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Critical Care, Education
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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

I'm a Nurse Educator for a Catholic Health Care System - heavily involved in eLearning & all types of clinical development

HouTx's Latest Activity

  1. HouTx

    Nursing not for me

    Have you thought about laboratory science? Nuclear medicine? Radiology? They are all healthcare fields that are more math-oriented than nursing. Here is a comprehensive list of healthcare professions so you can compare their characteristics.
  2. HouTx

    Parents want me to be a doctor, not a nurse....

    You're very fortunate to have supportive parents who believe in your potential. Many of us aren't so fortunate. Please let your parents know that Nursing has been rated as the MOST trusted profession in the US for the last 15 years. Salaries for nurse leaders are commensurate with other healthcare executives.
  3. HouTx

    JP/ Chest Tubes

    CTs systems maintain a constant negative pressure when they're patent. In my organization, nurses do a 'fold and squeeze' to dislodge clots or occlusions rather than the old fashioned stripping technique. However, JPs are only under pressure if the bulb is compressed or not full and tubing is much smaller... so they can obstruct really easily. They are also not used to drain tissue that is super-delicate like lung tissue. I'm going to follow this thread. Maybe someone has actually done some research on this topic. If so, I hope they'll share some info.
  4. HouTx

    when to ask patient if they need an interpreter.

    Don't shoot the messenger. New (strict) rules for the use of medical interpreters is making the nurse's job even more difficult. Just like all the other regulations that roll downhill to the bedside. Initial assessment/admission should include determination of the patient's preferred language & learning methods. If preferred language is not English, then the patient MUST be asked whether s/he wants the services of an interpreter. Determining language proficiency/literacy is not within the nursing skill set. Aside from English skills, the issue of 'health care literacy' is a whole 'nother kettle of fish that affects native English speakers as well. We've discovered that wanting an interpreter it doesn't always mean lack of spoken English proficiency - we've had patients who seem to be highly English fluent, but still request one. Spoken language skill does not automatically mean literacy... so maybe the patient wants someone to help them read and interpret written documents. It's not our place to judge or determine. We just honor the request.
  5. HouTx

    nursing diagnosis

    Uh oh, not again. Am I the only one who wishes that there was a way to trace these NDx questions so we could give some feedback to the 'guilty' schools??? They're obviously not providing students with a clear understanding of how NDx are established. Eman, You cannot identify Nursing Dx on Medical Dx. Nurses assess & treat human responses (physical & psychological/emotional; actual & potential) to disease..... not the disease itself (see ANA definition of nursing). First, you have to assess the patient to see how she is responding to her illness - then, compare your assessment findings/data to the defining characteristics of NDx to see which ones to choose.
  6. Grumpy offers some very valid points in his very cogent assertions. But the fact remains - I'm not a huge fan of NCLEX because the current version (like previous ones) is not a true indicator of real life clinical reasoning skills. It still focuses on one's ability to regurgitate factoids. Maybe we'll get there eventually as technology becomes more affordable? Most well-established traditional programs utilize QI processes to ensure that their tests are reliable and valid. This requires the skill set associated with qualified and competent educators -- not newly-minted MSNs or NPs who are plunked into an academic job without sufficient preparation or orientation. Unfortunately, with the current state of faculty salaries, this is a common scenario.
  7. HouTx

    Is LPN worthwhile?

    LVNs in my area are employed in LTACHs also... very much acute care, including vents and such. The patients just have longer stays. Some hospitals are also re-introducing LVNs in new models of care delivery - care teams led by RNs.
  8. HouTx

    Full time online student with a newborn?

    Unless the classes have synchronous (everybody online at the same time) requirements, it shouldn't be a problem. It should be pretty easy to fit your coursework around baby duties.
  9. HouTx

    Starting Phlebotomy school before nursing school

    You may want to double-check if you're counting on a phlebotomy job on weekend nights. In my area, most hospitals expect night nurses to draw their own labs... it's a very common cost savings measure.
  10. I was a bit confused also, but I think OP is using the word "stats" to mean grades rather than an actual Statistics course.
  11. HouTx

    Nursing after alcohol?

    Unless your treatment was a consequence of/related to events that are going to show up on a background check (e.g., DUI, Public Intoxication, etc), I would advise against disclosure. If you opted for treatment voluntarily, in order to deal with your addiction, it is just as confidential as any other any other type of health care record. It will not be accessible in a background check. However, if any substance abuse events are going to appear on your background check, you will want to disclose the treatment to provide evidence that you have taken substantive steps to overcome the problem. Wishing you all the best on your career change.
  12. HouTx

    I Pads for patient education

    I hope a qualified educator is evaluating this new initiative. Many times, a snazzy delivery media can overpower the actual educational process. The overall effectiveness should be evaluated by measuring achievement of the learner objectives.... comparing the new method to the older, more traditional methods. Frequently, it turns out that 'new' is not better, no matter how much fun it is. As an educator, I am amazed how many times I come across horrible 'digital' educational courses. They have simply taken a tired old text-based module and put it on a screen..... what a waste. Instead, we (educators) should re-design the content to take advantage of the new media by adding video or animation, inserting hyperlinks to encourage self-exploration of interesting topics, providing real-time feedback, etc. So, PLEASE - apply the same level of evidence-based logic that you would for other interventions. Insist on evaluating the effects of change before just accepting them.
  13. HouTx

    Secondary diagnosis

    OK - now I am confused. Are you telling us that "secondary diagnosis of personality disorder" is a qualification needed by people seeking to fill the job??? Or is this a type of client that is cared for by people in this job? I really hope it's the latter. Although . . . in some organizations . . . .
  14. HouTx

    can anxiety be a nursing diagnosis

    It helps to always remember our scope of practice - "Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations." (ANA definition of nursing). Those responses may be physical or emotional.... they may be actual or potential.
  15. HouTx

    Help!! Nursing school

    You're still very young. You're obviously smart. You apparently have a supportive family. These are all wonderful assets. Can you talk to your parents and let them know how you feel? Most of us parents want our children to be happy, but we also want them to have secure futures - and a 'steady job' with adequate income is a big part of this. Before talking to your parents, do some exploration and be ready to propose some alternatives that they could agree with. There are a lot of AN'ers who claim that "money isn't important" in a career choice. Srsly?? It is important in terms of decreasing stress and achievement of your life goals. That would be really hard to do if you're struggling to afford the basics. So... my suggestion is to take a look at other STEM fields. These professions are aligned with the economy of the future and are associated with higher income and career development. The educational requirements aren't easy - but you've already proven that you have the intellectual horsepower to handle it. I have a family member who switched from pre-nursing to computer science in her 3rd year of college.... for very similar reasons. She just couldn't see herself dealing so closely with people for the rest of her life. It was an excellent decision. By age 30, she had obtained a master's degree (fully funded by her employer) and was making a 6 figure income. The possibilities are out there - you just need to go after them.
  16. HouTx

    Iam taking prerequisite classes this fall!

    You will need to contact the program to find out exactly what will be required for admission because there is a lot of variation. The requirements can vary from year to year, so current students may not have accurate information for you either. FYI, pre-licensure nursing education produces generalists. There is no clinical specialization until graduate school. Nursing (degree) specialties reflect nursing scope of practice (patient populations) rather than medical (disease) specialties. Specialty training is provided to practicing nurses - mostly through their employers. So "pediatric oncology", would not be an educational option. So, as a nurse you could pursue an advanced degree specialty in Pediatrics, but your training in oncology would most likely be associated with an employer-sponsored program. It may not make much sense now, but it will become clearer as you become more familiar with the educational process. Wishing you the best of luck on your journey to become a nurse.