DeepFriedRN 5,387 Views
Joined: Aug 1, '06;
Posts: 215 (63% Liked)
; Likes: 433
Flaming extrovert here, however not only do I respect introverts, I wish I could be one. Can't seem to celebrate anything without 76 trombones in the big parade, can't seem to fail without a spectacular display of fireworks. Believe me, I'd LOVE to be a little less "out there".
many years ago as i was leaving a very bad marriage, i underwent some intensive therapy. two years later, when she was discharging me, she told me that when she first saw me she wanted to hospitalize me. "really," i said. "that bad, huh?" "yep," she said. the only thing that stopped her was that i was caring for two children under the age of four, apparently doing it safely (and looking back, i can see she was constantly checking to see that all was well in that sphere of my life), and she knew their father, my narcissistic, abusive husband, was completely unable to do that, and there was no one else. my kids were the best part of my life; part of my motivation was to see that they grew up safe and happy.
long story left out, i separated and divorced, got better, and discovered there was someone else inside my head: me. i'd been missing so long i barely recognized this healthy, creative, loving person. it was like putting on a beautiful party dress and realizing damn, i looked just fabulous. a few years later i became engaged to and married a lovely man who has just this minute walked into my office to put his hand on my shoulder and tell me he loved me so then and loves me so now, decades later. there are times when i wish i could go back to the city where i lived then to seek out and apologize to all the people i worked with, for being such a black hole of emotional energy. i must have been just horrible to be around. i do regret that deeply. fortunately my kids were so young that they don't remember it; they are both married to wonderful people and are providing me with a steady stream of completely perfect grandchildren.:d
one of the things she taught me is that mental health is like physical health; using an analogy she knew i'd understand, she said i was like someone with major trauma: starting out in icu (seeing her three times a week, and barely holding on), then moving gradually to stepdown, a regular floor, and then outpatient care. i learned how to do a good home exercise program to keep myself in stable and then improving condition for my injury; i learned what kind of flare-ups to expect, and that i could handle on my own and how to do that, and what kind i had to go see a pro for.
i tell my sweet husband that he wouldn't have liked me very much before i did all that. he doesn't quite believe me, but the little person inside my head remembers what it was like to be dead inside. i have never been dead since.
The alarm jolts you awake as it does every morning after yet another restless, short night's sleep, throwing your systems into fight-or-flight mode as you groan inwardly: "Oh, lord....not again". Your mind fills with dread in anticipation of yet another workday; thoughts swirl and tumble, like squirrels in a cage, as you shower and dress for the day in dark and nondescript clothing. On a relatively good day, you might put on some makeup and a hint of perfume, while on others all you want is to blend into the background and it's an effort just to run a brush through your hair.
At work, a compliment from the boss during stand-up sends you to Cloud Nine for the rest of the morning---suddenly you are INVINCIBLE and everything is wonderful! You breeze through your work while offering words of encouragement to struggling co-workers....and then somebody's family member berates you for refusing to give her mom 650 mg. of Tylenol every two hours around the clock. "What kind of nurse are you?!" she demands. "My mother needs to be PAIN-FREE, don't you understand that? I don't care if it affects her liver, you give her that Tylenol right now or I'm calling Senior Services!"
You somehow end the diatribe with a polite "I'll see what I can do" while on the inside you seethe with rage, which quickly turns to fear and more than a little paranoia ("OMG, they'll report me to the BON and I'll lose my license and my family will be on the street, etc., etc."). The rest of the day goes by in a blur and you can't stay on any one task longer than a bird can stay on one telephone pole; and on the drive home you find yourself reacting with unreasonable and even inappropriate levels of hostility to other drivers who forget to signal before changing lanes.
Of course, you've thought about all this and wondered why it seems as though there's a stranger living within you. You're so blessed to have a job, blessed to have a family and a home and enough money to live on; why isn't it enough? You've talked to people; you've tried sleeping pills or benzos; you've even prayed and asked God to quiet your mind and make you grateful for what you have. And yet....nothing works for long.
Once home, you grunt a brief greeting to your family and try to act normal at dinner....whatever that is. Afterwards, you promptly bury yourself in whatever activity will isolate you until bedtime, when you once again find yourself anxious, agitated, and unable to sleep.
That's what life with mental illness is like for all too many people, myself included. The difference between nurses and the general public is that we have a large knowledge base of diseases and treatments. Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword because we tend to self-diagnose, often to our own detriment. About 11 years ago I asked my doctor for meds because I was going through a spell of depression---a condition that's recurred every few years or so since the age of 13---and he complied. Thus began an odyssey that finally led me to a psychiatrist's office recently......and ultimately to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
To say that this journey has been rocky would be the understatement of the year. When my PCP referred me for the psych eval, I was immediately offended and became defensive: "I'm not crazy, Doc, I've just had very bad mood swings for forty years!" But with meds beginning to kick in---and as the recent excellent threads here at Allnurses on this subject demonstrate---I realize that we're really only scratching the surface of a vast and costly issue.
There is something fundamentally wrong with the way mental illness is viewed not only by society at large, but even within our own ranks. Even here, we cannot agree on what constitutes a mental illness, let alone correct treatment, and there is often harsh condemnation levied against those who are too "weak"---or too lazy---to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, while the fact that many of us are barefoot when we hit bottom is forgotten in the rush to judgment.
Even when there is an indisputable diagnosis, however, the stigmatization continues. Nurses taking anxiolytics and antidepressants are routinely accused of being unable to practice safely, while frankly, I wonder if the naysayers would rather have a nurse working on them (or their loved ones) who is as unstable as the example at the beginning of this article.
As I said in one of the other threads, medications are usually the LAST resort because we're afraid of the possible repercussions of admitting to our psychiatric issues. We know that if this information were to end up in the wrong hands, it could affect not only our chances to get or keep a job, but our licenses as well, as many states require applicants to disclose conditions that could theoretically prevent one from practicing nursing safely. Who wants to go before the BON to explain their depression or BP II and be treated as if they had committed a crime?
No one, and I mean NO ONE, chooses to have mental illness, any more than they choose to have diabetes or glaucoma or osteoporosis. Society doesn't seem to have a problem with medicating people who have physical disorders; why, then, should people be denigrated for taking meds to help straighten out their brain chemistry so they can work on the problems their illness has created? Antidepressants and antipsychotics are NOT "happy pills"; they are serious medications with a lot of side effects that we wouldn't ordinarily put up with if we had any choice in the matter. But then....depression, bipolar d/o, and other mental illnesses are serious diseases too. Deadly serious, in fact.
That's why all of the long-held prejudices against healthcare professionals (and others) with psychiatric disorders need to end. Here. Now. With us. Let's spread the message far and wide that while there are many ways to treat these conditions---with AND without drugs---it is first necessary to recognize their existence. Thank you.
Have you ever tried to get the government to reimburse you for something? My family has a few government contract not related to healthcare. The federal government was notorious for paying their bills six and twelve months past due. You could call the accounts payable department and you only reached a computer where you could press 9 on your phone and leave a message. They would systematically take a 2% net 30 deduction when the bill was 6 months past due. They would deny getting services rendered and refuse to pay.
This is not the Payor I want for my healthcare. At least when I call my insurance company I can usually reach a real person on the other end. Try calling the federal government accounts payable department and see what happens.
If you can't afford to pay for it, you can't have it. That includes healthcare....all of it.
Getting the government into the healthcare business is not competition, it is socialism. Look up socialism in the dictionary if you're not familiar with the term.
I live in the United States where capitalism rules. If I want to live in a socialist country, I"ll move to France. For now, I am happy here.
If you can't afford to have a child, provide insurance for that child or feed it, then quit having sex. Harsh but true.
If you THINK you can't afford healthcare, then why not think about ditching your cell phone, cable tv, internet, eating out etc. You can afford it, you just choose not to have it.
I am a student. I have a preexisiting condition yet I have health insurance for less than $100 a month. Hmm....surprising....not really...I shopped around.
I do telephonic case management in Las Vegas for an MCO and I'm anything but bored! We are NCQA certified and are required to follow their guidelines. My case load is now in the 80's and I'm busy all day long.
I say bravo! Anyone that thinks this will drive teens to have sex, I beg if you, please do your research! In other countries that are not so uptight about their youngins knowing anything about sex, there is less teenage STD and teen pregnancy! Shielding our children from sex is counterproductive. If parents insist on staying in the dark and not taking steps to protect their children, then of course the children should be able to make those decisions for themselves. The only problem I see with it, at 12 I had no idea what HPV (or pretty much anything sex related) was. Teens need informed individuals to guide them, not make the decision for them.
Last semester, I took a Human sexuality class at school. A lot of my classmates ranged from 25-40s. I was absolutely shocked at how little some people knew about sex, STDs, protection, etc. These are people with children that have been having sex (some for 20+ years) and most were already in the medical field but going for a different/higher degree, and they did not even know the anatomy of their own genitalia. These are the same people that are against sex ed in schools.....? If you don't know it, how are you going to teach it to your kid?
Just for a little comic relief, my mom didnt know what horny meant until she was almost 30 and had 3 kids..... Wth? Lol
What do they plan on prescribing instead? Bullets to bite on?
We sometimes teach people how to treat us, and unfortunately it seems you've taught this woman how to treat you. Have you ever wondered why some people are always victimized by bullies and other people are always left alone? Yes, I said it: your unprofessional coworker sounds like a bully to me.
I have observed that bullies always target certain individuals, and at the same time, leave the other people on the unit alone. Unfortunately, it's all about perception. If you are perceived as a softy who will not stand up to the bully, you'll be targeted for further harassment. If you're perceived as someone who will put up resistance and not allow anyone to run over you, then the bully will quickly know to leave you alone because you're now viewed as too difficult of a target.
In a nutshell, bullies love easy targets. They thrive on people who will not do anything in response to the bullying. Bullies avoid harder targets and tend to steer clear of people who will openly resist being pushed around.
Bullying is a crime of opportunity. Bullies prey on the most opportune targets: people who are less likely to respond in a defensive manner to the bullying. Also, if nothing is done during the first instance of bullying, bullies will continue the rampage, because they now know they can get away with it.
Multnomah County represent! Good stuff. Multnomah County also leads on breast feeding per capita and strip clubs per capita. I wonder if there is a correlation
My guess is that it stems from the March of Dimes initiative, but I'm glad to see it whatever the motivation. There is a tremendous amount of fetal brain growth that happens between even 36 and 39 weeks. Leave 'em alone until they're fully cooked!
administrative nonsense in hospitals, such as referring to patients as "customers", only serves to fuel the fire for the "customer's" sense of entitlement.
SO... Things are more different every day than when I started nursing over ten years ago. The advances and technology I can flow with. Some other things not so well. I have worked ICU, LTAC, Med/Surg, Peds, Oncology, Float, and PACU. No matter what the area, this customer service push follows you every where!
I have always understood that the patient is your customer, and you just cant be flat out rude or nasty, however, when did it become routine every day acceptable for the patient, their wife, and their aunts third cousin to be rude, and right out nasty to the nurse?! People more and more feel like they can do or say whatever they want in the hospital. Like basic rules of courtesy do not apply if you are their healthcare professional.
My hospital had a big customer service push with classes a few years ago, which basically was all about how to lie and be fake. This is above and beyond keeping your personal troubles at home, and giving your best to your patients. I currently have two jobs, PACU (because i love it), and LTAC for the money. If there is a problem or any type of complaint no matter where you are, you are done for.
Recently in our PACU a comment card from a patient angry that he was aroused and told to breath was taken seriously and a discussion was had with the management. At what point does this junk stop? At what point does customer satisfaction overpower safety? At what point will someone understand that the impression this junk is giving nurses is that we dont matter, and if someone spits on me I should thank them for it?? HCAPS = Burnout!
I was kicked by an a & o pt last week. I had it, and politely told him i wouldnt go to where he works and kick him, and expected the same level of respect in my work environment. Did not go over well.
HCAPS and the government and the Joint stressing the satisfaction issues simply makes this worse. People making decisions about this stuff arent the ones getting screamed at, insulted, and belittled. Politely educating your patient family member who read how to flush a line on the internet and doesnt know what they are talking about will get you fried. Telling an alert pacu patient they cant scream and curse when there is a 3 yr old in the next bay will get you fried. Telling a family member in the waiting room they cant come to recovery while you are extubating their wife will get you in trouble. Following pplicy will get you in trouble as soon as someone decides to complain they dont like the policy.
Anyways, can you tell I am frustrated? I like patient education, rights, and good customer service, but how ridiculous will this continue to get? I just need to hurry up and hit the Mega Millions. . . .
Oh man, I'm so bummed. I'd hoped at least one person would have wanted to meet me! Well, the heck with you all!! I'm gonna take my stethescope and go out in the yard and eat some worms.
Well, got a date with some worms!
Mandated OT just sounds so crazy to me - they'd rather pay you OT, regularly, than just hire another nurse at normal pay?? Which in turn improves morale, reduces attrition, AND saves money?
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