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chris_at_lucas_RN RN

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chris_at_lucas_RN has 7 years experience as a RN.

chris_at_lucas_RN's Latest Activity

  1. chris_at_lucas_RN

    What is a good quality stethoscope?!

    I have found that a relatively expensive stethoscope, while often providing a slightly better sound, isn't much better than those cheapie disposables that hospitals provide for patients in isolation. If you can try out a stethoscope, that's best. Listen to your own heart and lung sounds.... Lastly, may be I suggest that you not get any stethoscope with two tubes. The darned things will rub together and quickly become very annoying. I have a Littman from my school days (graduated in 04), a cheapie that either came with a BP cuff or was bought when I couldn't find the Littman, and an electronic one I really love, but very expensive (something like $1200) and now in need of repair. On the upside for the expensive one? Lifetime warranty, even if you drive over the thing, volume up/down, switch for flatter deeper sounds or higher pitched sounds. I was very focused on getting the best I could get when I was in school, hence the Littman. But when I got out into the world, there wasn't a whole lot of difference for regular med/surg care. Christine
  2. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Whats a good online RN-BSN program?

    University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has a total online RN to BSN program for about $240 a credit hour. How many hours depends on what you've already done.
  3. chris_at_lucas_RN

    background check

    If you are in north central Texas, you can check with Group One. They call themselves a credit reporting agency, but any supervisor you ever have can post anything there about you that they want to, good or bad, honest or not, and you won't find out about it unless and until you ask. If you are unemployed, it costs nothing to get a copy of your "record." If you have a job, it costs something like $25. Personally I think it is illegal and unethical, but it was started by some powerhouses, led by Ron Anderson (this is public record by the way), who is the CEO of Parkland Hospital. Apparently he didn't think the BON was doing enough to keep dangerous nurses out of their hospitals. So now, if you are conscientious, responsible, don't put up with patients being abused or neglected, you don't work, because you will have a record with them. I talked once with someone from the BON (they wanted me to be the liaison with the local state legislator) and complained about Group One. Some responses you never forget: "Oh, are they still around? We haven't heard about them in a long time." I told them they were hearing about Group One now, because I had actually been denied a job because of Group One's report. They said they'd look into it. Guess what happened..... nada. Best way to keep your record clean, stay under the wire, don't complain, don't advocate for patients unless someone else does it first and then be quiet about it. Learn not to be bothered by patients crying out for water or whatever. Or, don't work in north central Texas.
  4. chris_at_lucas_RN

    To the unemployed new grads... what ARE you doing?

    I graduated in 2004 with a 4.0 from an award-winning (literally) accredited school of nursing. I had the same issues at that time as you all do today. Everyone was tooting about the nursing shortage--I sure didn't see one. I also loads of foreign trained, imported nurses. Now I am all for more good people coming to the US, but these people were imported like property by companies, for money, so that hospitals could hire nurses who would work for less. Don't kid yourself--while the supply exceeds the demand, the price will go down. That's basic economics and definitely not rocket science. So we have loads and loads of foreign nurses (even in small town, small hospital settings), while new grads (and not so new grads--I can't seem to get interviews where I want to work!) are left holding out their hats and hoping for the best. And the hospitals are making out like bandits. I interviewed yesterday with a hospice, the director of which told me that there is a nursing shortage, of the kind of nurses for whom compassion and good care are characteristic. I guess the trick is, how to get the word out that you are that kind of nurse....
  5. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Collin College ADN Program

    My source of information was my specific experience. That's a source. Kind of like the "O" in SOAP--objective. Remember that isn't the client's opinion, it is the observable fact. As for the rest of this, I'm getting tired of the long winded slurs. Sometimes people who have very strong opinions and emotions and confuse those for facts, or who are easily upset when someone disagrees with them or doesn't share their opinion, have a need to punch down those who represent that. It's a peculiar way of feeling threatened, because there isn't anything there to really grab onto and address. Where you think you got the right to tell me or anyone else what they can say or do is confusing. Did becoming a work study lab assistant give you some kind of special privilege? The way you have behaved toward me speaks volumes about how you will treat colleagues and clients when you are actually a nurse. You have some time to think about that. If you can't or don't, well that speaks volumes too. My objective experience is my objective experience. What your classmates (not all of them, but the dozen or so I know) have shared with me is not my objective experience, but I trust them because I know them to be upstanding individuals who don't have a problem with honesty. They don't seem to be threatened by anyone--they tell it like it is. Have you ever wondered why you cannot just toss in your two cents worth and let others do the same? That's a rhetorical question. It means an answer is neither wanted or expected.
  6. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Collin College ADN Program

    I am talking about how many people who start, finish. Those data are not reported and won't be published. I am not certain what you mean by "retention rate for their grads." No reason to be sorry, and it isn't a matter of like or don't like. There are no emotions here, only facts. If I know something that will help someone, I will share it. I am not interested in spin or marketing. If it is a good school, that's wonderful. But an awful lot would have had to happen since 2003, and the way that organizations progress and develop, especially considering all the construction, the odds do not favor what I hope would be true. More importantly, personality is pretty well set by one's early twenties. Attitude is everything, we've all heard that. The same power is in the same position, and that power dictates the ambiance, if you will, of the organization. You can dress it up, buy equipment, make a nice building, call it a college instead of a community college. The lecturers are the same, the administrator is the same, the culture will be the same, the material will be the same, the experience is not likely to be much different. I am glad you like your school. It sounds like you are all doing well. I think at some point you will realize that love is not fact, and people who disagree with you are not necessarily mean or wrong. Graduation must be coming soon. Good luck to you all. I've made my points, it seems difficult for people to grasp them, even though I have used pretty basic language and tried hard to make the metaphors simple so they can be understood. I don't quite get why you all are so angry, or why my alleged emotions or affection or whatever have become the issue. They aren't! Quality education producing quality nurses has been my reason for sharing my experiences and observations, and I'll continue to do so. Last time I looked, I didn't need anyone's permission to do that. Of all of us in this discussion, I am the only one without anything to gain or lose. I wonder whose opinion would therefore be more credible? If I were expressing opinion instead of specific clear observations.....
  7. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Collin College ADN Program

    Hey, Greg-- Impressive post, the statistics are pretty impressive, and except for the character assassinating passive aggression, not too bad an effort. Your post was a better presentation than some of my university students' work when I was an adjunct professor. Where did the stats come from? Tell ---- hi from me. LOL Incidentally, in "evidence based nursing" which they weren't teaching when I was there, but if they are now, great!, we give the whole statistic. And we also include any disclaimers such as conflict of interest. People often want to portray themselves as being objective but they cannot be--they are in the mix with the rest of it. An outsider with nothing to lose or gain, who has access to the whole picture, that's an bit of data that can be counted on to be (at least mostly) dependable. This will make more sense when you are in graduate school, and I think you probably will go in that direction--based on the minimal bit of evidence I have (your post). So, when you talk about 85% of this, 97% of that, is that of the graduating class? Oh, yeah, that's right, it is. So if your statistics are based on graduating class numbers, what is the attrition rate? That means, what percent of the starting students never finished? If you look at, for example, the data of students passing the NCLEX compared to the students who start the course, you do not find those glowing statistics. I didn't see any reference to the fact that the nursing school was on probation and had to make some major changes and be reinspected in order to keep their credential. That happened after my time there, which would lend some credence to what I said--apparently the NLNAC agreed with me about the quality of the education there, or they would not have put CCCCD on probation and required changes. That's pretty objective, huh. Incidentally, the more you spout and the more you post, doesn't change the fact of what is and what was. Individual experiences are "evidence." What I posted and will continue to post is "evidence." I don't lie and I don't cheat. And I will most certainly share my experience and knowledge when asked, because "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." I'm not a man but..... If I am asked, I help when I can. If my experience helps people avoid what I wasn't protected from, good, I'll share it. If you are truly open to "evidence based" critical thinking, rather than take pot shots at my personality (admittedly, you did it less than your classmates, but it is still there), you will take my experiences in as evidence. While you are learning "evidence based nursing," were you taught about how to judge the quality of the evidence? Here's something to consider: you are employed there. Your future depends, even more than most students, upon the good will of persons who have power over you. This is called a "conflict of interest" and casts a pall on anything you might write or say or do, except that which is objective and can be substantiated. And you did that pretty well about most of what you wrote. (I'd give you an A, no question.) Now, your experiences are your experiences, and I have no doubt of your affection for and admiration of everyone there who can either make your day pleasant or a living hell. I also have no doubt that the staff and such have a vested interest in keeping you happy, because what happens if the lab assistant isn't there? Chaos. And stress. And, because they are human beings, chipping at other people, including students, and it just gets to be one big unfortunate mess. Incidentally, the RN who runs the lab, she is tremendous. I didn't realize the damage done by the mistreatment I experienced until I ran into her on the street, and we greeted each other and I called her Ms., and she said, no you are my peer now. She actually was friendly. And then I realized, I had learned to be self protective of the staff at CCCCD. We don't do that because we feel safe and it is a good place to be. We do that because it is not safe, and if "they win," we lose in a big, big way. (this is OT and definitely not nursing, so if you are interested in clarification of that dynamic, email me, I'm out here...) So you all have within your desire and interest the smooth running of the lab and the school, and happy students who will go out and spread the word. And that's fine, it is your experience and once you graduate, you have nothing to lose or gain, so presumably, you will feel even freer to tell the truth and the whole story. Good! If it is a good school, if instructors are kind and intelligent, yea! I will say this. They have done an excellent job of building the program. The place is huge. That's great. So while you quote statistics, and that's impressive for a freshman or sophomore (I'm serious, it's impressive, even if you did get them from Nell or some other staff person), you are manipulating those statistics by not portraying the whole picture. I can take, for example, a piece of apple pie and put ten pecans in it. I can then assess that piece of pecan pie based on the extrapolation to the rest of the pie, and make the assumption that since there are 8 pieces, there must therefore be 80 pecans in that pie. But you and I both know, without looking at the rest of that pastry, that the only pecans are in the piece we are showing off. That, my friend, is the responsible approach to evidence based discussion, nursing, whatever. So you may be taught something that they are calling "evidence based," but because you are the student, and you do not know how narrow the sample (or piece of pie) is that you are being told is the whole shebang, you are limited in your understanding. No problem though. You sound like you care enough to continue to grow. You won't become a line worker type nurse, you'll be one who has enthusiasm and who cares. We can use many more like you. Nice job, though as I said, the character assassination. That still looks like the Collin County I knew and loved. You should do whatever it takes to graduate, that's your goal and must be your goal. So if potshots help, I have a pretty strong skin. Glad to know some things never change!
  8. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Collin College ADN Program

    OT from the OP but since there are those few who do care, the last PET was absolutely clear, so the "little something" was just one of those things. OR, it may have been something to be concerned about but like the primary lung tumor, which GOD and Brian's immune system eradicated very effectively since it was never seen at all (we know it was lung because of the cell structure of the metastatic tumor and the fact that MD Anderson in Houston said so), that "something" was also done away with by divine intervention in combo with the miracle that is the human body.
  9. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Is stadol contraindicated in drug abuse patient?

    Pain is not acceptable. No one said to load anyone up until they were dopey. But pain relief is a serious issue and the failure to provide it is neglect. The other nurse was right: the patient should have had something. If you are concerned about liability, consider the law suit against the hospital, doctor and nurse when the patient figures out that they were left in severe pain unnecessarily. You are right about not having all the info, but (and I could be wrong) seems like the OP put in pertinent info--if labor or chronic liver or kidney disease or cancer or something else was at issue, I believe it would have been posted. If you have two patients, you have two patients. If one of them is in pain, you need to treat the pain. There are of course non med pain interventions, but severe pain is severe pain. I would hate to think that someone would withhold pain med because they thought a patient should be "held responsible for their actions." Should laboring mothers not receive pain med because they should have known what they were doing when they got pregnant? Of course not. Look up about "blaming the victim" and consider the relationship with pain management (or any other treatment). I think you will see what I mean. Hope this helps to clarify why we treat pain, even if we think the patient doesn't deserve it.... Christine
  10. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Is stadol contraindicated in drug abuse patient?

    Thank you for bringing up this important issue. People with intractable pain who are also drug dependent are especially challenging if you subscribe to the concept that pain is not acceptable and should be assessed and treated, period. Which is, of course, what nurses and other health care professionals are supposed to do. You sound like you are more on the ball than the doc. Good for you, except I know having to care for a patient screaming in agony while you had nothing to offer her had to be heartbreaking. If he didn't like stadol, he could have used something else. He might have called in a consultant, say, a psychiatrist specializing in substance abuse patients. Leaving a patient in severe pain screaming for relief and doing nothing is a sad and frequent event in health care. I googled just now and cannot find (with any reasonable ease at least) anything I considered usable. I'm sure it is out there, maybe I just didn't use the right buzz words. This site (http://www.flexyx.com/S/Stadol.html) says that stadol can potentiate alcohol, barbs any other CNS depressant and thus if used should be the lowest dose possible. The contraindications are only for sensitivity to the drug itself. I'm guessing your poor patient might have had some relief. It sounds like the doc doesn't like addicts. (They are kind of hard to love, but.....) Thanks for the thread! Christine Johnson RN LMFT CHPN
  11. chris_at_lucas_RN

    IV tips and tricks

    I'm not sure that is prevented by using veins rather than arteries....
  12. chris_at_lucas_RN

    IV tips and tricks

    And patients never quite believe you when you say it doesn't matter, they (and their families) just watch the slow march of that little bubble. I have thought it takes less time to evacuate the bubbles by priming properly than to try to reassure people that it is OK for you not to have to. It doesn't take much to learn to prime a line really well.
  13. chris_at_lucas_RN

    IV tips and tricks

    Don't be mortified! It's a great question. And using your critical thinking skills, you have arrived at the answer. More reasons include that arteries are usually pretty deep and harder to find. Plus, you would have to tourniquet distal to the site you are going to stick. Great thinking--a very good skill for a student nurse!
  14. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Struggle to get license in Oklahoma

    It is a matter of practice, practice, practice. Sounds like maybe you are in the Oklahoma City area, so there should be lots of resources there. See if your public library has a literacy program--sometimes they have volunteers who come in just to have conversations to help spruce up accents, pronunciation, use of idioms, like that. Try to speak only English, even if you are at home with your family. You can all speak English together--and correct each other's pronunciation. It's clear that you are thinking in English and understanding English, even the complicated stuff that will be on nursing exams. Your issue is being understood by people with whom you need to communicate: patients, colleagues, physicians, etc. Good luck to you....
  15. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Struggle to get license in Oklahoma

    First, welcome to the United States. I have tremendous respect for anyone who comes to this country from another, particularly because we are so very different. It takes a lot of courage. Now. I can tell from your writing that although your comprehension is very good, it might be difficult for others--patients, colleagues, physicians--to understand your written and spoken English. Errors are made even between native English speakers. I would suggest that you get into one (or more) situations, classes, conversation groups, anything, and speak only English. Encourage others to help you with pronunciation, etc. Before you know it, you should be able to bring up that score and give to Oklahoma the wonderful nursing skills I know you have. Don't give up--just get better at English! Christine
  16. chris_at_lucas_RN

    Looking for an online/distance 12 lead EKG course

    Hi! Thank you! I found exactly what you are talking about, just about the time you were posting. Strange how you can google and google, and get nada, and google one more time, and something useful pops up. This is a group that charges $25 (our instructor gave us a suggestion that was something like $185--what a favor that was!), approved for CE by New York (and a pickier bunch I think there will never be, and that's good). It is indeed all online, the $25 gets you 60 days of access, good quality instruction (I have only thumbed through it so far), and the option of retaking the final as long as you need to to pass, which, after you pass, could be a very nice way to continue to review and solidify the knowledge. Doesn't get much better than that! The general URL for the site is http://www.nurse-education.org. They have quite a selection! Thanks again! Christine