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emhkirkpatrick's Latest Activity

  1. emhkirkpatrick

    Nurse's Week. Whadya get?

    The critical care nurses got a nice set of calipers--I don't know what any othr depatment got. Te hospital gave an ice cream social from 2-4 for nurses only I didn't have time to go to cafeteria but a coworked brought me a loaded sundae. Off shift were brought an ice cream novelty...not quite the leash i got from my employer a few years ago...you know those little pull out things you can pin to your uniform and attach your name badge to them. But a little nicer gift this here than last...but no big banner this year like last year at the hospitla entrance. I did have patients and families wish me a happy nurses week that was sort of nice.
  2. emhkirkpatrick

    Advice needed, PLEASE

    Definitely get a second opinion about your health. Or you just may need to rearrange or change the drugs your on. Antidepressants are best taken at bedtime or even earlier depending on the type of anti-depresant. I find if that if I take my paxil as i'm going to bed i do okay but if a take it a bit earlier in the evening i get really sleepy aand sort of hazy thinking can't even concentrate to watch TV. Night shift really screws up my dosage i take it in the morning before i go to sleep if i'm working that nite and slleping all day. But if i'm off the next nite i skip it to bedtime. also you need to check if your hormones are the right one for you. They can make a big difference. You didn't mention any other medications that you are on........Are you by chance taking Zantac? That is notorious for causing fuzzy thinking and depression. I had three friends who did not tolerate it at all. Some anti inflammatories have the same effect. Check the web for info on any and all drugs you are taking even occasssiionally. There may be interactions that are really rare or unusual and you might be a victim of them. Also you may want to consider a new job--I was blaming some of my appetite and weight loss problems on menopause and depression and with medication i felt better but still could not gain weight and my appetite was extremely erratic. Still on same medications-Celebrex for arthritis, Premarin and paxil but the new job has made a world of difference--I'm putting on weight for the first time in 2 years and am having to watch my food intake--though being able to eat anything i wanted to was nice--not having any appetite for days at a time is a pain in the butt--had to force myself to eat--not fun. Another thing to get checked is if you have any sleep disorders--they can make you feel extremely brain fogged.....it may be as simple as getting a different bed.
  3. emhkirkpatrick

    Nursing as a "Career?" Read this...

    Jerry That was wonderful and so funny My night like that included being nine months into a difficult pregancy big as a house and miserable physically. We do somuch with so little and no one who hasn't been there can understand both the satisfacton and the frustration such a shift can generate.
  4. emhkirkpatrick

    Nursing is pathetic...

    I have felt the way nurse dude has and i have felt the way that mirn has. Its all part of nursing. I am one of 6 children--I have always found it interesting that my parents produced so many college educated children one has his doctorate and one her master's and all but one of us are in service professions. My siblings include 3 teachers and a professional girl scout--yes there are professional boyscouts too. I am proud to be a nurse and i say it with pride but there are pathetic things about our profession and i tell people who are thinking about it the advantages and the disadvantages--it's hard work physically, emotionally and mentally. I have been harassed sexually, physically and verbally by patients physcians and other nurses. But it affords me a lot of satisfaction most of the time. But one thing I want to address is the misconception that this is a second or lesser income for most of us--it is not in my case and in the case of a lot of my coworkers. I make almost double what my husband does, have excellent benefits compared to his and have never had trouble finding a job. He was out of work for 2 years after his MI cause he couldn't go back to his construction job, and the job market was terrible--the only jobs he was offered were for minimum wage and he was offered them because the Bureau of Vocational Rehab would pay part of his salarty for hiring him. We had 2 preschoolers at the time and would have realized less than a dollar and hr after day care. He babysat a couple neighbor's children and i worked a lot of overtime. I ave worked with a lot of single moms who have no support from ex spouses. I have worked with a lot of nurses who were male with stay at home wives. This is not a second income this is frequently the major income or the only income. Also I have worked with a lot of nurses who worked for the benefits because their spouses employers offered no or poor health insurance. I am always apalled that people think this is a second income. I would not encourage any one to go into nursing without a lot of thought and condsideration of all the ramifications of the profession--the hours can be atrocious, the weekend and holday issues can be deveastating in terms of family things. I have had to miss many impromptu fmily gatherings over the years and it does cause some resntment of both the job and my family Al those teachers have holidays and weekends off. I would not switch professions for alll the money in the world I am proud to be a nurse. But i get frustrated by the amount we get paid for being some many things all the time to so many people--Think about what we do in the course of the day we are really the CEO of our patients life and well being. We are responsible for coordinating so many differnt people and procedures and all their care. And i didn't encourage any of my daughters to go into nursing but like my brothers and sisters my children are more interseted in service professions than money professions one wants to be an elementaty teacher, one wants to work with pre schoolers or handicapped children and the other wants to teach she just isn't sure what yet. There are a lot of ways to be a success in this world and not all of them are meassured in money....I consider myself lucky that i decided on this but like some other respondents here i don't like my job very much a lot of the time--It is very difficult and it has to be accomplished despite a lot of obstacles. this is fille dwith a lot of ambivvalent feelings something that i think all nurses feel. there is something wrong when we have so much trouble keeping nurses at the bedside. but that is another bulletin board entirely.
  5. emhkirkpatrick

    Obstacles to providing care

    AMEN TO ALL THE ABOVE REPLIES SO TRUE. The paperwork is atrocious and though chartingby exception is catching on,the institution i work at now insists on narrative on several of the things that are already on flowsheets such as there is a spot to check that the iv is secure and site is okay but then yu have to chart the same thing in the narrative why? The computer systems are unfriendly to put it mildly--and instead of everything being available in one system we have one system for orders and another for scheduling and another for labs so we have to log off one and log in to another to get info. Then there is the ancillary services issue--the housekeepers can't clean the room until you have stripped it. If there isn't a housekeeper then guess who gets to clean--the last institution i worked at the housekeepers weren't allowed to touch the monitors at all so we had to find a dust mop to clean off the top of the monitors. why? As for Tara's comment about different expectations for male and female nurses----boy is she right. The last institution i worked for did!!!!!! Unfortunate but true. The female nurses were expected to be more thorough in patient care, more flexible in respect to schedule changes, more accountable for everything, quieter, more polite, more respectful. should i go on. The male nurse were always having excuses made for them--they could tell the raunhiest jokes within patient hearing and never have a thing said to them--a female nurse making a mild off color comment at the desk that the patients could not hear was reprimanded. when asked why the difference, the unit manager's response was "boys will be boys" attitude was also directed to noisy behavior, work not done, anger, irresponsible behavior, not coming to work after being on call because they were tired but female nurses were penalized if they didn't work their regularly scheduled shifts after being on call. I could go on and on. The double standard is alive and well and living in several hospitals. This is part of the reason i left my last employer and my new one seems to be a lot better in equal expectations for male and female nurses. I'm not saying that all hospitals have different standards for male and female nusrses but that some do and it's sad. at the last institution i worked at the female nurses had been complaining about the conditon we received the patients from OR for years--things like the patients arriving in PACU with blood and betadine all over them and their patient gowns, the gowns soaked with irrigation solution and God knows what else, on a cart with another patient's name on it, no ID band the list goes on--we were repeatedly told that the OR staff was too busy to worry about the little things. A new male nurse went and compained to the manager and the next day there was a comittee set up between the OR staff and the PACU staff to investigate this problem and do something about it. One time i approached the manager about getting OT and the social worker to see a female doctor's axiallary node dissection patients preop because she was sending so many of them home post op and those two departments were frequently gone by the time the patient was a wake enough to talk with them. It was a patient care issue and made sense to me. The unit manager went off about being tired of spoon feeding doctors and she should take care of it from her office etc. Two days later i got in trouble with the same manager because i didn't have a male physician's billing forms available on the unit for him. This was a female manager.
  6. emhkirkpatrick

    8 hour shift vs. 12 hour shift - your opinion...

    After 23 years I have worked an interseting combinations of all sorts of shifts. I too found that different shifts have worked better at different times and situations in may life. When my 3 girls were real little I found that the 12 hour shifts or a combination of 2--12 and 2--8 worked best. My husband had more slack to pick up when I worked but the extra time off meant that the house was cleaner we actually had good meals at least 3 days a work instead of soup and sandwiches, carry out or those special 20 minute meals all working moms have in the cupboard and freezer-mine was chicken parmesan using bottled spaghetti sauce and tyson chicken patties. It was easier to get to the doctor dentist etc and my husband discovered he still had a wife cause instead of falling a sleep as soon as the kids were in bed I was better rested and able to stay awake a little longer at least a few nites aweek. I just left a job that was Monday thru Friday 8-4:30 with call on the nite shift and weekends This meant several 50-60 hour weeks and working with no sleep after being there all nite. This was getting more difficult to do as I have gotten older. I am back to 12 hour shifts 3 days a week--One daughter is married and the other 2 in high school and I am sort of looking forward to having the extra time off during the week--it has already paid off in easier to make dentist, doctor and orthodonist appointments. So I have mixed feelings about all shifts they all have their advantages and disadvantages and you have to look at your own situation to decide what is better for you.
  7. emhkirkpatrick


    I am glad to know that we're no the only ones--over the years I have participated in bets about weight gain during open heart surgery, post-op hemoglobins, how many drugs will show up on the tox screen, cardiac output, if the patient will have more relatives visiting than he has teeth--and we were betting this on a 20 year old male.
  8. emhkirkpatrick

    Do you feel that Nurses are underpaid and overworked?

    Boy do we sound like a bunch of BOB's--That's bitter old bitches. Unfortunatley the profession suffers from a lack of cohesiveness among it's members. And I am just as guilty as everyone else of compalining and not doing anything about it. What is the solution? I'm not sure there is one. I do make good money compared to a lot of other people but am I paid for what I 'm worth? No. Hospital costs whether for profit or non are driven by government regualtions and insurance compaies......And that means both the unsafe situations we are asked to work and the money they pay us....are here to stay. On this bulletin board is a petition that can be signed and will be sent to George Bush and Al Gore to call attention to our plight ......will it help.....I doubt it. (Look for the petition under Unsafe in the bulletin board list) Our solution may be to report thes situations to the head of the hospital board in writing to our state and federal legislators. Did I help this discussion find answers and solutions? No ! But it felt good to vent.
  9. emhkirkpatrick

    "Just a nurse?"

    Dear ecb AMEN!!!!!!
  10. I agree with Becky--I have been a nurse for 23 years mostly in critical care areas--there are some wonderful doctors and some real stinkers out there. But I have been blessed by working with some of the best. The medical director of one unit I worked in told every resident going through our service the first time "Trust these nurses--They are experienced, knowledgeable and are with the patient 24 hours a day we only are here for short period of time each day." How can you not love a doctor like that? Matter of fact he told one resident one time that most of us could and did function like interns in most settings because of the actuity of our patients and the standing protocols that left us with a lot of autonomy in patient care decisions. And the biggest baddest doctors in most hospitals at that one were ***** cats-The open heart surgeons. They always listened to our opinions and though they did not always agree with us frequently they would say "You know you might be right and that sounds like a good idea let's try it." I have worked with some physicians who do not respect nurses no matter how often the nurses have saved their a**. But on the whole I have found that those doctors frequently have no respect for their own colleagues or any one else. But respect must be earned and that is the biggest problem nurses have. If the doctor keeps getting stupid phone calls at 2 am from you he is apt not to listen to you when you really have a problem at 2 am. One way to combat this whole situation is to study and question and learn your job. I have found over the years that when I have questioned doctors about a particular therapy and the reasons they are using it three things happen: first I learn something new to apply to my practice; second I learn something that I can help to instruct other nurses and the patients and his family; and third and most important I earn that doctor's respect because I have asked intelligent questions about his patient's care--He or she knows that I am interseted in his patient and interested in learning. Actually in several years of nursing I have found that I frequently am instructing even attendings in new modalties of treatment for things that are not in their specialty. That also earns you respect.
  11. emhkirkpatrick

    UNSAFE healthcare

    Having recently lost my job because i asked to many questions about this very issue and was getting info from professional organizations about standards of care and distributing it to my coworkers I was more than happy to sign this petition and pass it on to my friends on line including physcians. Keep up the good work. But i do think that some people do not want to put their personal information on this petition and may be part of the reason yu have not gotten a lot of signatures. Also so many of us nurses have gotten used to working like this and being incredibly busy that when we have proper staffing we fell like we are overstaffed.
  12. emhkirkpatrick

    descriptive terminology

    We had a patient who wasn't real bright and difficult to deal with. He had put his arm through a window while arguing with his wife and was upset that his fingers tingled. He just didn't seem to understand though we had explained several times that he had severed all the nerves and arteries in his forearm and was truly lucky that he was alive and had function and feeling in his hand. The resident in frustration walked away from the bedside looked at me and said, "That's man's brain is two neurons held together by a spirochete on it's tenth day of penicillin!"