Latest Comments by MissHaleyDawn

MissHaleyDawn, BSN, RN 3,170 Views

Joined: Jun 24, '10; Posts: 88 (27% Liked) ; Likes: 34
Staff Nurse; from US
Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Nephrology, Oncology

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  • 1
    Rodo4141 likes this.

    Why did you choose nursing?
    My mother passed when I was 15, I watched my father struggle with pancreatic cancer from the time I was 17 until he passed away when I was 19. I was inspired by the wonderful care provided to my parents.

    What school did you attend for nursing and did you find it challenging?
    I went to a private nursing school, won't put the name here due to privacy. It was challenging and I would honestly never do it again. LOL. I feel like a missed out on the college experience by choosing nursing. I have fond memories when I actually had time to hang out with friends, but those times were few and far between. My psychology and drama major friends probably had x100 more fun college times than I did because I lived at the library, skills lab, and clinical for a majority of my time.

    What high school or college course did you find most beneficial or helpful for nursing?
    I took a healthcare career path/track while in HS. You're school may be different or similar. Basically I was able to obtain my CNA while in HS, on HS time. It enabled me to start work as a tech and get my feet wet.

    How long did it take you to become a nurse?
    My university is an oddball. They still have an ADN course for nursing, as well as BSN all the way up to PhD now. I chose the ADN program because it got me to my degree and license faster and was cheaper. While working as an ADN nurse, I enrolled in my school's online RN-BSN program and got that with a 1-year bridge course. Overall I saved close to $30,000 taking this route to BSN.

    In what type of environment do you work in?
    I'm a floor nurse for a hospital in my city. I work primarily oncology and end-of-life care, but also do med-surg.

    What is your favorite part of nursing?
    I enjoy my patients, I love oncology and oddly enough I find great satisfaction in providing the dying patients with good deaths. I've seen some bad ones, they aren't pretty and they are heartbreaking. But something about coming in to shift with a very restless dying patient and grinding out a few hours to get them settled and peaceful and them being able to pass quietly is just satisfying to me.

    What does a regular day look like for a nurse?
    Chaotic. Morning medication pass is the worse part of my day usually. It's very hectic. Between doctors and other disciplines calling you (PT, OT, Speech, different departments sending for tests, etc), family members either coming to desk to ask questions for for things, family calling the unit to ask questions and trying to pass meds to 5-6 patients (my record is 30 pills to one patient!)...I sometimes just want to pull my hair out.

    Is your schedule flexible as a nurse?
    Yes and no. We pick our own shifts, but most times it feels like a rat race. So many weekends and holidays must be picked up depending on your work status (full vs part time). I'm not joking when I say I see my co-workers more than I see my own family.

    What is your biggest challenge of being a nurse?
    Being at odds with managements expectations and the reality of what can feasibly be accomplished within a 12 hour time period with patient load we are expected to manage. I am actually considering going back to school and exploring other career options because in my area it doesn't seem like anywhere has reasonable expectations and I am getting burned out on it, my mental health is more important and I cannot see myself working like this for another 30 years.

    Does nursing provide the time to balance work and a personal life?
    Yes and no. I love working 3 days a week, but at the same time I am home a lone a lot. My husband works 5 nights a week and is also a night shift worker, so I'm left to my own devices a lot. We're expecting our first child, so I will be exploring other options for our growing family.

    Any words of advice?

    Think long and hard about what you are committing yourself to. Nursing can be wonderful, but there are a lot of downsides to it as well. Find a specialty you enjoy, you will be dead inside working an area you do not like. If you are in an area where there are multiple job opportunities don't be afraid to explore them. Find an employer who will listen to your concerns and not brush you off, a place you feel appreciated. Where I am there are not many different places/employers to switch to without having to commute a ridiculous amount of miles or compromise pay severely, so I have burned out pretty quickly.

  • 1
    Lil Nel likes this.

    I'm in the same boat. I've been a nurse for 4 years. While I do like the nursing aspects of things, I did not sign up for all the drama between management and pettiness of staff and favoritism. This isn't high school, yet everyone sure acts like it. I've worked in a nursing home as an aide during school, and have been at 2 different hospitals in 4 years. Was the same everywhere; toxic, not feeling appreciated or heard, trying my best but still not good enough for some people...just a body to fill the payroll. It makes me sad, because when we are properly staffed, management isn't on a power trip, and no one is squabbling or ******** about someone on the's a very enjoyably day and I enjoy my patients. But most days I just feel like the life is being sucked out of me.

    I've considered going back to school for a masters of nursing in management or education. I do like to teach. Students actually brighten my day because then I'm distracted from everything else for a few hours, but pay would be a concern for me. Management I feel like I would be good at, but again pay concerns (salary vs hourly with OT options) and I have a fear I'd eventually turn in to the machine I feel like I'm at odds with everyday. I've also considered just going back for an MBA, but have no idea what area of business I would even want to venture into.

  • 0


    I've been out of school for 4 years now but I remember nursing school so clearly.

    For the first day we didn't have any lectures, just going through mounds of paperwork, getting know the expectations of the course, and doing introductions as many in the class didn't know anyone. Pay super close attention to your syllabus and stay on top of your reading! We had an exam every Friday. We typically covered anywhere from 3 to 5 chapters. These chapters can get bulky so don't procrastinate!

    I also highly recommend voice-recording your lectures! My iPhone had a voice record function. Just turned it on and set my phone on the corner of my table. There's so much being covered in one session that you will miss some notes as the professor keeps pushing onward to cover everything. I'm excellent at shorthand note-taking and listening through lectures again I'd still find things here or there I managed to miss just from the sheer bulk of material. While everything is in the book, the lecture helps bring everything together and reinforce or clarify concepts I'd been reading ahead of time for class.

    Find a study group or at least a study buddy! I didn't mesh well with groups, too much distraction. But I don't think I would have made it without a friend to study with and encourage one another through school.

  • 0

    I understand that it would be less stressful having an employee committed to that 4th shift but being able to call them off.

    Two things stick out to me though, even though I'd personally never want to work 4 shifts in the same week on a regular basis I know some would. Since you're hired for 84 hours there will probably come a stink of people getting mad and quitting if it becomes habit of being called off frequently. Two, I'm a newer nurse (only 4 years) so my pay grade isn't as high as some of the more experienced nurses. With the standard bonuses they've been paying out for extra shifts even at my pay grade the bonus comes out cheaper than having to pay me OT for 8 hours. Getting a nurse for 12 hours at a cheaper price versus 8 is simple math to me.

  • 0

    So my hospital is starting something that sounds very strange to me. Every so often I look at the jobs page of my hospital because why not? Full time hours used to list 72 hours in the job details (we are paid bi-weekly, so 3 shifts x 12 hours x 2 weeks = 72 hours). That makes sense to me.

    Here lately all full time job listings are for 82 hours. I asked my manager what that was all about and apparently every new hire will now be required to work 3 shifts one week and 4 shifts the second week. All current employees won't have to do that, we're "grandfathered in" unless we decide to take on the additional 12 hours as part of our work commitments.

    This just doesn't make any sense to me, especially financially as every two weeks an employee would be earning 8 hours overtime pay. Are any other hospitals doing this?

  • 3
    canigraduate, Sisyphus, and Fiona59 like this.

    For me I am burntout due to staffing issues and general lack of support from administration. Those two things are a recipe for disaster no matter what field you're in. It's a vicious cycle that just feeds itself.

    Plain and simple, I'm tired. I've only been a nurse for 4 years and desperately want OUT of healthcare at all costs. I should not be tired after only 4 years. I'm still just beginning to grow and mature as a nurse but already I'm wanting and willing to throw in the towel at the first glimpse of a opportunity to do so.

  • 0

    When I was 15 my mom became very ill very suddenly without president or a cardiac history. She died within a week of being admitted to a cardiac intensive care unit. She was in such unstable condition that she required a nurse dedicated to her 24 hours a day to monitor and maintain the ecmo machine she was on.

    When I was 16 my father was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. I watched him go through chemo and radiation in a desperate bid to put him in remission. He went into remission for a few years, but it came back with vengeance around the time I was heading to college. Ultimately daddy stroked and passed away two days after being admitted to Hospice after transferring there directly from the hospital. I was 19 when he died and was accepted into nursing school not too long after. Again, wonderful nursing care - from office visits, to outpatient chemo, to the hospital, and especially from Hospice.

    No doubt in my mind this is what I'm meant for. You don't go through that sort of emotional pain without a reason. I'm 22 and a new nurse of 1 year now. I work on an oncology and nephrology floor. Sympathy is good, but I feel I'm able to empathize with patients/families better because of what I've personally been through.

    Nursing is basically tangled into my life, and I owe my parents nurses for giving me a drive to become one of them - at 15, I could've taken a very bad direction in my life due to my mother passing. My dad getting sick just further enforced my resolve. I chose to enter a field where I could give back the same gift that was given to me on a daily basis: whether it's a shoulder to cry on, ear to listen, or just quietly be in the room with them.

    I love my job, I love nursing. (:

  • 1
    BSNbeauty likes this.

    I need a little support. I'm a fairly new nurse, just under a year and I made my first error on my shift last night.

    At my hospital, the nurses aide will collect vital signs and blood glucose values. The glucose meters are supposed to dock and download the results to our computers in just a few minutes. But it's common that these meters take hours to transfer night I had results pop up from two shifts prior! So the nurses often times rely on the BS value the aide has written down.

    This is what I did, as my aide had docked her meter and the results were taking a while to download. She had written down a value of 277 and per the patients scale I covered him with 8 units. About an hour and a half later the BS results post to my computer...the value didn't look right so I pulled up my administration record and my heart sunk. I'd basically double dosed my patient - his BS had been 177 and the scale called for 4 units.

    The patient was and had been asymptomatic for hypoglycemia since the med administration. I called the MD anyway; he didn't seem too concerned and was very nice about it. Just told me to watch the patient and give him an Ensure for good measure. Around the peak time of the insulin I rechecked the value and it was 188.

    I filed an incident report as soon as I realized I made an error. I'm just so worried I'll be seriously reprimanded for the error. I admit and own up to my error...but at the same time I can't help but feel that our computer system is the true weak link in the system for preventing this type of med error. Up until the system updated, I had done my job correctly with the information I had. I did what I was supposed to do to monitor the patient for adverse effects and filed a report. Just hoping the administration sees the honesty and integrity of my incident filing. ): It's made worse because I'm a perfectionist; it's a kick to my pride that all my checking and rechecking didn't and couldn't do squat simply because I had the wrong numbers.

  • 0

    Adding to what another poster said about the type of meds a patient will be on depending in valve type, I imagine that info would come in handy if a patient was ever ordered an MRI?

    I had a patient once ordered an MRI but the doc didn't realize she had this esophageal stimulator thing.

    Keep your head up, though. I'm a new grad too; my preceptor before orientation was over told me something that I tell myself before every shift: it's called practicing nursing for a reason. The more you learn, yeah? We're in a huge learning curve. This nurse just taught you something but in a less-than-preferred way.

  • 3

    Sounds like you work with a bunch of class-A buttholes. While some gossip I would expect (it's human nature to just talk/people to run their mouths), what you're having to deal with is ridiculous. Did you voice what happened during your orientation period about your preceptor with your manager? That concerns me about their integrity as a person. If someone can knowingly lead someone astray and then report to management something they advised, to me that's lying and a quick cover-up; I'd be curious to know if this nurse covers up mistakes a lot.

    You've been there a year...have you asked about doing an in-house job transfer to a different unit?


  • 1
    CrufflerJJ likes this.

    Thank you all for your replies! I was so hyped up from that shift, my mind was going in circles.

    I'm on call tonight, and bummed. Worried I won't get enough clinical experience being hired part-time, and now on call for my second night to boot.

  • 0

    I survived, somehow. I had 5 patients (D/c'd one but picked up another right after). For a while I thought I was doing really well...2000 & 2100 meds were all passed on time, patients were settled in, I had three of five chart checks done and was sitting down to grab the last two so no unexpected orders would hit me later on the shift. Then all hell broke loose.

    Ivacs constantly beeping. Pt's constantly on call bells, never happy. One kept complaining of pain but wouldn't take pain medication or even let me reposition her in bed! New orders upon new orders for the new admit; lots of timed labs based on med admins. No secretary for the shift to help with that. Antibiotic administration hell...I think I hanged 10 antibiotics this shift, but at least they were on time. In the hussle I didn't notice the new admit needed cardi monitoring until the end of shift...but I did get it on her and up on the screen before I left.

    I think what bothers me the most is a catherter I had to insert. The insertion went great. Pt was draining clear, yellow urine when I left the room. An hour later it's blood tinged. The patient was confused, so I don't know if she was tugging at it? But now that I'm home I'm sitting here knit-picking on how I put the catheter in wondering if maybe I caused the bleeding somehow when I know it's not likely...but I just feel awful that it happened and on my first night of all shifts. I was so worried about it during the shift I asked my charge nurse to look at...she reassured me it was probably nothing...that people sometimes bleed with an insertion and she very may well be messing with it to keep draining blood tinged urine. I felt so stupid after I made her come all the way in there just to tell me not to worry...

    Sitting here running the shift through my mind I keep stalking the clock. I keep waiting for a phone call from my manager to lecture me about a mistake I made without even knowing or about how slow my charting was for the shift.

    Sorry for the long post. Just needed to vent!! Any tips to keep this hurricane from happening again...I thought I went in fairly organized, apparently not!!

  • 0

    Hi all!

    I recently graduated this past May, passed boards in June. I'm still orienting at the hospital I'm on (it's actually a new grad residency program for 12 weeks). All the new hires were sent a list from our managers about open positions. The floor I'm orienting on (oncology/nephrology) only had a part-time job posting available (2 shifts a week).

    I'm wondering if I made the right choice by picking not only a part-time position, but one on a specialty floor as well? There were three other full time positions available on a med/surg unit.

    Do you think I'll get enough experience in regards to the learning curve for a new grad being with oncology/nephrology patients opposed to working on a med/surg floor my first year? I'm hoping a full time position will come up for this area soon; I really like the floor. Or do you think I should call my manager back and ask to take up the FT position on the med/surg unit instead?

  • 0

    Hi all! I think this is in the correct forum?

    I graduated this May 2012 and passed boards at the end of June. Before taking boards I had been extended a job offer for a new RN grad position at an area hospital. I'll be cross trained between an adult health med/surg floor and a combination oncology/nephrology floor.

    I start orientation next week...slightly nervous. I'll have a mentor for a couple of weeks, but that kind of makes me more nervous lol. Any tips/words of wisdom for the first year of practice after school?

  • 0

    I didn't use the decision tree religiously. Rather, I developed my own style from it.

    The tree is meant to get you in the habit of looking at first the question systematically, and then each answer (one by one) systematically. I first figure out what the question wants (is this an assessment or an implementation question? If its assessment, then I first consider assessment answers first. BUT it must make sense. If someone is hemorrhaging, obviously assessing a pulse isn't needed. I need an immediate implementation. KEEP THE PT ALIVE above all else! Lol)

    The way I read through answers is I read it and if I like it, I hold onto it. But if I go to the next answer and it's a better answer/takes priority over that last answer (and makes sense) then the previous answer is gone. I pay no more heed to to it, like it doesn't exist.

    The problem I had in school is that I considered all the answers and then would end up fabricating stories in my head as to why an answer could be A, B, C, or D. Take answers at face value; don't give details to them and don't take away/treat an answer lightly. Once you eliminated an answer, don't even look back at it or you'll start second guessing yourself.

    The Tree does work, but it won't lead you by the hand to an answer. More...take the 'spirit' of the Tree with you to the testing center and use it as a guide to being a good test taker. You have the knowledge, you passed school - its all in being able to answer a different kind of question than what you've gotten used to answering in school.

    Best of luck!!