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  1. gymnut

    Who is a professional nurse?

    I can see how if everyone is wearing whatever they wanted how it can be really confusing and I see it first as a professional problem then a patient problem. The hospital should implement a dress code and then stick to it. At ours the housekeeping is in green tops with black pants. The dietary staff in black pants, white top and a black smock/apron. The RNs on our floor either wear white, ceil blue or a combo of both and the PCAs wear white pants with a solid color top. Unfortunately a majority of patients just think everyone is a nurse. I can't tell you how many times I'll go in a room and introduce myself as the PCA, let them know who their nurse is AND write it all down on the whiteboard in their rooms only to have them address me as nurse for the rest of the night.
  2. gymnut

    drawing blood

    Here is a phlebotomy study pamphlet that I got off of Amazon that has really helped me. http://tinyurl.com/3nuxupb. I work on an oncology floor and all we use is the butterfly needles. I love them and find the straight needle to just be such a pain to work with. After I'm done collecting I remove the tourniquet, place a piece of gauze right over the needle while it's still in the vein and then just retract the needle out of the vein. I never had any issues with hematomas or blood running from the site. I think that is the safest way to do it because one tech use to remove the needle from the patient and then retract it however one time the patient moved his arm to quickly after she removed it and was stabbed by the needle.
  3. gymnut

    nurses manged by surgical technologists

    I am starting a surg tech program this fall and in my research this seems to be a hot topic of sorts in several forums I post in regarding who should be 'top dog' in the OR. Actually one site was openly bashing Allnurses and telling other members not to post on here because they bash on techs. Needless to say I do not post there anymore and deleted my account. As you said each person is there to work together under their own specialty and a hospital should clearly define who answers to who. Having everyone try to be top dog in any work environment will not have a good outcome.
  4. gymnut

    Nurse's aides are running the the floor.

    Interesting topic of discussion and while I have only been a tech for a few months now I'll give my two cents anyways. First I will say right off the bat that I am blessed to actually work on a unit were a majority of my co-workers are hard working individuals and the RNs will often help the techs with menial tasks and actually thank us (well the ones worth their weight anyways) after the shift has ended and we in turn thank them as well. What also helps is everyone has phones assigned to them so there is no hunting down. Only a few button pushes to call an RN or tech and tell them what you want. Now even though I mentioned that the nurses on my floor will help with the grunt work I will often shoo them away and do it myself. Just the other day I walked into a patients room and saw the nurse involved in a pretty nasty 'code brown'. I told her that I'll take over and she can go about with her med pass and charting. After all it's MY JOB! I was specifically hired to do this type of work. To me the faster she passes out those meds the faster my patients can stop vomiting, having diarrhea, carrying on, complaining etc and my night can settle down as well. I also make it a point to get to know the nurses I'll be working with so I can adjust my schedule as well. One nurse wants all her accuchecks done an hour before scheduled. Another one wants every single vital repeated for her telemetry patients while another only wants a heart rate and blood pressure. I can anticipate what they want so I get it and they then don't have to interrupt what they are doing to get me. Also when a new admission comes in I will go over the active orders in the computer to see what that patient needs and then ask the nurse if the patient still needs it. A lot of these orders have already been done, but not completed in the system such as a STAT EKG or blood draw or if the patients is still on seizure precautions. Many times the nurse is so busy with everything these orders get looked over. They appreciate me for double checking and more often than not we will find many orders that have been discontinued and she can update her charting to match that. Another thing I noticed while skimming through the final pages of this thread was the part about CNAs/techs and critical thinking. Everyone on the floor has to possess critical thinking and common sense. For instance if a patients blood pressure is sky high think things through before you run screaming to the nurse. Take the blood pressure on both arms and even manually after that to get a good reading. Check out the prior BP's. Where they always hovering around these numbers? Is the patient in pain? Post Op? Arguing with family or friends? Same thing with a temperature. Did the patient have anything to eat or drink? Did they have chemo recently? I have witnessed many techs run around like chicken littles because they failed to use their critical thinking and common sense skill set. It's even worse when they go to a nurse that doesn't have any either and she then is calling the doctor as if it's a life and death situation. When all is said and done we have to be a team and help the patient reach their goals of being on the road to good health. RNs do not spend a lot of time with a patient due to their charting and med passes so the techs need to be their eyes and ears as well if a patient should start to go down hill. Many times I have seen a nurse get so tied up with admissions and discharges they haven't gotten to half of their patients yet and it's already several hours into the shift. How are they suppose to know if Mr. Smith is now having chest pains or Mrs. Jones is vomiting blood unless the tech tells them? The point is we need each other in order to make the floor run smoothly. You will always have lazy and incompetent people. They exist at every single job on Earth. I'm sorry that some people in this thread are bitter towards each others professions because hard working techs and nurses do exist and we make each others jobs easier and not harder. Hopefully you all will find them and work with them soon.:)
  5. Hello all again! This is going to be long because I just have so much rolling around in my head right now and need to get it out. I’m sure you guys know how that feels. This forum has just helped me so much during my transition into the health care field I can honestly say I don’t think I would have succeeded without it! So for several years now I have been toying around with going to school to become an RN but being the self-depreciating putz that I am I just always made excuses. Last year I stumbled across a surgical technologist program that my hospital was offering and I applied for the 2011/12 class. In the meantime I lost my manufacturing job, became a CNA and started working as a tech there. So a few weeks ago the school called me and set up an observation day in the OR and an interview. I absolutely LOVED what I saw and all the techs I talked too said they love their jobs and how much fun it is to be a tech. Still I didn’t think I would get in because they only have 8 seats available, lots of applications and it’s very competitive. I was just waiting for my rejection because my GPA in high school was 2.0 and well really what did I have to offer? To my surprise she offered me a seat in the class right on the spot because she said I already worked in the hospital, seemed to know a lot about the OR already and that I have a great attitude. She even sent me a formal E-mail of acceptance the same day. :yelclap: She also asked me in the interview if I planned to become a nurse. I said that in the future I would like to get my BSN and work in oncology. She said how a lot of techs move on to becoming RNs and being in the tech program has helped them get into nursing school (our programs are severely competitive) over other candidates because they see that 1) You already committed to going to school in a medical field so it shows your dedicated vs others who have no experience and 2) The pre-reqs that I take for this course can be transferred over to their RN program. So now it’s like do I do the tech program or do I stop making excuses and just go for my ultimate goal of being an RN? I know it has been stated here time and time again that if that’s what you ultimately want to do then go for it and not waste time, but when I talked to other RNs that I work with they said that I should be a tech first and how they wished they could have done something like that before they went into nursing. I also talked to a RN who was a surg tech many years ago and he said it really helped him as a nurse because he has such an in depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology as well as many of the surgical procedures. Do any of you agree with this? Do you personally wish you could have done something like respiratory, physical therapy etc before you became an RN? Right now I am leaning towards taking the tech program for the following reasons. 1. I think it will help me get into the nursing program in the future. As I stated above our programs are very competitive and I have seen many people rejected. Right now I have ZERO going for me to get in to them and the pre-reqs I will be taking will transfer over (both the Tech and the RN courses are offered by the hospital). Plus the fact that I was even offered a seat in the course out right would feel like I'm wasting an opportunity that was handed to me. I know several people who have been rejected who had more to offer than I did! 2. I need to start making money NOW because my PCA job pays crap and it’s only a one year program vs the nursing one which after pre-reqs would be 4 years. This way I could save money and if the RN program gets too tough and I need to quit or go reserve I have enough padding in the bank to survive. Also the market is crap right now for new grad RNs and believe it or not we actually are in need of surg techs at our hospitals. Plus we are the only accredited program in the area so only our students get hired. 3. It’s something I do feel a passion towards although not as much as oncology. I LOVE watching surgery and the thought of being in on an open heart, spine or brain surgery excites me. Plus I will also see a lot of surgery on cancer patients so I think that may give me more of an insight as well. Ok I’m done but it feels great to have finally get it all out! Thank you all for reading and if you need to know any additional details feel free to ask.
  6. Yeah I need more information here. My old company ended a lot of memos and letter like that. The "Your cooperation" memos were usually about recycling, putting things away and keeping personal areas clean. The "Failure to comply" letters were usually about dress code, attendance, various other work processes. Are you asking about which to take more seriously?
  7. gymnut

    working as a CNA on a hospital's Med Surg floor

    Well to be honest it all depends on what shift you are going to be working and what your hospital's policies are. I work 2nd shift on an Oncology/Med Surg unit in a hospital but I did my clinicals in a nursing home. I also had orientation on day shift when I started so I was able to get a good feel for everything before deciding what I liked. Personally I feel that working in a hospital can lead to more opportunities and is less back breaking than working in a nursing home. During my clinicals I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle dealing with the elderly patients. A majority of them had varying forms of dementia and would act out constantly. Lots of incontinence and trying to get them to bathe was like pulling teeth. Almost all of them required sit-to-stands or Hoyer lifts. It was just exhausting work and I give kudos to all the CNAs who do it because it really isn't for me. First shift at the hospital was too crazy for me as well. Ok I am a bit biased because I love second shift (hey I like to sleep in!) but I couldn't stand all the doctors, PT, OT, PAs, students, Respiratory, Case Workers, management etc etc being around constantly hogging all the computers so you can't chart or being in a patients room forever and not letting you work around them even if you just wanted to get a pulse ox or a temperature. With middle shift all those people are gone except for the few stragglers so you can work at your own pace and not around theirs. This is what I am allowed to do at my current job: Vital signs (lots and LOTS of vital signs!), phlebotomy, various specimen collections, EKGs (I don't have to interpret anything. I just do the test and put it in the patients chart.), d/c foleys, 1:1 with patients, blood sugar checks, emptying various tubes, bulbs, pumps, putting patients on oxygen (the RN tells me how many liters to put them on. I can't do that myself). Plus the usual CNA stuff like linen changes, changing briefs and the occasional bath that didn't get done on day shift. I also get to float to other floors after 6 months so you learn a lot in those areas too. One tech just went to the ER for the day and another went to the ICU. So there is a wealth of variety if you like that sort of thing.
  8. gymnut

    Any nurses understand how isolating infertility is....

    I can relate to ceilingcats post because I am the same way with all the exact same feelings. While I do not suffer from any sort of heartbreak it is really aggravating that people assume I'm missing out on something or that I'm this horrible person who hates children (one woman suggested that I see a counselor ). My husband and I fulfill our lives in other ways and are perfectly fine with that. Some people want to have kids and some people don't. Life will move on so get over it. I do have an interesting (well more sad) story about TTC. My ex boyfriends sister was trying for almost a decade to get pregnant. Thousands upon thousands of dollars spent seeing specialist after specialist around the country, having multiple surgeries and complications from medications and the procedures and going into a horrible depression every time they failed. Eventually she did become pregnant and gave birth naturally to two children 4 years apart. The sad/interesting part? She HATES motherhood. This woman absolutely hates being a mother and wishes she never had her kids. We all thought it was PPD and she went on to numerous therapists who prescribed her various meds. The family is Christian and went to their pastor to get counseling as well and all she said was that "It's not what she expected" and "It's too much work." She would dump the kids off on anyone that would take them and just go out shopping. She would even work a lot of overtime just to avoid going home if they were there. It was just a bizarre situation. I haven't been with my ex in 13 years but ran into him and we talked about his family. He said she is still like that although since the kids are now teenagers she's a little better since in her words "She doesn't have to do as much." I don't know what she expected motherhood to be but obviously something got disconnected in her wiring along the way. I still say it's some sort of deranged post partum depression thing going on but that's just my two cents .
  9. gymnut

    Pet Nurse?!

    i live in pa and know there is an associates degree for vet techs and you do become licensed. you have to renew every two years and have continuing educational courses. the veterinarian office i go to calls them veterinary technical nurses or vtns. they must have their associates degree for veterinary technology as well passing the boards before they are hired there. i can understand your frustration because you toiled away to get your nursing degree and here is this girl who fell into the job and now is sharing the title. however you have to realize that the basic definition of the word is to: manage or guide carefully; look after with care; foster. that is essentially what she is doing albeit with a cutesy job title. now if she is saying that she is a registered nurse and telling her friend with high blood pressure that taking fido's meds will help them then there is a huge issue. personally i think the term certified nurse assistant is more annoying. i am a cna (as well as pca because i'm in a hospital) and everyone just blocks out the words certified and assistant and only hears the word nurse. i am constantly correcting people about what i am. just the other day a friend asked how my new job was going and after i told her she replied "well, you're a nurse now so i'm sure it is hectic for you." then when my other friend who is an rn and i were hanging out and talking to her new boyfriend he replied "that's awesome you're both nurses. did you go to the same school?"
  10. gymnut

    Can CNAs/volunteers pick which area?

    I was able to pick the area I wanted to volunteer in. It all depends though on whether they need volunteers in that area or not though.
  11. Hi everyone! I haven't posted in this forum in awhile but, just thought I'd stop back in to tell everyone that I passed my CNA exam yesterday! It was incredibly easy although a bit bizarre. I live in PA and the testing site I went to was a small house. It also had no running water in the room we did our skills in so they filled up three pitchers of water, two with warm and one with cold for us to use. We lined up single file in another part of the house and did the hand washing skill one right after the other plus she automatically checked off privacy for all of us. The skills were listed in a binder and they had short descriptions underneath them such as "Patient can walk on own" or "Make sure all bed wheels are locked". The written exam was really easy too. A lot of the questions were common sense except for those 10 'Don't Count' questions. My friend had one that asked: What is the NA allowed to collect? A) Blood B) Stool C) Sterile Urine D) Sputum This would trip me up because I work in a hospital and I am allowed to collect all of those however were my friend works she isn't. So kind of strange especially since there isn't really a scope of practice in my state. I am also happy to say that I am working in a hospital and it is such a wonderful environment! All the RNs and techs there are hard workers and the team work and communication are excellent. The RNs thank the techs for all their hard work after every shift and you never feel dumb for asking questions. I just mention this to show all the new CNAs and old ones as well that great work environments DO EXIST. I am just extremely blessed to happen to get one with my first job. So stay positive everyone!
  12. I almost fell over the other day when I was going through a patients chart and saw the most perfect handwriting I've ever seen from a doctor. It looked like it was something out of a teenaged girls diary. Not flowery and filled with hearts dotting the i's but very neat, well spaced script. I chalked it up to her getting too much sleep and not enough stress.
  13. gymnut

    Will volunteer work help you get a job?

    Got me into my current position. Of course it also helped I was going to school to become a CNA too. Also the NM on the floor saw that I was an incredibly hard worker as well.
  14. I was in the same situation you are in. For 3 years I was a manager of an adult boutique and before you envision sticky floors and men in trench coats, sunglasses and fedoras I must state emphatically it wasn't anything like that. It was owned by a husband and wife and geared towards couples. Think of Victoria's Secret only with toys and videos as well as all those bachelor/bachelorette novelties. I too thought this would hinder me in getting a job but, in fact it didn't. I couldn't leave it off my application because what on Earth would I put that I did for 3 years? Instead I spun it to my own advantage. I told them that it allowed me to develop a strong sense of maturity and knowledge regarding human sexuality. If I were to come in contact with a person masturbating or having sex I wouldn't giggle like a 10 year old or freak out about it. I also dealt with a wide variety of customers from transexuals to people with foot fetishes. You never know what type of lifestyle you will encounter with your patients and you have to be prepared for that. Last week I did blood work and an EKG on a transvestite that was also a witch. The tech I was training with, when she found this out had to leave the room because she couldn't keep from laughing. Since I have encountered this many times before it was 'normal' to me and I just went ahead with what I was suppose to do and then moved on. She however could not stop talking about it to anyone who would listen and for the rest of the night I felt like I was in the 3rd grade. Again, maturity. Also a lot of customers would come to me for advice regarding their problems and you would have to help them find a solution just as you would in patient care. For example a woman who has had a complete hysterectomy and now experiences vaginal dryness and her doctor told her to buy lubrication so what one would you recommend? Or a man tells you he has a problem with premature ejaculation and wanted to know if there was anything available for him. You mentioned that you were a corporate trainer there and that it was the second busiest location. I would spin all those attributes of your job just like I did with mine. If you really sit and think long enough you can make any job sound like the career of a life time it's just all about marketing it.
  15. gymnut

    Prove my Mom wrong, please

    There are a variety of factors involved and while I have never done this personally I know many women who have. First do you have a strong family support system in place or if not can you afford child care? One friend who is currently pursuing her MSN has a great family who love having their grand kids over and watch them while she is on school and even will take them overnight if she needs to study. She also has a 'plan B' child care in place in case the parents aren't available. Another thing you really have to consider is what if the baby is born with disabilities or illness? I know this is something no parent wants to think about but when pursuing a tough commitment such as nursing school it needs to be thought of. My cousin was trying to conceive and got pregnant a few months before she was suppose to start a PA program. Unfortunately the child was born with Meconium Aspiration along with other disabilities (she had a stroke, suffered brain damage, partial paralysis etc) and was in a hospital over an hour away for almost a month. She had to drop the program because of it and never went back because the child needs full time care and is always in and out of the hospital. She wishes she would've waited to conceive and went to school first. I would honestly say go to school first and get a career going and then worry about having a child. Don't add extra stresses in your life if you don't have to. If you happen to conceive while in school cross that bridge when you come to it.