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Content by brandy1017

  1. brandy1017


    I'm curious why you want to stay at this job when it has you so stressed out you had to take stress leave? Wouldn't it be better to look for a less stressful job than try to remain there where you feel you are under so much stress you can't function? I know working conditions are poor in many places and nurses are understaffed, but if you can't handle the job, why stay? If it is making you so miserable, anxious, depressed and stressed out that you have to go on leave, why not look for an easier job such as a clinic? Perhaps the termination is a blessing in disguise and a chance for you to find a better job where you would be happier.
  2. I suggest you see your Dr ASAP and see if you can get some anti-anxiety meds to help you cope. Crying at work is not the answer. If you are losing it you need to take a break, even if it's just in the bathroom. Do not show weakness by crying as others have noted. It will not garner sympathy, instead, your coworkers will be frustrated with you and feel you can't handle the job. A therapist would also be helpful to teach you better ways to cope. Not all doctors are willing to give anti-anxiety meds, but if a Dr does it is usually for a short 6 week period combined with therapy. Therapy is now a covered benefit under health insurance. I agree with the others who suggest you resign. Take the knowledge you've already gained and apply it somewhere new. You could possibly ask for a transfer to a less intense unit, like med-surge, but I'm not sure if that would be to your benefit as your reputation and the crying will precede you. It probably would be best to just resign and start fresh somewhere new where no ones knows you. If you are younger than 26 it's possible you could get health insurance from one of your parents until you get another job. You need to take care of you. As others have stated the odds are stacked against you succeeding in this job and you would be better off resigning and starting fresh elsewhere.
  3. brandy1017

    Please Help!!

    I agree with JKL33 learn about personal finance. Read some good books like Personal Finance for Dummies, Deal with Your Debt, Your Credit Score, Smart Women Finish Rich. I wish I had done that when I was young, maybe I'd be able to retire already and enjoy the rest of my life stress-free.
  4. brandy1017

    Nurses that “only do it for the money”

    It just means that you touched a nerve and that there are a lot of strong feelings on both sides of the aisle. I don't care one way or the other why someone becomes a nurse. I just hate the way many nurses "caring" are used against them to work short staffed and over time they don't really want to do.
  5. brandy1017

    Write Up's and Potential Termination for Pain Reassessments

    I know you mean well, but frankly, I'm sick and tired of the damn computer micromanaging me and telling me all the crap I need to document on at "this" time! I'm sure I'm not the only one. I chart the pain assessment when I get around to it; we probably have more important things to do than reassess pain at a specific time because that's what we are told must be done. Not to mention we probably have nothing else to offer them and nowadays they are lucky to get tramadol! Oh wait, let's try aromatherapy the new sure thing, I bet that will relieve their pain, not! Instead of prioritizing patient safety we are prioritizing computer charting. That is the real problem. Quick, jump an hour's up, time to chart, but hey another patient is having a real problem that needs our attention and sorry, not sorry, the pain reassessment will have to wait. All these reminders do is put unneeded pressure on us and may nudge some people to falsify charting just to keep from being written up. I don't think another reminder is what we need.
  6. brandy1017

    Write Up's and Potential Termination for Pain Reassessments

    Oh my God, you made me laugh! Thanks, I really needed that!
  7. brandy1017

    Accused of Intoxication-HELP

    Fiorcet is a barbiturate and it will stay in your system for a long time, at least a month after you last take it, much longer than simple narcotics. Only time will tell if you are fired, hopefully, since your drug screen was negative other than your prescribed med and you were not drinking you should be ok. Unfortunately, most people live in right to work states where you can be fired at any time for any or no reason, so I don't know if common sense will prevail. Do you have any idea why they suspected you of being impaired? Did you feel off or sick? I wish you the best that things will work out. If you are fired you can still file for unemployment even if they contest it you may still win. It is worth a shot. I believe you also have COBRA for health insurance if needed. Good luck, Keep us updated.
  8. Usually, when someone defaults it's because the loan servicer refuses to work with the person in the first place. The loan servicers have been notorious for placing people into deferment or forbearance which runs up the loan and makes a profit for the lender, rather than offer the student loan forgiveness option. Once they are done using up all your deferments and forbearances your loan will be much larger. As to loan forgiveness, I wouldn't count on it. It's public knowledge that over 99% of people eligible for public student loan forgiveness have been denied. Congress then set money aside for these 99% to try to get their loan forgiven thru the workaround and I'm sure it's safe to say the pool of money is nowhere near enough to pay out all these claims! As we speak, Trump and the Republicans are making it their mission to eliminate the student loan forgiveness option altogether. Frankly, I wouldn't count on a loan forgiveness option 20 to 25 years away! Especially given the incredibly insane track record of the 10-year public service loan forgiveness option with a 99+% rejection! The income-based repayment option linked with the 20 to 25 year forgiveness option may lead to negative amortization where the payments are less than the interest and the loan just grows and grows and could double! You may end up paying more in total in the end especially as your salary grows. Also if you marry your spouse's income is applied to your income to determine your repayment, even though the loan is only in your name! The best option is to go to a low priced school and keep student loans to a minimum and then to aggressively repay them once you graduate.
  9. brandy1017

    Sitting down - New nurse looking for advice

    I would suggest a night shift job. Days in a hospital or clinic would be lots of standing and walking. Nights there is usually downtime where you can sit and chart. Case manager in a hospital or for an insurance company would be a sit-down job. Working as a home care nurse would involve less standing. There are pros and cons to every job. I am surprised when people with ongoing back problems go into nursing as many of the jobs are hard on the back, neck, shoulders etc. Though truth be told many nurses live with chronic daily back pain from on the job injuries. It only takes one patient, one time to hurt a person! I would also recommend doing stretching exercises, yoga, seeking out a chiropractor and massage therapy to help you cope and hopefully heal your back. I've worked with many nurses struggling with back pain from on the job injuries who've had to go to chiropractors, get regular massage therapy, even epidurals in order to function. A hot tub or heated whirlpool bath at the end of the shift helps too. Youtube has some great physical therapy videos showing exercises and stretches to relieve back pain. I even saw a video on the best sleeping position, side sleeper, with a pillow for one arm and one between your legs and one doubled up pillow for your head.
  10. brandy1017

    Living paycheck to paycheck

    Is the 3K monthly take home? I recommend reading about personal finance such as Deal with Your Debt and Your Credit Score by Liz Weston, Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson, Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach and also Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. Read money articles on msn money and yahoo personal finance. Do you have alot of student loans? Are you paying alot for childcare? You can look into Income based repayment on govt loans. What is your credit score? A bad score will cost you in higher interest rates for car loans and even insurance. Check out gabi.com or zebra.com to find the best insurance rates for home and auto. Check out trim.com to lower phone, cell, internet and cable bills. I also recommend mint.com as a free site to track your personal finance info and keep track of your bills and savings. Consider a high deductible health plan if you are able and then use the health savings account to save for medical expenses. Try to use $4 generics at Walmart for prescriptions if you have any. Start up your retirement account 403B at least 6% for the company match. If 6% sounds like too much start at 3% and go up. You will find your money will go further as you lower your taxes with these strategies. The HSA and 403b will reduce your taxable income. Do you receive the earned childcare tax credit? Also you should be able to set aside child care expenses tax free during your annual benefit enrollment period as well, which will cut your taxes too! A useful budget mentioned in the book All Your Worth by Congresswomen Elizabeth Warren suggest 50% needs, 20% savings and debt repayment, and 30% wants. Also consider finding a new job that pays more if possible or a side hustle. Some people sell crafts or art on etsy. The key is to try to minimize costs and increase income. Some low cost ways to save money include rummage sales, goodwill and other thrift stores, check out ebay, mercari and poshmark for gently used clothes and accessories. Use the dollar stores for basic neends. Be willing to use a food bank if necessary. Once you have good credit you can actually refi a car loan. You can consolidate student loans to lower your monthly payment, but be aware it usually extends the length of the loan and would restart any student loan forgiveness back to the beginning. So far the ten year student loan forgiveness program has been a bust, over 90% have been denied due to technicalities so I wouldn't count on it. Best of luck to you.
  11. brandy1017

    Older nurses...chasing that carrot

    They average your 35 highest paid years of work, they account for inflation, but obviously, if you work less than 35 years you get a zero for those years which lowers your final amount. I've read you only get about 40% of what you make to live on and that's at the full retirement age of 66 or 67. If you retire at 62 and take social security you are cut 25 to 30%. Every year you delay adds 8% to the total till you reach 70. That is the reason they say people are better off working another year or two because of the increase of social security. Check out ssa.gov to see what your current social security is worth. It will give you all the numbers from disability (which is basically your full retirement age amount), 62, full retirement, and age 70 if you delayed claiming. Married people can claim 1/2 their spouse's social security if it's more, but can no longer switch and get their own at 70 at a higher amount. If you are widowed you can get 100% of your spouses if it is more and can claim as early as age 60 but for a reduced amount. If you are divorced after being married for 10 years and don't remarry you can also get 1/2 your ex's social security if it is more.
  12. brandy1017

    Older nurses...chasing that carrot

    I don't understand why you need to keep working for 13 years! Can't you save more in a Roth IRA and 403b and retire sooner than that? Pay off your mortgage before you retire if you can. You can use COBRA for 18 months if insurance is a deal breaker so 63 1/2, 65 you can get medicare. I wouldn't work till 66 or 67 just to reach full retirement. You can always choose to retire and not take retirement till then and use your savings to live off. From what I've read 63 to 64 is a good compromise to taking social security early if you have to. I yearn for retirement not to travel or spend lots of money, but just to be safe, secure and feel peaceful and not be stressed out by work! My home will be paid off before I turn 62. I figure I have another 8 years to save and I plan to retire early, but I might retire even earlier and just be poorer. If I had to go without health insurance I would even do that! I know more than anyone how risky it is as I see so many chronically ill people even in their 40-50's, but life is a gamble. Truth be told if you get sick enough to need a nursing home you will probably lose your home and all your savings anyway. It feels like we're just on a treadmill spinning in circles! I totally understand how you feel, but my job is stressful because of the corporate takeover, understaffing and constantly getting ICU patients on a tele floor so it's not all fun and games. I don't enjoy it and would retire today if I could afford it. Honestly, I'd be willing to go on food stamps and be poor to make it work! Tired of the disrespect and horrible corporate leadership, makes me regret becoming a nurse. I'm so cynical and jaded and sick of the corporate takeover of healthcare it has seriously ruined nursing and left patients unsafe all out of greed! There has to be a way that you can retire sooner than another 13 years! Get serious about cutting costs, saving to the max that you can so you don't have to wait that long! Heck we don't even know we'll live that long and won't end up crippled or in poor health by that time! A retired coworker tried to slug it out till 66 and was so broken down, walking with a cane, it was torture to see her suffer while she insisted she couldn't afford to retire. She finally did and realized she could have done so sooner. But she doesn't enjoy retirement because of her aches and pains some from the wear and tear on her back. I'm doing everything I can to not end up like that God willing! I wish you luck as well!
  13. brandy1017

    How to retain nurses?

    You misunderstand the rationale behind performance evals. They are not really meant to reward workers, rather they are a cost cutting measure whereby management creates a budget say 2% across the board for everyone so that for someone to get exceptional say a 4% another person has to get 0% to even out the budget. Everyone jumps on the performance eval thinking they are exceptional and are going to make more money, but the reality is unless you are a favorite you will probably just get the average, mediocre 2%. As to doing others work, that should stop. You should speak to your manager and then it is their job to discipline the problem coworker. Truthfully if a person was doing so poorly that they shouldn't get a raise, then in truth they shouldn't have a job!
  14. brandy1017

    Fired two times and unable to get job now

    It's too bad you didn't use FMLA to protect yourself and your job. If you had FMLA they wouldn't be able to hold your absences against you. How long were you at the last job? Can you leave it off your resume? Do you have solid references? Otherwise, you may have to mention during the interview that you were having health and family problems then and reassure them that they are now resolved. Also, it is harder to get a job when you are older, especially in hospitals. You cost more and hospitals are so corporate nowadays they really prefer new grads. Some without union protections regularly lay off older workers without any reason such as absences. When you get a new job you really have to buckle down and not call in sick excessively. You did not take the warnings seriously! A lot of places these days are not sympathetic and will write you up and terminate you as you've discovered. You need to know the sick policy some places have as little as 3 days a year, the more generous might have 5 to 8 depending if you are full time and then on a rolling calendar year. You need to keep a record of when you call in and if you need to call in more than you can, you had better get FMLA to protect yourself. Now you have to be working at a place for a year to qualify for FMLA, it is not automatic when you start a new job. To find a job now you may need to reach out to other places such as nursing homes, assisted living, group homes, psych, dialysis or even consider prison or jail. Others suggested agency or travel nursing. I suggest you reach out in person and use linked in to find out who the manager is and then write a personal cover letter to the manager attached with your resume, especially to smaller places to get past HR and the computerized job filters that block older nurses from getting a job. Be aware you may need to take a pay cut to get a job. Be friendly, bubbly and positive when you make these in person visits. Also, it is a terrible idea to spend your retirement money because unless you were 55 or older when you left your last job you will now have to pay a 10% federal, plus possibly state penalty as well as taxes on that money. It would have been better to cut your expenses and try to get by on your husband's income instead. Definitely, seek credit counseling and determine whether you can pay your bills back in 3-5 years or if bankruptcy is appropriate instead. This is also why it is such a bad idea to use your retirement because retirement money is protected in bankruptcy, but most people spend down their retirement instead of using credit cards and/or filing for bankruptcy. Be aware though that there are no bankruptcy options for student loans. I suggest reading Deal with Your Debt by Liz Weston and All You're Worth by Elizabeth Warren, the congresswoman and current Democratic Presidential candidate. Both discuss budgets, financial strategy for debt and considering bankruptcy when appropriate. I wish you the best of luck with your marriage and finding a job. FYI if worst case scenario you end up divorcing, you are entitled to half your spouse's social security if his is larger than yours and you've been married for at least 10 years. Keep that in mind.
  15. Absolutely do not due this to yourself! Look up www.studentloanjustice.org and read the horror stories of college students and grads who couldn't pay their loans and ended up in default. Student loans are the worst and riskiest debt out there. There are no bankruptcy options if you fall on hard times. They will literally, and are currently garnishing over 100,000 senior citizens social security checks as we speak for unpaid loans. If you default the loan can double and triple due to high interest and fees including a 25% fee tacked on the loans! People have committed suicide over student loans! In some states you can lose your license to practice nursing or any other job that requires a license if you default. A few states will take your drivers license away if you default. A person defaults by missing only 9 months of payments. At first you can get by with deferments and forbearances, but in most instances the interest accumulates and capitalizes causing your loan balance to spiral even higher out of control. In the end you will find yourself much worse off and it will take decades and possibly the rest of your life to pay the loans off. In the meantime you will not have the money to pay your living expenses, let alone save for retirement. Also student loan forgiveness is a scam and a lie. The 10 year public service loan forgiveness program rejected over 99% of the people enrolled in the program! You read that right, less than 1% of "eligible" people were granted loan forgiveness, most often rejected for technicalities that know one could even know or foresee, everything from the wrong loans, wrong payment plan to consolidating starts the clock over, and you have to make ten years of on time payments to have any chance at all. The path you are contemplating is the definition of insanity! To spend $85,000 with no guarantee to be accepted into the nursing program, you would be better off gambling in Vegas, you could actually declare bankruptcy if you fell into debt that way. I'm guessing your credits won't transfer because you were tricked into a for profit school and this one is the same. Go the slow, sensible route such as a public community college RN program, even consider an LPN program with a one year bridge to RN. Most BSN's aren't even paid more and we are all paid the same at the starting gate regardless of how much money we spent. Absolutely take the time to read up on personal finance such as Personal Finance for Dummies, Deal with Your Debt, Your Credit Score, Smart Women Finish Rich. Take a low cost personal finance course if you have the opportunity. Read and learn all you can about money. As a single mom you need to make the most of every dollar you earn. Lastly don't blindly jump on the nursing bandwagon. Consider alternate careers such as ultrasound tech, radiology tech and nuclear med tech. Research allied health jobs. Nursing is a very high stress job and, if you work in direct patient care, dangerous to your body with a high risk of back, shoulder and neck injuries that in some instances are crippling and life altering. Really think long and hard before you pursue nursing. If I had to do it all over I wouldn't choose nursing. I wish I had known about other options such as ultrasound tech, I think that is the best job out there for pay and working conditions in the health field. Good luck to you!
  16. brandy1017

    Are Nurses Oppressed?

    I don't think there are enough perks to call it golden handcuffs, maybe brass. lol I too work nights and am aware of the studies of increased cancer rates and many other chronic health problems. But frankly it isn't so much about extra pay, although that is nice, it is more about peace of mind because nights is calmer. I don't know how the nurses on days manage they don't have a moment of peace, they are always being interrupted by someone and there isn't any downtime, at least on nights once PM's is over things start to wind down.
  17. brandy1017

    Are Nurses Oppressed?

    Sounds like hell. I don't know how nurses deal with the challenges of LTC. The insanely high ratios. My coworker's wife, also a nurse had 40 patients at night, but when they were short they actually gave her 80 patients one night. Totally unsafe and insane. Also your hands are tied behind your back with all the rules such as no restraints and no meds. How can you possibly keep the patients safe from falling under those conditions? It is impossible. Then the utter ignorance and condescension to tell you to smile more, smile all the time. Glad you were able to get out of there!
  18. brandy1017

    Are Nurses Oppressed?

    Sorry, but I don't work where the National Nurses United are. I wish! Also not all unions are effective as the National Nurses United have been. Frankly when we are dealing with the corporate takeover of healthcare where nurses have been turned into replaceable widgets we need all the help we can get! Shared governance is not a replacement for a strong effective union when they get better working conditions as they have been successful in CA everyone benefits, not just the nurses, but especially the patients.
  19. brandy1017

    Are Nurses Oppressed?

    Speaking the truth about the abusive conditions many bedside nurses work under doesn't mean we are victims. Why did it take an act of Congress to get safe needles in hospitals that were available for 10 years! Why did it take a state law to get safe staffing ratios passed in California! Because hospitals don't care about nurses safety nor do they really care about patient safety, they mainly care about how much they can get away with to save money. They have risk managers and lawyers to protect them if someone files a lawsuit because they were harmed. In that way they are like Ford when it decided not to fix the Ford Pinto and let people burn to death rather than recall the car because it was cheaper. Eventually after the infamous Pinto memo was exposed they were forced to recall the cars. Ok that is a dramatic example, but we all know that the constant short staffing and high patient ratios endanger patient safety and even increase the risk of death. If money were not more important hospitals wouldn't be fighting against a no lift environment and safe staffing ratios! It really is all about the money. I believe unions are the real answer, but not just any union. I would like to see the National Nurses United expand across the country and give nurses a true voice. Shared governance is more like a pat on the head and from what I've seen myself and heard from others; it really doesn't empower nurses because money seems to always get in the way when nurses speak up for improvements. As to nurses complain too much and all workers are treated poorly, nurses are the one with the ultimate responsibility for their patients' safety. Also, nurses are the only worker expected to do every other staff members job besides their own. They have a right to speak out and fight for better working conditions. When they are successful, patients benefit the most!
  20. brandy1017

    Over 70% of Nurse Staff Turnover is Due to Bad Leadership

    Overall I've been fortunate to have supportive managers and one really great boss, best I ever had, who really pitched in and helped and had your back. However the problems I've dealt with ran the gamut from bullying, thankfully I outlasted the culprit who ended up demoted and left of her own accord to now the corporate destruction of healthcare. While I agree a bad boss can cause employee turnover, some of the main reasons for turnover are poor working conditions and high patient ratios that come down from corporate on high. I don't think bedside nursing will stop the bleeding of staff until they lower the patient ratios, provide adequate staff, and supplies and I don't see that happening unless more states or ideally the federal govt enacts a patient ratio law like California has, along with a no lift environment. There are just too many negatives to stay in bedside nursing the constant short staffing, foley free environment, constant neverending alarms, back-breaking work without lift equipment down to the scripting of nurses.
  21. brandy1017

    Severely burnt out. Nursing home vs. tele unit?

    I would look into finding a clinic job that would probably give you the best quality of life and less stress. The nurses I know that work in the clinics are the happiest and the worst thing they say is sometimes it is boring. Well boring is not stressful, right!
  22. brandy1017

    Dismissed From Nursing School, Not Sure What To Do Now

    So you said you were studying. What do you think the problem is? Too large inpersonal class size? Working too much and not having enough time to study? Taking too many classes at one time? You have to analyze what went wrong if you are to succeed. You may need to cut back on working, take less classes, transfer to a smaller, private, non-profit school where you can get smaller class sizes and more individual attention. I went to school eons ago, but I actually supplemented my reading and studying materials with actual board review books focusing on the area of nursing we were studying. Now it is probably a CDROM, but that may help since exams are based to prepare you to pass the NCLEX in the end. Are you reading the books? Don't skip that. As another OP said your "passion" to be a nurse may lead to a real let down if and when you become a nurse and are faced with the reality of nursing rather than the ideal you have in your head. Also consider other healthcare jobs such as ultrasound tech. Look into that some places even offer a BS in it vs just an associates. I think it is a better alternative to nursing, less stress, work with one patient at a time, have a good schedule and quality of life and as good or better pay than nursing and can specialize in the heart or OB etc. I wouldn't pursue a biology degree just for the hell of it as it will only waste your time and money and will lead to more student loans to be paid back. It is really only a stepping stone degree to use for premed or maybe to advance to a Masters of Physical Therapy, which is another career option you could consider looking into.
  23. brandy1017

    41 yr. old business executive going to Nursing School

    Agree in general, except that pensions are mostly gone these days even in healthcare. My hospital froze ours after it was acquired by a national chain, but also it was a church pension anyway therefore it didn't even pay into the gov't insurance pension plan so if it goes bankrupt you are out of luck and this unfortunately has been happening to people already!
  24. brandy1017

    41 yr. old business executive going to Nursing School

    I wouldn't recommend it either if you are used to working as a corporate executive you will not like the way nurses and even NP's are treated by hospital management. Also think long and hard about taking out student debt. If your goal is DNP then you should have a passion for medicine, and feel confident making treatment decisions. Bedside nursing is very stressful, but NP's face a different stress of making the right treatment decisions while under the same time pressure of seeing a different patient every ten minutes or less! If you have anxiety in general or over uncertainty this would also not be a good field for you. Feel free to read thru the many posts on here to get an idea of what the working conditions are like for both bedside nurses and NP's before you take money out of your IRA. Even if your end goal is NP, most NP's work as bedside nurses during school to get some nursing experience and network with doctors. Healthcare is run like a business these days practically down to a stop watch, it is pretty hard to feel like you make a difference when you are burnt out and stressed out from being short staffed! Even doctors are in general unhappy over the state of things and NP's may like their job better because they have experienced the crappy working conditions of bedside nursing so being an NP is still better than it used to be. I'm not an NP, but I've watched many new grads go back for their NP and most were happier, sometimes they needed to change jobs a few times to find the right fit. Keep in mind as an NP things could be more expensive such as needing malpractice insurance, continuing education and even paying for your own health insurance if you are not employed by a hospital system. Personally unless this was a true lifelong desire I wouldn't advise you to pull out retirement money and take on student loans. I did work with an older nurse who did just that, basically pulled out all her retirement to attend an expensive private school and graduated in her late 50's or early 60's. The only thing that saved her financially is that sadly her family died unexpectedly and she received a large inheritance otherwise she had nothing left. She quit nursing after that and retired once money was no longer an issue.