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Nursing student

Birry's Latest Activity

  1. Birry

    Do women find male nurses attractive?

    Dude, you're not even allowed to say manly any more. Not sure of your background, but it's not uncommon for male nurses to be perceived as feminine or gay. It's old and mostly incorrect, but it persists. As you've learned here, one thing women, and especially nurses, seem to hate is insecurity and lack of confidence. Whether working or dating, if you don't own who you are and what you're doing, you'll get eaten alive or left behind.
  2. Birry

    ED Nursing Notes

    Most of my charting is by exception, but the notes I most frequently make are "Dr xxxx at bedside," "pt up to bathroom without assist, ambulated with steady gait," and anything that isn't covered in my EPIC click boxes. When I do get very specific is when I notice someone acting hostile or displeased with things out of my control. Those are usually the complainers and potential litigants, so I try to provide as much detail as I can. This is where direct quotes are your best friend. If someone requires physical or chemical complaints or is on a hold, every interaction and observation of behavior outside the normal realm of expectation gets described in a note. I hate the CYA mentality, but my license is worth taking a minute to accurately describe a situation which may be audited or called into question later. Don't be afraid to have someone else look over your note, or even have them enter their own.
  3. Birry

    Norcal UC vs Kaiser pension considerations

    What do you mean by, "Vesting is roughly another 2.5 years of work at 90%"? Does that mean you get the full pension and benefits after about 6 years? Is the 90% referring to working 36 hrs per week, or does it mean something else? I know it's not the Bay Area, but UC Davis is in a much more affordable area, which is also surrounded by Kaiser facilities.
  4. Birry

    Kaiser Contract?

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone had a link to the current Kaiser-CNA contract. I'm thinking about a per diem job, but I want to know what some of the language used means. And I'd like to see what the pay scale is. If it's regional, I'm looking in NorCal. If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
  5. Birry

    How does your ED address the Observation Unit?

    My facility has the obs unit completely under the umbrella of the ED. It's all ED nurses and techs. Not many like it, but sometimes it's a much needed "break" from the main ED.
  6. Birry

    New grad ER nurse advice

    I started as a new grad in the ED a little over a year ago. The two most important things I would say for you to incorporate into your practice are to ASK QUESTIONS and DELEGATE TASKS. Ask any question that comes up. Ask the attending, the resident, the grizzly veteran nurse who terrifies you..ask the social worker and the interpreter and the phlebotomist. People know you're new and they should be happy to help. I still ask a million questions. "Forgive my ignorance, but..." "Pardon me, I've never heard of ...". As for delegation, it is essential. If a co-worker asks what they can do for you, give them something to do. In my department, everyone loves to start IVs. It's a solid bet that if I ask someone to do it, I'll get three volunteers. Don't be afraid to delegate VS and other errands to techs and CNAs. That's part of their job and if you're too busy doing things beyond their scope, ask them to do it. The flip-side to that is to BE PROACTIVE in returning the favor. You'll get a lot more help if you're seen as not just a taker. Got a few free minutes? Offer to help someone else. I'll toss in a third key item. It may be the most difficult, but it'll really help you progress. And that is to TRUST YOURSELF. Yes, you still look up meds. You still look up policies and procedures. But you know a lot. You can speed things along for patients by keeping in close communication with doctors, and making relevant suggestions. Think a social work consult will be needed? Get on the horn and give SW a heads up. Suspect the doctors may be missing something? Bring it up to them. If your facility has nursing protocols for orders and such, get used to using them. Congrats on your job! I think ED is a great place to start!
  7. Birry

    Low pay in Seattle?

    Jeez that's depressing. I make more than 2x that as a new grad in the SF Bay Area but I want to move to somewhere I can afford (and will have enough water to support human life). Housing isn't much cheaper in the surrounding areas, but with the pay being half and no pt ratios, it sounds like a really crappy switch for work.
  8. Birry

    Can anyone recommend a great ED/Critical Care Book

    I second Sheehy's Guide for more ED specific stuff. Fast Facts for Critical Care (Fast Facts For Critical Care - Critical Care Reference - Kathy White Learning Systems) was referred to as "The ICU Bible" by many excellent nurses I worked with in a cardiac surgery ICU. I have em both, and as a new grad, they're indispensible
  9. Birry

    Residency Programs

    Nurse residencies are the golden ticket into acute care nursing. They are paid positions with extended training and mentoring, with added classes and conferences added in. Imagine your last semester preceptorship, only getting paid as a nurse this time.* That said, they are highly competitive and the application windows are very short. If you see postings, stop what you're doing and get an app in right then. *At least, every residency I've seen or looked into or heard about.
  10. Birry

    Yet another pre-employement assessment .....

    I usually try to do that. When I've gotten any feedback on why I was passed up, they tell me that answering how they want to hear it will disqualify you. One instance was especially grating. My reward for being honest and considering each question on its own and answering based on my experiences? Denied an interview and barred from applying for any positions in that organization for two years. And this is after an informal interview with a department director who personally put me on the interview short list. The obsurdity of today's Human Resources is just uncanny. In the days of being overqualified or too good of a fit for an organization, you just have to wonder who really is stearing the ship.
  11. Birry

    linkedin name and title confusion, help?

    LinkedIn may not directly point you to jobs, but you can bet recruiters will look for you there (and on facebook and Google in general) if your application manages to avoid the round file. It's also a great networking tool, so take it seriously. That said, a good bit of advice I've heard is to make your summary and title about what you DO, rather than what you ARE.
  12. Birry

    Yet another pre-employement assessment .....

    I hear you. I've answered those any way possible, from brutally honest answers to lying like a sociopath and it doesn't seem to make a difference. You never get anything but the most vague feedback on those. I wish there were a law saying that testees (heh) are entitled to receive their results and the resulting evaluation. As it is now, it really just sucks.
  13. 12's forever! 12's feel like I'm working to live, whereas 8's would make me feel like I were living to work. Life's too short to have over 70% of it being workdays. Go to work to work, give it your all for 12 hrs, and enjoy the rest of your life. It's easy for me to get enough rest, because I dedicate my 3 days to working. Even if I need a day to recover, it's better to use 1/4 of my time off instead of 1/2 of my time off, because I'd still need to recover from 5 days of working. As far as getting stuff done, it's soooo much nicer feeling like you've got the town to yourself on a weekday off and getting things done in a relaxed manner. Who in the heck would want to go to the dentist after a nursing shift?!
  14. Birry

    Ranting on the New Grads

    Thank you. We don't really need to be "ranted on." (How rude is that, anyway? Who honestly would feel good about "ranting on" a bunch of frustrated strangers?) I'd rather people keep their backhanded "advice" to themselves.
  15. Birry

    National Telemetry Assoc Certificate worth while?

    There is also an AHA EKG and Pharmacology certificate you can get. I got mine bundled with ACLS from the same instructor. It adds on another day, but it's another line in your resume you can add for recruiters to gloss over while they think about where to go for lunch.
  16. The title pretty much says it all. If I am applying to many positions in several different hospitals in the same network (or chain, if you prefer), and that network's career tool (*shudder* Taleo) only allows five uploaded documents at a time, how would you proceed? I've got 4 letters of reference, a résumé and a cover letter. I could genericize my résumé and cut it down to one or no letters, but that would still limit me to only applying to 3 of the hospitals. Or would you go with a generic cover letter, too? Like, instead of writing one for the Kaiser hospital in Anytown, USA and one for the Kaiser hospital in Otherville, USA, just writing a single letter customized for working for Kaiser Permanente. I've got a lot of apps going out but this issue is holding me up. Thanks in advance for your input.

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