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tinyRN72 BSN

Cardiovascular Stepdown
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tinyRN72 has 7 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Cardiovascular Stepdown.

Melissa Gallant has been an RN for over 6 years. She has worked in cardiovascular step-down for the majority of her career. As a travel nurse, she also has experience with med/surg, tele, ortho, float pool, and med oncology. Melissa is also the co-owner of https://etheriawellness.com/ where she offers nursing consultations, health and wellness coaching, meditation and mindfulness classes as well as other health-related classes.  

tinyRN72's Latest Activity

  1. tinyRN72

    How Mindfulness Saved My Career

    As I've said, I agree that change needs to happen in most hospitals. For me, I felt that if I couldn't change the situation, then I owed it to myself to learn to manage to stress.
  2. HI, I've been where you are... in home health. I've worked for a couple of different home health companies and it was always the same... they want you to work all the time. I've left companies for this reason - not respecting my time off. It's hard because you can feel like you are letting them down, but you have to take care of you. If you get so burnt out that you can't work anymore without going crazy, then they are in a worse situation. It always seemed to me that they accept all patients, even when they can't cover them, then they beg people to work extra. I have been given some really high bonuses for taking on extra patients in the past, but you have to say "yes" only when it is worth it to you. Someone else said it best- they will not hire if they can get the current employees to work OT because it is cheaper for them. Maybe you should offer to help train new employees when they hire some 🙂 . No one can be expected to be overworked all the time and remain happy. That is just the way it is.
  3. tinyRN72

    Job Flip-Flopping: When Will I Find My Place?

    Hollyhocks720 I've had a few career changes. Nursing now after years of no medical management and customer service. What got me the most about nursing is the way so many hospitals treat nurses as disposable. "If you don't like it here you can just leave" is that attitude regardless of how unfair or unrealistic the expectation is. Luckily for me, I found a place where I really like working... So far... It's only been 3 months. The problem here is the pay is low... I may love it, but may not be able to afford to work here long term. It's always something.
  4. tinyRN72

    How Mindfulness Saved My Career

    In a way, I really hate to tell this story, but I also feel that if it helps just one other person, then it is worth it. So, here I go! First, allow me to provide a bit of background. I have several years of nursing under my belt. I have always wanted to work for myself, and I have, just not as a nurse. My husband and I started a holistic wellness center about a year ago. For my part, I offer health education classes, meditation, and weight loss. My husband offers coaching, mindfulness living, and stress management. When we started this adventure, I really didn’t know what mindfulness was and had no experience with it, but I go to his classes every week, because it is my company and I should know what we sell. Now for the part I hate to admit to: starting about 18 months ago, I felt like my career was ending. I hated it, but I still loved it, so I didn’t give up. The day-to-day job was becoming so stressful! I felt anxious on my days off, constantly dreaded going to work, and I didn’t want to do it anymore. However, I still loved caring for patients. That part never gets old to me, I find peace in it, and it is in my heart to do this work. It was the other stuff: short staffing, near impossible patient ratios, being constantly nagged about whiteboards, being forced to attend interdisciplinary rounds that occur in the middle of med-pass on a step-down unit where we once had 4 patients, but now have 6, and so many other things. I was overwhelmed and unhappy, and I’m ashamed to say that I became very angry. I’m even more ashamed to admit that my behavior was becoming unacceptable. If I’d been my boss, I would have fired me. I was always negative; that “you’re getting a new patient” call set me off and I spoke quite disrespectfully to my charge nurse more than once; and I used the excuse of “venting” to justify it all. It was not OK and at some point, I knew that I had to get a grip on it before I got fired, or I had to find a new way to earn money. No other job seemed acceptable: I am a nurse. This is where my husband’s Mindfulness classes came in (just in time). Defining Mindfulness There are many ways to define Mindfulness, but my husband likes this definition: How Does this Apply to Life? To Nursing? I started paying attention to the thoughts that ran through my mind every day. The chatter sounded something like this: How am I supposed to have time for all of this? What do they expect me to do? I am only one person who can only do one thing at a time! When is enough enough? How can I work with my phone ringing all the time? I just want to walk out of here right now! This is ridiculous! I can’t! I just can’t! This place doesn’t care about nurses or patients – they only care about money! Why do so many nurses put up with this! (This is family-friendly website, so I left out the worse stuff and edited a lot for the sake of keeping things clean.) What Can Mindfulness Teach Us? Mindfulness taught me to look at these thoughts with acceptance, and without judgment. Just looking at them made me more aware of what my self-talk was doing to my head. The negativity, the complete self-centeredness of it was appalling to me. I didn’t want to be this angry person, stomping around like I was the only one who is busy, or getting admits before my discharges were done. What I found is that I really didn’t like me anymore, I was sort of toxic. More than that, Mindfulness taught me to be curious about these thoughts. I Began to Ask ... Is this helpful? Does it make anything better? Did I ask for these thoughts? What triggers these thoughts? How do I react to these thoughts? How do I want to react to these thoughts? Asking these questions gave me power over the mean voice in my head that was spewing vulgarities about every little inconvenience. Taming the Beast It didn’t happen overnight, but I tamed the beast that had taken up residence in my head. Mindfulness allowed me to examine my thoughts, dissect them, and cut out what was not serving me. It started by helping to see the thought and pause before reacting. This allows for time to decide how you want to react. Mindfulness is an ongoing practice, and this is just a tiny slice of it. But this little bit was life-changing for me. I feel like the scales are balanced again. Yes, I still feel frustration, I still get busy and need to juggle things, but my brain doesn’t interfere anymore. It’s been about 6 months and those nasty little thoughts that made my day hell rarely pop up these days, but when they do, I pause and I decide how I will react. No more knee-jerk fits of frustration! I feel so much less stressed. It’s nice to just take things in stride. Of course, there is a bit more to it than this. Mindfulness gave me a new mindset of being open and accepting of what comes without judgment and without wanting it to be different (ex: getting a new patient when you are already really busy.) When I mastered this, the unwanted self-talk was hushed. This also works when being stuck in traffic, with rude encounters at the grocery store, and many other situations. What I found is that my reaction of being angry about these little things that I have no control over, just kept feeding the angry beast. Over time, not getting wrapped up in these thoughts left it to starve. I’m so thankful my husband teaches this class and my only regret is that I didn’t listen to him sooner!
  5. tinyRN72

    Personal and Professional Benefits of Self Care

    I agree that self care is very important. I own a wellness center, and advocate self care to my clients in many ways: stress management, exercise, fresh air, eating healthy, taking time to have fun, and others. For me personally, I gave up sugary drinks almost a year ago.... No more Coke, sweet tea, or even sports drinks. It only took a couple of months to find that after going without it for a short time, I no longer like the flavor of these things. I was never a water drinker before, but now it is my preference. I also practice Mindfulness and I meditate daily... Which are two of the things I promote to my clients heavily. Self care allows you the mental and physical capacity to care for others. You can't even realize the difference it can make in your life until you experience it.
  6. tinyRN72

    Is Nursing Kind?

    I think that kindness is very important, especially in the work we do. I find that when you start the shift being kind to your patient, they respond with being nice. I hate getting report and hearing that someone is "mean" because I don't want to start out expecting that. I often find that I have no problem with the "mean" patient. When I have a difficult patient, I try to remember that they don't want to be there. They are in pain. They feel helpless and they have very little control over what is happening to them. I remind myself that this person did not ask for this.... Even if they smoke, drink excessively or use drugs.... They didn't ask for this. It helps me to remember that even if they are rude or less than kind to me, for them this could be the worse day of their life. It's up to me to make it bearable for them. From a selfish standpoint, my extension of kindness comes back to me in the form of a nicer patient who is not yelling at me, cursing me or being rude. It's a win win. We also need to remember to be kind our co-worker. This also comes back to you ... Better teamwork, support, and a better work environment. Just be kind to everyone, anytime you have the opportunity. You can't worry about those who are not nice... But you can choose your behavior and you will be happier for it.
  7. I don't see anything mentioned here about pay. I am sure that nurse's salaries vary greatly from state to state, and from hospital to hospital. Where I am, I could seriously work in a good restaurant and make the same amount of money that I do as an RN BSN. I don't do it because I love nursing, and I love the 12-hour shifts and the life/work balance that it offers. However, a few months ago, I was really ready to trade my scrubs in for an apron because the hospital I was in was so terrible. I am thankful that I found a hospital where I really do enjoy my job again, but the pay is so low! My 30-year-old daughter with no college degree makes the same amount of money that I do! She does not save lives! She saves accounts by retaining clients for her company (Account Manager). There is something very wrong with this.
  8. One of the things that keep me working in hospitals is the ability to work 12-hour shifts. I love the freedom of having 4 days off every week, or to be able to pick up a day, enjoy overtime, and still have 3 days off. I can make more money with less stress in other careers. If I were forced to work 5 8-hour shifts, I would look at other options.
  9. tinyRN72

    Breastmilk Exposure in Eye

    I'm really sorry that this happened to you and that you are experiencing so much stress for yourself and your baby. I have had a similar situation. I was once splashed in the face and eyes (thankfully I had on a facemask, so not the mouth) with urine. The patient was MRSA and ESBL positive in his urine. I was freaking out too! I did not even try to get to an eyewash station... I ran right to his bathroom and flushed my eyes out for about 10 minutes, then went to the eyewash station, flushed some more, then went to the ER. They drew blood, wrote up a worker's comp form. They did not swab my eye or anything. I was really worried. I did talk to an ID MD who I really trusted, and he assured me that the eyes are very good at protecting themselves and that there was almost no chance that I would get an infection from it. And he was right, I didn't. It was about 2 years ago. For you, HIV is more scary, especially while breastfeeding. I understand your panic. I'm no expert on this, but I think you will be OK. I know that you will not really feel safe until you get the results. You're in my thoughts... try to keep the panic as controlled as you can. I would call my pediatrician and ask about breastfeeding until you get the all-clear, just to be safe.
  10. tinyRN72

    Is working per diem worth it ?

    Keep in mind, the per diem rate is usually a set amount that is the same for everyone in your job class. A full-time rate will be based on your education and experience level.. and your negotiation skills.
  11. tinyRN72

    Job Flip-Flopping: When Will I Find My Place?

    Just an update for anyone who might be interested.... I did take the hospital job and I did a week of orientation. To my great wonderment and utter surprise I REALLY think I will love this hospital!!! My husband who is not medical has cautioned me that I may be setting myself up for disappointment, but I really have all the warm fuzzies about this place. I went in sceptical with a "I hope they are not bs-ing too much" attitude, but so far they have done many things that truly make me feel really good about it. Wish me luck!! And BTW this will give me more days to focus on Etheria Wellness, which is one reason to get out of home health.
  12. tinyRN72

    Is working per diem worth it ?

    Yes and they will. I did this at one job. Seasonal with no benefits was $45. Per diem (also no benefits) was $35 and full time was $29. Keep in mind, I am in a low pay state.
  13. tinyRN72

    Is working per diem worth it ?

    If it doesn't work, you can always keep looking for a full-time job. Per diem usually pays quite a bit more, so theoretically you can afford to work less. When I was doing it, I wasn't making enough to buy insurance on my own, so that was an issue for me. I did enjoy the money while it lasted and now have a full-time job and work the per diem as I please.
  14. Wow, I know that this has to be stressful for you. Based on what you've said a few things come to mind. Maybe it is a follow-up from before to review your improvement. Possibly, they feel that you are not a great fit for your current role, but want to offer you a change that might be more suitable. Sure, if they are not telling you anything it is going to weigh on you. I would be a nervous wreck too, but you may be surprised at what happens, and as others have said, it might not be about you. If it we're about someone else, they would not tell you... That way you can't talk to the other person about it. Please do keep us updated, but continue to be careful about what information you give.
  15. I ended up turning the job down, but I will try to answer your question. It's a bit broad. One thing that I would expect is they always treat patients with kindness. We all have bad days, but the people we care for should not know that we are having a bad day. I would expect my nurses to work as a team and let know if they are having a problem. I can get them help or would help myself. This makes the day better for everyone. If one person is struggling, I would expect others to help out. Everyone will have one of those days, and we can all work together to make it better. I would expect people to avoid using their phones for private use. They are great for looking things up, but should not be used to check in on social media, chat with friends or personal phone calls while working. These are the first things that come to mind. Do you have a specific question?
  16. tinyRN72

    Job Flip-Flopping: When Will I Find My Place?

    I've applied with insurance companies a couple of times. I got an interview, but not the job.

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