Cardiac Advances Versus Patient Benefit: A Moral Dilemma

My story, Closing the Door, recently published in Stories That Need to be Told: A Tulip Tree Anthology, tells of the emergence some fifty years ago of cardiac catheterization, artificial heart valves and cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how I, as a young nurse, had to make sense of the advancement of technology versus patient benefit. ThisContinue reading “Cardiac Advances Versus Patient Benefit: A Moral Dilemma”

The Surreal Hospital Experience

My husband was discharged from the hospital following two heart valve replacements, and a week later was readmitted with a side effect of the surgery that occurs ten percent of the time. He was taken to his room directly from the ER. I hadn’t the foresight to bring along my coloring book and pencils—mindless relaxingContinue reading “The Surreal Hospital Experience”

Hearing Zebras

Zebra is the American medical slang for arriving at an exotic medical diagnosis when a more commonplace explanation is more likely.[1] It is shorthand for the aphorism coined in the late 1940s by Dr. Theodore Woodward, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who instructed his medical interns: “When you hear hoofbeats, thinkContinue reading “Hearing Zebras”