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nursemike ASN, RN

Rodeo Nursing (Neuro)

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. nursemike

    My don accused me of patient abandonment during a snowstorm

    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.
  7. 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.
  8. nursemike

    Most Pressing Issues in Nursing Today

    BTW: I believe the multiple paths to entry into nursing are one of its greatest strengths. In a field comprised almost exclusively of white women, we are a lot more diverse than most people think, because we come from such varied backgrounds.
  9. nursemike

    Most Pressing Issues in Nursing Today

    I don't spend as much time on these boards as I once did--part of an ongoing fight against internet addiction--but when I come here, I try to make it a rule not to waste a lot of time guessing a poster's motives, or what they really mean. I can very easily see why some people thought (and some probably still do) that this was "research" for a class. And it's clear from some of your subsequent posts that you had some ideas on the topic when you began. Then again, I have a Y chromosome and subtle nuances confuse me, so I find life a lot simpler if I just take most things at face value. That said, the original question of this thread is one that gets discussed a lot--even offline. I think there is almost a universal consensus that there is something(s) wrong with our profession. I have to confess, in my present context, I don't find matters as dire as I once did. I feel there are real problems worth addressing, but I also suspect that would be true doing QC in a pie factory. Still, I think I have an answer to the question posed, though I'm much less confident of a solution. The biggest problem in nursing today--indeed, in all of healthcare--is: THE OPIOID CRISIS!!! And, by that, I mean very damned little to do with the actual opioid crisis, but rather the knee jerk stupidity that has been both a cause of and response to said crisis, and by that I mean a long and pitiful history of healthcare regulation by people who know next to nothing about healthcare. Pain is not and never was a fifth vital sign, and a Pyxis buffet is not and never was the answer, and you could probably count one one hand the healthcare professionals who ever thought so, but the very last thing the media or the suits could ever believe is that doctors and nurses usually have a pretty good idea how much pain you are in, or what to do about it. And it's the same story with pretty much everything we do. When I admit a patient with a stroke at 0340, one of the questions I must ask is: what can you tell us about yourself that will make your care more individualized? And with whatever cognition that patient has, he or she is thinking, "Oh, my God, I'm in the hospital! Am I going to die?" And so I chart, "Likes chocolate pudding." Because, you know, actually getting to know someone and learning what they need takes more time than the suits can afford. I started this post as a reply to ExpNurse_RN, then abandoned it because I needed more time to mull it over, but I think she (?) touched on the best solution I can see with the why can't we all just get along idea. I have some ideas why we sometimes don't: we are all often under a lot of stress; most of us really believe what we do is important; we're inclined to take it personally even more than we probably ought to. A fellow nurse who appears indifferent is an affront to our core beliefs--and perhaps rightly so, although maybe we shouldn't be too quick to assume indifference. A fellow nurse makes a stupid mistake--we all know the potential for disaster, there. Still... Another thread I've recently seen asked something along the lines of what do you love about nursing, and I can't help thinking that's a critical part of addressing what's wrong with nursing. Has a lot to do with my own experiences in the past couple of years. To make a long story short (yeah, I know, that shipped sailed awhile ago) I love nurses. The ones who took care of me while I was sick, and the ones I work with, and certainly not least the ones who've taken care of me at work, from my beginnings as a hapless newbie to more recently as a dead man walking. I once observed, only half in jest, that there is nothing in heaven or earth that three nurses working together can't accomplish. The hard part is getting three nurses to work together. I think this applies to standing up for our profession in the face of the powers that be, but even more so during the course of a routine shift. This is hard work, and it can be very lonely, at times. We see things a lot of people don't. We make choices that seem impossible. We put our asses and sometimes our souls on the line. And I am going to make every effort I can to realize as often as I can that the people I work with are doing the same thing. Which shouldn't be too difficult, since quite a few have done the same for me.
  10. nursemike

    Whats your favorite part of nursing?

    I think I like the art part of nursing, the times when my intuition shows me things I didn't even know I knew. And, in keeping with other posts on this thread, it often seems like listening is a good way to access that intuition. Also, fluffing pillows is way easier than chest compressions.
  11. nursemike

    Whats your favorite part of nursing?

    I agree, and I stumbled upon it at a good time for it.
  12. nursemike

    Most Pressing Issues in Nursing Today

    I know, I know, I know...but, dagnabit, it's a question worth asking, and there are people on these boards with ideas worth hearing. It's a question that particularly hits me, today. I've been back to work almost a year after a year on disability. Being off, and fighting really hard to come back, have made it vividly clear to me that I love this profession. I'm sorry to be maudlin, but I've been forced to ponder why I am alive, and I can't escape the conclusion that a big part of my answer is: to be a nurse. I am very possibly the luckiest person I've ever met. My facility is a not-for-profit with better ratios than a lot of places. Twenty years ago, at new employee orientation, our CEO said our motto was "Putting Patients First," and that by that he partly meant putting ourselves first, because the administration genuinely wanted us to be happy and understood that was key to making our patients happy. I am not actually gullible--I realized from the get-go that there would be limits to how far they would go to achieve that--but even now I believe he, and his successors, meant it. And, as it happens, my particular unit is arguably one of the most collegial ones in our facility. And I left work this morning muttering, "I gotta find a new job." I've had time to gain some perspective. Bad shifts happen. A lot of the time I actually am about as happy as I know I ought to be. But, still...why am I sometimes not? And I'm going to be thinking about that for awhile.
  13. This thread should be mandatory reading for nursing students. I work at a teaching hospital in about as close to a metropolitan area as WV has. The nursing shortage is real, here, too. We aren't small, and not exactly rural, but the competition for new hires seems pretty intense. To a new grad, that means lots of opportunities to gain experience and develop skills which, with apologies to the OP, will vastly improve your marketability after a few years. And you might just find the place you want to retire from.
  14. If I didn't love where I am so much, I'd be right there with you.
  15. nursemike

    Tips/tricks voiding trial

    I have also noticed that just showing the instruments of interrogation can often encourage a heretic to recant.