Brian, ADN 168,918 Views
"Be the type of nurse you want to work with" - Brian Short RN, founder of allnurses.com
I personally have never left with anything in my scrub pocket, as I always changed clothes before leaving the building, thus emptying/checking said pockets, but I have had to wait for keys to be brought back- very aggravating, oh yeah...
Your patient has been breathing irregularly for some time now and just drew another gasping, agonal breath. Holding your own breath, you wait…and wait.. for the next breath. But it never comes. It hits you that your patient just died.
You’ve never had a patient die before, much less witnessed the moment of passing. You are shell-shocked. But soon the family will be here and you need to compose yourself and be professional. Whatever that means.
It’s hard to be prepared for the loss of a patient. The family may turn to you for support…...but what can you say? This is hard even for seasoned nurses. But having a few phrases in mind will help.
Read some suggestions from Nurse Beth, our career advice columnist, in her article:
8 Things to Say When Your Patient Dies.
One day I forgot to apply deodorant, and I realized this a few hours into a twelve hour shift. This is how I discovered that hand sanitizer will serve as a decent deodorant in such cases of stinky emergency.
I also discovered that using essential oil underneath the nose helps when you have to deal with something that smells really bad. Usually the go-to is Vicks, but some people are allergic to this. Maybe essential oil will help you?
What hacks have you discovered?
Please, folks, refrain from posting off-topic, inflammatory digs.
Confine posts to the subject of the thread.
"There is Work Penis, and there is Recreational Penis. I'm sure your GF knows the difference. "
It's different seeing your SO's body parts vs. caring for patients. When caring for a pt, it's just that. You're caring for them as a whole, including the body parts. There's nothing sexual about it. If she becomes detached and shows no interest in physical contact with you, it probably has more to do with how she feels about you rather than being desensitized to male parts.
I LOL about being turned on by inserting a catheter. Thanks for that.
We've got a really good thread going on the kinds of nursing tasks we hate, so I thought I'd throw this one out there to get people talking about the kinds they actually enjoy doing.
For me it was IVs. I stunk at them for the first couple of years after I got out of school because I didn't have much of a chance to start them in the LTCs I worked in. But when I got into acute care, I didn't have a choice but to learn, and within a year I was getting calls from the ICU to come down and start an IV in someone they couldn't get a line in. Frequent flyers would actually request me by name to start their IVs because I could do it quickly and on the first try. I don't know why I had so much luck with the hard sticks, when sometimes I'd miss a big plump one in the hand; there was also the occasional shift where I wasn't "in the zone" and couldn't hit a barn door with a two-by-four. We all have those days. But I sure miss holding a 20-gauge angiocath in my hand and sliding that baby in smoothly and effortlessly.
Paragraphs are your friend.
I say this not to be the grammar police, but to help you obtain more views/responses. Some folks will walk on by a post that is one unbroken mass of words.
Dear Nurse Beth,
I have a bit of a situation. I am a new grad RN and I live on Cape Cod. Recently I received two job offers; one is a local Doctor's office, and the other is a major hospital in Boston (roughly 1.5-2 hr commute). The position in Boston interests me more and the pay is better, but it would be strenuous to make the drive daily (as I did for 4 years while in nursing school). Moving to the city is not an option for me as my fiance has a steady career here on Cape. HELP!
Dear Cape Cod RN,
Your choice will ultimately depend on what’s most important to you- your values. Your values are the beliefs you hold as important enough to guide the way you live and work.
You already know that you value supporting your fiance and living on Cape Cod over relocating. That’s a start.
Which career decisions will bring you joy and which career decisions will leave you with regret? These career decisions are driven by your core values. When making big decisions, involve those people in your life who know you and love you. They know you and have your best at heart. Take their counsel under consideration.
Do you value:
When I was 19, I was still living at home with my parents who were generally discouraging of my schooling efforts. They had never attended college themselves, and could not understand the point of general ed coursework. My father would always say, "What kind of job will an English class get you?"
To keep a long story short, I ended up dropping out of the local community college and entering the workforce full-time. As an only child, I had a weak sense of self, a lack of direction, and a desire to please my parents at the expense of my own wishes.
To get to the point, I'd tell my 19-year-old self to do whatever it takes to leave an unsupportive environment. Do not share your dreams or discuss your next plans with people who will discourage you, even if they might be family members.
Remember that this is your life and no one else's. Remember that time passes quickly and waits for no one. Do not misappropriate your youth. Complete your schooling now while you are young and relatively unattached. Good luck!
I've been butting in on the general nursing section for sometime now, but now I'm officially an RN.
Thanks for not shunning me and sharing all of your knowledge, and not poking too much fun at some of my not so smart questions.
I can't think of a username though since there is already a pixieRN....
The things you are able to ponder about when you suddenly don't have to study anymore...
School teacher! Hated it.
But LOVE the teaching aspect of nursing. Go figure.
I became an LPN at 48 and an RN at 50. Prior to that, I lived in Florida. I was a park ranger then promoted to manager. I worked for the state. It was a great job. Free housing, free vehicle, excellent benefits that salary was not super but hey I lived on the ocean for free. I was on call 24/7 because my housing was on the park I worked. I would have retired from there had I stayed in Florida. I moved up north and those types of jobs do not exist. As a kid and teenager I wanted to be a nurse, now I am. I have been blessed in life to have two careers that I love.
I like to encourage new nurses and student nurses as well as be an advocate for change within nursing-which I know well
A lot of idealistic young nurses start out with low confidence and self-doubt, and go on to become amazing nurses. Best wishes
Stress In Nursing
Let’s face it, the level of stress in nursing seems to be getting worse each day. And the worst part about it all is that so many of the things that are stressing us out aren’t things that we can change overnight…if at all! Things like staffing, nurse-to-patient ratios and job expectations are pushing bedside nurses to their max…and beyond! And it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get any better. So, what can you do?
Know Thine Enemy
In a previous article, I shared the difference between stressors and stress. Briefly, stress is the physiology that you experience due to circumstances, or stressors, within your environment. While you aren’t always going to be able to eliminate or even change the stressors in your life, learning how to deal with the stress that you experience is crucial.
If you spend your time only trying to change your work circumstances, then the impact that they have on your will continue to beat you down and decrease the amount of positive impact that you can have. Therefore, you’ve got to know that the “enemy” isn’t outside of you, it’s within you, it’s how you deal with the effects of stress in your daily life.
Take a Step Back…and Observe
Since you realize that you can’t immediately change your work circumstances (which doesn’t mean, by the way, that you shouldn’t continue to advocate for change) you’ve got to figure out a way to decrease the impact of stress on your physical and mental well-being.
The best way that you can do this is to recognize the effects of stress on your body and mind, and change them. And the first way to change them is to stop feeling like the effects and become familiar with just observing them.
As nurses we’re trained to attune a critical eye to observing signs and symptoms. Since you already have this keen ability, why not train your attention and focus on yourself; you deserve caring attention every bit as much as your patients do!
When you’re feeling stressed, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, it goes something like this; “I’m so stressed! I wish I could get away from this situation. This is never going to change! What can I do?”
Here’s something to consider, does this pattern of reactive thinking decrease your experience of stress, or does it actually make it worse? It makes it worse. The physiological cycle of stress reactivity only worsens when you perpetuate the feeling of “I’m stressed” instead of cutting the cycle. And how do you cut the cycle?
Three Tips – Start Using Them
What you need are ways to decrease the impact that stress has on you. And you need them now. So, let’s go!
Number One: Feel the Juice.
This may sound obvious, but the very first thing that you need to do is to recognize that you’re experiencing stress physiology. Your body tells you when you’re stressed and most of the time, you go straight to interpreting it as, “I’m stressed. This is bad. There’s no way out.” How about just noticing what’s going on; “my heart rate is up…my breathing is fast…I’m feeling shaky.” You see, just the physiology alone won’t make things worse; it’s when you begin interpreting (feeling) your physiology (emotions) and then get into negative thinking that you perpetuate the stress. So, notice it. That’s all. Begin to let go of the habit of labeling it as “good” or “bad.”
Number Two: Stinking Thinking…Don’t Go There!
Once the stress physiology gets going, it’s only a matter of seconds before we begin creating thoughts about how we’re feeling…and they’re usually not helpful. In fact, our thoughts about what we’re experiencing only perpetuate our perception of stress. When you think, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how bad the staffing is!” do you think it helps or hurts? Right, it only makes matters worse. So, when you find yourself thinking, “I’m stressed” or whatever the thought may be, interrupt it. This also helps you to remain in the moment with what is most important, patient care.
Number Three: Breathe.
So often, when we’re under stress, our breathing goes haywire. We hypoventilate, depriving our body of the very thing it needs to most, and stressing it out more. Or, we hyperventilate, perpetuating the feeling of being stressed. Drop into your breath. Feel yourself breathing. Breathe. Try a “ten second centering exercise.” Take a long slow breath in. And, relaxed, breathe out again. For more info on working with the breath, check out this allnurses article.
I once heard that there’s no day in the week called “Someday.” With that in mind, begin today to decrease the affect that stress has on you; each day that you do, you’ll be another day closer to being stress-free. Also, if you have questions or need any clarification about anything that I’ve presented here, please do contact me; I’ll always respond.
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