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Flatlander's Latest Activity

  1. Flatlander

    Please Help

    I have experienced job loss as a new grad in a similar hospital unit with a 12 week orientation. I was let go at the end of the orientation. I, too, was devastated and felt blindsided, not knowing until the axe fell. In my grief and anger I could not accept the offer that was extended to me to apply for job on a less acute unit. My advice to your daughter is to get up, put herself together and talk to the nurse recruiter at the hospital about other jobs that are a better fit. Hurt pride is a hindrance she cannot afford now. As for you, Dad, heed the advice here on the best ways for you to help your daughter become strong and self-reliant. Best of luck.
  2. Flatlander

    Trach suctioning without gloves??

    I agree this seems to be the standard nursing practice.
  3. Flatlander

    Trach suctioning without gloves??

    I always have to fight my agency to supply enough gloves for home care. I recently researched this subject online and the recommendations vary site to site. However all were in agreement that it is important not to contaminate the new trach by allowing it to touch anything unsterile, presumably because it will remain in place for awhle and allow chance for contaminants to cause infection. The other agreement was using a new sterile suction catheter each time. I am still confused. Wish my agency had written protocols and standards. One option I've tried is to call the physician who prescribes the trach care and ask their staff for what they recommend and teach families. Sometimes they will send a copy of their home care instructions. By following doctor recommendations maybe then you are covered if there is a licensing/standards issue against you.
  4. Flatlander

    First case - infant with g-tube

    I recently started working in home care with a 14 month old with trach, g-tube, neuro deficits, etc. The family is very knowledgeable and willing to answer questions, demonstrate, train and so on. The agency has a case manager in charge of the case and a manager who will answer questions in the case manager's absence. I had no prior experience with peds and was very nervous about trying it out. It turns out that the care is not so different from adult care, and it's gratifying to be learning and developing confidence in this new arena. When in doubt call your supervisor/manager, the parent/caregiver, the doctor (pediatric nurses are very helpful). You may find this new experience very rewarding. Good luck! PS -- Thanks to OP and the rest. I've learned alot and tested my assumptions by reading your comments.
  5. Thanks for posting this, Nekozuki. I just left a case I was on for a year and 10 months. I had an injury that required me to be off work for 2 weeks following an almost 2 week vacation. When I asked to go back to work, my shifts had already been covered for the whole next month. At that point I had to request a new assignment, which fortunately looks like a "go." This agency pays no vacation or any other paid time off until after FIVE YEARS ! of service. Anyway, yes. I don't feel guilty, but I miss my client very much and worry that she will feel abandoned and confused about my unexplained and abrupt departure. I asked the agency to explain why I accepted another assignment, but I was discouraged by my supervisor from making contact myself. I have a master's in counseling psychology and one of the things always stressed in that program was the importance of preparing the client for termination. It was also considered important to recognize that after a long period of working together, both parties will have feelings about ending the relationship. The work at the end was to allow both parties to process and come to terms with issues and feelings that arise and the acceptance that it cannot continue as a friendship because of the professional boundaries. That is the reality. I believe it is okay to feel sad at the loss of that person. I believe it is okay to miss them. I think it is okay to tell them that you will miss them, and they may miss you, but they and you will move on and get over the missing in a fairly short time. I believe it is important to explain your leaving face to face, if possible, and if the reason would be hurtful, to not explain fully. It is always possible to find a grain of truth and to hold back anything that harms rather than helps. I don't feel guilty, because it is the agency's responsibility to get the shifts covered and find a good fit for the family. In my case, I think I'm going to send a brief note to my patient and another to the patient's family to briefly state that I enjoyed working with them, have made a change that will work out better for me, and hope they are well and remain so. I am interested in what you decide to do. Keep us posted. I relate to some of the issues others raised about agency differences in this area.
  6. Flatlander

    RN salary in Grand Rapids area?

    Home care private duty through agency, started out at $19/hr with two years' experience. No paid time off until 5 years' longevity. Raise of $1 (yes, you read that right) after one year. Jobs in home care are plentiful and hiring process is much quicker than hospitals'. Great way to start earning while continuing to look. Michigan licensing can take 4 to 6 weeks, with luck; in my case it was much longer, due to Board's clerical error which sent my application confirmation and info on completing fingerprinting, background check, etc, to someone with my maiden name in another state, so I had to keep calling the board to find why I'd received no response. To which they kept replying, "it must have been sent to your old address." Finally they sent another letter after about the fifth phone call. (Two months later, I received a nice note from someone in Ohio who had received my Board response, and was kind enough to send it, though a little late. I never lived in Ohio, and shared nothing with that person except my former last name!) But, hey! Good luck and, really, the state is great. Lake Michigan is a jewel and will make you forget about the ocean!:)
  7. What has happened in your career since your post in Feb. 2012? I find myself in the same pickle you describe above. It seems that success in nursing is all about being able to keep up the "fast pace." Is it really all about the money? I think we are expected to complete the job in 32 hours that used to take 40. (Consider it a privilege to run yourself ragged and ignore your patients for fewer hours and much less pay.) For me, as a relatively new nurse, it is dangerous. I start making mistakes, forgetting things, and then dwelling on the things I forgot -- all leading to stress and worry, which only compounds the problem. Maybe I'm ADHD, too. Orientation and training is a joke. If it's meant to weed out the tortoise in favor of the hare, it is working! And that lesson obviously has no relevance for nursing. (Sorry to be so negative.) I wonder if I'll ever find the nursing job where I can be successful and happy. I am close to giving up, too. Sure wish I'd known all this before I invested huge time and money in becoming an RN.
  8. Flatlander

    Older Student/Over 60 years old

    You'll be amazed how fast two years of school goes by. Study hard and learn as much as you can. A two year program crams an awful lot into a short time, but it is all necessary learning...there's no fluff. You've persevered this far and already have the makings of a damn good nurse! I admire all the people who persevere through adversity -- breast cancer and chemo have to be in a class of their own -- and that is truly inspiring. But the other things on this thread are, too. The years of doing things you don't love to pay the bills, the struggles to find funds for tuition and books and to carve out time for study as an adult. One hopes that it pays off in the end, but sometimes it's hard to find the job that fits. I'm still working on that one. The good part is that my nursing degree has made it easier to stay employed and when I'm earning a full paycheck, I can even put some into savings. I've tried the private duty home care nursing with one client in a family setting. It has had its reward and I often enjoy it a lot when the family, kids, grandkids, and helpers are all around and I'm juggling making supper, keeping my client comfortable, giving her treatments, charting, letting the dog in and out... I've tried a busy challenging floor job in the hospital with 12 hour shifts...also tough in its own way. I've been a flu clinic nurse and enjoyed working with kids, babies, moms and pops, business people and factory workers...especially liked the autonomy. I'd get my assignment, collect my large bin at the clinic, then head out to a school or place of business and start giving injections and nasal sprays. When I was out of nursing work for awhile I did medical records field tech work, earning enough to pay the bills each month. Also got that job on the strength of my nursing education. Of course, I'm still paying off the student loans. That's another drawback of late life education, unless you have the funds to pay without loans. I'll be paying them off till I croak, prob'ly.:)
  9. Flatlander

    Older Student/Over 60 years old

    To paujos: I think your waitressing experience and the physical labor and truck driving will help you. Waitresses have to be fast, organized, and able to prioritize and delegate (you can use this in your job interviews!). And obviously you are not afraid of hard work and not overly concerned with "status-seeking." I had to get used to a lot of scut work. Goes with the territory. If nursing is what you want, do not let age stop you! No one ever told me out loud that I was too old, but my mother kept telling my sister I'd never find a job at my age. She grew up in the age when you were out of luck if you were over 40. But goodness, people are now often youthful into their 70's (60 is the new 40! I think so!) Good luck.
  10. Flatlander

    Older Student/Over 60 years old

    Hi. Nice to hear from this thread. Yes, I completed the ADN, was hired after 9 months on a cardio/acute care floor and was let go at end of orientation. That's why I stress getting performance reviews very early on and specific areas for improvement if told you are not progressing as expected. I'm still working in complex home care (client with quadriplegia, G tube, trach, Cath, etc.) Was just hired on at a nursing home and start in a couple weeks, evenings, 8 hour shifts. What doesn't work for me is 12 hours shifts. Hate 'em. I get really tired, but some of the young do too. We're finding out through recent empirical research that long hours and night shifts actually impair health! I wonder how nursing field is going to solve that one! I've been told I'm slow and I believe that I am. That may or may not be due to age. I rather suspect it's that I'm very cautious, deliberate, and I think too much. However, it is critical thinking that I do and I follow up on every discrepancy and hunch that could prevent problems down the line. Yes, nursing is indeed hard work! Even for young folks. I believe it is imperative to stay in good physical condition, eat well, get enough sleep, and keep stress under control. Please continue to share experiences as an older worker. We can provide support on this forum! Thanks for connecting.
  11. Flatlander

    Terminated at end of orientation.

    I've been working in a home care job for awhile now. I have one patient who is total care, quadriplegic, with trach, g- tube and suprapubic catheter, lots of meds, suctioning, feeding, etc. It's twelve hour shifts with a one hour commute each way and can get just as exhausting as the hospital job. I'm beginning to feel that 12 hour shifts are not for me. I found the hospital environment rather brutal in the attitudes toward new nurses and hours/workloads. Home health care comes with its own set of challenges, not least of which is some fuzziness in how things are done. Not the best place for an inexperienced nurse. On the plus side, there are patients who are in dire need of nurses for the reasons above (remote locations and tough care assignments.) I plan to apply for some clinic positions and see if I can get hired and have a more normal work schedule. I think I need more variety and a place where I can continue to learn and grow. How are the rest of you doing? Care to update on your experiences since firing? Thanks!
  12. Flatlander

    Best RN jobs to have more time for children/family

    Most 12 hr shift jobs are for 64 or 72 hrs per week. If you do five 8 hr shifts you might find that the pay works out the same. Also the regular schedule and ability to have evenings every night with your family could save money in the long run (think meals, sitters, etc). You would also have most holidays off and regular vacation time. Someday will nurses revolt and give up the 12 hr dream (which really only benefits the employer)?
  13. Flatlander

    Resume advice?

    How much can you expect to pay a professional resume service?
  14. Flatlander

    Resume advice?

    Your current resume is basically a list of job duties, not a dynamic sales pitch for the job you want. Look carefully at the job announcements for jobs you think you might want. Make a list of the skills that appear most often or in top priority for that announcement and several other announcements for similar jobs. Go through your resume and pick out your experience that matches the top skills from the job announcements. Reword your Skills and Qualifications to clearly emphasize your abilities in those areas and place those statements at the top of your resume. Use every other part of your resume to reinforce your qualifications and a few things that make you stand out from the crowd. If you've held many jobs, summarize your top skills with bullet points. You might want to group them under general areas with headings such as Medical-surgical, Long term care, customer service, leadership, etc. You have to grab the recruiter's attention in the first few seconds of rapid scanning of your resume. The top one-third of the resume is where this happens. Leave out anything that doesn't carry impact related to the job you are seeking. Put the stuff that everybody has, but that are still required at the bottom...Education, credentials, certification...unless they are unique or special and proclaim your skills for the job, in which case they should go to the top of the resume in a bullet point. Your cover letter is the place to quickly describe your qualifications and your desire for the position. Keep it brief, focused, and professional, but allow yourself to shine with something uniquely yours. Network, seek contacts, try to speak to recruiters, get feedback on your resume and cover letters. Keep coming back to allnurses for support. Good luck!
  15. Flatlander

    In need of guidance and advice

    Call up employers and nursing colleges in your area and arrange meetings with administrators, recruiters, and managers. You might even try your local government job services/employment offices. Since you are already enrolled in a nursing program, arrange to speak with nursing faculty and administrators. In doing so, explain your aim is to discover opportunities for people with your limitations and strengths. Explain you are seeking information for the purpose of career planning. Surely you are not the first person ever to have physical limitations which don't readily conform to standard job duties. You are going to have to carve out an area, but the experts in educating, hiring, and managing have no doubt dealt with these issues many times and can advise you on areas that will suit your skills and abilities. Don't neglect to avail yourself of the people surrounding you, whose wisdom and experience you can tap into. Explore all possible leads. This may lead to visions and vistas you never knew existed. Don't sell yourself short. You will find your niche if you keep trying. Keep in touch with Allnurses for support in your quest...and good luck!
  16. Flatlander

    11 Months in Home Care trying to get out

    When I read your resume, my first reaction was that it was too technical and not focused enough. Look at the job announcement and description of duties for the job you are hoping to land. Then tailor your resume to match the top skills required for THAT job. Highlight your experience related to those areas at the top of your resume. Avoid the use of too many technical abbreviations; spell things out. You could start by moving the last three of your qualifications under Skills and Qualifications to the top of that section because they are more generally required in hospital nursing. You want the top third of your resume to cinch the deal. Remember that recruiters are going to scan your resume quickly and you have about 30 seconds to grab their attention and make them read on. Make sure that every word counts and carries the message that you fit the job they are looking to fill. Stress the skills that you will use in the job you are applying for, pulling these from the job's description. State your experience in those areas. Your current resume showcases the skills you used in home care at the top third of your resume, but you are not applying for home care. You must stress your abilities and skills for the job you are applying for! Look at several job announcements from different employers for the job you want. Examine the similar requirements. These are the ones to stress. For example, explain how you learned to excel in time management, team work, accuracy, documentation in your present job. Show your desire to learn new skills and keep up with evidence based practice, etc. Stress what makes you unique and better at what the employer is looking for. All this will make your resume more dynamic. Next show your credentials and education, again tailored to the job's requirements and qualifications. Even previous employment experience can be used to sell your transferable skills, i.e., in customer service and satisfaction, leadership, time management, skill development, etc. Don't forget to update your resumes regularly on websites. After an interview, send a thank you note. If you haven't heard anything after a week, contact the interviewer. Ask for feedback if you were not selected. If you really want the job, keep applying, updating your cover letter, seeking contacts, and networking. Good luck. Don't give up. Very few of us get the job we want after sending out a few resumes and going on a couple interviews. This is still a tough time for job seekers. You may have to work hard and persevere. Let us know how it goes.