Content That adpiRN Likes

Content That adpiRN Likes

adpiRN, BSN, RN 9,545 Views

Joined Nov 2, '08 - from 'South Carolina'. She has '3' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'L&D'. Posts: 389 (29% Liked) Likes: 240

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  • Jul 20

    Quote from Mossback
    There seem to be plenty of people telling you that you're too old to go into nursing. Based on my own experience, I don't think that's the case. I graduated from a BSN program at 60, passed the NCLEX, and was hired at a university-based medical center within eight weeks of getting my license. Six years later I'm still going strong, working 12-hour night shifts on a busy med/surg unit. Last year I got my master's degree in nursing while still working full time. In addition to a full nursing schedule, I'm currently working one day a week as a clinical instructor for a BSN program.

    I'd encourage you to go for it. The insights and perspective gained during your life will help make you a better nurse.
    Holy cow! What's your secret?

  • Jul 19

    I regret nothing about becoming a nurse.

  • Jul 19

    Not so much things to look up beforehand but what I found helpful was to write down the things you learn every day after a shift in a notebook, like procedures, what you need for procedures, tips your preceptor gave you, what are the norms for vital signs etc. By the end of your orientation you'll have a book full of facts to fall back on if you forget something! like a safety blanket you can bring to work with you. Plus it helps you to debrief after a crazy shift.

  • Jul 19

    Hello there!
    Welcome to the beautiful world of the NICU, you are going to love it!! Im a nurse of 5 years, 2 of which was adults/tele/medsurg (eww) , and 3 in the NIcU, and I absolutely love my babies. Just relax, breathe, do what you know, be a safe nurse, double and triple check all your meds, iv's, and breastmilk. Dont be afraid to call your charge nurse memorize their number theyre your resource if you are stuck in a bind. Like someone here said, experienced nicu nurses hate it when newbies act cocky and is that "knowitall" youll go alot farther and be happier if you allow people to help you. I always get in report "that family is intense" and once i meet the family they are so sweet and I fall in love with them. So dont get carried away with all the blah blah blah of the unit. But Welcome to the Nicu where miracles happen everyday, im confident your gonna love it!!!

  • Jul 19

    Welcome to allnurses.

    My take on your situation?

    Congratulations on landing a job in a facility that genuinely interests you! Be happy about it. Let the negativity go and move on to your new life as a professional nurse.

    I also recommend getting an apartment near your job. Don't be doing a 2-hour commute every day you work. That can ruin your life and your health. Have a place to sleep near your work. When you get 2 or 3 days off in a row, then you can make the drive and see family/friends back home.

    Good luck with everything.

  • Jul 19
  • Jul 18

    This is my first post after many years of reading allnurses posts written by others. I'll give a brief background on myself... I've been an RN for 11 years, working in both the OR and home health. I never had any interest in critical care nursing as I know how sensitive I am and that I would likely not be able to cope with amount of loss associated with critical care. With that said, I'm having a hard time coming to terms with my grief over a recent incident that occurred outside of work and I'm hoping someone can offer some advice.
    Six days ago, I was visiting my cousin and her new baby at their home. We were sitting in her living room, which overlooks her backyard as well as the backyard of her neighbor. Her neighbor has a large inground pool and there were 4 children (teens) playing and swimming around the pool while an older woman sat and watched them. At one point I glanced out the window and noticed that the older woman appeared to be attempting chest compressions on one of the children who was laying on the ground but she obviously didn't know CPR and was frantically screaming for someone to help her. I took off out of my cousins home, jumped over the fence between the two yards and began assessing the young boy. He was not breathing and had no pulse so I immediately began CPR. Between breaths, while doing chest compressions, I attempted to gather information from the woman, who turned out to be the boy's grandmother.
    Me: "What happened? Did you call 911?"
    Grandmother: "I don't know! He said he couldn't breathe and then just collapsed! Yes I called"
    Me: "Any health problems?"
    Grandmother: "He had heart surgery when he was born but he's been fine since then!"
    Me: "How old is he?"
    Grandmother: "10"
    And so on... After a couple of minutes of CPR, the boy took a few shallow breathes on his own and I was able to feel a weak pulse. I rolled him onto his side hopeful he would regain consciousness but as soon as I did this, his breathing and pulse stopped. I then resumed CPR until EMTs arrived about 10-15 minutes later. I stayed with the family for about 30 minutes after the ambulance left, attempting to comfort the other children that were present- his 13 year old sister and 13 & 15 year old male cousins. The boy's aunt arrived at the house just before the ambulance left and was also comforting her sons and niece. I left my phone number with the aunt and asked her if she could update me on his condition when she knew more which she promised to do. I then returned to my cousin's home briefly before heading home. Later that evening, I got a call from the boy's aunt informing me that the boy never regained consciousness and died in the ER. I offered my heartfelt condolences and my support in any way needed. When I hung up the phone, I fell apart, sobbing uncontrollably for a long time. I felt like a failure- even though I know that's not a logical reaction. And now, 6 days later, I can't seem to let this go. I think about it constantly and wonder if I could've done more or done something differently. I really want to reach out to his family but I'm not sure if I should. I would like to know if there was an underlying cause of death that was beyond my control. I want to know if his sister is ok and the other 2 boys that were there. I would like to meet his mother and father since they weren't at the scene and tell them how sorry I am that I couldn't save their baby.... I just want to be at peace with this but I don't know how.

  • Jul 18

    Your answers don't make sense. You wrote "3 years or less" and the next answer was "5 years or more". therefore, I did not answer.

    I was at my first job for almost exactly 4 years. I would most likely still be there (6+ years later) if we had not relocated to a much larger city.

  • Jul 17

    Quote from shermrn
    adpiRn, BSN, RN. Apparently I did misunderstand the point you were trying to make. Regardless, I offered encouragement and support as you start work in the NICU. Your only response of "Yep exactly !" shows exactly what kind of person you are. Good luck.
    What the what? S/he was responding to my interpretation of the original post.

  • Jul 17

    Quote from shermrn
    adpiRn, BSN, RN. Apparently I did misunderstand the point you were trying to make. Regardless, I offered encouragement and support as you start work in the NICU. Your only response of "Yep exactly !" shows exactly what kind of person you are. Good luck.
    ??? How can you tell from ONE post, what type of person she is. Especially when that post was not directed at you.

  • Jul 13

    This is actually a comment I have heard a lot over the last 25 years, in Peds, PICU and the last 18 in NICU, (and also as the lone transport RN!) There are scary moments and joyous moments and often moments that slide rapidly from one to the other. Over the years I have heard a lot of "I could never do that" and "How can you take care of babies/kids if they might die" and "It takes someone extra special to do what you do"
    I think it takes someone special to do any of the jobs that we as nurses are asked to do. A 500gm baby is right up my alley but the thought of being responsible for an entire skilled nursing facility alone, or a psych patient, or a trauma case in the ED, or a hospice pt at home, or a dozen other roles, scares the carp out of me. It is all perspective. You seem to have the right attitude going in. The learning curve is steep. A preemie is definitely not just a very short adult. You will learn an enormous amount and hopefully 25 years from now still be amazed every day by something new. As a specialty, I do believe that NICU has been the most dynamic over the years. The pace of knowledge is amazing; things that we do now weren't dreamed of when I started and care that was common place 15 years ago is now right there with the dinosaurs. Remain open to new ideas and new practices, ask a million questions, be humble, keep a neat bed with cute blankets (this means a lot! :-), treat your patients like the little individuals that they are, and keep an open heart with the most difficult of families (all NICU families are grieving a little).
    Blessings to you and welcome to the fold!

  • Jun 19

    general rule of thumb is you should be scent free at work. I don't think scented shampoo/conditioner is usually strong enough to cause a problem, but besides that I would avoid it.

  • Jun 17

    Hi all!

    I recently graduated from nursing school and I have accepted my first nursing position as a NICU nurse.

    Since I don't start for a few weeks. Does anyone have any advice of what to do until I start, or articles/books or topics I should read related to the NICU? Thanks!

  • Jun 7

    Quote from Irish_Mist
    I'm actually of afraid of doing pediatrics. I LOVE kiddos so much that seeing them sick, abused or neglected would break my heart and I wouldn't handle it well emotionally. I am doing my pediatrics rotation at Children's Medical Center Dallas in July and I'm so nervous about it.

    I know I wouldn't hate it. Don't get me wrong. I care a great deal about my patients but it is easier for me to "separate" myself with the adult ones.
    Lol, another reason to love NICU nursing: you get the satisfaction of watching parents bond with kids and enabling parents to feel confident in doing cares, yet still have the peace of mind because nobody has had the opportunity to harm these kids in any way (generally, although we do get some very tough neonatal drug withdrawal cases). They're in your unit from birth, so we can ensure that they're safe, fed, and have their basic needs met.

    Also, as an FYI, you may encounter more neonatal losses in L&D than a place like NICU (that's the case in my hospital). Infants are most vulnerable and likely to pass away in the transition phase immediately after labor, including difficult preterm/term resuscitation in the delivery room and cases where the baby is simply too early (<22 weeks) and no resuscitation attempt is made. If you're seriously interested in L&D, I'd talk to current L&D nurses about coping with maternal/perinatal loss. You mention that you're worried about bonding with families/kids on peds and then watching the kids get sick; in L&D, it's very possible that you could care for a healthy mom, stay by her side through every step of her labor, have a baby is born with meconium aspiration, and after an unsuccessful resuscitation watch that baby pass away in the delivery room.

    I get what you mean about separating yourself from patients, and I think that to some degree it's necessary in any field of nursing. The very fact that life is so precious makes our jobs totally satisfying at times, but devastating at others. It sounds cliche, but people find ways to cope with patient loss; otherwise, there would be no peds/L&D/neo/trauma/ICU nurses. You can't know unless you try. Self-care is really important, and it helps if you have support from you coworkers (after my first loss, I spent over an hour after my shift ended talking and crying with an amazing coworker who has 40+ years of NICU experience). If it turns out you really hate the unit you're on, there are always more specialties out there.

    One other thing you can do is to talk to nurses on the units you apply to about these topics. Some new grad jobs will have a peer interview process, or a chance for you to shadow nurses on the unit. Talk to them about how often loss/abuse/neglect/difficult cases occur, and how people handle them; this is especially pertinent if you're working L&D or ICU.

  • Jun 7

    So, a couple of strategies from a current NICU nurse:

    1. Shadow if at all possible. In theory, I thought I'd love adult ICU nursing (high level critical thinking, low patient ratios, etc.) It took about two shifts in adult critical care for me to realize that it was not for me. Shadowing allows you to see what nurses within a unit actually do, unlike in school where you learn the theories/patho behind what its done. For example, part of adult ICU is vented patients with code browns--you teachers aren't talking about that when they're discussing ARDS and vent settings.

    2. Similarly, you have to think about what you really enjoy doing, what what you don't. I volunteered in an ED where I enjoyed the pace (sometimes slower, sometimes totally crazy) and loved the patho behind all of the cases; I considered ED. However, I've since discovered that even though I like ED in theory, I get really stressed out when I can't start my shift with a definitive schedule and game plan for the day. Therefore, ED probably wouldn't be a good fit for me. Figuring out what you really do an don't enjoy in a professional setting is a process, and it requires some self-reflection. Think about what events in clinical made you happiest, what made you miserable, and most importantly why.

    3. Talk to nurses in those specialties. Find out what they love about their jobs, what they hate, and why. I first began looking into NICU because I heard so many awesome things from NICU nurses. Nearly every NICU nurse I met told me "I love this job, I can't imagine doing anything else, and I want to be doing this until the day I retire." The main reason I found people leaving the NICU was because of burnout due to management and unit politics, not the nature of the nursing care.

    4. Research. I literally used academic databases to look up journal articles on nursing satisfaction in various specialties, the exact same way you look up articles to write a paper. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of papers on nursing burnout, including papers that look at job satisfaction and burnout by specialty. I think I found the ones I used via Google Scholar. You should be able to access them through your campus network if your school pays for access to the journal article databases, and a handful are free to anyone online. Evidence-based practice, anyone?

    Of course I have a bias, but I think you might enjoy NICU. You get the joy/satisfaction of seeing new families achieve milestones together, along with awesome elements of ICU (high level skills, critical thinking, low patient ratio). Unlike in L&D, where soon after birth the couplets are whisked away, you get to care for, nurture, and bond with families over days, weeks, and even months. You can take care of a tiny 2 lb peanut, and four months later experience the joyous 'victory lap' around the unit before the family takes their healthy NICU graduate out the door and into the world. It is also pretty easy to get cross-trained in L&D and NICU (since they generally get floated to one another), so you can have the best of both worlds. But like I said, I'm pretty biased because I absolutely love NICU nursing.


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