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CeilingCat ASN, RN

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  1. Hi everyone, I graduated with my ASN in 2011 on the honor roll. I a good student who tutored classmates. I also have a bachelors from a local University in a somewhat unrelated field. I am smart, articulate, well educated, and detail oriented. I scored 99th percentile in my TEAS entrance exam and passed the NCLEX easily on the first try. When I first graduated, I procrastinated in aggressively looking for work. At the time I didn't need the money so much. A divorce-in-progress was slowly coming to a close. I took care of some family matters. I did volunteer work. I got remarried, and we have a 4 month old. Now I NEED TO WORK. My husband was laid off, nursing pays better than his job, and it's time for me to use my education. He's offered to be Mr. Mom, if I can find work. I'm ready! Trouble is nobody wants to touch someone who graduated a few years ago and didn't work. I'm prepared to work anywhere at any pay to get experience, as long as I don't have to move. I'm commuting distance from 2 major cities. Where are the entry level jobs?? I don't (yet) need to take a refresher course for my state's license. It's still in good standing. I kept my BLS updated. So... What do you think is the best use of time while waiting for the phone to ring? I did sign up for additional college classes, and if I can't find work I'll keep taking them until I get my BSN. Right now I'm taking Nutrition for credit. How do I list on resume "taking pre-req classes in preparation for applying for BSN at school yet to be determined"? I could volunteer at my local hospital. But their don't give "nursing" work to volunteers. I'd be sitting at a desk maybe answering the occasional phone call. I did this when I started nursing school, and I felt it was not a good use of my time. Is the boredom worth it? Is there such a thing as volunteer work for nurses that utilizes our skills? How do I find such a thing -- without me having to relocate? I'm willing to work for free for a few months, if it helps me find a good job. It would be better than me sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. I am looking at taking little classes and seminars for Continuing Education credit. Can't hurt, right? Do I list these individually on the resume? Is it worth it to join the national/state ANA and list that on resume? I see they offer some CE-credit classes for cheap or free. Cost annually is about $130. There don't seem to be any internships available, and the few I heard others got were because they were recruited out of a graduating class. How do I find such a thing if it's not on hospital web sites or coming up in google searches? I am networking with former classmates and anyone else I can think of. My classmates and one of my old faculty will happily write letters of recommendation. But how do I get far enough in the job hunt process to show them to anyone. Any thoughts on me tutoring at my college? My nursing school had a tough program. I passed it with all A's and B's but I know students who failed. It might be a few extra bucks, but it also refreshes my memory, and maybe it can't hurt my resume? Is there any reason I should not do this and/or list it on a resume? Is there anything else I can to do to freshen up my resume to make up for the huge black hole? ...And the next person who tells me there's a "nurse shortage", I'm going to smack with a wet noodle! Some of my classmates from my '11 gradating class have really struggled. Some are between jobs or stuck in a nursing job they hate. I'm in the northeastern US between two huge cities, so there are employers. But if you don't have 2 solid years of recent experience, very few places will talk to you.
  2. CeilingCat

    Healthcare is NOT a basic human right.

    A "right" is whatever we the people decide it is. We've got all sorts of "rights" in today's modern world that weren't an issue (or perhaps even imagined) at the time the Constitution was penned. Either way, who cares of the Constitution grants people the right to access to health care? We can create new social services that are perfectly legal within the Constitution (social security, medicare/medicaid, food stamps, public schools, etc) that aren't explicitly listed. The absence of mention in the Constitution is not proof that something is UNconstitutional. Personally, I feel that one of the core responsibilities of our government is to assist in protecting the people from threats, domestic or foreign. If there was a terrorist threat that killed 45,000 Americans a year, you wouldn't object to the government taking action, would you? Replace the word "terrorists" with "preventable/curable diseases". Why is it so wrong not to want our family, friends, or neighbors to die because of lack of access to health care? Also consider the larger cost to society when a % of the population cannot get health care. Those are the people who use hospital ED as doctors offices because they're suffering and know no doctor will see them. They're the ones who miss extra days at work because they can't get treatment, costing employers money. They're the ones who end up having hospitals pay to amputate a foot or do a kidney transplant because, when they got a common disease such as diabetes, they could never get proper preventative care. What is the cost to that person's children, employer, or family when they die young from a curable cancer? How much does it cost to give the remaining now-single parent food stamps and other social services, when one of the breadwinners in the household dies? What's the cost to the next generation of kids who grow up with one parent bedridden, disabled, or dead -- from a preventable disease? Why do we as a society wait until someone is dying at the door of a hospital to offer any care at all? Wouldn't have been cheaper to give the education & preventative care/screening a year ago than wait for the person to have a MI and (at hospital expense) get a bypass?
  3. CeilingCat

    Malaysia: "Please, help my son! He is dying!"

    It sounds like this was very traumatic for you. I can see why such a moment stuck with you so long. The thing is that you don't know why the boy died. He never should've been hit in the first place. He should've been brought in by an ambulance who could've started treatment sooner. His injuries might've been too severe, even at a better hospital. Or for all anyone knows, he may have died in the days following, for example if infection had set in. Some things just happen, and we really can't know for sure why it happened. Try not to hold onto the blame you have for that employer. You were smart enough to recognize ways that ER could've been improved. But it's in no way your fault.
  4. CeilingCat

    Would you do this?

    You do not write orders for meds -- even just change in the route of a med. You're risking your license. You needed to call the doctor and get one of her doctor to do a phone order for this. Shame on the doc who said "thanks for not calling me for this". He's encouraging you to order & give meds before checking with him.
  5. CeilingCat

    Taking Teas V on Monday, last minute advice?

    The TEAS test was a piece of cake (compared to nursing school exams and the nclex). It's just an assessment of what you should already know. It's pretty much jr high to high-school level reading, math, and science. Other than reviewing basic formulas (volume, temp conversion C to F, etc), I'm not sure you can really do a lot to prepare for it. Just try to relax. Take you time. Read the questions carefully, and double-check your math work. You'll be fine. :)
  6. CeilingCat

    How sad is the NICU? Is there a personality type best suited to it?

    All types of nursing can be sad, if you choose to see the negative. You can look at the positive in NICU: in some countries there really isn't a NICU and most of the babies would not make it. By working there you're helping to give the newborns the best chance possible. I don't work NICU but I was there for volunteer work & part of my clinical rotation. The upsetting part for me were the withdrawal babies who were suffering terribly because of their mother's choices. It infuriated me that in my state not only is there no penalty, the infant is turned over to [drug-addicted] mom as soon as he is stable. There is not much in the way of a support system in my county for the women who do want help getting off drugs/alcohol, so it just keeps happening over and over. But if your state has better laws or your hospital serves a different demographic, perhaps it's not as big a problem elsewhere.
  7. CeilingCat

    Mixed Emotions About Nsg School

    Nursing school is a full-time (sometimes even an overtime) job unto itself. I think you're right to be noticing differences in the kids. If you don't need to enter nursing right now, don't feel bad about postponing graduating. Once the kids are adults, you'll reflect back and know you could never get those missed years back. I think you're setting a great example for them by putting THEM first, ahead of paycheck. I don't mean to be sound pessimistic, but I know that of the people who dropped out of my nursing program, family/spouse/child stress is the top reason. Some people are getting divorces. One person had her younger kids suddenly involved in discipline issues at school. Another was putting her infant in daycare so much, a stranger was raising her, and the mom realized she was uncomfortable. There will always be another year they offer nursing classes. There will only be this one time you can enjoy your child's first day at school, first baseball game, or first dance. In the meantime, have you considered working p/t as a nurse's aid. Get experience and get a little extra spending money? And this way you can see if it you like it.
  8. CeilingCat

    Community College or University...that is the question

    It really depends on what schools are in your area, your budget, your personal goals, etc. I did the community college to RN route. I am graduating now and will be working under my RN license as soon as I pass boards. The plus of doing it this way is that many employers still offer at least partial tuition reimbursement. So when I do the RN-to-BSN bridge, it won't cost me much. The college credits at the community college level are also 1/3rd of what the same classes at university level costs - at least in my area. So if I get the first two years done locally, I am not stuck with a big loan that is only going to keep growing as interest accrues. The total cost for my nursing school including books, pre-requisite classes, lab fees, and other expenses is under $10k for my ENTIRE education. But if you don't have a community college in your area it might not work. Or some community colleges have pretty good programs which means getting on a waiting list, which may not work for you. I'd also say look at all the schools carefully and talk to graduates. There are some SUCKY nursing schools out there. They keep their NCLEX pass rates high because they fail out more than half the carefully-selected students who start the program. In other words, it's that they're only letting the self-motivated able-to-self-teach type students make it through to get to the Boards. There's no point in starting at a really bad nursing school just to have to repeat a year or quite entirely.
  9. CeilingCat

    nursing care r/t pregnancy termination

    staff note:please, answer the op's questions about how to provide proper care for patients following the loss of a pregnancy (for whatever reason) and the other things she wanted to know. do not post about the inadequacy of her instructor/program in this thread. do not turn this into a thread about the morality or immorality of abortion. thank you. i don't wish to start a flame war, but i have some honest questions. i am just weeks from graduation from a public college, to become a rn. my program director admits to keeping anything remotely relating to abortion completely off-limits. her values are very conservative, so the curriculum seems to reflect it (birth control was also left out). the textbooks they chose don't mention the nurse's role when a pregnancy ends without a live birth. when i did maternity/peds rotation, it was never mentioned. as we got to the part about molar pregnancies and eclampsia, all i was told was that the "resolve the pregnancy". i still know nothing about it, other than it makes some people angry enough to picket planned parenthood and it saves the lives of other people. the internet is even worse -- everyone shouting at each other and very little medical-focused info. nursing care: i am guessing it might be to monitor for hemorrhage and infection. but there has got to be more to it than that? is care any different depending on trimester? on miscarriage ("natural") vs pharmaceutical vs surgical terminations? if conditions are incompatible with life later in the pregnancy, is it considered an "abortion" to use surgical intervention to remove an already deceased fetus? do nurses get training in how to handle the psych aspect for a post-abortion patient? not all women who have abortions want to terminate. is a psych or post-partum type screening typical done? do nurses interested in a obgyn/reproductive health type specialty get any additional education? or do you just pick it up on the job as you go? and can you ask colleagues about it and be sure to get an accurate answer? or is talk relating to it greatly discouraged in the workplace, too? does anyone here regularly give nursing care to women following pregnancy termination (intentional or miscarriage)? forgive what might be a naive question: but if you work in a clinic setting, is it true you have to be scared of terrorists and harassment? or has television really exaggerated that? what is the nurse's role as patient advocate, when a dr's personal/religious beliefs cause permanent harm to a patient? eg. when a mother's life is in danger and a provider doesn't want to consider terminating the pregnancy or doesn't want to treat a recent post-termination pt who is having a complication. thanks for giving me your professional advice, as i graduate and head into practice. i apologize in advance if i've offended anyone by asking about this topic. i know how strongly some people belief for/against this issue, and i do respect everyone's' beliefs on this issue. i just need some factual information. thank you.
  10. CeilingCat


    Can you follow up with someone in admin? Is it possible the aide does not know the full results of the report the facility got from the inspector? Something sounds fishy. Is it possible a snotty shift manager doesn't like it for some reason and is using the inspection to "clean up" anything he/she doesn't like?
  11. CeilingCat

    Can an ER Nurse to an ER Physician?

    You could become a MD, but the path you follow to become a nurse is not the same one a Dr would follow. You COULD become a nurse and head to grad school to become a NP or PA. The NP and PA both do some duties as a doctor, though you still aren't a "M.D." In some ERs there are quite a few NPs and PAs. Expect to put in an additional 2 or 4 years of grad school once you have your bachelor's. You might also need to fill in a few additional pre-reqs depending on the grad school (example: Organic Chem).
  12. I know I risk ruffling a few feathers of moms on this board, but I feel this needs to be said. The nursing schools don't warn against it and they can't ask if your pregnant when they admit you. But I am saddened to see classmates drop out, so I feel compelled to warn others. I've watched SEVERAL classmates out of my class drop out due to pregnancy/birth, and it makes me sad to see the loss potential good nurses. I don't know if they didn't realize what was involved in nursing school.... or perhaps did not realize they might need a c-section or extra time off? Out of an original class size of 72 students, we're now just weeks before our graduation and I estimate we've lost close to half the class -- between failing exams to medical/personal reasons including a bunch of dropping out related to new babies. In my school you get one second chance to re-enter the program. Then you're done pretty much forever. This week really got me: we lost a classmate who was only weeks away from graduation. She had to drop out last year's senior year because of giving birth. This time around it was a major conflict with her clinical instructor. Instructor failed her in that rotation, so the student fails the semester. If she hadn't missed last year, she could just re-start with a new clinical instructor and finish the final semester. But now she is done - as in failed out of this nursing school forever. The next closest nursing school has a 3-4 year wait list and high admission requirements. So please please please.... think long and hard about mixing nursing school and pregnancy. Even the best planning and best pre-natal care won't guarantee you might not need a c-section (a guaranteed clinical rotation fail due to days missed). And it's just a stressful time in general: hard to enjoy the joy of that beautiful new baby when you're short on sleep, studying constantly, and stressed out.
  13. CeilingCat

    Things noane told you about nursing

    I didn't realize how many patients one nurse gets. Even when some are acute, some hospitals still keep piling on the patients on a regular basis rather than hiring extra staff. In the search for short-term profits, the hospitals ignore the studies showing higher rate of errors & even moralities when staff is overwhelmed. I also did not realize how little time the nurse did what I considered was nursing care. At least half the time the nurse is at the desk, doing documentation, calling doctors, straightening out pharmacy mistakes, calling family, doing more documentation, and trying to keep track of aids. When in the room with the pt, some shifts the nurse only has enough time to do a quick assessment, ask pain level, and hand out meds because she has 6 patients to see in that hour. I don't understand why in nursing school they bother to train us on communication, alternative pain management, the psych variable, educating family, and other things -- when some nurses on the med-surge floor don't even have time to pee before having to zoom into the next room to give out meds. (And can someone tell me why ALL patients have their meds due right at 8am? Wouldn't it make more sense to schedule half at 8 and half at 9 or 10, when pt load is 6+ per nurse?) It's also frustrating to have to listen to the corporate B.S. about top quality care at their facility, how they're magnet status, blah blah blah -- and walk onto a floor where the first THREE dinemapp machines are broken, two of the computer terminals are down, the single pulse-ox unit was lost weeks ago, and there is absolutely nobody assigned to equipment maintenance. They want us to be "customer service reps" to meet any need our pt or pt family has, but they give us 5 high-maintenance patients and a nurse's aide who hides in the closet to TXT her friends. How can we take the time to really show each patient is special if you're treating us like cogs in a giant machine, geared to run as fast as possible? And a personal pet peeve: school trains us on proper nutrition. But then we work in facilities where they think it's ok to serve over-processed, over-salted, inappropriate foods. Fresh vegetables are unavailable and most dishes are full of fat (esp saturated fat). Why are we serving diabetics a meal of Wonder (white) bread, instant white rice, and a deep fried hunk of factory-farmed high-fat meat? And patients learn from this bad example how to eat.
  14. CeilingCat

    Coming to work after taking a narcotic?!

    Refer to your facility policy. Or talk to your supervisor. If you feel she is impaired for any reason, you may be better off sending her home. That being said, I don't agree with some replies which seem to assume anyone using a narcotic at all must be "impaired" or "drunk". OTC drugs don't work for me. If I am in extreme pain, vicotin does work. I am not suggesting taking it DURING a shift or just before one. But don't assume taking one vicotin will put everyone to sleep or make them useless; each person responds to drugs differently. You'd never be aware if I took one (and to be fair, I would not take one within 10+ hours of a shift). But then again I don't blab to coworkers, complain about being tired, and want to pop one after the other, either... lol
  15. CeilingCat

    New Grad, don't want to work in hospital

    Then apply for a position that's set around a 4 x 10 hour shift. Or a 5 day x 8 hour shift. They do exist in hospitals. Can you get away with doing no weekends? Depends on the hospital/unit. The feedback I get is that the people making the really good money are those willing to do evening or night shift. So, if you do go for a hospital day shift, they do exist but your paycheck will reflect it.
  16. CeilingCat

    Maybe I'm just old and cynical, but....

    I have a bachelor's in Computer Science from a reputable university. After doing that for over a decade, I've had enough -- and I'm becoming a RN. I could've gotten a MBA and been a project manager "for the money", but I want more out of life than to shuffle papers & make Power-points for pointy-haired bosses. In the medical field, I DO make a difference. Am I rich? No, of course not. But any job done well is going to be work. If I am going to give up my time & energy it needs to be in something I care about. I can have the wrong outlook and find the bad in any career- long hours, exposure to disease, grumpy patients, bad bosses. But I choose to find the good: that I am doing something that society needs and that I doing it with the most competence and compassion I am able to. And perhaps one day, if I ever find myself in a hospital bed, it will be another Nurse who makes a difference in my life.