Patient Stories Illuminate Role of Nurses

Nicholas Genes, MD, PhD


June 19, 2007

When you write in your diary long enough, a look back through the old entries allows you to reflect on changes over the years. When you share that diary with the world, people from all over watch you grow and develop. One of the first healthcare providers to share her experiences online, and the first blogger to be profiled in this column, is Geena from Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse. She has been blogging since 2002 -- a time when most people didn't even know the meaning of the word "blog" (it's short for "Web-log," in case you're still wondering).

I had the chance to catch up with Geena recently and to ask her about some significant events in her life, online, and in the hospital.

Dr. Genes: Your family has experienced some changes since the last time we spoke. How was it, "coming out" to your blog audience about pregnancy and childbirth? To explain a dearth of posting, you wrote last year:


After 4 rounds of fertility drugs, 3 IUI's, 2 years and 1 IVF cycle (none of which even worked), we are finally parents-to-be!!! We had the "big" ultrasound today and found out that this little guy is, well, a guy. I'll spare the whole darn internet the picture which confirmed THAT. :-)


We are beyond thrilled and can't wait to meet him late this year.

Your fans were delighted, but do you have any regrets in sharing this with virtual strangers?

Geena: "Coming out" was fun. Codeblog is primarily about nursing stories and experiences, so I liked throwing something personal in there. I don't regret posting about it at all.


Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse hosts Grand Rounds
June 19, 2007

Dr. Genes: Speaking of privacy, I think it's safe to say that you've achieved veteran status -- blogging for years, seeing new folks and trends come and go, seeing CEOs and organizations start medical blogs...and recently, the first malpractice suit to mention medical blogging in court.

Geena: I'm a bit surprised about the recent events with medbloggers. I had my blog for quite a while before my boss and coworkers found out about it, but when they did, it was received very warmly. My boss was all for it. I don't post identifying characteristics, and when I do, I change them...much like everyone else. I'm sad that some medbloggers felt as though they had to take their blogs down, but I understand.

I want the world to know what being a nurse is like, and I don't think that can be achieved without sharing real patient stories with said world. I still don't think many people know exactly what we have to deal with and what kinds of things we see. I've seen a lot, but I love reading the ER nurse blogs -- they've seen much more! I'm proud that I've been blogging for so long and that I've stuck with it.

Dr. Genes: What are some new posts that you're pleased with? How about something that really touched a nerve with readers?

Geena: I've cut way back on my hours at work, and thus my fodder for stories is much less. It's unfortunate, but that's how it goes. This story actually happened several years ago, but I've never forgotten this patient and never will.

Dr. Genes: The medical blogosphere will long remember Geena from Code Blog, especially for the memorable editions of Grand Rounds she has hosted in the past. Grand Rounds is the weekly collection of the best in online medical writing, and Geena will be hosting again this week with what's sure to be another memorable edition of Grand Rounds.


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