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nursemike ASN, RN

Rodeo Nursing (Neuro)
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nursemike has 12 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro).

nursemike's Latest Activity

  1. nursemike

    Male Nurse Disgusted by Female Nurses

    I was a carpenter for many years, and I agree. In particular, I noticed that working on a smaller crew entailed much less of this than on a larger crew. A group of 30-40 people just seems more likely to include more jerks. When I decided to become a nurse, I often heard that I would have to be in touch with my "feminine" side. I was interested in one of the posts that suggested it may be easier for men to adopt the roles of the opposite gender. That seems plausible-ish. Still, I see the women around me routinely exhibit the qualities we're taught to think of as "masculine." Cool under pressure, decisive, objective, logical... I also find it interesting that the original "disgusted male nurse" claimed 1.5 years of experience. I've been a nurse for 15. I can still recall, if I think about it, how hard the first few years as a nurse were. Part way through my first year, a more experienced nurse remarked that it takes about 5 years to get comfortable. At the time, I was bummed--I'd hoped the end of the first year would be some magical milestone--but in retrospect, she was right. I guess I was lucky to have had much help and support through those early years, but even so, it did seem pretty bleak, at times. When you're struggling, every negative seems exaggerated. I've also had the experience of returning to work after a year on disability. Hardest thing I've ever done, and there's no way I could have done it alone. I was mentored by people I had mentored, helped and encouraged by old friends, and helped and encouraged by new nurses hired while I was off, for no other reason than they were good people. If nursing has a problem with lack of teamwork, well, I just haven't seen it. Maybe the tv commercials are right, and my testosterone levels have declined as I've aged. (OK, I know from Physiology that's true.) These days, I am a lot less certain what "masculine" and "feminine" even mean. There are differences, and those differences are interesting, but relatively minor compared to what we have in common as human. Most of the people I work with now are not only women, but Millenials. Stereotypes are dumb.
  2. nursemike

    Depression + Anxiety as a Nurse

    If depression and/or anxiety were disqualifying, the nursing shortage would be truly epic. Whether we are more likely to be diagnosed because we are more attuned to our condition or more prone to mental illness because we are under so much stress, or maybe just more inclined to discuss our mental illness, I was amazed after I started taking Celexa to learn how many of my peers--many of them strong nurses--were taking one or another psych meds. I haven't taken Celexa for several years, now--a few unscheduled rounds of ECT (in the form of CPR) made a major change in my outlook. I still get blue, once in awhile, but my emotions seem a lot closer to the surface after I almost died, and an occasional bad day doesn't seem as prone to turn into a bad month, or year. "Almost' is a big word, to me. When I was in nursing school, I almost flunked out while making straight As because of crippling anxiety during clinicals. It got to the point where I had no choice to talk about it with my instructors, and as humbling as that was, damned if they didn't help me learn ways to cope. As a working nurse, I still get anxious when anxiety is appropriate, but now it motivates instead of crippling me. OP, you aren't wrong to worry--a bit--that psychological problems could make it harder to focus on things like passing meds. On the other hand, problems you recognize are a lot easier to manage than complacency or overconfidence. Almost every successful nurse I know has at least a touch of OCD, and several of my doctors have commented, *You nurses are all control freaks,"
  3. I've seen some single mom's get through nursing school--very difficult, but not impossible. It wasn't super easy for me working part time and raising cats. But if you can do it, it's not a bad way to make a decent living with hours that may be adaptable to your situation. I don't intend this to be nearly as judgmental as it may, perhaps, sound, but when people mention bodily fluids, I wonder whether they have any familiarity with healthcare. When I was a carpenter, I imagined the gooey, smelly parts would be hard to handle, too. When I applied for a job at a hospital, my hope was to work in facilities, but the job they offered was as a patient transporter, and I figured a foot in the door might be a way toward the job I actually wanted. Turned out I loved the job I got, and interacting with patients was the part I liked most. It has worked out well for me, and certainly could for you (I started nursing school at 45 and wasn't the oldest in my class), but if you don't have a pretty good idea what you're getting into, it can be a pretty big commitment. It's not irrevocable--a lot of the pre-reqs would apply to other majors, and depending on the program you would get some clinical exposure early enough to change your mind if it was too horrific. But a lot of what a lay person imagines to be difficult--smelly stuff, or touching strangers' naughty bits, etc. can be gotten used to. Those are not the reasons nurses sit in their cars and cry after a bad shift. If you are completely unfamiliar with the field, I'd recommend finding out as much as you can before leaping. There may be volunteer opportunities you could look into, if getting an entry-level job at a facility isn't practical (those jobs don't usually pay well, but some facilities will help with tuition if you do go on to nursing school or an allied profession). Following these boards is also a good way to learn--I discovered allnurses.com while I was in nursing school, and it was a real help to me, then and now. Good luck with whatever you decide.
  4. nursemike

    Male Nurse Disgusted by Female Nurses

    I have always been drawn to strong, smart, independent women. I am surrounded by them. I am in awe of them.
  5. nursemike

    Is my (50K) BSN worthless?

    Many of the problems you describe seem pretty universal, so try not to get too discouraged. I remember thinking nursing school taught me everything I need to know about a med, except how to open the package. The first year is pretty awful, for pretty much everyone. I second the advice to start out doing med-surg--or at least, regular acute care. I've worked neuro my whole career, but I count that as med-surg, along with ortho, cardio, and other specialties, as long as they aren't ICU. (I do stepdown, now, and that's not a bad place to start, either, except it isn't great preparation if you get floated to a six-patient team in regular acuity.) I would also add, start on nightshift, if you can. The pace is different, and coworkers actually have time to help and guide you. Patients don't skip off to PT before you can give their meds. There are less doctors and family members and other assorted looky-loos in the way. But also less resources, which forces you to get creative. I would also suggest being as up-front about your history as possible when you interview. Ask questions about how much orientation you can get, what sort of mentors you can expect. Many jobs, you wouldn't want to create an impression of being "damaged goods," but this isn't most jobs. Their are managers out there who are desperate to hire you and just aching for you to do well. Find one.
  6. nursemike

    Nurses on anti-depressants

    The point about the prospective pilot and the FAA interests me. It is a somewhat different matter than a prospective nurse. I agree with Here.I.Stand that a mental health diagnosis is a private matter, nor do I believe my history impairs me from my work. On the other hand, were I to suffer a relapse, my opportunities to harm others would be fairly limited. I guess I might be OK with a pilot needing to jump through *some* hoops--enough to show he or she is getting effective treatment and not likely to become a kamikaze in the future. I believe my diabetes and history of heart disease might preclude me from becoming a pilot--more so than a couple of bouts with dysthymia. I am also not sure whether my mental health history would ever show up on a background check to buy a gun, but since I've never had a desire to own one in the past, I made a choice that if I ever felt an impulse to buy one, I would seek psychiatric advice--even if it wasn't due to suicidal thoughts (there are legitimate reasons I could want a gun--they make loud noises and target shooting sounds fun). But while I am "cured," now, my couple of bouts with depression suggest I could become depressed again, and perhaps more severely than in the past. Maybe. I'd be curious to see what a psychiatrist would say, although not curious enough at this point to add to my list of appointments.
  7. nursemike

    Nurses on anti-depressants

    I took Celexa for awhile, and it really helped me. Being the shy, private type, I told pretty much everyone I knew about it. I was astonished how many of my esteemed colleagues took antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds. I like to believe we are simply more self-aware and willing to treat problems others might ignore, but I recognize the possibility we are that much crazier than the general population.
  8. nursemike

    Useless Shift Report Information

    Once, after my annual physical, my doctor said, "Well, this is the part of the exam where I ask if you've been having any problems with ED." I was quite taken aback, but answered truthfully, "Well, their report's a bit sketchy, but I figure I'm going to be doing a full head-to-toe as soon as the patient gets there."
  9. I love my stupid job. It's hard, at times, and frustrating. Awhile back, I spent several months on the wrong side of the bedrails, and a year off on medical leave. Coming back to work, afterward, was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I wanted it so bad I could taste it. 6-7 months into that process, I caught my self grumbling about something and thought, hooray, I'm back. A ***ing nurse is a happy nurse--sometimes. With some ongoing issues I've been having due to medication side effects (GI stuff) I get asked about stress. There is stress. But I find there is bad stress and good stress. Handling a challenging assignment is, to me, good stress. Being swamped and falling behind, or drowning in minutia, is bad stress, The job includes both--that's why it's stupid. I like to drive. Dodging morons on the freeway or sitting in traffic drive me crazy, but carving the twisties on a backcountry road or throwing up dust clouds on gravel, I feel powerful and in control. I might only be going 40 mph, but when I'm rowing through the gearbox and braking at just the right times, I'm not just getting from point a to point b--I'm driving. Nursing is a lot like driving.
  10. nursemike

    Struggles of being a male nurse

    There will always be things you "can't" do, or at least have a lot of trouble doing. Many won't have anything to do with your gender--we all have our strengths, and our weaknesses. Being male brings both. My best advice is just to be real. Can't tell you how many female patients have asked for a female to help with toileting at the start of a shift and been glad to accept the help of the person who was right there by the end. A few times, I've asked a female nurse or aide to do something because it made *me* uncomfortable. More often than not, someone can spare a couple of minutes, and I'm always willing to return the favor in whatever form is available. When you're a student, you can imagine all sorts of complications, but when you hit the floor, what matter most are your work ethic and your intentions. Be the guy your patients and peers can count on, and you'll be fine. Oh, and while I enjoyed grumpy's humor, try to have a sense of who you know well enough for that sort of thing.
  11. nursemike

    What might be going on?

    I nearly died, spent a year on medical leave, and had a very hard time coming back to work. Three years later, I'm still not entirely up to speed. I'm not saying it was worth all that to get out of doing charge. But, I'm not saying it wasn't.
  12. nursemike

    Lindsey Runkel

    https://fox61.com/2019/05/19/uconns-first-paraplegic-nursing-student-inspires-students-and-faculty/ Posting a link to a news story I liked a lot. I'm really hoping she is successful.
  13. nursemike

    How did she/he get through nursing school?

    OK, I'll confess: I've wondered this at times, too. And I do get that this is a vent, and it does raise some useful questions about how nurses are being trained. But I see Triddin's point, too. My own perspective is that I was working in an unlicensed role when I decided to go to nursing school. At the time, I worked with several nurses I wouldn't have trusted to watch my cats. By the time I graduated, their wasn't one I couldn't learn something from. Same nurses, different me. Which is not to say I ever thought all of them were excellent nurses, but some did have more on the ball than I had originally understood. What I took from that is, you don't graduate nursing school, attain licensure, and stay employed without something going for you. That last-in-his-class med school graduate has done something not everyone can. It's axiomatic that half of all nurses are below average nurses, but far from credible that anywhere near half of all nurses have below average IQs. So, I dunno, I guess a bit of frustrated head shaking is inevitable. And I have been at this long enough to have seen a few RNs not survive in the real world, despite being qualified on paper. But I still think it behooves us to have a degree of respect for our profession and those who practice it. Marveling at cluelessness, or lack of work ethic, or those dad-blamed nose studs (seriously???) is natural, but after venting, I hope it's also reasonable to take some time to reflect on how our peers can best be helped to reach their full potential.
  14. nursemike

    Having a "soft personality" make for a bad nurse?

    Hard steel takes a sharp edge, but it's brittle. Malleable (soft) iron won't hold an edge, but it's tough. You have to find a balance that works for you.
  15. The first thing a lawyer will tell you is not to communicate directly with them. The second thing is likely to be that you may be able to recover significant damages if they go forward with such an obviously unfounded accusation.
  16. nursemike

    How to handle condescending doctor

    I think it's important to recognize a difference between standing up for oneself and reacting defensively to criticism. Obviously, I couldn't hear the doctor's tone of voice, but I see nothing condescending in the statements quoted.
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