For the longest time I have been very careful about keeping my online persona and my "in real life/wears scrubs and a nametag/eats Greek food with colleagues/professional"-self separate. Miles apart, if you will. Light years, even.
But in the past year, I have been slipping. I've gotten close to some of you..to the point of feeling like we are all part of some big cyber family [group hug!]. And with that, some of you have actually gotten to know the real me [the real actual living, breathing, Greek food-eating Estelle....I am totally craving gyros right now. Can't you tell?]
So that whole not mixing the blog me with the real me thing hasn't exactly worked out so well.
Now...this wouldn't bother me normally. Because I trust all of you [foolish, I know...but like I said, we're a big cyber family] and I've never had any negative feedback on this blog whatsoever. Aside from the fact that I must be doing something wrong if I haven't offended or pissed off at least a few people, I take that as a sign that it is pretty well received by the general blogosphere.
Well, as all of you know, I run a tracker on this blog. It is more of a view counter really. It keeps tabs on the daily hits, search terms [which provide for hours of amusement], as well as the IP addresses of all the individuals who view the page.
I am fairly sure I was overreacting when I saw this and my first instinct was to delete my blog, close my Twitter account, dye my hair and move out of state:
This blog hit originated from the NCSBN headquarters in Chicago. Now, if you don't know, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing develops the NCLEX exams as well as do a whole bunch of other stuff that I am sure I would be more impressed if I were not in fact exhausted and slightly worried that someone is checking up on my activities.
It is just the *tiniest* bit suspicious.
I am not concerned so much about them looking into any HIPAA violations [even though HIPAA violations are a big freakin' deal] because like I have said numerous times, the very few stories I have shared about patients have been scrubbed and sanitized to within an inch of their life. Fuck, for all ya'll know, I could be [and have been] making all of it up.
But it has got me thinking about this blog and how it reflects on me as a so-called professional. I've always been concerned about people seeing me as a "good nurse" because of some of the things that go on in my personal life. Regardless of the fact that I think the going-ons of my personal life have little to do with my ability to practice as a nurse [within reason. Just so long as I am not putting patients at risk].
I have fucked up relationship [who doesn't?].
I swear like a sailor at times [I really ought to quit but is there a word more amusing than 'fucker'? I think not.]
I like to drink and I may overdo it at times. Seriously. Been known to get straight up trashy drunk at those "End of the Semester" bashes with the classmates and make some *really* bad decisions. [Bad decisions like...oh, I don't know...applying to nursing school....I'm kidding! Kind of.]
Basically, when I am not on the clock, I can be as unprofessional as they come. But that is the key. When. I. Am. Off. The. Clock.
Y'all know me. Probably better than most of the people who know the "real me". Ever since I graduated and took boards [even before actually], I've had this on my mind. Where does Estelle the nurse end and Estelle the person begin?
I know that now [as I have been told by my aunt numerous times...who totally personifies the "angel in scrubs" BS image] that I have a "professional obligation" to maintain a certain "front" now that I am an RN.
But I did not sign up for sainthood when I started nursing school. I'll take the scrubs and stethoscope but you can keep the wings and halo. My horns kind of make the halo sit crooked anyway. ;)
Word Lust isn't that big of a deal. It's my outlet...my sounding board...my connection to some of the most amazing people that I know. My readership is about 100 people [and I love each and every one of you to pieces. Group hug!] with maybe fewer than 10 of you who know my real name.
So there's no way this site could come back and bite me in the ass, right?