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Bortaz BSN, RN

CDI Supervisor; Formerly NICU

Content by Bortaz

  1. Bortaz

    MSN WGU job opportunities

    WGU is a fully accredited and well respected university. You almost certainly won’t encounter the situation you asked about. Im in my 2nd term of the RN to MSN Leadership track, and have found the program to be rigorous and challenging, but well developed. I’ve enjoyed my experience so far.
  2. Bortaz

    RN to MSN Leadership &Management

    I've completed Orientation, Leadership/Communication, US Constitution, Statistics, Care of Older Adult, and Nutrition (Accelerated) since Jan 1. Now trying to learn Biochemistry.
  3. Bortaz

    NICU Brain Sheet

    Thanks to the awesome administrators on this site, I can now upload .xls files (ie. my NICU brain sheet) directly to posts within threads. This eliminates the need for using outside storage sites or giving me your email address. This brain is specific to my needs in my NICU, but can be easily changed to fit your needs. Thanks, JoeV! ETA: This is awesome! Thanks again! NICU Brain - Jan 2013.xls
  4. Bortaz

    RN to MSN Leadership &Management

    I just started the RN to MSN in L/M on January 1. I'm really liking the program so far, although I hate this statistics class that has slowed me down a lot. Chugging along.
  5. You DO have to be working as a nurse. However, there are no specific types of jobs that are required.
  6. I have a co-worker currently about halfway through this program, and she's been telling me about it. She makes it seem so attractive, d/t the fact that the program does not require all the common English, Lit, History, Government courses most programs require. As I have very few of those "basic" courses done, not having to take them would be very appealing to me. Of course, Kaplan is VERY expensive...double or triple the cost of most other online programs (UT-Arlington, for example). The program is regionally accredited, offers MSN in Admin and Education (and maybe Informatics...), has no tests, is 100% online. All very attractive. So, I guess my question is: What's the catch? Besides the horrendous price tag, what are the other negatives for this program? Do any of you have any real experience with Kaplan? Anything that I'm overlooking? Thank you for any information you're willing to share.
  7. Bortaz

    A Patient That Changed My Life

    Approximately 5 years ago, Lena and Cliff were blessed with the birth of a beautiful baby girl. As older, first-time parents -- both over 40 - they knew there was some chance of a complicated/risky pregnancy. As the pregnancy advanced, tests showed that the baby was suffering from congenital heart defects. A strong faith in God and a strong desire to deliver the baby sustained them during the hard, long months of the pregnancy. Many hours of prayer took place, and many tears were shed, as doctors worked with the mother - counselors worked with the entire family - to prepare them for what they would be facing once the baby arrived. Despite the dire warnings of hardship, they remained strong in their conviction to carry the baby to term. At 6 months of development, Olivia was born. The tests were shown to be accurate, and she was quickly diagnosed with congenital heart defects. The doctors assured the family that their baby would not live longer than 3 or 4 years, without a heart transplant. She was immediately placed on a transplant waiting list. What followed was several difficult years of trach tubes, dozens of medications every day, hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and undying love for the beautiful little girl Olivia. The years passed, and along with them came 3 calls from the transplant center, reporting the possibility of a compatible heart being available. Unfortunately, none of them were acceptable - much to the dismay of worried parents and family. Surely, time must be running out? Eventually, on December 23, 2007, a call again came in - a heart was available, and it was the most viable one yet available. Dropping everything, the harried parents rushed, along with their now-four-year-old angel, to St. Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri. Tests were done, and it was found that the organ was a close enough match to allow transplant. The transplant team began the surgery early on Christmas Eve, and 16 hours later, it was done. Olivia was out of surgery with a new, fully functioning heart! Many days of worry and many sleepless nights followed. Would her body reject the organ? Would it function adequately? Was this really a new chance at life for this sweet baby? As it turned out, despite several scary signs of rejection, the organ eventually began to work as expected, and Olivia began the long road to recovery. How was such a thing even possible? That's where the patient that changed our lives comes into the story. Despite all I've written, Olivia is not actually the real subject of this article - though she has certainly been a blessing to all of us. The real hero in this tale is the nameless angel who lost his or her life on December 23, 2007, and by doing so, made it possible for our family to enjoy many more years with our angel. We don't know his or her name, or the circumstances of their death, or indeed any other details. What we do know is that we were the beneficiaries of the sacrifice of this family. It was brought to light, to all of us, as a family member led us in prayer during the surgery. The pastor immediately asked God to bless and comfort the family who had just lost their baby, enabling ours to have a chance at life. It was such a profound thing - we were all so wrapped up in our concern for Olivia that it was too easy to forget about the other party in our story. A family had just lost their child, at Christmas, and yet had the bravery and compassion to allow this organ donation! What an amazing family this must be. What a loss they had suffered! And still, they had the courage to give our baby another chance at life. How humbling it was. We still don't know the patient's name, or history, or really much of anything at all. I got to visit with Olivia and her parents a month or so ago. She was running, playing, and laughing with my granddaughter - just as any 5-year-old baby would do. She no longer has trach tubes, no longer gets too tired to play, no longer lies around listless and exhausted and depressed. All because of a patient we never met. An angel - a family of angels - that changed our lives forever.
  8. Bortaz

    A Patient That Changed My Life

    Today marks 5 years since Olivia gained her angel wings. Fly high, baby.
  9. Bortaz

    Tips for a NICU New Grad?

    It's attached to this thread: https://allnurses.com/nicu-nursing-neonatal/nicu-brain-sheet-882031.html
  10. Bortaz

    A Patient That Changed My Life

    Happy birthday in Heaven, Olivia. She would have been 13 today.
  11. Bortaz

    Firearms

    Yay, so the 100000 times I get into my car that wasn't stolen, I have my firearm there for my protection. I'm a former law enforcement officer and corrections supervisor/gang investigator who arrested or incarcerated many dangerous felons and gang members over 25 years. I live 6 miles from Reynosa, Mexico on the Texas border. We have cartel and gang activity running rampant down here. I'll go ahead and carry my gun, and let YOU worry about mitigating how uncomfortable YOU are with it. Cheers.
  12. Bortaz

    Firearms

    Thankfully, Texas passed a law that allows an employee to keep a gun in their vehicle at work. Businesses are not allowed to prohibit it.
  13. Bortaz

    Firearms

    I'm a male in Texas, former LEO/corrections employee, licensed to carry concealed (and open, come Jan 1) which I do 24/7 if I'm not at work. When at work, I keep it in my car and immediately place it inside my waistband in a holster when I get in the car. In Texas, employers and private businesses can prohibit concealed carrying on their premises, but they must do it with signage with very specific verbiage (known as 30.06 signs and 51% signs) easily viewable by anyone entering the premises. My hospital has 30.06 signs posted, so it is indeed illegal to carry there. A lot of restaurants and stores print signs they find on the internet, and hang them. Those signs are not legally binding, and most CCL holders walk right past them with their concealed firearm. I do, but sometimes I'll make an effort to educate the manager before I leave. If I'm carrying (and I always am) and come to a store/restaurant with legal signage banning the firearm, I leave and go elsewhere. I do not just go back to the car to disarm and then go back inside that business. My wife is also licensed. I started taking her to the range, introduced her to shooting around the new year because she travels for work frequently, and I want her able to defend herself in hotels, parking lots, etc when I'm not there. She LOVES shooting, and we go to the range practically every week for a couple of hours. She's quite good at it, too.
  14. Bortaz

    RNC exam

    Sorry, I have no idea. It's been quite a few years and I just don't remember. They might have come with the book, though.
  15. I'd still do it, but I'd do it at 20 instead of 40
  16. Bortaz

    Brian Short News

    I lost my brother to suicide last week. A friend sent the following to me. I'd like to share it with you all now. RIP.
  17. Bortaz

    Pay grade: experienced nurse vs new grad

    Hospitals have this bizarre, self-defeating habit of keeping nurses (those who started off as a new grad in the hospital) on the same crappy pay scale. What it causes to happen is that those nurses have to LEAVE that employer in order to get on a pay scale not based on being a new grad...to be paid commensurate to their experience. It happens everywhere. If hospital administrators were smart, they would correct this issue;pay nurses according to experience;retain trained and loyal staff;profit from the experience of those staff members.
  18. Bortaz

    Manager is emailing my personal email address

    Why? What does this have to do with travel nursing?
  19. Bortaz

    Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist...

    I've been doing it now for about 14 months. I do still enjoy the job, mainly because I have a great team and a fantastic boss. The work itself can be boring (I was a NICU nurse in a very busy level 3 NICU, and was a stress junkie). The worst part for me is losing my old nursing schedule. M-F 8-5 sucks when you're used to working 3 days a week.
  20. Bortaz

    (Not so) Daily Affirmations

    In the crappy world of nursing, it's very easy to let people steal your joy and convince you that you're a horrible nurse. I know...I'm there, actively looking outside of the NICU for work, since I can't stay on my unit any longer and no other local NICUs are hiring. Then, out of the blue it happens. Someone tells you that the parents of a NICU grad is trying to find you, to reconnect so that you can see their now healthy baby, so they can thank you for your competent and compassionate care of their baby a few years ago. They want to tell you what a difference you made in their lives. How they credit you with them having their baby today. How they've never forgotten your gentle care and kindness/understanding. How you're their hero. They want pictures of you snuggling their sweet, healthy baby. Thank you, kind lady, for making my day. And for the small but greatly needed affirmation that the work I have done WAS appreciated, WAS competent, and WAS worthwhile. It'll help me leave this field, God willing, with some of my joy intact.
  21. Bortaz

    (Not so) Daily Affirmations

    Greetings, friends. May marked 1 year since I left the NICU. I still have days when I sorely miss it. My current job, though, has been a godsend. I work for a lady that loves us with all she has...supports us...has our back...promotes our wellbeing over every other consideration...truly, the best boss I've ever had in any part of my work life. Add to that, I work with a team of brilliant professionals that are congenial, helpful, were willing to train me from scratch, and love each other (and me) like brothers and sisters. ill always have the NICU in my heart, but where I am...right now...is where I needed to be. I worry a bit about losing my bedside skills and ability to get a clinical job though since I'm not doing bedside nursing now for a year, but will cross that bridge when and if I come to it.
  22. Bortaz

    Rio Grande Valley union situation

    A couple of years ago, nurses at an RGV hospital voted to unionize. After a couple years with no contract, a recall election was held and the union was decertified by the RNs. At that same time, LVNs and other ancillary staff voted to join SEIU, and have been under contract since. Now, it appears they are in the process of having their own decertification election to leave SEIU. Hard for any union to keep a foothold in the south.
  23. Bortaz

    Fun with charting.

    I review charts. Here are a few things that caught my eye over the last few weeks. Houston, we have a charting problem...or a transcription problem. What are some of your favorites that you have seen?
  24. Bortaz

    Fun with charting.

    The right parotid slavery gland appears within normal limits. Yep.
  25. Bortaz

    Fun with charting.

    I went to my cardiologist recently. He grabbed my chart, read for a minute. Tossed it to the side. Said "What the hell? I can't even read this crap! I swear I never documented any of this nonsense! Take off your shirt."
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