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brandy1017 ASN, RN

Critical Care
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brandy1017 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

brandy1017's Latest Activity

  1. brandy1017

    When Will the Nursing Shortage Be Over?

    Last year my unit had almost 30% vacancy and that was before many more including me left. The ICU had over 40% in less than a year. I ran into a coworker and she said 19 staff in the ER left in less than 3 months. I heard all the OR staff left as of June. Also that my old unit is going to close due to a lack of nurses. The last year, dealing with toxic management and extreme short staffing and lack of supplies was the worst in my 27 years of nursing. As a coworker noted, the management was worse than covid! This is what propelled me to early retirement, otherwise I would have worked till 62 at least. Anyway I'm curious am I the only one whose hair turned really grey? I've read stress will cause grey hair and my hair is almost white/silver. I remember President Obama's hair turned grey too. Anybody else notice their hair turned grey or greyer from the last year?
  2. brandy1017

    Did you just TRY to bully me?

    Looking at the VAERS data there appears to have been a lot of miscarriages or still borns as how did the infants die since they are not getting vaccinated! Also the deaths and myocarditis of teens and young adults, as well as strokes, bleed strokes, low platelets and the thousands of deaths in our country alone. I imagine most of us have already worked thru the year with covid, been exposed and many probably already had it. Others may have legitimate reason such as history of anaphylaxis and we were already told to avoid it. I've had several such episodes in the past several years. It is scary and unpredictable and some people die from it, I don't want to have to go thru another anaphylactic episode. This has devolved into a public shaming and yet another reason I'm so glad to be done and out of nursing!
  3. I think these are two different issues. It's not about the patients. You went back to school to advance your career and said your boyfriend wasn't motivated in achieving his potential, more or less. He was an underachiever and it would have fallen on you to support the family. This reality hasn't changed. You simply haven't gone job seeking to find a better job so feel stuck. If these difficult patients motivate you to get a better job they will be a blessing in disguise! But while nursing provides a liveable wage, there are not much dating opportunities at work. Unless you actively get out there and meet people, you may be stuck on your ex a long time waiting to meet someone at work. I wish you the best and hope you get the courage to make the changes you need to be happy.
  4. brandy1017

    I don’t know if I want to be a nurse anymore

    She is a single mom with over $80,000 in student loans and the interest will keep increasing the debt exponentially over time. My opinion she can't afford to get a liberal arts degree. She needs quick job training for the cheapest price she can get so she can take care of her family and start paying that debt down! You are right there is nothing wrong with liberal arts, but in America it doesn't usually translate to a decent paying job unless you are lucky or have connections or get a graduate degree in law, medicine, etc. She can't afford to go that route. Back in the day I explored a degree in international relations with coursework including languages, history and politics, but it was affordable back then and I could pay as I go. But I was at UW-Madison and saw many people who had liberal arts degrees working as taxi drivers, security, and secretaries. Nothing wrong with that, but these jobs don't pay the bills very well and you don't really need a degree to do them. I was already working as a secretary and I wanted a better paying job. I switched to nursing and my income doubled the first year! Ironically my international relations classes have come in handy since I've met so many patients from different cultures,countries, and languages. I don't regret that time. It was a peaceful and fun time of my life, but I don't think I'd have been able to buy a house and save for retirement with just a liberal arts degree. The last few years, I met many nurses who already had a liberal arts degree and went back to school for nursing to get a decent paying job and ended up with six figure student loans in the process. I'm sure they wish they had done things differently. Student loans are the worst debt out there, regardless of the so called flexibility of deferment/forbearance, but they don't tell you that can double the debt thru interest capitalization! Also the income based repayment loan forgiveness plans have a 99% rejection rate, where people are told to start the clock over, all the while the debt increases exponentially due to negative amortization! Lastly, there are no bankruptcy protections and they will even garnish your social security if you are in default! When you realize a student loan is the size of a mortgage and will take decades to pay off, it is really scary because what if you lose your job or get sick or injured and can't pay it back and get behind on it. It only takes 9 months of non-payment to put you in default and they will then tack on a 25% surcharge to rehab the loan. Florida even adds a 3% surcharge to get in on the action! I'm with Dave Ramsey on this pay off your student loans as soon as you can and not count on the student loan forgiveness program. It will give you more peace of mind and help you sleep at night!
  5. brandy1017

    I don’t know if I want to be a nurse anymore

    Total waste of money, OP can't afford to take on more student loan debt as it is. My advice is to cut her losses, look to her local non profit community college for a technical degree that can help her start making an income. There are many other allied health degrees one can get with at a technical college, some pay as much or more than nursing such as ultra sound tech. Others pay less, like medical assistant or phlebotomist, but will lead to a job with health insurance at least. The local community non profit tech college is your friend as they are generally low cost and are geared to providing job training which as a single mother is vitally important! I would meet with a counselor there, as well as pick up the next class handbook. Then do a deep dive on the internet to research various allied health jobs or even business such as book keeping, accounting, computer science or software, or even real estate. There are many different options. I ran into an old colleague who had been a phlebotomist but got her mortuary degree and was doing well. Not for me, but it just shows there are many other options besides nursing out there. Whatever you do avoid for profits like Phoenix University as you'll be paying a mint for the same programs as you could get at a much cheaper price staying with your local tech or state college. I've read some past workers from for profits are taught to press on a person's pain points to get them to sign on the dotted line and sometimes give untrue info such as a person with a criminal background being able to get various jobs where there would be disqualified automatically, esp given a FBI level background check is needed for such jobs as nursing, police, etc. Lastly I advise her to speak with her loan company, see if her loans qualify for income based repayment and consolidate them if that is the case and start on income base repayment. Not all loans qualify, so you have to be careful not to consolidate those loans.
  6. I can certainly relate to those feelings from time to time due to difficult patients and/or families. But it was not usually a problem as the patients were passing through so they would leave if not within a week, at least within a month or so. And if they didn't like you and demanded another nurse, count it a bonus! One time when I was still a new nurse, I walked onto my shift and found I had been selected to take care of an ICU transfer patient and there was a care conference of like a dozen people to tell us about the issues, mainly with her family. Don't trust them, they will seem nice, but turn around and report you to the nursing supervisor. I was an anxious new nurse and this only left me more so dreading the shift. But once I met the frail elderly sweet patient and had RT's back up to help with trach support I was OK. I had no problems with the family thankfully. I've learned through the years to take some reports with a grain of salt. Just because one person doesn't mesh, doesn't mean I won't. Also a person may sound so sick with multiple chronic illnesses, but they turn out to be surprisingly stable in spite of it all.
  7. There is nothing to stay for. Get out now. Give your resignation say it was a bad fit or not what you expected. You probably won't even have to do a 2 week resignation since you are still only on orientation and they obviously don't have you on the schedule yet.
  8. brandy1017

    I don’t know if I want to be a nurse anymore

    I suggest you get some career counseling and personal finance as well. The student loan debt is an albatross around your neck that will drag you down for decades! Best case scenario get a job at the VA and use their tuition reimbursement to pay down your student loans, while applying for the public student loan forgiveness program. This is not a given though because it currently has a 99% failure ie rejection on technicalities and the response was to start the ten year clock over. Also all student loan payments must be made on time for the whole ten years and you have to recertify each year that you work for a non profit eligible for PSLF. But the VA or even the military could help dig you out of the student loan debt hole the fastest! They have the most generous reimbursement programs. If you join the military you could get free training for another job. If not use the tuition reimbursement to start over and go to the cheapest public school you can find. Such as your local community tech school. I recommend ultra sound tech as an alternative to nursing that pays as well if not better. There are other ancillary health jobs out there you can research if one would suit you better. Honestly I think nursing is one of the hardest healthcare jobs out there due to all that you already mentioned, combining high responsibility, high stress, short staffing and volatile patients. Ultrasound techs deal with patients one on one usually in an office or clinic and more likely to have normal hours without holidays and weekends.
  9. brandy1017

    Burnout - How long do I have?

    I never had an interest in psychology and only took it because it was a requirement, but it was very illuminating to me. It helped me understand my feelings, my past and family upbringing etc. It didn't fix my issues, but at least I knew why I felt the way I did and it spurred me to see a therapist who worked with me during nursing school and my first couple years of nursing. She was an excellent and kind counselor who truly understood what I was going thru at work because she had been an ICU nurse and her husband was a cardiologist. My psyche rotation was an utter failure. LOL My patient refused to speak to me at all and it was only the last day when we had food that he suddenly became my best friend. I wish I knew that trick. I feared I would fail, but I passed anyway.
  10. brandy1017

    Administrators are not our Parents

    That and if they let their power or ambitions go to their head and start to abuse their power and bully staff. I had two such managers, both were short lived. The first went too far and harassed the wrong people and even had the gall to fire a loyal elderly CNA the day before Christmas on trumped up charges! It amazes me how mean spirited some people can be! Well her actions attracted the attention of her Director and the Chief of staff who spoke against her in a meeting with HR and she was subsequently fired. The last was a crazy bully who spouted Jesus and Mother Teresa one minute and always ended with I will write you up... Also sold questionable alternative health products via facebook on her time off, but that is another story. She stupidly and brazenly told all the new grads she hired how she was going to get rid of the older staff and started writing them up on petty BS crap. She had a major power trip going on, but it didn't work out for her, no one was fired, one older nurse quit for a way better clinic job; but almost all the hold outs are still there and she is long gone. Plus when the Director found out how she stupidly bragged to the new grads about her illegal age discrimination plans she was in hot water and that spurred her to move on quickly. I wish her next staff good luck as they will most certainly need it!
  11. brandy1017

    Administrators are not our Parents

    A newer nurse transferred to an OR at a neighboring hospital, but quit after a week and came back because a surgeon threw something at her in a rage. Of course they were having trouble recruiting nurses when surgeons were allowed to take their anger out on the staff. Another nurse I know worked in OR for a short time and left because there was literally too much call and for several hospitals on top of it all. I don't have the answers for this though. The first one became an NP and the other found her niche in a case management position with recently discharged patients at risk of readmission due to chronic conditions and fragile health.
  12. The reality was that they had a stable workforce and enough nurses until they cut support staff to the bone and raised patient ratios which lead to a mass exodus. Their greed and stupidity cost them 2.5 million dollars for 50-60 travelers for less than a year. Equipment is a given and they should have been cited by the state for their unsafe choice to not have enough essential equipment like heart monitors and oxygen flow meters. They actually admitted patients for heart monitoring to the floor knowing they didn't have a heart monitor for them. When informed of the lack of essential equipment heart monitors and oxygen flow meters management refused to order more. This basic essential equipment is the price of doing business and doesn't cost more than a few thousand. Their response to the corporate compliance complaint was equipment got lost due to Corona and we have enough tele monitors for average daily census! There were no plans to order more equipment at all in the response to the complaint. This was not one time, this was a chronic persistent pattern for basically the last year I worked there! When a tele monitor couldn't be found we would be told to call doctors and get another patient off tele, but the new admit was already on the floor without monitoring for an hour or more. Seriously, I wonder what Medicare would have to say about this. But adding more equipment will not help them hire and retain staff. Unless and until they fix the staffing issues they may as well hang out a banner this hospital is run by travelers. When you need surgery we will have travel nurses to care for you. But they won't tell the public they can't keep staff. I'm not against travelers, but they are meant to fill in the gap, not run the hospital. I'm sure patients would avoid having surgery done there if they knew there were no regular nurses. The destruction of this hospital didn't happen overnight. It took a couple years and was very deliberate by the CNO and other management. They saw they had lost over half the staff and more were leaving and they made no real efforts to fix the problem. On top of no raises, they refused to give hazard pay which their competitors were doing so that created another incentive to leave. For me personally, I didn't quit over money. The lack of raises and hazard pay were simply another sign of their disrespect for nurses. I quit over the unsafe working conditions, the blatant disrespect and frankly being ashamed to work for such a horrible company! I just think the public has a right to know if a hospital can't keep it's own staff and is being run with travelers and then they can make their own informed choice of where to seek care. They have a right to know that a heart monitor or oxygen flow meter might not be available, I sure hope this has since been fixed! Also they may need to be transferred to another hospital because they don't have staff to do a CT scan or surgery which obviously causes a delay in care which is vital for a stroke or emergency surgery! Honestly, I think if this is the way they are doing business they should just shut the hospital down for the patients' sake!
  13. Yes it is a small community hospital in a poor section of the city with a large immigrant population. We actually used to make a small profit, but now almost all their hospitals are losing money. They already tried to close down the other inner city hospital, that was losing 20-30 million a year since they took over, partly due to moving profitable surgeries and procedures to other hospitals. Surprisingly they backed down after community push back which is very unusual for this system. They routinely buy up hospitals across the country and then close and sell to boost their profits. Ironically their competitors have been making profits, even during Corona! I read the Business Journal to keep an eye on how all the healthcare/hospital systems are doing. There are still plans for building new micro hospitals for all the systems in my area. At the same time Wrongway dumped a bunch of rural hospitals this past year. They will have to change their marketing strategy since they are no longer a state wide hospital system! Hopefully those hospitals and staff will be better off with the regional non profit that acquired them. They are still claiming they want to improve the status of the hospital and are supposedly investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in badly needed equipment, as evidence by lack of tele monitors and oxygen flow meters for every room this past year. They hired a consultant to help hire and retain employees, but chose not to give raises out system wide due to Corona, even though they received a billion dollars from the government! I don't know how they are going to keep new nurses, when they have no plans to fix the staffing ratios and lack of support staff. Even new grads quit six months in declining a bonus to stay!
  14. brandy1017

    Nursing sucks!

    So very true! My mom is a patient frequently so I'm with her at the hospital and part of me is engaged in the medical side of things, but then I think no I don't want to deal with the inevitable stress and short staffing. Plus it's so wonderful having weekends and holidays free after almost 30 years of hospital nursing! I can't picture myself going back. Being free feels too good! Plus I don't think the stress in these jobs is good for anyone. I wonder how many years my life will be shortened from the extreme stress I was under. I just hope I can still repair the damage. I've been bike riding again, exercising, spending time with my family, friends and my faithful dog and on a fairly regular sleep schedule now.
  15. I'm sure you are right. I should just detach and let it go. I still get updates on facebook and when I see the few nurses left at the occasional group luncheon. I'm skipping the staff reunion get together planned for this Summer, but I'm sure I will hear about it. Yes you're right, hearing things are worse only reaffirms that I made the right decision to quit. I don't really know how the rest can stay there and keep working under the unsafe, subpar conditions. I admit I get a little frustrated with some of them not making any effort to leave and don't understand why they would choose to stay. Several are in their 60's, old enough for medicare and should certainly be able to retire. I just shake my head. I just wish I could do something to expose Wrongway, but since I no longer work there I can't go to the media. I was strongly tempted to do so, but after the corporate compliance complaint was met with the Corona excuse, I felt it would just be disregarded by everyone. I hate that everything is just getting swept under the rug. I want the truth to be exposed and for heads to roll, but that's unlikely to happen. In the meantime, I do my little part by warning family and friends to avoid Wrongway at all costs.
  16. We had a couple staff Christmas outings, but it was pay as you go, not provided by the hospital or manager. I do believe they have a budget for stuff like that. I did work with a nice supervisor who bought pizzas for us one night as we'd had some rough shifts, that was appreciated.