brandy1017 27,863 Views
Joined Jun 30, '02.
Posts: 1,977 (67% Liked)
At one of my jobs I've been contacted four or five times regarding an empty shift tomorrow night. The latest contact was demanding that I call back whether I wanted to work or not. I've already told them several times that I can't work due to a previous commitment.
I decided to ignore the call and go on with my life.
Stop beating yourself up. It happens to the best of us. I am often paged and asked to start IV's, and do not always get them on the first try and sometimes I do not get them at all.
Yeah, it's normal to feel upset about missing an IV. Don't stress though, you get some you miss some. Even super experienced nurses blow IVs sometimes. It happens. I limit myself to a 2 stick maximum and if I can't get someone on the first stick and don't see a really good viable option for the 2nd, I gracefully bow out and call in backup. You'll get there. You're not letting your patients down and you're not a bad employee, promise.
In working with behavioral health patients:
Remain calm and professional "I'm here to give your meds"
Set boundaries "That is not appropriate- please do not do that again"
Establish rapport "Sounds like you're having a rough evening. Want to talk about it?'
The response you've used so far are not working. Start practicing new responses and build from there. It's not easy but it's rewarding. Best wishes!
Not sure if it's my favorite, but I had a recent cheerful moment. We had a term NAS kid, over a month old, living on the unit, and mom was unable to visit. He practically lived in the arms of the volunteer cuddlers. One of the cuddlers in particular spent a lot of time with him; when the cuddler came in that morning, I handed the baby to him and instantly this huge smile spread across the baby's face. He just seemed so excited to see his friend! That little moment made my week.
I still get so excited about being with families for a baby's 'firsts,' like first outfit, first bath, first skin to skin. Even in the hospital, you get to be a part of these little moments of joy that these families will remember forever. Same goes for joining families in their 'happy dance' as you walk a chronic kid who has lived on the units for several months out the door and into the world. There's nothing else like it.
Lately, with extremely high acuity and short staffing, it is sometimes tough to sit back and remember why we do what we do.
I've seen so many posts venting, and we all certainly need to do that. But I'd like to hear about all of those moments that made you cry happy tears and remember why you do what you do every day for these babies. I'll start:
It has been a crazy few months in my level IV NICU, and today I was feeling exhausted. Then, parents poked their heads out to say "I am so sorry to bother you, but would you mind taking a father's day picture of us?"
They felt terrible for "bothering" me, meanwhile it was the highlight of my day to see a baby who has gone through the ringer and will be on his way out (miraculously) in such beautiful pictures with his amazing family. I was so honored to be a part of something that seems so simple.
I cried a few happy tears and have been so happy since I left work.
What is your bright spot working in the NICU?
When you're interviewing at other facilities, try to spin this whole situation as positively as possible. You can definitely say that the place didn't work out for you while not bashing your employer. Personally, I would say something along the lines of, "I appreciated the experience I had there, but because my orientation was cut short and because of my patient load, I did not feel that I could practice nursing safely, especially as a new nurse. Patient safety is a top priority for me, and I felt that leaving was best for me at that time." This will, first of all, let the employer know that you aren't just there for a paycheck--patient safety matters to you; but it will also let the employer know that you're serious about orientation promises. If you're promised 8 weeks of orientation and promised a certain nurse/patient ratio, you expect it.
Also, if you can, I would give at least a 2 weeks notice. You don't have to use this current job as one of your references, but you should still list it under your previous employment--if potential employers find out you lied about your work history, you can kiss that job goodbye. Giving your current employer advanced notice will hopefully keep you in good standing when you leave. If you just leave tomorrow, they'll absolutely throw you under the bus if a future employer asks about you. Don't give them any reason to doubt your character.
I find this very frustrating and quite frankly, it angers me a bit. I am currently on medical leave (I have severe persistent asthma) and over the past year, have been in the hospital 7 times. During that time, I have lost my independence, my dignity has taken a ding and I am in debt due to medical bills. Not a whole lot to be envious of. BTW, I am only 48.
Let's see: Sleep all day. Well, not really. I barely sleep (it's 3am and I am wide awake after getting a whole 2 hours of sleep). When I do sleep, I wake up frequently. So, yes, I can stay in bed all day if I want but it gets me no where.
While in hospital I don't sleep at all but I do spend my time in bed. VS every 4 hours (except on the unit, when it's every 2 hours), breathing tx every 4 hours, meds every 3 hours. When I finally am able to fall asleep, I only sleep 2 to 3 hours at a time. On the unit I am not allowed to get out of bed at all and even when I'm in a regular bed, I am not supposed to. There went my independence and dignity. (I have had my bed alarm turned on because I would attempt to get up by myself, bad me). I don't have a choice but to call for every single little thing. It's not all it's cracked up to be.
When I get home, I am still sick (just stable,for the time being). However, even though I could stay in bed all day, I am so sick of being stuck in bed it's the last thing on my mind. I still don't sleep more than 3 to 4 hours at a time. I average about 6 hours of sleep a day. I am very limited on my activities, because I can't breathe well. When I am finally able to increase my activity, I still have to be careful because if I over do it, I am going to end up in the ED having a continuous breathing treatment.
The worst part of all of this is how many people think I am lazy, over reacting, exaggerating, etc my illness. People look at me and assume I am healthy. Former co-workers have commented about how I have it made. I get to sit around, not a care to the world. The assume that my life is a bed of roses.
Be careful what you wish for. You could end up like me, unable to work, while at the same time wishing you could. I am a lucky one, my medical leave is temporary. I can probably go back to work in July. But if the Nucala fails, I am out of work permanently. Be thankful for what you have.
Be very careful what you wish for. I'm going to try and answer this as nicely as I can, because I really hope you wrote this in a moment of being overwhelmed and exhausted and didn't stop to think what you were saying.
I'm a RN whose career was taken from me by disability when I was only 40 years old. I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (now known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) of the neck, right arm & shoulder after a nerve injury caused by a herniated disc. It progressed rapidly and spread across my chest wall, into my left arm & shoulder and into my upper & mid back. It also started affecting my heart (SVT & tachycardia), stomach (gastroparesis), and caused bone marrow depression for a period of time. So I didn't "have to work any more" because I basically lost most of the use of my arms and upper body.
But hey,, "I got to choose my own schedule", except my life was controlled by doctor's appointments, insurance companies, physical and occupational therapy schedules, treatment and medication schedules, etc. But hey I was home all day and could sleep all I wanted, or stay up all night if I wanted to. Except for the fact that I was in excruciating pain and wasn't able to sleep much at all due to pain. And RSD/CRPS affects the limbic systems in the brain which affects the sleep/wake cycle so most patients suffer extreme insomnia so when I was up all night it usually wasn't by choice. (I love sleep too. But I was lucky to get 1-2 hours of sleep at any one time and usually no more than 4-5 hours in any 24 hour period of time.)
And while sitting around watching TV and reading sounds great it gets really old really quick when it's all you can do because your arms don't work and you really can't do whatever you want to do under those circumstances.
Some people may like the idea of "ordering other people around" and having others do things for them, I personally find it very difficult to ask other people to do things for me. My husband had to help me with the simplest things, like washing my hair. Most days I didn't have enough strength to open a bottle or jar for myself, let alone cook a meal for my family,. I couldn't drive my boys to school or extracurricular activities. I felt like a horrible wife and mother and burden to my family. The thing is you still have responsibility you just don't have the means to meet those responsibilities any more. And that's a whole new level of stressI wouldn't wish on anyone.
I'm fortunate in that in the past few years I have started a new treatment (high dose IV ketamine infusions coupled with Aqua therapy) that has dramatically helped me and I have slowly regained almost complete functions and range of motion of my arms and upper body. I still deal with pain but as long as I continue my regular monthly treatments it stays under pretty good control. I have regained a lot of my life that I had lost although I have yet to be able to return to nursing (but I'm working hard toward that goal!).
Pixierose, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's cancer. You both are in my thoughts and prayers. I just recently (May 17th) lost my mom to liver cancer and am still struggling to come to terms with it.
It sounds like you are under a lot of stress and maybe need to try and take something off your plate?
I do not envy my patients. Not in the least. I work in the OR. I've had to have surgery twice. Neither time was fun but both times were necessary.
My patients are generally very sick if they are being cared for by me. In fact, they are often life threateningly ill or injured. My primary area of assignment is neurosurgery. Most of the people I care for have significantly altered quality or quantity of life from what their expectations were (or their family members' expectations) prior to admission to the hospital. I've done plenty of off-service cases in urgent or emergent situations, and none of those are that great either. Fortunately, it's rare for us, but patients die in my environment, surrounded only by strangers desperately trying to keep them alive. Even the wholly scheduled cases we do in my environment are not without considerable risk or consequence for patients/families.
I've been a floor nurse. And been a patient on a floor. I didn't envy patients as a floor nurse, and I didn't particularly love being a patient admitted to a floor bed when I had to be. Luckily, I was only a floor patient for 10-12 hours between when I met criteria to be moved from PACU to a floor bed and when I met discharge home criteria.
I am more grateful of my abilities because of my job. I've seen people suffering from catastrophic injuries who got out of bed assuming it was going to be a normal day. I've seen patients not make it, and known what a sinking feeling it is, especially when we don't even know who to call and notify. Sure, we know the patient as their "disaster" name, but that doesn't change the reality that somewhere there's a family who doesn't know what happened, let alone the person they're waiting for won't be coming home, ever. Some of the situations kiddos face are inherently worse. So, no, I don't envy my patients or their families. I've been there. I've been the patient myself, and I've been the family member in a devastating situation. Nobody wants to be there.
I can honestly say I've never envied my clients. In fact, seeing the people I do at work, in the situations they are in, makes me more appreciative that I enjoy basically good physical and mental health, independence, and some degree of autonomy in my life
I'm currently enjoying a relatively stress-free life on my Social Security Disability payments. I can stay up all night and sleep half the day away if I want; I eat when I feel like it; I watch TV and play on the computer at all hours of the day and night. I live with my son and his husband so I don't have to pay full rent on an apartment, and really, the only major responsibilities I have are to pay my bills on time and clean up the kitchen after family meals.
So what's the downside to a so-called life of leisure? I lost my career, my middle-class lifestyle, my home, and a good portion of my dignity to the disease (bipolar disorder) that officially made me disabled. I used to be a productive, well-respected professional in all my nursing roles, but now my ability to multitask and my short-term memory are so bad that I can't even learn new computer programs or handle multi-line phones. I'm also anxious and get distracted way too easily. And I take six meds daily to deal with it.
I can't imagine anyone envying me my current lifestyle. I'd trade it all, including my $1282 monthly SSDI benefits, for the ability to work and make a good living the way I used to. As it is, I'm very thankful for my support system of friends and family, plus a good doctor who helps me manage my illness. I'm thankful too for not being homeless, hungry or without medications. Believe me, when you've hit bottom---and I did several years ago---there's no way to go but up. Perhaps the patients the OP mentioned are using up their limited energy battling their own private demons. Maybe they're just lonely and needy. And yes, maybe some are entitled and wear their suffering as a badge of honor so everyone will feel sorry for them. But envy them? Not so much.
duca, so sorry about your experience. Unfortunately, I have also heard this before. It's all about hiring the least expensive labor force. I wonder how unionized areas like CA handle this?
Please keep a record of what jobs you applied for, the responses you received as well as the "effort" your current company to "find" jobs within the organization. Importantly, keep record of what your company told you when they said you were not qualified to do the job you have been doing for 20 yrs. Get a copy of your employee file (yes, you are entitled to it) specifically for documentation of how you meet expectations, etc. I would then take this information to a lawyer who specifically works in employment discrimination.
Good luck. I will check this post from time to time for any followups.
If you want to join an evil organization that has had a good idea perverted than defiantly join a union. You won't have to work much, you can be lazy, make mistakes, generally lower your standards overall, be known as a member of a buying organization and looked down on by management and many other peers.
If you want to be your own person and maintain your own responsibility than non-union. I left a hospital because unions were being let in the door. I have had too much experience with the ugly organizations. At their inception they were a good idea but like so many things they have been perverted over time.
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