The Best Is Yet To Be | Nursing Blog - page 4

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: 25,315 (37% Liked) Likes: 37,006

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.

The "Differently Abled" Nurse Speaks

I have long despised the word "disability". While it's certainly an improvement over the frightful "handicapped", it still smacks of patronization, as in "Oh, we can't expect too much from Mary, she's disabled. Don't give her anything hard to do."Thus, I prefer the term "differently abled". Yes, it's awkward and doesn't roll off the tongue quite as smoothly, but I think it's a more apt description of nurses who have physical and/or mental health issues, and yet who bring many gifts and... Read More →

The Grateful Nurse Speaks

Alhough I have yet to make any solid plans for life after nursing, I have to be honest here: Nursing has become a lot leaner and a lot meaner since I got my start in school back in the fall of 1995, and I wonder sometimes how much longer I'm going to last. There's no question that things have been tough at work lately, what with my facility's unexpectedly poor showing during our recent state survey and my job essentially on the line. I'm chronically stressed, usually behind, and often... Read More →

The Political Nurse Speaks

I have been a political animal all of my life. From the time my grade school held a vigil for Bobby Kennedy and a mock Presidential election in the same year, I've followed the fortunes and follies of our nation's leaders, stayed abreast of political trends, and even changed from conservative to liberal and back again. However, as I've grown older I have come to the conclusion that politics isn't just about politicians and pie-in-the-sky campaign promises, but something that affects us in... Read More →

The Cynical Nurse Speaks

Not to put too fine a point on things, but......sometimes, nursing really bites. It bites when you've built a life and a reputation on what you can do with a stethoscope and a nose for the subtlest signs of trouble, and some corporate pooh-bah tells you that your job is on the line---not because you're doing a lousy job caring for your patients, but because you haven't completed enough forms on them to make the Sierra Club call for your head on a recycled glass platter. It also bites when... Read More →

The Lousy, Awful, Crazy, Rotten, *Really* Bad Day

I knew this was not going to be one of my better days when I turned into the driveway at my assisted-living facility this morning and saw not one, but TWO ambulances at the entrance along with a firetruck. Should've known the rainbow I'd spotted on the way in was the most peaceful thing I'd see all day...... But wait, it gets worse. We had two residents complaining of chest pain, which is an automatic 911 call whether I'm in the building or not; thus the need for two medic units. This was... Read More →

End of the (Med) Error: or, How NOT To Bomb Your Survey

As any nurse knows, a state survey or JCAHO inspection tends to bring out the worst in a facility. And as any nurse-manager knows, the survey team usually uncovers mistakes that we never even dreamed our departments were capable of---stupid, careless errors committed by staff who are too busy, too overwhelmed, or yes, too lazy to use the safe medication systems in place. Many years and many surveys/inspections after my very first as a manager---the one that got me fired for the first and... Read More →

Nurses With Disabilities: Getting What You Need So You Can Give Your Best

It was the nightmare every long-term care nurse manager dreads: the exit interview with a state survey team that has just inspected every inch of the building and every piece of nursing documentation produced over the past year.....and found it badly wanting. I tried to keep what I hoped was a neutral expression on my face as the lead surveyor read off the sixteen citations they had levied against my assisted-living facility. Two of them were classified as serious......and six of them were... Read More →

Just Another Statistic

It had been a good weekend, full of sunshine, relaxation, great food, and even better companionship, and I was still in a cheery mood when I walked through the door at work this morning. In fact, I was even whistling as I put my lunch in the refrigerator and nosed around the break room for stray notes with resident names or room numbers on them, which is a write-up for the offender if I find one. Satisfied that there were no potential HIPAA violations afoot, I proceeded to the med room, which... Read More →

A Place for Mom: Finding the Right Assisted Living Community

As we discussed in the first two articles of this series, the rules and regulations that govern assisted living communities vary widely from state to state, and thus impact the types of services offered. Some states, such as Oregon, allow unlicensed staff to be trained and delegated by a nurse to perform certain tasks of nursing care, e.g insulin preparation and administration, while others are much more strict and require licensed nurses to be present in a building 24/7 to pass medications and... Read More →

A Place for Mom: Staffing Concepts and the Role of the Nurse in Assisted Living

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" might be the theme song in many assisted living communities, which are often organized into two or more 'neighborhoods' of 10 to 25 residents, depending on the building's layout and size. Each neighborhood has a resident assistant (RA) of some kind, either a CNA or lay caregiver, who is responsible for all of the residents in that section and assists them with ADLs, does their housekeeping and laundry, and sometimes even administers medications under... Read More →

A Place For Mom: The Best-Kept Secret in Long-Term Care

A middle-aged woman tiptoes out of your elderly patient's room as you stand at the computer making your latest entry, then sneaks a look back to make sure her mother is still sleeping. Shyly, she approaches you and whispers, "Do you have a minute?" You don't, but you close out your charting and tell her that of course you do. "I don't know what I'm going to do with Mom," she sighs, running her fingers through greying hair."This is the fifth time she's fallen in the past two months, and now... Read More →

NurseTales, or, How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Dinner Table Conversation

I have a friend who once made her teenage daughter throw up at the dinner table by telling a story about an accidental shooting. It was quite a night to remember. My family and I were having supper at her house, and over the lasagna she began to tell me about the man who'd been brought into her ER that morning after looking down the barrel of his nail gun to try to find out why it had jammed. You can guess the rest......suffice it to say that he'd had two eyes when he began his day. It... Read More →

Welcome to the Shangri-La: My (Almost) Perfect Job

At the risk of jinxing everything, I'm going to say it: I never thought I'd find my perfect nursing job. In fifteen years as an RN, I've held a grand total of thirteen jobs. Granted, some of them were part-time positions I worked along with other part-time or per diem jobs, but I have never held the same one for more than 2 1/2 years. I've bounced back and forth between bedside and management, hospital and LTC, geriatrics and OB; I've worked at the same hospital a total of three different... Read More →

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

I've always been an advocate for pets in long-term and residential care, but after some of the occurrences I've witnessed recently in my assisted-living faciity, I've begun to wonder if it's really a wise thing to do. Maybe it's because the staff wind up caring for the residents' pets when their dementia has rendered them incapable of remembering to clean the litter box or take Fido for a walk, with predictable results. Or maybe it's because there's an annoying little Yorkie in apartment... Read More →

.....and Other Days, You're The Statue

I'll never forget the night I first became aware of the utter disregard some members of the general public have for nurses and ancillary staff. It was also to be the first of many times that I've fought back. I was fresh out of school, working graveyard shift at a local nursing home. The medication aide and I were on our last rounds at 0600 when an A & O resident---a nasty man with an even nastier disposition and a long history of attacking staff members---suddenly and viciously kicked her... Read More →

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.