Sunday, July 8, 2012

New orders in my chart: 240ml coffee p.o. q 30 mins PRN

A few weeks ago I was offered, and accepted, a second shift per diem position as a graduate nurse in a Long Term Care facility.  At the same time I have kept my day job with my current company and have been doing 3-4 double shifts a week between both jobs.


I have always loved and consumed copious amounts of caffeine, mostly in the form of coffee, but sometimes in more dubious ways (yes I am looking at you Red Bull and your party time friend vodka), but now I am understanding just how much I need coffee.  I wake up and know my day will be long and after hitting the snooze button for 5 more minutes of sleep I hit the Keurig button to brew up a strong cup o'joe.

Oh! How I love me some coffee!

After a few strong cups at home, and maybe a large Iced Coffee from Dunkin' Donuts on the way to work, I am good to go for awhile, but by the time my shift as a superhero* starts I am in desperate need of more, and in comes the coffee from the nurse's break room.  

It is strong.  It is consumed black and hurriedly.  It should come with the option to spike it and run directly into the vascular system.  It is the stuff that keeps everyone health care facility in the world running at seemingly impossible rates.

It is not a surprise how excited I was when I found some great articles on Life Hacker about coffee.

Because I am a geek I loved the article about what caffeine actually does to your brain.  It is full of science-y goodness such as adenosine, adenosine receptors, the chemical properties of caffeine, and how it all works together to give you that buzz to get you through the day.

Because I am a nurse and a multi-tasker I also found this user guide to being optimally wired from caffeine to be incredibly interesting, informative, and most of all, useful for people like me.  It suggests 20-200mg of caffeine per hour, which potentially means a cup of coffee every single hour.

Thank you science for reinforcing the validity of my habit!

The last, and perhaps my favorite coffee related article of the day is this one telling you how to brew the best possible cup of coffee without breaking the bank.  Okay, so maybe you do not need to use distilled water, but I can assure you, my coffee tastes much better when the water is from my Brita water pitcher as opposed to my tap water.  I do not necessarily think a French Press is necessary as I love the Keurig, but coffee from a French Press is certainly tasty.

So there you have it friends, fellow nurses, and those that are not nurses but need coffee flowing through their veins at all times, you are not alone, and now now you have science to help you out with it.  Drink on.


*The difference between nurses and superheros is that nurses do not need special powers to do their amazing feats.

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