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Burn/Trauma PCU
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Annabelle57 specializes in Burn/Trauma PCU.

Annabelle57's Latest Activity

  1. Annabelle57

    Life as a burn nurse..

    I went into nursing school dead set on doing maternity/L&D nursing... and then I did a clinical rotation on a burn/trauma step-down unit and fell in love with it. I'm now working there as a brand-new RN, and I wouldn't go anywhere else. I cried during the first few debridements I ever had to do, but now I know that my patients need as much compassion, quality care, and good pain meds as I can give them! It's what keeps me coming back each shift.
  2. Annabelle57

    My CROCS made me fall tonight..

    I believe I've seen another poster call that the "Croc stop". I can't tell you how many times I have tripped over my own feet wearing my Crocs - I thought it was just me until I watched two other RNs do the same during the same shift. I haven't caused myself any serious injury, other than maybe some mild embarrassment, but I may have just been lucky enough not to have a serious fall. I recently purchased a pair of Dansko clogs - no tripping anymore. Not as comfy as my Crocs, but no tripping...
  3. Annabelle57

    Did anyone hate nursing school?

    There were definitely parts of NS that made me want to scream: incompetent instructors, the general lack of sleep and lack of social life, the post-exam autopsies after every test ("What did you put on #3? #16?"), the constant juggling act. It was hard, no doubt. And I went to school with a bunch of type-A personalities (just like myself), and the pressure was sometimes unbearable: everyone had to be the best. However, as a recent grad, I can say with all certainty that it was all worth it. Being excited about my career is something I wouldn't trade for anything. Plus, I'm not worried anymore about not making rent - much more peace of mind!
  4. Annabelle57

    darwin award

    The ones that kill me are bonfires and turkey fryers. Always seems to include some drunk/high guys with daredevil complexes. "Yeah, I can jump over the bonfire!"
  5. Annabelle57

    Explaining: WHY nightshift, to family and friends

    Oh, in laws! Augh! Tell him you have no problem with it, and that he's made it clear he does, so he needs to move on. You're providing for your family and doing what you love best, which is the best thing you can do. Why I love my nights: I am most definitely a night owl! Maybe it's a psychological thing, but going to sleep at 8:30-9am and waking up at 3pm seems indulgent and restful, whereas going to sleep at 9:30-10pm and waking up at 5am makes me want to open a vein. Plus, I feel a little bit of pride: while my patients sleep, I am working vigilantly to keep them okay. The world slumbers, and I stay on the night watch. I also greatly appreciate having my days free, especially when trying to schedule doctor's appts and family stuff. I usually work weekend nights - a perfect schedule for me. Plus, you can't beat the shift differential. You mean I can get paid more AND I get to stay up all night? Hallelujah!
  6. Annabelle57

    Pet Peeve: Poor Grammar by Nurses

    We get a lot of tib/fib fractures on our floor, and I often heard my preceptor say that the patient fractured his "tibula and fibula". I bit my tongue many times to keep from correcting her... My other peeve (not nursing related) is when people order an "expresso". This is why I would never, ever succeed as a Starbucks employee! I always want to correct them, tell them that no, it is not fast coffee, it is espresso.
  7. Annabelle57

    Distance ed and working

    Hi everyone, For those of you who completed (or know someone who completed) an online CNM program, were you able to continue working as an RN while you were completing your degree, and if so, how many hours per week were you able to reasonably do? Thanks in advance...
  8. Annabelle57

    Got my books yesterday...

    Totally feel your pain. First semester, my books were (retail price) over $1100, but fortunately I went through half.com and only paid about $800, which still stung but not as bad as $1100. Second semester, books totaled $500 - again, half.com and buy.com to the rescue, so I only spent about $375. Spring is supposedly going to be another $500, and then we get a break for our last semester and only need to spend $100-150. This is my second degree, and I have NEVER had to spend anywhere near this much on books, not even from my snooty private first college where even the candy bars were marked up in the bookstore! One of my classmates told me about bookfinder4u.com - they look up your book and find the cheapest price for you from all the different retailers (half, amazon, buy, etc). Don't know if anyone else knew about it but thought I'd post it for mutual benefit! Happy book buying...
  9. Annabelle57

    Howdja do this semester?

    I had to brag a little bit: I made all A's this semester! (just found out) All the graduating seniors in our program told us this first semester was definitely the hardest - not only for becoming used to the program but the workload is indeed greater than other semesters. And, since this is my 2nd go around in college (first degree was in 1999 - BA in music), I am also proud to say this is my first 4.0 EVER as a full-time student - I've never made straight A's before, except when I was doing prerequisites one class per semester. So, to celebrate, I am giving myself a well-deserved pat on the back, and then I am going to RELAX these next couple of weeks before the semester starts up again. Anyone want to join me for a pedi? :) So not to make this an Annabelle Bragging Shamelessly thread - how did everyone else do (if you know already)?
  10. Annabelle57

    How does a person fail clinical?

    Most of our clinicals this semester (2 of the 3) had a skills checkoff attached with them: you demonstrated the proper steps, from memory, of a certain basic nursing skill like NG tube insertion, central line dressing change, foley insertion, and the different parts of a body system assessment (neuro, CV, resp, etc). For the practical skills, you had three opportunities (with rotating faculty members so to ensure no one was failing you out of spite) to pass, each on separate days. Only a few people ever made it to attempt #3, and most of the time, they pass. For the systems assessments, there was only ONE attempt at that, but I understand everyone passed that, too. However, failing either one of the skills checkoffs meant you failed the course. During checkoffs, faculty would prompt you somewhat - enough so that the people who studied hard but just had awful nerves were able to remember, but not enough to hold hands for people who just weren't prepared.
  11. Annabelle57

    Accelerated BSN'ers

    I'm just finishing up my first semester - whew! Hard but not impossible. One down, three to go! The courseload was heavy at times... so time management is what got me through. Every free moment was spent studying or doing some sort of schoolwork (papers, projects, etc.). Having a great study group was absolutely essential for me - I'm not as disciplined on my own. I'm coming out of this semester with straight A's because of my study group :-)
  12. Annabelle57

    What is your dress code?

    Nurses wear navy blue, royal blue, or white scrubs - there doesn't seem to be any problem with mixing, either, since some RNs will wear the all-white scrubs with a navy jacket, for example. Techs wear burgundy or teal - same deal with mixing colors there, too, though I never see any of them mixing it up. Respiratory and lift team are generally in black, or black with khaki pants. Housekeeping wears a very distinct green pant and flowery top uniform - I think they are technically scrubs, but the sleeves are a little puffier, and they never, ever get called "nurse", at least not since I've been there. I'm switching to a mother/baby unit in a brand-new hospital in our network in a few weeks, and there, they all wear either brick red, khaki, or a latte brown. RNs can also wear all white if they want, though that's never been a popular option. No mixing allowed, and you can get the hospital logo embroidered on the top (which actually looks kinda cute). The brick red color is a flattering one to me, so I'm fine with it, and since it's a brand-new hospital, it's very hotel-looking, and all the colors inside are coordinated, so the scrubs actually match a lot of the decor (don't worry: red is an accent, not a main, color). And I suppose blood stains won't be a problem if I'm wearing all red, right? I've never been a fan of printed scrubs - I have yet to see a pattern that doesn't look completely garish and tacky to me. I do like solid colors with contrasting trim - I think that looks smarter and more professional, but that's just my two cents.
  13. Annabelle57

    How do you stay awake and alert?

    It's not the healthiest option (duh) but it gets the job done: Coke. Usually 1 can will perk me up in the AM for whatever I have to do, including 6am clinicals. Plus, I like to eat a little something beforehand, preferably protein (Coke on an empty stomach feels like battery acid). I'm not much of a coffee girl. I also second the digital voice recorder thingie - what a lifesaver! I'm usually okay in the mornings (see above explanation) but no matter what I do, I always get the after-lunch slump and start to fog out around 2pm. That tape recorder has saved my life (and my GPA). A
  14. Annabelle57

    Had orientation yesterday! Now I'm Scared!

    Hang in there! I started an accelerated BSN program this May, and I was absolutely terrified during orientation! I was actually feeling pretty good until about ten minutes before the whole thing started... and I realized that I didn't know a soul in the room AND it was looking like more than I could handle. The workload, the class & clinical schedule, the unbelievable expectations - agh! Being a semi-shy introvert myself, here's what I did: first day, during the orientation, I introduced myself (a bold move for shy me) to the girl next to me. Turns out she was as nervous as I was, also didn't know anyone, and became a good friend. Made myself do the same thing the next day and found another scared-but-nice friend. Most people are freaked out, too, and if nothing else, it's a common bond and a conversation starter In regards to the other freaky aspects: yes, it does seem scary, especially during orientation. It's all new, and you haven't really established that routine yet. The first week or so of my program, all 50-something of us were walking around like deer in the headlights... but I promise you, it does get better. You start feeling less scared and more confident, and you get into that routine. Granted, it's still hard, and you'll feel like you live at school, but it will start to become more and more "normal". And one great benefit of all those hours put in at school: you make some terrific friends (you practically live with them!). We are all going through the same program, the same ups and downs, the same assignments, and at least at our school, we look out for each other, for the most part. Find a group of people you feel comfortable with and get a study group together! You CAN make it work. These are going to be difficult classes, and already, I've shed some tears and felt the frustration of feeling like I only live to study and produce papers. But it is 100% worth it, and the benefits in the end vastly outweigh the negatives. Remember, it's only for a temporary period of time... and then you can take the NCLEX and claim your license and do what you love. Best wishes! A
  15. Annabelle57

    Your greatest stress in nursing school?

    I'll agree with many of the other posters: the workload is what stressed me out. It actually wasn't so much that there was a lot of work - that I expected - but that it always seemed to be due in clumps, along with a bunch of exams. And those "clumps" are always so close together - after about the third week of the semester, it was every week that I would be juggling at least one project or paper, plus a couple of exams. Time management is a skill that definitely needs to be mastered! And I also hate group projects, and unfortunately, the faculty at my school LOVES to assign them. Even with a good group like I have, they are still a pain in the a$$, and it's especially hard to do them when you already feel they are pointless extra work. The lack of sleep isn't cool either. But, this isn't forever: my program is only 14 months (4 semesters) and we are ending our first semester in just a couple of weeks. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
  16. Annabelle57

    Accelerated BSN and working while in school...

    Congratulations on getting into the program! Are you at USF? I'm in an accelerated BSN program, too, and I work one shift a week at the hospital as a tech. We self-schedule at work, and I'm pool/PRN status, so I just make sure to not schedule myself during crunch times. Plus, if I'm scheduled for a shift and can't do it, there's usually another tech willing to pick up an extra shift. Working PRN is the best option if you can't quit work entirely. Just make sure not to schedule yourself too much and you should be okay.