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NoonieRN 2,463 Views

Joined: Apr 5, '12; Posts: 6 (67% Liked) ; Likes: 9

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  • Mar 18 '13

    Woo I was just promoted to assistant head nurse at my office
    I feel so happy and grateful for being recognized for my work!

    I hope good thing are happening with each of you out there!

  • Mar 18 '13

    You should write a book. I love your style of writing. Glad you're alive!

  • Mar 18 '13

    I almost died today. A man comes into my busy level 1 trauma center with ALOC and no known cause. The sister says he has had a fever for the last couple of days and developed hives yesterday. The paramedics think he probably overdosed on benadryl and is just sleeping it off. If only that had been true. When we realize this man isn't getting any better, becoming more somnolent and suddenly tachy, the benadryl OD dream comes crashing head first into the meningitis reality. A head CT is ordered, and a lumbar puncture set up is at the bedside, now the real fun begins.

    I need to back up a second and explain, at this moment I had a medic student following me around, this is important because I am using it as my excuse for the stupid thing I do next. As we are setting up for the LP I work to move my patient into a proper sitting position. His sister is assisting me and we lift the guy up and hold him in place. While this is all going on I am directing the medic student where to stand, getting masks for everyone and bracing myself to help hold this rather large man in a pretty awkward position, especially considering he wasn't exactly with it enough to help us out. So now the man is leaning against me and his sister, and it's taking all our strength to hold him there stable enough for the LP. Suddenly a little fleeting thought races through my brain... I need a mask... In my haste to make sure everything else is done and all other members of our little party are taken care of and I completely forget to grab a mask for myself. Now you would think that I could simply have said to the medic student, who is just there to observe, "hey grab me a mask would ya?". Yeah, really wish I had done that. But, you see, that little fleeting thought had moved so fast that by the time I realized it was there, ZOOM, away it went. So now I'm standing there in very close proximity to a probable meningitis patient without a mask while the doctor is attempting an LP. Folks, not my finest hour. And once I see how cloudy and off colored the CSF is, I know deep down in my gut, the one that drops when you know you've done a stupid thing, that it's bacterial.

    LP is done, CSF fluid is sent down, and now I wait, hoping that my instinct is wrong and that actually he has viral meningitis.

    I really hate it when I'm right.

    Results come back with raging bacterial meningitis, and my mind is racing to remember all the details of every second I spent in that room. How close did I actually get, did he ever cough on me, how many "large" droplets did I dodge, how many scored a direct hit on my lungs, how large is large anyway, do I need medication, how effective is medication, what if I actually get meningitis, 1 in 4 people DIE, wait... really? 1 in 4? YES!

    Finally I take a deep breath, step back and pause. Once I'm calmed down I make a beeline for my charge nurse to inform her of what happened, beg for prophylactic antibiotics and promise her I will never forget to wear a mask again.

    A few hours later I am standing at the pharmacy getting the little pill that saved my life. One lonely little Cipro 500 mg that kept me from a fate worse then death. With one big gulp of water I swallow it down and breathe a sigh of relief. I'm safe, no meningitis, I'll be ok.

    As the adrenaline starts to dissipate and my mind clears, it hits me, I ALMOST DIED TODAY! I almost died, and a little pill saved my life. Now, we all agree this is really the medic students fault, because obviously they distracted me. But despite this I am alive and well and meningitis free and quickly coming to the realization that my job might actually be hazardous to my health.

  • Feb 26 '13

    " English is my 2nd language card" works in highschool but not in healthcare or any other profession. In addition, this person has been in the states for 25 + years, and the 2nd language card does not apply! English is my 4th language , I am not a great writer,and essays have always been my weakness! This is not related to being from a different country , there are many people who are born in a English speaking country and are weak at writing. Some people are gifted, some were determined to master writing, other don't care or just don't get it. Personally, if I do not know how to do something , I will ask for help. If I do something wrong, I am not going to say "well this is how (that) nurse taught me to do it," I will apologize, and ask the nurse to show me how she does it. When I was in highschool and college , when my friends had to read the chapter 1 or 2 times , I had to read it 10 times! I was determined to succeed in nursing and I wanted people to see my strengths and give me the credit I deserved, I wanted to fit in and be treated the same! I was treated the same and this for me is an accomplishment. I speak English fluently but I am a terrible writer, and it does not mean I will not try to improve.
    Excuses= failure to improve or at least try!
    In your case, I think this person was very sensitive!

  • Feb 21 '13

    I am reposting this from were I origionaly posed it in the Government/Military Forum.

    So over a week I cared for an older gentelman. He was a farmer and had fallen from his hay mow. Several times he expressed concern about what it was costing him to be in the hospital. He also shared stories with me about his days in the army during WWII. He had fought in Normandy on D-Day and beyond until captured and made a POW. I asked why if he was WWII vet he didn't go to the VA for care? He said that never occured to him but that he would like to look into it (he haden't see a doctor for any reason since 1945). I got on the phone and talked to the social worker at the VA. She said he wasn't in their system but if he was a vet to gather his paper work and send him down. Our doc talked to their doc and I made arrangment for an ambulance to transport him. I called his daughter and asked her to bring in all his documents from his army service. She arrived with a big brown envelope that I just handed to the paramedic as they were wheeling him out the door. I didn't look at the documents.
    The next day I arrived at work just in time to see the old farmer being wheeled back into our ICU. My nurse manager was standing there and I asked what happend? Why wasn't he at the VA? Without saying a word she handed me the documents I had sent down with him. Stamped on the front it said, in big red letters "NOT ELLIGABLE FOR BENIFITS".
    Turns out that while he had indeed served in WWII and fought in Normandy, he had been in the German army!
    My hospital ended up having to eat the transportation cost both ways. My manager was none to pleased with me. Somehow it just never occured to me to ask the old farmer if it had been the US army he served in.

  • Jan 29 '13

    Hello all, I am new to this forum and love reading all your posts. I am a mother to 6, triplets and three singles, I graduated from CNA class in 2000 and from Medical Assisting class in 2009. I worked very briefly before having to be a stay at home mom due to my husband being injured at work. He is now disabled and retired, so I am thinking of going back to school to get my LVN license. My kids are all older now 20,16,14,14,14,and 9, so I do believe this is doable. Being a nurse is something I have always wanted to do and working with people is a passion I love. Thanks for listening and know I admire you all

  • Jan 29 '13

    As a male, especially one who is particularly fond of breasts, I can understand the appeal of a woman's chest, regardless of size. However, what this patient is doing is completely inappropriate and wrong. What he has said to you, particularly about not getting him in trouble, indicates that he is aware of this fact. If an elderly woman made such comments to me under similar circumstances, I would be feeling the same way that you have described. While I might be able to forgive inappropriate looks, comments, and hopefully not grabbing, coming from an elderly woman who is truly unable to control herself due to severe mental problems, I would report a woman who is aware that she is doing something wrong and is capable of restraining herself.

    As for your husband's comment, my guess is that he meant it as a compliment to you. However, I strongly disagree with giving this patient a free pass, even if it is true that harassing the voluptuous nurses is his only source of joy. You are a nurse, not an exotic dancer (no disrespect to exotic dancers, bless their hearts). Until his mind disintegrates, he must content himself like other males by giving a beautiful woman a half-second look when she is not looking, so he does not make her uncomfortable, and using all of his willpower to avoid looking down a woman's shirt when she bends over, as a respectful man should, no matter how amply-endowed she might be. Also, a man should refrain from making any comments about a woman's appearance, unless they are respectful and not offensive or creepy (except if she has specifically told you that she loves creepy and/or offensive remarks). This is true for all interactions, not just patient and nurse. Since this patient already went way past the line of acceptable behavior, I suggest that you request to not be the one who takes care of him anymore.

    When I had my kidney surgeries and eventual removal, I did not trust in my ability to come off as not creepy, so I just gave the nurses, whatever their age or cup-size, a truly grateful smile for taking care of me. A man might get an unexpected "view" once in a while that he cannot help but notice, despite his best intentions to never make a woman uncomfortable by being the kind of jerk who ogles women. However, to deliberately take advantage of a woman who is tending to your health is just plain offensive.

  • Jan 29 '13

    Quote from DoeRN

    Sorry you feel this way. And I said bud not butt.
    I don't let people disrespect me or my coworkers. We take so much crap off people and we shouldn't allow ourselves to be sexually harassed. And since you didn't address it with that patient it bothered you when you went home. If you let this slide then the patient may think it is ok and go even further with the comments or may act upon them. Anywhere else this behavior would not be tolerated so why should we as nurses be ok with being treated this way?

    Sent from my iPhone using
    We shouldn't!!! I think it bothered me so bad because I didn't know how to address it directly with this patient. This was the first incident I encountered and definitely learned from it. Guess it's time to grow a backbone!!!

  • Jan 29 '13

    The OP needs to make it clear immediately that remarks like that are inappropriate. The man has no excuse and he indicated that he knew it was wrong because he asked if she would report him. There is no excuse for this behaviour. She needs to have more respect for herslef.She is not someone's plaything.

  • Jan 29 '13

    Quote from anicwalters
    I hate that others have made crude remarks about you not nipping it in the butt. As a nurse you expect to provide care and compassion and I'm sure you have dealt with difficult patients successfully. I too have recently encountered a situation in which the patient made inappropriate comments. I told other workers and the supervisor and refused to go into this man's room alone. It is not easy to just "nip it in the butt". I tried to laugh it off and the patient even laughed at me and told me I turned all red. I explained that his comment was unexpected and I was embarrassed. I went home in a very unsettled mood.
    Sorry you feel this way. And I said bud not butt.
    I don't let people disrespect me or my coworkers. We take so much crap off people and we shouldn't allow ourselves to be sexually harassed. And since you didn't address it with that patient it bothered you when you went home. If you let this slide then the patient may think it is ok and go even further with the comments or may act upon them. Anywhere else this behavior would not be tolerated so why should we as nurses be ok with being treated this way?

    Sent from my iPhone using

  • Jan 9 '13

    I work the night shift at an acute rehab hospital, so my suggestions may or may not be useful to you. Here is what I have to offer:

    1. Know the signs and symptoms of an impending CVA. Many of your patients who are admitted for s/p CVA are prone to have recurrent CVAs, especially in the inpatient setting. It might happen during your shift.

    2. Know the behavioral differences between a right-side CVA patient and a left-side CVA patient (hint: one is going to be impulsive, overestimate their physical abilities, and therefore be a high fall risk).

    3. Familiarize yourself with orthopedic issues (hip ORIFs, knee arthroplasties, knee arthroscopies, fractures, splints, casts, braces, CPM machines, therapeutic use of ice, pain management issues, etc.).

    4. You might encounter plenty of debility cases after lengthy illness due to pneumonia, CA, COPD exacerbation, CHF exacerbation, acute coronary syndrome, and so forth.

    5. Familiarize yourself with tramautic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, multiple trauma secondary to motor vehicle accidents, behavioral changes due to frontal lobe damage, quadriplegia, paraplegia, quadriparesis, paraparesis, etc.

    6. Bowel and bladder issues are huge, such as in-and-out catheters, indwelling urinary catheters, rectal tubes, incontinence of bowel and bladder, ostomy appliances, bowel and bladder training, etc.

    Keep in mind that I am only scratching the surface, and that you will see a whole lot more in rehab. Good luck to you!

  • Jan 9 '13

    I agree that I would love to see the proprietary borderline-scam "schools" outlawed. Beyond that, I still think it is the responsibility of the student to make informed choices. No one tells people they can't major in music or philosophy if they want to, because there aren't many jobs available -- I don't see this as any different. A basic aspect of adulthood is that you make choices, and you live with the consequences.

  • Jan 9 '13

    Schools offer education, not jobs. It is up to the individual prospective student to do the research and make a choice s/he can live with about a major. If schools were legally required to close or reduce departments if the graduates couldn't easily find jobs in their field when they graduated, there wouldn't be a single college or university in the country that still had a fine arts or philosophy department, and the entire country would be poorer for that.

    It is very easy to reduce or close a nursing school, and very hard to start one up or significantly increase the capacity of an existing program. If a bunch of programs were reduced or shut down now, we really would be in serious trouble the next time an actual shortage came along. College students are, with few exceptions, adults. IMO, the burden is on them to make a smart choice for themselves about higher education; it's not the responsibility of the school.

  • Oct 14 '12

    Esme12, always know the right words to say and how to say them.
    She always offers virtual hugs, wisdom, and great advice. Even in the heated threads, when she posts she resets the tone of the thread and everyone seems to simmer down.

    When I first started CVICU six months ago I was able to send her a PM of the most silly questions, like how to turn a stopcock(think that is the correct spelling) when checking the CO.

    Thank you for your kindness, patience, brainsheets, recommending helpful websites, your work and labor for AN does not go unnoticed.

    I just wanted to say that I love her, I appreciate her, and want to be like her when I grow up.

    (This message is approved by onlybyhisgraceRN)

  • Oct 14 '12

    The title of the thread made me think you were talking about coworkers....