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long term care, med-surg, PACU, Pre-Op
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mustanggirl has 10 years experience and specializes in long term care, med-surg, PACU, Pre-Op.

mustanggirl's Latest Activity

  1. Thank you so much for this blog. Unfortunately over the past few years I have had many experiences with being a patient. First when our daughter was born early and in the NICU (she's doing great now, thank you everyone for all her great care) and currently during treatment for stage 3 breast cancer. I'll never forget some of the experiences I have had, that have made me realize how blessed I am. If anything cancer has made me more thankful and aware of all of the wonderful people in my life. It is kind of surreal to take care of a patient at work one day, then have them recognize you in the waiting room with them the next day. I admitted to patients that I had cancer when asked hoping that maybe it may be reassuring to see someone going on with life during treatment (trying to keep as normal as possible). I have found being a nurse almost has made me able to avert some of my anxiety by almost looking as myself as a patient and focusing on the treatment at hand. It was reassuring to know and work with the physicians taking care of me and the nurses that were with me during my surgery experinces, but I can only imagine how scary and out of control it must be to be a patient when not having any experience with the healthcare system and not seeing familiar faces taking care of you. Sometimes it seems that the strangest things happen to healthcare workers and their families when they are patients!
  2. mustanggirl

    Am I Being Unrealistic?

    My heart goes out to you guys that sounds like hell, I feel exhausted just reading your posts. I work in a non Union Magnet hospital and we have 4 CNAs during the workday into PMs to do transports and stock and help out with patients. We have two bed mover machines that we use on 90% of our transports unless we are going to a unit nearby to the PACU. I gotta admit it would be wonderful to have someone to answer phones though because keeping on top of all of the ORs calling out and numerous other calls gets crazy at times.
  3. mustanggirl

    Opinions please re: Phase I

    We have strict protocols that there must be 2 RNs in the PACU whenever we have a patient. From my understanding this is ASPAN's written policy. Sometimes this means making anesthesia or the circulator stay with us until the other nurse gets there.
  4. mustanggirl

    18 gauge insertion

    I've found that often once I get the catheter in, sometimes it helps to turn the IV fluid on wide open and float the catheter in the rest of the way with the fluid pressure once you have pulled the needle out.
  5. mustanggirl

    You might be a PACU nurse if...

    The floor nurse calmly says, so "is this your only patient"after you have been put on hold for 30 minutes and held the patient already for an hour because they supposedly didn't have a bed but one miraculously opened up after shift change.:angryfire Yeah as if we have no other patients in the PACU. Or you hear this on call and holding the patient, t"hanks for holding them so I could take my break." I know breaks are important for nurses, but ideally shouldn't the patient get back to the floor when they are ready so family can see them. Love the bump line, I always find myself ready to warn an empty cart that there is a bump coming.
  6. mustanggirl

    Pyxis, Omnicell, Accudose Comparison

    I've only used Pyxis, which I did not mind too much at first, until we got the stupid fingerprint access. :angryfire It sounded great until we got it. It seems impossible to get into at times because for some reason it will not read my fingerprint which is very frustrating especially when you need something such as a vasoactive drip stat. It seemed like it had gotten worse and pretty much everyone could not get into the blasted thing on the first try so we even had a rep from Pyxis come out and repair the stupid thing... it worked slightly better for a day then it seems like it was back to normal. I don't think I should have to put lotion on in order for it to read my finger which they recommended and sometimes work. It should read fingertips without needing skin oil or lotion applied to them first! Has anyone else had this problem and what has worked?
  7. mustanggirl

    Holding overnight (or even days at a time)

    We have only had to hold patients overnight a few times a year and when we do administration is notified and they usually come by in the morning to see how we are doing. If it is an ICU patient we usually provide the staffing, but if it is a floor patient they usually provide an RN to staff the area. During the day we often have to hold patients, but usually a bed opens up before the end of the day.
  8. mustanggirl

    If you could do it over again, would you choose nursing?

    Yes, as any job it has its ups and downs. It is one of the few degrees where you can find a job and have decent wages right out of school. Although radiology sounds interesting also, you could always work as an RN in radiology, although usually you can't work in radiology right out of school, only after you have some experience. The thing with nursing is finding what your niche is, which you will sometimes know right away or find after working in a few departments. I can say, now that I've found an area I like I can usually look forward to going to work.
  9. mustanggirl

    Pediatric Discharge Criteria

    Pretty similar to the adults, usually aldrete score 8 or 9 or above (unless going to peds ICU), stable airway, pain under control, no surgical issues, etc. Although peds patients often stay for only around 30 minutes.
  10. mustanggirl

    Nursing Assistants in PACU

    Our CNAs do a lot of transporting and stocking. They also help settle a patient when they get to PACU, helping to put monitoring equipment on, call the floor to let them know the patient is in PACU and put orders in for labs and x-rays as instructed to by the nurse. They also to bedside blood glucose tests when asked to by the nurse. Oh yeah and set up CBI fluids, so the nurse just has to connect it to the patient after double checking it.
  11. mustanggirl

    Applying DVT prophylaxis in PACU

    The majority of the times antiembolism stockings and venodynes (SCDs or sequential compression devices) are started preoperatively and patients are also given lovenox preoperatively (depending on their surgery). If they order them postoperatively and they hadn't have them ordered yet we will put them on in PACU, but most of our patients already have them on.
  12. mustanggirl

    Whoa! Crazy ProTime/INR

    HOLEY SMOKES! God bless you floor nurses because you are so resilient. You need to pat yourself on the back for surviving that shift. These are the kinds of days I try to block out of my memory from when I worked on the floor, but heck they are the ones I remember most.
  13. mustanggirl

    What nursing school did everyone attend?

    Viterbo College (now Viterbo University, as they now have masters programs) in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. I thought it was a wonderful school, with good preparation and lots of clinicals (we started clinicals our Sophomore year!). My best memory is probably living in the dorms Freshman year and meeting people who I am close friends with to this day.
  14. mustanggirl

    PCA's in PACU

    We start then in PACU, at first we thought it would be more of a pain thatn it has been. We give anesthesia ordered pain meds until the patients get comfortable or as long as we can safely give them and put the patient on the PCA as we send them to the floor. It is expecially nice when we are holding patients for the floor that we can give the patient a little more control over their pain management.
  15. mustanggirl

    PACU Staffing

    Does everyone out there work at a hospital with more than one PACU for inpatients and how do you staff it? For example having a separate PACU for vascular/thoracic cases and another PACU for everything else. How do you do call in this situation. Thanks:)
  16. mustanggirl

    Does anyone really enjoy LTC?

    LTC was a wonderful place to start out. A lot of times it is downplayed as a god place to work, but I disagree. Especially while going to nursing school, you name it you see it in long-term care so it was interesting to learn about the different diagnosis and see them first hand. You do get to know your patients well the good and bad of patients but with that it you have a little more background on where your patients are coming from. That said the stress of the numerous patients you have daily and being the voice for that many patients while trying to just get their pills passed let alone treatments done is high. I enjoyed long term care while I did it, and at times miss it but I can honestly say I don't regret going into a different area of nursing and feel as though I have found a niche. As someone else said with nursing your fields are wide open if you decide you want to try a different area.:)