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plowboy911 specializes in TELE / ER/PACU/ICU.

plowboy911's Latest Activity

  1. plowboy911

    Tired of bedside nursing

    At this point, 5 years in or whatever it is for me, I miss my days at a desk living a normal life. Many of the people I know in other careers complain about their drive or someone drinking the last cup of coffee. Oh well, we have job security. I think. Sales. Research type stuff. Management (though this would bore me to my grave). Insurance companies hire nurses. Clinic. Those are a few things that come to mind.
  2. plowboy911


    Has anyone recently taken chem II through edukan? If so, how did it go? Any thoughts good or bad appreciated.
  3. plowboy911

    PA to CRNA

    I am really interested to know this as well. Completely different tracks. Money??? Where I work the CRNAs are no more "independent" than a PA would be.
  4. plowboy911

    Personal qualities for OR/ICU/ED/ER/critical care nursing

    Whatever area you go in to just remember some days are diamonds, some days are stones. Good points made above. Certainly each area is different. ER you need to be ready to run and know that you are not going to be able to focus on any area for too long. You never know what (or who) is coming through the door. ER-types thrive on uncertainty and have undiagnosed ADD. In the ICU you do it all. Taking care of the sickest of the sick while being waiter, social worker, hand holder, ass wiper, you name it. You need and get to know every crack and crevice on your pt and what their labs are and you need to anticipate what is coming next and have the answers before the questions are asked. ICU types are diagnosed with the most severe form of OCD. In a med-surg/tele type unit you are not a sprinter, you are a marthon runner. Have good shoes. KNOW that you will not accomplish everything you need to in a 12-hour shift when taking care of 4+ pts. Prioritization is key and thus why it's such a good place to start. Typically pts are somewhat stable, but you need to be able to know from the doorway if your pt is ok or if there's a change. This comes with time. These types, if they stay too long and make a career of this type of nursing, are certifiably insane, but God bless them for what they do. OR is really the oddball of the bunch. You spend time with surgeons which can either be really good or really bad. It's a completely different kind of nursing. You need to spend some time shadowing to know if it's right for you. These types are anti socials who only enjoy interacting with their pts when they are under general anesthesia. During your clinicals talk to as many of the people as you can. Ask them what they like and don't like about what they do. Ask them where they are going in the next 1-2 years and why. Pay attention to what's going on around you. Are people happy? In your clinicals when you are going through the day, what makes you happy? You may find that you enjoy talking to your pts, thus intubated pts in an OR or ICU may not be for you. Maybe you don't like really sick people, so an office or clinic is the right fit. Maybe, like me, you don't like kids or babies, so that rules out peds, nicu, etc. Keep your eyes and ears open and know there are many routes. Good luck!
  5. plowboy911

    ICU position after BSN graduation

    Coming out of nursing school I did not believe this, but I think a year of med-surg / tele / step down is invaluable. You will gain confidence and have some credibility when both applying to and starting an ICU position. This isn't a hard and fast rule for every single person, but the majority would be well served by some time managing 4 or more pts a shift. Just my opinion of course.
  6. plowboy911

    Considering a change to PACU

    Just needed to take that next step and get additional experience. Seems like, depending on one's goals, you need a year or more of ICU experience to be credible. Not sure what my goals are, but I felt I needed to get some ICU experience under my belt. We recovered non-vent ICU pts, but not the same as managing two critical pts for a 12-hour shift. Best of luck to you, I really think you will like it.
  7. plowboy911

    Considering a change to PACU

    I think you will really like PACU. I know I love it, my favorite place to be. Having worked in the SICU you will be light years ahead of most, however, you will need to realize quickly that you are not going to fix everything wrong with a person and that your time with them is limited. I have worked with ICU nurses in the pacu who either focus too much on some little issue such as the fact the pt has bp of 170/90 (pre op was even higher) or the pt is "awake" and they are ready to kick them out of recovery too soon. You will figure it out. It's not for everyone. Depending on cases you will have to deal with a lot of pain. Be liberal with the narcs. Crazy to ask a person just waking from general anesthesia to rate their pain on a scale of 1-10, but I hear it all the time. I can tell by looking at someone if they need meds or I will ask "do you need something for pain". One of the challenges of the shift you mention is add-on surgeries and traumas. You will grow tired of not knowing the schedule of surgeries and what is coming next. Trust me, it's PACU nurse thing. Best of luck to you. I recently left PACU for ICU and miss it dearly.
  8. plowboy911

    opinions about 1 year "2nd degree" BSN nursing programs

    I went through an accelerated program. Had to have a bachelors and many prereqs to be accepted. Was very competitive to get in and hard work once there. It is MUCH more than going to "regular" college. In addition to 15+ hours of course work per semester you have hours of clinical time. Make sure she is prepared to work. There will be little time to hang with the pals, etc. All that being said, school creates the base (as long as you do the work and put forth effort). The real learning comes on the job. I was very prepared coming out, but also very motivated.
  9. plowboy911

    Am I Too Old To Become a CRNA

    I certainly do not think you are too old. That being said, can you see yourself pushing carts around, transferring pts from cart to bed, starting IVs, etc., when you are 60+? In reality, going back to school at this point, you will need to work well into your 60s unless you have a good nest egg built. You may also consider NP school if healthcare is really your thing. Also, having spent a considerable amount of time in the PACU, I can easily spot a CRNA that only did the minimum to get into school. I strongly encourage ANY nurse to do a year in med/surg before moving on to critical/acute care. I am not trying to rain on your parade, but it's a big job and a lot of school.
  10. plowboy911

    Man Considering Career Change To Nursing - Questions

    I recommend you check out radiology tech program or even a pharmacy tech program. No blood or gore there, at least not what you have to deal with all the time. Yeah, you will have to xray a trauma or something now and then, but might be a better fit for you. I can think of dozens of things i would do before choosing nursing for its job security (not saying this is the only reason you want to do it).
  11. plowboy911

    A little advice needed on male nursing

    1) Is there a really bad Social stigma when you say oh I'm a nurse at XYZ? No, not really. Most people are surprised i'm doing it. 2) What do you love/hate about nursing? Be brutally honest. Your rate/expense, whatever you want to call it, that the hospital bills the patient is included in the room cost, along with house cleaning. Punching the clock. Working weekends, holidays, etc. Dealing with families who take out their frustration on you because they missed the dr that comes in at 6am. 3) If you don't mind me asking: what was your rate from when you just graduated and what is it now(I was told RN nurses rates don't really change) Low $20s per hour to low $30s per hour now. The only nurses I know making >$75K a year work A LOT more than 3 days a week. 4) What different places/jobs/departments have you worked as an RN and which did you like the best and why? Tele, ER, PACU. I like PACU as it's just me and the patients. Many thank me when they are leaving because I helped make them comfortable. 5) Did you find it hard to find a nursing job? Nope. 6) Do you find nursing work really hard in general? Hardest job i've ever done on many levels. Bucking 1000 bales of hay in a day is cake compared to a busy day on the tele floor. 7) What got you into nursing? and did you major in something before you got into nursing? Accounting to nursing. Wanted to do something that mattered at the end of the day. I recommend that you and anyone considering nursing to shadow and talk to as many people as you can. It's not what a lot of people think it is. You are not practicing medicine. You follow orders and learn when to raise your hand (eg. when things are going bad). Weekends, holidays, long hours, thick skin and hard work are required for often little pay. Not trying to discourage you--I just like to be honest.
  12. plowboy911

    Lack of male role models and excess of estrogen

    Good thread. Might I suggest looking to the docs for role models / testosterone? Ha, joking. I felt the same way all through nursing school and still feel that 3 years out. I get through it by keeping the end goal in mind. Also, I do not engage in the mindless banter that goes on at the front desk. I find a computer in the back and stay near my patient's rooms unless I need to check charts. I am polite to all, but there to do my job. Bottom line, just get through it. If it's really not for you then cut your losses now and get out. Life's to short to do a job you don't want to do. A friend of mine left mid way through our program and has never regretted it. Only you know what is best for you. Good luck.
  13. Sure being a male opens doors - there is always a need for someone to take the combative or heavy patients. Don't believe the hype about more opportunities for males...
  14. plowboy911

    How many of you plan on going beyond BSN?

    AMEN. I cannot imagine going from bean counter, waiter or whatever to a NP via direct entry. The experience gained on the floor is a MUST. I'm light years from where i was coming out of school as an RN and still not ready to jump in as a NP. I think about 5 years of GOOD experience is a must, but what do i know...
  15. plowboy911

    What can I expect in Accelerated BSN Program?

    I went through a BSN program. I hated it at the time, but looking back it was not the worst thing I've ever done. - Stay organized - Expect to do a lot of busy work (eg. papers, writing and more writing). I went through with an attorney and he said he wrote more in nursing school than law school. Not sure if an exageration, but we did write a lot. - Treat it like a full-time job, monday through friday. I had dinner every night with my wife and watched football on the weekends, though I did study at night and on weekends when necessary. - DO NOT procrastinate. There is no time for catch up. If you have a paper due, get cracking on the rough draft. - Figure out what to read and what not to read. Books are 800 pages. Use your notes as a guide. There are typically quite a few paragraphs in the book you don't need. x-through them. Maybe even look into a "speed" reading course. - Know that it's like drinking from a fire hose. You will not retain everything. The real learning comes when you work on the floor. - Everyone recommends study groups. I do not. YMMV, but i do not see how the material is at all relevant to a study group. You are not working through phyics problems or massive case studies. Just my opinion. I quickly found them a waste of time... - Keep your head up. I made straight A's through school, but those who made C's got a job just as I did and made the same money. The key is passing the test at the end and if you put in the time now that will not be an issue. Good luck.
  16. plowboy911

    Business student considering a career change.

    Whatever you do, and I don't know how many times i have to repeat this, shadow, talk to real nurses, spend time with them, work as a CNA, etc, etc. You may think you want to be a nurse, but nursing school is a long haul to find out it's not for you. IT IS A TOUGH JOB. Not trying to discourage, rather I am trying to help you and everyone considering the field to make the right decision. I have a business background and there are many days when I miss the old cubicle. That being said, there are days when i feel good about what I accomplished. I am happy to email, talk on phone, whatever. Let me know.