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whipping girl in 07

whipping girl in 07 RN

ICU, nutrition
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whipping girl in 07 has 7 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, nutrition.

Nutrition support RN

whipping girl in 07's Latest Activity

  1. whipping girl in 07

    Who is an advocate for nurses?

    Sadly, I agree. I could use an advocate right now myself and there's no one to turn to since we're not a union facility.
  2. whipping girl in 07

    Afraid to switch specialties

    When I changed specialties I continued to work part time at my original job and worked part time at the new job (2 different hospitals). Would this be an option? It was nice to get my foot in the door without worrying that if I hated it I was stuck. I loved my new job so much that I went full time a little over a year later and PRN at my old job. Eventually I quit the old job.
  3. whipping girl in 07

    How do you split time between 2 jobs?

    I worked two jobs for about 5.5 years. At first I worked weekend option at one hospital and part time (per diem/PRN) at the other (24 hrs/wk at each) and carried my insurance at the weekend option facility. They allowed weekend option nurses to pay the full time premium instead of part time. Then I got off weekend option and had to pay the part time premium and make sure to work 32 hrs a pay period. I was still working 24 hours/wk at my other job. Finally I went full time at the other job and just worked PRN at the job I'd originally had my insurance at so I changed my insurance to the full time job. Finally I got sick of working two jobs so I quit the PRN job. Working weekend option at one place and PRN at the other allowed me to make more money and have my hours basically guaranteed. I didn't have to worry about trying to get OT and I got bonuses for weekends and per diem/PRN. Most hospitals have a full time premium and a part time premium for insurance with a specific number of hours you have to work (or use ETO) to keep your benefits.
  4. whipping girl in 07

    Did I Miss Something?

    Ummm, my husband's aunt and uncle (and apparently their grown children and their son's wife)? They have multiple animals and they pee and poop ALL over her house! When we go to their house, we always stay outside and if anyone starts saying they need to go to the bathroom, that's my cue that it's time to head back to Grandma's. I'll even take my kids to the gas station (without being rude) before I'll let them even set foot in their house. I'm surprised their kids ever learned to use a toilet and didn't just poop in the corner like the dog does. My husband said they've been like this as long as he's known them. I'm a bad housekeeper but I'm Suzy Homemaker compared to that. Right now I have 4 baskets of laundry sitting in the hall by the laundry room, waiting to be folded. I have a sink full of dirty dishes, although it's been almost a week since I've cooked a meal. I had the audacity to work the weekend, and we've been getting a new business up and running, so my husband and I are both tired but I work about twice as much as he does. He still expects the housework to be a 75-25 split (me doing 75% of course, because I'm "better" at it!) and he tries to delegate his responsibilities to our 12 year old! DH is working right now and I'm sure he'll wonder why I didn't spend my day off cleaning the house when he gets home. I worked all weekend, he didn't spend his days off Friday and Sunday cleaning. I didn't say a word. Haha...we're all home Saturday...guess what we're doing?????
  5. whipping girl in 07

    Can you have two specialties? As in, ER and psych?

    I worked part-time at two different hospitals, one as a critical care float, the other in surgical ICU. I got tired of the critical care float job but there wasn't a particular unit at that hospital I wanted to work exclusively in (plus there were no day shift openings) so I started looking for another part-time position within the facility. I eventually ended up doing nutrition support nursing and I worked part-time there and part-time in SICU for about 2 years. Then I was offered a full time position at my nutrition support job, so I cut my hours in SICU to PRN. Eventually the drama and problems in my SICU sucked the life out of me so I quit, but for about 3.5 years I had two specialities. As far as losing skills goes, yes, if you don't use them, you will lose them. If you were to go from say, OR to ER, you would probably need to brush up on IV and assessment skills, but you could place a foley like a champ. If you went from psych to a nursing unit, you would need to refresh almost all of your "physical" nursing skills because you just don't use them in psych.
  6. whipping girl in 07

    Why can't I sleep?

    I'm thinking the point maybe is "anesthesia" is probably not appropriate for getting to sleep during the day unless you're having surgery... Or you're Michael Jackson...(groan) After about three years on nights, I got to where I couldn't sleep during the day, and I was fortunate enough to be able to move to days. I never got enough sleep when I worked nights. I slept when my child was at school, usually in bed by 8:30 or 9 and up by 2:30 to either pick him up or meet him off the bus. I had a quilt over the window, a white noise machine, the phone turned down and in a different room (but my cell phone on and beside me if my husband was out of town so the school could reach me if Ian needed me), and a fan on. I didn't usually take any sleep aids (still don't if I have to be conscious within 12 hours).
  7. whipping girl in 07


    Ya know, where I used to work, everyone wanted to be a charge nurse until they actually had to be in charge! There were days we'd fight over who had to be in charge. There were a few who liked it and were actually good at it. One of them was a total byotch but she was very good at the charge role and while I personally *HATED* her, I never minded when she was in charge because she was always fair with assignments, she stood up to the nursing supervisor when necessary, and she made sure the aides did their work instead of hiding out. She helped me out one time when I needed to leave because my child was in the ER and she even let me leave at 12:30 on Christmas because she thought I'd gotten screwed because I'd worked the year before but had to go home sick so they made me work the next year too. There were several who liked being in charge but were terrible at it, but most of us didn't really want to do it, but we'd take our turn and we weren't too awful. Truthfully, it's usually a thankless job that is not worth the extra $0.50 or 1.00 they throw at you. If you are truly interested in becoming a charge nurse, ask your manager what sorts of things you should do to give yourself the advantage. If it's truly political, decide if you want to play the game. I am not a fan of politics, but the reality is they are everywhere and you can either play the game or suffer the consequences of not playing along. Is it fair? No. Is life fair? Generally not. Unfortunately, if the tide is generally against you, you may have no choice but to leave and go to a different unit or even a different facility if you want to move up. Hang in there!
  8. whipping girl in 07

    Why don't employers start lowering wages for nurses?

    I worked in several restaurants as a waitress before and a little during nursing school. If you adjust for inflation, I made as much or more at an upscale restaurant waiting tables than I do now as a nurse. We recently opened a bar and on Friday and Saturday night I often make as much or more an hour as I do at my "real" job. But because the cost of living rises faster than my raises, and my health insurance premiums and out of pocket go up every year, I have less discretionary income today than I had 4 years ago. Couple that with the pay cuts I took when I stopped working weekend option (which was cut significantly last year), stopped working per diem (which was eliminated), and stopped working nights, I actually make less money now than I did 5 years ago. The hospital I used to work for is not giving raises this year. The hospital I work for now is discussing doing the same. So they are already cutting pay, just in little ways that maybe aren't so obvious. My eventual goal is to work part-time as a nurse to keep my steady income and insurance and have the bulk of our income come from our bar and my husband's business. My pay (as an RN) would have to double for me to consider staying at the hospital full-time when our businesses take off. And for me to work at the bedside full-time, try triple. The knowledge base and responsibility of the RN is far too great for the amount we are paid now, much less if wages were cut. The RN is expected to know the standard of care for every illness and know how to treat any complication because if you carry out doctors' orders that are inappropriate, you can be held liable for harm to the patient.
  9. whipping girl in 07

    Leaving ICU to Where?????

    I went from ICU to nutrition support, so did the other two nurses on my team. Some of my friends went to cath lab, surgery, PACU, cardiac rehab, hospice... A few went to graduate school to become CRNAs and NPs.
  10. whipping girl in 07

    Why/how do meds work?

    It took me years to understand the things I need to understand to do my job. There are still many things I do not understand and so I'm learning every day. You will never know it all, but you will know enough to care for your patients.
  11. whipping girl in 07

    hospital policy on Facebook, cellphones= suspension

    I've seen some of my friends who've updated their Facebook or Myspace from their phone when they were at work. I even had a student last year who was doing her rotation with our service and I saw her update hers while she was at the hospital and I was off that day and happened to be on FB! I told her the next time I saw her that while I wasn't going to hold a first offense against her, it could be perceived as unprofessional by some and she should probably wait till she's either off work or at least on break (and mention being on break in the posting). Another RN friend posted some of her 3 AM ICU toga party pictures a few months ago. While I got a kick out of them knowing that some things never change (I always had fun working nights there), I would be concerned if I was a patient or family member and saw pictures of the nurses at work goofing off. I mean, you can't deny it if there's a picture! Also, think about who all you are friends with on MS/FB and remember that they can see everything you post and the general public can see it too if your profile is not private. My sister-in-law works for a physician who had her checking out job applicants' MySpace or Facebook pages if she could find them. Several of my former co-workers are friends on FB with their boss. When I still worked there I was always nervous that she'd send me a friend request because I did not trust her. I am friends with my current boss as but she actually is a friend. She will sometimes comment on my updates, like when I put a :-( after I say I'm going back to work after 5 days off. I think she knows it's not that I don't like my job, I just like being off with my family, but still, it's all about perception. Several years ago, before my previous hospital blocked any Internet sites at work, I was looking at my Myspace on my lunch break at the nurse's station. We almost never had enough staff to cover meal breaks and our routine was generally to go get food and eat at the desk. If a patient needed something, someone who wasn't eating would take care of it if possible. Anyway, I had allowed family to come in between visiting hours and there were several in the room singing to my patient. Suddenly he went into a dysrhythmia. I quickly rushed into the room, assessed him, tried a couple of different tricks to see if I could get it to break and paged the doctor who called me back quickly and gave me orders. I went to the OmniCell and got the med and stopped at the computer to use the calculator to doublecheck the dosage (it was weight-based and I'd lost my pocket calculator). The family saw me stop at the computer and they had seen me looking at my Myspace while I'd been eating, so they assumed that I stopped to look at one more thing on Myspace instead of taking care of the patient. They complained to the charge nurse and I had to report off to another nurse at 3 and pick up another team for 4 hours. All because of perception. I learned a couple of lessons from that experience: 1. Bending the rules for a family will bite you in the a$$. 2. Take your lunch break away from the unit, even if it's difficult to find coverage. Force them to cover for you. 3. Don't look at personal stuff on the Internet at work. 4. Don't lose your calculator. I've also had people think I'm texting if I used the calculator on my cell phone. While the suspension sucks, I think she's probably lucky she wasn't fired. I just hope they will be consistent about enforcing the rules. You really can go 8 or 12 hours without texting or updating your FB. It's possible.
  12. I give my friend her Depo-Provera shot every three months because it's IM and it would probably be hard to hit that muscle yourself. I guess I could have some liability but I've never really thought about it. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, don't do it. Seems to me if she's gung-ho enough about getting preggers to take fertility meds then she should learn how to give her own injection. Maybe there is something else going on? Maybe she's fearful that it won't work and only lead to more disappointment and pain from continuing infertility? Maybe you could offer to be there when she does it for moral support and even show her how to do it but not do it for her.
  13. whipping girl in 07

    staffing by accuity....looking for other opinions

    When I first moved to my current state and went to work in as an ICU float at my current hospital, we had to fill out an "acuity" form on the front of our flowsheet at the beginning of the shift. It was a 1-5 scale and I could usually make my patients a 4 or 5 pretty easily. This was used to justify our staffing. Unfortunately, the patients who were the most trouble were usually only a 2 or 3 and may qualify us for less staff and the patients who were a 4 or 5 were easier to care for. If the patient was a 2 or 3 we were supposed to be pushing the physicians to transfer them to the regular floor. It made no sense, it was completely pointless and after I'd been there for about a year management finally caught on and quit making us do them. It's hard to know what someone's going to do on night shift. I've reported off on a completely easy and oriented patient at 6:30 PM only to come back in at 6:30 AM and find that my relief had a horrible night with the patient. And when I worked nights I dealt with the same thing. You can't just tag a number on a diagnosis/age/medical device/etc, add them all up and come up with an acuity to tell you how many of those patients each nurse should have on a shift. One nurse may handle something with no problems and another may be overwhelmed. Experience of the nurse plays a big part.
  14. whipping girl in 07

    Tap water

    Where I work we use sterile water for TF flushes to decrease the risk of infection. I'm not sure if it was my institution, but several years ago patients got Legionella from tap water and we changed our practice. However, when I do home teaching, I tell patients to use their own tap water for flushes if they normally drink it. Tube feeding never has enough "free water" so you always need to have some flushes for hydration. Wow, scary that a nurse thought you could flush a PICC with water if the patient was on TPN. Generally, hydration for patients on TPN is provided with additional sterile water added during the compounding or with IVF.
  15. whipping girl in 07

    disappointed in myself

    I started my path to become a nurse in September 1992. I graduated from nursing school with a BSN in December 2001. I was accepted but got cold feet, so I sat out a year and reapplied. I failed out. I had a baby. I was accepted to the ADN program at our community college when my husband was offered a promotion that was contingent on moving to another state. We moved. I registered for pre-requisites that were required for the BSN program in the city we moved to. My babysitter quit on me the day before classes started. I had to wait another semester until I could find a babysitter. My husband left me during my third semester of school, but he came back. My brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and almost died. September 11 happened. And I graduated from nursing school. You can do it, if you really want to. Good luck to you.
  16. whipping girl in 07

    LPNs working unsupervised in nursing homes

    Depends on the SBONs rules, which may vary from state to state. You just have to check with the board. It may be legal, but it doesn't necessarily make it right.