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Behind the Scenes of Medical Blogs: Code Blog

codeblog.jpgI’ve already presented some famous medical bloggers to you. My aim is to get my readers closer to these quality blogs and the bloggers as well. I’d like to convince more and more health professionals/people interested in medicine to create their own blogs by providing interesting “behind-the-scenes” interviews. The ninth blogger in this series is a nurse, Geena from Code Blog.

  • How do you find information for your blog? You certainly read other blogs, journals but do you use RSS reader? How many blogs do you track?

I post about my own personal experience as a nurse. I also post submissions that readers send in. I’ve received submissions from EMT’s, other nurses, patients, and family members of patients.

I definitely use an RSS reader – I can’t imagine life without it! I follow almost 50 medical blogs and about 20 other blogs that aren’t medical.

  • You’ve been blogging for 5 years now. Is it hard to blog as a nurse? How do you find time for this and how can you maintain your blog?

When I started blogging, there were only a handful of other medical blogs – I remember finding GruntDoc, RangelMD and Medpundit. I did a lot of searching, but was only able to find one other blog written by a nurse (“code: the web socket;,” which is no longer updated). I thought it would be great to start a blog dedicated to nursing and my experiences as a nurse. I was nervous about putting my experiences out there in the world and was afraid that I wouldn’t have enough material to keep up with it, which is why I added the submissions link.

I figured that I wouldn’t put too much pressure on myself to keep to a schedule. I usually only post a few times a month, and during my pregnancy I barely blogged at all. I don’t want it to feel like an obligation – I just want to enjoy it! And I do, so I don’t find it hard. Frankly I’m a bit surprised to be here almost 5 years later. I’m very proud of the fact that I am one of the first nurse bloggers and that I’ve kept with it this long.

  • You have excellent images. Do you create those yourself? Are most of your posts based on your daily work experiences or you have to search for interesting/new content on the web?

I create the buttons on my sidebar by using images or color schemes from the blog I’m linking to. I really enjoy making them, but it isn’t as easy as adding a text link, so I do find that I’m usually a bit behind in adding new blogs. The little nurse in the upper right hand corner of my blog is a painting that I bought off of Ebay.

Most of my posts are based on work experiences, but occasionally I’ll find something in the news or on another blog that I want to comment on.

  • Do your collegues and the physicians at your hospital know about your blog? Do they appreciate your work? Does your employer have to know about your blog?

My boss and colleagues do know about my blog. I don’t think the physicians do, but not because I’ve been keeping it a secret. When my blog was written about in Nurse Week, the cat was pretty much out of the bag at that point! I was excited to be included in the article and told a few coworkers and it went from there. They, and my boss, are very supportive and have left comments and submitted stories themselves!

  • Tell us please what are the biggest problems with us, medical students?

There are no med students or interns/residents at the hospital I work at now. I did work with them when I first started out as a nurse. The med students never bothered me in the least unless they were hogging my patient’s chart. As for the interns and residents – well, I thought they were a godsend. Being new and inexperienced, I was often very nervous about calling physicians (especially in the middle of the night!) It was somehow easier to call the residents instead. I felt like they weren’t in a position to get mad at my calls. Not that I ever made frivolous calls, of course. But they were much less intimidating than the attendings and I was grateful to be able to bounce my concerns off of them first.

  • You have a Submit your story section. Last time, I saw the same at Six Until Me, the best patient blog. Why do you have such a problematic section? I mean it must be hard to maintain and moderate it. Or am I wrong?

I don’t find it problematic at all! I enjoy reading the submissions that people send in. If I don’t feel that the story fits codeblog, I simply don’t publish it. My favorite submissions are from patients. I think it’s so important to always try to keep in mind what it’s like from the patient’s perspective, and one way to do that is by reading their stories. It also helps to have submissions to post when the well of ideas has run dry.

  • At last, what are your future plans with your blog?

Hopefully a redesign!! I have had the same exact color scheme and layout since day 1, when there were very few other blogs to link to and almost no fun blog widgets! Otherwise, I plan on continuing to write posts and provide readers with the scoop on what it’s like to be a nurse.

It has been so enjoyable to read blogs by other nurses and I’m so glad that there are so many! I also love reading physician and patient blogs. What an awesome way to keep connected and continually be exposed to other perspectives. I really feel as though it has made me a better nurse.

Thank you, Geena, for the answers and to take us behind the scenes of nurse bloggers!

Behind-the-Scenes interviews so far:

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Good interview. Looking forward to more. It’s always interesting to hear from other med-bloggers about what makes them write.

    September 3, 2007
  2. Thank you, Isabelle! That’s exactly why I’m doing these interviews. :)

    September 3, 2007
  3. Thanks Berci!

    September 4, 2007
  4. You’re welcome, Geena!

    September 4, 2007
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    November 23, 2009

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