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The Seasoned Nurse BSN, RN

Trauma ICU
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The Seasoned Nurse has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Trauma ICU.

The Seasoned Nurse's Latest Activity

  1. The Seasoned Nurse

    Looking for advice

    The bridge program will give you time to master your bedside skills. Too many nurses go into NP school too quickly causing the profession to become diluted. The schools only have one motivation: to make money. They will push you into programs you are not ready for. Be mindful of this in your choice.
  2. The Seasoned Nurse

    Reluctant Heroes: Thoughts On COVID-19

    Yes this experience has been extremely taxing. We have to stick together because we have no option except to go through it. If you are at a low point, you are not alone. If you are having a positive day, pull someone up with you. This will be over one day. But we will never be the same. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.
  3. The Seasoned Nurse

    Strange Question

    That sounds unconventional but I like it. A nurse in an infusion clinic must be good at starting IVs. Remember to grab a warm compress and allow the alcohol to dry entirely. They may be watching to see you following protocols. Good luck!
  4. The Seasoned Nurse

    It's Time to Tell the World about ICU Nursing

    I agree that working in the unit fosters greater collaboration between nurses and physicians. Good communication between providers and nurses is crucial to providing excellent care to our patients. This interdisciplinary partnership needs to be applied to all areas of patient care. Good communication = better patient outcomes. Thank you for your insight!
  5. The Seasoned Nurse

    Motivation - Whoo-Hoo! And Discipline - Boo

    Focusing on my long term goals always helps me maintain the discipline to keep going. It is a challenge to stay motivated but so worth it to see your goals through to the end. I like the advice from the Instagram founder about making yourself do something for just five minutes. That is a good mind trick to get you started on a project or reading material just long enough to feel motivated to do a little more. Thanks for a great article!
  6. I loved the part about communication. I’m a firm believer that good communication can solve most of the world’s problems. It starts with listening to each other and speaking respectfully. Good leaders are humble and lead by example. Thank you for a great article!
  7. The Seasoned Nurse

    Covid Vaccines

    I’m afraid there will be a significant number of people who will not take it because 1. COVID conspiracies and 2. Vaccine conspiracies are creating a perfect storm of mistrust. Nurses on the frontlines need all of the accurate information in order to battle this beast. I’m expecting microchip stories and a social media storm of misinformation. Maybe I should be more optimistic but I feel that I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.
  8. The Seasoned Nurse

    NP Student, highly wanting to do med school?

    It sounds like medical school is what you really want to do. I say go for it. Your experience as a nurse will make you a stronger physician. Your awareness of the nurse workflow and what they actually do at the bedside will help you when crafting treatment plans. Good luck to you!
  9. The Seasoned Nurse

    Meltdown at Work and Feel like a Failure

    You are not at all a failure! Like Nurse Beth said, you passed your boards and succeeded in becoming a nurse. You’re doing it! Give yourself credit! I hear a lot of negative self-talk and I can tell you from personal experience that your inner dialogue is a concrete thing you can work on. You can choose to see your own strengths under a brighter light vs. your weaknesses. You can tell yourself that you are valuable, worthy, and intelligent. I agree that talking to someone would be therapeutic for you. A neutral party will help you reset your perspective. Please don’t abandon nursing because of this experience. We want and need you here!
  10. After five years at the bedside working in a Trauma ICU, I look back fondly on my time in nursing school. I recall walking into the Trauma Unit as a practicum student, listening to report on a young gunshot wound patient, and feeling terrified. Modeling myself after the strong nurses I came to know during those early days has shaped my entire career. Despite my positive experience, I could go back and give my student self a few pieces of advice. Here are four things I would want to know if I were a student today: TIP #1: Don’t Get Bent Out of Shape About That “B” Nurses working in an ICU often have a reputation for perfectionism. Many memes on social media cast the ICU nurse as “OCD”. This stereotype holds true for my experience as an ICU nurse but it was true of me in school as well. I remember agonizing over my grades. My classmates and I were competitive with each other over who made higher scores. Now I recognize there was no reason to lose a minute of sleep. Nursing school is not supposed to be easy and making a “B” shows you have a grasp on the concepts with a little room to grow. This is a great place to be as a student. No one should enter the nursing workforce feeling like school was easy and the job will be easy too. Furthermore, a “B” average will not stop you from advancing in your career. Graduate nursing programs will still welcome you. This is especially true if you have relevant experience on your resume. So rest easy students, you’re doing great. TIP #2: Prioritize Assessment Skills Assessing your patient is the most important aspect of your job. Your formal, head-to-toe assessment takes place at the beginning of your shift but you will assess for changes every time you walk into the patient’s room. Vital signs, neurological status, patient-reported feelings and demeanor, medication effects, IV patency, equipment function, and any other relevant information are all a part of assessing each patient. Experienced nurses make it look easy but it takes practice to recognize subtle changes. When you are a student, really focus on assessing your patient during your clinical time. Through practice and observing others, you will find a rhythm. There is no part of an assessment that is insignificant. When a patient experiences a decline, the medical team will look to the nurse for all the information regarding the change in condition. It is critical for you to be able to confidently speak to your patient’s clinical picture. TIP #3: It’s OK If You Don’t Know What You Want To Be When You Grow Up To say the field of nursing is broad would be an understatement. Nursing school teaches the basics of mostly hospital-based nursing care with small introductions into other areas. Your initial degree is only the beginning. As a nurse, you can work in multiple environments including adult med/surg, various ICU settings, pediatrics, hospice, dialysis, corrections, home health, special procedures, and many many more. The doors are open to becoming a Nurse Practitioner or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Maybe you’re interested in nursing administration, education, or informatics. You will learn so much wherever you go but take comfort knowing you can change the direction of your career at any point. As you approach graduation, you will submit applications and begin interviewing. Take a job that feels like a good fit and know that your career may take many turns through the years. TIP #4: Hold on to Nursing School Friendships Nursing school is a bubble. Everyone is wrapped up in the next assignment, NCLEX prep, and inside jokes with the people you now spend the most time with. It feels like this closeness will never break. Late night confessionals, motivation when feeling down, and lots of laughing characterize those nursing school bonds. Maybe your class has a social media group and maybe you and your closest allies have a text chain. This daily chatter will always be a part of your life that you look back on with a smile. As soon as you graduate, some of those bonds will break. There are classmates you will never see again. It’s a weird feeling. Work hard to bridge those gaps and hold onto your closest nursing school friends. Keep those calls and texts going because there will still be times when you need that late night motivation and those belly laughs over good memories. You will look back and recognize it truly was a treasure. Nursing is a wonderful career filled with many opportunities. As a nursing student, feeling anxious and excited about the career in front of you is part of growing into your role. It is a part of your life you will never forget. Make the most of your time in school and be confident that you have chosen a challenging yet valuable path.
  11. The Seasoned Nurse

    It Is Not Just Nursing 101

    I think as a student it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. I remember working so hard on learning the technicals of the acid - base balance and determining respiratory vs. metabolic compensation etc. I memorized it so well I could say it in my sleep but could not speak intelligently about what it means to be acidotic (presentation and consequences). I advise students not to get so caught up in the technicals that you miss the big picture.
  12. The Seasoned Nurse

    Med error..... Could I lose my license?

    I 100% agree. You will not lose your license and bringing this up will just make you look bad. I think the most likely worst case scenario is an audit discovers the error, your manager is notified, and you have a little chat about the five rights. The manager can document that you were “counseled” and everyone moves on with their lives. As long as it doesn’t happen over and over, you will be fine.
  13. The Seasoned Nurse

    New grad from online RN program with ZERO CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

    Yes! All of this! When I watch students in clinicals, I see them stressing over paperwork. I notice they spend hours in the break room working on their care plans instead of actually learning to take care of patients. Then they go off and take a leisurely one hour lunch. This experience is nothing like the real world. I would not stress about missing out on clinicals, you will be fine. I would encourage you to be upfront with your preceptor about your lack of hospital experience so they know to take it a little slower with you early on. Good luck to you!