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The Q Word Podcast

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Conversations about the tips, tricks, trends, and taboos of emergency nursing. A peek behind the hospital curtain at issues and ideas that seldom get discussed. The tips, trends and taboos of Emergency Nursing.

Conversations about the tips, tricks, trends, and taboos of emergency nursing. A peek behind the hospital curtain at issues and ideas that seldom get discussed. The tips, trends and taboos of Emergency Nursing.
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Conversations about the tips, tricks, trends, and taboos of emergency nursing. A peek behind the hospital curtain at issues and ideas that seldom get discussed. The tips, trends and taboos of Emergency Nursing.






The Pause

​Nyssa and Lisa have a heart to heart (to heart) with nurse Jonathan Bartels, pioneer and author of the Medical Pause - the practice of taking a moment to stop after the death of a patient. Learn how this simple, lovely, and healing gesture helps everyone - from patient to practitioner - reflect, honor, and acknowledge what, and who, has just passed.


Shining a Light and Moving the Needle

Nyssa and Lisa sit down with photo-journalist and documentary filmmaker Carolyn Jones, whose fascination and respect for the nursing profession launched the 2014 film The American Nurse, 2017's Defining Hope, and her upcoming project, In Case of Emergency, which focuses exclusively on the ER nurse. Learn why she thinks nurses - what they do and what they know - need to be brought front and center into the most important conversations of today.


Pediatric Red Flags

Taking care of a child in the ER is a special kind of challenge, and a nurse's normal assessment tools often don't apply. Listen in as Nyssa chats with Pediatric Emergency Room Director Rebecca Cogburn, and learn about early pediatric warning signs and how to decipher them to improve your practice.


Season 1 Trailer

Have you heard The Q Word Podcast yet? Find out about the tips, trends, and taboos of emergency nursing by tuning in.


How to Bring Home the Bandages

Whether you're a baby nurse applying for your first job or a seasoned nurse looking for a new position, Nyssa and Lisa have the tips and tricks you need to impress potential employers. Don't be an unemployed clueless dinosaur in a low-cut dress! Since you can’t take Alexa with you, tune in to learn better ways to nail that interview.


The Worst Thing I've Ever Seen

Lisa and Nyssa explore the question ER nurses are always asked: "what's the worst thing you've ever seen?" Learn why nurses respond the way they do, why it is not a good question for small talk, and why a better conversation starter might be whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza.


Air Supply: Outta Nothin' At All

In the final installment of this trilogy of interviews, Nyssa and Lisa talk to the three Musketeers of airways - the Boone brothers Michael and Bryan, and Tyler Christifulli - about inflatable dinosaur suits, most excellent mustachios, and how and why you should bring the SALAD and ApOX intervention techniques from the ambulance or the air and into the ER.


Dogmas, Sacred Cows and the Twitter Bird

Nyssa and Lisa talk to Dr. Matt Astin, a long-term fixture in the ER and dedicated educator, about the dogmas and sacred cows in emergency care, the importance of social media in nursing practice, and what Goldilocks' three bears are doing in the ER.


Calm the Chaos

Nyssa and Lisa interview Matt Perry, Director of the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency, and learn how nurses and medics - two different teams - work together towards the same goal, just like Krispy Kreme donuts (aka "power rings") and Dunkin' Donuts coffee.


The Gift of Being There

It is a widely accepted practice to have family present during the birth of a new baby, so why is it so uncommon for family to be near the bedside in the ER during the last moments of life? In this very special episode, Nyssa tells Lisa about the work she's done researching, developing, and championing policies and procedures designed to bring loved ones into the ER during code blue scenarios, and why this has become her personal crusade.


A Walk Among the Tombstones

Nyssa and Lisa take a field trip to the Forest Hills Cemetery in the outskirts of Boston to visit the final resting places of several notable doctors and nurses who formalized the ​profession of nursing back in the good ol' days. Join us on this short tour of a lovely place on a creepy day, and learn a little something about the ladies who helped start it all. To see the pictures of the cemetery gates, the tombstones, and your water-logged hosts, check out our website here:...


Kickin' it at the Poison [Control] Center

Nyssa tells Lisa about her field trip to the Georgia Poison Center to chat with long-time director Dr. Gaylord Lopez. Learn from the man himself about what the Center does, how they do it, and why it is better to call them instead of relying on Google to answer questions about what you may have eaten, breathed in, touched, or otherwise come into contact with that might make you sick. And catch an ear-worm that just might end up saving your - or your patient's - life.


Imposter Syndrome

Do you feel like you are making things up as you go along just to look like you know what you are doing? Do you feel like you don't belong -- that someone made a mistake trusting you with the health and well-being of your patients? This phenomenon is more widespread than you think -- and if you suffer from imposter syndrome, you are in good company. Nyssa and Lisa talk about how to recognize this issue, what types of personalities most suffer from it, and how to deal with it in your practice.


Dear ER Nurse, Love The Flight Crew

Nyssa and Lisa talk about the intersection of experiences between the pre-hospital and ER. In this conversation - part one of the Q Word Podcast's first trilogy - Nyssa puts on her Air Flight helmet to discuss the choices she, and other flight teams, make in the air which differ from the way things are done in the hospital.


To Epi or Not to Epi?

For many years, epinephrine has been used as treatment for cardiac arrest, but a new study - PARAMEDIC2 - released by the New England Journal of Medicine, challenges that notion. Nyssa and Lisa discuss the protocols, findings, ethics, and implications of this study, in an effort to introduce nurses to the idea that some big changes in ACLS may be just around the corner.


Gallows Humor

Lisa and Nyssa tackle one of the biggest taboos in emergency medicine: laughter in the ER. Why it happens, is it appropriate, and if it is, when is it appropriate?


So You Wanna Be A Flight Nurse

Nyssa and Lisa give you the real deal on how to build a robust resume, score an interview, and insider tips on breaking into the industry.


Cootie Cleaning

Did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to sanitize your work wear after your shift? Nyssa and Lisa talk cootie cleaning in their first fast track (mini) episode -- a quick and dirty conversation about how to not bring the hospital home with you.


The 3.5 Biggest Lies in Nursing

Nyssa and Lisa talk about customs and concepts that pervade the ER which should be re-examined. Learn why "He/she is a good nurse, but...", "Everybody [or nobody] does it that way," and "No one will ever know" are little lies every nurse should watch out for in their practice.



More than you ever wanted to know about poop. How Nyssa almost quit nursing when she first encountered it in the ER, and how she - and all nurses - get used to it after a while.