Jump to content


Registered User

Content by jazzymom

  1. jazzymom

    New Nurse OUCH!

    I had a patient in an LTC who was just the definition of "sweet grandmother". She was soft spoken with rosy cheeks and twinkling blue eyes and curly blue/grey hair. I swear she wouldn't complain if you set her on fire! One night, I get a call from the shower room informing me that this patient had gotten a skin tear which was bleeding and needed to be dressed. I went into the shower room with my supplies where my patient is sitting in her "birthday suit" (of course). What made this a "unique" experience was that I happened to notice that she had a very intricate tatoo from her ankle to her hip (a climbing rose vine with a butterfly). This happened 15 years ago and she was in her late 80's at the time. I couldn't help but stare since I always (secretly) imagined this is what Betty Crocker's grandmother might have looked like. To my embarrassment, she noticed my stare and said "oh you noticed my tatoo, dearie?" I stuttered and stammered and she then replied "Yeah I used to be a pole dancer!" and flung her boobs like she was twirling imaginary pasties! Now I can't picture this patient any other way than that one image, burned into my mind forever!
  2. jazzymom

    Misleading News Story

    It IS hard to find ANY nursing job in some geographic regions. I was a travel nurse in Dallas this summer. My kids were staying with my dad in Utah and he wanted me to move there because he was having a harder time moving around. My kids were happy there and wanted to go to school there, so I moved to a town 40 mins north of Salt Lake City. I have been a nurse for 15 years (12 as an LPN and 3 as an RN). I have worked in many areas including home health, ICU, psych, post-partum and nursery (just to name a few). I arrived in Utah in August and started working per diem and putting in applications. By the end of September, I had to apply for welfare. By the beginning of December, I took a travel assignment in St Louis and left my kids with various family/friends, just to make sure we had a xmas. During the fall, I frequently averaged 12 hours a week and had a 5 week period where I had no work at all. I was signed up with 3 per diem agencies. I'm obviously not a new grad, nor am I inexperienced. I had home health and hospice companies tell me they were "not hiring, but we are accepting applications". Those that were could only offer part time but wanted a lot of flexibility (making holding 2-3 PT jobs very difficult). There were tons of ads for job openings, but the time between putting in an application and getting a response was an average of 3-4 months for the hospitals!! I did not want to leave my children and was looking for any kind of work. What little per diem work I was getting was at a hospital that was a 70 mile drive ONE WAY. So for those of you who have actually TRIED to get a job recently (new grad or not) don't be fooled by "all" the postings. There is a big difference between a company "looking for applicants" and one that is actually "hiring".
  3. jazzymom

    Colonoscopy: A patients perspective...

    That gallon plus of stuff you drink is called Go-lytely; my co-workers and I always believed it should be renamed go-quickly! Recently I found out it's called go-lytely b/c you drink it til your poop is "lytely" colored!
  4. jazzymom

    Adventures in the McDonald's drive-through...

    Your post reminded me of a somewhat similar experience (in a Mc Donald's parking lot). I was driving home from work and was getting home really late. My relief had been late showing up and it was about 9:30pm. My babysitter was upset I was late and I was telling her I was only about 2 miles away. Suddenly the two cars ahead of me stopped in our lane (far right lane). A fender bender was my guess; I was still trying to appease my babysitter, and was miffed they couldn't have pulled into the Mc Donalds parking lot to exchange info. So I decided to pull through the drive through to go around. I could see a police officer heading over. I glanced over as I pulled through the parking lot and noticed a large doll lying next to the stopped cars. That's when I slammed on my brakes and hung up on the babysitter. Because it wasn't a doll. And there hadn't been a fender bender. A child had slipped away from her mother and had seen Mc Donalds and tried to cross a major road way (3 lanes going each way!). Right before she finished crossing, a car had struck her (sadly, not any of the stopped cars was the one that hit her). Several people were there milling around and I could see the child struggling, so I stopped. I asked the officer if he wanted help. "Oh, you're a nurse; thank God!" was his reply, followed by "Get over here!" I've never realized how much we take our hospital equipment for granted. The little girl appeared to be about 18-24 months old. She had a mouth full of blood and multiple abrasions but was crying and struggling so much, I could conclude she had all her ABC's in order and nothing appeared to be broken. Everyone knows you shouldn't move an MVA victim, but she was stuggling so much that keeping her lying flat was out of the question. I had someone bring a blanket and we wrapped her up. Vitals were pretty much impossible, but when a child is screaming and thrashing, it's almost more reassuring than if she had laid still and accepted my ministrations. Then the ambulance arrived and shortly thereafter, her mother. I felt bad for her mother because we have all had times where no matter how vigilant, the child can be fast (especially when Mc Donalds is involved; the child had been heading for the "golden arches") and to see your child, bloody and broken, being loaded into an ambulance and have the police keep you from them because of "questions" had to be even more tortuous. I never did know the outcome, but I was really glad I could help comfort the baby until help arrived. Based on the minimal injuries I could see (mostly abrasions and a broken tooth) I think she was most likely okay.
  5. jazzymom

    At what age did you decide on nursing?

    To the spanish student who posted before this: DONT GIVE UP!!! First, look at medical terminology and realize that the basis of medicine started in Rome (the ORIGINAL Latinos!). Essentially, your ancestors helped to invent this (or at least all the funky words we still use!) As for what age I decided to be a nurse; I guess 18. My mom suggested I become a nurse while I was working as a CNA and came home and told her about helping to disimpact a patient. She asked if it grossed me out and I told her it wasn't something I wanted to do everyday, but it was "facinating". I had really bad grades in high school (for the same reasons as everyone else listed). But nursing caught me in a mental trap (it was so interesting, I couldn't help but learn it--not to say I didn't have a ton of reading, but it wasn't the trial that high school seemed to be). I was 24 when I finally got my LPN. Then kids and a bad marriage happened and I was 35, a single mom with 2 pre-schoolers and an elementry aged child when I went back for my degree. I was scared spit-less. And kicked butt in school. Motherhood and some tough life lessons made school a haven and the nursing knowledge (as well as 12 years experience as an LPN) made the nursing studies seem as easy as taking a hike;some work, but not the Mount Everest climb I had believed it would be. Starting nursing young has the advantages of stregnth (you haven't ruined your back yet!), freedom (no kids to keep you from studying), and stamina (long study sessions). Starting nursing late has some advantages too. Experience (even outside of nursing) to know your stregnths and weaknesses, you've sown your "wild oats" (no need to feel you have to party), determination/goals (kids/husband at home needing you to succeed), maturity (knowing how to buckle down and get the job done no matter how distasteful). I had the luck to work with a fantastic nurse years ago who I guessed to be around mid 60's. I was shocked to find out she was 85 years old. She was nursing because she couldn't image not being a nurse until she was put in the ground! She's my hero! I want to be a nurse until the day I die and not for any financial reason!:redbeathe
  6. jazzymom

    Discouraged by Nurses who hate their job

    I have been in the nursing field for nearly 20 years. I remember when my mom suggested I become a nurse and I told her I was "way too dumb to be a nurse". I had barely made it to high school graduation. But the seed was planted. It took me six years to clean up my GPA, get my pre-reqs and gather my courage to try. Somehow I took to nursing like a duck takes to water (something I've heard from many nurses). Now I am preparing to go for my masters. I adore nursing. Yes, there have been times I was so fed up with all the different things that have already been said that I "tried" to quit. I just couldn't stay away. To me, being paid to be a nurse is a "perk" (one that is quite neccessary, sadly). My true "payment" is knowing I was needed and that I made a difference. To my patients, to my co-workers, to the families. They all have needs (small and large) and if I tell myself that their day (night) was "better" because I was there (even if it was just that I got them well positioned in bed and comfortable!) then I made a difference. I love seeing the light of understanding come across the face of a patient when I explain why they need to check their blood sugar or why the PT/INR is neccessary for Coumadin and Heparin protocols. Nurses are really just professional mothers; what other job requires you to worry about if someone pooped, how much, what consistancy and what color? Did your patient listen to the doctor and can they repeat it back? Don't you "protect" your patients like they were your children? If you do this job for a paycheck, you'll NEVER make it. I don't think this nursing shortage will be over anytime soon because too many people go into nursing for a good paycheck. Let's face it; no one could EVER pay a nurse what they are worth; not with money alone. Saying nursing is a "calling" is still the best way to put it. You can't define why you love it or why you put up with all the SH#T (both literal and figurative), but that's why it's a calling. Some people dream all their life of being parents. Others have it happen by accident and discover it's the manna of their existance. And some who become parents never should have been and are miserable and raise their children in misery. Nursing and nurses aren't any different. To all you students; keep your chin up and don't let anyone tell you not to be a nurse anymore than you'd let someone tell you not to be a mother. "He who loves what he does will never 'work' a day in his life"--Confuscious
  7. jazzymom

    I don't understand the diff between ADN & BSN????? Help!!!

    I was an LPN for 12 years and felt the same about the LPN vs RN role (NEARLY identical roles and sometimes identical roles) for 40-50% less pay. I eventually went back and got my ADN. I felt like I was cheated! It was essentially an LPN review! We didn't even DISCUSS OB at all! I was told it was covered as an LPN (even though it is nearly exclusively RN!). I was told I knew where to find the material to study. So I did and I passed. I decided to pursue my BSN and WOW! there was the "extra" knowledge I was expecting to see that causes the RN to be paid better than the LPN. Except that it's not until the BSN level and there IS no real acknowledgement between BSN and ADN even though I was amazed at how much more I learned and was exposed to. More in depth patho, med-surg, critical care, gerontology, etc. So NO ONE better make the assumption there is little difference in knowledge base between the BSN and ADN. The floor skills are no different, but the comprehension is so much more! Maybe like the difference between learning a language (from your family) and studying it. The person who learns it at home can speak it, but the person who studied it would understand both the spoken and the written as well as other nuances. Both would (perhaps) have fluency, but not everyone who "speaks" a language fully understands it (grammar, literacy, ect).
  8. jazzymom

    Performance Based Development System (PBDS)

    The other "oddity" with PBDS is that it was designed by a Dr!
  9. jazzymom

    Performance Based Development System (PBDS)

    I had to take this for my first (so far only) travel assignment. I did not do well (I flunked) I have A.D.D. and was given special testing considerations in nursing school (timed tests are given differently) as well as on the nursing boards. I was an A student in school and passed the NCLEX with the minimum number of questions. As a traveller, I was given no recourse and my agency discouraged me from claiming discrimination (I told them before the test I was worried about the testing format). I did get another assignment (worked per diem and finageled a contract) but will never be tempted to try the PBDS ever again. It is a dysfunctional test that only certain people will pass and it has nothing to do with competency. If someone passes the NCLEX in the last year or so but fails the PBDS, what does that say about the NCLEX? Which test is more valid? As for the question about the staff nurses taking the PBDS, I've heard if they fail, they have to take "remedial nursing" (orient until they pass; they may stay on orientation for six months or more!) and frequently, the person orienting them still doesnt' know how to help them or even address it! The people who grade these tests can be anything from HR (not a nurse at all!) to someone who grades these, but hasn't done floor work in years. I went to a university nursing program instead of online because I was afraid of being graded by someone who didn't know me and who I didn't know.