Spacenurse: Critcial Care Preceptor & Nursing Activist

  1. spacenurse: critcial care preceptor & nursing activist

    spent an interesting evening in chat with spacenurse…til 5am
    a few weeks ago. a staunch nursing supporter, her many threads focus on nursing and social activism. she still finds time to unwind in the breakroom.
    learn more about this amazing member. karen

    current practice setting : staff nurse critical care. we're a cardiac unit caring for patients from r/o mi through all interventions including open heart surgery. no transplants though. we also get icu overflow, gi bleed, head trauma, a little of everything. the most specialized acute patients get transferred. i am in charge sometimes. turned down permanent charge position. love precepting students and orienting new nurses. we float tptelemetry. i will also work in medical-surgical or care for critical care patients in the er.

    bio/nursing background: i was a teen candy striper "the book girl" taking paperbacks and magazines to patients. dropped out of university and went to community college for an aa. one class was a certified nursing assistant course. worked for a few months as a cna before attending an lvn program.
    worked at the va as an lvn on an orthopedic unit. got married and less than two years later had a daughter. worked registry while my mom cared for my baby and husband worked. then had a son. i got licensed as a day care provider and started with one little boy who is now 6'4" and my sons best friend. later had a total of 6 little kids all day.

    when my youngest was in first grade i took a job where i work now as an lvn on medical surgical unit. i'm fortunate that many of us still work together or on other units. i took lots of classes and went to nights to be with my kids more. about 20 years ago i went back to school for my adn and transferred to ccu, went to an rn to bsn program, graduated. i was in grad school taking course work to be a clinical nurse specialize when our hospital was purchased by a for profit. they cut staff, laid off rn's and pharmacists, and tried to scare us with the threat that we could be let go.

    a friend invited me to a meeting with the cna. i ended up finishing the quarter with good grades but withdrew from the program to work to save the high standards of nursing care we had. couldn't do that, other volunteer work, and spend time with my husband and family.

    i've been at this hospital almost thirty years . i'm very active on a committee at my hospital that worked on improving patient care. additionally, i'm a member of the american association of critical care nurses (aacn).

    most memorable nursing event: on a personal level i cared for my dad with the assistance of amazing hospice nurses. he was a good daddy but had never understood what nurses do. my step-mom said to me, "it must be hard to do such personal thing for your dad." my professional musician and high school music teacher dad (if you go to movies or watch tv you've heard his horn) told her, "she's a professional. to her this is like playing scales."

    in the big picture getting the california safe staffing law with ratios as the minimum and staffing up according to the needs of the patients. i am very proud that with thousands of others we passed the first safe staffing law ever. it took 12 years to get passed and implemented. some hospitals and some units still don't comply. none are perfect. we are quite good. of course the struggle continues. as gilda radner said, "it's always something."

    answer the question. nursing is…. both an art and science. scientific knowledge, technical skill, and caring. the nursing process, not a series of tasks.

    biggest change in nursing?computerized charting and monitors that automatically chart vital signs, urine output, and other data is the biggest change

    favorite allnurses forum: nursing news, general nursing discussion, the break room, and current events tie. love the humor in the good morning thread…. i'm not so clever but they tolerate and tease me. sometimes they think i was being clever and funny but didn't mean to. this is my favorite site in the entire internet!

    allnurses members who’s advice you follow: partial list...i've got a lot to learn. prmenrs, smilingblueyes, roy fokker, mercyteapot, papawjohn, mjlrn97, lindarn, soontobe_rn, earle58, franemtnurse (poopsybublnose), beary-nice, rn/writer, uro-rn, tweety, siri, fun2care, bethin, cheerfuldoer, stevielynn, raindreamer, grace oz, gwenith, jnette, suzy253, marie_lpn, cyberkat, sunnyjohn, fire wolf, and dianah are members i've learned from…. and so many wonderful nurses. often i learn from responses to others posts.

    members signature or avatar that tickles your funny bone: i enjoy so many. gwenths fantasy art is unique.

    if i was a tree, i’d be a _kelp forest i guess. because: kelp sways with the tide.

    advice for bb members: learn and enjoy this amazing bb! follow the tos, post if moved to it, don't take it personal if someone misconstrues your meaning. try not to assume their meaning if it upsets you. i've been guilty of that and often wrong.

    memorable posts that standout in your mind "my patient died" by efiebke (ted) and the many posts that help keep me informed about nursing issues and news. i first learned about unlicensed personnel giving meds in a post by vickyrn.
    i love the opinions in current events because i don't talk politics or religion at work.

    judge backs law to increase nursing staffs
    rn mentors help new nurses thrive
    landmark pact for 4,700 chw hospital rns
    safe staffing ratios for massachusetts? (1 2)
    teach me about the national right to work committee
    "nurse avenger" video game & music video

    do our steths spread infection
    want to hear a beautiful and inspiring song?
    this guy doesn’t know about bed scales!
    it just gets worse

    critical care nursing
    profession info:
    about critical care nursing
    nurses for a healthier tomorrow

    american association of critical care nurses

    ccrn - certification for adult, neonatal and pediatric critical ...

    critical care nurse
    dimensions in critical care nursing - home
    ccrn - certification for adult, neonatal and pediatric critical ...
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Aug 25, '06
  2. Visit NRSKarenRN profile page

    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 27,518; Likes: 13,728
    Utilization Review, prior Intake Mgr Home Care; from PA , US
    Specialty: 40 year(s) of experience in Home Care, Vents, Telemetry, Home infusion


  3. by   Tweety
    It's awesome reading your bio Spacenurse!!! I love your postings, your wisdom and your insight. You give Karen a run for her money with posting informative links. In other words You Rock!!!
  4. by   leslie :-D
    i want to be just like you when i grow up.
    you are an amazing, amazing woman.
    you have no idea how often you make me smile.
    thanks for making a world of difference.

    leslie xoxo
    Last edit by sirI on Mar 23, '08
  5. by   Beary-nice
    Hoo yah!!! Way to go Space!!!!!

    And for you....a MONKEYDANCE!!!!!

    Beary loves you!!!!!!
  6. by   Roy Fokker
    About the only other nurse I know who enjoys "being nerdy" as much as I do - like loving Sci-Fi

    She really is as kind and as special as she comes across.
    You are a wonderful person Spacenurse :icon_hug:
  7. by   Grace Oz
    a most deserving and worthy recipient of community spotlight!
    congratulations space!!
    and..... i'm honoured and thrilled to be included in the list of people whose advice you follow! wow! i'm really chuffed, thanks. :-)
    thank you for your generous and valuable contribution to the nursing profession and the human race! you are one of lifes 'givers!'
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    I'm embarrassed and honored.
    Since there's no link for this I'll just say

    Nurses are the best.
    Chatting with Karen and a nurse in South Africa was fun. It is the only time I've used the "Chat"

    Oh yes, it was a night off.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Aug 24, '06
  9. by   FranEMTnurse
    :caduceus: Hey girlfriend, congratulations on your being put in the spotlight! I can think of no other nurse who deserves it better. You're one of a kind. And to think you mentioned me as one of the members who you take advice from - WoW! I feel sooo honored.

  10. by   suzy253
    Congratulations! Most deserving. Loved your bio!!! Wow.
  11. by   sirI
    space, it has been a great pleasure to get to know you. and, such a deserving person to be in the spotlight now!! i, too, am impressed with your bio.

    love the humor in the good morning thread…. i'm not so clever but they tolerate and tease me. sometimes they think i was being clever and funny but didn't mean to.
    i had to giggle at this statement. don't believe her, ya'll. she knows exactly what she's doing. she has a very dry wit and is funny. you should see some of the humorous links she finds.

    i do believe we came from similar upbringings and i know we share many memories about that. (oh, my - not bob wills and the texas playboys - nooooo............ahh haa!!!!!!!).

    i admire you, space. congratulations!!!!!
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thanks Siri. I bet you were cute in your little patent shoes. Did your socks have lace too?

    I forgot to thank the master debaters in the current events forum. And some more recent posters too. ZASHAGALKA, HM2Viking, sanctuary, Chatsdale, and indigo girl come to mind now.

    Doesn't Karen do a great job?
    What a moderator!
  13. by   mercyteapot
    Wow, amazing bio. I had no idea. And isn't it funny to think how many of us have probably heard your Dad's horn? Lends credence to the six degrees of separation theory!
  14. by   sirI
    Quote from spacenurse
    Thanks Siri. I bet you were cute in your little patent shoes. Did your socks have lace too?

    Yup, and the shoes all shined up with churned butter to boot!!!!!!!!!!:chuckle