Tag Archives: nursing

As the World Turns

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It’s amazing to scroll back through my old blog posts … and see how much I’ve grown and changed over the years.  I’ve made some posts private, but did leave many of the ones where I poured my heart and soul out.  Dealing with a divorce and depression is difficult, and I hope maybe someone will scroll across them … and find encouragement and strength.

It’s awesome to look back things I said … wanting to teach, getting my Bachelor’s and then my Master’s degree.  I’m doing all that.  Yes, I’m living my dream!  I’ve been teaching nursing, this being my fourth year … and I love it.  I have my Master’s degree (December 2015), and now I am enrolled and working on my Doctorate of Education.

My husband and I have been blessed in our home (did an expansion for more rooms!) and travel (we LOVE cruising).  The kids are amazing …

No, my life isn’t peaches all the time.  But I wouldn’t change it any … well, of course … I would always take more shoes and purses! 🙂

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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.

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NURSING teaching stethoscope

ADN, BSN, MSN!

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So during this past year, I’ve been working on my Bachelor’s degree (BSN) in nursing at Arkansas Tech University.  It’s wasn’t hard, but just a lot of busy work!  And if you know me, I tend to procrastinate! haha, which leads me to many last minute papers!  So, as of December 17th, 2011 I am now a RN BSN! Woot!

Sometime in November, I got a letter from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), granting admission to their Masters program starting in January 2012!  Woot!  I’m super excited!  I will be in the Acute Care Nurse practioner and Nurse Educator programs, with a graduation date of May 2015.  Yes, three more years of school.  ACK!  I went to the campus in November to meet my advisor, who is wonderful, and her credentials are outstanding!!!  I was like a silly school girl on campus! 🙂 I hope to go back in the next few weeks and get a official “UAMS Nursing” shirt/jacket.

So, for now, I continue to work in the ICU and do house supervisor.  In January I also start to teach clinicals at National Park Community College (NPCC), where I got my ADN (Associate degree in nursing).  Remember that day?  If not ~~~~>>>>HERE and HERE and HERE!!!!!  Yes, so I will be doing the 4th semester clinicals (last semester!), which I’m very nervous about, but very excited!

Plan of Action

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Back in the day, when I managed restaurants, we always had to have a plan of action.  Depending on what area you were a manager of depended on your plan.  A plan to lower food costs, labor costs, etc, etc, etc.

I have started my plan of action.  I filled out my financial aid information (FAFSA).  Yup, sure did!  I’ve been in contact with UCA and UAMS, and getting advice on whether I should get my BSN or go right into my MSN.  I’m excited, but afraid of the cost!  UCA tuition is $206 for undergraduate and $245.50 for graduate – Per credit hour!  ACK!  UAMS is $198 and $281, respectively.  WOW.  Just WOW.

I’m hoping to start this fall, if not January at the latest.  🙂  Wish me luck!  (OMG, what the heck am I thinking, going back to school!!!!!!!)

Busy and Stressed Out Mom!

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NCLEX.  Boards suck.  The review class that I took said that from now til the time you take the boards (for you non-nurses, this is our licensure board) you need to answer AT LEAST 5,000 questions!  OMG!  Depending on your date, that could be 150-300 questions A DAY!  Oh, and they tell you the longer you wait, the statistics for passing lower.  Great.  There are so many topics, diseases, fields, approaches,  and so on.  I have 4 NCLEX books, each with a disk of 1,000-4,000 questions on the CD, plus the questions in the book.  And there is an on-line one I use, that has another 3,500 questions.  HOLY CRAP!  Choosing how and what to study is so hard!

Anyways, I won’t say when my test is, but it is in the first two weeks of July.  I don’t want the pressure of having to give y’all an pass or fail.  If I fail (WHICH I WON’T), I want to take it in, does that make sense?  But when I PASS, I’ll be yelling, texting, emailing, myspacing, hitting up every blog telling everyone!  HA!

My kids have been pure evil.  Pure evil.  I worked the other night, and came home to Michael sleeping on the couch, where he had fallen asleep while watching a movie (reviews to come later).  I went in our bed.  I woke up about 10 am to yelling and screaming.  Apparently my wonderful children decided that they needed to open their window, kick out the screen, climb out, and go to the shed.  From there they brought multiple things in.  This includes the motor/steering column from their water boats, a box of sewing stuff, a box of paint for model cars, and so on.  Stuff they did NOT need, hence it being in the shed.  Further than that, they decided that the spools of thread needed to be made into spider webs around their room, so I lost about 10 spools of thread.  “Oh, that’s not bad”, you say?  Well how about this:

 

Yes, that’s paint.  All over the carpet, all around the room.  All on the walls.  All on the dresser.  All over them.  Not a happy mother.  However, my MIL (mother in law), who is your typical grandmother, letting them have whatever, saying maybe as opposed to flat out saying NO, told them to go in their room for being naughty boys when she came over that day.  I was very pleased at her for standing up to them.  🙂

Michael is doing well.  Did I mention he dislocated his knee a few weeks ago?  It still bothers him.  He’s had a third interview with a company, so we are waiting on an answer from them!  Cross your fingers!  Meanwhile, he’s working at a jewelry store and had me come look at rings (since mine is gone).  OMG, he had picked out the hugest most beautiful rings!  How sweet of him!

Anyways, I hope y’all find your summer going well, as ours is off to a rough start!

Really? That’s what you are going with?

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Travel nurses.  What a bitter taste it brings to some RN’s mouth.  They often ask, if they can pay THEM that much, why can’t they pay US that much?  Of course during this nursing shortage, travel nurses can be a life saver to the already worn out, overworked staff.

So after those lovely thoughts, last night was my first experience with a travel nurse.  Our group had 10 patients on a med-surg floor.  Quick run down of clients  (very vague-HIPAA!):  A mix of 1, 2, 3 day post op clients, most with PCAs, one  DNR on a 100% non-rebreather.

One client is suppose to go home, but wants to stay until the morning so he can get the results of a certain test.  One is still in surgery, may or may not come to the floor (vs ICU).   The DNR has O2 sats in the 70s.  After asking me several times if she needed to pass any of my meds (and me declining several times), she still passed meds to one client (couple of POs).  In passing I tell her that one clients IV has gone bad and I’ll fix it later.   In the meantime, the charge nurse was dealing with the one wanting to go home (calling all the doctors, making sure the client could stay), with the DNR client’s family, and with one client who was throwing things (calling their doctor).  The surgery client comes to the floor, the travel RN goes and assesses him.  Next thing I know, she’s is leaving.  Like leaving to go home and not finish her shift, or the remainder of her seven (of eight) weeks.  WOW.  Just WOW.

Her reasoning was that it wasn’t safe practice, she was having to give meds (really now?) and it was too much to deal with.  She had charted on not one client at 10PM, only really dealt with the post op client, and the one to be discharged for a few minutes.  There were two other strong RN’s on the floor (plus the charge), three LPNs (experienced) and the two PCTs.

Really, I just would think that this would be considered abandonment, but since she gave report to the other RNs, I was told it was not considered as such.  Is this what we are to expect from travel nurses?  This is the first time in the 100 year history of the hospital that we have brought in travel nurses.   This is my only hospital I’ve worked in, and like I said, my only experience with travel .  Am I missing something?  Are we expecting too much of the RN?  Yes, our ideal modality would be 5-6 clients, but right now, because of the nursing shortage, it’s not a possibility.

Two words:  Not Impressed

Hindsight is 20/20

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Have you ever just done something without thinking?   Then right, just as you do it, something in the back of your head says, “STOP”  but you just don’t listen and keep on going?  Then you look at the result of your actions and think WTF did I do?  Yeah . . .

I decided to paint today.  I have this cabinet that I bought a few years ago at a garage sale for $3.  At Wal*Mart I found some black paint on clearance for $3 an a can of that “stone” spray paint.  Mind you, I’m a quick result, quick response person.  I grew up with a microwave, where you can get a full complete 3 or 4 course meal in 5 minutes.  I can download and entire song in 2.3 seconds on my cell phone.  My bank gives you $5 if you aren’t through the drive through in 5 minutes.  Quick results.  Quick response. 

Painting does not fit into the quick results, quick response area.  It was fun painting at first, then I realized that I still have 3 sides to do, plus the drawers.  I rotate painting and spray painting.  Which just gets spray paint over my paint.  So I repaint.  Mind you, I’m doing this in my dining room, yes inside my house.  Again, wtf was I thinking.

As I paint, stroking and stroking, up and down, wax on, wax off, I think, “geesh this paint is thick.”  Thick and shiny.  Thick and shiny.  Wax on, wax off.  Finally, done.  I’m satisfied with my work, except I’ll need to do another spray paint coat outside tomorrow.  It takes me all of 15 minutes to paint, quick action, quick response.  If I really had wanted it to look nice, I would’ve had my mother-in-law come and paint it, which would have taken her, eh 2 hours maybe.

I take the brush into the kitchen and turn on the hot water to rinse it out.  I take my hand and rustle the bristles.  STOP!  Ohhh, I heard it, but kept going.  Pure black, glossy, enamel paint.  All over my hand.  What do I do?  Ohh!  Take the OTHER hand and rustle the bristles.  STOP!  ohhhh damn.  Literally pure black hands.  Both of them.  Damn damn damn. 

Thankfully Mike had taken the Baby to pick up the Dude.  The Man was playing the x-box, so it gave me time to hide my mess before Mike came back home (only to make fun of me).  Palmolive cuts grease!  Two uses of that, no luck.  SOS!  Yeah, one large steel sponge, a bit better, but no luck.  I jump into the shower.  Irish spring, no go.  Pantene, nope.  St Ives apricot scrub, gets some of it off.  Toss on the burgundy Victoria’s Secret robe that my husband wears as much as me, and take 309,855,309,258 cotton balls and all I have left of nail polish remover.  It takes off most of it.  I still have black hands.  Hopefully it will wear off before I work this weekend, or before clinicals on Monday!