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laflaca

laflaca BSN, RN

School Nursing
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laflaca has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

laflaca's Latest Activity

  1. laflaca

    US RNs who successfully submitted to NNAS

    Yes, we'll try for Express Entry although I'm not sure we'll actually ever get invited - we both have master's degrees and I have years of RN experience, but we don't have Canadian work/school experience or relatives, and we lose all the points for age (we're 50). But CELPIP is the only thing we're missing to apply, so going to schedule that. Good luck to us all!
  2. laflaca

    Countries that recognize US accelerated BSN

    I am an RN who did a 16 month accelerated BSN in the United States. I just got approved for licensure in British Columbia (Canada) without any extra classes or tests required. Be warned though: the licensing process took over a year, and of course it's a completely separate process to get a visa or residency status.
  3. laflaca

    US RNs who successfully submitted to NNAS

    I hope your meeting went well. Happy to tell you that BCCNM quickly confirmed that I met the language requirement; I paid the $$$ and submitted the application officially, and I got my assessment back in less than a week: "Your nursing knowledge, skills and abilities have been assessed as substantially equivalent to the entry level competencies expected of a new B.C. nursing graduate." All they're requiring is a background check - I don't have to do NCAS or take any more classes. Now, onward to dealing with immigration (I don't have residency or a work visa yet), yikes.
  4. laflaca

    US RNs who successfully submitted to NNAS

    Hi there - I just got my NNAS report back this week - I started the application a year ago, and my documents have been complete since January. I was fortunate in that my school seemed to be experienced with these requests; I didn't get even one question about the paperwork. I've heard from others that getting the school to not just fill out the form, but also send detailed syllabi (which they should have on file) may help. The other thing that's unfamiliar to them is breaking down credit hours into actual hours - but, you probably know that. My problem was employer verifications. Many American hospitals have outsourced employment verification to third parties. These companies are for-profits that require subscription fees to release info; they often have incomplete or incorrect data and no ability to correct anything, plus they will only send out reports in their own format (I.e. they are not going to handwrite the NNAS form or answer those specific questions). I had to call one of my former employers and basically beg a secretary to help me, because the third-party verification company only had one year of my work hours on file. Another employer just refused; I got no credit for hours at that job. After all that, I did finally get "comparable"! I'm now applying for license in BC and hoping this gets easier. Good luck to you
  5. laflaca

    Therapeutic communication for anxiety

    My general process, assuming no one's doing anything unsafe: Get the audience out (including unnecessary staff). Extra people are not good for drama-seekers, and not good for people who are panicked and overstimulated. Only one person should talk to the patient. Don't let people stand/loom over the patient or make comments. Get down to his/her level yourself. Introduce yourself, ask permission to do a quick physical check. Wait to get OK. Listen to lungs/heart and check O2 sats. If everything's OK, verbalize findings "excellent, just need one finger, I'm checking your oxygen. Your brain and body are getting plenty of oxygen. Now I'll check your lungs. You'll feel the stethoscope here. Very good. I know you're short of breath but don't worry, your lungs sound good. It's OK to slow down your breathing now, I'll keep an eye on you." (If nothing else, this reassures admin) Give reassurance and two safe choices that you can offer: "I'm going to be with you until you feel better. Do you want to rest here, or would you like to get some air in the courtyard?" No other questions, no longer statements. WAIT for answers longer than you think, you might sit quietly for a what feels like forever. Other things that I try to remember You don't have to fix anything. If everyone's safe, it's OK. Panic passes, no matter what you do, so just being there is fine. Sometimes I tell kids this! "This terrible feeling is like a big wave, it can knock you over for a minute, but then little by little it rolls away and leaves you safe on the beach." When they're out of the full blown panic, I'll try techniques folks have mentioned above. If I know they're working on coping skills, I'll offer their preferred strategies: "I'd like to help you use a coping skill, should we try music or breathing?" Some kids do better with just decreased stimuli. I have a room in my office with.a recliner and a dim light - I will say, "would it help if you had a quiet, private place to regroup? Yes? Here's a glass of water. I'm right outside if you need me. I'll check on you in 10 minutes." (of course this is presuming no self-harm behavior, and that I can discreetly keep an eye on them). Sometimes I'll ask where their anxiety is (1-10) before and after. No one teaches us this stuff in nursing school! I just try to project kindness, confidence, and a neutral tone. Practice helps. You can do it 🙂
  6. laflaca

    1 day left

    Hahahaha even in HS, I have one shelf of "ice packs" (which are wet paper towels frozen in a small bag) for the "injuries," and a separate shelf of ice packs for the injuries. I haul all the ice from another building, so the situation needs to be iceworthy!!
  7. laflaca

    Weird Interview

    Yep, I've had that interview. Assuming it's not a government job, either 1) they're hiring someone they already know, or 2) they're hiring any warm body. If it's #2, be careful.
  8. laflaca

    Weirdest Thing About School Nursing...

    I insisted on not being called "nurse" at this school because it absolutely grates on my nerves (though I'd argue that it's for a good reason: I have a name. As you said, no one else is called just "counselor" or "teacher" or "social worker" by other adults! One staff member persisted after multiple gentle reminders, and I finally said very nicely, "I'm just going to remind you that I don't like being called "nurse," I prefer to be called by my name, and I'll call you ** as you prefer. If you accidentally forget and call me "nurse" again, no worries, but I'm just letting you know that I won't respond to that." They finally stopped). The fire extinguisher comparison is apt. I'm a pretty independent person, so I guess in the end it's OK. Definitely not the worst complaint I could have about work.
  9. laflaca

    Weirdest Thing About School Nursing...

    They're friendly for sure! I mean, they say good morning, they say thank you, they smile, no one's demanding or rude at this school (a couple of overly anxious teachers, yes, but mostly that hasn't bothered me). If I say to the person accosting me with the rash, "Sure, I'll take a look, but give me 45 minutes to unload and get my morning meds done," they'll gladly step back. It's not that they're disrespectful. However, it seems like I'll leave this job without anyone knowing my spouse's name, or where I'm from, or what neighborhood I live in, or anything I ever did during the entire year outside of work. And I do know those things about many of them. It's a strange feeling of invisibility. I'm sure COVID and the fact that we were virtual for much of the year didn't help, but I don't think it's just that. (And I swear I have social skills! I'm outgoing and talkative. I've made friends at every other job)
  10. I'm finishing up my third year, and now moving on to something else for a while. I've been thinking about my school nursing experience. I've loved the independence in this role, plus I really enjoy seeing humans in their normal life, outside of a medical setting. Working with adolescents is a delight. I love having time to do meaningful health education. The schedule has helped me start enjoying the rest of my life again. I've learned a lot. I even enjoy the administrative/organizational stuff, at least some of it. The part of school nursing that seems weird to me is my relationship with the adults. I've been at two schools now, and it was the same in both places. I don't mind not being included in social stuff, and I figure that some of the small annoyances (being forgotten for lunch coverage, meeting invites, etc) come with the territory of being in a small minority of non-educator professionals. I'm independent and industrious, I'm able to advocate for myself when needed, and I already have good friendships outside of work. Mostly I'm happy flying under the radar. The weird thing is, I feel like I'm only an archetype to my coworkers, not a real person. If two teachers who don't know each other meet in the copy room, they ask each other about hobbies, family, pets, travel. The art teacher doesn't suddenly start telling the math teacher about her childhood struggles with geometry. Yet no one asks me about my family or hobbies or pets, ever - literally they see me in the copy room and try to show me their blood pressure meds. Even if I don't know their name. Sometimes they barely even say hello, but just launch into a miscarriage story or their kid with diarrhea. This morning someone showed me a rash while I was getting out of my car. Of course people request free medical advice from nurses generally...but this seems different. At my last (small) school, I worked for two years with some people who never even learned my name. I feel like no one knows one thing about me personally, that another person could show up wearing scrubs and no one would even notice. And I do make an effort to ask faculty and staff about their interests and families, and I know all their names despite the 150:1 ratio of them:me. Do you have to be in a school for 10 years for this to change? In no other setting have I felt so strangely visible as a job (especially during COVID), but invisible as a person. If I were less confident, or new to the city or something, I think the combination would make me very melancholy. Or maybe if I were staying I'd revel in the separation between work and personal life, and work on developing some eccentric alter ego outside of work 🙂 Those are my ponderings as I round this final bend. Wishing us all a happy and safe end to this school year.
  11. laflaca

    C'Mon Now!

    Holy cow that is a busy office! Nice work. Mine today was the teacher who insisted I had to come pick a HS student up personally in class because they were LIGHTHEADED, and IT'S NOT SAFE to send them with an aide, and they need me RIGHT AWAY. Also, she was annoyed when I insisted on knowing the student's name. When I finally found a secretary to sit with the other kids in my office and arrived at the classroom, I found that she had put the kid outdoors, alone and unsupervised (our buildings are kinda like strip malls, there are no interior corridors and each room opens to the outdoors). It was 90+ degrees today. I guess...she thought they might be contagious, so despite their dire condition she thought it'd be better to cut one loose in order for the others to survive? Luckily the student was not sick. In fact they were strolling around casually, using their cell phone. When asked, the student briskly walked with me to my office probably 200 yards away. C'mon now!
  12. laflaca

    Hospitals to apply/avoid moving to Phoenix

    +1 for staying away from anything Abrazo. They are the worst. Private nonprofits: Banner, Dignity, HonorHealth are like most hospitals anywhere; just regular, solid hospital chains with a variety of facilities. Your experience will depend on your unit and your manager. Mayo is considered prestigious and pays well, but for me their (well-heeled and with strong "customer service" expectations) clientele isn't my favorite. Federal: VA in a lot of places has a great reputation, but maybe a mixed bag here. Phoenix Indian Medical Center has some great and dedicated staff, but with the chronic underfunding and overcrowding that is common in IHS. Great benefits including federal pensions and good insurance. You do have 40- instead of 36-hour weeks (usually 3-12's and then an 8 every other week). I have a special place in my heart for Valleywise (formerly Maricopa Medical Center) and their clinics - they are the safety-net hospital but very well respected clinically, a great place to work, average pay, with generally very hardworking and appreciative patients. Part of the state AZ state retirement plan, which means that if you stick around in the long term you get an actual pension and not just a 401k. Good luck and happy moving!
  13. laflaca

    2021-22 contracts?

    When do your contracts/offers to continue usually come out for the next year? Have y'all decided if you're signing up for another round? (I don't know why I can't remember anything about signing my contracts for the previous two years! I blame this, and everything else, on COVID)
  14. Our district set up a vaccine POD for staff, but it was run by a pharmacy in partnership with Public Health (K-12 staff are prioritized in my state) - similar to how we do employee flu clinics. Pharmacy deals with vaccine storage, tracking, administration and documentation, and the district provided tables, space, some volunteers to help with traffic etc. Worked well. They did ask for school nurses to to do the post vaccine observation. Buuuut... *unpaid* on weekends, not even given comp time. Nope. They come up with money to pay other staff to work lunch duty or special weekend events or athletic events - it's a serious responsibility and they can pay me too! (Some of my coworkers signed up, however)
  15. laflaca

    Medications For Staff

    Me too. I put a bottle of tylenol, a bottle of ibuprofen, and a bottle of Tums in a cabinet down the hall in the administration office. When staff ask I say, "I think there's a stash in the room with the microwave "and leave them to their own devices. (And currently, I remind them on the way out that if they're having any symptoms on the COVID list they need to report it to their supervisor and go home).
  16. laflaca

    When to leave school?

    I agree! No contract = two weeks' notice (once you have a written offer from the clinic).