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  1. Possum_RN

    What in hades.

    Sounds like a magnificent place to die. Do you also carry name-brand soda?
  2. Possum_RN

    Struggling new grad in need of advice

    well, I'm not a 'seasoned' nurse by any means. But a few thoughts: As a new grad, it's best (if at all possible) to stick around for that first year. From what you say here, it sounds like you are about where a new nurse is expected to be: struggling, but learning. Is it possible to transfer to another unit? Another unit within the same company can offer some 'damage control' for your resume. I would do my very best to keep in touch with those nurses you have built relationships with - just drop them a line on social media every so often. Keep your ears open, network and see who has some insights into good places - maybe even some connections to land you a spot! Especially with maternity leave as an option... well, it does not seem like the best time to quit. Then again, mental health is invaluable, and you have to do what is best for you. Best of luck!
  3. Possum_RN

    Away from Bedside 4 1/2 years

    Here's the brochure - http://careers.mission-health.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/05/NURS25-reSTART-brochure_V6.pdf
  4. Possum_RN

    Away from Bedside 4 1/2 years

    Well, I'm a brand-spanking-new nurse. As I was browsing for new-grad positions, I saw a posting at one of the hospitals that intrigued me: apparently, they have a whole training program for experienced RN's that have never worked in acute care, or who have worked acute previously but worked in subacute for over three years. I thought that was pretty cool!
  5. Possum_RN

    I feel like a complete moron

    Ahhh, I remember my first day of CNA clinicals like it was yesterday. I had a resident ask me to help them to the BSC. I got gloves, pulled out the BSC, and the world titled on it's axis because I had the epiphany that "I literally just introduced myself to this human being, and I'm about to stand here while they defecate and then wipe their butt for them. I will then take the bucket of feces, inspect it, and flush it myself". Healthcare is bizzare, man! Things become common as you gain experience, but the fact of the matter is, when you've never been exposed to something it's perfectly acceptable to have no idea what to do - tubes and containers putting stuff in, taking stuff out, measurement devices, charting systems....it's a lot to learn! Ah, I could give you a list of all the stupid things I've done as a CNA/ nursing student / nurse, but it would be a loooong list. Have yourself a chuckle at this experience, learn from it, and forgive yourself. In the future, if you're not sure how to empty or change a device, just ask.
  6. Possum_RN

    Tattoos in the workplace

    "covered as much as possible" seems like kind of a flimsy policy to me: lots of wiggle room there. Maybe you should cover your tat with a transparent dressing and see what they say? Maybe TWO transparent dressings! I'm nearly 30 - I'm trying to figure out what to get as my first tattoo for my 30th birthday. I'm ALWAYS cold, so covering up my arms is a non-issue for me. Probably as many coworkers have seen my upper arms as have seen my thighs - that is to say, none.
  7. Possum_RN

    Having a hard time with hospice

    Oh, my goodness....I'm SO sorry you had this experience. Thank you for sharing though: I'm a new hospice RN, and hearing about experiences like this is helpful to me. I would DEFFINATELY speak to the manager, and go up the chain as far as I needed to - pmabraham's suggestions on what to focus on are spot on. It's terrible to me that you've been so soured on Hospice care. I've been so impressed with my employer and the competent, compassionate care I've seen provided...it does not strike me as a cash-grab at all, and I'm very proud of what we do. Recently, I had a patient whose scheduled Morphine and Ativan were no longer adequately controlling his symptoms. We exhausted his PRN doses too. The nurse who was training me explained that I needed to call the in-house doctor to adjust doses, and I was told "he might seem short if you call him at 3am, but do it anyways....you won't see him actually ANGRY unless he hears you let a patient suffer without advocating for them. Don't ever let that happen".
  8. Possum_RN

    Rant. Questions are killing me!

    Yeah, as soon as I saw C, I was like "thats it!", but not because I would actually do that in real life....only because I just passed nursing school and know how to answer nursing questions. Answering nursing-school-questions is just one of those skills you have to pick up to survive, as frustrating as it is. As others have pointed out, C is the closest to an assessment/ data-gathering response. I had a question in OB/Peds that still haunts me to this day. The gist of it was that a mother and neonate arrive to the small regional hospital where you work via ambulance, the baby was born in transit. Upon assessment, the nurse realizes that the neonate has "multiple congenital abnormalities". What do you do? According to my program director (who wrote the question, despite teaching not a single class at that point in the program), you separate the mother and infant; admit the mother, send the baby to the closest large hospital with a NICU. I answered that you admit the mother and neonate....my reasoning being that the baby needed to be properly assessed before transport anyways...what were the "congenital abnormalities" anyways? I assumed we HAD a NICU...the "small regional hospital" where I actually worked in real life had one, after all. But apparently I was to assume (for once) that this was not perfect-nursing-world. Bear in mind we did not learn anything about pre-transfer stabilization and preparation until two semesters later in Med/Surg II...... Anyways, I mean to convey my total empathy for dealing with terribly-written nursing questions. I'll be muttering angrily about that neonate and mother in the ambulance when I'm in the nursing home one day
  9. Possum_RN

    How do you feel about B's?

    Just another lil' insight: I studied with and was very close to the valedictorian in my class. I made C's, she made A's with a B or two. I had lunch with her last week - turns out, we're making the same exact base pay! I'm SURE it looked good on her resumes and was commented on in her letters of recommendation... Certainly, having A averages when finals came around would have reduced my stress level at end-of-semester. But, at the end of the day, we're all doing all right!
  10. Possum_RN

    New Grad RN: Struggling With Finding a Job

    Man....this is so bizarre to me! I am a new RN (also graduated in May), and I applied to four places. I got offered positions at two, and then after I'd accepted the second, got call backs from the other two for interviews! I did not have many shiny accolades or accomplishments to pad my resume - but I did have a stable job history as a CNA. However, I live in the rural South. Networking with classmates and other links you made in your program may be of help - but is it at all possible to move temporarily out of the city, into a more rural area close by? You might want to change your focus from simply churning out sheer amounts of applications, to re-connecting with old contacts and targeting locations where you know someone and asking them to put in a good word for you. At least in my area, referral bonuses are common. I knew someone at the company where I now work, and they were VERY eager to put in a good word, since it'll put some money in their pocket once I've been there a year. If not, you may need to refocus your energy into relocation - I know it's not ideal, but it's better than working full-time job-hunting with nothing to show for it. Best of luck!
  11. Possum_RN

    follow up after PRN meds

    Are there other med aides, or a nurse you trust, or (better yet) a policy manual you can consult? I know as a nurse at my facility, its insufficient to say "the patient reports feeling better" for a PRN pain med - there has to be a before/after numerical pain assessment, either the 1-10 patient-reported one, or a FLACC score (if, say, they are asleep when you re-assess, or are non-verbal). For a PRN anxiety med, for example, they will accept a patient's report, or an entry like "PRN anxiolytic medication effective, as evidenced by decreased muscular rigidity and return of deep, unlabored breaths". These strike me as very "nurse-y" assessments. But I have not worked with med aides since I was a CNAI, so I'm unfamiliar with their scope of practice. Best to consult someone familiar with your facilities policies.
  12. Possum_RN

    Hospital gear: scrubs, compression socks, shoes, etc

    My favorite brand of scrubs is Dickies, because they last FOREVER - very good stitching. I also like Purple Label by Healing Hands, just for the fit (I'm 5'1, 115 lbs, so most scrubs hang on me and drag the floor). I love my Klogs shoes. I also wear Merrell Jungle Moc's . -very light with good support. But these things will very much be up to personal preference - going to your local uniform store and trying on some different things (even if you later order them online) will be most helpful. I order compression hose from Amazon - SB sox are pricy, but mine have lasted for years without loosing their compression. I loveee them! I have the Littmann Lightweight II S.E. stethoscope - it runs about $60. It works very well for general nursing assessments. I've tested it against other brands, and it picks up more sounds than the cheaper ones I've tried....though most any cheapo-stethoscope will do for a BP or simple auscultation.
  13. Possum_RN

    CNA termination

    I'm sorry that you had this experience, I know it's frustrating. While I agree with other commenters that, as a 'fresh' CNA, it was probably not advisable to comment on the quality of experienced staff's work... I've seen bad facilities too (as a CNA). I know it's really distressing. It's great to be a patient advocate, but reacting in anger and being confrontational rarely changes another's behavior. On one hand, the last time I performed, say, a bed-to-chair one-person assist CNA-school-correct, was probably about one week after I got my first job. On the other hand, I insisted on doing Hoyer lifts with a spotter, pretty much verbatim like school taught me. The LTC facility I worked at had the staffing ratio to allow me this, although I gained a reputation as a "slow" worker. As a nurse, there are short-cuts I do as well, but for instance, I WILL NOT draw up two different patient's meds at the same time - a common short-cut you will see some nurses doing. The fact is that some short-cuts are necessary, but you HAVE to use critical reasoning skills to assess the risks. Have you considered going into hospice? I now work on an in-patient hospice unit. Usually it's one nurse and one CNA per 5 residents. This week, we had 4 patients in the facility. Because of the acuity of the patients, we had a nurse and a CNA per two patient's - technically, they could have sent one CNA and one nurse home, but they really do their best to allow you to focus on compassionate care for each patient you will be assigned. In your example of the patient who was roughly turned with a hip fracture....that breaks my heart. If it were my patient, I'd have directed the CNA's to wait to change them until I had given them their pain meds (I have the full blessing to call the Hospice Physician if I need to order a one-time dose of pain meds if they have nothing available). Then I probably would have had the time to go in with them, and help them stabilize the fractured extremity while we turned them (never completely to that side). I'm not saying it still would not have hurt, but we support one another and the patient! Different fields of nursing and even different facilities within the same field have different cultures of care. I hope this frustrating experience has at least been one you can learn from. Home care, Hospice, and private LTC's tend to have more focus on the patient as an individual, if that's what you're looking for. I'm sure there are other opportunities as well. Best of luck!
  14. Possum_RN


    Let me start out by saying that I recognize you from around the forum. I always read your responses when I see your avatar and generally agree with you - I admire your attitude. However (Ah, forgive me!), you concede that a mentally ill patient will need lots of attention, and will potentially need pharmacological interventions to de-escalate. I really responded to the OP, because, in the population of my local hospital's med/surg unit (where I was a CNA), we dealt with A LOT of drug addiction - diagnosed and un-diagnosed in patients, lots of patient's visitors, etc. Twice, I had tables kicked into me. Once, I was bodily cornered and threatened in a patient's room. I was groped too many times to count. Hearing comments like yours.....well, it is hurtful, though I KNOW that you do not intend it as such. I took the Crisis Prevention Intervention classes every year. I did (and do) pride myself on my interpersonal communication: I had many patients I was told were difficult, who I got along great with. I did the online learning multiple times. I know Im not supposed to let myself get cornered in a room, I know what they taught me about "When you...Then we can..." statements, etc. But, when we were trying to monitor and respond to a full load of patient's physiological conditions....it's really hard to keep up with the large subset that also needs EXTENSIVE psychological support as well. Being frustrated with the lack of support and overwhelming need is OKAY. I've left med-surg, but I just saw a facebook post from the sweetest nurse I knew there - broken ribs, from a patient. The danger is REAL, and being told that we simply are not doing our jobs properly is very hurtful. We all know that certain responses have a better chance of de-escalating situations. We all know Nurse Ratchett is out there... but can we also agree that something is truly rotten in the state of healthcare, when nurses are the victims of so much violence and abuse (both mental and physical), and are so poorly supported?
  15. Possum_RN

    How do you feel about B's?

    "C's make degrees!" Even doctors have an equivalent saying: "C=M.D." one of my friends has a T-shirt that says "75% - that means I know 3 out of 4 diseases, so the odds are good!" I was always a solid A student. Squeaked though nursing with C's, but I was also dealing with some routine life crises, as one does. And 40% of the class I began Nursing 101 with failed out before the end, so.....I just can't hate myself for that. As long as you are retaining information, don't get too caught up in your letter grades. Aim high, but forgive yourself (and others), if you don't attain your normal.
  16. Possum_RN

    Student Charge Nurse out of line

    So true, So true. At first the drama is like a small potted plant you can set aside on a window sill, the next thing you know.... [ATTACH=CONFIG]27522[/ATTACH]
  17. Possum_RN

    Can I please get a Parking Spot!

    Interesting! I worked as a CNA at a regional hospital in the deep South. I parked with the nurses, on a designated floor of the the parking deck for night shift staff - cameras and lights for our safety. We did have to leave the parking deck by 9am - day shift parked around the side of the building, with a slightly longer walk to the door....but nothing an able-bodied worker could not handle. My car was in the deck a few times "after hours", like when I met my study group at the hospital during the day, and I never got a ticket. They were pretty lenient, from what I could see: I'm sure if there was a public event or something I might have gotten a ticket, but it was not ever a problem for me. From what I understood, the parking was included - the decal came with your badge. No itemized fee, in any case. Hats off to all you urban nurses! The hoops you have to jump though blow my mind!
  18. Possum_RN

    What kind of nurse are you?

    Hey, me too! I love it: I worked as a CNA on med/surg at my local hospital, and decided it was not for me: I loved my co-workers and admired their work ethic and team-mindset, their grace under fire....but it didn't call to me. I like taking time to talk to people and understand their challenges. I like the clear focus on the patient as an individual. I like providing comfort, and the many ways that can happen. I love what I do, and love that there are so many 'flavors' of nursing out there!
  19. Welcome to the nursing world! I obtained my ADN last May, so the needs of the program are still very fresh in my mind. My best piece of advice is to always keep your cool. As Accolay alluded to, many instructors can be 'crabby', to put it mildly. In clinicals, for example, maybe you're taking 5 min at a computer to look up the lab values/new orders/ test results for your patients, because you just finished your rounds and know you have to give a full SBAR report on them before you can go to lunch....the instructor comes by and loudly chides you in the hallway for sitting around when you should be doing patient care. You give them your reasoning, but they don't want to hear it, so you log out of the computer, go find something hands-on to do with the patient...and then you get a second tongue-lashing for being unprepared to give SBAR later! Keep your cool. Be professional. Sometimes it feels like they WANT to see you fail, or like they are doing everything in their power to break you. I saw so many students crack and run off at the mouth because they could not keep their cool and got overwhelmed... and for whatever reason, they didn't make it though the program. You have your reasons for doing what you do, and so do they. Like not.done.yet said, they feel the pressure of preparing you for an independent nursing role in a limited amount of time, and they also feel the stress of keeping in the clinical site's good graces....they will be HARD on you. I always found it helpful to "debrief" later, off the floor - either during lunch, in their office the next day, or asking them to meet with you quickly after clinicals: don't complain, ask pertinent questions like "My understanding is that you were upset I took too long looking up lab values for this patient. Is there an easier and quicker way to obtain this information you could help me with?" Sometimes I got short, sharp replies, most times I got helpful answers, and rarely, I got an apology for misunderstandings. But I always showed a willingness to communicate professionally and self-improve. My room mate is going though the "semester from hell" in our local program. I reminded her that at the end of it all, when you pass the class, when you pass the NCLEX....you will then likely need to ask your clinical instructors for one last favor - job references. Sometimes you'll ask them for a letter of recommendation, sometimes to fill out an emailed survey from your prospective employer, maybe just a phone call.....but you will be asking them for a BIG favor: they are your friends, even when it does NOT feel like it As far as the classes themselves, my advice is roughly the same: keep your cool, come prepared, organize your time to make room for study. Don't get discouraged if you don't make the grade you want: turn to your instructors for help - most might seem like battle axes, but they are happy to help a student who asks! You seem like a mature person who has a lot of personal experience with professional communication to draw on - you got this!
  20. Possum_RN


    To those who feel that the OP and supporters are "bad nurses"... I always think of Maslow's hierarchy of needs: on many floors and fields, we have to provide basic physiological care and safety before we can address inadequate coping mechanisms and psychosocial needs. Some patients need our attention for immediate safety needs. These come first, and sometimes because of the roll of the dice, we deal with several at a time, and they are not resolved quickly - resources (time, staff, emotional energy, caloric intake) run thin. And yes, some patients need their pillows adjusted because they can't raise their arms: we need the time to do this....not adjust pillows for the patient who just wants attention. Some patients are acting out for attention because they have underlying stressors and inadequate coping mechanisms: we need the time to assess and deal with this...and so on. A violent patient who is dead-set on finding a punching bag, a patient who wants a personal assistant and is disrupting critical care on another patient, a demanding family member who is coping with loss of control by trying to forcibly take it back....all of these things further complicate our job. Do they have valid needs too? Sure, but it's not always what they're asking for. It's OK to express frustration with that. To dismiss it with "get out of nursing" or "simply re-read my response X number of pages ago where I told you to make better eye contact".... well. I question y'alls cool heads in difficult, high-stress situations if you can't even read these responses without belittling the HUMANS behind the posts.
  21. Possum_RN


    Even factoring out the whole moral issue of being a jerk to someone who is just doing their job... I would, from a completely selfish standpoint, never mess with anyone handing my food/drinks/meds. I would never mess with anyone I depended on to bathe/evaluate/ resuscitate me etc. I just don't get it. Emotions run high with stress, and I try to remember how stressed patients are...but threats and assaults should never be tolerated. Behaviors that impede the care of of other patients should not be tolerated. There needs to be protocols to address these things swiftly....the fact that we are not backed up on this is insane.
  22. Possum_RN

    Reportable BRN incidents

    Goodness....I'm so sorry, I know you must be stressed and want words of comfort right now. But you must realize that your actions looks like textbook drug diversion? The documentation you provided, you admitted was false, so there is no record of where that substance went - to the patient, to you, to your grandma, to your fellow nurse's grandma.... Lawyer up. Diversion of a controlled drug is most certainly a reportable offense. And next time....just fill out the freaking incident report! The side-eye/ note on your annual eval/ verbal warning/ write-up is nothing compared to this ****-show. Best of luck to you.
  23. Hello, all! I am a new nurse, and I was offered a job at my local Hospice. I'll be working the inpatient unit on night shift, and they've offered a generous amount of time to train me. But, I'd like to know if anyone has any resources they think would be helpful to me to study while I'm training and beyond: handbooks, manuals, textbooks, organizations, periodicals, etc. I want to hit the ground running and prepare myself as best as possible.
  24. Possum_RN

    Mandatory Uniforms

    Well...I really like both, to be honest, and have worked in both situations. At the hospital, it WAS nice, because travel nurses/ float pool/ student nurses/ other staff could easily identify who was a tech and who was a nurse by sight. Sure, the patients and families didn't really know who's scope-of-practice was whose, but the staff did, and I think it did help things run smoothy. In the LTC where I worked, it seemed like more of a control issue. Of particular note was that all the NA's wore khaki...we looked like the cast of Orange is the New Black: I was called Nikki (I'd like to say I looked less drug-addicted and more polished than Nikki, but after a 12-hour night shift on the Alzheimer's unit, I guess the resemblance was more canny than I care to admit). Now I get to wear whatever color I want to at work, and the world is my oyster! What colors are on the sales rack of my local uniform store....who cares? It's all for me! Wheeee!
  25. Possum_RN

    Interview Attire?

    I've worn roughly the same thing to interviews for every job I've ever had: a sleeveless sheath dress (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross have these style dresses go on sale all the time), a neutral-colored blazer or cardigan over it, minimal jewelry, nude hose if seasonally appropriate, and neutral-colored low heels. Each piece can be mixed/matched later with casual outfits...and if anyone invites me to a nice dinner :) Basically, this look: [ATTACH=CONFIG]27450[/ATTACH] In the big bag, I keep a notebook and pen for taking down notes/ interviewers names for thank-you cards later, and a file with copies of my resume, references, and cover letter. I wore that, even when applying to Dunkin' Donuts as a teen. I'm glad you got the job, congratulations!!! But, as others have pointed out, some hiring managers will expect a more 'polished' look. Not a bad idea to invest in some pieces that can up your interview game later!