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sandygator

sandygator BSN, RN

Pediatrics, ICU, Dialysis
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sandygator is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, ICU, Dialysis.

sandygator's Latest Activity

  1. sandygator

    This isn't the hospice I used to know

    The fact that there was SO much fraud in Hospice has prompted CMS to take a closer look at and beef up regulations concerning Hospice care. Unfortunately, they have gone overboard with their regulations (as per usual when the government is involved). The closer scrutiny is both a good and bad thing. The bottom line, of course, is that Hospices must follow their regs or be denied payment. There is no negotiation. I'm glad to be retiring soon, because I do NOT like non-nursing entities dictating our practice....ever since the beginning of JACHO!
  2. sandygator

    Career change from ICU to Hospice

    I was CN in a large University Hospital PICU for 20 years. I am now a CHPN in an 18 bed inpatient Hospice Facility for nearly 5 years. Talk about 180 degrees! I was ready for this change, but even so, it took some adjustment. As one responder said, letting go of the numbers is a biggie. There are few emergencies. Comfort is the basic need of most of our patients. For that I am SO grateful! So many years of futile treatment, causing so much pain. I'm so glad I can now face the reality of death which our society so vehemently wants to deny. And to help my patients and families along that inevitable journey. I will be retiring after 40 years of nursing next July. But I will continue to work with Hospice patients in some capacity. It is very rewarding when you know the facts and can impart them with compassion to patients and their families. I always had people say, when I was a PICU nurse, "How can you do that? I would get too attached." And I would answer "If you don't get attached, you are not being the best nurse you can be." Same exact thing with Hospice. Get attached! Cry with them. Love them. Your life will be better for it. :-) I wish you and your patients all the best!
  3. sandygator

    Average Patient Ratio

    I work in an 18 bed house. 2 LPNs And 1 RN mostly, depending on census. Sometimes just 2 nurses, usually 2 cnas.
  4. sandygator

    sandostatin AND laxative?

    I am a relatively new (3 years) Hospice nurse but have nearly 40 yrs nursing under my belt. Enough to know how to research meds. It is my understanding that Octreotide reduces both bowel motility and production of secretions and we use it to decrease pain associated with bowel obstruction. It seems to me that administering laxatives concurrently would be contraindicated. Can't seem to get a satisfactory answer from our MD. Wondering what your experiences have been with this?
  5. sandygator

    questions about a hospice care agency job

    I have been a nurse for 37 years. The first 10 as an LPN. Most of my positions have been in the field of pediatrics, mostly ICU in large University Medical centers. I retied complete "burned out" When I wanted to return to work I started with an agency and was sent to a Hospice Care Center. WOW...I knew this was what I wanted to do right away. No more hurting people (or children) for the sake of curing them. Just a very lovely and loving way to help families and patients through one of life's most difficult aspects. Now I could treat symptoms physically (Pain, N/V) and address spiritual, social, and psychological needs at the same time. Hospice is about LIVING every minute you have left. Living in peace and comfort. Resolving issues, facing obstacles, making amends...so many things! Perhaps "upstairs" it's about the money, but at the bedside, it can be tremendously beautiful and rewarding. I thank God for this last calling for me. :-)
  6. sandygator

    Tips For Surviving Nursing: The Trauma Of Caring

    heelgal, Thank you so much for sharing. I hope it lightened your burden. My prayers are with you.
  7. sandygator

    Tips For Surviving Nursing: The Trauma Of Caring

    clayah, The problem of substance abuse among nurses is, I am sure, much more prevalent that most people realize. I would think it's largely self-medication of undiagnosed depressive states as was my case. The rehab center at which I was an inpatient was crammed full with MD's and RN's. Not all subatance abuse is with illegal drugs, remember. My drug of choice was alcohol. I previously addressed this problem on one of the forums here...nothing has changed. When is the last time you saw someone at your institution "randomly" drug tested...not someone already under suspicion? At my large university hospital it does not happen. How many times do your co-workers make reference to alcohol consumption when a crisis is over or on-going? "I need a beer" or "I hear a margarita calling my name" Going out after work for drinks is extremely common. It's a loud warning which is being deliberately overlooked. After all, if they discovered all the nurses abusing/using mind-alteriing substances who would care for the patients? I know I sound jaded and negative toward nursing, but I have been there for 34 years! I KNOW I am not alone.
  8. sandygator

    Quitting smoking.. for real this time.

    Allimariee, I read your post celebrating 2 years of sobriety..that's wonderful!! People tole me that if I could give up alcohol I could certainly give up smoking...boy are they clueless. I did, however, use an AA slogan to finally quit after trying everything known to man. "Let go and let God" I was only able to quit when I told God that if He wanted me to quit then He needed to do HIs will in my life. Today, it is still my will to get that pack. But I don't, and I know it's because of His will! Best of luck to you! Sandy
  9. sandygator

    My name is Alli.. and I'm an addict.

    Alli et al, Welcome, congrats, and talk anytime you need to! Sandy
  10. sandygator

    PTSD- Am I alone??

    Dear RN, I am struggling now with so many effects from my not working...money, guilt..mainly. I started out with a counselor thru work (EAP) but did not find her helpful, then went to a Psychiatrist who only wanted to give me pills, with no counseling...not the help I sought. I am afraid of where my depression would take me so I am trying again to find counseling that I would benefit from. Not all styles or personality are fitted to everyone. Keep trying! e-mail me if you would like to talk, commiserate, whatever. God bless you, Sandy
  11. Today I remembered a 4 yr old... lifeless, so pale, except for the bruises which covered his body. I remember so vividly the parent who angrily confessed that "the boy just refused to walk right"...so he beat him to death. I thought about the terror that child must have felt just before he lost consciousness. I remembered the tiny little boys we (PICU RN's) referred to as 'the blues brothers' because of the constant cyanotic spells requiring resuscitation, who all ultimately succumbed to their respective disease states. So many infants born of addicted mothers....left...just left...in the PICU to be cared for by us. No family, ever. A beautiful, fat, porcelain-skinned six months old transferred to us from the NICU...a graduate they called her. She was physically perfect except for a trach which was, apparently, more than her birth mother could cope with. Her life void of any bonding, this child had developed an aversion to human interaction. Months of patient coaxing finally led to eye contact and then to an earth moving smile from her. In my first work-related nightmare I stole this baby...and then frantically tried to figure out how to return her before getting caught. People ask "how can you keep from getting attached?" We couldn't do our jobs without getting attached. How many mother's faces I looked into as I laid their already lifeless child in their arms after I took them away from the machines which made them seem alive for a while...sometimes very long whiles. How many times I hurt a child in the name of treatment which we all really knew was futile. Oh my God, that one hurt. I remember feeling guilty about the joy I felt as one family lost a perfectly healthy child to a GSW to the head because another child would live ...perhaps...even though it would mean a life-long regime of medications, physician visits, lab tests, fear of rejection. The broken hearts of family members over a brain-dead child due to shaken baby....the sorrow I felt because he really didn't know the consequences of his actions....the rage I felt because a mother lied while her baby was dying because she didn't want to get her boyfriend in trouble for his abuse of that child. I am thinking how there seems to be an invisible wall which surrounds the bedside of a dying child; all the cacophony of PICU noises dulled by broken hearts and pulled curtains. So many times I was so angry yet so helpless to make a difference. Burns, abuse, accidents, mistakes, every disease known to afflict adults, head trauma, heart trauma, multi-trauma, multi-system-organ-failure, limbs lost, lives changed, slow deaths, traumatic deaths, anticipated deaths, unexpected deaths, and deaths which didn't happen; all have taken a toll. There were miracles, yes. There were triumphs, many. But today I realize, I am traumatized. I will not return to substance abuse...which is how I suppose I lived through it all. But I am asking for your prayers as I learn how to begin to deal with this realization: We as caregivers must recognize the effects of our caring on ourselves! My husband knew, but couldn't tell me. He said he saw me hugging my own children too tight and too long for their ages. Thank you all.
  12. sandygator

    PTSD- Am I alone??

    I'm pretty sure my first post here was maybe in 1997...as a newly recovering addict. After 34 years in this profession, mostly in PICU and nearly 98% pediatrics, I realized today that I am indeed traumatized by my past. I came online looking to see if I was alone. But it is not abuse within my family....today I remembered a 4 yr old... lifeless, so pale, except for the bruises which covered his body. I remember so vividly the parent who angrily confessed that "the boy just refused to walk right"...so he beat him to death. I thought about the terror that child must have felt just before he lost consciousness. I remembered the tiny little boys we (PICU RN's) referred to as 'the blues brothers' because of the constant 'blue spells' requiring resuscitation, who all ultimately succumbed to their respective disease states. So many infants born of addicted mothers....left...just left...in the picu to be cared for by us. No family, ever. How many mother's faces did I look into as I laid their already lifeless child in their arms after I took them away from the machines which made them seem alive for a while...sometimes very long whiles. How many times I hurt a child in the name of treatment which we all really knew was futile. Oh my God that one hurts. I remember feeling guilty about the joy I felt as one family lost a perfectly healthy child to a gsw to the head because another child would live ...perhaps...even tho it would mean a life-long regime of medications, lab tests, fear of rejection. The broken hearts of family members over a brain dead child due to shaken baby....the sorrow I felt because he really didn't know....the rage I felt because she lied about her boyfriend and the baby to protect him. I am thinking how there seems to be an invisible wall which surrounds the bedside of a dying child. All the cacophany of picu noises dulled by broken hearts. So many times I was so angry yet so helpless to make a difference. There were miracles, yes. There were triumphs, many. But today I realize, I am traumatized. I will not return to substance abuse...which is how I suppose I lived through it all. But I am asking for your prayers as I learn how to begin to deal with this realization. Thank you all.
  13. sandygator

    Share Your Funniest Patient Stories...

    In the early 80's I was working in a Miami Hosp in CCU. I was taking care of an intubated young black male who had the most forceful productive cough I've ever seen..when I would disconnect the ett to suction him he would cough huge luggies all over everything, including me. Well, I was grossed out and tired of changing scrubs so I had what I thought was a brillant idea; I took a pillow case, cut eye holes and placed it over my head when I suctioned. Then a young black nurse gently explained why this was not really a good idea...she told me I would give the poor man a heart attack if he woke up to find a white hooded person standing over him! We both laughed so hard at my stupidity. I did look funny in the pillowcase tho *grin* (P.S. Please do not think I believe there is anything funny about the KKK)
  14. sandygator

    Nurses Who Are Drug Addicts

    Originally Posted by burn out This is why I do not like to work with nor do I think rehabiliated drug users need to be floor nurses. I am a recovering addict/alcoholic, and a 33 year veteran of nursing. Celebrating 10 years of sobriety, thank God for that! My patients are lucky to have me, and you'd be lucky to work with me.
  15. sandygator

    Eating healthy on 21 dollars per week...

    htp://www.townhall.com
  16. sandygator

    You Know You're a Nurse When...

    You know you're a nurse if you've ever tossed your taco salad in a bedpan...clean, of course. *LOL* Sure have!