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NurseOnAMotorcycle 18,417 Views

Joined Jan 16, '11 - from 'NY'. She has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Med-Surg 1, Emergency 5, CEN 2/2016'. Posts: 1,117 (63% Liked) Likes: 3,045

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  • Dec 24 '16

    Callie the sock puppet LIVESSSSSSSS

  • Dec 19 '16

    We all know someone that we consider to be "entitled." They believe, and in many cases demand, special privileges that they have not worked to earn. Working with these people is a total drag.

    But...

    What if there are instances in which being "entitled" is actually a good thing? What if, dare I say it, nurses should feel entitled to some things? What might these things be?

    Yes, I've tricked you. This article is not going to be about annoying coworkers who think they are better than everyone else. It's going to be about nurses and what they are entitled to as working professionals. This article is going to challenge the "martyr" persona that nurses are expected to project. Here we go:

    1. You Are Entitled to Your Lunch Break

    Yes! Believe it or not, much like other people, your body requires food in order to produce energy so that you can be effective in your job. Not only do you deserve to eat, but you also deserve to eat sitting down in a place that is specifically designed for eating. Things get busy, and if you do not get to take your lunch break, you should be compensated for working through it.

    I once had a co-worker who never notified the department of working through lunch. She believed that if she could at least scarf down a granola bar in some back corner of the unit then she did not need to be paid for the other 28 minutes of break that she missed. She let others know that she was not asking to be compensated for those minutes. This resulted in tension between nurses throughout the department. Why? Because some felt that they were expected to give up lunch breaks without pay. Others felt that they were made to look less "dedicated" by expecting to take a full break.

    2. You Are Entitled to a Safe Assignment

    I had a mentor that worked in an ICU setting. One day they were severely understaffed and, as a result, she was assigned four patients. This is not okay. She was expected to take care of double the expected patient load in an intensive care area. This very competent, capable nurse was near her breaking point by the end of that shift. When she wasn't doing patient care, she was praying that two (or three...or four...) of her patients didn't go south at the same time.

    Look, we all get assignments that we don't like. Sometimes we get busy assignments (hey, that's life!). That is not the issue. The problem arises when the assignment is unsafe, or the ratio is a serious danger to the patients. As a nurse, you are putting your license on the line when you accept a dangerous assignment. You are entitled to a safe assignment. Workplaces need to be prepared to deal with understaffing. Remember, they take on the same obligation to keep patients safe. That should not depend on you turning into superman to make the impossible happen. They have a responsibility.

    3. You Are Entitled to Respect

    One time I observed a physician throw a piece of equipment across the room because she was upset with the nurse. Nurses experience disrespect from all directions. A frustrated physician, an angry family member, an unhappy patient, fellow nurses--you name it, a nurse has experienced it.

    When someone disrespects you, your response should be professional and dignified, but that doesn't mean that you should have to accept such behavior regularly. Respond appropriately, but understand that you are entitled to work in an environment where objects will not be thrown, shouting will not tolerated, and other acts of disrespect will be dealt with by management. A workplace that allows nurses to be disrespected by their colleagues and patients is not treating them right. You are entitled to respect, just like everyone else.

    All of this seems like common sense, so why do nurses sometimes tolerate these things? The problem lies with the "martyr" mentality that nurses are expected to live by. You are expected to be selfless, kind, and giving, but you will be criticized if you demand appropriate working conditions or compensation.

    It's time that we challenge that idea. Nurses have families to provide for. Difficult assignments to navigate. Emotionally taxing work that must be done. You are a nurse and you are entitled to the basic things that are afforded to other working professionals.

    Do you think there are some things that nurses are entitled to? Share your thoughts!

  • Dec 18 '16

    When I was hired as a telephone switchman in 1974, I was weighed in and at 120, i was told that I weighed 4 lbs. too much to be hired. I was then forced to lift my long skirt that I had dressed up in for my interview. I was advised that they were checking to make sure I was not wearing platform heels which were forbidden because of broken ankles (of course this was interview attire and I never wore anything but steel toed boots to work once hired. THEN I went to RN school where I was again weighed in...and again told I weighed too much !!! I had to get a signed note from an endocrinologist to enter RN school. Failed marriage, 3 kids, a bitter divorce, my rapist escaped punishment and I have never been that thin again...to think that I was once only 4 lbs overweight !!! Now as a patient, I am called morbidly obese and discriminated against very time I go for even a pap smear or mammogram....and they wonder why we don't visit the doctor more often? shaming and disrespectful treatment...the real complaint is ignored while i am either lectured by some skiny **** of a teenager or some doctor who makes me look thin. It drives me to tears. I would love to have been pretty, but I was born with physical handicaps...my clothes cover most of the physical scars now and I have lived a full 50 yrs longer than expected, but society is still taunting me for not being pretty AND worst of all they do it under the guise of "health".

  • Dec 7 '16

    I work in LTC and we had a pretty overweight RN who applied for a position. I noticed that when she was shown around the building (only because one manager started the interview and another joined in halfway through and had to review the notes the first manager made, and asked her to show the RN around). As they stepped out of the interview room, they stopped to say hello to me at my med cart, and I wished her luck and happened to look at the nurses' station and saw several RNs and LVNs trying hard stifle their laughter!! I was horrified for this woman.
    We all know that those of us who care for others should be healthy and fit, but what happens when a nurse is overweight or even obese? Does she automatically become unworthy of working as a nurse? Not sure what I'm expecting from writing this post, just that I thought it was a rather sad way to treat a human being. Needless to say, she didn't get the position, and although I'd like to think it was for some other reason, I can't help but wonder if it was because of her weight.

  • Dec 5 '16

    I am in ICU but in our facility it is policy for the floors to call a "Code" for any new seizure or acute change in LOC. We also have a Rapid Response team and RISK nurse program but for the acute change, calling a code is appropriate.

  • Dec 5 '16

    Thesimplenurse~

    Congratulations on surviving your first code!!! This experience is now behind you. Phew! One of the most important aspects of learning is taking time for reflection, thus I commend you on being vulnerable, sharing your experience, and asking for input from others.

    It sounds like there might be some confusion about what a "code" means. Simply put, it's typically a patient who could be having a rapid decline in condition and you need stat help. Often this is or respiratory or cardiac nature but could be anyone who is suddenly unstable. A code calls in more resources so all hands on deck can help stabilize the patient. Some facilities use Rapid Response Teams to help with this but not all.

    In your situation it sounds like you interpreted "call a code" for start CPR. They are not synonymous. Regardless, sounds like no harm was done to the patient, resources were obtained, and things turned out okay. Experience gained, lessons learned....awesome! Enjoy your nursing journey! Congratulations on your new job!

  • Dec 5 '16

    Ditto response/questioning of the chest compressions.

    Next time, if able, maybe think about getting them on their side or head elevated, slap a pulse ox on for heart rate and O2 measurements, suction and oxygen readily available, and take a blood sugar. Try and always keep an eye on the time/length of the seizure with characteristics.

    Either way it sounds like you did the best with what you had to work with. I wonder how much experience your nursing supervisor has and how long they have been away from the bedside, if any.

  • Dec 5 '16

    Extended lunch break??? Sometimes you don't get a lunch break at all.

  • Dec 2 '16

    The other day as I sat at work listening to coworkers talking about career paths and what degrees they should pursue I couldn't help but think back to when I was a new nurse 32 years ago. I went to school to be a nurse, as everyone in my class did. The discussions were where do you want to work, not what is your career goal. It seems no one wants to just be a nurse anymore. This is all pushed with the magnet statuses, national push for more and more education and I wonder what is so bad about being a nurse caring for patients year after year. Most young nurses I hear talking are appalled at the thought of your entire nursing career caring for people. I am sure there are some new nurses who just want to take care of patients, but I haven't talked to many. I find this sad.

  • Dec 2 '16

    Quote from Rocknurse
    I think the argument in general is too simplistic. Nurses are human and there are many factors playing into health and body weight. Here's a scenario: a young 23 year old healthy female nurse who runs 3x a week, eats like a bird and likes to snowboard, cycle and hike on her days off. She's the picture of health. Awesome for her. Take that same nurse, add 20 years, 2 divorces, a sick child, a bout of ill health due to menopause/endometriosis/PCOS (take your pick), the weight starts to pile on because she's having hormonal issues, she's stressed, she has no time to eat healthy at work because the management keep giving her more and more patients. Life happens. It's easy to think you'll be just as energetic and slim as you are now, but trust me....pre-menopause/menopause is a *****. Facilities are guilty of contributing to this mess because the job gets more and more stressful so nurses do what everyone else in the population does...they eat to comfort, they drink to unwind, and before you know it...*poof* 30lbs has crept on. You can make great choices all you want, but life is hard and things happen. People should be supported not penalized. How about we make work a more amenable environment?


    Also, I don't smoke but I do vape. I use the lowest nicotine possible. I still run, weight train and cycle. I don't need to leave my area to smoke. I don't have breathing or health issues. Should I be penalized? I would probably fail a cotinine test. I don't think it's anyone's business what I do outside of work and I don't think my health is any worse than anyone else's. Where do we draw the line?
    ALL OF THIS. Thank you. Easy to think in your 20s and 30s you got this. I remember, I did. Til you hit peri-menopause, have your kids hit their teens, work stressors, life stressors, and everything in between and your metabolism just bottom out and bam, you are not the cute perky skinny little thing you once were. And you see young skinny perky people telling you how to be fit and it makes your head want to explode cause you were there once and are fighting to get back. Inside you is that person, but outside you is the overweight person "they" see and discriminate against.

    By the numbers, however, I am in good shape. My lipid panels rock. My BPs are low 100s over 60s. Not even close to prediabetic. Get all my screenings right on schedule. I go to the gym. I don't smoke. I try to eat reasonably, but yes, I could definitely improve there. Still, I am quite overweight. When stressed or upset, food has always been my drug. But you look at me and you will see "a fat chick" and judge me. Cause that is what people do.

    It's not just about the scale y'all.

  • Dec 2 '16

    So your article is a thrill and a half. Peoples' bodies sizes are influenced by a multitude of factors. A lot of healthcare workers who work shifts become overweight. Non-night time sleep, staying up for long periods, and a varying bedtime are all associated with weight gain. The 24/7 nature of nursing and other health occupations makes this a dilemma. Not everyone can work 7-3, eat a yummy organic meal, and bop on over to the gym after work. If there's a weight requirement , there will be a huge shortage of healthcare workers.

    Many nurses and other folks in healthcare put themselves last. Many are very giving people. They are caring for kids. elderly parents, and maybe even neighbours. It's their nature. Sure it is their "fault" they are not exercising and eating "clean." However, we do not make choices we do in a vacuum. We are often under pressure. Often the nurse steps up to help when others don't. I would love to have a BMI of 24, but it ain't happening anytime soon. There are things I can try to do and make some better choices, but at this point in life I am not going to be 5', 51 years old, and 100 lbs. I'd love to get down to 150. As I have gotten older, I realize that health is important. Outer beauty is not. As you go through life what you discover is most important is what really made of in spirit. It can't be found at the gym or Ulta. I am sorry I am overweight, but not sorry I worked nights, took care of hundreds of moms and babies, cared for my chronically ill daughter, and helped my elderly parents. Oh yeah and I have a husband and two other daughters. I have given them a bit of attention too over the past 30 years. I also went back to school in my early 40's and again a couple of years ago. My choice. I wanted to do that more than I wanted to be 100 lbs again.

    Why do we always have to look at each other so critically? Being fit takes discipline and focus. I think being a nurse does too. I am happy you are healthy and slim. I was at one time too. I hope you continue your travels onto the road to good health and great looks. Sometimes, however, life happens. Please don't be so foolish to think that us "fatties" lack discipline and focus. It isn't that simple. Many people have a lot of balls they are juggling in the air. There is something to be said about accepting others where they are at and hoping they do the same for you.

  • Nov 29 '16

    One thing that I would love to see our volunteers do is to make sure that the room is stocked with enough blankets and gowns. And to make sure supplies are stocked in general.

  • Nov 29 '16

    When you double brief, you increase the risk of skin breakdown, infection etc and I think it is just plain lazy. We don't use briefs any more at my facility (acute care). We only use covidiem pads under the patient and we are having to change those 5 or 6 times per shift. However, the patients keep dry, and isn't that what is most important?
    BTW: Briefs also increase the risk of yeast infections, having the area open helps prevent that. We have had some long-termers who got yeast infections regularly while wearing briefs, once we stopped with the briefs, the yeast infections decreased considerably. Granted, this is anecdotal so take it as you will.
    Is it illegal? Probably not but it is definitely wrong!

  • Nov 27 '16

    This is a vent It's not an original one, this has been griped about before

    In another thread I've been posting in, a long-time member who often answers questions and posts helpful advice posed the the following question regarding giving advice; why do we bother?

    I've been asking myself the very same thing. Actually, I know the answer for myself at least. I bother because every once in a while the poster who you answer/try to help actually seems to appreciate that someone took the time and is polite enough to acknowledge this and say thank you.

    Why would any of us take time out of our days to answer questions asked by other posters, if not to try to help that poster. Sometimes the advice we offer is good and at times the advice might be poor. Sometimes the advice is what the person asking was hoping to hear. Sometimes it's not. However, the common denominator in the vast majority of cases is that the poster offering advice is actually trying to help the other poster.

    About a week ago I answered a first-time poster who had a question regarding dosage calculation. It's a sad testament to the current state of affairs that when this poster actually came back and said "thank you guys so much!" my reaction was almost one of shock. (Okay, I admit I'm exaggerating just a wee bit, but really it is a rather rare occurence to have someone actually return and say thanks). Because this person expressed appreciation, I know that I will definitely try to answer any questions this poster might have in the future.

    I answered another question yesterday only to see the poster making a brand new thread today asking the same question. The subject matter this first-time poster was asking about happens to be something I enjoy (which makes me a bit of a ) and I would have been happy to provide further assistance. As it is, I think that perhaps the poster was hoping for the explicit answer to the homework assignment instead of merely being offered support and information on how to find the answer for him/herself.

    I've expressed the following opinion many times. I don't believe in handing the answers to homework assignments on a silver platter. The students who come here and ask for advice are our future colleagues. I want them to be proficient at locating data for themselves. I want them to be able to critically assess the quality of the data that they find. I want them to become competent professionals. I don't want to sabotage the process required to reach that level of proficiency. While I have no doubt that some posters think that I'm being stingy with the advice that I offer, my motivation is actually to help.

    I am responsible for my choices. No one forces me to answer any posts, I do that of my own free will. I don't expect posters to bow and scrape and generally gush gratitude all over the forum simply because I or someone else has answered their question. But a simple thank you goes a long way. Here, just as in real life.


    *Off soapbox*

  • Nov 27 '16

    I think your poll is rather limited. Can I imagine myself doing something else, yes. Do I imagine I'd like it better than nursing? Some days yes, but most days no. Would I go through the bother of changing careers to do something else? No. Unless I can become fabulously wealthy by writing novels about being a nurse.


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