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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

    I'm thinking about going back on meds....

    Ditto. Do think about seeing a mental healthcare professional, even if what you're experiencing is "normal" considering the circumstances we find ourselves in these days. There's a reason you were on medication. It happens...nothing to be ashamed about;if you need it, let someone prescribe it for you. And therapy is always worth trying. Best of luck to you.
  2. VivaLasViejas

    You've Gotta Know the Lingo

    Thanks Joe!
  3. VivaLasViejas

    Assisted "falls"

    The rule I’m most familiar with is that any unanticipated change in planes is considered a fall and has to be documented as such, even if it’s just someone being lowered to the floor by staff.
  4. Before you can start to get your career back on track, you MUST get healthy mentally, emotionally and physically. Running around with untreated hypertension is always a bad idea, and it goes without saying that you need good mental health care. I deal with bipolar I disorder myself so I can sympathize with you on that score. It torpedoed my career before I got a handle on it, so when I see someone struggling with the same thing, I want to help. Thing is, you haven’t really taken responsibility for the state your life and career are in, and until you do you won’t be able to move forward. Being manic or depressed isn’t an excuse for losing your (brown word) and yelling at people in a professional setting. I agree, you definitely need a new mental health care provider, one who won’t judge you or actively try to deprive you of your livelihood. But you’ve shot yourself in the foot by lying to the BON, and now it appears that you’re unstable on top of everything else. I know it’s hard with kids and all, but I think you would do well to check yourself into a hospital. They can work miracles within a short time with the right meds, and if you’re lucky enough to be in a good psych unit like the one I was in, there are therapy groups, individual therapy and arts/crafts/music. Do you not have a friend or two who might take the kids for a few days while you’re in? Just a few thoughts for you to consider. I wish I could see you and hold your hand and tell you it’s going to be OK, but of course we don’t know that for sure and I’m not going to blow sunshine up your skirt. Things have been done that can’t be undone, and you need a Plan B in case this doesn’t work out. Wishing you the best. Please keep us posted as to how you’re doing. Viva
  5. VivaLasViejas

    Farewell Esme - In Loving Memory

    I was wondering about her. I hadn’t seen her here or on facebook for quite some time. So sad to know she’s passed away. But she’s out of pain, and I know where she is, so hopefully I’ll get to meet her in person one day. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace.
  6. VivaLasViejas

    Guns at the Bedside

    I had a concealed-carry permit and kept my .38 in the glove box of my car. I worked night shift and there were any number of questionable characters out in front of the ER on some nights when I arrived at the hospital for work. Our "security" team was a joke, but I allowed them to escort me in because I would never in a million years have taken my gun into the building. It was there for my safety on the road, not to carry into my workplace. The idea of allowing a patient to keep one at the bedside is too scary to contemplate. So many things could go sideways.
  7. VivaLasViejas

    Passed NCLEX - but felt like you failed?

    This was back in the bad old days of the '90s when you had to wait WEEKS to find out your results. I was a mother of 4 who went to nursing school in my mid-30s. It took me four years of hard work to get a two-year degree, but I did well and pretty much sailed through the program, earning good grades and the approval of my instructors. I had to wait two weeks after graduation to take the NCLEX, and when I finally sat down at the computer I felt well prepared. Four years of studying and clinicals had all boiled down to this, and I was ready. Seventy-five questions and only 40 minutes later, the computer shut off and it was all I could do not to wail "But I'm not DONE!!" I just knew I'd failed. I never felt more sure of a thing in my life. As I drove home with my then-teenaged daughter whom I'd brought along for moral support, she did her best to talk me down as I was in full freak-out mode. Needless to say, the following days were pure agony, and daily I haunted the mail box praying that it would be the fat manila envelope and not the skinny business one. I was almost panicking, because I had a job that I was expected to start the Monday after I got my license and if I couldn't do that, all my plans would be shot to hell. I had no Plan B. I was in the house when the envelope finally came two weeks and a day later, and I wept with joy when my husband handed it to me. I had passed! But oh, I'm so thankful I never have to take that test again!
  8. VivaLasViejas

    Help! Hospice RN under investigation for diversion

    First thing you do is lawyer up. You do not want to face the BON alone. Preferably, you'll get one who has extensive knowledge of nursing practice. There's a group called TAANA which can refer you to experienced attorneys who know what BONs can do to a nurse's license and reputation. I wish you best of luck, I've never been in your position but I feel for you and your situation. Please keep us posted.
  9. I was a casual CNA in a small hospital when I was going through nursing school, and I learned a LOT. In addition to taking vitals and performing ADLs, I was encouraged by the nurses to listen to lungs and bellies, assist with procedures like NG tube insertion to the limits of my scope of practice, check blood sugars and discontinue Foleys and IVs. I loved it and got plenty of hours. It was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone.
  10. There are two kinds of nurses: those who have made med errors, and those who will. Don't let yourself get too worked up about these mistakes. You've learned from them, and like someone else already said, they are the kind most new grads make. Just do your very best and take your time doing tasks, even if it seems like you must complete them quickly. Better to be a little too slow than go too fast and make further mistakes. Good luck to you. You'll get it. It just takes time.
  11. VivaLasViejas

    No Scott Toilet Paper?

    I prefer Charmin mega rolls, but I haven't been able to locate any in over 2 months. I'm lucky if I can find generic TP, which is usually terrible but better than nothing. Right now we're using some one-ply paper. I am not a fan. But again, it's better than nothing and we have plenty of it.
  12. I was watching the rioting in Portland late last night on the news and found it rather ironic that most of the protesters causing trouble looting and setting things on fire, were wearing masks. Not bandanas, but regular surgical masks and face coverings. Of course, social distancing wasn't being observed, but who's got time for that when you've got store windows to smash in with skateboards and you're blocking off streets with blazing dumpsters?
  13. VivaLasViejas

    Are churches safe?

    I am a Catholic whose parish has been closed since mid-March. Our Archbishop gave us a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass, which is still in effect despite the fact that the church is partially open this weekend. We have to sign up to be able to attend, and we must wear a mask and sit in separate pews. They've added Masses during the week so those who are not allowed to attend on Saturday or Sunday can go, but the spots go quick. They still don't want people over 60 and/or underlying conditions to go, so I'm staying home. Thankfully they're livestreaming Masses on the website (but they're hard to catch because they're early in the morning). I have no idea of how long this will go on. My Mass attendance has been spotty over the past year or so, but now that I can't go, I want to so badly.
  14. VivaLasViejas

    New names for placebos!

    Oral contraceptive of questionable effectiveness: Babymaybe.
  15. VivaLasViejas

    Nurse with mental issues?

    Bipolar I here, and I have no problem talking about my mental illness either. While I realize that disclosing to the people in your life is not right for everyone (and I advise against telling co-workers and bosses), I think every bit of progress against stigma makes for a better world. Like others have said here, you must tell your mental healthcare provider(s) the truth. ALL the truth. Even the ugly parts (especially the ugly parts!). How can they help you if you don't give them the information they need to make the correct diagnosis and treat you accordingly? Plus, you need some time and space to figure out what to do about your career. Job-hopping looks terrible on an application and may make you look flakey to a potential hiring manager. It doesn't seem that you've been with any employer for 12 consecutive months, so FMLA isn't on the table; you'll have to bite the bullet and either take personal time off or resign. It's not a crime to hate bedside nursing, but you've got to have more nursing education. I have nothing but respect for LPNs/LVNs, but it's clear that you'd like to advance, and if you want to get out of patient care you'll need a BSN at minimum. Wishing you the very best. Viva
  16. VivaLasViejas

    Personal trauma making me want to leave nursing?

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby. I lost a newborn 36 years ago and I still ache for her. It's not something you get over; you get through it, you get past it, but you never, ever get over it. The grief will lessen ever-so-slowly with the passage of time, but you need to give yourself time to mourn. Don't put the grief away too fast. Feel your feelings---it truly is OK to not be OK. Rage, scream, cry, pound pillows...it's not FAIR! I agree with other members who have advised you not to worry about going back to work at this time. If you can manage it, use FMLA (if you've been at your current workplace for a year or more) and get some help sorting it all out. The Compassionate Friends is an excellent organization that literally saved my life once. Look them up online to find a local group if you can. I wish you peace as you go through this terrible time. God bless you.
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