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Back on med/surg after 15 years

Nurses   (5,737 Views 64 Comments)
by unknownjulie unknownjulie (Member)

7 Likes; 732 Visitors; 74 Posts

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Shelly0928 has 18 years experience.

294 Visitors; 7 Posts

Holy smokes!!! As Been There Done That has stated, I would have walked out of a physical such as the one you described. If an employer expected me to do as you described to pass the test, I would not want to work there.

I am also 50 and looking at bedside nursing from mainly desk type work, but also believe us as nurses need to get paid for what's in our brain, not whether our backs and muscles can endure what you described.

What crap!!

At any rate, I hope things are going well for you!!

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7 Likes; 732 Visitors; 74 Posts

Yes, nurses have many skills. So true, but I was referring to starting IVs, caths and things you really only see regularly if working on a hospital floor. The technology is really changing and improving. I even saw that new machine where you can put it up to someone's arm and see their veins. Amazing!

I have really felt lost at other jobs when seeing a piece of equipment I'm unfamiliar with or hearing phrases that I dont understand. I think actual hospital experience is so important because you see/hear things over and over and really get comfortable with the interventions and terminology.

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7 Likes; 732 Visitors; 74 Posts

Well I'm finished with my first week. I have been clear about not being able to orient full-time. I am still working my other job. This week I was scheduled for five, 12's in a row. I managed to leave early two of the days because I was shadowing people. I am about to begin another week of five twelves in a row.

I am feeling very sick from the stress and lack of sleep and I'm certain I will have to call in this week. The good news is that I remember everything, but I definitely have gaps, and I am terrible at IVs. I think my old eyes are just not as good at seeing the veins, cannula, etc. This entire experience has been so exhausting. I am scheduled for eight weeks of this. Either four 12's per week or five, 12's per week. I want to get back in the swing of things, but I am afraid I am going to get hurt or make a mistake working a schedule like this.

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7 Likes; 732 Visitors; 74 Posts

I'm still up and unable to sleep. Not like I need my rest or anything, so I thought I'd post a few more details. The first full-time week was spent in a lab, so not very strenuous. The week I just completed was spent mostly shadowing various people like the social worker, unit secretary etc (just one day with a nurse). So, that's why I tried to leave early. I know I can't do this once I "really" begin direct patient care this week that is starting.

I am amazed at the minutia that charting has become. What used to take 2 sentences, or a checkmark on a flow sheet- now requires 2 pages of computer documentation. Really tedious. Also, the RN stuff has really been "dumbed down". The nurses aren't using fishbone skeletons to write labs for instance. In fact, labs were not even mentioned during report. An SBAR sheet is used for report so it's standardized. Math is rarely used since the computer does everything. We are supposed to look up labs on the computer after report, but what if it's busy? I am just used to having this stuff all in my head. Two other things I noted was that I was told that WNL is wrong to use, and that acuity is not longer used for staffing assignments. I suppose the acuity talk when out the window when every single person now is high acuity. Anyhow, I will adapt and thrive somehow, and I am still very exited to be back on a medical floor. Also, the techs are doing what the LPN's used to do.

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7 Likes; 732 Visitors; 74 Posts

This will be my last post until someone else replies because I don't want to be appearing to talking to myself. (well obviously I am- haha), but I wanted to put another update. Things are going great. I am remembering everything. I am able to keep up physically with the mostly younger staff. It is inspiring to me to take this on at my age and be succeeding. I have managed to get a couple shifts off and this has been helpful.

I do have huge concerns though about the frayed system in this country. I see small hospitals not being able to make payroll. I see more and more homeless and many health problems left to fester until it is an emergency and people are admitted to the hospital. I see IV fentanyl being used routinely. Lots of people using lots of prescription narcotics and benzos. Somehow this is shocking to me. My current hospital is already full at all times. Beds in Peds and OB are used as overflow for medical patients. The system has zero slack. When we have some kind of public health emergency it is going to be a mess and a disaster. The nurses are stretched to the maximum thinness by administration. Just my two cents. Good luck to everyone working in these worsening nursing conditions.

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

452 Likes; 1 Follower; 5,579 Visitors; 752 Posts

This will be my last post until someone else replies because I don't want to be appearing to talking to myself. (well obviously I am- haha), but I wanted to put another update. Things are going great. I am remembering everything. I am able to keep up physically with the mostly younger staff. It is inspiring to me to take this on at my age and be succeeding. I have managed to get a couple shifts off and this has been helpful.

I do have huge concerns though about the frayed system in this country. I see small hospitals not being able to make payroll. I see more and more homeless and many health problems left to fester until it is an emergency and people are admitted to the hospital. I see IV fentanyl being used routinely. Lots of people using lots of prescription narcotics and benzos. Somehow this is shocking to me. My current hospital is already full at all times. Beds in Peds and OB are used as overflow for medical patients. The system has zero slack. When we have some kind of public health emergency it is going to be a mess and a disaster. The nurses are stretched to the maximum thinness by administration. Just my two cents. Good luck to everyone working in these worsening nursing conditions.

I am glad that it is going well for you! Yes, healthcare today is a sad state of affairs. The last hospital I worked at had a constant stream of homeless, drug addicts, people who waited until the last minute for a health problem etc. It is sad but also draining on the nurse and system, no easy fix. Just make sure you pace yourself to avoid burnout, good luck for your continued success!!

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7 Likes; 732 Visitors; 74 Posts

Thank you! I am absolutely pacing myself. Just incredible the breakdown in our society and the hospitals are the front line.

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9 Likes; 1,425 Visitors; 46 Posts

This is so exciting to read about your new adventure! Yes, nurses are stretched thin, acuity seems to have flown out the window, and there is a breakdown in society that we definitely see and deal with seemingly continually, in the hospital. At the same time, it is rewarding. Keep up the great attitude, and keep us posted!

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3 Likes; 5,361 Visitors; 174 Posts

Lifting 100 and 200lbs is ridiculous. Are you sure those numbers are correct? People who lift weights would have difficulty with that.

Also, if you had a person that codes and ends up on the floor, or even fall, it doesnt make sense to phyucally lift them back to the bed in that way

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54 Likes; 1 Follower; 11,007 Visitors; 398 Posts

This will be my last post until someone else replies because I don't want to be appearing to talking to myself. (well obviously I am- haha), but I wanted to put another update. Things are going great. I am remembering everything. I am able to keep up physically with the mostly younger staff. It is inspiring to me to take this on at my age and be succeeding. I have managed to get a couple shifts off and this has been helpful.

I do have huge concerns though about the frayed system in this country. I see small hospitals not being able to make payroll. I see more and more homeless and many health problems left to fester until it is an emergency and people are admitted to the hospital. I see IV fentanyl being used routinely. Lots of people using lots of prescription narcotics and benzos. Somehow this is shocking to me. My current hospital is already full at all times. Beds in Peds and OB are used as overflow for medical patients. The system has zero slack. When we have some kind of public health emergency it is going to be a mess and a disaster. The nurses are stretched to the maximum thinness by administration. Just my two cents. Good luck to everyone working in these worsening nursing conditions.

I think you accurately summed up present day healthcare in this country.

Glad you are doing okay.

After reading about your physical, and FIVE 12-hour shifts, I was worried about you.

You seem like a fun and interesting person.

Continued good luck.

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7 Likes; 732 Visitors; 74 Posts

I am not mistaken about the lifting test for getting hired. They used actual weights that were labeled for the gym and stacked them in the crate... When I ran over and read my job description it stated, "Must be able to lift 100 pounds". That's how I knew I had to do it no matter what in order to be hired. And afterwards I was told if I hadn't have been able to do it, then I wouldn't have passed the employee physical and would not be eligible for hiring for that position.

I am still not entirely sure I will be able to manage 6 or 7 acutely ill patients (ratio on my floor), but I am giving it my best shot. It's now or never due to my age.

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54 Likes; 1 Follower; 11,007 Visitors; 398 Posts

I am not mistaken about the lifting test for getting hired. They used actual weights that were labeled for the gym and stacked them in the crate... When I ran over and read my job description it stated, "Must be able to lift 100 pounds". That's how I knew I had to do it no matter what in order to be hired. And afterwards I was told if I hadn't have been able to do it, then I wouldn't have passed the employee physical and would not be eligible for hiring for that position.

I am still not entirely sure I will be able to manage 6 or 7 acutely ill patients (ratio on my floor), but I am giving it my best shot. It's now or never due to my age.

Most of the lifting requirements for nursing jobs where I live, in KY, are 50 lbs.

There is no way, I would have gone through the physical test you went through.

It is crazy and dangerous.

Nobody should lift 100 lbs alone.

I imagine your workplace has a high number of worker injuries, and WC claims.

Can I ask which state you reside in?

I wish you luck, but honestly, I'd like to see you working in a better environment.

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