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jjjoy LPN

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Content by jjjoy

  1. jjjoy

    No school til 2012, now what?!

    Maybe you can find some part-time work in the medical field. Working as a nursing assistant in a hospital would be a great way to start becoming comfortable providing basic nursing care, interacting with patients & other providers and just becoming familiar with the inpatient hospital environment. Working as a nursing assistant in nursing home is often very physically heavy work, but you'd get darn good at giving quick baths, doing safe transfers, and dealing with frail elderly. Working as a home health aide could introduce you to the daily obstacles faced by those with debilitating health issues. Working as a unit clerk in a hospital would give you exposure to the workflow at the nurses' station and to common orders and medications if the unit clerk is responsible for order entry. Working as an EMT in medical transport would give you a glimpse to patient homes and health facilities as well as allow you become familiar with common patient issues (eg pts on dialysis, with COPD, etc). Some of those roles also require extra training, but sometimes local community colleges or vocational centers offer that type of training for a reasonable price. Hopefully, this time can be more than just waiting to start school, but it can help build a foundation for your future practice.
  2. We practiced IV starts on fake arms. We weren't allowed to do them in clinicals (maybe facility policy?). We didn't learn blood draws at all, and maybe 5 minutes total on what the different vials were for. We heard "Don't worry, you'll learn it on the job." 'Course half the nurses I meet look at me funny when I tell them we weren't allowed to do even one IV start as a student.
  3. jjjoy

    Time to call a duck a duck, part II

    I'd agree that those functions can be part of a professional nurse's practice. However, I'm still not convinced that that means that that particular function is *nursing care* per se. In this case, I'd say preventing the spread of disease through education and immunization is more of a public health function that can be (and often is) carried out by nurses, physicians, and/or properly trained community public health workers. Nurses, after all, do provide *medical care* as part of the their nursing practice, do they not? And, again, a non-nurse can provide nursing care (parents of medically fragile children, for example). So a nurse most certainly can provide public health services as part of their nursing practice. If a public health nurse is *only* providing education and immunizations, is it fair to say that that nurse is still "practicing nursing"? When I say *only* here, I am not diminishing the value of the activity, I simply mean to emphasize if the person wasn't providing any other services in that role. Just because nurses have often been behind many public health efforts 9and they most certainly have!), does that necessarily make it "nursing", as opposed to public health efforts that may be carried out by nurses or physicians... or if the demand is great enough, perhaps a specialized public health role with its own training and certification? I guess maybe I'm conceptualing the concept of the provision of nursing care as akin to the concept of teaching. If a principal hasn't been in front of a classroom in 10 years, would you consider it accurate to say that they've been teaching for the last 10 years? They most certainly have been involved in education! And ideally have been facilitating quality teaching through supportive policies and management. I'm thinking some 'expanded' nursing roles are kind of like that. They most certainly are involved in the provision of qualify health care, perhaps directly providing medical care (administering injections, prescribing treatments) or perhaps directly responsibility for the provision of nursing care (DON). But I'm not sure I agree with then labelling all that they may be doing as "nursing".
  4. jjjoy

    Time to call a duck a duck, part II

    Thanks everyone for sharing! I must admit I still tend to want limit the concept of the *practice* of professional nursing to direct patient care. A nurse engaging in case management or infection control may draw upon nursing knowledge and apply nursing principles, but does that necessarily mean that they are *praticing* nursing in that role? A case manager is also going to draw upon medical knowledge and apply medical principles in determining pt needs and plans; they are not professionally *practicing* medicine are they? Similarly, a practicing nurse constantly draws upon medical knowledge and applies medical principles, but is not practicing medicine, right? I'm also thinking that a physician in a public health or lab research is not *practicing* medicine *in that role* even if the reason that have that role is because they *do* have experience practicing medicine. Does that make sense? I agree that its a nurse's professional obligation to provide education. I also think it is physicians' professional obligation as well. And lawyers and accountants. All professionals should ensure that their clients understand what's going on. Do all do that well? No. Not all nurses are great educators, either. Heck, not all professional educators are great educators! My point is that a nurse who is educating is not *practicing* nursing when educating, though they most certainly are still professional and still a nurse! At that point, they are nurses who are educating as part of their professional obligation; same as when a lawyer explains things to their client, they are not *practicing* law in that moment. What about patients who need extensive education in regard to their health condition, such as a new diabetic? A non-nurse diabetes educator with 10 years experience will probably be a much better resource that any 'just-off-the-street' nurse without any specialized diabetes experience. One more example, let's say the diabetes educator role at a facility specifically involves professional clinical assessment that necessitates a licensed provider to fill the role. Couldn't a physician theoretically take such a role as well? Certainly, many wouldn't be well-suited to such a role, but there are also nurses out there who wouldn't be well-suited to the role of diabetes educator. So in the *same* role, would a diabetes nurse educator be practicing nursing while the diabetes physician educator is practicing medicine?
  5. Maybe someone at clinic had just called him and bawled *him* out for one of 'his' students cancelling at the last minute. If it was just set up yesterday for today, though, that doesn't seem such a problem. If you'd set up the interview a couple of weeks before and then cancelled the morning of the interview, that would be more problematic.
  6. jjjoy

    Use student loans to pay off debt??

    At the uni I went to, on-campus housing was *much* more expensive than sharing an off-campus apartment and the food plan was not a good deal either. So one can't generalize that on-campus is always cheaper. To add insult to injury, the 'on-campus' dorms weren't anywhere near the libraries and lecture halls; some off-campus housing was actually closer to where you needed to be as a student.
  7. jjjoy

    Nursing Shortage? Maybe not so much . . .

    LOL! Will they take the graduates from last year and this year as well who still haven't found work? Is this guy willing to sign a contract with future nursing grads guaranteeing to "take them all" by a certain date if they haven't found anything else? Can you imagine the backpedaling he'd have to do in a few years if someone trotted that quote out on him? Afterall, if a facility were *that* understaffed, the last thing they'd want to do is hire a bunch of newbies with no real prior nursing experience as that many newbies at once could more of a hindrance than a help. It rarely is explained that "nursing shortage" means shortage of nurses willing and able to fill certain roles at given wages. A bunch of inexperienced new grad nurses cannot just be plugged right in to any open nursing role - which is often the impression given in soundbites.
  8. jjjoy

    Real Difference (Experienced Nurses)

    If experience is the crucial factor, a new ADN grad and a new BSN could both easily face the exact same dilemma if they have no other nursing background and graduated from a program that offered very limited 'real-life' clinical nursing experience. In general, perhaps more ADN programs have a stronger clinical component than BSN programs, but it's not inherent to either type program; it just depends on the program itself, with some BSN programs being very clinically rigorous and some ADN programs churning out grads with minimal clinical confidence. The real question, as I see it, is what exactly is a BSN supposed to offer to a nurse BEYOND ASN? Well, a bachelor's degree for one. Included in that bachelor's is (supposedly) a certain level of coverage of research methods, statistics, and complementary upper division topics such as abnormal psychology, medical sociology and the like. Are BSN programs *required* to spend more time on nursing theory? It gets even more confusing when ADN programs offer a lot more than the bare minimum. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to do so; it just adds to confusion over what the differences are. Clinically? I don't see a BSN really offering much for a practicing nurse, except perhaps for a broader perspective (based on those complementary subject studies) and a signficant emphasis on the role of research in practice. That *is* valuable, but I can certainly question it's value as a *requirement* for entry level bedside nursing. More education is almost always a good thing, but what's enough as a minimum for entry to practice? Interesting stuff, in my opinion!
  9. jjjoy

    Nursing Shortage? Maybe not so much . . .

    I do think it's easier to push for BSN-entry in tight times; in the long-run, though, is it sustainable? Or maybe we as an ever-changing society need to go through a crisis ...BSN-required, not enough BSNs both willing and adequately prepared to work bedside more than just a year or two, increased costs to make bedside more appealing along with worsening 'shortage' of nurses (willing & able to work at bedside, that is), and then what? heavy recruiting of international nurses who have fewer options in their home country than US BSNs have in the US? increased role for unlicensed personnel in nursing care?
  10. jjjoy

    Nursing Shortage? Maybe not so much . . .

    I agree, but that argument doesn't really address the issue. Anyone with any amount of experience over another in a certain area is going to 'run circles' around a person without that experience, no matter how much the other person knows or what degrees/certifications they may have. I'll bet we can even find a number of examples of non-nurses who could run circles around an inexperienced new nursing grad (maybe they've been taking care of very ill relatives or were military medics or the like). Heck, maybe two years of pre-licensure nursing school is arleady really more than is needed. (Actually, I like the idea of granting some level of licensure to second year nursing students so that they aren't so limited in clinicals).
  11. Don't take this as discouragement; just one person's perspective that may or may not help you prepare. I was really looking forward to experiencing student life at UCLA and found it sometimes hard to find there. Better than most CC's? Definitely! But it's a big school with a large commuter and off-campus student base. The place tends to clear out on weekends, so much so that fraternities throw their parties on Thursdays instead of Fridays. The nursing school is in the health sciences complex which is as good as off-campus in relation to 'regular' students. There's little to no overlap with the rest of the university. You'll have to make a special effort to find ways to get involved on campus - and nursing school don't match up well with the schedules of 'regular' students. Just so you know, nursing school curriculum is much more structured and more time-intensive than most other undergrad programs. And that doesn't include studying, preparing for clinical days, and travel time to and from off site clinical locations. See if you can get a copy of a schedule to get a feel for it. If you are already accepted to the school of nursing and are considering dorm living, inquire about being accomodated at the grad student dorms. First off, it's *right* *next* *door* to the nursing school (as opposed to a 20+ minute walk up and down a hill to the undergrad dorms). At UCLA, undergrad dorms tend to be mostly first and second year students, with upperclassmen moving out to shared apartments. As an upperclassman with serious amounts of coursework and graduation not all that far off, it was at times frustrating to be surrounded by 18-yr-olds just starting college, many clueless about what they wanted in school, some just wanting to party. Grad students, on the other hand, know how to party, too, but they have figured out some kind of balance already. Another option to look into is Co-op Housing. If you're not looking for luxury, not only is it more affordable than the dorms, it's a wider mix of student types (again, not all first year 18yr olds) and right amongst the off-campus student-packed apartments and few surviving fraternity houses (Greek life isn't that big at UCLA). It's not any less convenient than the inconveniently located undergrad dorms. Finally, the diminished Greek life at UCLA means many sorority houses have been converted to other purposes, including general student housing. This housing is the absolute closest to the heart of student life at UCLA (yes, MUCH more convenient than 'on-campus' housing). These boarding houses aren't owned or operated by UCLA, and I'm not sure where you'd find for listings for that these days. They aren't necessarily all female anymore, I don't think. Enjoy whatever you end up doing!!!
  12. jjjoy

    Not a real nurse?

    Here's a thought about the OP's experience. The L&D nurse may have interpretted the OPs introducing herself as a nurse as being a self-aggrandizing proposition "I'm one of you so you should treat me differently than the average visitor." And thus the rude, defensive response "You're not one of us unless you've done this type of work". I'm *not* saying that's what the OP meant or that it would justify such a rude reply.
  13. jjjoy

    Not a real nurse?

    Suggesting clearer differentiation between types of nurses doesn't mean that I think any one kind is better, more legitimate, more important, etc. "I'm a nurse, too" doesn't really mean more than both parties have gone to nursing school and passed boards. And despite the reality of the wide range of nursing out there, there is still the conception WITHIN much of the nursing community that 'real' nursing is bedside acute care. My suggestion is simply that acute care nursing be habitually called acute care nursing so that it doesn't get mistaken for being the very essence of what 'real' nursing is.
  14. jjjoy

    Not a real nurse?

    I was trying to say that many people's concept of "a real nurse" is that of an acute care nurse; I wasn't trying to imply that that concept is accurate. Not at all. I was trying to say (apparently not very successfully) that one needn't necessarily feel *insulted* by an ignorant comment (hurt perhaps, but not necessarily intentionally put down).
  15. jjjoy

    Signing R.N., B.S.N. to name after retirement?

    Just to be overly analytic about terminology... if the term 'nurse' is supposed to only refer to licensed nurses, as some arguments go, then there is no such thing as an unlicensed nurse - at least not legally! I suppose it's too long to sign off - retired person formerly licensed as Registered Nurse.
  16. jjjoy

    Not a real nurse?

    It's touchy issue. What is meant by "real"? Usually, what's often meant by "real nurse" is someone responsible for direct care of medically unstable patients (or patients prone to becoming unstable, such as having procedures, in labor, etc). It's not that another kind of nurse is "just pretending" to be a nurse; they just have such a different skill set that doesn't fit many nurses' self-concept as a nurse. So "real" in that context means "different than" *their concept* of nurse as opposed to "pretender". I think that it would be good for the profession of nursing to more clearly designate the unique specialization of acute care/medical nursing in relation to the wider general field of nursing practice. It would clear up a lot of confusion and misunderstandings both within the field ("real nurse") and for those looking in ("the position requires an RN, so any RN can do it, right?")
  17. jjjoy

    Student loans - worth it?

    Also be aware that the Bay Area has been one of the toughest job markets in the nation for nurses, and new nurses in particular, for quite some time now. I understand that many have had to move out of the area to land their first nursing job. Perhaps there is a state univ BSN program you can transfer to elsewhere in the state with relatively lower tuition and lower cost of living than the Bay Area? If you work while going to school and share an apartment with other students, you may be able to keep your costs lower than living at home and going to an expensive private program. Another thought is if you can land a job or two these days is to take advantage of living at home and sock a bunch of money away for school in few years. Those couple of years would go by faster than you can imagine and meanwhile you could be also be working on building a foundation in nursing & health care... working in a hospital, volunteering, becoming an EMT, etc. Just thoughts! I know trying to make alternate plans for nursing school is a real pain because it seems that every program has different requirements, deadlines, applications processes. Best wishes!
  18. jjjoy

    Lawyer to Nurse

    Perhaps a bit of a similarity between law and nursing is that once you have the degree/license/credentials to be a lawyer or nurse, it can feel difficult to justify moving into a completely different field. So many people envy the qualifications of RN or JD (for different reasons generally, but envy nonetheless) and can't understand someone turning away from the opportunities those degrees potentially afford, especially when there's such a wide range of types of work such as found in law and nursing. I haven't sensed this same type of incredulousness when someone with a teaching credential wants to leave teaching.
  19. jjjoy

    Need help to convince parents!

    Find out about specific programs you may interested in. What are the pre-reqs? When does one apply for the program (some BSN programs don't accept students until junior year)? Are there any waitlists? An ADN may be shorter on paper (eg 2 years) but between pre-requisites, classes filling up, and wait lists for nursing school, earning an ADN can easily take four or more years for some students. Many ADN programs have only a limited number of seats (eg 50-100) and hundreds of qualified applicants; so the competition can be fierce. Some programs may have a waitlist or a lottery. However, things may be different at the schools near you. So go find out! BSN programs often may not have quite as much competition for many reasons such as cost and convenience. ADN programs usually cost less, are more widely available across communities, and are more accessible to 'non-traditional' students ('traditional' being 18-22yr old full-time students). Best wishes in your pursuits!
  20. jjjoy

    Fundies is killing me

    I agree with the advice to check out some NCLEX study guides. Even if you understand and remember everything you're studying in fundamentals, some kinds of nursing test questions can be confusing and lead to poor test performance. It's worth giving it a try! Check out more than one study guide as they may come at test taking strategies differently, and you're looking for a something that will address whatever obstacles you may running up against. Look for sections focusing specifically on fundamentals questions. Good luck!
  21. I'm curious about this... are you also a nurse or have a background in nursing? Did you intentionally aim to become a statistician or was it a 'just sorta fell into it' thing? What's that field look like going forward? Would you recommend it to anyone? I enjoyed my biostatistics course in school but nursing seemed so much more practical ('always in demand'). I appreciate your sharing about your experience and I relate to it. I do best with a balance between working alone (focused, analyzing) and working with people (collaborating, directly assisting)... maybe an 80/20 balance? 70/30? In my current data management role in a health facility, I find myself leaning towards the numbers/systems side and away from the nitty gritty rubber-meets-the-road clinical aspect. However, I think I'm pretty good at translating between the gray world of clinical care (every case is different, health care provision is not an assembly line) and the more black and white world of administration (policies, check boxes, bottom lines).
  22. The vast differences between some nursing specialities tends to lead me to question if just one generic 2 yr program for most types of RNs is sufficient. Can you imagine if most teachers had just one generic teacher's credential for most all levels and subjects and the rest was learned on the job without any formal evaluation or certification of directly relevant training and competency? I'm not saying any one kind of nurse is more or less "real"... just different. I imagine certain kinds of physicians get dismissed as "not real" if they can't manage a hospitalized patient, for instance.
  23. That made me laugh! Bedside clinical nursing definitely involves problem-solving - it just tends to be more pulling-the-drowning-villagers-from-the-rushing-river problem-solving versus why-the-heck-are-so-many-villagers-falling-in-the-river-in-the-first-place problem-solving. Both are valuable problem-solving skills! I'm better at the latter but if I'm in acute crisis I sure as heck want someone good at the former by my side!
  24. jjjoy

    Did your nursing program cover 12 lead EKG?

    Also, I wouldn't go into debt over it or consider it 'a must' by any means, but if the cost is something you *could* afford and if really might help you land a tech job, it could very well be worth it. Just being in the class might afford networking opportunities (finding out about job openings and getting recommendations from the instructor). Another angle is that while nursing school may cover the same material, it would be review for you and how nice would that be given the sheer volume of other new material dumped on nursing students all at the same time? But again, I'd try to find out all I could about the quality of the course before paying that much for it.
  25. jjjoy

    Did your nursing program cover 12 lead EKG?

    For $700 I hope they teach more than how to place the leads! In school and on the job, I got crash courses (nor more than 4 hours each) in ECGs (lead placement, how ECGs work and basic interpretation) pretty cursory, though functional. And one can always read up on things without a class. However, for my own personal learning preferences in regard to professional development, I would consider shelling out (investing) my own money for a GOOD, THOROUGH ECG course. Before doing so, I would have to really investigate the program to see if it truly offered more in depth exploration and intensive relevant practice that would help me to really nail it all down more than the quickie overviews, self study, and catch-as-catch-can-on-the-job already available to me.