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LilRedRN1973 9,163 Views

Joined Sep 11, '03. LilRedRN1973 is a Registered Nurse. He has '8' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ICU, psych, corrections'. Posts: 1,165 (14% Liked) Likes: 439

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  • Feb 25

    Last week, I found I had to have more extensive dental work including oral surgery and some root canals, a friend and fellow AA'er committed suicide (son of my first sponsor), a long time client at our work decided to end his life by walking in front of a train, my mother's birthday passed (she died last year and it's still hard), I totaled my car, and work was horrendous. But because of everything I've learned through the rooms of AA, my sponsor, and all those who love and support me, I didn't think about going back out or picking up. This is the miracle of sobriety and one of the many reasons why I love this life. No matter what. No matter what. I just keep repeating that to myself. I have no means of transportation to get to work and this dental work is going to cost about $8000 (insurance will cover about $1500). We are still behind in our mortgage about $9000 and someone I care about took his own life because he just couldn't "get it". All of that and it's still "no matter what". I'm taking things one moment at a time right now and spending a lot of time talking, talking, talking. Because it lessens the fear. So I had to come here and talk some more. Thanks for letting me share

  • Feb 25

    I'm Melanie from Nevada, sobriety date 6/30/08. Developed a nasty addiction to pain meds and recently came to the conclusion I was also an alcoholic....only took 2 years (sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly). My coworkers found me unconscious on our unit and I was strongly urged by my facility to report myself. I did but when she pulled out my DEA report and showed me the massive amounts of pain meds I was getting and then recommended some NA meetings, I was "appalled" and told her I didn't have a problem, placed my license on inactive status, and proceeded to leave her office.

    Was in a huge amount of denial at first and it took quite a few months after that (I busied myself, working at Lowe's mixing paint, thinking it was the best time of my life...lol) to realize I had truly lost control of my life. Entered into an inpatient rehab facility on June 30, 2008 and called up my BON from inside, asking if it was too late to be a part of their monitoring program. They sent me the paperwork and the rest is history! I got my license back in March of 2009 and while I was waiting, worked in a dialysis center as a tech, which got my foot in the door. They held an RN position for me and the day my BON granted me a restricted license, the dialysis place changed my title from "Tech" to "RN".

    While it was an okay job, it was not the healthiest place to work and the 14 hour days were killing me. I'm now at an amazing place to work, especially for my sobriety. I work at an outpatient psychiatric facility run by the state. I work Monday through Friday, 7 to 4, with an hour for lunch. No holidays, weekends, or overtime! And best of all, in my interview, I was very upfront about my recovery and that is what got me the job. I had no psych experience prior to that and they were looking for an experience psych nurse. There were several other nurses interviewing, all of whom had previous experience. My supervisor told me what got me hired over them was my honesty and the attitude I had about recovery, which he felt would help a lot of our clientele.

    I have been here about 14 months now and recently got a $6000/year promotion (something which in itself is a miracle, because in our state, NOBODY is getting promotions....we are broke, broke, broke). My Higher Power brought me here and I'm grateful everyday for a chance to go to a job I love. I never would have stepped foot in the world of psych nursing prior to my addiction rearing its ugly head but am supremely happy I am here now. I wouldn't go back to the world of the ICU if someone paid me twice what I make now. My contract with the BON is 5 years and I will finish up in 2014. I am forever grateful to the BON for helping save me from myself and introducing me to the world of AA and recovery. :bowingpur

  • Feb 1

    It was one of my options and I quickly turned it down because for me and me only, I would have been replacing my dependence on pain pills to dependence on suboxone. From what I have seen working in the psychiatric field for the past 5 years and many, many addicts, when they have been offered suboxone, it doesn't encourage them to find other ways to manage their sobriety. They aren't much interested in meetings, a sponsor, etc. This is just from my experience. I think it has its place, short term but long term use just wasn't for me and I didn't want to even start down that path. I was taking close to 40 Norco's a day and endured a nasty 7-10 days of withdrawal but then it was over and I was clear of any pills, medications or the need to take anything. And that was when I buckled down and started a 12 step program in order to ride myself of the obsession/craving.

    I know our BON does NOT allow it at all. They are very much opposed to the use of just about anything while on contract.

  • Dec 30 '15

    My first job after getting my license reinstated was at a dialysis clinic. Unfortunately, 14 1/2 hour days and working with a very difficult coworker who insisted on leaving me as the supervising RN (a BIG no-no in my monitoring contact with the Board) had me looking for a new position within a few months of working there. I'm now happy to say I found my "niche" at an outpatient mental health medication clinic. We do not handle any meds and the prescribers don't even write for narcotics. I love working with the mentally ill and especially those who are dual diagnosis and struggle with their alcoholism/addiction. I feel as though my addiction, losing my license, and going from ICU to psych nursing was all part of God's plan. I'm right where I'm supposed to be! I work Mon-Fri, 8 to 5 with an hour for lunch. I never work holidays but get paid for them and have a pension with great benefits. But I wouldn't ever had looked at this type of nursing before I admitted my powerlessness over people, places, and things. There are jobs out there for nurses in recovery and I recently discovered that it was my RECOVERY that helped me get this job! They were looking for an RN with psych experience, which I have none, but went with me because of my understanding about recovery and all I had been through over the past year. I was hired on my 1 year sobriety birthday! Apply everywhere and take as many interviews as possible...the practice will be good for you. I became really proficient at how I brought up my restrictions and in a way, it helped relieve me of the remaining shame and guilt I was feeling over my addiction. My story was received fairly well and most potential employers were pretty understanding. A few even shared with me that they were in recovery as well! One lady who interviewed me had 23 years of sobriety from cocaine. Don't sell yourself short and remember, you were a sick nurse who is now healthy and in recovery. Be proud of what you have accomplished and the hard work you've put in with your sobriety.

  • Dec 27 '15

    The company I worked for, Liberty, paid $28/hour for the first year and then a pay raise up to $35/hour if you stayed on with the company. Davita pays about the same. The pay was really good but I HATED working over 14 hours a day, even if it was only 3 days a week. I didn't like how little "hands on" time I had with the patients (the techs did most of the work, putting patients on and taking them off). I loved the patients and when I was able to function in the position of a tech (ours called in a LOT), I really enjoyed my work. I miss that part of my job but not all the rest. And although I took a big cut in pay at my current job, it was well worth it. The pay in dialysis is great (in my area) but for me, it wasn't worth it.

  • Dec 26 '15

    I have worked with a few "dangerous" nurses and they tend to be the ones who do as little as possible to get through their shift. They don't seem to care much about checking their work and/or have falsely documented care not done. I went to work one night and as I'm getting my patient in order, I notice the IV tubing and the labels. Something struck me as peculiar and it was that the label (designating the fluid contained within the line) had my handwriting on it. I had not taken care of that particular patient in over a week. We were supposed to change IV tubing q 3 days so I knew this tubing had not been changed. But the day of the week label was a brand new one that correlated with the charting done by a nurse on the previous day's shift. So I peeled back the day of the week label and you could see where another had been torn off and the new placed over it. How lazy can you be, folks??

    Another nurse I worked with ended up giving a patient 300mg of morphine over her 12 hour shift. We had a patient on a morphine gtt @ 5mg/hr. At some point, someone must have put a high dose syringe in the machine but never took that into consideration on the titration. So instead of getting 5mg/hr, he received 25mg/hr for the 12 hours. During report, the RN told me that his family was so happy he had finally calmed down and wasn't fighting the vent anymore....uh, I wonder why??? This same patient also ended up having a Versed gtt running @ 30mg/hr because the previous shift nurse said he wouldn't stop trying to rip out his ETT. So she just kept titrating his gtt higher and higher instead of using some critical thinking skills and putting him on a different medication. An hour into my shift, the neuro doc gave me an order for Norcuron PRN (which I thought odd but it worked rather well for this young man) and dc'ed the useless Versed.

    We had another nurse who was given an order to pull a Hemovac from a head trauma patient. She pulled the bolt instead!! Oh god...if you could have heard the gasps from the other RN's in the unit. This boy had ICP's of > 30-35 and was touch and go. He didn't fare well and I never did find out what happened to him in the end. I also worked with an RN who received a patient from another facility via helicopter. Upon arrival to the unit, this patient had a peripheral in the hand with Dilantin running. Not only did this nurse not do anything about the IV and Dilantin being infused, but she neglected to check it for the remainder of her shift. Needless to say, when the next shift came on, this patient's hand was completely infiltrated and turning black. She ended needing an amputation up the elbow as a result of the infiltration and that particular RN ended up being charge several months later....

    All that being said, I became one of those dangerous nurses when I ended up addicted to my pain medication. I look back at the last 3 months that I worked while active in my addiction and feel like so many amends are to be had. I went from a conscientious, reliable, focused, and caring RN to one who was a train wreck. I lost track of charting and relied much too heavily on my coworkers to help me in my patient care. Meds were given late and patients were not attended to they way they needed to be. It was dangerous and unfair to my patients, their families, and my co-workers. I never thought I would end up a nurse who came to work impaired, but I did. I'm being given the chance to make amends to at least one of my former co-workers as my old charge nurse is now the APN in our clinic. She was rightfully surprised to see me at work d/t my surrendering my license after leaving the unit where her and I had worked together. But I see it as somewhat of a sign from God...I'm being given the chance to show her the nurse I truly am and not one who places her patients, her co-workers, and herself in jeopardy. I cringe when I think back to my previous work performance and the guilt that consumes is terrifying. It made me realize how terribly powerful addiction can be and how it took over my entire being, down to what I cared about and who I was as a person, a mother, and an RN. I have been to hell and back; it's not a place I care to visit anytime soon.

    There are many things that make up dangerous nurses.....apathy, inexperience, overconfidence, substance abuse, and just plain bad apples to name a few. I've been both and much prefer being a clear-headed, responsible nurse who is able to perform her duties to the best of her ability while being a positive part of the nursing team and giving my patients the care they deserve. And I only wish that someone in my unit had reported me or any suspicions they may have had. I might have entered into recovery sooner and not continued placing patients at risk. I don't know if it would have fallen on deaf ears as I know many incident reports are filed away and not given much thought. But I can this....if I end up working a shift with an RN who behaves in the way that I did, I will either speak to him/her directly about my concerns or report it. I had no business taking care of patients and neither does anyone else who is behaving in that manner.

  • Dec 25 '15

    I love my hours. I work 7am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. I don't work any holidays, ever (but get paid for them). I get an hour for lunch, don't ever work OT, and of course, have the weekends off. Benefits are great and for the most part, it's a pretty stable work environment. I work in an outpatient psychiatric clinic that is part of our state run mental health services. I am paired up with a psychiatrist and see the client for about 20-30 minutes before they go in with the doctor. During that time, I get vitals and then do a mental assessment exam, plus go over their treatment plan, do what's called a LOCUS (level of care assessment), and teaching, if necessary. I get one-on-one time with my patients and get to teach, which is not something I got while in the ICU environment. I have a 14yr old, an 11yr old, and a 3yr old. This schedule allows me to see them and spend time with them, especially on the weekends. I also don't have to "fight" to have holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas off, which was an issue when working in the hospital. The pay is about equivalent to what I was making in the hospital, especially now that I just got a $6k/year raise I will also have a pension, which is not something I had while in the hospital.

  • Oct 27 '15

    This is one of the many reasons I am glad I changed from hospital nursing to corrections. I feel MUCH safer working in the prison infirmary than I did in the ICU. The only time I've ever been hit in my life was in the ICU. Here, all my "patients" are locked up in individual cells and there is always 1-3 officers with me during patient care, depending on the custody level of the inmate. And the $25,000 pay raise makes the job that much sweeter. Not only do I have a job that pays extremely well, is close to home and that I enjoy but I don't worry every night I go in whether I'm going to be assaulted. That's not to say I don't stay vigilant because after all, they are inmates.

  • Oct 26 '15

    If my RA continues to flare up, I may be getting a doctor's note sooner rather than later. I am scheduled to go to dayshift in the coming months but I have noticed since changing jobs, my RA has been more of an issue. I went from Monday - Friday, 7:30-4:30 to nocs, 12 hour shifts. When I was working days, I rarely had issues with my arthritis and now, it seems to be a regular problem.

  • Aug 26 '15

    I went from waist length to a haircut like Halle Berry or Sharon Stone short recently and love it. It literally takes me 3 min. in the morning, if that to fix it and it looks professional. And I'm really short, so long hair just overpowers me and hides my face. I look much thinner with short hair and just feel better. My hair is super thick so when it's longer, it's a pain in the butt to take care of. I usually grow it out long, cut it off and donate to Locks of Love, then grow it out again, and repeat the cycle. But I have a feeling I'm going to keep it short for a long time to come!!

  • Aug 22 '15

    I work in the prison infirmary and our staffing is two RN's, an LPN in the pill room and a CNA. We usually have around 40 inmates but I've seen it at 35 and as high as 57. Most are low acuity, some are simply here because they get dialysis and can't be out on the yard. We have a few every now and then that require more work, such as our current paraplegic and quadraplegic. It's actually a pretty low stress job as long as everyone shows up for work (we have issues with sick calls; it's not just nursing but through the prison as a whole).

  • Aug 21 '15

    If he/she were competent, I would have no problem with who my nurse was, regardless of sexual orientation. But then again, I'm a tree-hugging liberal, according to my conservative war-monger husband!

    I have no issues with people who feel they were "born into the wrong sex" and want to live the life they feel they should have had. This person could make an excellent nurse or a terrible one, no matter what they dress like. But you will never know that if you don't give the person a chance. And if other students are uncomfortable with this, then they need to rethink their choice of professions, because nursing presents many opportunities where you have to set aside your judgements.

    Of course, this is coming from a lowly nursing student!! So I may be way off base. But I could care less who I work side by side with as a nurse....as long as they can do their job.

  • Jun 17 '15

    It was one of my options and I quickly turned it down because for me and me only, I would have been replacing my dependence on pain pills to dependence on suboxone. From what I have seen working in the psychiatric field for the past 5 years and many, many addicts, when they have been offered suboxone, it doesn't encourage them to find other ways to manage their sobriety. They aren't much interested in meetings, a sponsor, etc. This is just from my experience. I think it has its place, short term but long term use just wasn't for me and I didn't want to even start down that path. I was taking close to 40 Norco's a day and endured a nasty 7-10 days of withdrawal but then it was over and I was clear of any pills, medications or the need to take anything. And that was when I buckled down and started a 12 step program in order to ride myself of the obsession/craving.

    I know our BON does NOT allow it at all. They are very much opposed to the use of just about anything while on contract.



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