Tag Archives: nurse

A letter to my 3 million friends … and *sigh* the folks at “The View”

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Dear Joy and her friends …

I understand that your view of healthcare and nurses in general may be very limited.  Why, I suppose if I had all that fancy money (which I don’t), I’d have home visits from Doctors with Doctor’s stethoscopes too.  So I understand your ignorance.  First I do want to say, thank you to Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson, for bringing nursing to the headlines.  It’s nice not to hear about another socialite and what non important thing she/he did today.

I also suppose that you know about “Hollywood” nurses.  Hot Lips Houlihan, that nurse from Grey’s Anatomy, and who knows who else.  I also suppose you think that I wear a short white dress with my breasts hanging out.  And I also suppose you think that I constantly have sex in the supply and/or linen and/or janitor closet at the hospital.  Let me tell you the juicy stuff …. I don’t. Hollywood has either sexualized the nurse into something we don’t represent, or like the nurse on the TV show Scrubs … a total bitch.  Again, I’m not those either.

Did you know that it was a school teacher turned nurse that started the American Red Cross?  Did you know that it was a nurse that started Planned Parenthood?  Did you know that it was nurses that started organized home visits and midwifery?  No, you probably didn’t.

Did you know that it’s the nurse who holds the parent’s hands as their new-born baby is being taken away after delivery due to complications?  Did you know that it’s the nurse who comforts the parent, spouse, children, who-ever when a loved one dies unexpectedly?  Did you know it’s the nurse who listens, without judgement, to children who are abused (sexually, physically, emotionally) while we exam them? Did you know that it’s the nurse who listens, without judgement, to the patient who can’t get off drugs to improve their life… but tells us how they will sell their body for their next fix?  Did you know that it is the nurse who does chest compressions to save the life of our patients (and not “Hollywood” compressions)?  Did you know that we are the ones that holds the emesis bucket while the cancer patient throws up during their sixth round of chemo?  No, you probably did not.  Did you know that we are bound by privacy laws … so we can’t share any of this?  We can’t share our day with our family when we get home, so we can vent like other people do about their jobs? No, we have to internalize it and move on.

Did you know that it’s the nurse who celebrates with the patient, who walks for the first time after a tragic accident?  Did you know that it’s the nurse who celebrates with the child who is able to eat for the first time after being unable to eat for weeks at a time?  Did you know that it’s the nurse who celebrates with a patient when they get the all clear from their cancer?  Did you know it’s the nurse who celebrates with the parents after the birth of a child, who took many years of trying and treatments carry a child full term?  No, you probably didn’t.

I am a nurse, and I am a nurse educator.  We take (mostly) unknowing students and teach them how to be professional, caring, and compassionate.  I teach them that our elderly have fantastic stories that they will only ever get out of a book, and here is their chance to hear it first hand.  I’ve talked to patients who told me of their time in Vietnam during the War.  Of how they were working at a factory in San Diego, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor … and how everyone stopped to listen over the radio … all while the patient had tears in their eyes.  I’ve had patients tell me about their first television in the home, watching man walk on the moon, how they literally walked up a hill and back down to get to school in the morning.  These students are going into a hard, body breaking career, not the most glamorous, not the best paying, many times not the best smelling, but oh so rewarding.  They will never be able to look back and say, “I wish I never did that.”

Did you know that the Gallup polls put nurses at the number one spot every year as the most trusted profession?  Only one year we did not meet that … was for 9/11 … it went to the Firefighters … and yeah, I’ll give them that!   Did you know that nurses are not only in the hospital and at the bedside?  We are your school nurses, your chart auditors for your lawyer, your case manager, your advocate, your educator, your researcher, your politician, your communicator, your counselor, change agent, leader, clinician, advance practice nurse, administration, forensic nurse, military nurse, and so many other roles.

We cannot do our jobs without other nurses, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, speech therapists occupational therapists, physical therapists, pharmacists, nutritionist/dietitians, case Manager/social workers, EMT/EMS teams,  pastoral care, nursing assistants,secretaries, house keeping, kitchen help, janitors and so many more.  When they say it takes a village …. well it takes a team to take care of patients and families.  So we thank you!

To my 3 million friends … now is our awakening … we have been fired up.  I beg of you to take action for the nursing profession.  Become active in your national, state and local nursing groups. Become active in the actions happening in Washington D.C. that affect nurses, nursing care, and how we do our jobs.  Be active and aware in the state boards of nursing where you live … know what it going on in your own state legislature that affects the care you will be giving.  Be aware of the actions of the Robert J. Woodson foundation, QSEN, the IOM’s Future of Nursing … all of these can and will affect you!

Do the best nurse you can be … don’t be there for a paycheck … if that’s where you are at … find another area of nursing that fits you.  As Miss Colorado said, nursing is her talent.  It is not a skill that we are born with.  Find what your passion is and go to it.  I love education … It’s so rewarding to me, it’s my passion.  Find your nursing talent.

As for you Joy and the rest of the View … other professions may refuse to service you if you offended them like you have us (have you got that yet, we are offended!).  But in nursing, we are caring and compassionate … so when you come into our care … we will still take care of you to the best of our abilities, as we have sworn with the Nightingale pledge.  Because all lives matter.  Even yours.

NURSING teaching stethoscope

NURSING teaching stethoscope

I. Need. Shoes. Stat!!!

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I have a massive urge to get a new pair of hot high heels!  If any of you want to help, I wear a size 9.5 (yeah, big feet).  I love crazy shoes!  Thanks!

I feel like in the last couple of weeks that I’ve calmed down.  I got that wild streak out of me that I’ve been doing for the last few months.  Don’t think I still don’t want to go out and have fun, cause, well if you KNOW me, I love having a blast and laughing.  But sometimes laying on your kitchen floor and laughing with your best friend is just even more fun that going out!

I know what I want in life, for my boys, for me personally as career goals, love life needs, and who I want to be, and what kind of person I want to be with.  And I won’t settle for less.  I deserve it.  I sure damn do.  And I’ll wait forever until I can get what I want!  (hello spoiled brat!)

My boys have been horrible lately.  I guess the divorce is effecting (affecting?) them, and they are showing out because of it.  I had Don put locks on my pantry door so they stop getting all the food out.  Yeah, like dumping a box of pancake mix, squeezing out all the jelly, eating all the cereal, etc .  They already cost me a bundle in groceries, but when I keep having to re-buy everything, then that adds up! 

I really reached a low point this week with them, I had to call friends to come over and help, and thankfully they rushed right over (love ya Heather and Don!) to help.  I guess I’ll go to the book store and find a parenting/divorce book for some advice.  Do any of you have any advice?  I’ll take all that I can get!

Never found my stolen stuff, except the boating tube was in the field next to me, but that’s not mine, so I really don’t care about that.  I had someone come out and mow my yard, and it looks so much nicer.  I may have him come out and do the back and trim up some more stuff this week, since I don’t have the tools to do it now.  Although I did buy a weedeater!  And a drill!  LOL!

I really want to go see my family, I’m hoping they’ll meet me in Omaha or Witchita again, it makes it easier to drive 8 hours rather than 19!!!

Other than that, I’ve been doing ok.  Have had some dissappointments, but am keeping my head up and heart full of hope.  That’s all I can do.  🙂

April Showers Brings May Flowers

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I normally really love May.  It’s my birthday month.  It’s springtime.  It’s my time. 

I’m going to get out of this funk, some way some how.  I will not become the Janet I was a few months ago.  I’m better than that. 

What does one think of during the last days before their birthday?  The last year of course.  Thankfully I have this blog to use to go back. 

First and foremost, Health.  Thank God that I have good health and so do my boys.  Besides a nasty bout of flu that had me in bed and the boys eating pizza for four nights, we have been really healthy.  I’m very grateful for that.  I know many families with children and the parents themselves severely and even terminally ill.  I am blessed with three (over ornery) healthy boys.  Very destructive boys might I add.

My job.  Thankfully last year I was able to get my RN degree and am in a position where I can work two to three days a week and support my boys, and not have to put any of them in daycare.    I do love my job, and hope to start in a Masters program within the next year.

Really, anything else, who cares?  I have a nice car, a good house, but do those things really matter?  I guess it’s a privilege to have them, but they are not needed.  I am thankful to have them though.

Of course the big news is my divorce, which is still going on (arguing over child stuff).  It sucks, but I’m over it.  He’s moved on, I’ve moved on.  It just needs to end.  It really does.

I’ll reflect more over the year and my birthday (because remember, May is all about ME).

And my Birthday is May 24th.  I never get flowers (it’s been 8 years?), love shoes (size 9.5), and large gaudy bags.  Jewelry is nice too.  Oh, and maid service.  🙂

Peace

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“I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace,”  Helen Keller.

I don’t if the rain has calmed me, or a great night last night.  But I feel at peace, a calmness.  Like a heavy stone has been lifted off my chest.  I wouldn’t call it being content, as there many things that I am not satisfied with.  But then again, I have no control over many things, so maybe I am content per the level of control I have?  Wow, I’m getting deep with myself. 

I have many things to be thankful for.

First, my boys.  I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t have them.  They keep it real, keep me goofy and down to earth.  I love each one of them for something special that is in each one of them.  I love seeing them learn and discover new things.  Seeing the world through their eyes just really simplifies things.

Family.  My family has been wonderful.  My parents are so supportive of me, wanting me to continue my goal of my Masters in Nursing, wanting to see me happy, and the boys be fruitful.  My sisters are just beautiful.  Ashely, poor soul, is just like me.  Loud, goofy, sarcastic, and just fun.  Stephanie is due with her first child in May, and she is just glowing!  And dear Joshua.  Sigh, protecting his big sister, telling the dudes to back the F*** off from me.  What love.  What love.

Friends.  I’ve made such good friends in the last few months.  I have friends from years ago (back in the day, ya know!) so are supportive and listen.  One from the last few years who I’ve gone to school with and entered a new career with, and have strengthen our friendship by bringing our children together for playtime.  And the ones from the recent months, who many have also recently gone through a divorce with children.  They all have enforced and reiterated my strengths to me.  Have made me a stronger person, have been concerned for me and my happiness.  They really do care.  And I must say, I haven’t laughed as hard in all my life as I do when I’m with them!  I love y’all!

My job.  I really am blessed.  I am able to work 5 days in a 14 day period and am able to support my household.  So I am able to be a stay at home Mom during the week with the boys, and yet still work.  I love what I do, and like to think I’m good at it.  I know I don’t know everything in my job, by no means, but I look to each day as an opportunity to ask questions and learn new things.

Michael.  Yes, are you surprised?  Without him I wouldn’t have many of the things and people above.  Having him allows me the time to go out with my friends and to work.  He is able to take the boys for me.  I am blessed that the boys have him, as they love him dearly.  We do fight many days, ok, maybe not fight, but get testy with one another, but I think for the most part, we do try to get along.  The whole divorce and dating thing is a bit odd for us yet, since it is all still new.  I hope our friendship and our parenting only grows over the years.

I think the boys are asleep.  The dogs have been out.  I’m going to open my bedroom window, get a book and read myself to sleep.  Oh, with some hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows).  *Deep Breath* Exhale*Sigh*  Goodnight All.

Day By Day

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I don’t know how long it takes to get over stuff like this, but each day I’m a wee bit better.  I know the upcoming holidays will bring more emotions on, which will suck, but I’ll deal with it.

I haven’t bought a thing for the holidays.  I’ll go at the end of this week.  With all the other crazy people doing last minute shopping.  Blah.   Ok, I did by myself stuff, lol.  I bought a new camera and my bedding.  LOL!  I need to go get the perfume I want, and some sexy pjs.  Yeah me.

Work.  I still love it.  The other night I was on my old floor, the cardiac floor and it was rough.  Besides the fact we were short an RN, leaving me with 15 patients, I followed a nurse who had NO clue what was going on with her patients.  No idea of resulted lab work, when the next lab work was due, no clue of the results of CT scans, venous dopplers, etc.  No idea of what the doctors had planned.  Nothing.  One of them she didn’t even realize was on a cordarone drip.  Uhhh hello?  Her documentation of the patients were horrible.  But I still love my job.  I can’t wait til I can go to weekend option after Christmas.  Work 24 hours, get paid for 34!  WOOT!

What else?  Not much.  I worked a bunch the last 2 weeks, and am ready for my break before Christmas.  Because of the holiday rotation and switching a shift with someone, I work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday than I am off until Christmas night.  SEVEN days.  WOOT!

Tomorrow I’m calling a therapy chick that is through our work (=free).  I’m just going in to talk to her, sort some feelings out and listen to her suggestions.  We’ll see if I learn anything.

My current gym membership is up in January, and then I’m switching to the bigger, nicer gym in town, where my dear friend Karen goes to.  We’ll be sexy bitches soon.  Holla!

Celexa.  I have to say it has helped.  I don’t know what kind of emotional train wreck I’d actually be in if I wasn’t on it.  Thank goodness that it is cheap!

ok, I’ve hollered (hollared?) at the boys many times to go clean their room, now I must go enforce my Mommy Powers!

P.S.  I don’t know what the picture has to do with day by day, but it was on google.  I ain’t hatin’!

Primary Care Nursing

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The hospital I work at has been on “team” nursing for many many years.  A unit has 30 beds, during the day there are 3 RNs, 3 LPNs, and 3 Techs (CNAs), and each group has 10 patients.  Of course there is a support nurse, and a charge, and the unit manager on the floor.  At night, ideally, there would be 3 RNs, 2 LPNs, and 2 Techs, but at times there might only be 2 RNs.  The RN’s primary duty is to assess, teach, intervene, etc.  LPN is meds and dressing changes, and the tech would be vital signs, feeding, and bed, toileting,  and bath care.

Recently, they’ve tried to go to primary nursing on one floor, with hopes to move the entire hospital to this (and get Magnet status).  During the day, there would be 6 nurses (5 RNs and an LPN).  According to state law, the patient needs to be assessed by an RN at least once in a 24 hour period.  So the charge nurse would assess the LPNs patients, then the LPN could take over and chart from there.  Everyone else would assess and chart, and do their meds, etc.  At night, there would be the charge nurse, and 4 RNs and 1 LPN, and the same concept would follow.

I’ve had no problem when I’ve gone to this floor to work, it’s been great, no problems.  Last week they changed the staffing grid.  So last night, I had 8 patients primary care.  Me.  Me to do meds, assessment, interventions, Dr calling, and so on.  It’s crazy.  How do they except us to give good patient care?  My license, my livelihood is on the line.  If this is what is expected, I will move to the ER, or even another institution.  I really do enjoy my job, but this is not a safe practice IMO.

I understand the nursing shortage, I understand the need for money cuts, but didn’t all take a pledge to do no harm (beneficence) when we entered the field of nursing?

I do plan to make my thoughts known to my supervisor, hopefully my voice will be heard!