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jjjoy LPN

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Content by jjjoy

  1. It is draining to go into a job you don't like day after day with no end in sight. Despite perhaps just not finding this work stimulating, does this job run you ragged and leave you wiped out? Are your co-workers and admininstrators good team members or more like adversaries? Is your workload reasonable? Does it allow you to provide quality nursing care? My point there is that it may be more than just the level of care that you're dissatisfied with in this position. As you well know, there's a very tight job market right now. So if you can hang on, you've already got your solution: Just keep applying. You could also consider volunteering at a local hospital, becoming an active member in a nursing organization, or other nursing-related activites that could boost both your resume and, perhaps more importantly, networking opportunities. Meanwhile, as another posted noted, this experience is *NOT* useless. When you do land that higher acuity job that you want, the transition will likely *much* smoother than starting as an inexperienced new grad. You'll have seen hundreds of patients and their various combination of conditions and variability of symptomatology; that exposure is *priceless* in building and maintaining strong assessment and clinical judgement skills. Keep on keeping on!
  2. As others have noted, what you're doing is nursing experience. However, it isn't the kind of acute care nursing experience that many facilities are looking for in nurses that they hire. If a job required "two years recent acute care nursing experience", you can't assume that your urgent care experience would count, since the experience is different. But the experience itself is still very valuable to you as a nurse. It seems like it's definitely better than no nursing job at all!
  3. jjjoy

    Betrayed by my Program

    Our own various good and bad experiences in school with instructors and fellow students surely color our perception of and reaction to student-expressed frustrations. I agree that nursing school *should* be tough, tough enough to ensure students know what they need to know and take it seriously. My experience was that some aspects of nursing school were difficult in some needless ways and *too easy* in other ways that seemed more important to professional practice. I agree that some students are too quick to blame the instructors for their own inadequacies. However, some instructors do seem to make the process more difficult than it need be. It's inherently difficult, no need to add unnecessary obstacles! Such as instructors who refuse to give any clear example of what they are looking for in a care plan, then tear your care plan apart, and when you ask for further clarification about what they want to see in a care plan, they accuse of you of trying to get them to do your work for you. I also agree that some aren't cut out for nursing, just like some aren't cut out for dancing. Still, Nurse educate, you might very well have been a 'good enough' to be a dancer - to teach dance to children, to join a community dance club. Very few dancers in the world will be good enough and dedicated enough to become the dancer of your dreams such as a professional ballerina or a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson. Nursing standards should be as high as they need to be for patient safety, but most any smart, hard-working person should be able to meet those minimum standards with concerted effort and good instruction. That doesn't mean most any smart, hard-working person would do well as a bedside acute care nurse, but bedside acute care nursing supposedly isn't the core of nursing practice... or is it? A debate for another day...
  4. jjjoy

    How big is the "Public Health" portion of your job?

    Great question. The school nurse role doesn't always seem very clear cut. I understand wanting to do more than just day-to-day taking care of things but not having the time or resources to do that. Good luck!
  5. jjjoy

    Why do some people assume NS is easy?

    As a former science major, much of the content of nursing school felt pretty "intro-level". The level of explanation in our nursing texts seemed relatively shallow physiologically and pharmacologically compared to other science-for-science-majors coursework I'd taken. However, the bredth of material covered in nursing school was astronomical for the short time frame. To cover everything *is* an incredible (impossible?) challenge! I felt kind inadequate to take on the nursing role of educating patients when I didn't know much more about many conditions than the 2 pages in the nursing textbook!
  6. jjjoy

    Privacy rules don't save patients from exposure

    It's my understanding that the initial intent of HIPAA was mostly about protecting patient information in electronic medical records. Prior to EMRs, a person would have to physically get hold of a chart, open it up, flip through it and make copies to gather private health information. With current EMRs, that same information can possibly be viewed on any computer around the globe. My understanding is that the impetus of the new health information privacy legislation was to clarify that electronically held health information was subject to the same privacy rights and legal protections as the health information on paper records in a physical medical record. I'm by no means an expert on this, though! If someone knows better, I'd love to learn!
  7. To the OP, just wanted to let you know that I can relate to the feelings you're describing, just exactly what your title says... I eventually decided to go a different direction, and who knows what would've happened otherwise. I still sometimes wonder if I should go back and try clinical nursing on some level again. But I find the usual working conditions for nurses to be overwhelming to me. I like to think I could be a good clinician with just the right kind of support; but I don't want it badly enough to suffer through the current process of getting there. I'm not saying everyone always suffers through it; it apparently works for many. But for me, it felt like swimming upstream fighting a very, very strong current. I figure if I really wanted it badly enough, I'd be more willing to soldier on despite discouraging experiences. Instead, I'm now working in health information. I do spend time in patient care areas and just the other day witnessed a code. I was very interested to see how it all went down but wasn't wishing I was in on the action. On the other hand, when the computer information system had a glitch and the clinical staff all groaned, I was eager to step in and figure out what was wrong. So while I question my choices at times, I think I'm heading the right direction for me. I hope you find a direction for you, be it in nursing or something else!
  8. Re: lovenox. I remember reading instructions to leave the bubble at the plunger behind the medicine and push the plunger all the way down to ensure that the entire dose clears the needle prior to removal from the skin. It might also be thought to reduce potential bruising (?). I've seen many a nurse get the air bubble out prior to injecting.
  9. jjjoy

    Why do some people assume NS is easy?

    Compared to *some* health science areas, the pre-reqs for nursing programs are *relatively* 'easy'. No calculus or physics required. Sometimes the chemistry and physiology coursework required by nursing schools is lower level than that required for some other majors. Some nursing schools do require higher level coursework, but many don't. I'm not saying that that means that nursing school *is* easy, but that may give some the impression that it would be.
  10. I don't have any great ideas for you, just making an aside that this is an example of how sometimes nursing education sometimes seems to put the cart before the horse. Of course, we want professionals who can look at real practice and continously question and build upon current knowledge and practice. As the OP noted, to a total newbie, probably at least 80% of what they observe every day in clinical was not covered specifically in school and therefore is questionable since students are taught to never accept something is correct just because someone says it is. Having students learn about acknowledged controversies and how to access and evaluate resources on it would seem an appropriate and useful exercise for a beginner level assignment, but requiring that they come up with their own examples just doesn't seem useful at that level. It would be great in a class with students with more substantial clinical experience already. The problem is that many clinical rotations do not allow students as much opportunity and exposure as would be ideal, so even students close to graduation too often don't feel like they've seen or done much.
  11. jjjoy

    Betrayed by my Program

    I commiserate with you OP. I often respond to posts like yours because while I agree nursing school shouldn't be easy, the level of difficulty ought to be related to relevant knowledge and *real* critical thinking skills, not test-taking strategies and one's ability to 'fly under the radar'. You can also find others with similar experiences. Do you know how to do a search of previous threads?
  12. I can't tell you about your area; where I am, the community college extension department offer such courses sometimes. Those classes are listed completely separate from the courses for credit. Also, a hospital human resources department may be able to tell you about local training programs. Call and ask! Some places, it's all just on-the-job training that involve being in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time. So if nothing turns up consider volunteering or getting a different job somewhere that might happily land you at-the-right-place-right-time. Good luck!
  13. jjjoy

    Wife Doesnt Want Like the Idea

    "Told-you-so's" shouldn't be quite so threatening if you really have a good idea of what you are getting into. Maybe that your wife's doubts bug you means that you need to find out more about real-world, day-in-and-day-out nursing. Maybe not. Still, most people's image of nursing isn't all that close to the reality of it. To find out more, volunteer at a hospital and/or take a nursing assistant course and get some hands-on clincal experience. Ask friends and family to introduce to you nurses who you can talk to and maybe even shadow at work. Find out about your local job market for RNs, especially entry-level opportunities. While you might like ED, you still may have to work bedside several years before an ED opportunity comes available. Best wishes whatever you do!
  14. jjjoy

    what textbook is everyone using?

    I've been out of school too long to give any input on current texts. I'd recommend looking over various conditions and nursing care described in a med-surg text, though a fundamentals text could be a useful reference. However, I did want to give this suggestion. Looking over a textbook certainly can't hurt, but if you don't have much medical/nursing experience, try to more than just textbook exposure to patient care. For example, volunteer in a hospital on a clinical unit. If you can, get a job as a nursing assistant or even just as a home care aide. Look up the patient's care issues when you get home and start learning about common concerns (eg dehydration, diabetes, heart conditions) especially as it relates to the hospitalized patient (since much of nursing school focuses on acute care). If this advice doesn't apply to you, then just ignore it. Maybe someone will have some specific textbook suggestions for you.
  15. Of course the internship would be great for you. It would be great for just about any student. And of course you're a motivated, dedicated worker and student... but so are many other applicants are as well. You're in a tough situation. A nursing student and new grad with minimal nursing background is at a real disadvantage. Heck, even those *with* experience are facing tough competition for a few coveted spots in internships and as new grads. You definitely want to present yourself in the best light possible but if they give preference to students with experience, there's no way you can fake it. On the other hand, maybe they don't give preference to experience. Play up all that you truly do have to offer (such as non-health care experiences) in addition to your student performance and it may turn out you're just what they are looking for! If you don't get the internship, then see if there is anything else you can do to increase your experience, build your skills, confidence and professional connctions. Part-time work as a nursing assistant, unit manager, telemetry monitor, etc... Volunteering in a clinical environment... Active participation in a professional nursing organization (won't get you clinical skills but may employers do want nurses who will get involved in committees and the like). Nursing school goes by so fast there just isn't much time or opportunity to get additional experience that is valuable in a competitive job/internship environment. Try to find out what opportunities may be available to you as a student, even if they're not your first choice. Best wishes!
  16. jjjoy

    Pay Raise After Nursing Residency?

    To me, that would be enough to stick with them for now since it hasn't really been that long. Good luck with your choices!
  17. jjjoy

    PA vs. RN

    If one isn't already a nurse, is interested in being a mid-level provider and isn't interested in other nursing roles, they may very well easily decide to aim for PA. If one isn't already a nurse, is interested in being a mid-level provider and is interested in other nursing roles, aiming for NP might make the most sense. If someone is already a nurse, aiming for NP makes a lot of sense for them. Whatever a person's background, the choice of aiming for PA or NP can be informed by comparing curriculum, opportunities, the local job market, and if one has a strong preference for the "medical model" or the "nursing model" of health care.
  18. jjjoy

    PA vs. RN

    I'll bet new grad BSNs are having a hard time landing jobs as well. ADNs hear "Don't bother applying without a BSN", BSNs probably hear "Don't bother applying without at least one year experience." While there is much talk over time of if BSN should be entry to practice, I'm not aware of associate's programs being phased out.
  19. My nursing instructors may have been awesome clinicians but that doesn't mean that they were good instructors, either for theory or on the floor. I'm also sure my preceptors were good at what they were doing. But few of them had the patience, time, and/or teaching ability to explain things - such as why these two different ways of doing something were *both* okay. Mostly, they seemed irritated if you didn't accept whatever they told you at face value. If you couldn't figure out the reasoning for yourself, then maybe you just weren't smart enough to be a nurse! Still, I can see where the "one-up" attitude of some students would get really old really fast. I just hated when my sincere, well-thought out, well-researched questions were responded to as if I were one of those loud-mouth, know-it-all, just-trying-to-make-the-instructor-look-dumb students.
  20. jjjoy

    Can't be happy with my grades

    Kgh, you seem confused by the negative reactions to your comments. I'd agree that some folks overreacted to your comment. Still, can you see how someone who tried their best, managed to graduate with Cs, and is successfully working as a nurse might feel insulted by the comment "C does NOT equal RN at all"? Some might interpret your comment to mean that you don't think C students are good enough. Your later clarification seems to indicate that what you meant was that you think nursing students should *aim for* more than bare minimum competency. I think most readers here would agree. The OP clearly was clearly disappointed that she didn't get A's; they didn't seem to be the type just aiming for the bare minimum.
  21. jjjoy

    Sorry...I lied....

    It sounds like you've really found your groove! That's awesome!
  22. jjjoy

    What does Volunteering at hospital get u

    What volunteering can get you is priceless exposure to the real-world nursing work environment. You can learn to be comfortable in the clinical environment, with sick patients, worried families, stressed out nurses and doctors, etc. You can find out about and be well-placed for landing some kind of part-time/summer health assistant position that would allow you to work directly with patients (since volunteers often are fairly limited in their opportunities at patient interaction). You can certainly list it on resumes and applications to show your responsibility and motivation. You can get letters of recommendation for that can help with school, work, & scholarship applications. The self-confidence and experience you'd gain aren't something you can measure like a GPA, but are very valuable in life. Some facilities require volunteers to do a certain amount of 'boring' volunteer work before allowing them to volunteer in the more popular positions. Just don't let yourself get stuck in a back office or the gift shop if your ultimate goal is clinical nursing. Enjoy!
  23. jjjoy

    Pay Raise After Nursing Residency?

    If you're fairly satisfied with your current working conditions, be sure to take that into account. You've gotten a feel for where you're working now and if that's working for you, it might be worth hanging around awhile until you solidify your experience. You might find the new place to not be as supportive to its' new nurses as your current employer and find yourself wanting to quit after a few months despite the better pay. Of course, it might be an overall better place to work. That's one of the many uncertain factors you have to weigh in making a decision. Good luck!
  24. jjjoy

    Nursing Shortage?

    Hmmm... a shortage of nurses.... ... a shortage of nurses willing to undertake unreasonable workloads (yes, in good economic times there was always a nursing job available, just not necessarily nursing jobs anyone would choose if they had any other options! Things shift a bit when the options are unreasonable workload and no work at all.) ... a shortage of nurses with specific skills sets and experience (in other words, some demands for nurses can't be filled by just anyone with a license; who pays for and who provides nurse training beyond initial licensure? is it reasonable to expect hospitals to provide and pay for that training along with full wages and benefits for both trainers and trainees?)
  25. I felt like this was the attitude of some instructors at my school... very frustrating! Sometimes, looking back, it seemed that half of nursing school was learning to let go of expecting to really understand things but instead to be satisfied with just getting by, meeting whatever odd and varied expectations any particular instructor may have had.