Mia Adams (an online pseudonym) is a palliative care nurse and the creator of Death Maiden** a blog about death and dying.
The blog's name comes from the nickname given to Adams by her coworkers.
"I am very passionate about end-of-life nursing. I work on a general medical floor that houses comfort care suites. Not everyone on my unit is comfortable working with patients at the end of life. To help them deal with their own discomfort, they started joking with me by calling me 'Death Maiden.'"
Adams said she has been blogging for about 3.5 years, and that it helps her deal with her experiences at work. "I embrace my work. I take it seriously. Death is a reality. It's a part of life."
Adams said that while she writes primarily for healthcare professionals, many of her readers are individuals who have experienced a loss, patients living with a terminal illness or their caregivers.
She said she writes 2-3 days a week, 2-3 hours at a time, and that she covers a wide range of topics. "Discussions on the blog vary from things really heavy, such as discussions about ethical or psychosocial issues, to humorous stories. I try to have a balance." To help achieve that balance, Adams also provides links to other healthcare blogs.
A Growing Online Community
Adams, Keith and Kim believe nursing blogs serve as a way to create an online community.
"Blogs give nurses a place where they can share information either about the nuts and bolts of their practice, or write about the human experience of nursing," Keith said.
He's amazed at the satisfying electronic relationships he's forged, as well, adding: "Nurses witness the human drama. Blogs allow you to get past the small talk and get to the essence of why you're a nurse."
Adams agreed. She feels a close kinship to other nurse bloggers.
"Nurses are so busy while we're at our jobs, especially in the hospital setting," she said. "Blogging gives nurses the opportunity to talk about things that we don't have time to talk about at work."
Kim noted that international borders fade on the Internet, paradoxically leading to a greater sense of intimacy within the blogging community.
Australian "nurses have the same issues we have here in America. Nurses from Singapore have the same issues, too," she said. "We may have different health systems, but, as nurses, we are all the same."
Kim believes the open and honest dialog found online also adds to sense of closeness among bloggers.
"The feelings that got us into our jobs in the first place are the same everywhere."
Terri Polick is freelance writer and contributor to ADVANCE.
** ADVANCE Newsmagazines (Merion Publications, Inc.) is not affiliated with nor does it endorse this blog, and cannot be held responsible for its content.