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  1. Ellekat2

    Life and Death

    There are different views of suicide. You say that "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." But the problem can be much larger than one low point in a person's life. It can be a daily struggle to find a reason to live. The hopelessness and pain that that person struggles with is just as real to them as it is to a person with a physical illness. And the medical community is very slow to respond to mental illness. I struggled with depression with suicidal thoughts and plans from about third grade into my forties, and have watched a son and daughter with their own struggles with depression. Fortunately they have been able to get treatment that helped them through low points, and after years of searching I found a physician who was able to help. Depression, like diabetes, requires self-discipline and medication. Yet I have often been told by RN's that depression "doesn't really exist". To think that just one disappointment in a person's life causes suicide may be true in some instances. For others, it is just a moment of weakness in a continuing battle to try to live a life that is filled with pain and hopelessness, often with no or ineffective medical intervention.
  2. Ellekat2

    Patient acuity based staffing

    I'm with Tokmom-except it's not even a dartboard. Our hospital re-evaluates staffing and "adjusts" it every four hours, sometimes less. So your patient load is constantly adjusted. This is very stressful for the nurses and I believe dangerous for the patients. If your dismissal doesn't leave "on-time" (an artificial time that they think is enough time for the patient to have left), staffing gets upset with the nurse and accuses them of trying to keep patients to avoid having a nurse moved, with the consequent change in the merry-go-round of patients. Evidently the fact the patient has to arrange for a ride home is of no importance. I have had both the staffing office person and our director sit and watch me work because they think I should have dismissed patients who are waiting for either a ride home or for a room to open on another floor. Evidently having two people sit and watch you work is considered efficient use of staff by the administration. And don't think you'll get time for a break or lunch!
  3. Ellekat2

    Interview with Cascade Health Services

    Thanks, Sandi! It's in Kansas, among other states. They are just going in to an area that we want to retire to. I hesitate to give up a day-shift position with coworkers/physicians I know, but I'm hoping this will transition me to a job I can enjoy for 10 years or more, hopefully away from the frantic-ness of a med-surg floor. The Internet just lists # of employees (listed as 4-6, so I'm assuming that's adminstrative staff) and realized income. I'd really like to know how they are to work for, whether you can rely on them for hours, whether their benefits are really as good as they look up front, etc.
  4. I am interviewing with Cascade Health Services in a few days. There is very little about this company on the Internet. Is anyone familiar with this company? They mentioned three hours of "testing" as part of the interview. What does this involve?
  5. Ellekat2

    Need help to convince parents!

    I would suggest looking for a two-plus-two program that gives you chance to sit for your RN license, but continues your education to a BSN in the same environment. The world of nursing is changing and the BSN will open doors that an ADN won't. Consider some business classes, too-understanding the business world will not hurt and might help later in your career.
  6. Ellekat2

    Is The Culture of Nursing Improving?

    gentlegiver, i think you and i are saying the same thing in different ways. you are saying you have poor management and have a miserable work environment. i am sayilng in order to change, we must make our management become more professional and become accountable for the work environment. i worked in management of a large discount company before deciding to become a nurse; management in other fields is responsible for the working environment of their employees. it should be that way for nursing also. as a manager (keep in mind, i was not a nurse at that time) i made a point of being present and approachable, working with each employee regarding her/his individual needs. i expected employees to gain skills as they worked and become a resource for the newer employees. i managed the staff. as a nurse, i have worked for nine years on days (17 years total) and wouldn't recognize my vice-president of nursing if she came on the floor. my director is only available if she has criticism. i work in a small (125 bed) hospital--it shouldn't be hard for her to be available to her staff. nursing needs professional managers, not floor nurses who aren't happy on the floor and who think they've met their goal when they move from the floor to the office. they need managers who understand that cutting staff is the easy way, but not the best way, to stay within budget. they need managers who understand how to empower good workers, encourage discouraged workers, and encourage teamwork and enthusiasm for the job. these managers must also know how to cut out the deadwood and get rid of nurses who are simply bodies on the floor. nursing, from what i have seen, has very few of this type of manager.
  7. Ellekat2

    Is The Culture of Nursing Improving?

    Having entered the nursing workforce at age 38, I am constantly bewildered by the fact that nurses constantly seem to feel a need to beat themselves over "eating our young". There is a transition period in any job, however prestigious or menial. There is always politics if you work with other people. Perhaps if our nurses were not overworked, were well-educated (not just trained), and treated with respect, they would treat their fellow nurses better. How you treat others is often a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Many nurses do not feel good about themselves in other areas of their lives and it shows in the workplace. The first step is to stop claiming we "eat our young" and siimply emphasize that teaching coworkers the ropes is part of our job-and giving us time to do that-a management issue. The second step is to make our coworkers feel the respect they deserve, so they can develoop self-respect and share that respect with others. Often this again starts with management. A strong employee assistance program is also helpful. The third step is to realize that every job has people who like to stir up others, cause problems, and not do their share of the work. Poor management will not address these issues. So we need better-educated, more effective management working on our behalf, with strong policies regarding training, well-defined work expectations, respect for work well done, and good labor-management communication.
  8. Ellekat2

    Small Bowel Obstruction

    Your hospital should have a written policy regarding flushing NG tubes.. That being said, if the obstruction is lessening there may not be any drainage. The NG may be blocked, if it's on continuous suction (that's how our physicians order it) it may be against the wall and the patient may need to change positions, or flushing may change the position (some will order intermittant suctioning just because of this). If it is a small-bore NG tube there may be particles too large for the tube that are blocking the tube; flushing will also help there, although changing to a larger size NG will help more-I let the physician decide. If the obstruction is resolving, there will be little or no drainage. Is the patient uncomfortable? Nauseated? Then check placement and flush. If the patient is not uncomfortable, you can still flush, but the amount of drainage may not increase.
  9. Ellekat2

    11-7 "No-Skills" Argument, Psych/Detox Nursing

    Which skills? Where one set of skills is lost, another is gained. You enjoy what you do-why worry about losing skills you'll never use? I don't think psych/detox is going to go away soon.
  10. Ellekat2

    Did you get their bath done? Seriously?

    If you're working a Med-Surg floor, a fair number of your patients have surgical incisions. Do you change the dressing and clean around the incision? The bath lowers the amount of bacterial on the skin, making it less likely that an infection will develop. The bath makes the patient move, even if it's just from one side to the other, allowing for checking the skin for breakdown. Many patients will speak of how they acquired an infection in the hospital because they are told in the media that workers "give" them infections. Many times, the bacteria is already on the patient's skin, ready to jump in when there is a decrease in the immune system, and opening in the skin, and poor hygiene. Good bathing and clean linens keep infection away from surgical sites. Basic care-bathing, changing linens, taking vital signs and acting when the vital signs indicate change for the worse-are key to good nursing care. It's better to prevent infection that to treat it and less expensive for the facility. Think about it.
  11. Ellekat2

    Watch your manners please..

    You don't have a name, but you know the time and date. This is extremely unprofessional behavior and the person needs to be called on it. Write a letter stating what happened, and the time/date/location. If the employers want to stop this behavior, they will find him. Ask for a follow-up to see if he's been located and what extra education they are doing to keep this from having again.
  12. Ellekat2


    They may have other plans for you once you have the RN. Do let them know (in a professional manner) that you are disappointed that you didn't get that job and that you are interested in moving "up". There may be another position that will be opening that they have in mind for you. Or you may not have appeared interested...you may have been so busy doing your job you missed making someonw aware you were interested. Keep doing your job well. Develop your Rn skills and repay the hours you owe them. Then if you still feel unhappy, look for another position--as an experienced RN.
  13. Ellekat2

    Calling all Nurse Mamas... Please help me!!

    Try joining a recipe site. I use Allrecipes, but there is Epicurious, Cooks.com, and I don't know how many others. Kaboose is oriented toward kids and features recipes for kids. Most of these sites have an area where you can interact with other parents and get suggestions from them. You can make salad ahead for several days; have separate bowls of what to add to make it different, if you need to; we just eat the same salad for several days. Lasagna is easily made ahead, but would need to be thawed in the fridge unless you want to eat very late. Meatballs don't take long to cook from frozen. Look for things that can be easily thrown in the oven to bake so you have time to relax. Chicken and rice in the oven. Shake and Bake (you can use bread crumbs) for pork chops, chicken, etc. Have pre-cut cheese, celery, carrots, etc for the kids to snack on. Apples are easily cut with an apple cutter that slices an apple into wedges. A peanut butter dip can be made ahead to serve with them. Soups can be made ahead, frozen, placed in the fridge the day you plan to use it and heated when you get home--have a special bread or cracker to go with different ones so it feels like a full meal. The key to the frozen stuff is to thaw it so you can heat it quickly. Tuna salad, chicken salad, etc, can be a quick meal in the summertime. Toasted cheese (toast, cheese, melt in microwave) has less butter and is an easy side sandwich. Grilled or toasted peanut butter makes a PB sandwicch a little more special. There are other nut butters if there are allergies to peanuts. It takes planning on your days off to do this successfully. I'd suggest a menu-planning night where you see what's on sale and you and your husband and your kids, if they are old enough, help you plan for the week or even for two weeks. They may like the idea of home-made pizzas from English Muffins (chose own toppings) or homemade tacos (again, everything can be made ahead-just need to heat the filling and assemble). Since your husband is fixing meals, he needs a voice in what is made. If your children get involved, you can teach them about good nutrition, planning, and they can help with preparation in time.
  14. Ellekat2

    Do you have to start everyone's IV for them?

    I am okay, not great with IV's. I look for a vein; if I can only find one or none, I get another nurse. Some days I can hit every vein I try, some days I can't hit any. I would love to be better, but it's a fact of life that I'm not. As a patient, would you rather be stuck once or twice, or a half-dozen times? I do what I think is best for the patient, and sometimes that means I don't try.
  15. Ellekat2

    Second career nurses: Do you like nursing better?

    I began training as a nurse at age 37 after working as an administrative assistant and raising children. I enjoy the interaction with patients, the ability to make someone more comfortable and to help the patient/family through a difficult time. The nurses I work with are a great team. My biggest dissatisfaction is that my facility has moved to a half-computerized, half-paper system that allows for little time for patient interaction. I cannot say anything positive about our administration, unfortunately. But I've learned that administrators come and go; I must just survive until they move on.