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jm394's Latest Activity

  1. jm394

    Psychological stresses of RN/ICU

    It depends on you. In most areas of in-patient nursing, you will face absurd human suffering. Everyone finds a different way to adapt. From a morbid sense of humor to extreme religiosity to alcoholism, we all find a way to get up and deal with it again. For me, a mix of dark humor, close friendships with coworkers, and spirituality allow me to deal with the extremities of life with a modicum of sanity. And when a family member hugs you or tells you how much they appreciate your hard work, you suddenly remember why you're there. Plus, someone has to do the work, and I'll do a good job, so it might as well be me.
  2. ICU nurses do often have a dark sense of humor, but most are professional enough not to say crude things in pt's rooms. I always assume they can hear me and behave accordingly. It's how I would expect the nurses taking care of my own family to act.
  3. jm394

    TICU Resource Suggestions

    For a more in-depth but still readable resource, check out The ICU Book by Marino. It changed my thinking about so much in critical care. For trauma specific, look into the TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Course) class. It's put on by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), but was a good introduction to trauma care.
  4. jm394

    Interview ahead, bit worried

    It's super easy. Just remember: rate = CO2 (raise the rate to decrease the CO2) peep or fi02 = O2 (increase either to increase the O2) high pressure = check for kinks, suction, and if still high, there's probably something going on internal to the pt (decreasing compliance) low pressure = check for a leak in the tubing or a disconnection in the circuit When all else fails, call the RT. Funny story. The other day the vent was alarming and it was reading a really high rate (in the 50s), but the pt clearly wasn't breathing more than 20 or 30 breaths/min. I was puzzled and called the RT. She told me to dump the condensation out of the circuit. It was sloshing back and forth in the dependent portion of the tubing, creating a fluctuation in pressure each time that the machine was reading as breaths. Apparently I was the only nurse in the unit unaware of this phenomenon. Now I know. Of course, it's way more complicated, but those are the basic parameters that we usually mess with. The vent modes don't really matter that much in the beginning.
  5. jm394

    How To Deal With Bad Smells

    It's kind of like Ben Gay, a mentholated balm for sore muscles, etc... But it's not a gel, it's more like lip balm consistency. It's pretty available here on the west coast. I think it's from Singapore or something. Ask at the drug store.
  6. jm394

    prospects for a chronic narcotics patient.

    Working in oncology, we have many patients with chronic cancer pain who are on very high doses of opiate meds (I never call them narcotics, I was taught that "narcotic" has too many legal/moral overtones), and function very highly. Remember, there is no ceiling on these drugs, so chronic users may be on VERY high doses, but it's all relative. Except for constipation, the SEs (including sedation, decreased CNS function, etc...) fade with continued use. I worry about pts with decreased renal function, pts on regimes with too much APAP for their livers, people who are unable to manage their own pain well with PO meds (forget or accidentally double doses) and people who are using opiates to meet psychological rather than pain needs. As a rule, I would argue that analgesia is underused due to fear of addiction/stigma more than it is overused for euphoria.
  7. jm394

    and everyone's... OK with this?

    well, living in an area with a COLI score of 126.4, i wouldn't be able to afford to live off of the wages i would make in sioux city. it's definitively on the lower side. sad for the hard work we do.
  8. jm394

    For Laffs - Take The Nurse's Cap Quiz

    8/10. Not bad for a male nurse. I can never imagine myself in one, but I see the nostalgic appeal.
  9. jm394

    My Nursing Career In Six Words

    try so hard to do good
  10. jm394

    How To Deal With Bad Smells

    Little bit of tiger balm (or any other mentholated rub type product) under the nose.
  11. Need order. From doc, NP, or PA. Interesting point though, in my facility, we just instituted a policy where, if certain conditions are met, we can DC a cath as an independent nursing action. Well, not totally independent, since we need the policy, but at least we don't have to bug the doc about taking out a cath they probably totally forgot was ever inserted. A good way to reduce UTIs too.
  12. jm394

    Anyone get into CSUF's EL-MSN Program?

    Nope. I haven't heard anything yet. I checked online and it says that my financial aid awards have not been decided yet. I'm not sure if we're going to have to complete these online courses, if we're going to have to buy books for them, if we have to pay, etc... I'd also like to know what kind of scrubs we need to get because people keep offering to buy them for me for various holidays. Ugh, I'm tired of all this waiting. I'm thinking about calling and asking, but I don't really want to annoy them just yet.
  13. Hey, I just wanted to see if anyone got into the CSUF ELMSN program is awaiting the info packets like me.
  14. Hey all, I'm wondering if anyone here is in CSUF's nursing school, especially the EL-MSN program. I'm going to be in the program next year, but haven't been sent the info packet yet. My family keeps offering to buy scrubs/shoes for me as a congrats presents, but I have no idea what kind I'll need to wear. Anyone? Thanks, jm394
  15. jm394

    In need of guidance.

    My understanding is that some of the CSU schools are much more impacted than the others. I think that here in Southern CA, where I am, they are all quite difficult to get into. Apply to as many places as you can, and, my advice, apply to a LPN program too. Many LPN programs allow you to move into their RN program after people drop out (and they always do, I've heard). If you don't mind relocating, look at schools in other parts of the state (less populated areas). Also, if you're serious (and you sound serious) you should visit the departments and talk to the directors of the programs. They usually have info sessions as well, and you can get a feel for the different programs and what goes along with them. good luck
  16. jm394

    CSUF EL-MSN Fall 2009 Applicants

    I agree. I actually think it'd be hard to get in with 60 unit gpa of 3.5 or below. That's just my assumption from seeing how competitive it was this year to get in. While volunteering is good, almost everyone I have talked to or met who applied had volunteer experience, so I wouldn't count on it to set you apart from the rest of the applicants. NOT having some community service/volunteer experience might set you apart in a negative way, unless you had interesting employment experiences. Because CSUF is such a formulaic and grade-heavy application process, my suggestion would be to take lots of units in whatever classes you can be sure to do well in during summer and fall next year. This way you can load the last 60 units in your favor. Also, if you have any prereqs left and you're not absolutely sure that you'll get an A, leave it for Spring. That way it is counted as "in-process" when you apply and it's grade is not added to your GPA calculations. Remember, the prereqs are doubly important because they are counted in both the last-60 and the prereq catagories for the CSUF application equation. Despite the importance of grades, don't forget to put a lot of time into your letter of intent. The interview process was pretty cursory, so the letter seems to be the only way to really let them know who you are and what is special about you. Also, make sure that the people you ask to write your letters of rec will write you good ones. The prof that did our interviews told us that multiple applicants had NEGATIVE letters of rec sent in for them. That's just ridiculous! Don't stress the interview. If it's like this year's, it's really more of an informal vetting of the candidates. It could not have given them much to work with besides a sense of 1) does the applicant speak English, 2) are they relatively normal (or can they pretend to be for an hour or so), and 3) is the applicant acutally interested enough to show up on time. Hope these are useful comments.