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MaxNurse's Latest Activity

  1. MaxNurse

    LPN pay

    I work in a rural area in Va. The average pay seems to be $8-11/hour. Nursing homes here make less starting out at $7/hour. I noticed, by the posts, in other states nursing homes pay more. I was surprised. here they pay less. My first job as a LPN was at a nursing home and i made $6.86/hr, that was 5 yrs ago. Recently a friend that graduated school and looking for her first job applied at the same nursing home and was offered only $7/hr, not much of an increase over 5 yrs eh? I presently make $10.30/hr, the .30 cents came from the big annual raise we got! LOL!!
  2. MaxNurse

    Opening Sharps Containers

    ratchit: We used the safety needles before for injections, but then they switched back to the capped ones, due to cost. we use a lot of vaccu-needles for labs, we average about 10 labs per night. These too are to be counted. the clear sharp cantainers were suggested, guess what, price came into play again. I guess they are determined to cut cost and go against safety standards. That's until they're busted by OSHA. Unfortunately it seems managment isn't interested in hearing any suggestions from the nurses. But the nurses are coming together to ban against this.
  3. MaxNurse

    Opening Sharps Containers

    hmt At the beginning of every shift we count all sharps (unused), then when a sharps, such as a insulin needle or vaccutainer needle is needed we sign them out. We sign a dropped sheet as it is dropped into a sharps container. This has worked well, until the count came up wrong at the end of the shift. A nurse had 4 labs, counted out 8 vaccu-needles went to the housing units to do labs, when she returned she stated she had 3 successful sticks (used 3 needles) and one inmated had refused labs to be drawn. She should have returned 5 needles, but only had 4 in the lab tray she had taken to the units. Later an inmate returned the un-used needle to the unit sgt, which in turn took it to his supervisor. Needless to say the medical dept caught hell over it! What had happened in this case was some how the un-used needle had fallen out and the nurse didn't know it. But this is what started the whole thing about counting used needles as well as un-used (which we already had been counting). This is the only time that I know a needle has ever came up missing in the three yrs I've worked there, but it's all it took for everyone to get a little crazy. I like the needle counter idea, I've proposed it to my DON, but have not heard any word on it. I'm giving her a week to check everything out, and if things don't change I will contact OSHA on this. I may be fired for whistle blowing, but if it saves a life then it will be worth it. Plus if that happens I smell a law suit. I'm not one to sue, but if I'm fired for reporting a dangerous acitivity I feel I have every right. Thanks for your input.
  4. kona2 Seems your facility has a better wage gap, than where I work. Basically it's the same overall in the area I live. For instance, i have a friend that works in a local nursing home, she's an LPN making $7.25, the CNAs make $6.35 and the RNs make $12.00. They too complain about the small gap between the LPNs and CNAs. Most LPNs find it insulting. Recently the CNAs got a raise (they were making minimum wage!) which i feel was well deserved, CNA work is back breaking! But this raise left the LPNs at that facility feeling unappreciated and insulted. I understand and appreciate the fact that RNs go to school longer, go more indepth in disease process and management. I have no problem with their wages, I feel they deserve it. Yet it is dishearting to the LPNs in my area that we don't make more. The wages in your area seem very fair for all involved. I wish it were more like that here. I will probably return to college for a RN degree. Not just because of the increase in money, but for the opportunity of advancement it holds. Also I've notice that most of the specialties require a RN degree. I've an associate degree in correctional science and would like to specialize in that area, perhaps forensic nursing.
  5. MaxNurse

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

    I think there's pros and cons to both 8s and 12s, plus you have to consider the type of nursing you are doing. 12s are great for most people personally and for families...more time away from the job and more time with the family or for yourself. Also if the job setting is mostly low key the 12s are too hard to pull. On the other hand if you are in a high stress, fast paced setting the 12s are very tiresome and i feel the last 4 hours or so of the shift that the patients may begin to suffer due to your fatigue. I've worked both, in slow pace and fast paced settings and personally I liked 12s with the slow pace, but felt overly exhausted doing 12 hours at a face pace. I often wondered if I was giving my patients my best at the end of those shifts. Sometimes I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes opened to drive home, forget about eating .... it was a hot bath and straight to bed! LOL
  6. MaxNurse

    employees paying for facilities over budgeting

    No they aren't union.
  7. I'm seriously thinking about going back to school and getting my RN. I've been a LPN for 6 yrs now. At first I loved it, then reality set in LOL. It's true the stress is high, we're understaffed and the pay is low. I make $10/hr. The RN's where i work start out (0-5 yrs experience) at $15.00/hr. What I'm mostly fraustrated as an LPN is the lack of opportunity to advance (without returning to school for a RN degree). Seems LPN is a dead end road. With a RN you have the opportunity for Supervisor, DON, ADON and so on. It seems not to matter if you have an associates or a bachelors degree. I was a CNA prior to being an LPN and I decided to go back to school when i felt i was at a dead end road then as well. One thing I've noticed reading the posts, and i dont understand it, is why is there such a big pay difference in LPNs and RNs but not LPNs and CNAs. Where i work like i said a RN makes $15+, LPN $10-11 tops and the CNAs $8-9/hr. Seems the gap should be smaller between the LPN and RN. A CNA trains for 100 hours in my state, a LPN for 1 1/2 yrs and an RN for 2 years. A CNA doesn't have the responsibility of meds, IVs, other invasive procedures and so on. So why's there such a small wage difference. Also where i work the only difference in LPN and RN is a RN can hang blood. So why's there such a large pay difference? Just curious. Also i've read in some of the posts that people didnt get into nursing for the money. That may not have been the biggest reason, but for most of us it has a big influence. Not many people work for the fun of it! Working in the medical field is a big responsiblity, we're dealing with peoples' lives and I feel we should be well compensated for it! One mistake could cost someone their life and us our license. Seems this too would cause for some kind of legislation demanding staffing in facilities to be more adequate for patient loads.
  8. MaxNurse

    Obstacles to providing care

    Can't say i can add much to the obstacle list, everything's covered! I work nights at a prison, so i'm sure things are done a bit differently. My biggest complaint is short staffing. Another complaint is the officers. I work nights, my job consists of labs, passing a few meds (at 12am and 4 am), checking out chest pain and SOB complaints (which are mostly just to get to see a nurse, rarely are the ligit complaints), filiing, chart reviews, triaging sick call request for day and evening shifts, and investigating and answering complaint forms. We are usually covered up in paper work and right in the middle of it the officers come to us complaining of heartburn, headaches, sinus infections, etc. We are to give them OTC meds as needed. Every night it's the same thing, 4 or 5 officers (usually the same ones) complaining and wanting something for their complaints. They can see we are busy, but yet we are expected to stop what we're doing and care for them. Even when we go to lunch, they sit with us at the table telling us what's their latest illness, and requesting something. Our breaks are different, and sometimes we've had to leave our break go to the infirmary and get what they need, then go back to lunch. We get so tired of caring for the officers. Actually they are more demanding than the inmates!!
  9. MaxNurse

    Would you answer this ad?

    LOL!! The ad made me laugh! Especially the part about enough time to take care of the patients and do charting! I've been a nurse for almost 6 yrs, i have friends that have been nurses even longer and i've not seen nor heard of any place that allows ample time for all the work that has to be done. The story is always the same.... overworked and understaffed, no matter what the pay is. I would call about the ad just to see what the catch is...it sounds way to good to be true. But hypothetically if the ad was true i would consider working there. You asked "even if the pay was less" well, how much less are we talking. A couple of dollars less would be worth the piece of mind, knowing you finished your shift completing all tasks, and gave quality care to your patients. But we all know we work for a living and not many of us can afford to take a major cut in pay, not even for a job sent straight from heaven
  10. I have a friend that is working in a nursing home and recently it was announced that the employees would have to start taking an extra 15 minutes for lunch or an extra 15 minute break which will be deducted from their time. So instead of getting paid for 8 hours as before, they will now be getting paid for 7.45 hours. This is due to the fact that they are over budget. Can they do that? Seems to be unfair to me. When people are hired they agree to certain terms such as pay and hours. It seems as if it would be a breech of contract to enforce such a rule without consent of the employees. Any ideas or comments??
  11. Hi I live on the east coast in a small rural area. In the town i live in we have vocational school that every year graduates at least 20 LPNs, the nieghboring town has a 2 yr college (20 minute drive from me) that graduates about 20 Associate RNs per year. I could drive another hour to a 4 year college and obtain a BS degree. As you can see in this area there doesn't seem to be a nursing shortage by looking at those stats. Yet when you are actually working in the local hospitals, clinics, home health, nursing homes, etc. there seems to be a shortage. The staffing is always short, if someone quits it takes forever to replace them. I can't understand it at all. Where are all those graduates going?? Another problem i've noticed in the nursing field is call-ins. It seems anytime we are scheduled a full staff there will always be some call-ins (usually we can predict who it will be that calls in). I know nurses are exposed to all of illnesses, but i was surprised by how often they seem to be sick. I must have a very strong immune system (I'm thankful for that too), in the past 5 yrs i may have called in 3 times due to illness. I really don't know what the problem is, but I agree there seems to be some kind of shortage in nurses
  12. MaxNurse

    male vs female

    This is just my opinion, not based on any facts per se. In the area where I live there aren't a lot of male nurses, but the few that I have worked with seems to be taken more seriously by administration. Like when the male goes to them complaining or voicing his opinion about something, we would see changes, where as a female could have complained about the same thing earlier and it was brushed off. Also it seems they are taken more seriously when it comes to patients. For instance (I work in a prison) and when the male nurses give the inmates a direct order, the inmates obey, when a female gives the same order, the inmates obey only after arguing and being threatened with a disciplinary charge. Of course we use this to our advantage. Any complaints that need to be directed to the administration we use the male nurses as our spokeperson
  13. MaxNurse

    Opening Sharps Containers

    I agree with all of you...it is a dumb rationale, very insulting and loathsome. Thanks for all your input. I was beginning to wonder if I was missing something, like new OSHA standards, or just being crazy. I've mentioned my concerns to some of the RNs at work and they replied "Well we have to do it" I told them I wouldn't, and I was sure if someone was stuck with a dirty needle due to the "new" counting policy that comp would not pay for HIV/Hep testing, considering it was against what I thought to be OSHA standards. Thanks again!
  14. MaxNurse

    Opening Sharps Containers

    Tara, I've not heard of a needle counter. Thanks for the suggestion! I will pass this idea on to our DON for sure.
  15. I don't see why an LPN can't give report to the oncoming staff. Seems the one actually taking care of the patients would be able to give a more indepth report. I know where i work we have LPNs who have specific duties and there's a RN that is the charge nurse, the LPNs give report to each other and the RNs give report to one another. This is good in my opinion, concidering there's been many times while giving or receiving report that there's been an "oh yeah i almost forgot to tell you...." This is what i would consider being a con of only RNs giving report, you may forget something and when she gives report she wouldn't know it, therefore something important could be missed. Seems also it's more time comsuming to first give report to your RN and then she in return gives it to the next shift. Does she give it directly to another RN and then that RN has to give report to the oncoming LPNs?? Once again i see the possiblity of info not being translated correctly nor completely. There's nothing like getting it directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Sounds like the RN you are talking about my have a big case of RNitis!! This is so sad. In my state the only difference in the duties of RNs and LPNs is that a RN can give patients blood. Other than that, with the proper training an LPN can do anything a RN can do, even be a charge nurse. Is there another supervisor you can voice your concerns to?
  16. MaxNurse

    Staffing and the Truth

    In my opinion the reason things can't being done in a timely manner (according to policy)is because of the fact so many facilities are understaffed. Perhaps if we would all stick together...charting things when they were actually done, instead of when policy states it should be done, administrations would see that to give quality care in a timely manner that there as to be ampule staffing. I've been a nurse for almost 6 yrs, I've worked home health, geriatric nursing and corrections, seems every where the complaint is the same...under staffed, over worked and NEVER enough time to get everything done that's expected to be done in the hours alloted for your shift. False documentation is a serious crime, it could cost you your license and administration that encourages it aren't looking out for you, but only wanting to make themselves look good by being in compliance. Let's start documenting times correctly, covering our own butts and perhaps we will see changes in our field.