top of page

The Q Word Podcast


Nyssa: Welcome to Episode zero of the Q Word Podcast! 

Lisa: ... or episode double zero since there are two of us? 

Nyssa: ... or episode zeep because we have zero peeps so far. 

Lisa: Umm... I don't get it. 

Nyssa: Yeah, you don't, but that will kill with my Respiratory Therapy friend. 

Lisa: Ah hah! And here I'm thinking about delicious sugar coated bright yellow marshmallow baby chicks. Well, now that you've clarified that for me, maybe we should introduce ourselves. 

Nyssa: I'm Nyssa! I'm a nurse with a background in emergency nursing. I fly full time on a life flight helicopter but I still work in the ER occasionally because I love it and I just can't give it up. The ER that I work in is a regional referral center. It's a teaching hospital. It's a trauma center and we are in a suburban town in the deep, dirty south.


Lisa: Ah, the deep, dirty south where we met 30 years ago. And I'm Lisa, I'm not a nurse and I have no background in emergency anything. I have never been in a helicopter but I have been in the ER once with kidney stones and once with pericarditis. Professionally, I'm a mid level college administrator. 

Nyssa: At Hahvahd. 

Lisa: Yes at Harvard, and I'm responsible for a bunch of biology undergrads, many of whom will go on to become doctors or research scientists working on curing diseases. But does this qualify me to be at a nursing podcast? Probably not. But I'm here to ask the questions you would ask if you were me, like, why is this podcast called the Q Word? 

Nyssa: Okay, so the Q word refers to superstition of emergency providers, nurses, EMS, even doctors. We’re having a nice slow shift, there is one word that we do not say and it begins with a “Q.” 

Lisa: Like when you're having a quiet shift?


Nyssa: No, no, no, no! We don't say it Lisa! 

Lisa: We don’t say shift? 

Nyssa: No, we don't say the Q word! If you do, the bottom is going to fall out... all hell will break loose. It's like saying good luck to someone who's about to go on stage. Instead you say break a leg. You would never tell someone good luck. 

Lisa: Oh, so it's like saying a Macbeth in a theater. It's kind of like a jinx, right? 

Nyssa: Yes, right! Those superstitions are pretty well known outside of theater circles. But the Q word one is really just known in our healthcare circles. But if you look it up on urban dictionary, there's an entry for it. 

Lisa: Ah hah! The lexicon of the modern world. I know it well. 

Nyssa: So this podcast is for emergency nurses. If you are looking for a place to hear a great lecture on acid base balance, or the latest sepsis research- that is not us. 

Lisa: I don't know what those things are. And I don't think I want to know.


Nyssa: While there are some really good podcasts out there where you can learn that information, we will have those links in our show notes. But this podcast we're more interested in the culture of emergency nursing. The taboos, trends, tips for the nurses and for those who support them in their practice. 

Lisa: And will there be funny, gross, disgusting stories, too?


Nyssa: Definitely funny, gross stories. 

Lisa: How about heartwarming, inspirational stories? 

Nyssa: Absolutely heartwarming, inspirational stories.


Lisa: And probably sometimes sad or more serious stories, too?


Nyssa: Yes, there will be some sad and serious stories, too. We actually plan on exploring topics that aren't really talked about, or researched extensively. We’ll also cover those hot topics that are on every nurses mind.


Lisa: And we'll be talking to other people too, right? Nurses, EMTs, educators. 

Nyssa: Yep! Because I've worked with so many amazing people in the field, I want to share their stories, their nuggets of wisdom and their perspective with everybody too.


Lisa: And I'll be here to learn the lay person’s perspective on what gets revealed when you pull the hospital curtains back.


Nyssa: So we'd love to hear from you. You can find us on the web at Email us at We're also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can send us a carrier pigeon, smoke signals... whatever gets the message to us. 

Lisa: I'm very fond of Morse code. And you can please rate us on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean or wherever you get your podcast fix. No need to write a review unless of course it's glowing. But those five star ratings really move us up in the iTunes playlist


For a definition of ZEEP:

Nickson, C. (2019).  Open Lung Approach To Ventilation. Life In The Fast Lane.  Retrieved from  


podcast, nurses, stories, emergency, nursing, superstition, ER, heartwarming, hospital

bottom of page