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VivaLasViejas ASN, RN

LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych

Once a nurse, always a nurse!

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I'm a retired RN and blogger who lives with my son, his husband, and four adorable little dogs. I have over 25 years total experience in health care and have done a little bit of everything. I especially enjoyed mother/baby care and assisted living. I retired early due to health reasons but kept my license active for several years beyond that. I love God, my family, my friends, NFL football, and good food enjoyed with loved ones!


Do, or do not. There is no try.--Yoda, Jedi Master

Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, and calms His child.

VivaLasViejas's Latest Activity

  1. VivaLasViejas

    Show drivers license to patients in home health

    Nope, nope, nope. So much nope. I would insist on using name badges only.
  2. VivaLasViejas

    I need guidance

    Med/Surg is not for a lot of people. I don't think you've been at it long enough to throw your career away, however. You need to get that year + of experience in before you can really tell whether you enjoy nursing. And maybe it IS Med/Surg that you don't like, and you would be better off applying somewhere else. Urgent Care clinics, doctors' offices etc. are great for someone who likes M-F, no holidays (you may have to work the occasional Saturday though). They are also less stressful on the body as you won't be lifting heavy patients into and out of beds, and you're not dealing with dangerously ill patients for the most part, although they can surprise you and require urgent transfer to the hospital. If you can, please consider sticking with your current job for at least a year, longer if possible. You will learn a LOT, which will stand you in good stead when you do decide to explore other options. It sounds like your workplace is pretty good if they have 5:1 ratios and decent administration. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and if you went back to your former career you'd probably get bored and leave again within a fairly short period of time. Don't let the first year of nursing run you off---it stinks in the beginning, but it does get better after you've been at it for a while. Good luck to you. Viva
  3. VivaLasViejas

    Cultivating Winter Stillness

    The winter solstice, for me, brings the onset of depression. The cold, grey days and the long nights combine to make me feel sluggish and moody, I ache and generally just feel lousy all over. What you've written here has made me look at the winter solstice in a different light; maybe if I save this and re-read it as often as I need to, I can avoid the worst of it. Thank you.
  4. VivaLasViejas

    Finish the Toon!

    <SNORT!>
  5. VivaLasViejas

    Nurse asks, 'Did you know I was there?' in touching viral post

    Working with the elderly for most of my career, I saw a lot of death, but I always found it to be a sacred privilege to be there at the moment when the patient took his or her last breath. The last person I saw pass away was my husband, and the nurse in me called the time of death and reported it to his nurse. But then the wife in me took over and I marveled at the way he had reached for my hand as his soul left this earth, winging its way toward Heaven. This is really well-written. I thank the OP for sharing it.
  6. VivaLasViejas

    Doctors offended by TV show about nurses

    On its surface, I can see why doctors got butt-hurt about the trailer for the new show. Most of the physicians I know don't fit the stereotype, they just do a tough job every day and earn pretty good money for their time and trouble. But I can't help but like the idea of a show that focuses on nurses and what we do. All the medical shows, like Grey's and Chicago Med, tend to showcase doctors and portray them as uber competitive, arrogant, and willing to throw nurses under the bus for any or no reason. Either that, or they are saintly, idealistic figures who sit with their patients all night, start IVs, and perform hygiene. They even answer the phone!
  7. VivaLasViejas

    Where do patients go?

    This is so true. I was in the same position, doing admissions for both SNF and long-term care, and so many discharge planners outright lied about the patient coming to us that I took everything with a very large grain of salt. There were a couple of D/C planners that I couldn't trust farther than I could throw them. But the decision to admit them, sight unseen, was above my pay grade so I had to play the cards I'd been dealt. The one bit of power I had was the ability to assess them literally on the doorstep if they looked bad, and if necessary, send them back to the hospital if their vital signs were unstable, they were having trouble breathing, or they were having severe pain that the pain meds they'd gotten before leaving the hospital didn't touch.
  8. VivaLasViejas

    What is up with these Sickle Cell Patients?!

    This thread is from 2011. Hopefully the "newbie" (who is no longer a newbie) has since learned how to handle these challenging patients and get along well with them. I don't think she lacked compassion, she just needed to be shown that SC patients are human too and deserving of good care regardless of their status. 'Nuff said, at least by me.
  9. VivaLasViejas

    Support Planned Parenthood Today!

    They do in my state (OR). Our lovely governor, Kate Brown, recently signed into law a bill making taxpayers responsible for abortion on demand and free abortions for illegal immigrants. The Hyde Amendment be damned, our leaders have stepped on the federal government's head and awarded themselves all the power. It infuriates me because I don't believe my hard-earned money should go to pay for something I am passionately opposed to. But what can I do, I'm just one of a minority of Oregon residents who are pro-life.
  10. VivaLasViejas

    Depressed and Suicidal at work

    OP, I'm very concerned about you. This thread was posted on November 16th, it's now December 22nd and we haven't heard from you. Please, if you haven't already, get out of that job, and if you still feel sui, you can call the Suicide Prevention hotline as mentioned above, or text HOME to 741741, which is the Crisis Text Line. I personally find it easier to text, and I've used them before when things were bad for me. Just know that you have options, and that no matter how bad things are there is always the potential for life to get better. You just have to stick around for it. Wishing you the best. Viva
  11. VivaLasViejas

    Do charcoal masks work for foul smells?

    Something that's a little less embarrassing for the patient: a quick dab of Vick's vapo-rub under the nose from the tiny little jar you carry in your scrub pocket for occasions like these. If you come into the room with a mask on they're going to feel bad about the smell, which they can't help. Besides, after a while you'll be so used to the aroma of poop that you don't really think about it (unless it's a GI bleed or C.diff. NOTHING can get those smells out of my nose, and I retired five years ago).
  12. VivaLasViejas

    Millennial Nurses Have Issues

    My oldest daughter was born in '82 also, and she doesn't think of herself as a millennial either. She's more like a Gen-X'er in that she acts older because she started her "career" as a mother with her own siblings. She was the one who had the most responsibility (but her allowance was also bigger!) and took that responsibility seriously. She is one of the best moms I know, and she is married to a Gen-X'er who is also the oldest in his family so he's very familiar with the leadership role. Together, they're doing a fantastic job as parents of my 14- and 12-year-old grandsons and they have a work ethic better than many people in my generation can claim.
  13. VivaLasViejas

    Dilaudid & Zofran?

    I've been given Zofran with Dilaudid on more than one occasion, and it was wonderful stuff. It prevents nausea, which Dilaudid is known to cause, without making me stupid (the Dilaudid accomplishes that quite nicely, haha!).
  14. VivaLasViejas

    Don't Say The "Q" word!

    As the saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
  15. VivaLasViejas

    Seriously? I'm concussed!

    Wow. Concussions are no joke...just ask a football player with CTE. Your manager is an arse. Don't go back into work until you are completely over the concussion.
  16. VivaLasViejas

    Need inpatient and short term disability, but scared

    It's my understanding that disability issues are handled by HR and not management. You will have to disclose the reason to whoever is in control of that department, and you'll need a doctor's note releasing you back to work when you're ready. But all that is information that your manager and your co-workers aren't privy to. You are protected (somewhat) by the Americans with Disabilities Act, but you have to know your rights. Check with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as to what you must disclose and when. Good luck to you.
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