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RNMarykay's Latest Activity

  1. Hello, I'm a recent grad and will begin my first RN position soon. I would like opinions on which position to take in light of my experience and goals. I've been working on an adult med/surg floor as a tech for five years so I have some experience behind me, but our hospital is a satellite of the main hospital (about 150 beds). My unit does basic med/surg and a lot of the more complex things (insulin drips, chest tubes) get sent to our PCU or ICU. I can stay at my hospital for a year as a new grad on days and learn time management and basic nursing or I can go to our main hospital, a trauma 2 center, as a float nurse on nights. They offer a relatively good orientation (12-14 weeks) and according to them, plenty of support, but it is on nights, which will be a strain. Ultimately my goal is to end up in the ER or ICU and the experience as a float would be invaluable for skills and meeting people. But I wonder if it is just TOO much, TOO soon? I go back and forth in my mind on the pro and con. Part of me wants to stay where I work -- I know the other nurses, the doctors, the facililty and have good, supportive relationships all the way around. The other part of me wants to jump into the big stuff. What would YOU do as a new nurse?
  2. RNMarykay

    CNA's taken off schedule after passing boards?

    This is not the practice my hospital system uses. We have several PST's (CNA on steroids) now that have all finished school, passed their boards and are interviewing within our system for RN positions. They remain on the floor as techs, or monitor techs etc until they have secured a position. G
  3. RNMarykay

    An all time low for a new night shifter

    I went on nights at the beginning of this year and have to say I am grateful for a relatively easy adjustment. I have three teenagers at home. I can say I did research and developed a plan for working nights. Like another poster, I often stay up very late (1-3 am) the night before my first night shift, then sleep in late. If I don't sleep late I make time for a 1-2 hour nap late afternoon before getting ready for work. When I get off work I come home to a cold room, a fan on, ear plugs and turn my phone off. I take a shower and climb into bed for 6-7 hours. If I am too wired to sleep I take a bath and 2 valerian root (a natural muscle relaxer; it doesn't leave me feeling sluggish like tylenol pm or others do) and go to sleep. The kids know to not wake me unless someone is bleeding. If I wake up in the middle to pee I still go back to bed the same as I would in the middle of the night. I try to work my days in a row. On my last night/morning I sleep til I wake up or at least four hours then do whatever I need to do in the day and go to bed with my family that night. Sometimes I'm not ready and will watch some tv, but usually can be in bed by 11 and sleep all night. Food -- At work I pack a lunchbox with 4 healthy, protein filled snacks (boiled egg, piece of cheese with turkey, an apple and peanut butter, a salad with turkey or egg) that I eat about every 3 hours during the shift. I don't get hungry and have enough energy. I also drink water. If I get really tired someone has made coffee or I allow myself some tea or coke zero around 2 am, BUT NEVER later than 3 am. I won't be able to sleep when I get home. Good luck to you. I hope tweaking your routine helps make it tolerable. I appreciate the quieter hours and solitude on nights too much to give it up, not to mention a shift differential. :) G
  4. RNMarykay

    A nursing student at 48. My journey could be yours...

    THANK YOU! I am 46 years old and went to work at a hospital as a "tech" three years ago to see if this career change/path was indeed for me. Turns out I loved it as much as I thought I would and have used this time to do my prerequisites, earn phlebotomy and telemetry monitor certification and just generally sponge up all I can. I turn 47 in October and will begin the first term of nursing school thruough my employers nursing affilated program in January 2013. I, too, tote my books and notes to kids events, church, Dr. appts and cram in everywhere possible. Sometimes I think "I must be crazy" then other times I think "Heck yes, I will finish this. I have 15-20 good working years left in me and I am LOVING learning!" I, too, hold it over my kids heads that if I can work full-time, take classes and still get A's then they can too. They are proud of me and my husband has been so supportive. WHen I finally get that R.N. behind my name THEY will have earned it alongside of me. Thanks for the encouragement! G
  5. RNMarykay

    How did you get your hospital job???

    My first job I went to visit each hospital and by chance met the nurse recruiter. I simply asked her how a new CNA would go about entering a hospital. I shared a little of my goals (to become an RN) and she told me that while the hospital in general did not hire new CNA's that the rehab floor did and set up an interview. It was a great way to introduce me to the pace of a hospital, charting, etc without being surrounded by seriously acute patients. We had a lot of strokes, some accidents etc. About six months later I transferred to a step down unit where I could interact with more acute patients. It was great, but they were chronically short staffed and in time I wanted to leave. I targeted a hospital that I really wanted to work at and then applied, and applied, and applied. EIGHT times I applied for a position and finally got a call back. I've been in my new position two years and love it. Great hospital system that encourages education and I'm almost ready to start nursing school. Keep your chin up and keep trying to make connections! Apply, apply, apply! G
  6. RNMarykay

    A&P online

    >> I am finishing A&PI online now with an A. It can definitely be done, and it worked better for me to do it online, but there are a couple qualifiers. First, I had a study buddy who was also taking it online. We communicated and studied together regularly. Second, my school has a great health science tutoring department that held weekly workshops to go over the material I was covering online. (the workshop mirrored the subject matter of the week for online AND in class students). If I was stuck on a the material I went to the workshop that week or made appt with tutor. Third, I am motivated, disciplined and proactive so I found other resources (you tube rocks) and generally dug until I was satisfied I knew the material. I loved doing it online, but am NOT taking A&PII online. I think the physiology is so much more understandable when a teacher teaches it. My study buddy is taking the same class so our groove of studying will continue. :)
  7. RNMarykay

    Anatomy Physiology Spring 2012

    I am starting A&PI this semester as well and like you, a bit nervous. I went to a workshop last week intended to give tips for success. I knew it would be tough, but wow, I cam away a little nervous. But as my husband reminded me tonite, I generally begin semesters wtih some trepidation until I jump in and get a plan of action. Cheers! Gillian
  8. RNMarykay

    24/7 Video Cameras in ICU rooms

    I work on a tele/med surg floor and we have the capability to monitor every room. For awhile we had about six dedicated pt rooms with cameras for those extra confused ones and/or Baker Acts. But it got crazy when we would have to juggle people room to room to get the right ones on a camera. Now we have them in every room, but rarely turn them on unless someone is confused and a fall risk. Occasionally we watch something odd -- and actually caught a male boyfriend/"caregiver" stuffing his beloved with benzos. No wonder the woman had been in that state for a year. It led to a court intervention. HOWEVER, everyone is informed that they CAN be monitored and have the right to refuse. Given how we use it pt families are happy to have extra monitoring. As a unit secretary the camera option comes in handy when looking for a nurse to see if he/she is tied up as well as being able to see if staff is already with someone whose bed alarm is going off. I admit, it is a little creepy, and I would put a gown or glove over the camera if I were the pt. but it serves a purpose with careful use.
  9. I am curious if anyone has worked for these hospitals and what your experience has been. I have the opportunity to interview at all three and want to hear people's opinions... Thanks, g
  10. RNMarykay

    New PCA in the ER, Anxiety wont go away..

    Yes, I was afraid when I started too! A couple days after I started a nurse introduced herself and said she would've done it sooner but I looked too afraid! ha ha Just take a deep breath, have a couple of stock questions (where are you from? etc), and pay attention. I ask a lot of questions of other techs, nurses etc...I decided to admit I was a "newbie" in healthcare and just ask away. I've found that instead of thinking I'm stupid I look curious and interested. Good luck!
  11. RNMarykay

    Florida CNA's

    I definitely think you need to know the steps involved in the clinical exams. Of the 9 people taking the exam only 3 of us passed the clinicals on the first attempt. I've heard you can find some videos online that will walk you through the clinical portions. Good luck!
  12. RNMarykay

    Preventing falls in acute rehab center

    I work on a rehab floor. We work as a TEAM - there is no "I'm the RN, you are the Tech" attitude here...if someone needs help getting pulled up in the bed, so be it. If they are a total assist - get a gait belt and get help. Our nurse leader also creatively schedules the techs so that we have enough to get it all done in the midst of daytime/dr's/physical therapy etc... We also have our physical therapists work with techs and new nurses on how to effectively "block" a patients knees, lift without hurting their back, etc. When the PT's assess the pt they usually put on the whiteboard in their room what kind of assist they are (min/mod/max) and why (knees buckle, confused). It's helpful to know that some types of stroke patients are more prone to attempting to transfer themselves (I think it is the ones with left sided weakness, it affects their judgement), and put those on a bed alarm or close to the nurses station where we can keep an eye on them. We also park pts in their wheelchairs out in our view point between therapy sessions so they don't try to get out on their own. Hope that helps! g
  13. RNMarykay

    how many cna's plan to continue their education?

    Where I live the market is saturated with LPN's. Most that go to school for that are just trying to "leapfrog" into an RN program. LPN's get first seats over non-nurses so it works out better for them. Plus, on my floor the nurse leader will hire techs who become LPN's straight onto the floor.
  14. RNMarykay

    Florida CNA's

    I took a challenger course at TampaBayCNA - it had it's pros and cons, but overall I was happy to get the info. I did study a lot before the exam - a month at least - and made flash cards to practice skills. It helped a lot. After looking for quite some time I did get a job at a hospital in Tampa. I just happened to meet the nurse recruiter and had a conversation with her and when I passed my test got back in touch with her. She arranged an interview with the nurse leader on my floor. I am VERY grateful to have gotten into a hospital setting. i am definitely learning a lot and deciding if I will go on to nursing school. The pay is sad -- about 9/hr if a true employee with benefits; I am PRN and get 10.50. I just took the hospitals nurse tech course and will get about a dollar more an hour after finishing my competencies and phlebotomy. Good luck. Present yourself well. Have a resume. Go around to facilities and try to talk to them.