Latest Comments by mercurysmom

mercurysmom, RN 5,890 Views

Joined Jul 25, '11 - from 'New England'. mercurysmom is a Disabilities Advocate; Consultant. She has '27' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Early Intervention, Nsg. Education'. Posts: 159 (71% Liked) Likes: 536

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  • 4
    Here.I.Stand, OrganizedChaos, llg, and 1 other like this.

    Quote from Asystole RN
    I know a nurse who was licensed at 18, as in she graduated BEFORE she turned 18.
    This was me. I entered a hospital-based LPN program at 16 and proceeded to have the stuffing knocked out of me. I grew up...FAST. I graduated at 17 and sat for my boards the day after my 18th birthday. If my birthday had been even a day later, I would've been forced to wait the 4 or 6 months until state boards were held again. Yes, this was in the 80's, which makes me a COB.

    My first job was on a Med-Surg floor of the hospital that offered the LPN program. I wanted to work 3rd shift as a GPN, but couldn't, as I needed a work permit. Yes, I was embarrassed.

    I went right into an ADN program immediately after I finished the LPN program in July. My birthday is at the end of September, which means I was 17 for the first few weeks of the ADN program. I vaguely remember discussing it with my first CI, and I think I was able to start clinicals because I had already graduated from the PN program. If I hadn't passed my boards on the first try, however, I think I would've been jettisoned from the ADN program pretty quickly.

    If I had the opportunity to start over, I probably would have taken more courses at a community college, perhaps studied abroad for a semester, or any one of the exciting things that I could have done in those "pre-mortgage/relationship/marriage/kids/life/etc" years. I don't regret going into Nursing, but I do wish that I hadn't been so gosh darned impatient.

    My son is in a similar situation, as he participated in a dual enrollment program at the community college where I currently teach. Starting in his sophomore year in HS, he took college level courses and received both HS and college credits. He graduated from HS in June 2016, and had enough college credits to transfer to an Engineering program...if he wanted. Instead, we've encouraged him to take courses that "sounded neat" as well as pursuing anything that he had ever thought to himself, "I wonder what it would be like to..." He took an introductory piano class...and quickly learned that he's better suited as a music aficionado rather than a musician. He took an ASL class and earned himself a "therapeutic F" by ignoring the syllabus, and replaced the F with an A by repeating the course (paid 100% out of his own pocket, too.) This semester, he's taking a heavy math and science course load, as well as a fencing class. I'm doing my best to encourage him, but inwardly cringing as well. All of these experiences are helping him develop skills and insight that are setting him up to be a much more successful, well-rounded Engineering student.

    I understand your daughter's desire to forge ahead and finish college as quickly as possible. I felt the same way. However, she has opportunities available to her that are quite unique, given her age. My suggestion would be to choose some situations she had never imagined experiencing...and experience them. She has the time to take classes for the sake of satisfying her curiosity, trying something entirely new, without worrying about completing a degree on a strict timeline. (I agree, however, that she needs to be aware of any financial aid limits, and consider taking courses through a community college or utilizing private scholarships.)

    Good luck to her!

    Mercury's Mom

  • 14
    oldpsychnurse, kalycat, RN35years, and 11 others like this.

    Fire retardant bibs for smokers.

    The way the test tube would heat up after you put in the clinitest tablet to check sugar in urine. Not really something one should multitask...I don't know how many test tube I dropped and broke because I held it too close to the bottom.

    Cleaning inner cannulas of Jackson trachs. Brush and bowls were from sterile supply closet and H2O2 and sterile water came in big jugs.

    Harris drips for post-op gas relief

    milk and Molasses enemas...and the smell going in vs coming out (gag)

    Being reprimanded for wearing gloves while bathing a newborn because "What will the mother think if you see her baby as "dirty" and refuse to touch it?"

    "Pouring meds". The med room had communal bottles of pretty much every tablet and meds were prepared in soufflé cups nested into a green tray with holes. The med cards for each patient went into a slot above each corresponding cup. Pray like heck that the patient didn't ask what meds they were getting and what each one was for. And heaven help you if you slip and fall while carrying the tray!


  • 0

    Quote from Eschell2971
    First, take a deep breath! What you're describing has been experienced by 99.99% of all nurses who have SUCCESSFULLY graduated nursing school AND passed their NCLEX. There is hope.

    Here are a few tips, strategies, and constructive feedback I learned and/or received during nursing school:

    1. STOP second guessing yourself-usually, as a test strategy, your first answer is the right one

    2. There is a Nurse educator on, Megan McClintock, who hosts a series of videos on test strategies and common mistakes nursing students make on exams. THIS IS A MUST SEE. I found it on my own, after I failed one of my nursing exams in school. Here is the link: Test Taking Tips for Nursing Students - YouTube

    3. Learn how you learn best. Maybe you're an auditory or kinesthetic learner, but, you have to sit through lecture. So, as part of your study time, DO or LISTEN to a different nursing source on the same subject. Another valuable resource I found on youtube was like a lifeline: Michael Linares
    - YouTube

    4. Study with a partner or small group (no more than 4). The best way to learn a subject is to teach it!

    5. I was VP of my nursing school class and I did not have the absolute best grades. Grades flucuate and can be improved. But, when taken in context with your whole persona, character, etc, your classmates and advisors need to know you are trustworthy, safe, and confident to be able to help them with the needs of your class. I caution you to NOT take on a role if you are not organized, disciplined, and if you truly don't have the time to spare, while still maintaining and accomplishing your own goals, needs, and responsibilities.

    6. Also, get some nursing study books, with lots of practice questions. I always saw my grades improve when I practiced questions as I was studying (even in a group), and as part of my final study before an exam.

    So, calm down; refocus; restrategize. You can do it!

    Let us know how you're doing in the future.
    LOVE these suggestions!

    The other suggestion I would add is to set up a situation that requires you to "teach" the information. In order to teach a concept and explain how it relates to other concepts, the information must be firmly entrenched in long-term memory and connected with previously learned concepts. It simply can't really be done without accessing Bloom's higher order thinking skills. Teaching strategies could be accomplished by joining a study group and have each member dive deep into a specific topic while all of you study the outlines on your own, pairing up with a classmate who has trouble connecting the concepts learned in each chapter and combine them to form a realistic profile of a patient, or anyone else who will listen. (My kids were excellent listeners when they were infants. Now that they're grown, my dog has very patiently listened to my semi-private lectures about learning theory and second language acquisition...or perhaps he's too polite to tell me to stop. Ha!).

    The other great thing about teaching the concepts is the opportunity to respond to questions and comments coming from different perspectives. In my experience, nurses think like nurses and answer questions like nurses. By including a non-nurse in your studies, you automatically need to frame the concept in a different, non-nurse perspective, which gives your own brain a chance to access additional schematic in your long term memory. The trickiest part is to find a willing victim...I mean surrogate student...I heck, that's why babies and dogs make such great team members!

  • 1
    HouTx likes this.

    Some community colleges allow students to retake a class to earn a higher grade. The previous attempt stays on the transcript, but the grade of the retake is the one counted in the GPA. This can only be done once per class.

    I earned my ADN in 2 years, but this was 27 years ago (and I had already completed a hospital LPN school.) in order to keep up with the work and graduate on time, I took as many CLEP exams as I could, and I took the few courses that I couldn't CLEP and might impact my GPA at a different CC and transferred the credits to my RN program.

    Here's the link to info about CLEP exams: CLEP - College Level Examination Program (CLEP) -Save Time. Save Money. Take CLEP | College Board CLEP Site
    Here's the link to DSST, another exam program similar to CLEP but focuses more on business classes, which aren't as easy to apply except as electives, or could help if you're eventually hoping to get into the business end of nursing:

    Before taking CLEP exams, check with your college to see if they award credits for completed exams or if they only count them as exemptions, without credits awarded. In addition, the exams are pass/fail, so if it's a course that you know will boost your GPA you'd probably be better off taking it online or at a brick-and-mortar college.

    Many online businesses offer "prep courses" for CLEP exams, which seems like it kinda defeats the purpose of taking the exams, which is to save money and time. (CLEP exams cost $80 for a 3 to 4 credit course.). If you feel like you need a quick review of the subject before the exam, check open courseware to find a free review. If you're learning entirely new material, then the CLEP exam isn't the way to go.

    Good luck! [emoji4]

  • 1
    JustBeachyNurse likes this.

    Quote from JustBeachyNurse
    That will mean nothing to the IRS. Is this online coursework? Exclusive use can mean your family cannot use the computer. No watching movies unrelated to school. The teacher can say what they want but it will have no baring on the determination as to whether you can utilize a portion of the cost in your itemized deductions. It's not a credit so most students it's irrelevant. It's not a write off bit potentially part of the cost may be included in itemized deductions of your itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction.
    The teacher is not with you 24/7 to ensure you only use the device for school activities.

    Are you taking online classes?
    Just Beachy is right: "exclusive use" means that in the most restrictive sense. Here's an example...

    I have an iPad and a laptop that are strictly for work. (I'm a lecturer and professional tutor.). The laptop is only used by my C-Print Captionist. The only things on the laptop are the C-Print program, my antivirus software, and Google. Google is only used to access email, so that my Captionist can send me a copy of the C-Print transcript after the lecture. The only files stored on it are transcripts and materials/PPT's I use with different lectures. Period. My Captionist doesn't use the laptop to check her email or Facebook page. That's all, folks.

    In addition, I have a dedicated iPad that only contains apps that I use when I'm teaching and/or tutoring. Since I teach in ASL, I end up making videos about core concepts. I use the Collaaj app for that, and then I post them on Blendspace. I also have my account from my dept's Dropbox on the iPad. Other than that, it's just educational apps, student portfolios, ASL dictionaries, and a Videophone app.

    Some of my work is done as a self-employed consultant, so you better believe that the IRS checks up on my deductions. I've never had a problem claiming devices as business expenses. However, I have duplicate devices for personal use. Given Murphy's law and all, if I checked Facebook only once from a business-only device, that's when I'd be asked to provide the laptop and iPad for an audit! [emoji33]

    In other words, unless you have an identical device for personal use and don't let anyone use your school iPad/laptop for anything, even to google a Pizza Hut menu. It just isn't worth the potential trouble.


  • 13
    betabob, canoehead, LadyFree28, and 10 others like this.

    Quote from BuckyBadgerRN
    I was going to guess that you are very young, and then saw in your tag line that you're 18. This isn't high school anymore. We're talking about your future CAREER here. You need to worry about YOU and if your friend can't understand that, then she's no friend. This is a great time to grow a spine and just tell her that you have to focus on your studies and don't really have the time to help her with hers. If she feels she has ADD, she needs to take it upon herself to be evaluated. Do not let her guilt you into doing for her what she needs to do for herself
    This. I agree 100%.

    As for your family members who are giving you a hard time for "not helping her in her time of need," her time of need was the first day of class! She had several options available to her, but she *chose* not to pursue them.

    This is not her time of need. It is her time of desperation. A couple tutoring sessions will not radically change the trajectory that SHE established, all by herself, on the first day of class.

  • 1
    klm4446 likes this.

    The Oley Foundation has some really nice info regarding Home Enteral Nutrition. Checking HEN (Tube Feeding) - Oley Foundation would be a great place to start.

    You can find lots of great info about the Entralite Infinity pump here: Education Materials - Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation

    The rest of the website is full of great info, as well.

    Good luck! [emoji4]

    Mercury's Mom

  • 3
    ICUman, Wuzzie, and sapphire18 like this.

    Quote from nurse2be13
    A PICC line is NOT a central line.
    Um...really? A PICC line is a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter. You might want to check your facts.

    Lippincott NursingCenter

  • 4
    Debilpn23, kbrn2002, Christy1019, and 1 other like this.

    When my sisters and I were young, my Mom worked nights at a little nursing home/rest home type facility. Our babysitter usually went on vacation for a few weeks in the summer, and we spent the night sleeping in the back of our huge green station wagon. The patients knew the three of us kids, and the cook used to make us breakfast around 6:00. (This was in the late 70s/early 80s, and no one complained or thought it was odd.) Until one morning...

    Do you remember Figment, the purple dragon from the old Imagination ride at Epcot center? My grandparents had just come back from a trip to Florida to see the brand new park, and brought back a hat for my 6 year old sister. Purple hat with huge googly eyes and yellow horns. She was wrapped up in a patchwork quilt, with the hat perched on top of her head. My Mom noticed a lol with a very puzzled expression on her face, and asked "What's wrong, Mabel?" Mabel took a few more seconds to stare at my sister, drew in a deep breath, and said...

    "I don't know what kind of animal that is, but it's eating a kid!" [emoji33][emoji33][emoji33]

  • 7
    WKShadowRN, Lev <3, ShelbyaStar, and 4 others like this.

    "1700: Pt A&Ox4, steady on feet, independently amb in hallway q15min, denies discomfort or anxiety, states "I'm waiting for my boyfriend, the ********** said he was on his way."
    2010: pt not in room. unit searched, security notified. Pt discovered in ambulance bay, escorted back to floor. Pt drowsy, pinpoint pupils, Pulse 55 reg, Resp 12/min. Clave missing from saline lock, tubing tied in a knot. MD notified, new order rec'd for narcan if resps<8 or LOC, remove PIV. Pt remains on 1:1 supervision. "

    I hope I'm the off-going shift!

  • 0

    I would. Actually, I don't think I'd be able to sleep without going back in and re-reading my documentation to add every single detail in the timeline, and then wrote up an incident report. I'm a little neurotic about documentation, so YMMV.

  • 3

    Quote from HeySis
    Totally off topic beckysue920, but.... how do you find out how well you did on boards. We were told if you pass then that's that. If you fail you get a breakdown of each category and if you were at, above or below passing standard.... But as far as percentages correct, or hardness of the questions, rankings...Just curious, it'd be fun (or terrifying) to see my score.
    Actual scores were given "back in the day." My Mom and I sat for RN boards 10 years apart. We both took the 2 day written test. She received a latter with her score in 1982, and I received a simple "candidate passed" letter in 1992.

  • 0

    When I worked on a vent floor in a LTACH we saw them all the time. The patients were trying to die as hard as they could and we kept yanking them back. Lots of anasarca with the orange peel skin as well, since they ended up with CVL's on IVF or TPN once they stopped tolerating enteral feeds. IVF+anasarca+ KTU = puddles of interstitial fluid. Real, honest-to-goodness puddles.

    One poor fellow ended up developing KTU's from the pressure of the linens, and even across the bridge of his nose from his glasses. We continued to pump in the fluids, adjust the vent to (sort of) compensate for lungs that were like stiff leather sacks, and mop up puddles of fluid while his kids stood in the hallway, arguing over who was going to get his house. He wasn't "allowed to die" until they were satisfied that each of them would get their fair share of his estate. I believe TPTB finally intervened during my 3-day weekend off.

  • 0

    My ADN program (1990) had a 75% passing benchmark for classwork and unit tests, but final exams had to be 80% or above, and pharm exams each semester had to be 100% within 3 attempts. The rationale was that we needed to prove understanding of at least 80% of the class material since it was cumulative.

    My town's public school system no longer uses letter grades. Report cards list the actual number grades earned in each class in grades 5-12. I can track my kids' progress from home via the school website. I wish I could say that the grade transparency has helped prevent grade inflation, but it hasn't. When the benchmarks are set per "common core" and students are spooned information needed to pass high-stakes tests rather than develop strong foundations in core subjects, unit test grades become a kind of "gastric emptying study for spoon-fed concepts," and the semester grade is simply an academic brown book. How else can one explain why a student can pass high school calculus with an A, yet require remedial college math?

  • 0

    I whole-heartedly agree that experience is the best teacher with hand-eye skills like starting IV's. When I went back to acute care after working at a LTACH full of patients with CVL's, I asked to be scheduled to work in outpatient surgery/day stay for a week. After 3 days I could practically throw the cannula like a dart towards some of these big guys going in for screening colonoscopies. Score! [emoji41]

    On a different note, if you have a patient who has long term venous access, ask them where their best (or "least crappy") peripheral veins are if you need to draw peripherally or provide additional access. I have had CVL's continuously for the past 11 years. The antecubitals are totally off the list. Not that that stops people from insisting that I let them try, even though I know what the outcome will be. I have a few "decoy veins" that look good, feel good, but are so scarred that I know that not even the best Vein Whisperer could get anything out of it. However, I have a couple really awesome peripheral veins that few people even attempt because they're felt rather than seen. I'd suggest adding patients with long term venous access and parents of kids with CVL's to the very exclusive "find that elusive vein" club along with IV drug users. Before my own health problems got to the point of needing permanent access, I was amazed by people who knew where to find their best veins. Nowadays, I have a much different perspective. [emoji6]