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Cobweb

Cobweb

Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist
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  1. Cobweb

    My fellow gimpos

    I have an incoming problem. I have a half-time position, a desk job, which probably will soon be going to full-time. That's a pretty big load for me. There's no possibility of working at home or getting help. I have lupus. I'm a year post-cancer surgery. I had a fall with a brain injury which sort of killed my ability to sleep. I sleep in 2-3 hour blocks right now, which is a vast improvement over the past. I've tried about everything to sleep at night--no good--although cognitive behavior therapy helped somewhat, also daylight therapy and playing music :) I use a wheelchair. I exercise every day and eat a pretty good diet. What are some tactics I could use to help combat fatigue? Right now, I work 6 hours (have to add about 2 hours in there for drive time, loading and unloading my wheelchair, etc), go home and sleep 3 hours, get up and exercise, eat supper, and take my bath, go back to bed and sleep 3-4 hours, back to work.
  2. Cobweb

    Is a fall occurrence of "zero" possible?

    I can't even achieve a fall rate of zero on myself ;p I used to get pulled to psych a lot and they had patients 1:1 fall all the time. I myself saw a big guy tear up a steel bedframe, shred 4-point leather restraints, escape 5 aides, and fall on the floor. I don't think zero can be achieved.
  3. A friend of mine recently had to put her mom in the nursing home. Now, a couple of things she told me had me raising my eyebrows. She said they weren't allowed to bring her mom's own wheelchair in--that the facility required her to use the facility wheelchair, as they couldn't be responsible for patient wheelchairs. The facility wheelchair is pretty uncomfortable, where the lady's own wheelchair is a lot better for her bad back. I just never heard of such a thing. The other thing that confuzzled me is that the staff is not allowed to walk the patients. Only PT is allowed to walk patients, and since that is about $500 a week, that doesn't happen very often. Back in my nursing home days (when dinosaurs walked the land), nurses and CNAs walked all the patients if they were able. In fact, we had special restorative aides and so on. What do you think of that?
  4. No, I flatly refused the patient, as they would have had an unsafe environment, and casually reminded them that state was coming pretty soon and did they want patients to be telling stuff like that to the inspectors?
  5. We ran out of beds once. We had open rooms, just no beds to put in them. I had one electric bed shoved out in the hall and the unnamed management person was yelling at me, "Why don't you use that one?" "Because it caught on fire when the patient raised it up!" (It shot sparks out of the motor underneath the bed.) She said, swear to God, "Well can't you just take off the controller so they can't raise or lower it?" Even though we were missing three beds, they kept admitting people to the rooms.
  6. We have a lot of ingrained behaviors, though, that we don't really think about. For instance, in one facility, when they banned the housekeepers and laundry people from speaking Spanish in front of patients, I banned people from speaking English in front of my deaf patients. I wish you could have seen the looks I got! It was hilarious. I explained that it was just about the same thing, but some folks just don't get it.
  7. Cobweb

    Best Experience you've had as an LPN

    One time I was transferring an elderly gentleman to his wheelchair. He would go where you steered him, but didn't speak, or look you in the eye, or register people in any way. I had been taking care of him for over a month, and never saw one sign of mental life. As I was talking to him (telling him some dumb story or something), all of a sudden, he looked me in the eye, smiled a tiny bit, and patted me on the shoulder. Then he was gone again. But for just a brief moment, I saw the human being in there. It was pretty inspiring to me. Since that time I have always tried to remember that the meatsacks we are working on are really people :) It's easy to forget sometimes.
  8. Cobweb

    I need some advice about being a patient!

    Thanks, guys, I didn't even know you could ask for an OT consult. And thanks for the tip about the wipes; I've never used them and the last thing I am gonna need is a stopped-up toilet, hehe :)
  9. Cobweb

    Depressed about life choices

    I don't have a good answer for you, but I can tell you what one friend of mine did. She studied the whole program ahead of time. She devoured nursing books like I read trashy romances. Then, when she did go to school, she already knew most of the stuff and had very little studying to do. She said it was the only way she could work and go to school at the same time.
  10. Cobweb

    Shaken up by reaction to a patient

    Think of it this way--if everybody who was horrified by what happened to this family was not able to take care of the little girl, what would happen to her? She'd be surrounded by people who didn't give a damn. It is perfectly normal to have those feelings, and to have to learn how to deal with them. I went to the hospital morgue with my teacher when I was in school--lo, these many moons ago. The attendant was flopping around this baby on the slab like an old dead chicken. He was trying to get a rise of the two big cops standing there, I think. Anyway, I kept a stiff upper lip so as not to embarrass my teacher, but when we left I started crying. I said, "I guess I have to get used to things like that. I reckon I'll have to get tough enough not to care about that." She said, "If you get tough enough to not care, then you will be in the wrong profession." That was one of the moments that helped define my whole life--not just my career.
  11. That's right, I'm gonna be on the other side of the bedpan ;p I am gonna have a pretty big operation next week, and am I worried about chemo? Nah. What about radiation? No. What about blood clots or dying? Newp. The thing that has me in a stew is...that's right, you guessed it...how does an old fat gal who's nearly cut in half wash her personal area? Let alone wiping after going to the bathroom. oh, vanity, vanity... Who's got some cool and groovy tips for me? I probably won't be able to bend much or twist at all. I'm getting all my hair cut off tomorrow so I can wash it with a washrag. I should throw in, probably, that i am a wheelchair user. I can stand on 2 legs for a bit, but standing on one leg probably isn't gonna happen. I found some flushable wipes that might be useful. I already stocked my freezer and fridge with food that doesn't require anything but a minute of microwaving. I have a big bag of yarn, a big sack of books, and a big list of TV shows and movies, all acquired for me by my son, possibly the most wonderful human being in the world, in my honest, clear-sighted, and objective opinion. I'll take all the advice I can get!
  12. Cobweb

    What is My Family Thinking?

    Speaking as a disabled person (and I'm not even a spinal cord patient), I wonder if they have considered how hideously uncomfortable it could be for your relative. If it is like the campground here, there's no hot water to bathe her with. She may have her chair to sit in, but where's she going to lie down? Have they considered that she'll have to be moved AT LEAST every 2 hours (every half hour for me). What about if the weather turns? What if it is too hot and sunny? What if it rains? What if it gets too cold? (And people who don't get outside very often have very little temperature change tolerance). What will they do if their equipment breaks down? (My brand-new wheelchair lift and my brand-new powerchair have died 2 times apiece just this year) Can they fix food that she can eat? I guarantee that after nursing home food, barbecue ribs or greasy hamburgers can run through her like grass through a goose, not to mention salt...I would not take her until I had a trial run, like a day trip to somebody's back yard first.
  13. Cobweb

    Funny - Tech Broken, Use "Old School" Sphygmomanometer

    I just wanted to mention a couple of things that I don't think have been thrown in yet. Some people have little dinky arms and some people have great big arms--they won't measure well on "Nurse Nancy," even with the special cuffs. People who have very low BPs and very high BPs won't measure right. However, the night when you have to do 40 sets of vitals (which I have), you'll be thanking God for Nurse Nancy because after you pump up that cuff about 20 times, your fingers will never want to straighten out again ;p
  14. Cobweb

    My 8-month report

    Dear Allnurses: I will recap as briefly as a gabby old lady can :) I have to thank all of you for your support, through posts and private messages. Last year I lifted weights and didn't really feel like it was helping me. My son suggested I try walking in the pool at the gym, so I gave it a shot. I started in January. I am pretty excited to tell you that, after 10 years in a wheelchair, more or less, I am now **drumroll** **FANFARE** ----WALKING---- I am walking at work. I have left my powerchair at home the last 3 weeks. I still need it for any appreciable distance. but I can make it about 100 feet with just my walker, or I use a rollator and sit every little bit if I have to go farther. I just wanted to share that because other people's stories on here have helped me so much, so I hope this helps somebody. Doctors have never helped me feel better--it's other patients (particularly nurse patients) who have helped me make a better life.
  15. Cobweb

    Diagnosed with lupus can i still be a nurse?

    I've been diagnosed with lupus almost 25 years. I love nursing, but you do have to take care of yourself. Nurses tend to be pretty co-dependent, and you need to know right away that YOUR issues come before your employers. You need to eat right, take your breaks, get your rest, and be pretty stress-free, in order to last a long time. When I say stress--the stress of the job never bothered me much, it's the politics and drama of the workplace that got me down, so I avoid those kinds of things as much as possible. I exercise religiously, eat non-processed food, stay out of the sun, and wear baby sunblock all the time. And, as posted above, get as much school as you can while you are doing well--you want to be able to get your pick of jobs. Always choose a job for your lowest level of wellness, not your highest. That's my path, choose the parts that suit you :)
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