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sway's Latest Activity

  1. sway

    RN to Paramedic Bridge Course

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I was pointing out. EMT-P is a license and legally allows you to perform tasks. CCRN just means you can take a test (a pretty hard one, though).
  2. sway

    Cabg, Iabp, Crrt

    Thanks for all the responses. It's good to know that there are places out there where I could receive training. I had a meeting with my unit director and nurse educator. After listening to her for about an hour, I still didn't have a clearer picuture of the situation, except that they're going to train me when they're good and ready. I do think staffing has a lot to do with it. I just don't think the education is very strong where I work, which is dissapointing. I've decided to give them until probably november, then I'll go to the ER if nothing changes. Maybe I'll learn something there...hehe.
  3. sway

    Has anyone taken the new AACN Cardiac Surgery Cert.

    My nurse educator took it and said that she thought it was way easier than CCRN. She has been a nurse for 15 years, and said that anyone who has been taking care of post op hearts for several years should be able to pass with minimal studying. She thought passing it with only a year or so of heart experience is doable with some studying. She said that there were a few odd things she wasn't sure of, but most of it was straight forward hemos, and stuff you do every day when taking hearts. Good luck to all....
  4. sway

    RN to Paramedic Bridge Course

    Word up to everything CraigB-RN just said. I think the analogy of RNs switching specialties is an excellent one. Hey, just wondering, but FlyingSquirrel where did you learn to manage a-lines, swans and vents? I'll bet it was from an RN. I was never saying that after my bridge course I'll just jump out on the street and start savin' lives...or hanging around the station with my sweet gold patch trying to pick up EMS chicks. No, I'm just licenced to perform EMT-P skills in a pre-hospital setting. Just like the new grad RN that is legally qualified to perform tasks which the state board of nursing puts in that nice list that they come up with. Of course, if the new grad RN misrepersents their skills, and gets someone desperate to hire them, they open themselves, and their license to liability. Don't worry, I won't go out and do anything stupid with my EMT-P, but when I get CCRN, watch out...
  5. sway

    (AGAIN)new grad to ICU

    It sounds to me like you're good to go. It sounds like you work in a supportive environment, and have a good amount of quality preceptor time, and then are paired with a partner when your preceptor time is done. As far as not knowing enough to 'sense' when things are going wrong, I wouldn't worry about that either. I've seen some pretty experienced nurses miss some big things, but the bottom line is that we all just do the best we can. The thing for you to do is to take nothing for granted. Double check everything...all meds, your drip concentrations and pump settings when you first come on, etc. When someone's BP drops 20mm but is still WNL, many nurses don't really pay much attention but the best ones are at least mentally thinking of why. Just try to be really observant and ask LOTS of questions. Have fun!!!!
  6. sway

    Looking for tips on landing an ICU job.

    Viva Indy! I spent the first 18 years of my life there! I agree, go to any hospital that will take you in the ICU. I think the next best thing would be to work in a step down unit, PCU, or a cardiac/tele floor. Many hospitals offer internships for RNs looking to switch specialties, and all the ones I've seen are fully paid per your normal wage. Be agressive and go meet with the director of the unit, get a tour. I would suggest maybe asking the director if getting ACLS would help your chances, but I wouldn't just take it on my own dime. It's too nice to get paid for it! ICU demand is quite high in most places right now, so I think with persistence, you'll get in. Good luck!
  7. sway

    pt/nurse ratio?

    Wow, what a great idea, I wish I had thought of it. I think that next time I'm forced to take a triple that I feel is unsafe, I'm going to call the involved MDs and tell them that I think their patients are being staffed unsafely. I don't know about you all, but where I work doing this would probably create some big (and much needed) waves! Thanks!
  8. sway

    Down time

    Jeez, you guys sound busy! I'd say that about a third of my nights have me running for 12 hours straight, another third are steady but leave me with time for small breaks now and then, and another third give me a good 2-3 hours of nothing to do. Usually when I have down time I study for my CCRN, do hospital education stuff, or help other RNs...so I usually manage to stay busy regardless. I guess it all just depends on how sick the patients are. In two years of ICU nursing in 2 hospitals, I don't think I've ever not had time for dinner or time to pee. Maybe I've just been lucky! Actually though, I like the busier nights better...although maybe I'd feel different if it was like that EVERY night. At least it makes the time go by fast, right?
  9. sway

    Cabg, Iabp, Crrt

    Thanks for the encouragement, it's good to hear that my frustruation is not without reason. I think my lack of training is because of several factors. Mostly, I think it's because those in charge think that you have to have many years of experience before you're "ready" to take hearts. In fact, just before I came they changed the rule that said you had to work there a year before pulling a swan or sheath! It's a very old-school mentality, and they're very distrustful towards new nurses. There's this 'old hens' club of people who have worked there for 30 years, and they think that they're the only ones that have skills. It's very frustrating. I think staffing is another issue, although I think they could work around that one if they really wanted to. They definetly don't like to give up a nurse to do a night of orientation. As far as my motivation goes, I've been VERY active in voicing my desires and doing my own learning. In fact, I border on being a pest. I'm constantly hounding them about when I'll be trained, and most days I call the charge before my shift and ask for a hard assignment, or a certain type of patient. I've decided that if they don't start me on this stuff by September, I'm going to the NICU or ER, since both would move me toward my eventual goal of working as a flight RN.
  10. sway

    Cabg, Iabp, Crrt

    Howdy all, I'd like to get a consensus from you all about how quickly in to your ICU nursing career you were trained to perform "advanced" ICU nursing tasks, like managing post heart patients, CRRT (CVVH or SLED), or IABP. I've been working in an ICU for the entire 2 years of my RN career, although at my current job for only one year. I am very eager to learn these skills, but am constantly getting the brush off from my boss when I ask about getting this training. I'm starting to feel genuinely ready to take this next step, but am becoming very frustruated with our unit director's apparent unwillingness to train me, and also to tell me why. I don't make any more mistakes at work than anyone else, and have been doing all I can to request hard assignments and otherwise demonstrate my skills. All my coworkers think I'm ready. Any advice?? Thanks....
  11. sway

    RN to Paramedic Bridge Course

    Hmmm, If I understand your questions correctly, yes. If you compared two new RN graduates from the same program, and one was an EMT-P and one was not, I would expect a higher level of skill and knowledge from the one with EMT-P experience. I'm not sure this will make you more "qualified" for anything, but it certainly improves your knowledge. Just my opinion.
  12. sway

    RN to Paramedic Bridge Course

    Squirrel, If you read my post more carefully, I think you'll notice that I never claimed that an RN fresh out of a 2 week medic course was "proficent". In fact, I think they would have a lot to learn. The point I was trying to make is that they're just as qualified, and perhaps more so, than a EMT-P new grad. Should I complete my EMT-P via a 2 week course, I will have the utmost humility and will readily bow down to any medic with experience. I won't, however, listen to anyone tell me that I'm not qualified to be a medic with only a 2 week course. I'm not saying I'll be an expert, but simply qualified. Obviously, NREMT sides with me.
  13. sway

    Considering nursing and eventually CRNA

    I'm a pretty big and burly guy too, but contrary to some of you, I often introduce myself as a "male nurse" just to break the ice. Something like "hi, my name's Ryan and I'll be your male nurse today". People usually get a good laugh out of it, and I find it works especially well with people who seem nervous about having a guy as a nurse. Of course, it also helps if you're really, really, really good looking....to quote Mr. Stiller again. Seriously though, as a nurse you'll make very good money, have unprecedented job security, good benefits and only work 3 days per week (most jobs)! What could be better than that?! I say that anyone who makes fun of you is just jealous.
  14. sway

    Travel nursing experience

    I think that's the biggest lesson to learn here. Just because someone will put you in a hospital doesn't mean you are qualified to be there. As a licensed practitioner, you are ultimately responsible for what you do. YOU will be the one who has to answer for any mistakes...not the travel company, recruiter or charge RN. Saying that you "didn't know" to do or not do something doesn't cut it! To all you new nurses out there who want to travel (or not), the first question you should be asking prospective employers is what kind of orientation/education they offer. The more the better. Just because you can make it through a shift somewhere doesn't make you a good or safe nurse. Some recruiters are like car salesmen...sometimes worse. They work on commission and are PUSHY! They'll tell you anything they think you want to hear just to get you to sign up. Take everything they say with a big grain of salt. Look out for you and your license above all else.
  15. sway

    Travel nursing experience

    I've been a nurse for just about 2 years, all of it in an ICU. I would like to work as a travler sometime in the near future, and am wondering how much experience most hospitals require their travlers to have. Most travel companies give me the standard "one year" answer, but it seems like most of the travlers I work with have much more. Also, just because a travel company will work with you doesn't mean a hospital will want to hire you. Also, most of the travlers I work with refuse to take fresh hearts, mostly due to the politics involved. Do most places require you to take fresh hearts? Thanks...
  16. sway

    RN to Paramedic Bridge Course