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Content by GaleSRN

  1. GaleSRN

    Which Area Has the Most Compassionate Nurses

    I have a suggestion. Ask to be floated to different areas, such as the newborn nursery, pediatrics, preop and postop, I would steer you away from the ER until you get a little more um...experienced (?). ER nurses are a group onto themselves. Not uncompassionate, just a little more "colorful" than your average floor nurse. They may seem dispassionate until you see one crying in the hall because a baby just died. Floating is a wonderful way to gain experience and to find your way. Outside of the hospital, others have mentioned Hospice, Wound care, Dialysis (my current specialty). (I have done all of it in my 40+years of nursing).OB tends to attract a nicer crowd. By the way, looking up a patient's criminal history is a HIPPA violation and needs to be addressed. It is a blatant violation. All pt information is on a needs to know basis. If you don't need to know, than you don't look it up. You can make an anonymous complaint about this. It has to stop.
  2. GaleSRN

    Tell on yourself, if you dare...

    I was a very young nurse. I was working on the ortho floor full of young skiers with broken limbs (Idaho). I walked into one room and the young man was doing something under the sheets, rhythmic motion. I, stupidly, asked him what he was doing. He looks up at me and says, "I am winding my watch". I made a quick retreat. On my 3rd day of nursing school I dumped an entire pitcher of ice water on a patient. Fortunately he was a nice guy.
  3. GaleSRN

    15 Minutes in the Life of a Nurse

    I am the manager of a dialysis unit. We have close to 90 pts. Today I have 1 RN on "bonding" leave with her baby and family, another one is off this week due to her kids being on school break. This leaves 2 RNs, and myself. We have 2 new admissions, each one taking up to 2-3 hours each, 5 coming in for medications supposedly for 15 minutes( that is a misnomer, there is always something extra), and 3 for clinic visits. I went in this morning not feeling too great. By noon I was in full fledged influenza and had to go home. I was planning on handling all the medications and 1 of the clinic visits while approving payroll, answering about 50 emails from over the holiday, a meeting with a man working on a project, and a phone conference scheduled for 1 hours. Nope. I got the flu and had to leave my nurses drowning. My amazing nurses handled it like the troopers they are. You can bet I will do something really nice for them for doing this. I just couldn't be in the room with any of our imunocompromised patients while I was sick. Yes I got the flu shot. No, it didn't help. Sometimes management DOES now what is going on. It is their job to know and to try to help. Our motto is Patients come first, ALWAYS. If I have to drop what I am doing to help my staff, then so be it. You know you are in the right place when your manager answers a call light, passes some medications, does some vital signs, and so forth.
  4. GaleSRN

    If you could redo it....would you choose nursing?

    I absolutely would do it again. For the past 40 years it has been the best decision I have ever made. The climate has changed, I know, but it fit my personality and my lifestyle. I think it still would. However, I would have gone for my NP. ( I am too old to want to bother with school any longer!)
  5. GaleSRN

    Injection Gone Wrong: Part 3

    I am stunned that she had to go through so much. Another reason why RNs and LPNs/LVNs should be the only people to give injections. I do not feel that MAs have enough training to be mindful of what they are doing. We don't really think about injections that much. But, saying that, I am always cautious with tiny people with no fat. It is very easy to injure them, as the story indicates. I am sure I will now receive a barrage of comments by MA's who will claim that they have superior training to RNs and LVNs for giving injections. I, actually, never let MAs in my MD office give me injections. I ask for the RN.
  6. GaleSRN

    This person outranks me?!

    I have always told my nurses, nursing students, et al that there is no stupid question. I have been a RN for 40+ years and, quite frankly, I am not sure if a vomit contaminated sputum specimen would be okay...several thoughts on this. Does stomach acid destroy TB cells? I don't know. Not such a stupid question. As to his other questions, he is humble enough to admit he was not sure. You, on the other hand, were not gracious enough to answer the question and to assist him. It does not mean that he is stupid. He just didn't know.
  7. GaleSRN

    Abandonment if I don't pick up over time shifts??

    Abandonment Is when you are entrusted with the care of a patient or patients that you agreed to care for, and you walk off the job leaving them without anyone to care for them. It is not BEFORE the fact. It has to be after the agreement” is made (after you have started the agreed upon shift.) You cannot be forced to take extra shifts if you don't want to and she should be reported for making such a threat.
  8. GaleSRN

    Terminated After Two Months!!

    You can also try Dialysis. Every dialysis company I know has a training program. It is extensive and dictated to by CMS. It is spelled out in the regulations how long a nurse must be in training before they can be left on their own. You may find that this will appeal to you. You see the same groups of patients, all with co-morbidities that will introduce you to a lot of different things. Good luck to you.
  9. GaleSRN

    Sleep Rooms

    When I worked nights I would have given anything to have a place to take a 30 min nap..ESPECIALLY when I was working a double shift. Frequently I was not safe to drive home.
  10. GaleSRN

    No call no show, and feeling terrible about it!

    Give yourself a break. Your supervisor wasn't upset, you need not be either. This is not your norm. Don't beat yourself up so much over one shift. There was a time in my career when I was working FT in one hospital and per diem in another one. I also picked up shifts through the registry. I worked night shift. On more than one occasion I would pick up the phone at 10 am in the morning, which is when I was sound asleep. I would agree to anything just to get off the phone and back to sleep. I, on more than one occasion agreed to work in two places at the same time! The hospital and the agency finally figured out that they should call me late in the afternoon when I was awake!
  11. GaleSRN

    Pendulum Swinging too Far on Pain Meds?

    I think the pendulum has swung to the ridiculous. I have a friend who went to the ER in severe pain from a diner stone. They gave him IV Tylenol. Needless to say it didnt touch the pain. They made him suffer until the tests proved that he had a kidney stone. THEN they gave him IV Dilaudid.
  12. I worked with a Neurosurgeon who prayed before each surgery. The rest of us in the room could pray with him or not. When I was working nights in ICU, I was asked by a family if they could hold a prayer circle for their little girl. She had an Astrocytoma and was in a coma. The praying neurosurgeon was her doctor. It was held at night so not to bother the rest of the patients. I provided them with a phone to connect up with the rest of their church group and pulled the curtains around the little girl and her family. About 24 hours later the little girl woke up. Her neurosurgeon sent her for a MRI.The tumor had shrunk considerably. She left the hospital about 10 days later, alert, walking, and with no trace of the tumor. When patients ask me to pray with them, I do. I may not be their faith ( I am Jewish), but after that little girl, I figure everything counts. Ethically, I do not offer; but if I am asked, I will. After you have have seen one miracle, ....
  13. I had many positions in the 40+ years I have been a nurse. Heart Transplants, ER, OR, ICU, CCU, Research, Management, dialysis. Each change was done with great thought and soul searching. I have never left on bad terms. I moved to other areas because an opportunity came up for me to learn something new. I always became certified in the speciality. When you change jobs do it for the love of where you are going. Do it because it will give you opportunity to learn and to enrich you as a nurse. Make sure it is what you want to do. Most importantly, never leave on bad terms from any job, no matter how much you hated it.
  14. GaleSRN

    nursing for money

    I could make a lot more money elsewhere. I am definitely NOT in it for the money, although I do make a good salary in Managment. I am in it because it is what I love. I have loved it for 40 years. Never regretted being a nurse. I am disappointed that anyone would be in this career for the money. It takes much more than that to be a nurse.
  15. GaleSRN

    Are You Really a Nurse?

    I totally agree with this. I have corrected my own doctor when he refers to his MA as a nurse. I worked hard and it took 5 years of education for me to earn the right to call myself "nurse". People also do not know that you have to maintain high standards in your personal life as well in order to maintain your license. I think we owe it to ourselves and our fellow Nurses to defend the title. MDs do not refer to their PAs as doctors, or even as colleagues. They refer to them as their PA.
  16. GaleSRN

    Amber Does the Unthinkable

    Amber will make a GREAT manager someday. She did exactly what was needed. Sometimes you just need a few minutes to regroup and make decisions. Decisions made on the fly do not work nearly as well as those made with just a few minutes of "regrouping".
  17. GaleSRN

    Taboo - 10 Things Nurses Should NEVER Say!

    I was a fairly new RN with about 3 years experience. I had worked in the same place for most of that 3 years. I was incredibly STUPID when I said to the other nurses that I had not had a code since I started working there. FAMOUS LAST WORDS. Within the 1st hour I had my first code. Received another assignment, and that one coded. Received yet a third assignment and, yep, that one coded, too. I wasn't even halfway through the shift. I was allowed to go home after that before I managed to empty out the entire unit.
  18. GaleSRN

    Going Backwards

    You can apply for an internship at one of the hospitals. That would give you more practical experience and when completed you would be ready. The other thing you can do, is figure out WHAT Specialty you are drawn to. You need to be where your heart is. Going backwards is not the answer. If you love working with children, then intern at a Children's hospital and go for it. If you love working in the OR, then get an internship there. You have passed the biggest hurdle..you love nursing and you graduated. Many new RNs feel like they are not ready. I have 40 years and sometimes I wonder if I really know what I am doing. also, if you can find the right manager, he/she will help you and bring you up on your timeline. Don't give up the dream, you will get there.
  19. GaleSRN

    Tips for New Operating Room Nurses

    I spent about 10 years in the OR. It was a lot more fun back then when RNs scrubbed in. I helped pioneer laser/laparoscopy at Stanford. I taught IV conscious sedation to other nurses for many ambulatory surgery cases. My favorite specialty was putting back together the faces of abused women. That was truly rewarding. There were only a few Techs back then. Now it is only techs scrubbing.
  20. GaleSRN

    Anatomy of a Code

    Just about sums it up. Well written. I have been through more codes than I can remember. The ones I do remember were in the ER...babies, police officers, teenagers in motor vehicle accidents on Prom night and a close friend. Those are my nightmares.
  21. GaleSRN

    Homemaker to RN @ 40

    Depends upon where you live. If you live where there is a nursing shortage, probably not a problem. Age has little to do with nursing positions.
  22. GaleSRN

    Second Victims - the Nurse that Makes a Mistake

    The 2nd victim is so forgotten most of the time. They are often treated unfairly, as though it could never happen to anyone else. As a nurse manager, I have both hired nurses on probation from the Board and have continued working with nurses who were not terminated, through their supervision. We need to help our nurses, not ostracize them. The pain they feel when their error does harm to someone is incredible. They did not come into this profession to hurt someone. I hope this program spreads.
  23. GaleSRN

    What do you mean I'm not a REAL nurse?!?

    I have been a RN for over 40 years. I have worked in ICU; Heart Transplant unit, ER, OR, and just about every field you can think of. I worked at Stanford, UCSF. For the past 15+ years I have been a manager for Home Dialysis Programs. It is the most fulfilling job as a nurse. There is, unfortunately, a judgement passed by other nurses for nurses who work in the Dialysis Field. What they do not realize is how advanced practice Dialysis Nurses are. We case manage every patient. Our patients are often multi system failure. They are intense and can code at any minute if not monitored correctly. The point of this is that we need nurses in every area. We need qualified Registered Nurses in Home Health, in clinics, in schools, in dialysis clinics, in nursing homes, in subacute facilities. We need them in the hospitals, on ships, in other countries. RNs have such a large variety of opportunities. Do what you love, not what others do. You are a REGISTERED NURSE.
  24. GaleSRN

    hiring older nurses

    I am in my 60's. I work FT as a Manager for a Dialysis Clinic. I would be so happy to hire an older nurse, even if I have to train them in Home Dialysis. I wish more would consider Dialysis. Their skills are so needed. I have 2 openings right now in the San Francisco Bay Area. We train patients to do their own dialysis at their home. It is physically less demanding than hospital nursing or in-center dialysis.
  25. GaleSRN

    Are You Cut Out to be an Emergency Department (ED) Nurse?

    I LOVED the ER. Spent over 10 years there on the trauma team. I only left to try out the OR, where I stayed for another 10 years, again on the trauma team.