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Early Intervention, Nsg. Education
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mercurysmom has 27 years experience and specializes in Early Intervention, Nsg. Education.

mercurysmom's Latest Activity

  1. mercurysmom

    Too Many Visits - advice for teachers?

    My kid was drawn to the nurse's office like a moth to a flame. He received meds every day and also had snacks available (metabolic disorder). He never faked actual illness, fortunately, since that usually ended with stuff that he avoided at all costs. Boredom often became hunger, so he needed to take a leisurely trip down to her office. Math made him particularly hungry. When we amended his IHCP, we sent cans of Pediasure to the math classroom, and he could only go to the nurse's office if he had anything going on besides hunger/thirst. His visits dropped by more than 50%. Imagine that! So Hubby and I are those parents who worked with the school to keep his butt in his seat and cut down the social visits. :-D Meanies!!! mm
  2. mercurysmom

    Fountain Pens for Charting

    In homcare? I wouldn't chance it. The first time anything lands on a wet surface and a spot goes through the page onto someone's kitchen table... There are so many quirky aspects to home care (visiting nurse or private duty) that could end up with your supervisor calling you in to discuss some inconscionable act that the client/parent complained about, like...oh, I don't know, using more than 4 squares of toilet paper during your 12 hour shift, mixing formula at 4:59 instead of 5:00PM on the dot, re-dressing a child in pants that didn't come with the shirt because the pants got wet but the shirt is still clean, getting a microscopic spot of betadine on a disposable chux after straight cathing... The super duper important and life-threatening stuff. Obviously. ;-) Why add even a theoretical catastrophe to the list if you don't have to? mm
  3. mercurysmom

    License at Risk? Put up or shut up,,,

    Three in 27 years. 2 for narcotic diversion, one for stealing from a patient. A LOT. Repeatedly. I also know a sweet woman who used to work in LTC that clearly had mild dementia who was "encouraged to retire." She still came by once a week and read the newspaper to residents. The management at the LTC handled the situation beautifully. This was in 2005, and I doubt everything would turn out as well as it did. She was a warm body and held a current license, so there you go! Scary! mm
  4. mercurysmom

    Getting around the 18 y.o requirement

    This was me. I entered a hospital-based LPN program at 16 and proceeded to have the stuffing knocked out of me. I grew up...FAST. I graduated at 17 and sat for my boards the day after my 18th birthday. If my birthday had been even a day later, I would've been forced to wait the 4 or 6 months until state boards were held again. Yes, this was in the 80's, which makes me a COB. My first job was on a Med-Surg floor of the hospital that offered the LPN program. I wanted to work 3rd shift as a GPN, but couldn't, as I needed a work permit. Yes, I was embarrassed. I went right into an ADN program immediately after I finished the LPN program in July. My birthday is at the end of September, which means I was 17 for the first few weeks of the ADN program. I vaguely remember discussing it with my first CI, and I think I was able to start clinicals because I had already graduated from the PN program. If I hadn't passed my boards on the first try, however, I think I would've been jettisoned from the ADN program pretty quickly. If I had the opportunity to start over, I probably would have taken more courses at a community college, perhaps studied abroad for a semester, or any one of the exciting things that I could have done in those "pre-mortgage/relationship/marriage/kids/life/etc" years. I don't regret going into Nursing, but I do wish that I hadn't been so gosh darned impatient. My son is in a similar situation, as he participated in a dual enrollment program at the community college where I currently teach. Starting in his sophomore year in HS, he took college level courses and received both HS and college credits. He graduated from HS in June 2016, and had enough college credits to transfer to an Engineering program...if he wanted. Instead, we've encouraged him to take courses that "sounded neat" as well as pursuing anything that he had ever thought to himself, "I wonder what it would be like to..." He took an introductory piano class...and quickly learned that he's better suited as a music aficionado rather than a musician. He took an ASL class and earned himself a "therapeutic F" by ignoring the syllabus, and replaced the F with an A by repeating the course (paid 100% out of his own pocket, too.) This semester, he's taking a heavy math and science course load, as well as a fencing class. I'm doing my best to encourage him, but inwardly cringing as well. All of these experiences are helping him develop skills and insight that are setting him up to be a much more successful, well-rounded Engineering student. I understand your daughter's desire to forge ahead and finish college as quickly as possible. I felt the same way. However, she has opportunities available to her that are quite unique, given her age. My suggestion would be to choose some situations she had never imagined experiencing...and experience them. She has the time to take classes for the sake of satisfying her curiosity, trying something entirely new, without worrying about completing a degree on a strict timeline. (I agree, however, that she needs to be aware of any financial aid limits, and consider taking courses through a community college or utilizing private scholarships.) Good luck to her! Mercury's Mom
  5. mercurysmom

    Only Crusty Old Bats will remember..

    Fire retardant bibs for smokers. The way the test tube would heat up after you put in the clinitest tablet to check sugar in urine. Not really something one should multitask...I don't know how many test tube I dropped and broke because I held it too close to the bottom. Cleaning inner cannulas of Jackson trachs. Brush and bowls were from sterile supply closet and H2O2 and sterile water came in big jugs. Harris drips for post-op gas relief milk and Molasses enemas...and the smell going in vs coming out (gag) Being reprimanded for wearing gloves while bathing a newborn because "What will the mother think if you see her baby as "dirty" and refuse to touch it?" "Pouring meds". The med room had communal bottles of pretty much every tablet and meds were prepared in soufflé cups nested into a green tray with holes. The med cards for each patient went into a slot above each corresponding cup. Pray like heck that the patient didn't ask what meds they were getting and what each one was for. And heaven help you if you slip and fall while carrying the tray! mm
  6. mercurysmom

    What Am I Doing Wrong?

    LOVE these suggestions! The other suggestion I would add is to set up a situation that requires you to "teach" the information. In order to teach a concept and explain how it relates to other concepts, the information must be firmly entrenched in long-term memory and connected with previously learned concepts. It simply can't really be done without accessing Bloom's higher order thinking skills. Teaching strategies could be accomplished by joining a study group and have each member dive deep into a specific topic while all of you study the outlines on your own, pairing up with a classmate who has trouble connecting the concepts learned in each chapter and combine them to form a realistic profile of a patient, or anyone else who will listen. (My kids were excellent listeners when they were infants. Now that they're grown, my dog has very patiently listened to my semi-private lectures about learning theory and second language acquisition...or perhaps he's too polite to tell me to stop. Ha!). The other great thing about teaching the concepts is the opportunity to respond to questions and comments coming from different perspectives. In my experience, nurses think like nurses and answer questions like nurses. By including a non-nurse in your studies, you automatically need to frame the concept in a different, non-nurse perspective, which gives your own brain a chance to access additional schematic in your long term memory. The trickiest part is to find a willing victim...I mean surrogate student...I mean...aw heck, that's why babies and dogs make such great team members!
  7. mercurysmom

    How to respond to a challenging family member?

    OhEmGee! Thanks for reminding me of what must be the top ten most entertaining (and, of course, educational) threads in the history of the internet! https://allnurses.com/nurse-colleague-patient/bitter-dried-up-579931.html
  8. mercurysmom

    Never Have I Ever Done That Before

    I've never participated in a successful code. However, since most of those codes werepatients like the 92 y.o. vent dependent LOL with end stage everything and the granddaughter who calls the floor to ask when Nana will get better because she watches her 4 young kids for free and child care is sooo expensive that she doesn't even have enough money to go bar hopping more than once a week... I guess it depends on your definition of "successful."
  9. mercurysmom

    Mobile IV infusions... for hangovers

    The first time I heard of these services, it was while we were experiencing nationwide shortages of IV MVI's, trace elements, some meds, and TPN components. Funny, how the folks lining up to pay cash for their hangover bags seemed to have no trouble getting MVI's. That really ticked me off. If no one is going without IVF, MVI's, lytes, meds, etc., then I think it's to each his own. Grab a banana bag if it makes you feel better. Have two. I'd have no problem at all administering it. Heck, rehydrating someone to ease a hangover could potentially make everyone's day better! [emoji41] Slightly related question about IV fluids... I know (online) of several people who receive a liter of IVNS once every 1-2 weeks for chronic dehydration and/or POTS. They swear by it. I'm glad that they've found a treatment that helps them feel better...but does a single liter of IVNS actually keep one properly hydrated for up to two weeks? To me, this seems to be in the same class as the oxygen bar deal.
  10. mercurysmom

    Homework interview needed!!!!!

    I was thinking exactly the same thing. My most recent degree is in Deaf Studies, and since I work at the college that I attended in order to get the undergrad requirements done, I guess I'm an easy mark. 😉 In the past year, I've been invited to speak in different classes about: ~Services available to late deafened adults; Social-emotional aspects of mid-life "career change" secondary to acquired disabilities (part of a Voc Rehab panel) ~Making the most of the Internship experience (This is a chance to go practically anywhere and observe anything. Use it! Think outside the box. Ask questions. Ask to tag along if the person you are observing is doing something that doesn't happen often, but is part of the job description. You may not get another opportunity to observe, or even participate, in situations that you might not even be aware of yet.) ~How to network "the old-fashioned way," by meeting people face to face; basic etiquette (yes, really!) ~Service animals, ADA accessibility rights, etc. I think that one of the most important topics I present on a regular basis is "old-fashioned" networking and the art of talking to people. My kids have grown up with computers, digital cameras, cell phones, etc. While there are definite advantages, there is a skills set that they desperately need: talking to real-live people! How is it that my almost 17y.o. Daughter can post a message to 500 Facebook friends about who did what in class the other day, or tweet (or Instagram?) pictures of herself trying on two different dresses and ask for a group decision about which one she should get, yet turn into a shrinking violet when I ask her to call in an order for Chinese take-out?
  11. All set! Went through just fine. Thank you for such a generous gift! Most of us do at least occasional shopping and bill-paying online, and security leaks can happen at any time. A few months ago, our bank experienced a security breach and ended up deactivating all debit cards until things were sorted out. We were on vacation at the time and couldn't figure out why our cards didn't work. It was a bit embarrassing to have the card denied and it took a bit of time to contact the bank and confirm everything, but I would much rather deal with an inconvenience like that compared to identity theft! My youngest child passed away 10 years ago, just before her third birthday. One of the parents in the grief support group my DH and I attended discovered that her son't social security number had been stolen and was being used by someone who had created a false identity for himself. Apparently, "clean" SS#'s are a hot commodity. I have our family's accountant check my daughter's SS# every year to make sure that nothing unusual pops up. Who would troll lists of deceased children in order to steal their SS numbers?? There are some horrible people in this world.
  12. I can't enroll. Tried Google+, Facebook, and entered info manually. Has the 10,000 enrollment cap been reached?
  13. mercurysmom

    Do RNs get extra pay for working with students?

    ^^^^^. The BEST analogy I've read in at least a year. Meanmaryjean wins the internets! Bedside nursing is not the way it was when I was a student mumble mumble years ago. I'm not providing direct care anymore for health reasons, but I do get a chance to speak with students several times a year as a guest lecturer. For students of the 2 local LPN and 3 local RN programs with which I'm peripherally involved (meaning "please take this with a grain of salt"), the CI:SN ratios mirror the rising Nurse:patient ratios occurring on the floors. It's a recipe for disaster, and RN, SN, and patient end up frustrated, angry, or worse. When I worked in Early Intervention/Birth to Three, I had nursing students tag along with me. We had med students observe many multi-disciplinary developmental assessments, as well. The students got a chance to observe normal and abnormal development, talk to family members and caregivers, and from time to time, have an opportunity to get their hands on some itty bitties to elicit reflexes. They had a chance to see how families cope with medically fragile babies once they leave the hospital, and how difficult it can be for a parent to care for a former micro-preemie and perhaps a toddler or two at the same time. For even more learning opportunities, browse the school nursing, private duty, and home health forums. It really frosts my cookies when I hear about students who end up spending their pedi rotations sitting in the conference room (or holding up a wall) when there are some really good places to do pedi rotations in the community. This isn't the students' fault. I'd like to know why some clinical sites are inundated with students, while so many other experiences are overlooked by the schools. When I was making skilled HH visits, I was really pressed for time, so that may not have worked as well. However, in EI, I spent 60, 90, sometimes even 120 minutes in one home, and I could give the child and family 100% of my attention. It was an incredible opportunity for students to learn about child development, complications of prematurity, congenital malformations and diseases, and the aftermath of domestic violence, poverty, neglect, etc. Much better than holding up a wall, waiting for the minutes on the clock to tick by.
  14. mercurysmom

    frightened of the abuser

    When I worked as a Developmental Nurse Educator in an Early Intervention/birth to three program, my colleagues and I encountered domestic violence situations quite often. (In my state, DCF called EI to evaluate the development all infants and toddlers in the home whenever a case was opened.). There were quite a few parents who did disclose abuse, and we needed to document the conversations, any visible injuries on Mom or any family members, and any referrals we made. All documentation of domestic violence concerning the parent and/or other children was kept in a file under the parent's name, rather than the child's name. This way, if the abusive parent requested the child's chart, the info Mom shared with EI staff was not accessible to them. I've never heard of the black dot campaign. However, we did have small info cards available in restrooms.
  15. mercurysmom

    NOT gas!

    I am a true believer in gut instinct. My gut saved my hide (and probably a camper, too) when I was working at a fancy-schmancy summer camp, maybe 2 or 3 years after I became an RN. 10 year-old girl came into the infirmary to refill two water bottles (I had a bottled water dispenser in the Infirmary) and asked to take a nap. She told me that she was exhausted from climbing all of the "mountains" leading up to her cabin. She had only been at camp for about eight hours, mind you. Physical exam and vitals were all okay, but something just felt "off." I called Mom, who said that "Susie was a drama queen and needed to get lots of exercise, not nap all afternoon." Susie was 10, on the chubby side but not obese. I checked her health form and there were some lines left blank, and the MD sig was indecipherable and didn't seem to be close to any of the names of MD's at her Pedi practice. I called the pedi's office, and they had not seen her for nearly a year. She had weekly MH visits with a LICSW, but no medical visits, and no one at the practice saw her on the date that her camp physical was signed. As it turned out, Dad was an adult orthopedic surgeon. He signed the form. No UA done, no BP, pulse, or Hct recorded. Dad and Mom were on their way to the airport and were going on a cruise. Mom made a comment about the way I was letting a 10 year old manipulate me, and if Suzy was coming down with something, it could be handled at camp. I kept Suzy in the infirmary overnight so that I could keep an eye on her. Suzy went from the water dispenser to the bathroom and back to her cot at least every half hour. (You see where this is going...). At around 4am, she started screaming and crying, telling me that she's having a panic attack and begged me for a "sleeping pill" (no meds ordered.). She was frantic, had blurry vision, and My gut said enough is enough, and I brought Suzy to the tiny local ER for evaluation. Yup. Big problem. Undiagnosed type 2 DM with non-ketotic hyperglycemia. Blood sugar over 900. She was airlifted to Boston Children's. Kid recovered. Now the butt-saving part: first, Mom was LIVID that I took Suzy to the ER for a "panic attack." Then, after the ER doc called her, she called me back and screamed at me some more because "You didn't tell me she was REALLY sick!" Parents ended up complaining that they deserved a refund for camp tuition AND the price of the cruise that they missed because of the inconvenience of their daughter's illness. I documented the crap out of this kid from the first time she came to the infirmary and the first time I called home.
  16. mercurysmom

    No friend in nursing school?

    One thought is to set up an appointment with one of your professors or CI's for a little extra help with a specific concept you're currently studying. Then, ask her/him if any other students are looking for a study partner; not a study group, just two of you. He/she may have someone in mind. I'm willing to bet that there are students in your class who feel exactly the same as you are feeling, but haven't said or done anything about it due to the complex social structure and hierarchy of The Almighty Study Group. My mother used to tell my sisters and I, "Don't look for friends. Look for activities and places that surround you with people and activities you enjoy, and friends will find you." She was right. Now, I tell my teenage kids the same things Mom told me, and I think, "Ohmygosh, I'm turning into my mother!" 😱. I just *know* that she's watching me from Heaven, laughing her tush off! And I hope and pray that someday, Someday, my kids will do the same thing! 😆 Hang in there! This, too, shall pass. mm