Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nursing Resources Wiki

A few days ago, Pam Sherwill initiated a collaborative project on Nursing and Allied Health Resource Section Listerv. The project was to collect nursing resources freely available on the Internet. Very soon more than 80 NAHRS/MLA members responded and expressed interests in contributing to the project. I was motivated and deeply touched! Here is the wiki I created for the project.

Let's wish it grow and useful...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hi! Doc, Do You Really Care V. 2

A while ago, I blogged about my son's visit to a dermatologist. When it came to the date of the follow-up visit, I determined no matter how busy I was, I must go with him. My son was still hoping the doctor would prescribe him some kind of cream for his stretch marks. On the date of the office visit, we waited for two hours before seeing the doctor. We talked about those stretch marks again and complained the cream he prescribed last time was for dry and itchy skin. In addition it cost $60. I told the doctor it was unreasonable to pay $60 dollars for the cream. The doctor murmured to me or to himself he did not understand why the creams for stretch marks were so expensive. He went out for a while and came back with a piece of paper (see picture on the right). Obviously it was a $2 off coupon. On the coupon, words said "AmLactin XL Moisturizing Lotion Ultraplex Formulation. Locate behind pharmacy counter nationwide. Ask your pharmacist." The doctor asked my son to tried this over the counter cream and see how it worked. The appointment only took 3 minutes. We were scheduled a third visit.

With the $2 off coupon, I went to the pharmacy. I handed over the coupon to the gentleman at the drop-off window and asked him to check the price for me. Soon he returned with a box saying $29.99. I asked him what the cream mainly for. He explained that the ingredients information showed it was a heavy-duty moisturizer. I asked whether the cream was for stretch marks. He said he didn't see this information. I doubted whether he was a pharmacist and he said he was an intern. To make sure he gave me the correct information, he went to a real pharmacist and they both agreed the cream was only a superior moisturizer.

Here is the thing. My insurance paid $390 for the two visits while I paid $40. I didn't get the right medication and useful information. Did I purchase the cream? Nope! Hi! Doc, if you really care, tell the why and how. If you really care, give realistic suggestions. I canceled the 3rd appointment today. My son is still looking forward for a cream for the stretch marks.

Friday, October 3, 2008


With so many to do and only a few hours each day, I felt burnout at least for the past three years. Many a time, I could not get done what I planned to do from my to do list. Part of the reasons was it's sometimes hard to anticipate what I would be asked or requested to do from patrons. The requests could be from staffing the Reference Desk, or from Ask a Librarian email, or from phone call, or from my liaison departments. Some literature search requests could take me days to fill. In addition, career development, grant project, and exploring new services also needs lots of time, effort, and thought. I got to find a way out.

My recent strategy turned out pretty effective. Each day, prioritize a list of things from my to do list leaving enough room for unanticipated tasks. Once I got one item done, crossed it out. By the end of the day, even though I did not get to do what I planned to do, I could see on the sheet a couple of cross-outs. I did accomplish a lot in a day! Sometimes more than 10 items. Instead of feeling irritated due to burnout, I felt positive and good about myself. Meanwhile, I realized I can't do everything I wanted to do. It is OK to let go and say no.

My Wish list for My NCBI

I have been a big fan of My NCBI since it was called Cubby. With the My NCBI redesigned came live, I have a couple of wishes.
  1. Add features (i.e., export references, print, email, and save) within my Collections
  2. Be able to choose to display all references in one page within my single collection instead of clicking on next page
  3. Be able to delete my Saved Searches in My Saved Data section
  4. Be able to delete my Saved Searches in Saved Search Settings, the page that can set up automatic email alerts
  5. On My Saved Data page, add some text (i.e., delete and update searches) along with Manage my Saved Searches and Manage my Collections
  6. Be able to add selected citations from my Collections to My Bibliography
  7. Be able to add selected citations from PubMed search and add them to My Bibliography directly just like adding citations to my Collections from the Send button
  8. Be able to edit my saved searches
Am I just stupid not aware of these features in the new My NCBI?