RedChair, ADN 2,947 Views
Joined: May 29, '10;
Posts: 58 (33% Liked)
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I have had the privilege to be a school nurse for almost 20 years. When I write that, it kind of gives me a jolt, because it seems like yesterday when I started. I kind of stumbled into the job but in the process, I have found my passion. In the beginning, I was completely computer illiterate and never dreamed I would use my smart phone and iPad throughout the day. My first year had 15 kids on stimulant medication, today I give no daily doses as most are on long acting meds and do not need a boost at noontime. Diabetics were few and far between, today, they run circles around me with their pumps and the ability to very independently self-manage in the school setting.
But the things I have seen over the years have grounded me to my core. My interview (with 9 people) was mind boggling but touched on confidentiality - long before HIPAA was part of our everyday language. A student had died the previous year from cancer and given this is a small rural town; they wanted be sure that I understood I would be asked questions that I could not answer, a lot! I know I secretly hoped that it would never happen again but I was soon proved wrong. We have had a number of critically ill students (and subsequent deaths) in our district: cancer, progressive neuromuscular wasting diseases, psychiatric illness...the list is endless.
What I have found is that in my role, I have the ability to advocate for these kids and their families. My goal is for a student to have as much of a normal life they can, while dealing with an illness or injury that is truly life changing.
Over the course of time, there was a core group of students who were dealing with chronic illness. Some were very obvious (wheelchair bound) but some were invisible (Crohn's Disease). The guidance counselor and I started a support group that ran for a number of years until the group dynamic ran its course, due to death, students moving or graduating. These kids got together because they understood what it was like to deal with a chronic illness in school. They knew that others in the group "got it". Trust was learned and trust was earned. "Joe" who had lymphedema trusted enough to show it to the group.
"Sally", as she lay dying from a brain tumor kept a sense of humor and made us face the fact she was dying, and in doing so, taught us how to say goodbye. She kept it real. She was dying and she and her family knew, and they shared her experience with us. Each of us in the group had the opportunity (and if their parent wanted), to spend a few minutes with her. As it turned out , she cheered up the rest of group. She was not afraid to talk about being sick and was comforted by the fact her friends did not shun her.
The kids kept each other honest and had no qualms on calling each other out for statements that just did not ring true. We took some great field trips into a major city so they could experience going to that city without having to go to the Children's Hospital, where many of them had or were undergoing treatment. We met for dinner at local diners that could accommodate a wheelchair, took in a major league baseball game, and went boating. No obstacle was too great for these kids to try especially when they had much bigger issues with their health.
One of the beautiful things about these kids is that they gave back. One year they raised money for Make-A-Wish. Some had received wishes and understood how much it meant to them. Another year they met with medical students at a prestigious Ivy League medical school and told them what it was like to be different, to have to struggle just to get through the day, let alone go home and do homework. I saw medical students with tears in their eyes when they listened to the struggle "Fred" had when teachers forgot that he could not lift his hand out to pick a paper dropped on the desk due to his condition. Or when "Sarah" told them how invisible she felt with her Crohn's diagnosis, because people could not see it. In this informal setting, without the bustle of trying to get an H & P in the busy inpatient setting, the medical students were able to see the child beyond the diagnosis and hear what it was like to live with chronic disease.
The group ran its course as the natural dynamic that formed it, evolved and changed. We lost two students to death, one to relocation and the rest to graduation. I have the privilege to be in touch with some of them in their adult lives. One in particular is now enjoying a social life never experienced in high school, because of social media. The ability to type has allowed for communication with classmates and friends that never quite got past the barrier of a wheelchair while a student in school. This has also allowed another one to work on her addiction issues. I know that sounds crazy but she has learned to reach out and ask for support from some of those friends. And they are there for her, and I am privileged to be one of them, supporting her on her road to recovery.
Some of these relationships have transcended school nurse/student relationship into real friendships as they are all now in their mid 20's. The sibling of a group member (also a former student) has a child with a brain tumor. She has a supportive and loving family but has said to me "You are likea mom, without all the crap that goes into a daughter/mom relationship"! I consider that huge compliment and I watch in awe as she struggles with two kids, one very ill and still manages to have a smile and care and support her sister as well. Recently I heard from a group member that a year into her new marriage, she is buying a house and expecting her first child. That she is here today is a miracle as she had not one but two major life illnesses. Others I have lost track of but they often pop into my thoughts throughout the course of the school year.
Will a group like this run again? I do not know, but what I do know is that I am a far richer person and nurse for having been a part of it. My nursing practice has changed and evolved as well. I am blessed to have been in my role a school nurse when they were all facing these challenges with grace, dignity and courage.
Ok.....I know I'm late to the game....I am still feeling like I've been run over by a MACK truck..... Here it goes....
hershdawg Jan 19 0
People on here need to realize that when you complain on here (and for some that all those individuals do) it really dissuades us new grads from continuing into the profession. First and most obvious question, Does anyone actually like being a Nurse? I mean granted I don't think anyone loves all aspects of their job, but does it seem like a nightmare every day? Secondly, name the best part of your area and your biggest pet peeve.
This is the basis of the it's-a-slippery-slope argument, where Fear-Mongers afraid of the government taking all of your weapons away justifies ANY and all weapons being available to normal average citizens no matter how dangerous or how ridiculous!!!
not the Second Amendment, which does not protect the need for assault weapons in the hands of civilians
re not going to get away with pushing this garbage argument this time.
Assault weapons and high capacity clips are not necessary for CIVILIANS of any kind to own. There is not a single civilian that needs access to these things to hunt for sport because they are mass people killers and have no other use!
By the way, not everyone who kills people is mentally ill! So, keeping these weapons out of the hands of mentally ill will not solve the problem of preventing the next mass shooting..
his argument just kicks-the-can-down-the-road and distracts from the need to remove access of high capacity clips and assault weapons out of the hands of ALL civilians,
I continue to be shocked at the either or approach I read from many.
One thing I think is being shoved under the rug is RESPONSIBLE gun ownership. I do not want responsible gun owners to lose their ability to have guns. I don't think there is anything on the table like that. i do want them to be held accoutable for their own guns. Too many are stolen and used by criminals. Too many are left unsecured and children die from this. A mass murderer was there in Newton. Everyday children are killed by guns. Many of these guns were legit guns for the owner. They just do not care for the gun properly. I find very few excuses, try none, that a child would have access to a loaded gun. The first rule of gun ownership is to always act as if every gun is loaded until proven otherwise. A true responsible gun owner will always check a firearm. Fools think a gun would be empty. Responsible gun handlers always check even if they know it is clear. it is part of the routine of handling a gun.
Mandatory classes are needed. NRA has fantastic gun classes. I wish they actually represented their membership. I cannot see many members disagreeing with responsible gun handling. We have to start someplace.
Common ground seems like a good place to start. No one wants children killed by guns. Now find realistic solutions and stop throwing smokescreens of "pry my cold dead hands from my gun" attitude. No one that I know wants all guns gone.
I'm currently studying for the NCLEX-RN. I am using Kaplan to review which led me to some free Kaplan resources you may find helpful for nursing school.
The second book is the book Kaplan will give out in their NCLEX review class. It goes through the Kaplan test taking strategies and has content material. Note: this book is made for the current NCLEX-RN test plan. Check back on Amazon in a couple months for the book representing the new test plan. I think the new test plan goes into effect May 2013.
To access the books, you need to have a kindle or download Kindle for PC, which is free.
Here is the link to download Kindle for PC free.
Hope this helps everyone!
Associates degree at CC - $7,500
RN-BSN program on-line - $8,250
Total cost => $15,750
Done on an evening/weekend basis while working - paying out of pocket was relatively painless.
The other day, someone asked if I would recommend nursing as a career choice for him. I wasn't really sure how to answer that question. I stopped for a moment to reflect on the question, because I wanted to phrase what I was about to say without anything getting lost in translation. As I paused, it was as if a quick movie was playing inside my mind offering quick glimpses of my experience as an RN and a student. At the time, I wish I could have spent more time answering his question. I wanted to avoid the stock answer of, "if you like helping people, then go for it."
However, that is what I said.
Basically, what I wanted to say was this:
Nursing is hard, there is no way around that. First, you will start with basic science classes like Microbiology and Chemistry. As you cram for tests you will start to wonder why it is important to learn about aerobic and anaerobic organisms if you're not going to be in a lab with petri dishes. You'll wonder why it is important to learn about electrons and the periodic table, if you're not going to be playing with the elements. But you study anyway because that's what they require. Oh, and you better score better than a C+ because they will make you retake the course. But no stress though, you'll get one chance to retake the course... and be set back a whole school year.
Congratulations, you've now passed your first year of nursing school. Only now you have to take even harder courses with clinicals and labs on top of everything. Your first med-surg clinical - prepare to be overwhelmed. If you're not overwhelmed, then you're seriously advanced in your studies (or have prior experience). You don't get nervous usually -- but there you are scared out of your mind. Furious at yourself for sweating and shaking like you're talking to a pretty girl. Despite this you tell yourself not to give up yet -- you're already in too deep. So, you do what everybody else does and just try to not to screw up too badly. You act like an invincible sponge -- absorb everything you see/hear/do and let nothing pierce your armor. Old school nurses can smell incompetence and fear miles away and they will eat you alive if you let them. "I am a student, I don't know how to do this. However, if you can show me then I will promise to do better next time."
Slowly, you gain confidence with your role as a student nurse. You start to apply theory in a real life setting with real life patients. As you start to get comfortable, the end of nursing school approaches. The NCLEX is right around the corner, and while you want to party with your friends before college ends you will only be thinking about that massive life altering test that hovers on the horizon.
Congratulations again, you've passed the NCLEX and are now an official RN. You start to look for jobs but get discouraged quickly. As it turns out, many hospitals have lots of job openings -- for experienced nurses. But luckily for you, your mom knows someone who knows someone that gets you an interview. You go to the interview with your best suit on and sweat out the afternoon with the nurse manager grilling you about your character and job experiences related to nursing.
So you get the job! A couple days pass and you finally get ready for your first day. No more school scrubs for this guy, you've got your work scrubs on and official RN badge. Quickly you learn that literally nothing you did in college had prepared you for those first months on the floor. Paging doctors, doing ridiculously complicated med passes, drawing blood, placing IV's, etc etc etc.
Your first day without your preceptor you have a comfort care patient on a NRB with numerous family members at the bedside requesting your attention, but you also have a discharge pending with a patient eager to get home and a doctor that wants you to draw STAT blood on one of their patients. It seems impossible, but you soldier on and little by little you become more efficient at managing your time, the patients time and the physicians time. You've become a semi-competent nurse. At the end of the day, you come home and want to make a stiff drink. But you're too tired and haven't peed all day so you brush your teeth and go to sleep. Wake up 10 hours later and do it all again.
Does this sound like a career for you? Probably not. In fact, that doesn't seem like a great career for anybody.
What about that patient that was on the NRB, that eventually passed on your shift? You watched that patient from the time he came on your floor to the day his conservator made him comfort measures. You feel like you've known the patient for years- on first name basis with the family and their friends. They ask you what is happening, what can be done and how could this happen so fast? You offer your condolences, hold back your tears and pretend that you're strong.
A few weeks go by and you see the family member at the grocery store. She spots you, smiles and comes over to talk to you. Your eyes tear up at the memory of that shift, and you shuffle awkwardly hoping she doesn't notice. Once you meet, she says "I know I didn't say it at the time, but I just wanted to thank you for taking care of my father. I know that it was difficult having us there, but you were so strong and helpful that I don't know what we would have done without you."
In awe, you shrug and don't say much of anything. You say thanks, and that you're sorry that it had to happen. She starts to walk away, and without thinking you say, "I wish I had known him better, he was obviously a great man and better father." She tears up and moves towards the cash register.
You gather yourself, and wonder where they keep the Ramen in this maze of a store.
Or how about that time your patient has 10/10 chest pain, like an elephant sitting on his chest. You call the doctors and get the team in there. While you're going through the routine, getting nitro, aspirin, oxygen, morphine -- you completely forget that you're talking over the patient. You are ignoring the patient, a pleasant alert and oriented man from a nearby town. His roommate is beside him, also alert and oriented and watching the action. Once the chaos settles a bit, you realize the patient is talking -- not to you, the doctors or the other nurses. He is talking to his roommate about restaurants, tourism spots and pretty girls they once knew. The calming effect on the patient with chest pain is clear. He is distracted, and no longer cringing with pain that was so obviously there. For that split second you pause to watch the moment, the pure display of human kindness that was taking place. You vow to never forget that moment because in this world there is a lot of bad things, it is hard to remember when anything was ever good. When two strangers bond during a code, that is something special. And you won't see that working in a cubicle 9-5.
As you rush the patient to a higher level of care, he turns to you and thanks you. You wish him the best of luck. Even though you likely saved his life, you'll never see that man again. You check your phone, and have a text message from your friend saying he just farted and it really smells. You laugh, and think about how behind on your med pass you're going to be now.
As you get downstairs you round on your other patients, including the roommate. You pull up a seat to the bedside and look the roommate in the eye. Pat him on the back and say thanks for what you did the past hour. He looks at you confused, not sure what you're talking about. You look at him and smile, telling him that the patient upstairs said that he was so much calmer because his roommate kept talking to him. While it was not true that the chest pain guy said anything to that effect, it was an innocent lie. The patient lights up and smiles. You tell him it was a very kind thing to do, thanked him again and went on with your shift.
How about that one day you were running late. Your shift was over 30 minutes ago and you're bombing down the halls while your girlfriend is calling you asking why you're not home yet. You see a wheelchair down the long white lonesome corridor with a small girl in it. As you get closer you see that not only is she alone in the hall, but very scared. You smile, get down on one knee and introduce yourself. You ask her if she is here waiting for a test. She nods yes. You stand, go through the door to X-Ray and ask the tech when she will be seen. They tell you they're getting ready, about 15 minutes or so. Your phone vibrates in your pocket, your stomach rumbling because you haven't eaten since that poptart 12.5 hours ago and you contemplate leaving.
But you don't, instead you tell the girl it will be a few more minutes. She doesn't say anything. So, you ask her if she would like you to wait with her until she is ready for the test. She says yes please. You end up talking with the girl, who is in 5th grade, likes a boy named Brian and has a stomach ache. You make a joke about Dora the Explorer, she laughs but grabs her stomach. 15 minutes turns into 30, and she is finally wheeled in to the exam room.
Your girlfriend is furious, asks why you were so late. Too tired to explain, you say that you had to meet with your other girlfriend first.
Do you see yourself doing these things?
I do, and that is why I am a male nurse.
Note: I wrote this awhile ago and never really thought about publishing it. I started a blog and posted this. I figured that since I lurk here so often I might as well post it here as well. A lot of times I get stressed out, and read what I wrote to feel better. I am sure it is riddled with grammatical errors and awkward sentences, but I don't really care. This is more therapeutic for me than anything. I hope that some nursing student is encouraged by it.
Also, for what its worth - I'm not sure what happened to the guy with CP.
I hate to say it, but I don't think you really have any reason to file a grievance. The fact that your test was over two WEEKS late because you were "stacking copies" for your grievance is especially worrisome. You may want to reevaluate your priorities. I wish you luck.
To add: tardiness and nail polish colors are not insignificant things that you are being picked on for. You are expected to be mature and responsible and do as you're told. We are not even permitted nail polish as it's unhygienic...period. If you can't handle these rules, what's going to happen to you when you're on your own?
Sorry, being late to clinical "quite a few times" is a valid reason for your instructor to fail you just as it is a valid reason for a future boss to fire you. I've seen nurses get fired for this before. If it happens once or twice and there's a legit reason why you're late, they'll likely be understanding. "My car broke down and I'm waiting for triple A, I'll get there as soon as I can" is likely to be met with a better response than "I'm late for the 3rd week in a row but I just couldn't get out of bed." You apparently have been in clinical for a number of weeks if you've been late "quite a few times". My suggestion to you there is to wake up earlier and leave earlier. You know that you're late when you leave your house at the time you're currently leaving, so figure out what time you need to leave to get there on time. You've already failed one course for being late, why haven't you taken that into consideration and started arriving on time?
It is your personal/professional responsibility to make sure that your TB screening is completed per the requirements of the program and, in the future, per the requirements of your employer. People who did not complete this on time at my hospital job were not allowed to complete their annual review which delayed their raise. Once it was so late, there was talk of no raise and disciplinary action.
My suggestion would be to stop filing so many grievances (it sounds like the school has valid reasons for what they're doing and, no, being late "quite a few times" is not "the smallest reason") and to focus on your academics. "My test is late because I was filing a grievance against the professor for failing me because I never showed up to clinical on time" is not going to go over well. The school likely has policies on late assignments and clinical arrival times. It's also not an excuse that a test was 2 weeks late because you were "busy writing papers". There's a LOT of work in nursing school, you need to learn time management. You need it in nursing school and you especially need it in real life nursing.
Moved to General Nursing Student Forum, as more appropriate forum for this discussion
I don't mean to sound harsh, you are in nursing school, that is voluntary. To me being a responsible person is more important than being nurse. I think credit is given to easy and too many people abuse the system and we all pay. I would pay off your debit before you occur more debt ( unless you are on scholarship). I survived cancer, I ran up my credit cards, my husband and I work two jobs for a few years to clear the debt, I didn't return to school until I was out of debt.
Perhaps you will get a job, but think of the bigger picture personal responsibility. The US is partially in this big financial mess since people took out mortgages who didn't have the financial means and walked away from their responsibility. I know of one person working on temp visa, got a mortgage on a McMansion only to proudly give the keys back to the bank when the visa expired. This is wrong when ALL have to pay for others responsibility. I do understand there are situations out of one's control ( death or illness) where bankruptcy is needed, but from the postings here I see way to many not take personal responsibility.
I can see this person is not the nurse you want to be in clinicals with. Too bad you have such a bad attitude and feel that we students are taking up more of your time and think we are problem children. I hope to never be in your patient room :/ So much for "supporting other fellow nursing students" !! DISLIKE
I know a lot of people that work "regular" jobs and have very nice homes, nice cars, and is always on vacation somewhere. While, I'm working hard (just earned my BSN, btw) to pay back loans and I remain driving the same car that I had prior to recieving my ADN. I have to budget very carefully. But, deep inside I want to treat myself to something nice. Going to school was suppose to afford me some type of comfort. Don't get me wrong I am very thankful for my job. It's just that this morning I saw a friend that works in a factory had gotten a new car, which happens to be a car that I want but can't afford.
I worked at a nonunion factory owned by a Fortune 500 company for three years (2001 to 2004) when I was in my early twenties. I was started at an entry-level wage that was on par with what LPNs earn in many states to help operate and maintain high-speed manufacturing equipment. My coworkers who had been there for many years were earning $30+ hourly, had free health and dental insurance, enjoyed retirement accounts that were partially funded by the company's profit sharing program, and other goodies. None of us had any education beyond high school.
However, on-the-job training can, in certain instances, substitute for educational requirements. No one could be hired one day and proficiently operate the machinery the next day. It took many years for my coworkers to master and perfect their trade. None of us could walk into the factory and soak up their fund of knowledge overnight. And, the be perfectly honest, I never was able to become proficient at operating or maintaining the machinery, even after 3+ years of employment at the factory. It takes a mechanically-inclined person to do what they do.
I certainly agree that nurses are underpaid and definitely need to earn more money. However, I also feel that manual labor is disrespected too often in society. Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. Moreover, not everyone is cut out to be a plumber, welder, machinist, solderer, or mechanic.
Etiology is the cause of the disease
Pathophysiology is how the disease affects the body
Now you can research the cause of dengue fever and how it affects the body and write about the differences! Try google or your text book.
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