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HazelLPN has 54 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Adult ICU/PICU/NICU.

HazelLPN's Latest Activity

  1. HazelLPN

    Phasing out LPN

    I became an LPN because in my day, an LPN was a nurse who took care of the patient without having to worry about any administrative roles. In those days, an LPN could work anywhere in the hospital ...and we all trained in the hospital. These days, opportunities for LPNs are often limited to LTC and ambulatory settings. Neither of these jobs would have ever appealed to me...and I would rather go into a non nursing area than serve in these roles. No disrespect to the nurses who work there...I was good with one or two very sick patients that I could focus on....I couldn't do a med pass for 20 patients...I would lose my license by the end of the shift. Getting your RN will give you the most opportunities and you never know what you might like to do later on in life. In my case, I think I would have done well in my middle years as a CRNA or a certified school RN in my Indian Summer. I have no regrets because I had a great career as an LPN, but if I were young again I wouldn't become an LPN in this day and age...I would get a BSN straight out of high school. That's what I tell all young people who are interested in nursing. I also point out that it not not make them any better than the veteran LPN they work alongside. Many made that mistake working with me, but they rued the day they did. Best to you, Mrs H.
  2. HazelLPN

    The COVID 19 Battle Cry for Retired Nurses

    Triage wouldn't be for me, I am an LPN and that would be out of my scope of practice similar to an initial assessment. Besides, I was always a bedside nurse. Still am to some extent. However, I called and talked to one of my nurse managers who's now one of the nursing directors at the hospital I worked at so many years ago to ask how things were. She said they are cross training non critical care staff to take care of critical patients. CRNAs and PACU nurses are also being oriented. Nurse managers will likely be working on the unit with a patient assignment instead of working in the office. Even the house supervisors and directors might have to help out. She joked and said "wanna come back to work?" I told her about my dreams and that I wanted to help somehow, but retraining at this point wouldn't be realistic due to my age and my knees. She said "Oh of course not.....but how about at least making us some zucchini bread again...or those shortbread cookies with the pink icing?" Yes. That is what I can do. I can support these new nurses by baking from recipes that I learned from my mother and my grandmother and have them delivered to the unit. I may not be a very good nurse anymore, but I can still cook with the best of them!
  3. HazelLPN

    The COVID 19 Battle Cry for Retired Nurses

    I've been retired from critical care nursing for nearly 11 years. I still work (until schools were closed) as a substitute assistant school nurse caring for special needs students who have complex medical needs a few days a month. I've been out of ICU too long to go back. I would need a complete orientation and to be honest....physically I doubt my ability to do a lot of the bending, lifting, kneeling, and running that a critical care nurse has to do. The old grey mare just ain't what she used to be. I've been having dreams that I am back in the MICU that I used to work in. I am the age that I am now and I haven't worked there in 11 years. I can't remember how I got there, and I don't recognize most of the nurses that I worked with. Nobody notices that I am there. I can't find my ID to clock in, I can't remember my password for the EMTEK or the pyxis, and the one person I recognize won't answer me when I talk to her. It is as if I am a phantom nurse. The unit is so busy, everyone wearing PPE..the phone ringing off the hook with the unit clerk answering multiple lines. I keep saying "Give me one stable vent...I can't still handle one stable vent" but nobody answers. My name is not on the board and not even on the contact information sheet. I then think "what am I doing here?" and notice I'm not wearing any PPE or even my uniform. I'm wearing a nightgown. Then I realize I am dreaming, feel relief, and wake up. I guess my subconscious mind is at work in my dreams trying to figure out if I am any use as a nurse in this pandemic. It hasn't hit my state hard yet. If worse comes to worse there are thing that I could do to help out, but working in critical care....the kind of nursing I did for over 40 years....isn't one of them.
  4. HazelLPN

    Med/Surg to ICU - Need Advice

    In my day, nearly everyone started on Med/surg before transferring to ICU. I myself started there right out of school because believe it or not...we didn't have ICUs when I graduated. Once it opened, I transferred to work down there within months. It is more common now to hire new grads in critical care, but I am still from the old school that if you can do med/surg...you can go anywhere. Why don' t you try and make some human connections? Maybe contact the nurse manager and see if it is possible for you could cross train in the ICU at the hospital where you work and pick up contingent hours. We had several floor nurses who floated down to us who eventually got cross trained so that they would be more comfortable working with vents. They generally didn't take patients who required critical care drugs ...if they had a drip that needed titrated one of us would handle it. However, it was great to have float nurses who could handle sicker patients and a few made the switch where they worked with us full time and moonlighted in med/surg. Best to you, Mrs H.
  5. HazelLPN

    Why are so many nurses against unions?

    Absolute nonsense.
  6. HazelLPN

    Preparing to be a NICU Nurse

    We need more men in nursing period! I have been retired from critical care nursing for ten years so I hope things are better now. My last job in the hospital was working contingent in the PICU and would float to NICU as needed. We had a 45 bed NICU (combined with step down) and a 30 bed PICU. There were no male nurses in the NICU and I think there were only 4 in the PICU. Back when I was an MICU nurse (this is now bordering on ancient history...1960s-early 2000s) most of the men I worked with put their time in and then went onto CRNA school. We had very few who stayed bedside nurses. Its been so long since I worked there that I don't think I know a single nurse I worked with to call to ask. Up until last year, I worked as a substitute assistant school nurse a few days a month. (still on the role but doubt if I'll go back for anything more than helping with screenings in the fall and then hang up the cap for good....the ole gray mare just aint' what she used to be...). We have only ONE male school RN...and I love working with him so much. He's an ex army nurse with a no nonsense attitude and a wicked since of humor who is so much fun to work with. My best friends at work were always the men.
  7. HazelLPN

    Ever forgotten to feed a baby?

    I once had a nightmare after working an evening shift where I had four feeder growers that I forgot to feed one the entire shift. It was so real and vivid that I actually called the unit in the middle of the night to make sure I didn't make any mistakes. I've been retired from critical care for nearly ten years now. When I dream of the hospital its usually a good dream. The rare bad dream I have is when I walk into the nurses station in the NICU and they say "four feeder growers and one chronic that never sleeps.....thanks for taking one for the team" and my nursing license vanishes before my eyes.....
  8. HazelLPN

    LPN/LVN salary vs Teachers salary

    I have a challenge with your statement that"everyone thinks (teachers) are poor but we (LPNs) make big bucks." Considering many people laugh that LPN stands for "Lesser Paid Nurse"...I think that your assessment that everyone thinks that LPNs make big bucks is mistaken. Many people don't even know what an LPN is. I personally believe that most fair minded people agree that teachers and nurses are hard working professionals who are underpaid. You can't compare a teacher to an LPN. It would be better to compare teachers to an RN as educational requirements are more similar. After I retired from critical care nursing, I came out of retirement to work as a substitute assistant school nurse in the public schools. As an LPN, I couldn't serve as the actual school nurse...they were BSN educated RNs who also held a state license from the department of education to work as a school RN. They were on the same pay scale as the teachers and had their own bargaining unit within the teachers union. School RNs work VERY hard and earn every penny. As an LPN assistant school nurse, my pay was so low that I considered myself to be a volunteer. However, I didn't do it for the money. I did it because I still loved nursing but was no longer physically able to work in critical care. If you want to make a lot of money as a nurse, then the first thing you need to do is to find a bridge program and get your RN. The highest paid nurses are APNs of course...with CRNAs probably making the most. Best to you, Mrs. H.
  9. HazelLPN

    Seasoned ICU Nurse Lacks Critical Thinking

    The great Bette Davis, one of my favorite actresses when I was a little girl, said once "Getting old ain't for sissies!" There's nothing good about getting old once you realize that you can't do what you used to do as well as you used to do it. You get to the point where you know that you can't do the job as well as you used to. I worked in the ICU for over 40 years before I bowed out. In my case, it was my knee that was the problem. I didn't move as fast as I used to. I began dreading when I had to travel off unit with a patient to CT or MRI with a bunch of pumps.... or even transferring them to the floor with very little. I am happy to say that my care never suffered, right up to the end but I knew that If I continued for much longer that my care would not be up to MY standards. Facing knee replacement surgery and a long recovery period...not to mention that I was 75 years old at the time...I knew I wouldn't be back after my surgery. They all said I would be back...I'm not sure if they really thought that or they wanted me to feel good about myself. When I went in for my last shift I said to myself "This is it....soon it will be finished." I feel for your coworker. However, I don't think it was that she lacked critical thinking. You don't work in ICU 30 years without being good at it. She has some kind of problem. Heath problem, family problem, burn out problem....we don't know. That's why she's leaving....not because she simply lacks "critical thinking." I'll be you anything she knew there was a problem long before anyone else did. That's how it usually happens. In time, she will learn that there is life after critical care nursing. After I retired, I immediately had my knee replaced. I still have to walk with a cane occasionally when I go up stairs or when I have to walk a long way...so I could never return to the hospital again. However, I am STILL active as an LPN. Not in the ICU or a hospital...but as a substitute assistant school nurse caring for special needs students. I love it. I work very little but am glad that I can still work at an age when some people can't even tie their own shoes. I hope she loves her job in the clinic and finds happiness in nursing again and whatever ails her will be taken away from her. Best to you both, Mrs H.
  10. HazelLPN

    Are some people just not cut out for ICU?

    Doesn't sound like she was cut out for med/surg either......or any kind of nursing that is.
  11. HazelLPN

    The Union Is Coming

    Do you like better staffing ratios and better pay for nurses?
  12. HazelLPN

    Scrubs or Clothes?

    Same thing I wore in the hospital. White uniform AND my cap....proudly.
  13. HazelLPN

    LPNs in regards to L&D

    Back in my day, an LPN could work anywhere in the hospital including L&D. Back in the 1980s where I worked, there was a push for the LPNs who were working in specialty units (ER, critical care, L&D) to go get their RN and the hospital offered tuition reimbursement. At the time, they were told they would no longer have jobs in these places and would be reassigned to a regular floor if they chose to remain LPNs. In the end, they were allowed to remain LPNs and nobody was forced out. However, they were replaced with an RN when they retired or quit. Many LPNs took advantage of this opportunity, some chose to remain LPNs. If I recall, at the hospital where I worked, L&D had an LPN back in the early 2000s and when she retired, she was replaced by an RN. This was in a hospital and state where LPNs were used to the fullest extent of their training. I would imagine that there are still LPNs out there in L&D but it is the exception to the rule. The LPNs who are still employed in L&D are probably veteran nurses who have been grandfathered in due to their experience and will be replaced by an RN when they retire. If you wish to work in L&D your best bet is to go get your RN. However, it doesn't hurt to call up the nurse manager of the L&D unit to show your interest in such a position. It may be possible that they use LPNs in some capacity. At the very least, it may give you an advantage when it comes to finding an RN position. Best to you, Mrs H.
  14. HazelLPN

    New to High school Nursing

    I did NICU myself before I retired and then spent my final years in nursing as a substitute assistant school nurse. Many school nurses in my district it seems are former critical care and ER nurses. Your NICU experience will be great for the amount of OB that you do. I had several kiddos that I took care of in the NICU as students that I took care of...one of which was one of the sickest babies I ever had....a meconium aspiration who ended up on ECMO and then a terrible surgical wound infection and probably spent 4 months in the hospital. 15 years later, she had asthma and anger management problems but did better than anyone thought she would. Best wishes to you on your new and rewarding career....you'll do great! Mrs. H.
  15. HazelLPN

    How did you spend your first nursing paycheck?

    My first paycheck was so long ago that I probably used it for something nice to decorate my log cabin.
  16. HazelLPN

    Do Bachelor's Degrees Save Lives? - The Facts about Earning a BSN

    What's one of the the biggest problem in research, even in the hard sciences? Bias. What bias could an institution that exists primarily to make money for its shareholders possibly have? Oftentimes, the researcher knows the conclusion before the study begins.