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Diabetes, Transplant, CCU, Neurology
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booter512 has 22 years experience and specializes in Diabetes, Transplant, CCU, Neurology.

booter512's Latest Activity

  1. Working 8 hour shifts forces the hospital to staff 3-11 and 11-7, which I've always found difficult to fill those positions (3-11 moreso than 11-7). Of course, you could force people to rotate shifts, which makes daycare even more challenging. Also, studies have shown that almost twice the error rate for rotating shifts than for night shift (the 2nd highest). With this knowledge, I would think a hospital would open itself up to liability lawsuits simply by forcing rotating shift on to staff.
  2. booter512

    Do Male Nurses Face Gender Bias in Nursing Education?

    One of the best units I've ever worked was the CCU at the Univ of California, Davis. When Jim and I started there, we were the 1st nurses to start in that unit in 5 years. We were now staffed 40% male, 60% female (Well, 1 of the males used to be a female), but he was the darling of all the older nurses' hearts. We were all close, often went out and ate breakfast together, some of us socialize together. It was a great unit. Then I moved across the country to Virginia. My last job, I was a shift resource nurse (but in staffing), and the only male on my unit. I did 4 10-hr shifts--9P-7A. Other nurses would say, "I'm so glad you're here", "the place just takes on a calm when you're seen coming in". I had a great relation with most doctors of which many young nurses were half way afraid of. There needs to be a more even balance between men and women in my opinion. My wife works a Surg/Trauma ICU, and she said working with all the other nurses being male is when the shift goes smoothest. Her unit has about 30 men now.
  3. Nursing Leadership (ANA, Magnet, NLN, etc) have always been nurses' worst enemies. When they pushed LPNs out of the hospitals and into clinics, it left us short staffed. Then, they pushed getting a BSN to continue as an RN in the hospital, and (at our hospital) gave everyone 5 years to have their BSN completed, or be terminated. Again, it left us even more short staffed. And, many excellent nurses were lost, making the shortage even worse. I worked at a hospital that had around a 50% turnover rate among bedside nurses. And Magnet was again bestowed upon them. What a joke. I worked Neuro/Stepdown my last 10 years, all on 7P-7A. Over that time, we got rid of the unit Secretary, the night time IT Support staff, had 1 or no Tech for 20 patients, and sitters needed in the hospital far outweighed the number available. For 20 patients, there were 4 nurses (including the charge nurse), 1 or no tech. Night shift did most of the admissions. I've seen 2 nurses, when given a person to precept, to also be in charge, and given 6 Neuro/Stepdown patients (5 was normal), call the house supervisor, clean her locker, hand the supervisor her keys, and walk out. Said she never accepted that load which she felt would be unfair to the patients and at least unfair to the orientee. Hospital CEOs talk a good talk, but I've rarely seen any action taken to resolve any of the problems.
  4. booter512

    Pay Rate in Seattle or San Francisco

    Union hospitals usually offer good benefits, pay, etc., but that doesn't mean a right to work state is terrible. Unions set wages etc, whereas a right-to-work state hospital may do better. When my wife and I (both of us RNs) moved to Virginia, we were told that we would start as a Clinician I (1st year in the hosptial) and a Level X (X being the number of years you had been a nurse). We bargained between units and another hospital until we were both finally offered Clinician 3 Level X jobs, which meant we were part of the units leadership group which made clinical decision policy for the unit, and heard grievances. A friend from the hospital I was leaving gave me some great advice. He said, "Every hospital will tell you where you'll start and what you'll start at, but remember, all things are negotiable, even when they say they aren't. He was definitely right.
  5. It seems most of those pushing 8 hr shifts are dayshift nurses. I worked night shift for 30 years, my wife for 34 years, all night shift, all 12-hr shifts. If any of the hospitals would have changed to 8-hr shifts, we would have moved to a different hospital. Plus, I've seen some part time 8-hr shift night shift nurses, and they do it because they feel it's physically easier on some units. At any hospital I've worked at, staffing the 3-11 shift would have been a nightmare. I have only met 1 nurse in 30 years of nursing that enjoyed that shift. I guess you could force people to work it, and see what your turnover rate did then.
  6. booter512

    Have a Bachelors, Do I Really Need a BSN?

    As you progress in nursing, having your BSN will help you a lot when you get on a Clinical Ladder. Also, in some places, you get paid more. In a lot of places, you have to have your BSN within 5 years of hire. Here, in Virginia, people without BSNs are "grandfathered" so they do not have to get their BSN, but they aren't allowed to change units within the hospital. In other words, they are allowed to finish their careers in their current unit. Working float pool may be different. Not sure what they require of them, but its not as much. Most float nurses don't get paid extra to get on a Clinical Ladder.
  7. booter512

    Asked by Supervisor to Take a Drug Screen

    That does seem odd. I've been a nurse for 30 years, and my wife for 34 years, and neither of us has ever been tested. It wouldn't really bother me, but every month would get old.
  8. booter512

    Wants Out of Psych

    I don't know where you are located, but there are areas in the US that are so short of nurses that I think the only requirement to work is having your BSN, and a heartbeat. Having to move children is hard, but not having a job is even harder. There are places that need nurses. Make yourself mobile.
  9. booter512

    Bringing in the Boys: How to Attract More Male Nurses

    Regarding pay. My hospital pays time and a half for overtime, plus premium pay ($6/hr) most every day, and often double premium ($12/hr). We also get a pretty generous night shift diff of about $6/hr and $8/hr on weekends. I'm a guy. I worked more OT than 90% of the nurses in the hospital. I worked a lot of weekends. I got great evaluations, so my pay went up faster. Plus, I went to the trouble of becoming a Clin 4, the highest on the Clinical Ladder. Consequently, I made more than most of the nurses at the hospital. So, on the survey, I probably moved the salary for males up some. But, a lot of the guys there did work overtime. In some cases, he was supporting a stay-at-home mom who was home schooling their kids. He needed to make more. Many of the female nurses did not work overtime--3 twelves and they were out of there. The one nurse said she didn't negotiate her salary as they told her it wasn't negotiable. That's what one hospital told me, until I said I'd probably look elsewhere then. All of the sudden, it became negotiable. If they want you, they WILL negotiate. If they have too many nurses in the area, they might not need to negotiate. I've been all over the country: Oklahoma, New Mexico, California, Virginia. I was not a travel nurse. My wife and I were in demand. If you are limited to a place that doesn't need you--move. It's not as hard as it seems.
  10. booter512

    Have a Bachelors, Do I Really Need a BSN?

    BSNs are required within 5 years of hire in several of the Virginia hospitals. There are exceptions. Some hospitals allow ADNs to stay in the same unit until they retire with an ADN (this is a "grandfather" clause, not for new hires). My opinion: I think this is a little ridiculous. I've seen 50 year old nurses that work in critical care units not allowed to transfer to a PACU just because they didn't have their BSN. I don't believe his/her nursing judgement and/or care is going to be helped by a BSN when they've been a successful nurse for 30 years. I really think nurses have been their own worst enemy over the years. In some areas (like mine), there is a real nursing shortage, yet we are turning away ADNs. I don't think that is smart. It seems we (administration, nurses other than those actually working on the unit) would rather work short as long as the nurse had their BSN. We also got rid of all LPNs at time when were already short. Fine if you start making the entry level for nursing a BSN, but for the short term, its not in the best interest of the patient.
  11. booter512

    Pregnancy Loss and Unhappy New Grad

    You stated, "I went to nursing school to take care of pregnant women, then I got sidetracked". What does this mean? You probably had 1 semester in OB. You went to school to learn how to become a nurse. I've worked at several hospitals, and rarely does the OB unit hire new grads. You need to learn to take care of patients. Don't jeopardize your career by not returning to work. That kind of action could keep you from ever getting into an OB unit.
  12. booter512

    Where are the nursing discounts?

    I do have a small pension. I hired in on the 2nd to last year pensions were part of the benefits. Even then, they tried to get me (and everyone else) to switch to a "2% matching 403B plan). I didn't count on that. I put the maximum ($24,000/year) into my 403B plan. My wife did the same. Do your math. 24,000/yr for 10 years is 240,000 + the dividends your mutual funds make. Should have doubled every 5 years in this market. Really, you should probably put the max in a Roth IRA first. Roths grow tax free, and you don't have to pay taxes when you retire on your withdrawal. Can you imagine what your retirement funds would look like if you started putting the max in a Roth and in your 403B, starting at the age of say 25 would be. You wouldn't be worried about pensions etc. Now, lifetime health benefits would be something I would worry about. Fight for all you deserve. If you are mobil, go to places that offer these things.
  13. booter512

    Bringing in the Boys: How to Attract More Male Nurses

    1) Nursing salaries can be negotiated. If there is a surplus of nurses in your area, the manager can be picky and really take note on what you bring to the table. If you seem like a run of the mill BSN, vs a very friendly, active nurse who will probably be in a room with a patient more than in a chair at the nurse's station, the manager may make a higher offer to that person. I'm just not buying that 2 nurses started at the same time and the male was given $3/hr more just because he was male. Maybe he had been a medic in the military or something. 2) Back in the 80s, medical schools started offering incentives to get women and minorities to enter. Now, over half of all medical students are women, and a good number are foreign and many are minority. Is that good? Maybe? Did they turn down males that might have been better qualified? Certainly. There are jobs, school positions where it is much more difficult to get in solely because you're a white male. It just happens that men are a "minority" in nursing. Fair--not on either account. 3) I refer to men and women now, but through most of my life, there were only "girls" and "boys". Funny how some females were offended, while not once was a male ever offended by being referred to as a boy. In my wife's unit, they even have what is informally called "the boys club".
  14. booter512

    Bringing in the Boys: How to Attract More Male Nurses

    I am a male nurse. My wife is also a nurse. My first degree is in Business Administration. She studied Nursing from the onset. She has a BSN. Mine was an ADN. We both went back and got our MS in Nursing. She makes more than I do. She works in a Trauma ICU. Her manager hires quite a few men. Why? They usually can lift more, they are less prone to getting hurt by less than cooperative patients/visitors, and other reasons. I worked at a different hospital. I had also been a Nursing Supervisor (which my wife has not). We were both successful, both having certifications, and both moved to the highest notch on our clinical ladders. Now the hard part: Saying what I believe without insulting people. 1) Most male nurses focus on the important things in nursing care during report. Many of my female counterparts focus too much on little things during report that really have little to do with what is needed to take care of the patient. They go into a frenzy when the patient's sheets are not tucked in properly, or the activity board is not up to date. When I had a male person on the opposite shift, we'd go into the room together, take VS, update the activity board, talk with the patient, then go on to the next room. In 8 years on one unit, I never had a female nurse do this. Even when I tried, they'd say "let the tech to the VS", "why isn't the board updated", etc. 2) Male nurses can generally lift more, turn more. Not all hospitals have turn teams or equipment to lift and turn patients. 3) Most male nurses seem to like to help the other nurses more (my wife would tell you this too). As far as pay: As I mentioned, my wife makes about $5/hr more than I do. She's been a nurse for almost 35 years now, me about 30. We are nonunion. When we left a state, one of my male nursing coworkers said, "Remember, all things are negotiable. They may tell you you get paid a certain amount for years of experience, etc, but if they want you, they'll find a way to get you more." How true. We went to a hospital that started every one as a Clin 1, with a Step equal to the number of years of experience you had. Each step was a little more money. The Clin 3 (out of 5) were part of each units' decision-making team. We both negotiated to be Clin 3s (it was tough, but it can be done). Finally, should males be enticed into nursing programs? Personally, I think criteria should be made, and all references of gender, race, age, etc should be removed from the application. Diversity is great, but it shouldn't be obtained by decreasing obstacles for the minorities applying. You run the risk of not letting in a person who is better qualified. Do we really want that in a profession that is there to save and better the lives of seriously sick people? I don't think so. I want the best nurses taking care of me as a patient, whether she's black, white, male or female. Sorry this is so long. I look forward to replies.