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DallasRN

DallasRN

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Reputation Activity by DallasRN

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  1. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from TAKOO01 in Gaining experience/knowledge in HH   
    I greatly empathize with you.  I've been a RN longer than most of you have been alive.  My primary experience in years gone by was in some high level and  complex ICU/trauma units, ER's with a short stint on Med-Surg (those are some hard working people!!).  Personally, I think I'm a darned good nurse.  However, working in those areas I never had to deal with wound vacs.  I'm not well-versed in wound assessments/treatments. Those are things I'm having to learn now and part of what I like about home health - the new challenges.
    As for the family member saying you don't know enough.  True.  You are not a walking encyclopedia of nursing knowledge and good luck to him on finding that person.  We nurses tend to try to set ourselves up as "specialists" of sorts when in reality most of us are "generalists" and especially in the HH arena.  Jack of all trades, as you said.  And you know what, 99.9% of the time that is the perfect thing for HH.  
    We are in the home for a very short period of time.  We can't address and/or undo years of bad habits, bad health.  We can only do our best for the 45 minutes a week we are there. And yes, just like in the hospital or SNF,  you will occasionally "miss" something in the flurry of activity.  Your're fine.  Hang in there and know that you will always do your best.
  2. Like
    DallasRN reacted to dream'n in Sitting down - New nurse looking for advice   
    I am arguing with myself about responding.  I'm not a mean person and don't want to be unsympathetic, but at the same time, this type of question irritates the heck out of me.  Unfortunately it seems to come up quite often, in many different forms, among some new grad nurses here.
    I guess I'm just going to say it straight out...why on Earth did you go to school and become a nurse if you can't stand for long periods?  
    I'm one of the many nurses that have worked my butt off for years; missed holidays, worked weekends, took night shift even when it made me ill, worked when I was having more pain than the patient and had to crawl in the front door after a long shift.  I've raised 3 kids, dealt with horribly traumatic events, been a single parent, and been broke as heck.  And now, finally, I've earned my stripes and have the sit down, no weekend, no call, no holiday job.  But I freakin' earned it, the hard way and so has every other nurse that has put in his/her time and now can look forward to better positions.  
    I just don't understand why the OP or the other new grads (a minority) that complain about the physical and/or mental challenges in nursing.  What is wrong with people??
  3. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from Wuzzie in This MD culture   
    It does sound to me, based on your assessments, a physician call was indeed warranted.  I agree with others that the nurse caring for the patient is the one to make the call.  She/he will have answers the supervisor or charge nurse won't necessarily know.
    That said, even as an experienced nurse in the ICU, I always consulted with another nurse prior to making a call in the middle of the night or even on a weekend.  (Unless, of course, it was an obvious emergency situation).  Sometimes just running things by someone else can help and if nothing else, that other person might even give suggestions on what to report to physician.
    Now for the fun thing...😂...years back I recall one of the meanest, ugliest, nasty docs I have encountered in my 36+ years of nursing.  Other nurses would quake in their shoes if they had to call him.  Day or night.  You would report something - major or not - and he would just hang up on you.  No comment. Zip. Nothing.  I used to "volunteer" to call him.  Each time he hung up, I'd call him back..."sorry, doctor XXX, we got disconnected before I could take your order".  And I'd do it over and over until I got a response.  With the Wuzzie grin.  🤣
  4. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from Wuzzie in This MD culture   
    It does sound to me, based on your assessments, a physician call was indeed warranted.  I agree with others that the nurse caring for the patient is the one to make the call.  She/he will have answers the supervisor or charge nurse won't necessarily know.
    That said, even as an experienced nurse in the ICU, I always consulted with another nurse prior to making a call in the middle of the night or even on a weekend.  (Unless, of course, it was an obvious emergency situation).  Sometimes just running things by someone else can help and if nothing else, that other person might even give suggestions on what to report to physician.
    Now for the fun thing...😂...years back I recall one of the meanest, ugliest, nasty docs I have encountered in my 36+ years of nursing.  Other nurses would quake in their shoes if they had to call him.  Day or night.  You would report something - major or not - and he would just hang up on you.  No comment. Zip. Nothing.  I used to "volunteer" to call him.  Each time he hung up, I'd call him back..."sorry, doctor XXX, we got disconnected before I could take your order".  And I'd do it over and over until I got a response.  With the Wuzzie grin.  🤣
  5. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from Wuzzie in This MD culture   
    It does sound to me, based on your assessments, a physician call was indeed warranted.  I agree with others that the nurse caring for the patient is the one to make the call.  She/he will have answers the supervisor or charge nurse won't necessarily know.
    That said, even as an experienced nurse in the ICU, I always consulted with another nurse prior to making a call in the middle of the night or even on a weekend.  (Unless, of course, it was an obvious emergency situation).  Sometimes just running things by someone else can help and if nothing else, that other person might even give suggestions on what to report to physician.
    Now for the fun thing...😂...years back I recall one of the meanest, ugliest, nasty docs I have encountered in my 36+ years of nursing.  Other nurses would quake in their shoes if they had to call him.  Day or night.  You would report something - major or not - and he would just hang up on you.  No comment. Zip. Nothing.  I used to "volunteer" to call him.  Each time he hung up, I'd call him back..."sorry, doctor XXX, we got disconnected before I could take your order".  And I'd do it over and over until I got a response.  With the Wuzzie grin.  🤣
  6. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from Wuzzie in This MD culture   
    It does sound to me, based on your assessments, a physician call was indeed warranted.  I agree with others that the nurse caring for the patient is the one to make the call.  She/he will have answers the supervisor or charge nurse won't necessarily know.
    That said, even as an experienced nurse in the ICU, I always consulted with another nurse prior to making a call in the middle of the night or even on a weekend.  (Unless, of course, it was an obvious emergency situation).  Sometimes just running things by someone else can help and if nothing else, that other person might even give suggestions on what to report to physician.
    Now for the fun thing...😂...years back I recall one of the meanest, ugliest, nasty docs I have encountered in my 36+ years of nursing.  Other nurses would quake in their shoes if they had to call him.  Day or night.  You would report something - major or not - and he would just hang up on you.  No comment. Zip. Nothing.  I used to "volunteer" to call him.  Each time he hung up, I'd call him back..."sorry, doctor XXX, we got disconnected before I could take your order".  And I'd do it over and over until I got a response.  With the Wuzzie grin.  🤣
  7. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from Wuzzie in This MD culture   
    It does sound to me, based on your assessments, a physician call was indeed warranted.  I agree with others that the nurse caring for the patient is the one to make the call.  She/he will have answers the supervisor or charge nurse won't necessarily know.
    That said, even as an experienced nurse in the ICU, I always consulted with another nurse prior to making a call in the middle of the night or even on a weekend.  (Unless, of course, it was an obvious emergency situation).  Sometimes just running things by someone else can help and if nothing else, that other person might even give suggestions on what to report to physician.
    Now for the fun thing...😂...years back I recall one of the meanest, ugliest, nasty docs I have encountered in my 36+ years of nursing.  Other nurses would quake in their shoes if they had to call him.  Day or night.  You would report something - major or not - and he would just hang up on you.  No comment. Zip. Nothing.  I used to "volunteer" to call him.  Each time he hung up, I'd call him back..."sorry, doctor XXX, we got disconnected before I could take your order".  And I'd do it over and over until I got a response.  With the Wuzzie grin.  🤣
  8. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from Wuzzie in This MD culture   
    It does sound to me, based on your assessments, a physician call was indeed warranted.  I agree with others that the nurse caring for the patient is the one to make the call.  She/he will have answers the supervisor or charge nurse won't necessarily know.
    That said, even as an experienced nurse in the ICU, I always consulted with another nurse prior to making a call in the middle of the night or even on a weekend.  (Unless, of course, it was an obvious emergency situation).  Sometimes just running things by someone else can help and if nothing else, that other person might even give suggestions on what to report to physician.
    Now for the fun thing...😂...years back I recall one of the meanest, ugliest, nasty docs I have encountered in my 36+ years of nursing.  Other nurses would quake in their shoes if they had to call him.  Day or night.  You would report something - major or not - and he would just hang up on you.  No comment. Zip. Nothing.  I used to "volunteer" to call him.  Each time he hung up, I'd call him back..."sorry, doctor XXX, we got disconnected before I could take your order".  And I'd do it over and over until I got a response.  With the Wuzzie grin.  🤣
  9. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from tnbutterfly, BSN, RN in The Future Nurse Bully- Is it You?   
    Although this article is geared towards the nursing student or newer nurse, it is timely for me.  
    I'm an older nurse - in actual years AND in nursing years (1982 grad).  For the past year or so, I've been trying to break into the home health field.  My background was critical care and ER so this is new to me.  An assessment is not. Frankly, I know I don't have the stamina for todays hospital environment so I'm happy to pass the torch.  Part-time home health fits me perfectly.  However, I've run into some of the nastiest, ugly, self-serving nurses than at any other time in my long career.
    Not once have I even attempted to come across as a know-it-all.  I don't know it all.  This is a new arena for me.  All I really know is how to assess.  I'm having to learn wound care, the OASIS, communication notes in Kinnser, time management skills.  So many things!!  And sadly, many (not all) "seasoned" HH nurses have chosen to be negative and demeaning.  Bullies.  And most HH nurses are older.  That makes it even sadder.  We should have learned, by now, to nurture and support our peers.  This type of  behavior is a sad commentary on our profession - regardless of the specialty, the age of the nurse, the duration of his/her involvement in the profession.    
  10. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from tnbutterfly, BSN, RN in The Future Nurse Bully- Is it You?   
    Although this article is geared towards the nursing student or newer nurse, it is timely for me.  
    I'm an older nurse - in actual years AND in nursing years (1982 grad).  For the past year or so, I've been trying to break into the home health field.  My background was critical care and ER so this is new to me.  An assessment is not. Frankly, I know I don't have the stamina for todays hospital environment so I'm happy to pass the torch.  Part-time home health fits me perfectly.  However, I've run into some of the nastiest, ugly, self-serving nurses than at any other time in my long career.
    Not once have I even attempted to come across as a know-it-all.  I don't know it all.  This is a new arena for me.  All I really know is how to assess.  I'm having to learn wound care, the OASIS, communication notes in Kinnser, time management skills.  So many things!!  And sadly, many (not all) "seasoned" HH nurses have chosen to be negative and demeaning.  Bullies.  And most HH nurses are older.  That makes it even sadder.  We should have learned, by now, to nurture and support our peers.  This type of  behavior is a sad commentary on our profession - regardless of the specialty, the age of the nurse, the duration of his/her involvement in the profession.    
  11. Like
    DallasRN reacted to ChristianK, BSN in Common Supply Form - Medline - Woundcare   
    I originally sent this out at work after the management started complaining about the amount of money the company spends on excess wound supplies. 
  12. Like
    DallasRN reacted to ChristianK, BSN in Common Supply Form - Medline - Woundcare   
    For Home Health Nurses,
    Over the past few years, I developed a list of commonly ordered medical supplies for wound care that I use in the home. The list is oriented toward Medline as they are our agency's supplier.  Recently I completely updated and revised the Common Medical Supply Request Form. My main goal is to reduce confusion as to exactly which supplies are actually needed in the patient's home, per the ordered wound care.  For the staff members that choose to use the PDF, they can "click" or touch each item and they can see the items on Medline.com. It is designed to help cut supply costs and improve general satisfaction with ordering supplies.
    Common Medical Supply Request.pdf
  13. Sad
    DallasRN got a reaction from BarrelOfMonkeys, BSN, RN in job forcing app on personal phone   
    Something came up yesterday, myjasmine, that made me think of your post and questions.
    I asked my manager where they kept the hand sanitizer in the supply room and was told they don't supply it.  Hmmmm - previous employer did.  I expressed surprise that they don't supply it and was told, "You can buy it at the Dollar Store".  Yep.  I can.  But it's just another example of an employer not furnishing the supplies we need.  I can go through a bottle of that stuff in a busy week.  So another $52/year out of my budget.  My phone, my tablet and computer, my pens/papers/markers/clips/rolling bag. My fax and copy machine (for receiving referrals, etc.).  My electricity.  My b/p cuff/stethoscope/thermometer/pulse ox.  And the list goes on.
    But a tracking app on my phone?  And requiring me to upgrade my phone for THEIR app?  Nope.
     
  14. Like
    DallasRN reacted to NissaNurse in Does anyone have experience with Guardian Healthcare:Healthwise in Texas?   
    Well come end of March I will have been with Guardian for a year an still loving it:yeah:. I will have to take maternity leave in April an after I come back hoping to transfer to office that is a little closer to my home but I don't see myself leaving this agency anytime soon. They treat the employees great. I get oncall pay paid extra for holidays, mileage, paid for going to case conference. I can sit at home an do chart reviews an get paid for them. Plus benefits. Been doing home health since 2008 an this past year with Guardian has to be the best an happiest time I have ever had in home health.
  15. Like
    DallasRN reacted to JKL33 in job forcing app on personal phone   
    This is a predictable progression of what has already been tolerated.
    These demands are possible because people acquiesce. People acquiesce because people need jobs.
    Whether it is fair or not is unfortunately beside the point.
    Whether or not the app uses much data or the phone model would need to be upgraded or patients would need to touch the phone are beside the point for me personally as well. I do not pay for a phone so that a business can demand to use it to conduct their business. Had this been part of the job description (same as with personal vehicle for business travel) I would feel differently because I would've already calculated how much it would cost me (financially and philosophically) vs. how much I wanted that job.  But this, "oh, the policy is changing and now requires you to use [x] personal resources as part of our business plan" ?? - - NO.
    It doesn't matter whether it is fair or not. You have to make a decision. Personally I would find a new job and go on about my life.
    Oh - - this is key. At the next job, I would start by 1) not being on-call 24/7/365 and 2) not making my personal phone available for anything other than my employer communicating with me according to a normal course of business/employment.
  16. Haha
    DallasRN reacted to RNperdiem in Death threats at work?   
    I would have to restrain myself from mentioning that the most prolific serial killers worked in healthcare, and he is the one who should be worried.
    Would never say this, of course.
  17. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from vegasmomma in My New Job!!   
    Some of you may remember my posts back in May/June about the absolutely horrible job I had with a local agency...my first HH position. After many years of a rather decent nursing career, that job was demoralizing. I was worried I wouldn't be able to get another job with my lack of experience combined with only about 3 1/2 months at that agency. Generally a bad situation. Some of you were so encouraging and I thank you!
    Now for the good news. Back in early August I FINALLY got a decent interview and knew from the minute I walked in the doors it was a place I wanted to work. Warm, welcoming, inviting. The clinical manager was encouraging and well aware of my lack of experience but willing to train me. (And I think she'll be tough in a warm way - which is good). It's a major player in the DFW area. Large area, many branches. It took weeks to get the background stuff done. The pay wasn't as high as I had made at the awful place but I had learned that lesson. Money isn't everything and a few dollars isn't the end of the world.
    In the interim, I was offered another job - smaller agency, higher pay. I took a gamble and held out for the good place. Need I tell you I started a couple of weeks ago? WooHoo!!
    I've ridden with several nurses that have been there for 5-7 years and LOVE their job. I've been to a case conference with staff from all over the DFW area and sure enough...they've all had that same vibe...warm, welcoming, love their jobs, happy, eager to share their knowledge with me.
    I've found my home in nursing. My goal is to be the best HHN for this company I can possibly be. That means I'll likely be coming here and asking questions frequently. I'm just as happy as can be with the way things have turned out. I'm only working PRN (my choice) but will probably be able to work almost as much as I want. I had told the manager I am perfectly willing to take call, work holidays/weekends, etc. once trained. I'm single with no kids so it really isn't a big deal for me. Anyway, all is great!
  18. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from vegasmomma in I Must Be Missing Something   
    Hi TristleRN and thanks for your comments. Just to update this thread, I now have a new and seemingly great job with a company that knows my limitations in home health but willing to train. The difference in the overall attitude of other nursing and clerical staff and managers is like a night/day difference. Everyone seems very goal oriented, want to do the best job possible...but they seem to truly enjoy their work and their patients. They laugh and smile a lot, they seem to like and respect each other. Just a great group.
    It took me longer to get this job than I had anticipated. However, I held out for a company I thought would treat me with dignity and respect. The salary is a bit less than I would prefer (aren't we all worth a bunch more than we're paid?!? :) ) but I learned long ago, and especially with the other company...money ain't everything!! I did post a new thread ' MY NEW JOB - just to kind of update everyone that encouraged me.
  19. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from vegasmomma in I Must Be Missing Something   
    Well, everyone, I tried. I don't think I've ever tried so hard to make a job work. I really wanted it to, but I think it was doomed from the start - as many of you said. The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was actually kind of funny. Per the owner/DON, I was to start doing the Recerts on my own patients. First one I did she actually called me to tell me, and I literally quote, "You did a better job than some nurses that have been doing this for years" and followed that with a short piece of constructive criticism that was appropriate and appreciated by me. And I said so. Following that, I did a couple more Recents, a ROC, and a Discharge Oasis. All were approved by the QAPI person. On the last discharge, there were some new diagnoses by a new doctor just 2-3 days before the discharge and I had questions about where to enter that info. Directed the questions via e-mail to the QAPI, cc'd the DON. Was told there was no place to "capture" that info. Submitted and it was approved. A few days later it hit the fan. An email (sent to everyone - so embarrassing!!) saying I was to ask someone else my questions, and until she got "clarification" of the Oasis' I had completed with my so-called trainer, I was not to do anymore. (The trainer only showed me one). That did it. I went straight into the office and gave a 2 week notice. I'm exhausted from that woman brow-beating me. In the past 3-4 weeks I bent over backwards trying to please her. Nothing works and never will. My only consolation is now realizing it isn't just me. In the 3.5 months I've been there, we've lost the marketing person, a receptionist, a couple of HHA's and will likely lose a couple of the PRN LVN's. But life goes on. So now, I'm going to post a new thread asking for some help from y'all with more experience.
  20. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from vegasmomma in I Must Be Missing Something   
    I greatly appreciate all the comments. You know...I was really excited about this job. After 36 years in multiple areas of adult nursing, there wasn't a bunch of new stuff for me to learn and experience. HH Nursing afforded that opportunity...learning about Medicare, learning new ways and points of emphasis on assessing patients (assessments are different than in the hospital where you have all tools necessary and lots of other minds to call on). A bit of a slower pace - one in which I could actually "listen to and hear" what a patient might be saying rather than have my attention split in so many different directions.
    Reading what many of you have written here and reading many posts from others makes me know I will never be happy where I am. This small agency "flies by the seat of their pants" as someone said last night. I didn't know it but there are only 3 RN's - owner/DON, me, one other. Every clinical person is part-time except the owner/DON. It's just a mess.
    So...events of this past week have only confirmed it is time for me to move on. I don't know if I'll be able to find someone to hire me with so little experience - and not good experience - but even if I have to do something entirely different to support myself, I believe my peace of mind and general feelings of self-worth trump any job. We have really nasty weather here this weekend. Perfect! No excuses for not getting resumes sent out! 😁
  21. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from vegasmomma in I Must Be Missing Something   
    Thanks for your reply. I am looking into other agencies, and with some appropriate training on the OASIS, recerts, etc., think I would have a lot to offer. Unfortunately, I'm hindered by my lack of experience (23 working days - literally!) so I may not be able to move forward easily. I don't like giving up so easily but have to wonder if I'm not fighting a losing battle.
    Its really sad. Good, skilled nurses are so badly needed but some people treat us like disposables.
  22. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from vegasmomma in I Must Be Missing Something   
    After MANY years of all different types of nursing (and a successful career IMHO), I decided to try HH nursing in my "golden" years. First, I read here extensively - pros and cons. I read all sorts of things online. I thought I would really enjoy it on a part time basis. Spent several hundred dollars getting set-up (new printer, new Chromebook, updated phone, added wifi to apt, bags, b/p monitor, thermometer - all that stuff you need in the field). I even hired a dog walker to the tune of $20 bucks a day so I didn't have to worry about him. I was serious about this job. Wanted it to be mutually successful. When interviewed by 4 people I was 100% upfront - no experience but excellent assessment skills and generally a quick learner.
    Well, the DON hates me! Within 2 weeks She said to me, and I quote, "I didn't want to hire you but ______ said she would train you". I blew that off by saying "I think you'll be happy you did in 6 months". Two weeks later, she said it again. I didn't blow it off. Along with other comments I went to the administrator who just happens to be her son. Interesting. Nonetheless, all was better for a few days. Then...I can't please her. I document too much. I don't document enough. I should be able to take a full load. I can't take a full oad - I don't have enough experience. I can't win.
    Time...I work all day seeing the "dump on new person patients" (expected), leaving home at 6:30, getting home at 5:30, then spend my days off doing paperwork and the unbelievable payroll paperwork. I'm exhausted!! I'm only supposed to work 3 days a week but constantly get messages...can you take w/e call, can you go draw blood, cath a pt. Can you see ____'s pts? She's overloaded. Can you see ____'s w/e insulin pts? On and on.
    And just FYI.. I'm an oldie Goldie but I'm not "old". I do yoga, run/walk with my 70 lb dog 3-4 days a week, no meds except thyroid. So my exhaustion stems from this job and the job is now leading to depression. And I don't like that.
    So after this long lead-up I'm asking...am I missing something? Is it me or just this particular agency? What do you live about HH nursing? Will it get better or should I give up with this particular DON/agency owner? And another FYI... I've only been there SEVEN weeks. Many TIA,s for any guidance.
  23. Like
    DallasRN got a reaction from sevensonnets in What You Need To Know About Older Nurses: Myths and Realities   
    Thank you so much, doda677, for mentioning that picture. I looked at it and thought the same thing. That person looks like an old, haggard, shrew and definitely not a person I would want to work with or take care of me if I was a patient. I'm definitely an "older" nurse and while I no longer work in the clinical setting, I have many friends who do and frankly, they are some of the happiest, smiling, secure and confident nurses I know. They've lived through the years of uncertainty with themselves and their profession. They've spent time in management and decided having "a life" is more beneficial to their personal goals at this stage of their lives. They've gained the respect of their peers and the doctors they work with. They are the bedside leaders in their clinical environments.
    When the day arrives that I'm the patient lying in that bed, I hope it is an older, experienced, organized nurse assigned to me...someone who can truly assess and pick up on subtle signs that only experience can provide...not a nurse running around helter-skelter, feeling overwhelmed by what is only the days events. How many of us remember those "really old" hospital nurse grads who could handle just about anything thrown at them from day one?
  24. Like
    DallasRN reacted to BarrelOfMonkeys, BSN, RN in I’m not disorganized. I’m reorganized. 🤪   
    While this site was on hiatus I upgraded my bag I use in home health to a Hopkins Mark V. I’ve just now got it filled with much the same but there are MANY more pockets in this new bag than my older and smaller Hopkins bag I had.  It’s been great. Except when going to every clients house they all keep saying, “You’re so disorganized, are you okay?” 😂 I stop and explain it’s a new bag, etc. Blank stares. My clientele are largely adult psych clients with some medical mixed in. I just find it humorous they are suddenly A+O when I just happened to have reorganized into a new bag. 😂
    I have all this extra space and bought these ziploc inserts they sell which have come in VERY handy. It fits all my dressing supplies. 
    I carry: dressing supplies, bandage scissors, steth, BP cuffs, PulseOx, pill splitter, thermometers, client paperwork, scale, space for waste, sharps container, syringes, batteries, extra pens, sharpies, NS gloves, and wipes. 
    Anyone else reorganize themselves then look  disorganized for a few days? 😂
  25. Like
    DallasRN reacted to Nurse Beth, MSN in Ageism in Nursing   
    Barbara, a nurse of 27 years, left her job interview with the strong feeling that they were not going to “be in touch”. She was dismayed because it had taken several applications to land one interview. Her skills were solid and her work history exemplary until her hospital had recently laid off Barbara (an educator), a clinical nurse specialist, and the manager of Cath Lab in one fell swoop of “re-organizing”. The 3 were all over fifty years old and Barbara wondered if that was a coincidence.
    Ageism is prejudice or discrimination based on one’s age. While many Baby Boomers are retiring, the retirement age is rising and many people will need to remain in the workforce at an older age. Full Social Security benefits start at age 66 years and 2 months for those born in 1955.
    Ageism is Acceptable
    People can no more choose their age that they can choose their race or gender. The difference is that while race and gender do not change, everyone who lives long enough will age.
    Even so, while it’s not politically correct to be racist or sexist, it’s still OK to be ageist.
    Ageism is deeply permeated in our society and expressed everywhere- in magazines, on TV, in the workplace. It’s a part of our shared consciousness in the United States to value youth over age. Since it’s the norm, many are not even aware of how ageist our culture is...until they experience it.
    Many of us are guilty of remarks such as “She’s pretty sharp for her age” and “I’m having a senior moment” without realizing such comments perpetuate a commonly held negative view of seniors. Birthday parties after a certain age are a good example. Black balloons symbolize the perceived tragedy of growing older.
    Even those who pride themselves on being tolerant and inclusive may see the elderly as “others” who are burdensome and a drain on the economy. Cultural diversity and acceptance is now the norm- with the exception of ageism.
    Ageism and Gender
    Women, in particular, lose a great deal of perceived value once they exceed their childbearing years.
    Unlike women, aging men are given a pass and can still be considered attractive, especially if they are wealthy and powerful.
    Ageism and Occupation
    Judy, a nurse of 27 years, began to notice that she didn’t feel as valued on the unit as she once did. She recalled hearing the expression “feeling invisible” and realized she was beginning to understand it. At the same time, doctors the same age as her seemed to grow in authority and respect.
    A recent study shows that physicians are less likely to experience ageism than nurses. One explanation is that physicians are seen as experts, while nurses are not. Experts are allowed to age without discrimination.
    Ageism in the Workplace
    Signs of ageism in the workplace include:
    Not being included in conversation. Seniors are often assumed to be culturally clueless.
    Frequently being asked “When are you going to retire?”
    Being passed over for promotions. Promoting a young, relatively inexperienced nurse  to charge nurse over a mature, seasoned nurse.
    Being pushed out of the workforce. Older nurses are more expensive and are pushed out in many cases. This despite the fact they are less likely than younger nurses to get their NP and leave after 2 years.
    Ageism and Hiring
    No one likes to be stereotyped, whether it’s men or women, millennials or seniors. Baby boomers are not all the same anymore than millenials are all the same.
    Common generalizations about older workers are that they are less healthy, will incur more medical costs, are less skilled, and do not learn as fast as their younger counterparts.
    The biggest workplace discrimination is in hiring. Some organizations have an unwritten policy against hiring anyone over 40. Computer algorithms are used to figure out an applicant’s age, even when graduation dates are omitted and work histories shortened. Even first names are a giveaway- everyone knows Linda, Kathy, Sue were born in the ’60s, while Tiffany, Jessica, and Amber are millennials.
    One strategy to eliminate older workers is to eliminate their position, only to rename the position or slightly change the responsibilities and open it back up...to a younger applicant.
    To combat ageism, applicants need to know how to showcase their value and combat  age discrimination in the job interview.
    The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 protects employees 40 years old and older but age discrimination is a hidden discrimination that is difficult to impossible to prove.
    Ageism is a Choice
    Aging is a normal process of living and is experienced differently by everyone. Aging is not a choice, but ageism is.
    Diversity benefits us all. Diversity helps us celebrate what we have in common, respect our differences, and connect in surprising ways.
    It is very satisfying to work on a multi-generational team where everyone is respected. Many new nurses do value the knowledge, experience and wisdom older nurses have, and depend on them for guidance. Likewise, seasoned nurses are inspired by the passion and ideals of new grads.
    Refusing to perpetuate ageism benefits not only the current generation, but the next. Valuing each other makes us all better humans-humans who are all on the same journey of life.
     
    Best wishes,
    Nurse Beth



    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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