The Best Is Yet To Be - page 2

By VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN Guide

Joined Sep 6, '02 - from 'The Great Northwest'. VivaLasViejas is a RN and blogger extraordinaire. She has '17' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'LTC, assisted living, geriatrics, psych'. Posts: 25,459 (37% Liked) Likes: 37,720

Nine Lives

I swear, my nursing career must have more lives than a cat. I knew it was over when I had a nervous breakdown and walked away from the hospital I'd worked in, off and on, for five years. I knew it was over when I aggravated an old knee injury and had to have surgery that (supposedly) ended my floor-nursing days. I was REALLY sure it was over when another meltdown cost me my 'dream' job. And then, two months ago when I realized I no longer had the cognitive ability to continue in an active... Read More →

The Stumblebutt Chronicles

To say that I loathe the 0900 med pass at my SNF would be the understatement of the year. First of all, being able to concentrate on the pass itself is impossible in the face of almost constant interruptions, and with my challenges in that arena I'm always nervous. Secondly, the census changes from weekend to weekend so I never get comfortable with the patients, and the few that are long-termers on that unit are legendary for being difficult about meds. And since all of them have about a... Read More →

If Hospitals Were Run Like Denny's.....

"Hey, Flo! You're getting a new admit in 206-1," says Mel, the charge nurse. "ETOH, admitted for detox, alert and oriented times 1-2. He's got an IV but ER says it won't last long the way he's picking at it. He's coming up in five minutes---they've gotta get him outta there 'cause he's stinkin' up the place." Flo, of course, has her hands full with six patients---three of whom are total care, two of whom are high-maintenance types who can't reach the water pitcher without an RN's help, and... Read More →

Playing With Fire: Seeing "Noncompliance" In A New Light

I guess it was meant to happen. Another failed experiment....another life lesson learned. Like most people in the healthcare professions, I make a lousy patient. I sometimes skip doctor visits and manipulate my medication schedule to suit my convenience. I don't always follow the guidelines I've been given for healthy living, such as getting proper amounts of sleep or wearing my amber glasses in the evening to trick my brain into thinking it's time for bed. And there are times when I even... Read More →

No Experience Necessary

I don't know about you, but I find perusing the job listings at my friendly local unemployment office to be quite entertaining. Where else could I find "opportunities" like working on an Alaskan fishing boat......becoming a cannery worker......learning how to make dentures? I wonder: who does that stuff? I worked on an assembly line in my way-back days and there simply wasn't enough in the job to occupy the mind (hence my frequent attempts to inject some interest into the days by spiking... Read More →

Where Do I Go from Here?

Isn't it always the way that once you've gotten one HUGE problem under a semblance of control, another rears its ugly head? My husband and I just received a new lease on life......and now I have to figure out what to do about work. I had a very honest--and very upsetting--talk with my boss on the phone yesterday after we'd gotten the great news from the university hospital about hubby's stage IV pancreatic cancer being treatable after all. Frankly, I'm shocked that all this emotional... Read More →

Cruel Summer

To say that the summer of 2013 will go down in history as my worst ever would be the understatement of the century. I lost my high-paying, executive-level job in May to a combination of a stress-induced bipolar crisis and corporate politics. This was followed shortly by my elderly sister's disastrous fall here at home which led to two months in a skilled nursing facility; and now I'm watching her decline at an alarming rate as she sits in an ALF, hating life, refusing to walk or even wheel... Read More →

The Eagle Has Landed

The eagle has indeed landed.....and landed softly, instead of crashing and burning as she's done so many times in the past. Thank God. This morning I felt completely normal when I woke up to get ready for work (even though I maintain that 5 AM shouldn't even be on the clock). I marveled at this new sensation of well-being, and have continued to enjoy it all day. This is what it must feel like to NOT be wake up each morning and not have to run a self-check for symptoms, to go... Read More →

Back In The Saddle Again

With apologies for the Old West metaphors.....I am, indeed, back in the saddle again as a floor nurse. And as sore as my old bones are from the unaccustomed exertions of this past week, it's a good kind of tired that reminds me of what it was like to be a nurse. As expected, it hasn't taken me long to recall how I used to manage my shift, or to take the first steps in re-establishing myself with the aides and other nurses. Many of the staff are friends from the last time I worked here, so... Read More →

A Time to Heal

As hard as it is to admit even now---two months after my career crashed and burned in a rather spectacular flameout that my former co-workers are reportedly still talking about---there's something to be said about the experience of it. (Much of it isn't printable.....but I digress.) I didn't enjoy this defining event one bit, and will never look back on that time with any fondness. But it was a turning point which forced me to hit the Reset button and examine what was good and true in my life,... Read More →

Job Hunting: Let The Games Begin!

As much fun as job-hunting is (said no one ever), I knew I was doomed the very first time I visited the Employment Division's job search website and found only a handful of nursing jobs that I can actually do. Sixteen years of experience under my belt, and it appears that the only things I'm good for anymore are per diem jobs giving flu shots (at $20 per hour and no benefits), and management positions like the one that nearly cost me every last marble I had left to play with. Read More →

Fired After Fifty: Redux

Several years ago when I was laid off from my LTC job due to low census, I remember despairing of ever finding another job. I was in my early fifties then. At the time I had a bad knee that had ended my floor career despite surgery, and to add insult to injury I'd gained thirty pounds due to inactivity. I couldn't imagine who would want to hire me. But I had barely drawn the first few unemployment checks when I got two calls: one for another LTC, and one for an assisted living facility that I... Read More →

Welcome to the Jungle

I've been out of acute care for many years now, but I'll never forget the experience of being a float nurse. It was the best of all possible worlds: I was cross-trained to all the different nursing departments instead of remaing stuck in Med/Surg, which even then was a thankless, backbreaking job. I got to learn how to 'catch' babies and take care of sick neonates; saw some grisly traumas in the emergency room; worked with respiratory therapy and served as the IV nurse. But it was critical... Read More →

Anxiety Disorders: More Than Just Butterflies

Almost everyone has experienced it: the sensation of butterflies in your stomach as you prepare for a presentation or an appearance in traffic court. The dry mouth that makes you feel like you're spitting cotton. The rapid heart rate and slight shortness of breath that characterize a normal response to stressful stimuli. In other words, you're feeling anxious. Now imagine those sensations writ large. Instead of butterflies, you feel nausea and may even vomit or experience diarrhea. Your... Read More →

I Hate Being Bipolar. It's AWESOME!

We've been talking a lot about mental illness during this early part of May, which has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month. Nurses and students with all sorts of psychiatric conditions have been coming "out of the closet" and sharing their stories with candor (and not a small amount of courage). We've welcomed several new members who joined in order to comment and, in some cases, tell a little about their own experiences. And so far, readers have been very gracious and even curious... Read More →

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