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Med/Surg; aged care; OH&S
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emmalou* has 14 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg; aged care; OH&S.

emmalou*'s Latest Activity

  1. emmalou*

    What to say to the parents of special needs children

    Yeah I have to agree with some of the other posters here. The OP wrote an excellent, well thought out, realistic article but in response to the 'special children born to special parents' argument from a couple of people - I have an uncle (Dad's brother) who was born intellectually impaired. Lovely man but very difficult to raise - my grandmother never got over having to raise him and never let anybody forget how difficult her life was and was a bitter woman for a large part of her life. Without having any children myself, my opinions are that raising special needs children can be just plain challenging and frustrating sometimes. Obviously parents, most anyway, love their children, but that doesn't mean they don't wonder 'why me' sometimes. Sometimes life just sucks and it's ok to think that. And honestly - as the child of dysfunctional parents myself, I can honestly say that God doesn't have much of a hand in who has which type of children. Some parents just shouldn't be parents. So yeah, leave religion out of science please, with all due respect.
  2. emmalou*

    NICU nurse was a NICU patient herself

    Lovely lovely story - good luck to her.
  3. emmalou*

    Why should I be a nurse if it's so awful?

    It's not that nursing has a higher incidence of awful people - I honestly don't think that. All professions have their challenges, bad people, unhappy people, etc. The corporate sector, for example, can have a very bad workplace culture in that people can be quite intolerant towards anybody who might be perceived as 'different' (in Australia anyway, the corporate sector isn't a particularly diverse field, unlike nursing which has all different cultures, walks of life and this makes nursing a good field to work in). The corporate sector can also be very snobby, and the right clothing, makeup, shoes and outward appearance is considered important, whereas nurses are more tolerant towards people's appearance (given the nature of the job!). Not to bag the corporate sector (I work in this field now) but it is a good example of a workplace that nurses often wish they'd ended up in when they have a bad day and trust me, it aint all it's cracked up to be I think the reason nurses might come across badly sometimes is that they are more honest than people working in offices (some of these folks can be very passive aggressive in their approach). Nurses tend to 'tell it how it is' whether you like it or not! It is a very different job to an office job, in that you see things which are traumatic, and you see people at their very lowest and worst point. As others have said, do your research! Ask your tutors and fellow students which hospitals have a good reputation for workers, do volunteer work to get a feel for the working environment and use your clinical tutes to do the same thing. When you attend interviews, ask about the workplace culture, ask how new nurses are treated and whether there is a good team approach. Be part of the solution - treat your fellow nurses with respect. If I listened to everyone who said to me when I started nursing (can't imagine you being a nurse, nursing is horrible, you'll just empty bed pans all day, etc) I would never have done it. Despite all the difficulties, the dodgy people you meet sometimes, nursing has given me an insight into human beings I would never have had, and I feel also that nurses are good people, for the most part, and are perceived that way by the community and I feel good for being a part of a profession which is beneficial to people. I also feel proud of my nursing skills - I did things that most people I know would never have been able to do! Nurses are brave IMO. Be positive! Don't let people who are venting, unhappy or a regretful of their choice of profession get you down - this is something you will need to get used to as it happens from time to time. Trust your own instincts and do your research and also, when people outside of health make ignorant comments, educate them! Make them see what nurses do and how great the occupation is.
  4. emmalou*

    Does allnurses.com make you a better nurse?

    Being ex RN of a couple of years, but having visited here over the past 10 years (I lost my account so had to make a new one in 2006) Allnurses didn't make my physical skills better but improved my knowledge. It also helps knowing there are other people going through the same thing you are when times are difficult. I think it helps to talk things out with people, some on the other side of the world :redpinkhe, which can put things into perspective. I would have loved for this site to exist when I was at uni then started as a new nurse! But then I graduated in 1996 so no internet then.
  5. emmalou*

    Is It Just Me...

    I guess the reason nursing is so scrutinised is because, a) the perception by so many people of nursing being altruistic; and b) the fact that nurses see their clients more than any other health professional. To deal with people 8-12 hours a day, good or bad, is reason enough to expect that someone going into the job would be a people person. I'm not into the whole Florence Nightingale perception of nursing - in actual fact, I think people who are pragmatic, less emotional and straight shooters make very good nurses - however you still need to like and respect people for the most part. FYI - I hate that people think nurses are altruistic and endlessly kind - apart from being completely impossible to live up to, it usually means we miss out on pay rises or get paid less than other professionals; the perception being that we are somehow above needing money or practical life needs (kind of how people look at nuns or something).
  6. emmalou*

    Is It Just Me...

    I can see where the OP is coming from actually .. I mean I don't think everyone necessarily needs to say they want to help people in regard to their career, and certainly, being attracted to a job for security and decent pay is fair enough ... The fact is though, you really need to have a realistic perception of nursing and be someone who likes people to do the job well. You do need certain personality characteristics, morals and values to be a nurse (ideally). Just like you need to be a certain type of person to be a teacher, lawyer or social worker. Still, as long as people do their best, the end result is the same, whatever reason you went into it for. The worst thing I ever heard was someone in the public service saying she wanted to do nursing so she could become a drug company rep! Talk about selling out, not to mention the conflict of interest in using nursing as a springboard to drug rep. I was horrified by this and thankfully she never did it. That's an extreme case though.
  7. emmalou*

    Told to clean room

    The OP was obviously placed in a difficult situation - it had to be done by someone and there was nobody else around. Some of my thoughts on cleaning tasks ... Nurses should not be cleaning, full stop unless there's danger to a patient or anybody else. Nurses are not housekeeping staff or cleaners, nurses are health professionals. Frankly, it isn't about being too proud or thinking you're better than anyone, it just isn't our job. I consider personal hygiene cares to be a nurses job - while I am doing those cares I am building a rapport with my patients and doing a physical and psychosocial assessment of them, and I am helping them, which is a privilege - this is totally different to cleaning a floor or a room. I am sick of nurses being expected to do housekeeping or cleaning duties while other health professionals wouldn't do the same. Would anybody ask a doctor, social worker or physio to clean a room? No. Didn't think so. And yet those professionals are also caring for patients. I'm sick of people in the white collar, corporate sector saying things like "nurses are to posh to wash", and "university nurses won't do menial tasks" etc - well why should we? Would they? It's amazing to me how people will get on their high horse about this type of thing; it's clear to me nurses are not respected by so many people. The more nurses do this kind of thing, the more our colleagues and community will think that is what nurses do - clean. It is bad enough that other people don't know what nurses do as it is, it is bad enough that the invasive, responsible, sometimes harmful to our own health, highly skilled tasks we do are behind closed doors or curtains; imagine family members walking past a room and seeming a skilled nurse cleaning a room - that is unacceptable to me. I'm not saying I never cleaned a bed if necessary, or wiped up a contagious spill for infection control purposes, or got a cup of tea for a patient or family member who was upset - I never did these things often though and I stand by that. TBH, I've always thought nurses were their own worst enemies when it comes to promoting our profession.
  8. emmalou*

    ED nurse faces big decision after needle stick

    Sorry but I would have had the PEP. It sounds horrendous but better safe than sorry. I respect her decision though, I just don't understand it.
  9. emmalou*

    Your Worst Mistake

    I really felt for you reading that. It's very difficult to do your job well, particularly a task like administering medications, when you're anxious or stressed out with too high a workload. Anxiety is crippling. Even with day to day activities, much less work tasks. Nursing isn't for everybody. Hell, nursing is probably not for most people - most of us muddle through the day, doing our best, hoping we don't make an error - that didn't stop me going home at night, lying awake worrying I'd given the wrong dose, had forgotten something or had offended a patient somehow. I agree it's an occupation which sets people up for failure - if you're not 100% on the ball, confident, knowledgeable and skilled all the time, you run the risk of making errors - and really, who can say they're all that and a bag of chips every single day? You have learned many skills from nursing - use that to move into another area and be happy. In my current field, I see many unhappy people who hate their jobs, everyone has the right to like what they do most of the time. :heartbeat
  10. Hi, not sure if anybody contacted you or not yet, but if not I'd be happy to help - send me an email if you like.
  11. emmalou*

    Nursing Refresher Program in QLD

    I haven't had experience with the QHealth program but a few years back started a 3 month refresher program at Greenslopes Hospital. Was terrible; no support and I was basically just an RN working autonomously, working with AINs and agency staff. I would have been better off just getting a job as an RN straight off, it was a waste of time TBH! Q Health might be better though, given they are government based and not private. If you're thinking about a refresher program, I would make sure straight off the bat that you have support of a preceptor at all times, that you are never in charge and are there to learn, not teach.
  12. emmalou*

    I love nursing.. not sure if nursing loves me

    I agree with the above. You made a mistake, and it wasn't a terrible mistake on the scheme of things. You will make mistakes over your nursing career and you will sometimes feel stupid . That is a reality of nursing. I can understand how you feel - the first time someone complains about you is awful, but you learn to take things on the chin after a while. Don't dwell on this - you did the right thing, took responsibility and apologised and that is the most important thing.
  13. emmalou*

    sweaty hands- please help!!

    I tend to get sweaty hands when I'm nervous - I do have a general anxiety issue though. I don't know why, but it didn't pose much of a problem once I started nursing because you're so busy with getting all your work done, washing your hands between patients, having lots on your mind etc, it wasn't really a problem and TBH, most patients don't care, they feel too sick. Also in a situation like a code, for example, it wouldn't be abnormal to sweat, on hands or anywhere else. If someone was watching me perform a task my hands would start to get sweaty but then my problem is psychological rather than physical. I remember my hands being sweaty when I did my first CPR exam on the dummy and a friend just made a joke about it (it was quite warm in the room though and a few people looked a bit sweaty). I would explain to my tutors I was nervous and they seemed to be understanding most of the time. Don't let this stop you from doing the job you want to do - maybe have another assessment with your doctor to see exactly what is causing the problem (physical -v- psychological). Wearing gloves is an immediate solution, but just a warning - I also used to get dermatitis on my hands because of sweating and the gloves exacerbated that. Some people do sweat a lot on their hands and feet, it's more common than you realise and there is treatment available. Good luck with your studies.
  14. emmalou*

    Ten Things I Love About Nursing

    Love this, sums up everything I've believed on those good, positive days
  15. Yes, thank you for sharing, I hope all goes well, waiting for test results can be an anxious time.
  16. emmalou*

    Has nursing in Australia been sold out ?

    undergraduate nurses are considered a bit childish and not quite the real deal. A bit of a micky mouse degree if you will. virtually anyone can get into a nursing degree ( charles sturt university for example) and believe me - the RN's ive had to work with during the past years have been dodge dodge dodgy ! and embarrassing to say the least. Are you repeating what you've heard people say or what you think? Is this coming from nurses or other professionals? I don't agree with this - it strikes me as yet more endless criticism of university educated nurses -v- hospital trained nurses, something I've been hearing (and tiring of) for around 15 years or so, since I completed my nursing degree. One of the things I disliked the most about being a graduate nurse back in the 90s, and it certainly hasn't changed from what I've observed/heard, is that hospital and health systems expect graduate nurses to be fully experienced and skilled right from the minute they walk onto a ward. This isn't a realistic expectation in any occupation, much less nursing. Experienced nurses, whether they come from a hospital trained background or a university education, are often very dismissive and impatient with new nurses. I often think how self defeating this is, considering that new nurses are valuable to nursing and the health system, and with some patience, tolerance and education from seasoned nurses, will go on to become experienced nurses who hopefully stay in the system. Sadly, a lot of nurses leave, probably in a large part because the nursing culture is so negative. I see nursing as a part of a whole team - we work with allied health professionals, and doctors. Feeling like you're being told what to do, or are answering to other people is your perception, it's not necessarily the case. I've always felt equal to allied health staff, and the more experienced I became, I felt comfortable with medical officers as well. I was an RN for 14 years, tired of the shift work and the workplace politics, then completed my masters in rehabilitation counselling and changed my career. I can tell you from the experience of changing my career to a seemingly 'easier' occupation in terms of working hours and not being in the front line anymore that it is just as stressful and difficult at times, as nursing. I can also tell you, from rehabilitating workers back to the workplace who are from many other disciplines, that there are just as many issues in other career paths as nursing. Nursing is difficult, true, likely more difficult than some occupations. But the real problem is within nursing, the culture, and how nurses perceive themselves and their peers - often negatively. I think a lot of nurses walk around with a massive chip on their shoulder and expect people to pat them on the back for doing a good job. That doesn't happen in any occupation. It is up to you, and your peers, to increase the positive perception of nursing. How can nursing leaders do anything if you yourself have such a negative view of nursing?