Marketing My Book – BookSmart

November 14th, 2010

This past week I had an opportunity to go to a really nice community book store in Morgan Hill. BookSmart is located on E. 2nd Ave. The store is owned by Brad Jones and Cinda Meister. Their event planner Jan arranged for an author event to be held at the book store. The entire experience was a demonstration of “community.” All of the people I met were the nicest people. I couldn’t find one single grumpy person in that community. I hear that the book store is very involved in their local community and they support others in many ways. This time they supported me in my quest to market my book.

The event was scheduled for Thursday Nov. 11th. They posted a poster, placed books and notes throughout the store, and published the event in local newspapers and on local websites. The evening of the event, food and wine was also provided. The event was a small gathering, a few people from Morgan Hill came to hear about my book and hear what I had to say.

I had an opportunity to tell them about myself, about the book, and why I wrote it. I read a short passage about Ronald, the 87-yr-old who didn’t tell his doctor that he didn’t want machines to keep him alive. Neither he nor his family had expressed Ronalds end-of-life wishes in a timely manner. So, he was ‘coded’ and place on life support. This passage from the book initiated quiet a few end-of-life questions and a discussion about what many of us need to do – discuss it with our families.

I was grateful to have another opportunity to market my book in a new community. I was happy that people came, discussed the book, and talked about one of the most important messages in the book. I hope that those who went home with my book will share it with others and the word will spread.

I’m looking forward to more opportunities to share the lessons in the book: end-of-life discussions and compassionate nursing care.

Sharing My Knowledge and Experience

November 12th, 2010

When I decided to write my book, one of my goals was to educate others about what really happens in the ICU. I also hoped that other nurses would read the book and learn something from my experience. Now that the book is published, and many are reading it, I have embarked on another format of educating nurses.

I am developing classes that I will present at American Health Education. The first class was Cardiovascular Surgery. Cardiac surgery, Peripheral Vascular surgery, Carotid surgery, and Aortic Aneurysm surgery. The reviews for the class were positive which makes me believe the content is a nice accumulation of information that can be useful for not only critical care nurses, but for all nurses.

I am currently developing the class content for Cardiovascular Medical, Intra Aortic Balloon Pump, and Charge Nurse/Leadership classes. All of these will also be offered at American Health Education but I will also be available to teach these classes at any organized event.

I’m looking forward to moving forward with my new adventure and hoping that I can continue to share my knowledge and experience with others.

Critical Care Classes

August 18th, 2010

Today is the first day of my new adventure. After three decades of nursing in the ICU, I am persuing my dream of teaching. Last year, while teaching at Ohlone College, I realized just how much I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with those who thrive on it.  American Health Education has given me a chance to share that knowledge and experience with other nurses and health care providers. In November I will teach the Cardiovascular Surgical class at American Health Education. As I am working on developing that class, I am energized about putting together more classes that I can share with others. Now the hard part starts… get it done.

Marketing My Book – NurseWeek

May 9th, 2010

This week I opened my NurseWeek magazine that came in the mail. As I paged through it to preview the stories, my eyes landed on MY NAME. On page 22 in the section titled Notable Nurses… there I was. A short blurb about the fact that I had writen the book. An attempt to “take the mystery out of the ICU.”

I had sent an email to NurseWeek a while back asking them to write something in the Local Beat about my book. I was contacted by email asking where I currently live and work. The next thing I know, I’m actually in the magazine.  I’m hoping that millions of nurses around the country will see the note and look for the book. Hopefully they will Google my name and find my website that will tell them more about the book and, of course, how to buy it.

Marketing the book is an ongoing adventure.  I’m waiting for a few other magazines to publish articles and book reviews too.  Hopefully as each one comes into print, more and more nurses will find the book and spread the word.

To see what NurseWeek said, go to my website and click on Publicity tab.

Marketing My Book (and all nurses) to Oprah

February 25th, 2010

Today I took a chance. I sent an email to Oprah. Why, because I want her to do a show about nurses during National Nurses Week. Yes, there is a week May 6th – 12th,  and a day, May 6th, that is meant to honor nurses. It sometimes seems that only nurses, and their employers, know about and celebrate Nurses Day. This year with the help of Oprah, maybe we will actually get the national recognition we deserve.  If… she decided to read my book and mention it on her national program, that would be good also. Maybe she will help me spread the word of what nurses actually do on a day-to-day basis.

In addition to Oprah, I also sent an email to the director of Ohlone College  TV broadcasting. I’m hoping to start with Ohlone TV in my media publicity.  There are many people who listen to Ohlone TV and can benefit from the information in the book.  I’m waiting for the live news class to review the idea and get back to me.

So the media publicity quest has started… we’ll have to wait and see where it goes.

Marketing My Book – is a slow process

February 17th, 2010

There’s just a little lag right now. The book signing went off withoug a glitch. The newspaper article was printed last week. Now I’m just waiting for the magazine article to come out. Registered Nurse Magazine, distributed by CNA, has written an article and I’m hoping it will be in this month’s edition. After that is printed I will embark on my next step. Local TV shows, local news radio, maybe even the local college radio and/or TV. Not sure where I’ll go, but will need to take the steps on my own since I’m not getting much help from my publisher. I guess I was expecting more maarketing help from him than I will get. But, I’ll keep plugging along, until Oprah reads it, I’ll just keep taking baby steps.

Marketing My Book – Book Signing

February 12th, 2010

Last evening I had my first official Book Signing. Yes, I have had small informal book signings with friends and family, but this was the first one held at a book store. Barnes and Noble, here in Fremont, hosted my first. I was pleasantly surprised how many people came. Some friends and family came to show their support, but there were also quite a few strangers. People I didn’t know came to see “ME” and buy my book. The newspaper article that was published earlier in the week helped to promote the book. There were people who are in the medical field, there were folks that wanted to buy the book for family member’s who are in the medical field, and there were others who came to get the book because they were interested to see what goes on in the hospital.

When the evening was over, there was ONE book left. Wow, almost a sell out. I’m just glad that my first book signing wasn’t a “dud”. I’ve heard tales of other authors that sit alone at their table and the book sellers go over and make conversation with them because they feel sorry for them. I’m sure I might have a few of those too. But right now I’m feeling pretty good about myself and the moment of success I had last evening.

I hope that everyone who went home with a book will enjoy it and tell their friends about it. But most of all I hope that each and every reader will get some small bit of information that will help them in some aspect of their life.

Marketing My Book – In the Newspaper

February 8th, 2010

Today I saw myself in the newspaper. There was an article about me and the book. Until I read the article, I guess it had not sunk in. Wow, I really did it. I spent many years writing and publishing the book. Now it’s out there for everyone to read. Now my hopes are that people will read the book and something, even a small bit of information, might stimulate some thought and help them with some of the more difficult stressful situations that they may live through.

Advice for the next generation of nurses

January 23rd, 2010

How do we choose a career? How do we decide what we want to be when we grow up, when we graduate college? How do we decide what to study in college? For me this was never an issue. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a nurse. I always felt I was born to be a nurse.

But for some it’s not that easy. There are many girls, boys, men, women who might be thinking that nursing may be the correct profession for them. But how do they know? Many are not as lucky as I was and have the “calling.” Many are looking into nursing, but aren’t sure what it entails.  How can we help them? How can we – the nurses of today – give them information that will help them make the right decision.

I’ve often thought that we need to tell them what nursing is all about. WE need to enlighten them as to what they are expected to do and what they are getting themselves into. That’s why I’m considering writing another book. A book written by nurses for “potential” nurses. Advice for them before they make the college move.

If you could tell a young girl or boy, or even someone considering changing professions, what nursing REALLY IS, what would you say. Give them some advice, before it’s too late. Don’t you wish you knew what you were getting into before you registered for your first nursing class.

Tell me what you want these potential nurses to know. I will combine all of the advice into a book and work to publish it.

By submitting a response to this blog, you are giving me permission to publish your comment in my book. Include your first name, last initial, City, and State. I will work on giving the advice to the next generation of nurses.

A Peaceful Death

October 27th, 2009

Recently we had to put our 16 yr. old dog to sleep. Lucky had grown up with the boys. She was a great pet for them while growing up and had become a companion for Mark after retirement. She had grown old, couldn’t hear, was receiving medication for incontinence, had arthritis in her hips, limped a little when walking, was losing weight, wasn’t eating like she used to. All things considered, she was dying of old age. We pondered for months over the decision that it was time to put her down. On the morning that we realized that she was in pain, we made that difficult decision to take her to the vet.

The experience was as painless as it could be. The staff was supportive to our needs. They provided a blanket for all of us to sit on. The veterinarian came in and asked if we wanted her to have a sedative prior to the final injection and we chose for that option.  The first injection was the sedative. After a few minutes Lucky relaxed her head, in Mark’s hands, and went to sleep.  After she was sleeping comfortably, the vet returned to the room and gave her one last IV injection. A paralytic that would paralyze her muscles and cause death. She died, peacefully in Mark’s lap.

Why do I share this experience with you today? Why do I think you care about euthanizing my dog? Bacause of a comment my own father made to me. He said, “Melody, when it’s my time, take me to the vet.” We should be so lucky to die as Lucky did.

One day at work I was sharing my dog experience with one of the doctors. He told me he has a patient who is old and sick. She has chronic lung disease and couldn’t even do her normal daily activities without getting short of breath. Her life, as she put it, was miserable. She asked the doctor if he couldn’t just give her some medication that she could take to end her old-age suffering.  Unfortunately, he could not. Oregon has a law that allows physician to prescribe medications to their patients in order to end their own life. I believe the Oregon law requires that you be a resident of the state, and of course, be able to administer your own end-of-life medications. This prevents droves of people from coming into the state, acquiring a prescription, and returning home to end their own lives. And it prevents some from ending the life of their helpless elder family members.  Safeguards are in place and it seems to be a viable alternative for some.

Working years in the ICU, I see many patients who come to the hospital, deteriorate, and end up on life-support. Often, once they are on life-support, family members can’t make that difficult decision to withdraw care. The elderly patient lays in the bed, day after day, hooked up to machines that keep pushing air into their lungs, machines that feed them, and machines that pump life support medications into their veins. These patients don’t even require an injection to euthanize them. They only require a compassionate family member who will speak up for their best interest and ask that the life prolonging interventions be stopped.

Why is it that we are encouraged to end the life of our pet when they are old and miserable, but for our own family members, we seem to continue with any and all interventions to keep them alive and prolong their suffering. Prolong death, that is what we are doing most of the time.

End-of-life choices – for our pets, for our elderly – what’s the different? What do you think? What do you want when your time comes?