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VivaLasViejas ASN, RN


Once a nurse, always a nurse!


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  1. The only way your employer can find out what's in your medical record is if you provide a copy to them, which of course you're not going to do because it's none of their business. Sometimes you have to disclose your med list to Human Resources, which is a little stickier if you're on certain classes of drugs; however, they are not allowed to share that information with your supervisor(s). Just because you have a history of _____ doesn't mean you can't be a good and effective nurse; but do be aware that sharing your health status with your boss or co-workers is generally a bad idea. Don't do it if you can possibly avoid it.
  2. Don't panic, even if your confused elderly gentleman has just yanked out his central line or your GI bleed patient suddenly gushes blood and loses his blood pressure. Freaking out never does any good, and in fact it can cause harm. Yes, you must be quick to respond to critical incidents, but that's why you have a team. Call on them to help you, even if you're afraid to because everyone else is busy too. You can fall apart later after the emergency is over and you're on your way home. That's one of the things I wish I'd known as a new nurse.
  3. VivaLasViejas

    Nurses Call the Governor of Tennessee

    Anonymous865, you make an excellent point. I'm going to have to rethink my stance on whether or not the nurse should face criminal charges in light of your examples of other people who have made fatal mistakes. I still say she should lose her license, but maybe the penalties shouldn't end there. I wonder what her current workplace thinks about all of this?
  4. VivaLasViejas

    Most Burned Out Nursing Specialties?

    My sentiments exactly. I did both LTC and Med/Surg and I don't know which one burned me out quicker. I switched back and forth between them throughout much of my career until I got involved in Assisted Living. I did pretty well in that field and stayed in it for years, but then I flamed out spectacularly at my last AL job and that was the end of it. It wasn't burnout so much as it was a mental health condition that made me hang up my stethoscope, but I know it wasn't helped by my feeling like I was at the end of my rope. ETA: I also should mention management as another set-up for burnout. Working 60-hour weeks and only getting paid for 40, plus being responsible for 85 AL residents and 35 staff 24/7/365 is not fun. Everybody thinks management has it so easy, well I'm telling you that I didn't. I busted my arse to arrange acceptable schedules for my college students, keep the place staffed adequately, working the floor myself when I couldn't find anyone to come in, acting as assistant administrator, answering the phones which rang incessantly, dealing with families who wanted to know what I was doing about Mama's missing laundry, assessing changes of condition and putting service plans together while optimizing revenue for the facility, even serving meals and working in the kitchen. It gets to a person after a while.
  5. VivaLasViejas

    BEWARE of frauds...

    I had to give you a Like for this video.
  6. You won't lose your license. I think almost everybody has done this at one time or another when things weren't as strict as they are now. (I never did it with narcotics, though, just maintenance meds like Lasix and vitamins.) Like Juan said above, this "cheats" another patient who has already paid, or whose insurance has paid, for that drug so you don't want to do it again. Always make sure you have enough meds on hand and if you don't, get hold of the pharmacy right away so they can supply the drugs ASAP.
  7. VivaLasViejas

    Is this insubordination? How do I deal with this PSW?

    Generalize much?
  8. VivaLasViejas

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    I wouldn't charge her. I do think she deserves to lose her license, however. This wasn't just a "mistake", it was negligence all the way. We've all been in situations where we could have given the wrong drug to the wrong person (and I'm sure we all have at one time or another), but why on earth didn't it occur to her that something was wrong when she reconstituted a drug that wasn't supposed to come in a form that needed to be reconstituted? What was she thinking?? Or was she thinking at all? Was she running on autopilot or just ignorant of the medication she was about to administer? There's no excuse for either. But again, I don't think she should be thrown into the criminal justice system. She will undoubtedly suffer from this for the rest of her life, and she will probably never work as a nurse again. That's enough punishment IMHO.
  9. VivaLasViejas

    Indecisive about job situation?

    I think you'd be better off in the long run if you can stay at your current job for at least another two months. Go PRN if you have to, your perspective may change if you're not throwing yourself against that wall every day. Or, have you thought about going full-time at your PRN job? LTC has its problems too, but it's steadier than home health and pays better than plasma centers. Just throwing that out there. Good luck.
  10. VivaLasViejas

    Med error . I’m devastated

    In regards to medication errors, there are two types of nurses: those who have made med errors, and those who will. No one is exempt from this. The good news is, you've learned from yours and will probably never make the same mistake again. Don't be so hard on yourself, the patient is OK and you won't lose your license. Just remember the 5 (or is it 7?) rights and you'll do well.
  11. VivaLasViejas

    **** I've seen

    I just threw up in my mouth a little. Dentures are my nursing Kryptonite. EWW!
  12. VivaLasViejas

    Understanding the Power of Nursing Specialty Certifications

    I was a Certified Medical/Surgical Registered Nurse in the way-back days when I worked in the hospital. They paid for the course and testing, and I got a dollar an hour raise for holding the certification. They were proud of all of us who became CMSRNs because they could boast to the public about having highly skilled certified nurses (there were about 15 of us, only one of whom didn't pass the exam). It was definitely worth doing in my opinion, even though I let my certification lapse after four years because of moving on to a different job.
  13. VivaLasViejas

    Over using sympathy card

    Grief is a funny thing. It comes and goes in waves, for months or years. You can be going along just fine for awhile, and then it hits you again like a ton of bricks. It is said that it takes roughly three years after a profound loss for life to get back to normal, whatever that is. In the meantime, one has to work and carry on no matter how they feel, and that is hard. Our fast-paced society expects people to put away their grief too soon, which creates all sorts of problems, not only for the person mourning a loss but for the people around them, including co-workers. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be for all concerned; thankfully I didn't have to work after losing my husband to pancreatic cancer. I'm just saying that people grieve in different ways and for different periods of time, and we should be at least somewhat understanding of the process even though it may inconvenience us for a time. But it's also understandable that co-workers shouldn't have to take up the slack for three years! I don't know what the answer is; maybe there isn't one. I only know that people do better with emotional support in the early mourning period, and they shouldn't be expected to be up to par within days or weeks of a loss. Sometimes it's best to take a sabbatical or at least a couple of weeks of vacation time if one can afford to. JMHO.
  14. VivaLasViejas

    **** I've seen

    Some of the things confused elderly patients do with their poop... One fellow who seemed alert and oriented on admission was later found rolling his BM into balls and lining them up on the bed table. I asked him why he was doing that, and he replied, "Because I can." This is really gross: I was walking by a room where another gentleman was about to chow down on a handful of poo. I ran in to stop him and yelled, "NO!! Don't eat that!" Then he looked at his hand incredulously as if seeing it for the first time and said, "Holy hell, I thought it was chocolate!" Thankfully he let me clean him up (he had a reputation for being resistive to care). Then there was the lady who had a very dry wit and was notorious for pooping only once a week. This was her norm, and she vigorously resisted any intervention to make her go more often. Needless to say, she had some REALLY large BMs, and this one night a CNA called me to the room to see what she'd produced. It must have been 5 pounds' worth, and it was in the shape of an exclamation point. I laughed and said that was the first time I'd seen anything like it. "Well, I was going for a bow, but didn't make it," she retorted.
  15. VivaLasViejas

    Allnurses Clubs

    Wow, how cool is this?? What a great idea!