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Geriatric, Medical/Surgical
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MelBel specializes in Geriatric, Medical/Surgical.

MelBel's Latest Activity

  1. So I'm just a few days shy of my one-year anniversary. I can't possibly write everything here that I have learned in the past year, or explain just how much my life has changed because of nursing. In my first year, I wanted to quit my job, and looked for a new one at least every other week. But then the next time I went in, I would have a good night, or a good learning experience and decide to stay. Now, even though I have bad nights, I am staying because I really truly love taking care of my patients, and I love my coworkers. I can't count how many patients I've had pass away on my shift, and even more who would pass away just a few hours after I left. (I work geriatrics and we get a lot of hospice and comfort care patients) I've recently realized how much it changes you to work so closely with life and death. In the past year I've started nursing, moved out on my own, gotten married, gone on several vacations and weekend trips, and just bought a new car. These are all things that I truly believe would have NEVER happened if it wasn't for nursing. I don't want to type forever, but I just want to let all the new grads know that it DOES get better. Some days REALLY suck. But even when you hate the nursing, think of what nursing is doing in your personal life too, because sometimes that helps you get through the bad spots, and eventually you'll learn to love the job, too, not just the benefits.
  2. MelBel

    Graduate nurse asks: What is a "weekend" off?

    I work 12s (7p-7a) and our weekend is sat/sun night (sat/sun for days). I have learned to make an effort and when I put in my schedule request, I will work Fri/Sat/Sun on "my" weekend, so then I can request off Fridays on my weekend off. Otherwise I end up sleeping away most of my Saturday off!
  3. MelBel

    Being fired...long and weepy

    I would NOT do it if it was against the policy, unless it was a truly life or death matter for the patient. If something had been wrong with the meds, you would have gotten in a lot more trouble for not following policy. And as nurses, we have to be able to stand up to the doctors in some cases. If the doctor wanted that med given, he should have given it himself. And **hugs**. I don't think you should or will get fired over this...at least I hope not!! Everyone makes mistakes, and if whoever you are working with doesn't understand that, then you need a new job anyway! :)
  4. MelBel

    First arterial bleed

    I'm glad you posted this, because I've had several patients with pretty bad stage IVs, and NEVER considered that this might happen to me! I expect some bleeding at times, but not like that! At least now if it DOES happen, I can think back to this and maybe handle the situation a little better than I would have if I was in total shock! Thank you!
  5. MelBel

    School Questions for recent grads

    Short answer...everyone is different. I completed my entire RN in 2 years, doing nursing and gen eds at the same time. I worked full-time during the second year (part-time the first), and actually managed to have a LITTLE bit of a social life. (I also wasn't doing it with a husband or kids!) I knew of a student who took 4 years to complete the program, and didn't work at all during it. (No family either) We both ended up with about the same grades. It really depends how much you can handle. I was used to a very busy schedule from before I started...I had worked and gone to school and done extracurricular activities since I was in middle school. But some people need to focus only on school...you need to answer that for yourself! (Sorry not much help!) I agree. And I was a straight-A student before nursing. :) Nursing school is an excellent ego-check.
  6. MelBel

    Adequate Staffing = I Love my Job

    The other interesting part of this is that last night I had 4 patients. We only had 1 PCA, but it didn't make too much of a difference because every nurse had few enough patients to do their own total care. 3 of my 4 patients thanked me profusely for being so friendly, and taking the time to listen to them. I try to be friendly and listen every day, but when I'm running out of the room yelling "Need anyth......" I don't think I come accross as that friendly. Those same 3 patients also COMPLAINED about the PCA. Now she is someone I've worked with for almost a year now, and have NEVER had a complaint about her. I do know that she felt overwhelmed being the only PCA (usually we have two). I'll have to revise my entry a little bit here, but I'll work on sending that out to a few places. :)
  7. So for some unknown reason, this past week my unit was more OVERstaffed than understaffed. I averaged 5 pts/night this week, and no more than 6. (8-9 is our norm) Things that happen when we have enough staff: - My meds are passed on time. - I don't feel like I have to run out of the room as soon as I finish my assessment. - I get to have conversations with my patients. - I get to actually think about my documentation. - I get to take actual BREAKS. - If one patient is having problems, only 3 or 4 others need looking in on, not 7 or 8. I don't know why this happened this week, but I just wanted to share some good! I'm actually smiling after work for once, AND I even worked OT this week. I have a 3 day weekend now, and althouh I'm excited, I'm also not in as much desperate need of it as usual! :lol2: Hope you all get this sometimes too :)
  8. MelBel

    Vacation! :)

    I just wanted to share that I am now officially on my first vacation after starting nursing! Started in June, have worked a 36+ hr week since then, and now I have no work for 2 full weeks. Just wanted to give something for others to look forward to...it feels VERY nice! :) (See there IS good in nursing!)
  9. MelBel

    NEW RNs!!!!

    I'm 22, was 21 when I started working....another new nurse is 23, but besides us, everyone on my floor is over 30. I was used to working jobs where everyone was about the same age as me, but it didn't take long for us to just become another nurse, as opposed to the young ones! We do joke around a lot about us being the babies of the floor, but that's ok. :)
  10. MelBel

    Potential fallout of refusing additional pts

    On nights we can get up to 8-9 patients per nurse. If the ER tries to send more, I always call the supervisor before accepting to see if they are aware. If we are having a good night, I tell them that we are going above our ratios, but I will accept the patient THIS time. This tends to help me when we are having a bad night, and they are more understanding that some nights we just can't accept another patient. If I feel overwhelmed, I will ABSOLUTELY not accept another patient...ESPECIALLY if the ER is not busy. Sending the patient to an already busy floor will do them no good...I've seen nurses accept patients from the ER and not look at them for the first 2 hours they are on the floor. It's taken me a little while, but I've learned how much I can handle, and it changes based on patient acuity. Luckily most of my supervisors know me well enough that when I say no, I really mean no!
  11. MelBel

    7 months in...not what I expected

    We just hired a nurse on my unit who has been a nurse for about a year, but mostly in long term care. She is entitled to the same length orientation as the new grad we just hired. But that has to do with our union contract....so I'm sure it depends on the facility!
  12. MelBel

    ....becomming the charge nurse???

    I've been charge since coming off orientation...on our floor SOMEONE has to take charge, and we only have 4 staff nurses on nights...3 of us started at the same time last June. If the more experienced nurse is working, she does it, otherwise it is up to one of us new people. I absolutely HATED it at first. I realize now that it has been a really good learning experience. It allows me to have more of an idea about what is going on with all the patients on the floor...and I've therefore learned more about the policies, and different tests, etc. It has also forced me to improve upon my time management skills...on our floor the charge nurse still takes a full patient load. Each nurse is still completely responsible for their own patients and puts calls out to doctors, but the charge nurse organizes things, checks the charts and morning lab work, etc. It has helped me to become more assertive...I never thought I would be able to firmly stand up to a superior of mine, but sometimes, I have to when they try to send us admissions or take aides when we are already understaffed. I am lucky to work with an INCREDIBLY cooperative group of people, and the agency nurses that we get frequently are also very cooperative. I don't have to worry about my coworkers not doing thier jobs, so that takes some strain off me. My advice...if you REALLY don't feel ready to take charge and their are others available to do it, tell your manager. If it is your own personal fear of stepping out of your comfort zone, I would say go for it. I hope that your coworkers will be understanding if you have some difficulty at first, but in the long run you WILL benefit from the experience! Hope that helps a little!
  13. MelBel

    Top Five Tips for Night Shift? For a new nurse?

    I've realized that everyone needs a different kind of schedule...so experiment and find what works for you! On my first day on, I go to sleep about 2am the night before, wake up at 8, run some errands, and then nap about 12-4. I make my "half days" my work days...laundry, shopping, etc. I sleep as long as I can when I work two in a row, and on my last shift, I try to only sleep about 4-5 hours so I can get to sleep at a normal time. For me, this is the perfect system, and I have had NO problem whatsoever since I started nights in July (but then again I sleep through EVERYthing, the light/noise/etc doesn't bother me). I never thought I wanted to do my 3 in a row, but lately it has seemed better that way...more days off in a row, and fewer "half days" of sleep. The only problem with that is the 3 days in a row are literally only sleep and work. yuck! Hope you find something that works for you!
  14. MelBel

    students! they have no sympathy!

    My second preceptor had the style of "do it for yourself, come find me when you need to". But she was ALWAYS available, and she also always knew what was going on with my patients. She made me think through things, and never just gave me the answers to the questions. Sometimes it was frustrating, but really, that was what I needed in order to be successful on my own once I was off orientation! She prepared me VERY well for life off orientation. Once you are done, you won't have someone to give your meds for you, and even though it feels nice now when someone does that, it will be more difficult for you when you don't have that option.
  15. MelBel

    fluid overload ,sepsis, Pneumonia what?!?

    I think if you notified the MD and documented, you did all you can. I probably would have asked the MD if they would want some Lasix given...but other than that, exactly what you did.
  16. MelBel

    The "TRUE" Blue Bloater on Oprah

    I thought he was more gray than blue....but that is just me :)