November 7th, 2009


Nurse's medical training vs. a doctor's?

I have a character in a modern setting who is trained as a nurse, but has been hired to fill the medical-officer's position on a small special-ops team. It would be helpful to know what, specifically, would be different in her training and medical knowledge-base vis-a-vis what one would expect of someone who had trained to qualify as a doctor.

She is by and large not actually working with living patients in this position (it's a Torchwood fic, the medical officer's main duty is dissecting dead aliens so it's not like they're gonna sue if she's learning on the job), but there will be moments when she's also called on to serve as a field medic, and I'm not quite sure where her "right, off to hospital with you" breakpoint is going to be in relation to the injuries/conditions her predecessor was capable of treating on-site. She does have the advantage that said predecessor hasn't, um, actually left, as such, and would be available to advise and talk her through procedures she may not have the exact skills for, if they're close enough to the range of what she may be trained for/capable of -- setting bones? Minor sutures? What does she know, and what does she know that she doesn't know and needs to outsource? It's the gap between the two specializations that I see as a potential source of plot-points, and I'm not quite sure how to even begin Googling that...

Changing last name on birth certificate

Where: Northwest Territories, Canada
When: 1970, 1998 or '99
Googled: "northwest territories changing birth certificate", but I really have no idea how to phrase this properly

This is about a fandom character, but is only for my own personal head-fanon, not for a story or anything.

The character in question, who is only known by her married name in canon, was born in 1970 to parents whose spouses had both recently died. She was probably brought up to believe she was the posthumous daughter of her mother's husband (who'd actually died at least four months prior to her conception).

Regardless of whose name was put in the "father's name" field (I think either the mother's dead husband, or - if she thought someone would catch on to the discrepancy or had a crisis of conscience - nothing at all), I figure this character was given her mother's surname at the time of the child's birth, which was almost certainly still her dead husband's last name.

In 1998 or '99, when we actually meet this character in canon, during the course of the episode she learns who her actual biological father is.

Now, after all that, my question. After providing proof of her newfound paternity (timing evidence, DNA tests with canon half-brother, etc.), would this character be able to change the surname on her birth certificate from to match her bio dad's? I know, with proof, she could probably correct whose name, if any, is on the "father's name" field. But she wouldn't want to give up her married name to legally change her surname to her bio dad's, so that leaves just the birth certificate.

I suspect the answer is "no", she wouldn't be able to change the surname, but it never hurts to ask.


Setting: A large city in the northeastern United States, modern day
Searched: "scurvy," "scurvy symptoms," "scurvy treatment," "scurvy effects," and so forth.  Multiple articles on Wikipedia and a few online medical encyclopedias.

A young man in his late teens becomes so involved in a project that he neglects his diet over an extended period of time, and contracts scurvy.  His symptoms eventually become bad enough that he goes to a doctor, receives a diagnosis, and recovers by resuming consumption of Vitamin C.  My questions:
1. How long from the initial presentation of symptoms will they become severe enough to convince a person who makes a habit of neglecting his health that he needs to see a doctor?
2. Will symptoms completely vanish after he begins taking Vitamin C, or will there be some lingering effects?

Edit: I know that even fast food has enough Vitamin C to prevent scurvy.  I am still researching exactly what he will be eating (my top candidate at the moment is Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, which I have confirmed have no Vitamin C), but I will make sure that it is something that would actually lead to scurvy.  He essentially locks himself into his room with a stockpile of insert-non-perishable-food-substance-here for weeks at a time.