Olsen mask design, honing it over a period of several months for easy fit, good looks, and comfort. What I like about it is it allows you to open your mouth without the mask slipping down off your nose. As a former nurse, it’s important to me that people including and around me and my loved ones have functional masks, and so I make them. And you can too!

Nols group GSENM

NOLS Magic

This is about feeling thankful. The day before I met this NOLS crew, I decided to not go into Escalante, Utah for resupply. I *sorta* had enough food to get to my next cache, and I was going to make a run for it and “see what happened.” This basically means I was going to be rationing my food and starving myself. What can I say? I was really feeling the outdoors. . My first thought when I saw ten folks gathered around backpacks was actually more just confusion. Why would anyone in their right mind be out backpacking Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in late October?! They looked friendly so I asked, “Is anyone here medical?” They all raised… continue reading

Collarbone – 6 weeks, 5 days out

So this is my new right collarbone. I’m pretty happy — as happy as one can be, I guess — with the new shape. And I’m proud that I healed it myself, trusting nature to do its job (though that was tough sometimes). There are some fairly good resources online for people with broken collarbones wanting to know what to do. I really had no idea, and never went to the doctor, so I did a lot of Googling. I got the most (but not necessarily the best) information from these two websites: – Pinkbike broken collarbone recovery time Of course that’s the first thing people want to know. How long will I endure this hell? – John’s Clavicle Page… continue reading

30% More Work for the Same Pay!

There was a memo in my box at work (Hooper Detox) this morning. The first three paragraphs stated something to the effect that management appreciated the hard and good work …bla bla bla… of admiting nurses. Bla bla bla… The fourth paragraph started with a “But -“ (emphasis my own) and went on to say that since auxillary staff were not performing the search/shower procedure satisfactorily, nurses are now expected to search and shower clients. Nurses are also expected to bring clients upstairs and show them to their bed, locker, and give them a tour of the unit. The primary reasons for auxillary staff being relieved of this duty are that they are supposedly less comfortable with naked bodies, are… continue reading

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