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Med/Surg, Cardiovascular and thoracic,
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uswoman has 36 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg, Cardiovascular and thoracic,.

Worked in the US in nursing for 30+ years, then 3+ years in New Zealand and now in Australia

uswoman's Latest Activity

  1. uswoman

    Returning to NZ

    Hi! I realise you posted this a long time ago. I’m a nurse in New Zealand, moved here 12 years ago from the US. I don’t know how much nursing has changed here is 25 years, but I do know most of the polytechnic institutes have “Return to Nursing” classes you can take. When I got my registration here, I had to take a Competency Assessment class, and they combined our class with a small return to nursing class. I took mine in Hamilton when I was working at Waikato hospital. It was 2 weeks of (very easy) classroom, then 4 weeks on a ward with a preceptor. That is probably all you would need to feel comfortable again.
  2. uswoman

    Being a nurse is hard

    I've been a nurse for 36 years and have done a lot of different jobs from hospital nursing to home care, management and the health insurance business. Now I'm back in hospital nursing in a different country and find the job I'm doing is a huge, huge disappointment. It is one thing to work hard and be able to look back on an exhausting day without a single break and feel your patients were well cared for, and quite another to feel you worked your butt off and fell far short of the mark. I believe it's called "job satisfaction". I'll perservere with this job but looking for somewhere else at the same time. I'm good at time management but when you have 3-4 acutely ill patients that are complete care, including needing to be fed, with no one to help out, time management isn't the issue.
  3. uswoman

    Having a celebrity as a patient

    I once took care of a locally famous person who hosted a children's show, for many years. He had had CABG. I was on nightshift, a busy one, and answered his call light. He opened one eye and said, "So what do you want to be when you grow up?" I could only stammer , "A nurse, I guess." That's all he wanted and I was a little peeved that he wasted my time. And no, there wasn't anything "therapeutic" to do; he was known for wanting attention and acting like the nurses were his personal attendents. I've also had some locally famous business people and have found them to be the nicest people with nice families. One received so many flowers - and he had us give many of the arrangements to other patients, which really was nice.
  4. uswoman

    Australian rostering

    Australian nurses: since starting to work here, I've found it seems to be a common occurance to be scheduled to work an evening shift then come back on a day shift. A friend who just left a contracted job in Canberra said the same was true there. Is this common throughout Australia? If so, what are the reasons for doing this, even when staffing numbers are sufficient? Does this happen everywhere in Australia? And why? Are there nurses that like this sort of rostering? Many thanks for responses.....
  5. uswoman

    Do you have a set schedule?

    I'm working in a major hospital in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and have quite possibly found the worst rostering (scheduling) ever. And it is bad. I'm working on a medical ward and here is what I am working the next two weeks: Saturday - 1PM to 9:30PM. Sunday - 7AM to 3:30PM, Monday -1PM to 9:30PM, Tuesday- 7AM to 3:30PM then off Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is 1PM to 9:30PM, Saturday is 7AM to 3:30PM, Sunday 1PM to 9:30PM, Monday 1pm-3:30PM, Tuesday 1:30PM to 9:30PM, Wednesday 7AM to 3:30PM, Thursday 7AM to 3:30PM. I am a new employee and I don't like to complain, but whenever the charge nurse gets back from vacation, I intend to have a serious conversation about this. I am working here on a business visa, sponsored by the hospital, but I have no intention of sacrificing my health for the place. I'm 56 years old and have had some crappy work schedules in my life but having looked over the entire schedule, this appears to be the "normal" type schedule for everyone! I guess I should be happy that the Fair works act or whatever it is, prevents being scheduled more than 10 days in a row! (Note I have 8 days in a row on my schedule!) I've never encountered anything so horrendoue (not to mention dangerous) in all my years as a nurse. If a scheduling package is being used, then something is majorly wrong with it. Needless to say, I've applied elsewhere for a job and hoping to be out of there as soon as possible (which seems to be what happens on this ward.)
  6. uswoman

    RN short term contracts

    I do have one co-worker who goes over from New Zealand and works 4-5 weeks at a time so I know it's possible. She is casual at our little hospital and there is usually no shortage of work for her when she is in New Zealand but she goes over to work in Australian rural areas and makes enough to do more renovation to her house each time and really seems to enjoy it. I'm hoping I can do this once I live in Australia!
  7. uswoman

    RN short term contracts

    I'm a US trained registered nurse, with current registration and practising certificate in New Zealand, and have applied for reciprocal Australian nursing registration. My partner is sponsoring me for temp to perm Australian residence. What I would love to do is work short term (4-5 week) contracts in rural hospitals anywhere in Australia, and return home at intervals in Melbourne, where we will live. In addition to my US experience, I've been working the last 2 years in a 22 bed rural New Zealand hospital (with the second busiest rural A&E in New Zealand). I would love to hear from any nurses that might be doing this, or anyone that does any short term contracts. I have heard these jobs pay well but not sure "how well" they pay. My partner and I don't have any dependent kids or elderly relatives that depend on us, so I'm pretty free to go where ever, when ever. Any information, experiences, negative or positive much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
  8. Hi! I'm being "called on the carpet" by dieticians who say it is not necessary to check residuals before a bolus feeding through a PEG tube. A bit of background: critically ill 38 year old, bedbound, with liver failure amoung his many problems, as well as gastroparesis. The patient was being prepared to return to live in a group home with NON-SKILLED caregivers, so I taught them to do this before each feeding. (As well as the other precaution of having the head of the bed elevated.) A couple of the caregivers were really onto learning all this and doing it right, but a couple found it was a huge bother. (One even said, "Why are you putting all this extra work on me?" when I showed her how to aspirate the tube!) I was also concerned because the dieticians had increased the volume at each feeding and one of the better caregivers told me he vomited after he was given that much and she wondered why they did that instead of doing the smaller more frequent feedings he had been on. (To further explain, he was in a larger hospital and we had him in a small rural hospital closer to home. The dieticians are all at the larger hospital and "far too busy" to actually come up to our little hospital.)The dieticians made this change right before he was transferred to us. So, with this caregiver, we wrote out a schedule for his smaller tube feedings and medications and it worked quite well to keep them and the nurses on the same track.(Same feeding solution and same volume). Anyhow, I still maintain that I am the one at the bedside giving or ensuring the safest care possible is rendered, not the dieticians. And, all this has come about months after the patient died - and it had nothing at all to do with his tube feedings! Any references would be greatly appreciated!
  9. uswoman

    55yo and want to work in Oz

    talaxandra: I have only lived in New Zealand for 3 years and the minimum is five to start the citizenship process, so can't go that route. carolmacca66: thanks for that information. Wow! Great places to start. I have been told by a collegue that she has several nurse-friends who go to Australia to work short term and are over 50. Another collegue also told me that the longer the contract, the better the deal. I haven't been to Australia but I do know it's hot there! Sue
  10. uswoman

    55yo and want to work in Oz

    I'm 55 and have lots of nursing experience. I'm a US citizen with current licensure in Ohio, and also registered and have a current practicing certificate in New Zealand, where I am presently working. I have permanent resident status in New Zealand as well. I would like to move to Australia with my partner, most likely after the first of the new year, and work there. Does anyone know any Australian nursing agencies that know how to help me become able to work as a nurse in Australia in a more timely manner than doing it on my own? With my age being well over the upper limit for immigrating as a skilled migrant, getting a temporary visa and applying for nursing registration seems like it will take a very long time, as I would have to sponsored by my partner just to get the temporary visa (3-12 months for that to be accomplished, so I'm told by Australian immigration!) Has anyone as ancient as myself gone from NZ to OZ to work? Thanks for all responses, unless you are bagging me for being old. uswoman
  11. uswoman

    Nurse Fights for License After Sex With Dying Patient

    up front: i don't condone this nurse's behavior at all. it was unprofessional and boundaries were violated. however, some things in the article raise some questions in my mind. the patient's wife says she suspected her husband was having an affair with the nurse, and he denied it in february. (but, we don't know when the wife suspected the affair.) yet, the wife asked the nurse to stay overnight - twice -with the patient while she was having a sleep studies in january. (is that even an appropriate request?) the nurse tells him she is pregnant by another man on march 2nd. he attempts suicide in her presence on march 4th. the patient tells the social worker on march 5th that he has "messed up everything". the wife finds "graphic exchanges" on the patient's computer after his suicide attempt, therefore, between march 4th and march 9th. on march 9th, the patient signs a typed statement stating that the nurse and he had inappropriate contact several times while she was on duty. do we know his state of mind when he signed this? he said he was seduced - but where did this statement come from? the patient is dead, so how do we know he said this, or did his wife say that he said this? (we can't tell from the article). do we know anything about this man's past? did he seduce the nurse? (he was a salesman, so probably was pretty good at schmoozing. did it boost his ego and his self esteem as a man to be able to find he was still attractive to a younger woman? how do we know he didn't cheat on his wife before he was diagnosed as terminally ill, and maybe she was finally, finally getting revenge and she wasn't going to let him get away with it "one last time"? ("she told the board she felt "horrible, betrayed." she testified, "after all of the things that i had been doing to take care of him and that this is what happened." ")perhaps the patient was feeling guilty about having the affair "found out" and told the social worker "what a fool i have been. i have messed up everything". we only see one side of the story, and the man, who could have been the biggest scum bag on earth, comes off as the poor dying, unsuspecting, abused, used patient. my point here is that the article is written so as to present this in the worst possible light (granted, there is no "good side" to this situation). but i do feel we as nurses, do need to be a bit more empathetic on some level. i think we can see that she was trying to end the affair by telling his she was pregnant by someone else. so, somewhere in her brain, she knew this was wrong, but let things go way too far, but did a really stink job of it. she didn't deny the affair happened; i believe she feels remorse over the situation but i think not allowing someone to practice for 20 years is a bit much. i think she may have been very naive, and maybe too trusting, loving and caring for her own good - and was seduced. she has probably learned a lesson. was there anyone around this nurse could talk to? did she have friends or co-workers that she could have talked to? an employee assistance program she could have turned to? how much experience (and what kind) did she have when she got into hospice nursing? did any of her co-workers or supervisors have an inkling something was amiss with this relationship? (surely someone else made a visit or two between november and march when it all turned to custard.) if the wife had concerns about an inappropriate relationship in february - why didn't she contact the hospice company then and ask for a different nurse? this whole situation took place in oklahoma, but the article states the patient died in may in illinois, (where was the dedicated, caring wife? the article doesn't say) and the wife moved to nebraska after his death. the wife "indicated" he starved himself to death, and this article is written to suggest this was somehow the nurse's fault, as well. would starving to death in the face of a terminal illness such as this patient faced, be terribly uncommon? he had been told months earlier, before this nurse began caring for him (in november of 2009) that he had six months or less to live, and he died in may (about 6 months after she started caring for him) so he lived a bit beyond his estimated time frame, so she didn't lessen his life in any way. (and perhaps the affair offered some excitement that kept him alive longer). and, just weeks before his death, he and his wife filed a negligence lawsuit against the hospice company (which was dropped - why?) there is so much that isn't in this article, so many things we really don't know about the whole case and the background. there is a lot of sensationalism going on. i guess i've been around awhile and just want to hear the whole story rather than just one view of it before deciding the degree of guilt. obviously, the nurse overstepped professional bounds, which can't be excused. (then again, maybe that's what the board decided when they suspended her license for 20 years and fined her. and what is the difference between having a license revoked and having it suspended for 20 years? wouldn't someone move on and go into another profession or line of work in the mean time?) i think it would have been interesting to hear some of the nurse's defense, and hear what her side of things may have been.
  12. My thanks for these suggestions! Big or small, any size hospital will do. That Medical Assessment/Short Stay Unit sounds interesting. But, where do I start the process for registration? Apparently there are two ways to have reciprocal registration but can't seem to find out the difference. Plus, from looking at different websites, some still are listing the different licensing agencies in each state, and I was pretty sure everything has been combined so there is one licensure for the whole country, or am I wrong about that? It could be, after going through the hassle with the New Zealand Nursing Council and the department of immigration to get PR in NZ, I just don't have the patience to dig around and find the info, anymore! :hdvwl: Sue
  13. where do I start? Seems like it should be a pretty easy thing to get reciprocal registration. I am a permanent resident of New Zealand, and have been working here as a nurse for the past year and a half. I worked continuously as a nurse in the US (30+ years.). So, the obvious problem for me might be my age - I'm 54 years old. My partner is a New Zealand citizen with PR in Australia, but he hasn't been able to find a job despite his best efforts, in the last year. I love living in New Zealand and working in a little hospital, but we aren't getting to any of our goals on my salary alone, so time has come to look at moving somewhere where there is opportunity for him to find work at a reasonable salary. (Working for low wages is just not what he wants to do here!) He has worked in Australia before and made good money and had plenty of work. (He interviewed here for a petrol tanker driving job - paying about $24NZD/hr. He was making much more than that less than two years ago driving a swing lifter in Australia.) He wants to go back to Melbourne but as we have no children living with us, we are open to working just about anywhere. Any advice? I've looked at websites but can't really get a grasp on whether or not I can just do the application and get registration reciprocally with Australia, or if I need a job offer, or what. It's looking like my age is going to be the biggest problem. I'm obviously fit and healthy and work on a general ward with A&E duties, as well, in a small rural hospital, plus hospital, home care and health insurance industry experience in the states. Think anyone will want to hire this ancient nurse? Thanks in advance for all the input! Sue
  14. I work in New Zealand, so "creative and flexible" are not in the management vocabulary. (I came up with a graph for insulin infusions and concurrant BGLs at a doctor's request, and asked the nursing management if we could use this. I was shot down in no uncertain terms.) So, being creative with staffing is out of the question. Schedules are done one week at a time, and this same nursing management person does them, and does not bother to see what one has worked the previous week, meaning you can work long stretches or go from evening to day shift without a break. It is very typical to work a different shift every week or change more often than that! Be happy if you have managers who will schedule reasonably.
  15. I would love to work 12 hour shifts, but at the small hospital where I work, they are getting rid of them. Only a couple of people work them, now. Another plus to working 12 hours shifts: You can only rotate two shifts, days or nights. Try doing three day shifts, one evening shift, off a day, one more evening shift, then three nights. Or worse, five night shifts, a day off and back on day shift - yes, your "sleep day" after five nights is your day off. I think randomly changing shifts or changing so many times is ultimately more dangerous and unhealthy than working 12 hours shifts.
  16. uswoman

    Nurse Overdoses Baby, Baby Dies.

    I know this sounds a little silly, but I work in New Zealand and any time we give an injectable medication - whether subcut, IV or IM - it is always checked with another nurse before it is given. Yes, it's a time consuming practice, but in all honesty, the moment it takes to prevent an error this way is priceless. We all get tired and we all can make mistakes, but some can be prevented. When I first came here and had to do this, I felt a little demeaned, but now that I'm used to it, I think it's a good practice.

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