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jjjoy LPN

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Content by jjjoy

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. jjjoy

    Sorry...I lied....

    It sounds like you've really found your groove! That's awesome!
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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?)
  8. 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.
  9. jjjoy

    Wrong reasons for going into nursing.

    Nursing, especially getting started in nursing, can be tough because many working situations involve rather restricted resources and manpower (high patient load, regularly running out of day-to-day supplies) in combination with final responsibility for many aspects of patient care. You want to provide the best nursing care possible but sometimes you run up against obstacles and you have to accept giving just "good enough" nursing care. But what is "enough" really? That can be controversial even among those with experience; a newbie can have real difficulty trying to determine what's "good enough" when "best" is impossible. It can be easy to feel hopeless in the face of not being able to provide the absolute best care possible. This type of newbie reality-shock can most certainly hit those who go into the nursing for the most noble of reasons.
  10. jjjoy

    Electonic documentation,how much time does it take from the bedside?

    It's not so much if electronic or paper documentation is inherently better or worse for patient care; paper or electronic can be problematic depending on the efficiency of the particular system in place and inherent limitations of different systems as well as financial constraints. Instead of jumping to conclusion that electronic or paper documentation is always inferior/superior, note the deficiencies and problems of the particular system in place. I do agree that many electronic documentation systems are very poorly designed for bedside charting. Very frustrating!
  11. jjjoy

    Cumulative testing in nursing program

    Testing was theoretically cumulative in my program, but courses generally stuck to their core subject area, at least in regard to the presenting scenario. Info covered in other courses though might still come up indirectly. The test question scenario may specifically be mentioning a laboring mother or a middle-aged newly diagnosed diabetic, but the key to choosing the best answer would be about putting patient safety first or differentiating between an example of patient education versus an example of telling a patient a medical diagnosis (maybe the right diagnosis, but usually the wrong answer on a nursing test.) In those cases, though I found that many test questions didn't require very detailed recall. Then there were usually at least a few "out of left field" questions such that no one could ever ensure that they'd covered all they needed to, making it next to impossible to get 100% on tests.
  12. jjjoy

    Can't be happy with my grades

    Have you read the threads by other students frustrated with their grades in nursing school? If not, I encourage you do to so; there are plenty of such threads already started in this discussion forum. You'll find sympathy and maybe even some good tips!
  13. Humility and asking for clarification is very important. And so is the instructor's ability and willingness to discuss the student's questions about it. It's not helpful for students to come across as know-it-all's who don't respect the instructor's experience and knowledge, and it's not helpful if instructors seem to discourage the kind of critical thinking that would lead a student to question the insulin order. It seems to me that a good instructor would appreciate the confusion the student was experiencing and either be able to explain it satisfactorily to the students or simply admit they didn't have an answer (and would look into it, encourage the student to look into it and report back to the class, make it a class project to find the latest info, use the question to acknowledge that even as an experienced nurse you may run into orders that don't make sense and how would you handle that, etc). When an instructor seemed to rebuff reasonable questioning as in OP's case, I had to wonder if perhaps the instructor was avoiding discussing it because they didn't really understand it either or wasn't able to follow the student's logic to see where the student's reasoning may have wrong... or where the student may in fact have a valid point.
  14. jjjoy

    Med/Surg Test Help

    When you went over the test, did you feel like "Oh! That's what that question was asking!" or "I didn't think to study that!" or "That makes sense now!"? Or was maybe more like "Huh? I still don't get why answer A is 'better'!" or "I'm still not sure exactly what that question is asking" or "I understand the rationales, but the wording of the question and answers still don't seem clear to me"? Scenario 1: Now you know what you need to study - go study! Scenario 2: Maybe your instructor customizes or creates their own test questions that no amount of studying or comprehension will lead you to the "best" answer. Solution? Study whatever you need for your own knowledge. To improve on test scores, see if you can figure out the instructor's angle on test questions. Maybe they focus on applying Maslow's hierarchy of needs, or on key words and question stems, or on safety or education, or on independent nursing interventions as opposed to collaborative nursing interventions. Classes go by quickly, so if you still end up with lower test scores, try to keep in mind that passing and gaining knowledge are ultimately more important to becoming a nurse than earning an A... not that all three wouldn't be nice!
  15. I wouldn't use the word "duplicity". I would say contradictory! It's frustrating and yet I can't be too hard on the government about it because contradiction seems inevitable in *any* real-world system. There are so many examples. And those contradictions often do make sense from whatever perspective is being taken. Like with food, moderation is often the best path, but even defining what is moderate can be contentious! Here's what I see as very simplistic example of everyday real-world contradictions: we usually teach children not to lie, that the truth is always best. And yet, we also often teach children about "white lies", such as not telling Grandma that you think the sweater she gave you is the ugliest thing you've ever seen. Conflicts of interest is inevitable as well... An environmentally-conscious person might lobby for policies that hurt the logging industry and put some people out of work. A disposable diaper user, non-hybrid car-driver might be using their time non-eco-friendly time being a great inner-city teacher helping disadvantaged youth overcome obstacles. I'm not excusing the government from making mistakes or creating contradictory policies. It would seem that the cheese promotion program needs serious reconsideration, especially with regard to the wider health implications of the various ways in which cheese might be promoted... eg promoting cheese and apple slices as a snack alternative to Doritos as opposed to promoting cheese-filled pizza crusts. In other words, instead of spending a lot of time and energy focusing on the ridiculousness of the contradictory policies (since we can find such ridiculousness everywhere, in private industry, government, and individual behavior), instead let's focus on how to go about making those policies more reasonable.
  16. If you can afford it, then it would only be a benefit. If you can't afford it, school might be a bit of a rougher start but you'd be okay. Even though it's so close to school starting, maybe you could work one shift a week while school, both to offset the cost of the CNA class as well as to simply get additional exposure to the clinical environment and interaction with patients and other health care personnel. The biggest drawback, as you noted, is that the class doesn't start sooner. So maybe you can keep looking for other opportunities. Some other things that might be possibilities depending on what's available in your area: -Some nursing homes offer nursing assistant training. Get out the phone book, call and ask. -Some community colleges or other vocational programs might offer some kind of nursing assistant trainining. Try to find all schools and programs within commuting distance. -Some other fairly short assistive personnel courses are out there, such as to be a unit secretary, monitor tech or phlebotomist. Personally, I think unit secretary is a great position for a nurse-to-be. Nursing assistant gives you important hands-on patient care experience, while unit secretary can increase familiarity with medication orders and other orders as well as communication with physicians and other departments, something students may not get much exposure to all.
  17. jjjoy

    Change of mind?

    There is not really any way to "transfer over" to MD. Often (not always!) the chemistry, microbio, and math required by nursing programs isn't the same level of coursework as required by med school. So many NPs would have to go back and take courses like calculus and pre-med organic chem before applying to med school. Also, while there most certainly is overlap in content between MD and NP programs, there are enough differences in curriculum that there are not any significant "shortcuts" for NPs who want to become MDs. So NPs go through the same med school curriculum, internship and residency as all other aspiring physicians.
  18. Most "C" students do continue to score passing grades. "Straight A" students tend to feel the hit not just because you need at least 93% for an A, but 96% is about the best anyone can perform on some tests no matter how hard they study or know the material. In nursing school test questions, sometimes none of the choices may be ideal and you have to choose the "best" of the sometimes seemingly odd choices.
  19. jjjoy

    Good grades .vs. Experience (Opinions PLEASE!)

    As has been suggested, maybe you can work part-time as a nursing assistant, perhaps just one shift a week. Unit secretary is another good position for a nursing student. Still, with today's tight job market, there might not much opportunity for a part-time, inexperienced NA or US. So you might also want to look into volunteering in a clinical unit. Even just stocking the supply closet and copying off forms will help increase your familiarity with the day-to-day work environment as well as make contacts, ask questions, and observe nurses at work.
  20. Very good questions! Those are the kind of discussions I would've liked to have had as a student. I could come up with different rationales for different answers being the priority since there are so many variables and unknowns involved. In my limited experience, many instructors and nursing colleagues tend to discourage further questioning of a given rationale, implying if not outright saying that "if it's not obvious to you why X is a priority, then I doubt your intelligence and competence". But without previous experience or a wider context to pull from, it's not always so obvious. When someone refuses to allow further questioning, I have to wonder if it's because I'm missing something or if they don't really understand the underlying rationale and pathophys any better than I do. And that doesn't mean the person's not knowledgeable or competent. A person can be a great clinician without having a FULL grasp of underlying rationales. There's just too much to know out there and still enough unknowns out there to expect everyone to know everything.
  21. jjjoy

    Traditional BSN vs. Accelerated Route

    If you can have all non-core nursing coursework out of the way before starting junior year of a traditional program, that would probably allow you the most time with your family. Electives and courses like statistics are ones that you might be able to get out of the way ahead of time. If you're lucky, you've already got most of the non-core nursing coursework covered with your first degree! Accelerated programs essentially require that you have all non-core coursework done ahead of time and cram all of the nursing coursework into 12 months. Still, traditional programs aren't all that much less intense. If you subtract out the breaks (eg summer), traditional programs may be as few as 18 months altogether. Another benefit of the "non-accelerated" route is that it might allow you the opportunity to work as a nursing assistant or to land a student nurse externship, during summer break or one day a week while in school. Thus, you'd graduate with more experience and professional connections. Just food for thought!
  22. jjjoy

    priority nursing questions

    bump! Anyone have any more insight on this example priority question? -prevent infection to mom (don sterile gloves prior to attempt to move baby) -re-establish blood supply to baby (move baby off cord) -increase O2 in cord blood (oxygen to mom) -maximize blood supply to baby (towel under hips to shift baby weight off vena cava) That makes more sense to me than some other explanations. I suppose "don sterile gloves" come before "move baby off cord" because it's pointless to put the gloves on if you do it after moving baby. Does that also mean that preventing infection to mom is an overall higher priority than re-establishing blood flow to baby? And I still wonder, can the nurse know for sure that the cord is being compressed by baby? Or is that the most likely possibility based on the clinical evidence? Is cord compression pretty much the only explanation for the likely clinical presentation that isn't described in this question?
  23. jjjoy

    Surgical Tech Or Rn?? Help!

    All else equal, if you want to be in the OR, I'd say go for the scrub tech and then go back for an RN license later if you still want to. As a scrub tech, you'll start training in the OR right away, as opposed to having 2 years of nursing school which is much more focused on bedside care, trying to land an entry-level OR RN job (not necessarily easy) and only then start learning OR work. Getting an RN after being scrub tech would only be benefitial. You'd have skills and confidence, as well as professional connections, to build upon. I imagine it would easier to land an OR RN job if you have scrub tech experience than if you're fresh out of RN school with only a few hours of observation in an OR as a student nurse. Of course, all else isn't equal. RN starting pay is usually higher than scrub tech starting pay, but assume nothing and research your local market. If you wouldn't mind working in other nursing roles, an RN license would broaden your potential work environments beyond the OR. If you're not really interested in other RN roles, then scrub tech would seem to make more sense. Just more food for thought!
  24. jjjoy

    Adventist and Agnostics?

    I think Elkpark makes a good point. My own experience with a local Adventist facility was positive. They had many employees who were of other religions, or not religious at all, and it wasn't a problem. A short opening prayer or devotional at some meetings was about the only religious aspects most employees were faced with.
  25. jjjoy

    priority nursing questions

    I'm with ya there! Thanks for the info! Interesting! So in terms of prioritizing, apparently oxygen on mom is prioritized higher than baby weight off vena cava? I'm imagining baby weight on vena cava doesn't occlude the vessel and so shifting baby weight might help increase blood flow but perhaps not as signficantly as increasing oxygen in mom's blood? Is that overthinking? To me, this a very interesting and informative way to learn! Thanks for the discussion!