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LTC, geriatric/psych, Substance abuse
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Sistermoon specializes in LTC, geriatric/psych, Substance abuse.

RN since 2006

Sistermoon's Latest Activity

  1. Sistermoon

    RN who's also a psych patient?

    Good for you! I remember going to a conference at my facility, which is a psych hospital. The presenter, a psychiatrist and clinician in a state near mine, shared the fact that she had been a patient at our hospital years ago, and was still a recovering alcoholic over 25 years later, which made us all feel GREAT. You are NOT alone. The compassion and understanding you can bring to your work just might be priceless. Kudos and all the best!
  2. Sistermoon

    The best nursing advice you've ever received

    Yuppers! A+ in medical abbreviations!
  3. Sistermoon

    Sharing Personal Information at Work

    Am I old-fashioned or what? Dating in the workplace.....I know people do it, and TV shows make it nearly mandatory to add drama to the drama, but how not smart it is! I'm all for making it part of my professional creed NOT to open myself up to that possibility EVER. How many different ways can you pronounce AWKWARD...... this is the perfect set up in which to find out! As a single woman, not bad to the eye, I've worked in 3 different healthcare settings in the past 10 years, and in each one I've made it clear that I do not date coworkers the very first time someone even remotely suggests a hook up. Nothing personal in the "no".....I just don't do it. Period. Word gets around fast that I'm not up for grabs (pun intended). My coworkers and I have developed strong ties based on respect and trust while working through difficult situations together in the professional setting. We have a very strong team. Sometimes we do see each other outside the workplace, but it is an infrequent, healthy, non-dating, group related activity, always secondary to our professional ties. Boundaries are very, very good.
  4. Sistermoon


    Jack, what a wonderful, comprehensive reply! Working on a detox unit over the past 3 years, I've seen my fair share of nurses in recovery. There's nothing quite as tragic, as challenging, as bittersweet and humbling as coming face-to-face with a wounded healer, and seeing your own anguish in their eyes. May God bless us all; there's no such thing as "us" and "them". The organic changes that come with substance abuse can steal voices and the ability to make good choices, but the soul of a caregiver retains its inner beauty forever.
  5. Sistermoon

    Nurses as Wounded Healer Dr. Marion Conti-O'Hare

    I'm not familiar with Conti-O'Hare's work, but I once attended a short seminar that spoke to this very topic. The speaker told us that the concept of the wounded healer rises from ancient Greece. People would travel miles to seek the wisdom of the Oracle of Delphi. They would have to undergo a purification process of body, mind, and spirit before their supplication. Those who were healed during their audience with the oracle would then become the guides and workers for the cleansing process for the incoming pilgrims hoping for an audience. I was in my psych rotation when I heard this, and it filled in all the gaps that my textbook learning had left wide open. It clicked right into place for me. I now work on a substance abuse co-occurring unit, and am very very happy with my choice of profession. And yes, I come from an alcoholic home, and consider myself codependent no more..... Hope this helps.
  6. Sistermoon

    Effects of illegal drugs

    If someone is in alcohol withdrawal, vs tend to go up, they'll feel anxious, nauseous, tremulous, and sweaty as the time since their last drink passes. If it's benzo withdrawal, they'll probably get a huge headache and some numbness/tingling in the extremities along with the above symptoms. In opiate withdrawal, the pulse increases, and the same nausea, tremors, and sweats are common. In addition, the pupils tend to be huge, the body aches feel like the flu so the pt can't sit still, and the nose and eyes water. You might see excessive yawning and the cravings are nearly unbearable to use again just to feel normal. I'm amazed at the number of pt's that abuse prescription drugs. It catches them so unaware...after all...their doctor PRESCRIBED them. They just needed A FEW extra. These drugs are illegal, too. Right?
  7. Sistermoon

    No scrubs allowed in psych?

    Bear with me as I describe the majority of my psych patients, and trust that I'll get to the point as best I can... Most of the people I see have suffered for a long time, not only from compromised mental health, but from the bizarre behaviors that even their loved ones can't understand. Most of them (not all) have a long history of trauma in their lives. They've suffered tons of losses: jobs, friends, family, homes, respect, trust. They have legal problems. They've burned bridges in every direction. They have histories of substance abuse along with their psychiatric diagnoses in an effort to self-medicate the pain away. And the biggest obstacle they face in treatment is that most of them KNOW that they're different and nobody could possibly understand. Including YOU. If I have a medical condition :heartbeat, I want "scrubs" treating me. I want to know you know what you're doing, and those scrubs represent special knowledge and credentials I don't have. I trust you in your scrubs. (Have you ever noticed how people don't recognize you in public when you aren't wearing scrubs and they aren't having a heart attack??) If I'm suffering, lost, and alone:chair:...I want a fellow human being to just accept me and help me feel safe somewhere, especially in my own skin. Your scrubs...your credentials... just serve to make you less approachable and unlikely to understand what I'm going through. I especially love Sandra Bloom and her book Creating Sanctuary. It describes a philosophy of psychiatric treatment I find immensely helpful in my practice.
  8. Sistermoon

    Borderline Personality Disorder on the Behavioral Unit

    Great article...good information, well written. Wish I could staple it to my forehead before each shift.
  9. I graduated this past May, and entered into a great 15 week internship offered by a psych hospital in my area. It gave me the opportunity to cycle through various areas and assess my true strengths and interests. I got to explore working in a substance abuse/co-occurring unit, adult psych unit, an adolescent floor and even a pediatric unit. I had the greatest preceptors all the way through. They loved what they did and it showed, and they loved teaching us, too. No nurses "eating the young" here! There were five new grads in this program, and two are working with the youngsters, two with the adults, and I'm working with the substance abuse/co-occurring unit. I was so lucky to find this opportunity. I work with bunches of nurses and mental health workers who've been working here forever; they're truly dedicated to providing exceptional care to the patients they care for. And I've got plenty of opportunities for on-going learning. I can honestly say I've never enjoyed a job more. The drawback are the frequent flyers...the ones that come back again and again no matter how steady a program of support you have ready for them after they leave. For anyone graduating who might be interested, the internship program will be accepting new grad applicants within the next few months. E-mail me and I'll get back to you with contact information. I found this opportunity by attending a health care symposium last April in Manchester, NH. I'll bet now is a good time to seek out symposiums in different parts of the country. It's a great way to find out what's out there for new nurse job opportunities in your area. Best of luck in your seeking! A heart for this kind of work is a true gift. I hope you follow it through and find a good place that will support your growth as a nurse and as a caring professional.
  10. Sistermoon

    Pay and jobs in Vermont

    I live in New Hampshire and work in Brattleborough, Vermont. It's an hour's drive each way for me. Sure, there are places to work nearer to home, but as a new psych nurse, I've got the most wonderful internship going imaginable. The leaves are just starting to turn and are just beautiful already. There are several ski areas nearby, and I'm planning to try them all over the next few years...it'll take me a few years to know all these mountains and waterways, state parks and roadside viewing stops. Most of the towns around here are quaint. There's just no better word for them. So I can't speak for the economics, although they seem reasonable to me. I don't know much about the school system, except that I haven't heard nearly as much complaining here as I do in NH. But I know it is absolutely beautiful here. The people I work with have been in this area, and have even worked in this same facility, for twenty+ years in many cases. People seem to settle in and stay. And they're happy...not miserable. That fact alone speaks volumes. Hope this helps you!
  11. Sistermoon

    Young being eaten..by medical secretaries?!

    What do you plan to study? It would be a shame if this one experience persuaded you to change your mind. Any chance of actively seeking a new job? Perhaps in patient care if you intend to study nursing? Doesn't sound like you have much to lose and everything to gain by vacating that office clutch.
  12. Sistermoon

    New RN and stressed out!

    Listen to yourself, and honor yourself. Sounds like you are miserable there for a very good reason...you describe a place that employs unsafe practices that puts people who are already at risk in even greater risk. As a new RN, you're not in a position to make some drastically needed changes, or influence upper management to consider creating a manageable milieu. And what you really need is a supportive, sound place to learn and grow as a nurse. If a health care facility can't provide proper support to the patients it proposes to serve, what chance does a nurse have of finding anything good to draw from there?!? Honor yourself. Good luck! There are places out there that will challenge you AND meet your needs for a safe environment in which to practice.
  13. Sistermoon

    chemical dependency/addictions nursing

    I'm orienting on an inpatient unit for adult detox. Two major things I've learned: in acute detox, it's all about assessments and meds. The big surprise is how short a stay detox really is...patients are barely swallowing their last doses of their detox meds as out the door they go. Therefore, we can look forward to seeing many of them again. The upside is, the crew I've been working with is phenominal, and I never, ever get bored enough to sit back and watch the clock!:chair: Of course, I'm new here. I'm also old enough to know that the part of nursing I DON'T like is as generic as a bitter pill and not likely to get sweeter any time soon no matter where I practice. That's my take on it all now. Ask me again in six months when the honeymoon is over.
  14. Sistermoon

    Poll: What do you love about psych nursing?

    When I was on my psych rotation and studying hard (1 year ago) I kept feeling like I was missing something BIG in the learning process, and I've never been so frustrated... kind of like having to move the bun aside to find the meat hiding somewhere under the pickle. Kept looking in the books for the missing piece, and it just wasn't there. Then I attended a seminar at the facility at night, after all my classmates had gone home, and the speaker gave us a history lesson on being "the wounded healer". It actually brought tears to my eyes...finally, the burger. I am a psych nurse because I know that we're all, in one way or another, the walking wounded.
  15. Sistermoon

    I Did It!!!!!!

    :studyowl: Congratulations!!! Now you can sleep...eat...laugh...pet your pet...talk to your friends...read a book just for FUN!!!
  16. Sistermoon

    Who here attended Health Care symposium?

    I was there! Didn't win the money either...but I graduated in May, passed my N-Clex on 7/7, and I'm starting an internship on 8/7 at a psych hospital who had a rep at the symposium ... so I'm very glad my professors highly recommended the day, "just for the experience of being in a professional setting with other job candidates". So I guess I won, after all:monkeydance: !!