Ruby Vee's Nursing Blog - page 3

By Ruby Vee

Joined Jun 28, '02. Posts: 8,136 (64% Liked) Likes: 27,914

The following are articles I have written and shared with the nursing community. If you enjoy an article please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Night Shift For Newbies

most of us donít get much choice over whether or not we work nights, although we might get a choice about when. we also get a choice about how we handle our night rotations. there are plusses and minuses to working eight hour shifts, to working twelves, to working straight day shift, straight night shift or rotating. thatís for you to decide for yourself. but here are some tips that have helped me and some of my night shift colleagues survive and thrive on the graveyard shift. attitude... Read More →


What To Do After You've Made A Mistake

nursing school doesn’t really teach you how to be a nurse, it just gives you a glimpse into the world of nursing and the nclex gives you a license to learn. if you’re smart, you’ll learn something new every day of your career. if you’re very smart, you’ll learn how to handle those moments when you’re very, very stupid. everyone makes mistakes. everyone. there are no perfect people, and anyone who would have you believe they are perfect is a damn liar. so know from the very first... Read More →


Alzheimer's: Communicating in Pictures

it started as a lark -- i got a free all-in-one printer with my new computer. momís photo album was just sitting there in my dining room, waiting for me to decide what i wanted to do with it, so just for kicks, i scanned a photograph or two. or sixteen. then the child came home with a school assignment: assemble a family tree. since i had all of momís photographs right there, the child -- or maybe it was me -- decided that the family tree would be better with pictures of her ancestors. ... Read More →


Welcome to the ICU

Itís January, and the December graduates from nursing school will be taking their NCLEX exams, looking for jobs and starting those jobs (if theyíre lucky enough to get them!) in the next few months. That means that the ICU is going to have another huge influx of new graduates sometime in the next month or two. It happens every year. Some of them will actually want to work in the ICU, but most will be on ďthe two year plan,Ē meaning theyíre here to get their two years of ICU experience... Read More →


A Waiting Room Christmas Story

Christmas of 1981 -- it had been a horrible year. In May, I found my husband of three years, the church choir director, in bed with the soprano. In the wake of that disaster, we pulled up stakes and moved three thousand miles so that we could ďwork on our marriageĒ in the absence of what turned out to be Gerryís many mistresses. I was young and more or less fresh off the farm when we moved to the Big City. I didnít know anyone in the city except Gerry, and after I caught him cavorting with... Read More →


A REAL Nurse

when dad was ill, my sister went to the hospital and told everyone that she was a nurse and she'd be watching them. she is a nurse -- sort of. she's a "gucci nurse". she comes to work in her gucci suit and her prada heels carrying her designer handbag and her coach briefcase and sits in her corner office with the gorgeous view making policy for a chain of hospitals. she hasn't been near a patient in over 25 years (except for that time where her "fire most of the rns and hire non-licensed... Read More →


Sitting Is Overrated

sitting is overrated. i say that because at present i canít sit. it isnít that iím far too busy to ever point my posterior at a chair -- although i am busy, thatís not the problem. and it isnít that my world famous teaching hospital spends millions on conference rooms for executives and dining rooms for physicians but next to nothing on chairs for charting, paperwork innundated nurses who have no fewer than four places in three different computer programs to record the hourly glucose checks.... Read More →


CPAP: Tips for Nurses

so your patient comes into the hospital, assisted living or long term care facility with a diagnosis of sleep apnea and one of those dreaded cpap machines in tow. congratulations! your patient is more compliant than the average patient! from my (admittedly limited) experience, the majority of patients with sleep apnea have never gotten themselves a cpap machine, have it but donít know how to use it, know how to use it but wonít or use it only inconsistently. the ďreasonsĒ for their... Read More →


CPAP: Use It And Live

i work in a cardiac intensive care unit; ccu and sicu together. as an icu nurse, iím well acquainted with the correlation between untreated sleep apnea and heart disease, stroke or sudden death. and i wish i had a dollar for every patient with ďobstructive sleep apneaĒ listed as a diagnosis on their chart and no cpap with them when theyíre admitted to the icu. pauline (not her real name) came in for an mi, proceeded to have a cabg and then stroked while still in the icu. her history... Read More →


Things I've Learned This Year

hopefully, i learn new things every year -- every day even. but some are more memorable than others. here, then, is a list of the more memorable things iíve learned this year. ē there are three kinds of people: there are those who get it, and there are those who donít. the third kind are those who donít get it but think they do. the latter kind are the worst ones to deal with. just like you cannot teach anyone who already thinks they know everything, you cannot hope that those who donít get... Read More →


Mildred's Brand New Littman Stethescope

a sense of humor runs in my family. my great grandfather was well known as a great story teller -- almost everyone in the county knew willy and could repeat some of his best stories. when i was in high school, i was always running into oldsters who would say ďruby vee? youíre georgeís daughter, arenít you? i went to high school with your great grandfather and i remember him telling about the time he . . . . my grandfather was more often the subject of great stories -- he was a... Read More →


"Nurses are so Mean"

I wish I had a dollar for every post I've read claiming that "nurses are so mean," "nurses are nasty to each other," "nurses eat their young" or "my preceptor is picking on me for no good reason." And then if you add in all the nurses who are "fired for NO reason" or is hated by their co-workers because they're so much younger and more beautiful than everyone around them or just can't get along with their colleagues no matter what they do -- well, I'd be a rich woman. I could retire to Tahiti... Read More →


When I Was a New Grad . . .

this for those of you members of allnurses.com who have hinted, believed, insinuated or baldly stated that i donít remember what itís like to be a new grad, that i always thought i knew everything, that i have ever actually known everything or that nurses eat their young. believe me, if iím still around after the rough start i had, nurses donít eat their young. i remember being a new graduate -- in fact sometimes i still wake up in the middle of the night remembering something i screwed up... Read More →


A Few Simple Rules For Electrical Safety

I learned some of these rules the hard way, and others I learned through the misfortunes of others. When defibrillating a prisoner in custody, remember to remove his wrist AND ankle shackles before using the electricity. This is especially important if the prisoner is shackled to a metal bed frame. And if the respiratory therapist is leaning against the bed frame to bag the patient. If you find that you have forgotten to remove the shackles before defibrillating, please do not shout... Read More →


Security Guard with the Mostest (or How to Entertain a Little Old Lady)

i was working in ccu, taking care of an elderly woman with a fresh mi. it might have been that the moon was full, but i can't say for sure. that was the night the patient took off from the medical floor where he was de-toxing from the combination of alcohol and pain killers that made the police decide he needed to be in a hospital rather than lying on the barroom floor . . . he wandered up to the 7th floor and through the double doors that clearly stated "no admittance" and "authorized... Read More →



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