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Tag: Anna Deavere Smith

Blogalicious. Patient Stories. Nurse Stories. Tell Us Where it Hurts!

Hello everyone. This week we have a rewind for you but before we chat about that—I do want to put in a plug for our wonderful Nurse Talk blog. Every time I read a new post I am either moved to tears or laughter. Honestly—take a few minutes and check it out.

We’ve mentioned Missy Vaughan and Barbara Taylor Vaughan before. Missy is Barbara’s daughter and she takes great care of Barbara who has Alzheimer’s. Their ongoing blog posts talk candidly about the progression of Barbara’s disease, the ups and downs and everything in between. Oh—and did I mention Missy has M.S.? Together they articulate the “reality” of their lives in Alzheimer’s in the First Person.

And then there’s Brandi Chase. Brandi’s blog called Lymphoblaster is an online chronicle through her bout with Leukemia. In one of Brandi’s entries she writes:

“The litany against fear is an incantation spoken by the Bene Gesserit, a secret sisterhood from the Dune book series, in order to focus their minds in times of peril.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

I confess, I use it, and it works. Upon waking for the first time after having my central line installed, I was overwhelmed with fear. The pain from the procedure was upon me, and every movement hard, and unfamiliar. I saw two years of this and wondered how I would ever endure it. It was a dark place, and I looked into it, long and deep. It passed over me, and through me. And here I am. Day 23. I remain.” Read more…

This week we’re featuring a redux of show 449 where we share touching stories like these from our Nurse Talk blog and salute the great writers and contributors that are featured each week. We also have an interview with Deborah Burger on the one-woman play about nursing in America, Tell Us Where it Hurts by Anna Deavere Smith.

Anna is also known as Gloria Akalitus on television’s Nurse Jackie. We share some touching stories recreated by Smith in the play from the caretakers—career RNs—who have also been hit by the failing economy and healthcare costs. Their stories are told with honesty and courage. Share the humanity of what is happening all across the country.

Casey and Shayne also have fun with some—well—rather messy nurses notes, like this one from cardiology: “Patient has chest pains if she lies on her left side for over a year by the time she was admitted to the hospital, her rapid heart had stopped and she was feeling much better.” We also hear from an old friend, Lucille Jones—a rather crazy one at that (no offense Lucille). Lucille’s stories have been memorialized in our Nurse Talk Comedy Pharm…Check them out!

Dancing in the Streets. Tell Us Where it Hurts. Play it Again, Sam.

There was “dancing in the streets” in Chicago at the National Nurses United Staff Nurse Assembly. O.K. So we looked a little silly in our Robin Hood hats. But 3,000 nurses and 2,000 of their closest friends got some attention for the Heal America Campaign .

And…whatever your political persuasion, we invite you to just check out an idea that might not be so crazy. Visit

And one of the highlights in Chicago…Anna Deavere Smith’s Tell Us Where It Hurts performance.

Tell Us is one of the most relevant current theatrical pieces and will hopefully be taken on the road across the country…Revealed in the dialog of the show is the courage of nurses in face of a system which places barriers on their ability to heal.”

–Kevin O’Donnell
Member of the American Theater Critics Association; New York Times Company Foundation-sponsored critic fellow

Read the whole review. This show is a must-see for all nurses (administrators and legislators).

While we were away in the beautiful city of Chicago… We asked those left behind to pick a great “rerun” and so…we are playing it again, Sam. We present…RN Greg Montes on mental health services cuts and Hal Isen on making your life a work of art.

Read more…

Tell Me Where it Hurts | Anna Deavere Smith to Perform at 2012 Staff Nurse Assembly

A big highlight of the 2012 Staff Nurse Assembly in Chicago is Anna Deavere Smith, actress, playwright, and professor. She is currently the artist in residence at the Center for American Progress. Ms. Smith, called by Newsweek “the most exciting individual in American theater” will […]

On The Air

Auditions. Knees. D.C. Kildare.

Coming Up Casey and crew rotate different co-host finalists through the show. Talk about being thrown into the fire! They were all champions and we thank each and everyone who auditioned or sent in their letter of interest. Next week we will introduce you all to our newly selected co-host.

We do manage to talk to our friend Donna Smith about the recent Supreme Court healthcare hearings, the upcoming May 18th Staff Nurse Assembly in Chicago (get ready to rumble) lets see—dancing in the streets, flash mobs and of course some serious business as well.

A big highlight of the conference is Anna Deavere Smith. Ms. Smith, called by Newsweek “the most exciting individual in American theater” will be performing a new stage monologue (as only she can) called, Tell Me Where It Hurts, Stories from the Front Lines of Nursing.

AND…the KNEES have it! Does anybody out there (not you twenty or thirty-somethings) escape the popular conversation of bad knees? It may be our age (o.k. mine) but everyone around us either has a knee injury, has had a knee surgery or replacement or is thinking about it just for the hell of it! Well, we thought we would call in an expert.

Dr. Lesley Anderson joins us to talk about the number one cause of knee problems, the treatments and how they have advanced and a “fresh blood platelet” treatment that is used very successfully on shoulders and knees. “I’ll have a chef’s salad and some of those “fresh blood platelets.” Check it out.

Have you heard about the iTriage Thank a Nurse Contest? Would you like to thank a nurse for the impact he or she has made on your life? Visit the iTriage Facebook page to make a nomination.

Read more…

CNA Members: Rush to Final Weekend of ‘Let Me Down Easy’

Berkeley Rep invites CNA members to save $5 on tickets for the final weekend of Anna Deavere Smith’s smash hit Let Me Down Easy! Anna set the Bay Area ablaze with Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles, and in recent years, you’ve seen […]