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Monday, October 17, 2011

Guest Blog: Kathleen Grieve

My name is Foster Brooks. I’m a hero created by Medical Romance Author, Kathleen Grieve. Interestingly enough, I’m her first hero that doesn’t have any medical experience whatsoever. I’m an investigative reporter and my current venture has landed me at her fictitious Phoenix General Hospital in Arizona. Today, I’ve had the pleasure of following my creator around to get an idea of what she does for her day job. She’s a registered nurse who has worked in the critical care setting for about 17 years.

Today I learned that a lot of people are fortunate because they display classic signs and symptoms. It’s like you can open a medical textbook and point to the page and say “Yep. This is a heart attack.” Kathleen said that veteran nurses will automatically think MONA—morphine, oxygen, nitroglycerin, aspirin—and anticipate the cardiologist’s orders. It’s actually pretty cool as I watch her work.

Not cool for the patient, mind you. In fact, it sucks being the patient. That’s a major observation during my time spent with Kathleen. A patient will get poked with needles, having IV’s started and labs drawn and then whisked off to a place called a cath lab for an angiogram of his heart. When he returns, there are more labs drawn, frequent vital signs taken, and liquid medications in glass bottles dripping through his IV that needs to be monitored closely.

Then there are those patients that are truly a mystery. They don’t follow any textbook; their symptoms are all over the place. It is fascinating to watch as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle are pieced together and a patient is stabilized.

I’ve spent time with Kathleen while she worked in cardiovascular intensive care, but right now, we’re currently in PACU, a surgical recovery area. The double wooden doors open from the surgical area and in steps a surgeon, tall, lanky, graying hair under the blue paper surgical cap and mischief written all over his face. He stops midstride and looks around the wide open room where nurses attend the multitude of patients who have already undergone their surgical procedures and are now waking up from the anesthesia.

His blue gaze lands on Kathleen. She sees him and shakes her head.

He laughs and sauntered over. “Good! You’re here. Have I got a patient for you!”

“Dr. Rhoads. There are six other nurses in here. Why me?” Kathleen asked.

“Because you’re so good with them,” he returned easily.

“Don’t give me that load of bull,” Kathleen said, but she seemed interested despite her words. She sighed heavily. “What is it?”

Dr. Rhoads rubbed his hands together gleefully. “Ruptured spleen. Possibly some dead bowel. Right up your ally!”

Kathleen rolled her eyes. “Nice. You just want me to work my tail off tonight.”

“Wouldn’t want you to get bored.” He looked at me. “Who’s this?”

“Dr. Rhoads, this is Foster Brooks. He’s writing a piece on the hospital. Foster, this is Dr. Rhoads, one of our general surgeons,” Kathleen said, making the introductions.”

“Really?” Interest burned in his intelligent blue eyes. “I’ve got a story for you!”

“Don’t believe everything he says,” Kathleen said excusing herself to assist with transporting a patient to her room.

He jabbed me in the side with his elbow and spoke about a recent event where one of his patients coded in the operating room. “At first, everything was chaotic, out of control, then in walks this 5’4” nurse into OR 6 just as calm as could be. One of my OR nurses was pushing on the man’s chest. He didn’t have a pulse.”

The outsider looked around and asked, “What have you got?”

The anesthesiologist replied, “V-fib arrest.”

“Okay, what drugs have you given so far,” she asked and shook her head, staring at the nurse performing CPR. “Oh, honey,” she said to the nurse. “Get down from there.” Her gaze lands on a young man standing in the back. “You. Get over here and give me 100 chest compressions per minute. I want them hard and fast. You understand?”

“And just like that, this little dynamo took over. The atmosphere in the room changed. The OR team leapt to do as she instructed,” Dr. Rhoads explained. “Later, I told Kathleen her talents were wasted working in the PACU, but I’m glad she’s there. Just like with this ruptured spleen I’ll be working on in a while,” he continued. “When she takes over, I have no worries. Hell, she thinks of things I should be having her do before I do!” He laughs.

Dr. Rhoads straightened and cleared his throat as Kathleen comes around the corner. “You can keep this between us, eh Foster? Don’t need her getting a big head.”

I smile. “Sure, Dr. Rhoads. No problem.” Well, it’s between him, me, and all you LASR blog readers, that is.

Kathleen Grieve’s latest release is Dating 911, just released from Evernight Publishing .

It is the first book of her Dating Series which will be followed up by Dating Impossible and my book, Dating Trouble where I continue my hospital investigation and get tangled up with a hot respiratory therapist who takes my breath away.

Emergency room nurse, Roxanne Carter is a loser-magnet wishing she could enjoy her single life. Commiserating with girlfriends over butterscotch martinis creates the idea of The Dating Manifesto--a not so scientific research project which promises to point the way to dating success. While gathering data to find the most suitable single men available, she wades through a series of unsavory, stale dates, which literally places her back at ground zero. Just when she is ready to give up, sin personified in the form of sexy firefighter Jett Avery, arrives tainting all of her previous data.

A traumatic warehouse fire, in which firefighter Jett Avery's closest friend dies, has him suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Attempting to stave off the worst of his depression, he decides to use his brand of therapy...Sex. The remedy has lost luster until he encounters ER nurse Roxanne Carter.

The pursuit of Roxanne by Jett's twin brother, Doctor Cruz Avery, complicates her research and interferes with Jett's therapy. Does Roxanne choose the brother who by analysis is the perfect match? Or the broken, dark and irresistible one?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:A graduate of University of Nebraska Medical Center, Kathleen Grieve earned a Bachelors Degree in Science and Nursing in 1994. She has been a dedicated nurse for the past seventeen years, serving most of those years in intensive care. Always writing, Kathleen chose to pursue yet another career- that of a writer. An avid romance reader of all genres since age 13, she decided to try a hand at writing her own novel in the summer of 2006.

She draws a lot from the real-life medical drama she experiences as a RN for her novels. Writing medical romance is a creative outlet where she can effectively deal with the daily stress and sorrow, adding levity and humor to situations that provide a happily ever after when there isn't one.

To learn more about Kathleen, you can go to her website, or her blog where she shares snippets of her works in progress


Lorraine said...

I found this interesting and entertaining. Good job, Kathleen!

Kathleen Grieve said...

Thanks, Lorraine! I agonized over this one, so I guess I did something right today!

Kellie Kamryn said...

sounds like a great book!

Liz said...

great post! very creative...
I was one of those mystery patients after I had my 2nd child. Back at ER within 48 hours, pain, high fever, poked, prodded and probed in every possible orifice this after 48 hours of natural childbirth . I was not happy. it was strep that I caught AT the the hospital.
double duty antibiotics in each arm for 3 days later...good as new.

Kathleen Grieve said...

Oh, Liz! That sounds terrible! Glad it was only strep and not something worse! But a trial for you, I'm sure!

Debby said...

I love stories like these. They are fun to read.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Karysa Faire said...

I just finished reading Dating 911 (I found you through Sunday Six and I also happen to have a huge crush on a certain firefighter--perfect book to read to assuage my fantasy). Loved it! I can't wait for the second to come out. JJ and Cruz? Please?