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magnoliophyte's Latest Activity

  1. magnoliophyte

    Getting med/surg exp after 2 years psych

    I'm also a psych nurse, have been for a year now. I'm also looking in to getting in to med/surg as I've realized that I'm never going to build good assessment skills until I've done so. Luckily I work for a large organization that does both medical and inpatient psych, so transitioning should just involve a transfer rather than hunting for work at places I'm not a known quantity. I've been told here and there that even though we've done psych, your first year or so as a nurse is mostly about building your ability to organize and fit in to the role of being responsible for people in general, getting along with an inter-disciplinary team and all that... I hope that's all right anyways. We've certainly got to be a lot better off than we were as new-grads.
  2. magnoliophyte

    Suggestions for rounding out my skillset?

    Hello. I'm a relatively new nurse, I've been active for 7 months now. I work in an involuntary lockdown psych unit. What I'm looking for in the future is to round out my skills and keep things I learned in school. I -do- get to deal with some medical things in my work setting, but they're relatively simple and few/far between (feeding tubes [ng and PEGs], wound care). The things I get almost no exposure to are IV's (both starting and caring for), central lines, foley and straight caths (I've had patients with foleys, but I never put them in), or any kind of airway mgmt. What I'm asking for is advice on where I could work as a 2nd job for being able to do these things? I was figuring that after I had a year of experience at my current job, a little more would open up for me. I was suggested by a co-worker to try rehab. The only thing that doesn't sit well with me about that is that I'm not sure how big they are on training people, generally. I would not be ready to handle a rehab assignment by myself right away--many of the skills I will have not used in quite awhile. I suppose this is a facility-to-facility difference, but I don't even know the general climate of those places for that sort of thing. Does anyone have some thoughts or additional advice? My current work schedule is 5 8's, which leaves me available to work pretty much any day... I've tested my endurance with doubles a few times.
  3. magnoliophyte

    2010-2011 AZBN new grad survey

    Thanks for posting this... it's very interesting to see the situation finally quantified this way. I'm one of the lucky ones I guess, since I was able to find full-time employment with an ADN after maybe 4-5 months of searching. I also had a couple more offers from places I applied to out-of-state. Several of my classmates also sought employment elsewhere and had positions offered/taken. Things aren't as bad if you're willing to relocate -- as the greater Phoenix metropolitan area is actually particularly bad compared to some other states. I hazard a guess that it's because we have 2 dominant healthcare network providers who have both enacted very stringent new-graduate policies, and also so many schools with a high output of new nurses almost year-round.
  4. magnoliophyte

    Fecal Transplants- What do you think about this?

    I've never seen the big deal. There's a lot of things people don't like psychologically that are going to be reality for us as humans at some point or another -- like drinking treated waste water for instance.
  5. magnoliophyte

    Flu Vaccine, enough already!

    Since you can still get mildly ill and transmit flu even if you've been vaccinated (I believe you can be contagious even before prodrome) that this has less to do with safety to patients, but more to do with hospitals not wanting to have to deal as much with losing swaths of staff for upwards of a week at a time during heavy flu seasons. Especially where I work, sick staff are often filled in with registry as we're scheduled pretty thin and tight. Encouraging your employees not to be missing work by staying healthy isn't a new idea..think of employer incentives on doing things like eating healthy snacks or losing weight. This is along the same vein.
  6. magnoliophyte

    concerns about new grad psych position

    I'm also a new grad working in psych... I was given about 4 weeks of orientation. It's not really that bad in psych because, as mentioned, they're medically stable and we give a *lot* of the same drugs to patients. It felt like more than enough time for me to get up to speed to a level where I could function on the job. The only lenience I have is that I don't get staffed alone as the only RN on units (I work nights). However, the place I work is not by any means disorganized, as we handle court-ordered treatments and evals. It's a very tight ship and everyone is very cohesive and professional... so going by what you describe, I can't be too sure in saying that it sounds good. Could you maybe ask for an opportunity to shadow for a day or something? I ask because I wouldn't make a conclusion based on people quitting... there's lots of people who get settled and will leave when -anything- major changes... what you should base your choice on is seeing the actual workflow for a day of the RN's.
  7. magnoliophyte

    Cedars Sinai closes all Psychiatric Units

    Perhaps you could look in to working for State/County facilities that handle patients undergoing court-ordered evals/treatments. That is the sort of place I work in...the job security is a little better since it's a necessary service and typically only a very small number of places per state/county are chartered to do this. The only thing to think about is the fact that since these places are almost 100% filled with involuntary patients, you have lots of very... uhm, unhappy campers. Hah.
  8. magnoliophyte

    How do I get started?

    You need to first look at schools around you that actually offer a nursing program. There's usually 3 basic options... a diploma, an associates, or bachelors. Most people from what I understand get the associates (2 year program) or bachelors (4). You want to make sure that the schools are offering actual nursing science degrees. I have seen some non-accredited schools do strange things like associates of arts in nursing (?!??!). Once you've found some schools around you that offer ADN or BSN programs, you'll be able to look at that school's specific requirements for enrolling in the nursing program. Generally you'll be asked to take pre-requisits like chemistry, anatomy+physiology, english 101... this just differs from school to school and you'll have to find out from them. If the information found on the school's website or course catalogs is too disorganized or not clear enough, contact the school to have an appointment with some kind of academic advisor that will help you enroll in the necessary classes to get you on your way. As far as specializing in OB... don't get too far ahead of yourself. To be an OB nurse you will have to go through all of the normal hoops to first become *a* nurse, just like any other RN. When you graduate nursing school and get your license, you can start looking in to how to get into a specialty field...(this generally involves either networking your way on to those sorts of units, or getting experience elsewhere and then trying to find a job in your desired specialty later on... but for right now, that's all very far down the road if you're just starting out.) So, to recap. -Find schools near you that offer ADN or BSN programs. -From there, find out each schools requirements for enrolling in those programs (pre-reqs, entrance exams, etc.) -Make your decision based on reputation of the programs, costs, or whatever other criteria are important to you. -Find a way to pay! and then enroll. Be prepared to set aside 1 or 2 academic years for taking pre-requisits depending on the program/the amount of time you're able to spend at school. I hope this helps.
  9. magnoliophyte

    Do you prefer 8 or 12 hours shifts?

    I like my 5-days a week 8 hour shifts. When I did 12's in my preceptoring, the extra days off barely even registered with me because the first one was always just taken up by me sleeping off the tiredness from the previous back-to-back shifts. The way the scheduling was didn't snap with me either... most places, from what I've seen avoid giving you your 3 shifts back to back normally... so I hated having 1 day on, 1 day off, 1 day on... etc etc. Those odd days off in between barely even felt like they were worth it. For me personally, on 8 hours the weekend feels more like a real weekend. A ceremonious span of 48 hours where I'm totally decompressed because the week hasn't killed me or even come close to fatiguing me. The shifts themselves also don't leave me feeling very tired at all afterwards... I have more than enough time and energy to go home every night, cook dinner, do laundry or go shopping or goof around at home while getting a good night's sleep before work the next day. Some people thrive on the 12's though... I don't think they're for me at all.
  10. magnoliophyte

    Video on the Nursing Shortage

    http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291111.htm#nat What sort of slight of hand? As far as I've read the 2% is derived from this set of data. 2% can be a pretty big number when dealing with millions of nurses. I'd be curious to know why you believe this, though... is there something I haven't read? In 2009 134,708 U.S. trained nurses became newly licensed -- this is roughly 3% of the current # of RN's. I could certainly believe an entire year's worth of new RN's are unemployed, roughly nationwide at the moment. That is to say, at a glance the numbers taken from the census data don't seem "wildly" off to me at all. Are they likely to be 100% accurate? No, census data is hard to be precise with. For instance I'm betting it doesn't or can't take into account people who have an RN license and simply do not currently work as an RN. They're an RN, but they also aren't unemployed. There are also factors that stretch the numbers such as RN's who returned to work because of unsure retirement funds. These are people who normally would not be accounting for filled RN jobs. So I suppose my point is that while the number is probably off by a percentage or two (it doesn't take much when we're talking about millions of people), nursing is still undeniably better off than most majors people study in college or professions that had a much more malleable demand... but like I said, if you have something concrete to back this up I'd love to read it! Economics is a hobby of mine.
  11. magnoliophyte

    Video on the Nursing Shortage

    As a new-grad who has full-time RN employment, and also as someone who closely follows economic news and issues, I'll try to field this for you as best I can. What's the scoop, seasoned nurses and new grads? . . . The low-down is that yes, it is difficult to find work as a new RN. Is it impossible? No, obviously not...but it's about on-par with a few other career choices, but better than most. The unemployment rate for RN's, last I checked (with data from c. 2010) is around 2%. You will find work with determination an effort, but a job is not going to be guaranteed or catered to you most likely. Is this dearth of nursing jobs a consequence of the economy? . . . Firstly, there is no death of nursing jobs. There are nursing jobs, and places do hire new graduates. It's simply not as easy as it used to be. It used to be you'd have multiple job offers before even having a license. It's far more difficult now, but the job market is not exactly frozen either. It is absolutely a consequence of the economy. You'd be hard-pressed to find a privately run hospital with staff, especially nurses, who would say "We are 100% adequately staffed in all units, every shift." Hospitals are not full-up with nurses -- there *IS* a shortage of RN's. However, to explain this dichotomy you have to understand a couple things about private businesses (which most hospitals in the US are). Because most hospitals are private businesses, they have to deal with balance sheets. They typically try to spend less money than they take in. Hospitals have seen a large decrease in paying customers. This is due to the recession stripping many people of health insurance either through it being supplied by their employer or simply not being able to afford it with no income. This causes two things to happen: For one, people put off non-urgent care, and two, when they seek care they can't pay for it. Both of these things put a huge dent in hospital revenues. The solution, as with any other business is to cut costs. They see new-graduate RN training as a huge cost, because it is. It's tens of thousands of dollars. Think about it... doubling up on RN's for preceptoring, paying you for days when you're orienting and not doing any work, etc. They'd rather fill spots with nurses who can hit the ground running and take up only a week's time rather than 3-4 months for this sort of thing. Now, they will still hire graduates here and there, but they just want to be very sure in their investments since it comes with such a cost. This is why it is very competitive and selective. Turnover DOES happen with new RN's, and it does the hospital no good to invest in a new RN who decides it's not for them in a few months and takes a hike. When you look at it from this perspective, it begins to make more sense why things are the way they are. Will prospects pick up within the next decade? . . . This is very likely. Most economists (forgive me for not having a source on-hand to cite, but I get most of my information from NPR's Planet Money if you're curious) project that the economy overall should begin getting back on-track with hiring and investments resuming within the next 2-4 years. Regardless of what may or may not happen with new healthcare reform bills, we should consequently begin seeing more paying hospital customers. This will directly allow hospitals to resume filling vacant RN positions with external candidates at a higher rate. Past 10-years time we will also begin seeing the consequences of wide-spread baby-boomer generation retirement. This will remove a huge percentage of current active RN's from the field, and increase healthcare demand. It's actually probably going to get pretty messy...sure, RN jobs will be easier to get, but I'm not too optimistic about what the average quality of care in our systems will be at that point either. But that's an entirely different avenue of speculation... Is nursing so saturated w/ new grads that getting a job outside of po-dunk, TX is next to impossible? No, it's not impossible... it's just competitive. You will need to equip yourself with the means to compete. You will want to make yourself stand out as someone hireable. You don't want to just submit dozens of electronic applications and sit around hoping to yourself to get a phonecall like the guy in this video is doing. The best thing you can do for yourself is to network. Volunteer or join nursing organizations so that you can get to know people who might have the hookups with hiring power. Hospitals really just want to be sure they aren't wasting money with what new-grads they are gonna take. Sure, moving is always an option, and was one I was willing to take too before I got hired where I live. If you want to get a job quickly it's not a bad idea. Is it 100% necessary? No, probably not... but I can't say it wouldn't have a higher chance of success. However, you still have to come off as a good candidate to those hospitals as well... they're not gonna just hand you a job either without finding you as a good fit -- so even if you plan to move, don't slack on your resume and interviewing skills. Always sell yourself as best you can!
  12. magnoliophyte

    Unemployed & inexperienced New RNs. Vent it out!

    congratulations! :anpom: And yes, don't give up new grads. Unemployment rates for RN's is very low compared to other professions (around 2% last I checked) so just be persistent.
  13. magnoliophyte

    Is pounding the pavement worth the effort?

    Why not give it a try at least? What's the worst that can happen -- they say no, and so you're back where you started. Networking and meeting in real-life is how I got my job as a new-grad... it works.
  14. magnoliophyte

    New Grad Resume

    For awhile on my new-grad resume I just had it broken down under a bullet point of School Clinical Experience -Med/Surg, 160 hours at St. Whatshisface Memorial so on and so forth... eventually I took it all out though and only mentioned my preceptorship. Just make sure it's clearly labelled as school clinicals, so they don't think you're trying to pull a fast one about working.
  15. magnoliophyte

    Who are all these people dying in your arms?

    You pose a philosophical question. Sometimes you can find clear reasoning through these sorts of questions by simply asking another. Ask yourself, what would happen to med-surg patients if nurses were not there? I really doubt that hospital mortality rates would stay the same if you eliminated qualified RN's from working on those floors.
  16. magnoliophyte

    Job Hunting Tips Anyone?

    Focus on doing as much as you can in-person. Job fairs, volunteering, or any other chances to get yourself face-to-face with hiring managers is what you want to really push yourself to do as much as possible. That's how I got my job as a new-grad and how many of my classmates did as well. You can also join nursing organizations, or at least attend their meetings. Do whatever you can to get opportunities to network and hand your resume physically to people. Online works sometimes (I got a few interviews that way) but it's not the best way at all. Meeting people in-person lets them get an idea that you are very serious about wanting to work and that you're not just another person dumping 50+ copies of online apps into their pile every day. In this market you gotta stand out. good luck!!!

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