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med-surg, ER
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norseman has 7 years experience and specializes in med-surg, ER.

norseman's Latest Activity

  1. norseman


    Hi everyone, let me start out by saying that I understand that we need staff 24/7 in our business, and I admire those who are able to work nights and make it work out in regard to sleep, family aspects, etc.. I have worked both the day and night shift, and both have their pros and cons, there's no question about that. However, from many of the people responding in this thread, I get the feeling that you don't like the night shift as much as you dislike working days, which I think is unfortunate. I'm thinking, is this job of ours really that miserable and stressful that we avoid working during the day? Is that what you should want coming fresh out of nursing school, be a night owl, "holding the fort" ? I think it shows the failings on part of the employer. Also, have you considered the health aspects, like the adverse metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of circadian misalignment and the increased risk of breast cancer among women working nights? I work nights myself every now and then, but I don't think it's healthy in the long run, and I think you miss out on social interaction, rounds with the doctors where you learn alot, etc. I'll rather switch to another nursing field and/or employer where the daytime working conditions are acceptable, instead of avoiding the problem by going all nights.
  2. I am in your situation, only it took me a year to get there. Started out as a new nurse working day shift (hospital policy) for six months before trying out a few nights. I switched to working all nights and have done so for a year now. I liked being able to concentrate on the patients instead of all the paperwork, relatives, discharges, phone ringing all the time, etc. Also I told myself I had always been a "night owl" anyway. We also have a system here, where each hour on the night shift (9 pm - 7 am, 10 hours) is valued 1.4 hours on the schedule - which means 140 hours instead of 191 on our standard five week schedule. Anyway, as I am writing this I haven't slept properly for several days after getting off my last set of nights. My internal clock is out of whack. I fall asleep at 10 pm and wake up at 3 am and can't go back to sleep. As you've mentioned, you pay a price for fighting your internal clock all the time. I just want to give a heads up to all new nurses thinking of working nights. Consider the disadvantages. Getting on and off the night shift, I now see that I've eventually become more or less sleepy 24/7, my eating habits has gone worse (skipping meals or eating junk food because I am too tired to cook), and I missed out on the social aspect of going to a workplace during daytime. Sure, you get some days off between the nights, but what's the use for that when all your friends are working during the daytime anyway? Also I bet you've heard of the increased risks of getting cancer, heart disease etc associated with disturbed sleeping patterns. I'm going back to the day shift. A little busier, sure, but I didn't take three years of school and start out a new career, in order to do nights just because they're "calmer/less stressful/easier on you" etc. It feels like I'm cheating myself. I look forward to living a more energized life, sleeping during the nights like we were meant to do.
  3. norseman

    Took Job on Telemetry Floor...what's Telemetry???

    To motorcycle mama, i'd like to say "follow your heart" even if it's a cliché.. if you have doubts you should probably choose something else. on a side note, i have noticed on this this board that telemetry seems to be extremely common in the US. "i work on a telemetry unit.." "i'm in a combined ortho/telemetry ward.." I get the impression every other unit in American hospitals are telemetry related one way or the other. Maybe I am wrong. But if I am right that it is very common, especially compared to other countries, why is that? Poor preventive health care? Litigation? Or are other countries lacking?
  4. norseman

    What is YOUR surgical floor like?

    I work at a ward with 20+1 beds, with the +1 being a bed which shouldn't be occupied since it is reserved for "open return" patients (terminally ill cancer patients) who may check in straight to the ward from the home if they get worse without having to pass the ER first. During the summer we are three RN's and three CNA's during day time and just two nurses during nights. So patient to nurse ratio can be anything from 2:1 up to 10:1 depending on how many pts are admitted at the time being. Patients are a mix of surgical and urological patients. Colorectal cancer, cholecystectomies, TUR-P's, etc. A few beds are usually occupied by palliative patients. During the summer they have closed the SACU which means we also get the appendectomies and pancreatitis pts too. Just started and it is hectic like nothing else I've done in my life. The days go by really fast and I learn new stuff everyday! So far I really like it.
  5. I saw the movie and I liked it. I have read about the "broken" US health care system and how so much money is spent with a huge overhead, esp. administration, malpractice suits, etc. Living in a country with socialized medicine myself, I can testify it CAN be efficient and it WORKS. I know alot of Americans equal something being ran/controlled by the government with unefficiancy and uncontrolled spending. I think it's the opposite! Someone posted in this thread "we do more MRI's in Austin each year than in the whole of Canada". Is this necessary a good thing? Is it necessary? Will the population live longer because of it? I think that's the only way to measure health care quality, and that's how they measure it when they compare healthcare among nations. How much money is spent on health care and how does the money spent affect the average citizen, the population as a whole? In "Sicko" we're told the poorest citizens in the UK lives longer than the richest ones in the US. It's not about the government spending money, it is HOW it is spent and due dilligance. When you have a set limited budget for health care coming from tax money, it must be spent with care in order to provide the best health care possible. I think that actually promotes efficiancy. Why would you want to place your life into the hands of insurance companies? I read somewhere in the US you have "sick care" not health care. I suppose there's not much money to made in preventive care?
  6. Angie O'Plasty is right. Theory without the milage is not worth much. I notice it myself, having worked my first week on my own after orientation at my first job. From colleagues and from this board, I know it is very common to feel the way you do. But, I think it also has to do with how much you feel you need to be in control of everything. It's an individual trait. A nurse at my workplace has been there for a year now, and she basicallly needs to be forced to go home after each shift! -"Haven't you left yet?" -"No, I just need to make sure I signed off X.. Oh, did I remember to tell you patient Y is supposed to ..." -"Don't worry, we will take care of it, now GO HOME!" (said with a smile while gently pushing the girl out of the door) You'll see this among experienced nurses too. Watch how many hours of overtime they're logging each month. Some clock out right on time while others have lots of hours overtime each month. While some are more ambitious than others, mostly (IMHO) it's about a need of being in control all the time, and that's what causing burnout etc. Hang in there!
  7. norseman

    Poll: How long is your orientation?

    I have just started working on a busy med-surg floor in Sweden. Standard orientation is four-five weeks here. Can I ask you something? In this country you become a nurse (RN) after three years studies which mainly qualifies you as a med-surg nurse. Then, if you want to work in an ICU, with anesthesia, psych etc, you are required to take another year in school to specialize (although some hospitals will hire an experienced nurse and orient him/her "on site"). My question is, in the US, have I understood it correctly that you dont have set programs/classes in school that you must take in order to be qualified tp work as an ICU-nurse, psych, operation, etc, and instead you have longer orientation at the ward/field you want to work in, up to six months?
  8. norseman

    How many new nurses are seriously thinking about quiting?

    I am just about to get out of orientation and start working on my own, so I haven't thought about quitting just yet. I had a dream about going to the US to work as a nurse, but this board has really opened my eyes. After taking one look at NANDA and reading comments here like "our nurse to patient ratio is 10:1, and hospital policy dictates we do a full head to toe assessment of all patients every thirty minutes" or some other ridiculous thing, I knew American health care is not the "business" i want to participate in, sorry to say.
  9. norseman

    Specialties for Men

    I just started in this field and chose my first job to be on a surgical ward. I am the only male on the ward. Two men came and went before me, they stayed for about a year. It is pretty common for men here (in Sweden) to start out on a med-surge unit. As a guy, you get placed on a pedestal because men come scarce in this business. Then after a while (like, a year) the glory has died down and you're just one "of the gals". That's when men feels the need to go to something like the ER, ICU, or gets a leading position somewhere. Oh yeah, your question :spin: Here you'll find most male nurses in the ER, ambulance, or more technical fields like ICU/CRNA.
  10. norseman

    Advice for Handling Pt. Criticism Please

    Wow. I have read plenty of letters from patients and relatives thanking the staff for good care, but I've never heard of a letter where people have been named like that in such a negative way. Had I been the target of such a letter I would have been furious! So, just like your boss said, I think it was totally inappropriate for the patient to "oust" you in such a negative way. That being said, I am fresh out of nursing school. The teachers have always pointed out to us how important it is to listen to the patient, make a connection, and so forth. But I have noticed while working extra as an LPN and during clinical studies in nursing school, that the nurses who are considered the most professional and liked by the patients, are those who don't make alot of fuss over procedures (i don't mean one way communication, but efficiancy). It think it comes with experience but also with self confidence. I have a friend who up to recently was a medical intern at our hospital. I asked her if she thought it was difficult. She said yes, but her best asset was her ability to act confident even though she was facing a new situation. That's what they're told from day one: "you're a doctor. you decide. act." So, what did I want to say with all this? Perhaps you should have acted more confidently and just presented the patient with your solution to her problems, after speaking with the patient ofcourse. I know this will be a tough one for myself when I start out on my first job. I have a tendency to ask one extra time "just to be sure" which is something the other staff like (an over-confident 'know-it-all' new nurse they dont like) but there's a fine line to be toed, i think. ask too much, they will question you. Ask the patients too much, and they will too. "A selfconfident manner hides oceans of insecurity." I hope you're able to forget the letter. Think of all the grateful patients you've met so far, they know how good you are, right!! :yelclap:
  11. norseman

    I want to do something else

    Phew. Whenever I read one of those "i hate my workplace" that unfortunately seem to be plenty at this forum, I am amazed. I know you're not too fond of unions on your side of the pond, but is this the case among nurses? If so, why? I know they won a fight in California over nurse to patient ratio. Perhaps if you got better organized at your workplaces, these problems wouldn't be so common.
  12. norseman

    So..You're going to be a MALE nurse?

    In Sweden there has been talks about changing the name of the profession. The name for RN in Sweden is "Sjuksköterska" which literally translates to "caretaker of the sick". The "problem" is that words ending with "-erska" are feminine. The neutral version of the title would be "Sjukskötare". Unfortunately, many see "sjuksköterska" as an established title. I also suspect that they are proud of their heritage and it being a traditional female profession, and changing the title would be to "surrender" to the men or something. I would prefer the neutral version , and many male nurses in Sweden have "sjukskötare" on their nametag or just "sjuksköt." to avoid the (percieved) stigma of the feminine title "sjuksköterska", and also call themselves sjukskötare.
  13. norseman


    This is coming from a Swede, and thus someone from another cultural context than you guys. Our jobs are the same though. I have browsed through some threads in this awesome forum and every now and then this discussion about scrubs comes up, and some aspects regarding scrubs in the US fascinate me! *You seem to think it is very important to be able to choose and pick your color and layout of the scrubs. here they are available in three colors, namely blue, white and green (green for people working in the OR only). i have never even thought about wanting to have red, yellow, or any other color for that matter. it is a workplace and not a fashion show. coming from a military background i kinda like the uniformity of working in a hospital. *you have to buy your clothes whereas here they are provided by the workplace. we are under stern orders to change them every day. buying and washing them yourselves, how often do you change scrubs? we don't even wear scrubs to and from work, we have to change to a new set each time we arrive at work. not critisism on my part, like i said, i just find the differences fascinating.
  14. norseman

    Is night shift easier?.....

    This is a very interesting question, and like some of you have mentioned, i suppose it depends on which unit you work in. I am from Sweden and still a student (about to graduate in a couple of months!). From reading posts at this great forum, I've discovered two things that I've found peculiar, based on my own experiences: 1) New grads want to begin their career at ICU 2) Alot of you guys from the US seem to be afraid of working days since they are so chaotic, and want to work nights because "it's easier". I find them peculiar because in my country, ICU is not considered something you start out with as a new grad, you need work experience because it's highly advanced and demanding. As for the nights, which this thread really is about, I wonder, what is your patient/nurse ratio day time compared to nights? On the surgical floor i've done some clinical rotation at, there are 21 patients. 3 nurses and 3 LPN's during the day and ONE nurse and one LPN during the night. That means you're the single nurse taking care of 21 patients, with the aide of a LPN. They require one year's working experience working days before you are considered experienced enough to handle the responsibility of the night shift. So here, I don't think it would be easier.. calmer sometimes, but not easier.