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gillytook's Latest Activity

  1. gillytook

    Rough Night

    My last shift was the closest I have ever come to quitting in my life. I arrived on shift to 8 patients. The 9th came up while I was getting report. A patient who had been on the floor for two hours was scheduled for a CT and the previous shift hadn't done the paperwork. While filling it out we foound that the patient's IV was not large enough. My normal charge nurse was on vaction. I asked the sub to please do the IV for me while I did the admission assessment on the new arrival. She told me I needed to try the IV. If I didn't get it after two attempts, then she would come do it. Transport was standing there waitint for the patient. Luckily the ER had replaced her IV at one point (in the reports that the previous shift had not read). After I get my new admission completed and settled I assessed the rest of my patient only to get 5 requests for IV pain meds and 2 requests for IV antinausea meds. I told the sub that I needed help and she blew me off. The beeped me to IVs going off and for the pain meds that I already knew about and was trying to administer. She even came down upset with me because she had to administer a patients meds because his family was complaining. Not once did she offer assistance in any form. Finally at 11, the other relief charge came on shift. Immediately he jumped in to assist me. However I did not complete my 9pm med pass until 11:30. Three of my diabetics had their sugar go out of control. One went hypoglycemic early in the morning from the coverage we had to give him from his meds being delayed. The next morning when the family of the patient that complained the night before woke up, they demanded to know where I was all night. I let them know how their family member was doing at each set of rounds from 12 on. It still did little to smooth over their unease with their family members care. I spent most of the evening from 8 until 11:30 on the verge of tears. Good thing that the majority of my patients have had me on numerous occassions and knew that I was getting them taking care of as quickly as I could. Most patients had to wait over an hour for their pain meds and some patients were not seen by me for over three hours. How I am I expected to keep my patients safe under these conditions? The regular charge would have taken care of the CT paperwork and IV if necessary. She also would have given most of the pain meds and dealt woth the call lights for beeping IVs. She probably would have done the admission assessment and definitely done the paperwork. The charge who came on gave pain meds if the patient called the nurses station requesting them and told me to keep working on my charting. We ended up with 20 patients split between two nurse with the charge to assist. I heard yesterday census was up to 23, and there will still be only two of us. I almost dread even going in tonight.
  2. gillytook

    Whats the deal with all the crying?!?!....

    I cried three times. The first was the second week of my first hospital rotation when my patient who had just decided to become DNR had a stroke. I told the nurse my findings (one pupil 7-8 cm the other 2, neither responding to light, absent speech, responsive only to pain) and said to just let her know when he stopped breathing. I lost it and had to go the the breakroom to pull it together and go back in there and bath him. Time two was when I held an 18 month old down for 10 And the last time was at the local children's hospital when I heard the story of a 14 year old whose organs were turning to stone. He wanted to stop the surgeries and go DNR nut his parents refused to give up. He was unable to make his own decisions until he turned 16. Of course my eyes were moist with each birth I witnessed, but I did not cry. Now that I am an RN I have cried twice. When my first patient died and when I made a med error.
  3. gillytook

    Sad..lost another!

    We lost a student the day before graduation on the final. She came to pinning to pin a fellow student and we gave her a standing ovation. She is back in school this semester and since she missed by 1 point, I know she will be pinned this time.
  4. 1. In the morning greet each patient with a smile and a warm washcloth. 2. Remember Maslow's heirachy. If you aren't meeting there most basic of needs, then it doesn't matter to them if you are meeting the more complex needs. 3. Step up and volunteer for every thing you can. 4. Stay busy. Assist your fellow students. The more you do the more you learn. And they may repay the favor by inviting you when they have some very interesting procedure. 5. Ask questions. 6. Remember there is something to learn from every nurse even if it is NOT how to do something or what kind of nurse you don't want to be. 7. Come prepared and organized. 8. Be nice to the aids, housekeeping and HUCs. They make things happen, know where everything is located, and can help you out.
  5. gillytook

    New job at rural hospital

    I am so excited. I begin my new job at a rural hospital Monday. They just added a new ER so instead of 2 rooms they have 8 rooms including 2 trauma rooms and 4 isolation rooms. There is a 27 bed med/surg unit, a 4-6 bed PCU/ICU units, 10 bed geri psych unit, an outpatient clinic with 6 exam rooms for visiting physicians, full radiology suite with round the clock radiologist, home health, physical therapy center, gym with pool and suspended track, a full pharmacy open to the public and a lab with 24/7 coverage. They just broke ground on a dialysis center. Where they have come from in the past few years is amazing. And their plans to expand and service the local community are impressive. The administrator has the goal of being the #1 rural hospital in the nation and the management is on board. Currently, they service about 33% of the community, but want to add services and increase quality to see that number grow. I am starting in med/surg but will cross train for PCU/ICU. I can see so many opportunities for advancement and growth and many chances to learn. There is no code team, IV team, or wound care. If something needs to be done for a patient, we did it ourselves. I get a free gym membership if I use it the gym 8 times a month. There is a gas pump where I can purchase gas as a payroll deduction only slightly over cost. All profits from the vending machines go to an Employee Assistance Fund to buy gifts, assist in emergencies, and throw functions. If I use the hospital, its labs, or the 4 doctors that are hospital employees with offices on campus, I get a 50% discount in additon to my insurance. Any prescriptions filled at the pharmacy are $5. Eventhough I am making slightly less than the large hospital in town, I feel the benefits far outway the difference.
  6. I used Saunders Q&A and Pearson. Saunders was great for focusing in on NCLEX style questions for each topic. However I loved Pearson's review materials. I got it late in my program and we studied from it for our tests. You can't sort their questions by topic though. I also purchased the Memory Notebooks by Zerwekk and Claborn on CD so I could put the illustrations in my notes.
  7. gillytook

    Catheterization problems

    Practise and figure out which side of the dummie works for you. I am right handed so I stand with my left hand toward the patient's head because it is the hand I am going to contaminate when I go to insert the catheter. My right hand is toward the patient's feet, closest to my sterile field which I set up between the patient's legs. Trying reversing it for you with your right hand toward the patient's head. Also I lay a sterile drape on the patient's thigh farthest from me. That way if I have to steady my sterile hand against the thigh, it won't get contaminated. It has saved my butt in a few check-offs.
  8. gillytook

    Digital Textbooks?

    New textbooks come with a code and/or infomation about their online resource. Most of mine had full content online so could copy picture, illusrtations and charts directly into my notes. A couple of my texts, I only opened the book to get out the code and cd. Also places like Skyscape have most of the reference books available electronically. If you also have a smart phone/iphone/PDA, Skyscape gives you the mobile and desktop versions for one price. The mobile versions are great for clinicals when a laptop just won't fit in your uniform pocket. I know a few nursing schools actually recommend certain packages through certain companies. Check with your program because they may have a package deal. I know the University of Alabama does with Skycape. There are even ones where you can purchase the PDA/phone with the software. I have used Skyscape for the last two years, and it has been invaluable.
  9. gillytook

    What Helped you Survive Care Plans?

    Other than time consuming, they were relatively easy once as I understood them. Just remember what consumed the most of your time or was your primary focus while you were caring for you patient. That and good assessment skils and data collection will lead you to the rest.
  10. gillytook

    Organization Help

    I had all my reference books on PDA. It was alot easier to carry to class, lab and clinicals. Plus I had it right at my patients bedside to look up any questions. All my reading, assignments, exams, projects, etc were scheduled into the calendar and/or the To Do list that way I could check them off as I finished. I also had a NCLEX review on my PDA so I could do practise questions in those spare moments. Most of my texts were available online so I read and took notes directly from my computer (handy at work when they wouldn't let me read a book but would let me go online, go figure.) I had a rolling backpack (small suitcase actually) for my lecture/lab supplies and a tote for clinical. I used a 3-ring binder for lecture, one for pharm and smaller 3-hole folders for lab and clinicals.
  11. gillytook

    should a person work if they don't have to while in school?

    As a new grad of a ADN program, I just interveiwed for a staff nursing position and they counted my time as a PCS in the hospital as experience because it gave me the knowledge of what goes into caring for a patient, how to interact with the patient and families and over-all how a hospital functions. It is giving me a leg up on the new grads from the BSN program who have no healthcare experience outside of clinicals. Also, the nurses I worked with knew I was a student and let me assist with any procedures I have the time for. It kept me a step ahead of my fellow nursing students.
  12. gillytook

    Can I get into Nursing school with a 3.47 overall GPA?

    Depends on the program and the competition to get into it. My local BSN program required a 3.0 but rarely admitted anyone with less than 3.5. The community college had a waiting list and as long as you meet the requirements, you get in. Check with the programs you are trying for and see what they say.
  13. gillytook

    What makes Nursing school hard?

    Most programs will not let you take just one nursing class at a time. In each semester they are usually all require to be taken at the same time. Even with all my core classes completed before I began the nursing program, there were weeks when I was snowed under. Just the reading alone can be very time consuming. With research and everything, care plans can take 10+ hours each week alone. It is doable, especially if you have a good support network around you. Develop good time management skills. Learn flexibility. Just learn to study smart focsing on those areas you have not grasped yet. Have some portable way of studying that you can carry with you to take advantage of those free moments such as waiting in the grocery line or while you are getting you hair done. I had a PDA with NCLEX questions divided by topic. They are now available for the smart phones/iphones.
  14. gillytook

    Drug Testing Question, new student

    Yes programs do test randomly throughout. Every week or so a handful of students would be held after class for random drugs tests. My name was never called. But it could have been so I was careful to only take what I had a rx for or OTCs. Random drug testing depends on the area, state requirements and hospital requirements where clinicals are being conducted. Our area has a huge drug problem, so they are very vigilant. Just have you rx with you. There were students on pain medication in my program for various reasons. As long as the reason did not prevent you from perform your tasks in clinical there was no problem. On issue to consider is will you even be able to lift/roll patients with back pain.
  15. gillytook

    When a past patient passes away

    It would also be appropriate to give a donation in is name especially to an organization that he received support from. It is perfectly nature to feel to way you do. There were certain patients that I took care of that I grieved when they passed. After taking care of someone in their home nearly everyday for months, they become like family. Even caring for a patent during one clinincal day, you can form an attachment. Let the grieving process work it couse.
  16. gillytook

    when have you started applying?

    I agree with 8flood8. My classmates who were working in the hospitals before graduation had jobs immediately while the rest of us were scrambling. Even a UA/HUC or monitor tech position will give you that leg up.