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Buckeye.nurse has 13 years experience and specializes in Hematology-oncology.

Buckeye.nurse's Latest Activity

  1. Buckeye.nurse

    I'm shocked

    That's crazy Emergent!! I can't believe the medical staff doesn't have the various codes covered during their orientation. Code blue seems universal, but some of the other codes vary from state to state. For instance, Code grey was also used for a violent person in North Carolina, but means "weather alert" in Ohio. And Jedrnurse, we have a Code Brown in Ohio--it means "missing adult". Maybe someone forgot to check the bathrooms before panicking?? :)
  2. Buckeye.nurse

    Don't Say The "Q" word!

    The "Q" word is right up there with bored. Neither are allowed to be spoken during a shift!
  3. Buckeye.nurse

    Policy and Procedures

    I agree with Klone. The place you worked doesn't sound typical (or safe) TexasLVN. My employer has a policy/procedure database with a clear link on our intranet. You can view the policies from the default settings, or log in and save your most used/favorite policies to a separate tab. I love this feature for frequently used policies that I want to show to my preceptees. For many aspects of nursing care (PEG care, trach care, central line care, etc.) our policy is to use Mosby's nursing skills. We have a link to that as well and can search for titles or look up subjects by alphabetical letter. Finally, we have clinical practice guidelines with algorithms to guide us in situations such as suspected sepsis, neutropenic fever, acute chest pain, suspected stroke, etc. The guidelines have tools that include printable ACLS pocket cards, ISBAR guides for calling providers, and time sensitive best practice advice (ie. medication timelines for ACS, antibiotic grid/timeline for neutropenic fever).
  4. Buckeye.nurse

    Rising insurance premiums through work

    Thank you so much for the article link, Neats. "How Doctors Die" is a truly eye opening essay.
  5. Buckeye.nurse

    How do you deal with angry/upset with patients?

    There has already been some great advice given. I'd just like to add that, at least in my line of nursing--hematology, often times patients are grumpy, gruff, upset, or anxious because of underlying fear. They're scared out of their minds and have lost all sense of control. Sometimes what can help more than anything is to sit down and listen to them for 5-10 minutes. If there are misconceptions, I try to clarify them...or get someone who can. If they don't understand something, I educate them. But often, they just want someone to talk to. Stress management services can help a TON. Options available to our patients are aromatherapy, music therapy, art therapy, chaplain services, and mental health CNS. Above all, I try to meet my patients where they are at. At the end of the day I am walking out of the hospital while they are still there dealing with a very serious blood cancer. It's not my place to judge their mood.
  6. Buckeye.nurse

    Is Giving 2 Weeks Notice Ancient Practice?

    I don't think that the 2 week notice has gone out of practice at all. Like a few previous posters, I've only left a handful of jobs (I've resigned a total of 2 times in my career). The first was my CNA job at a nursing home. They knew, months before my graduation, that I was leaving to work at a hospital as an RN when I passed boards. There were no issues, and I continued to work there until the week before I started my job as an RN. I gave a 4 week resignation the second time because I was a charge nurse. Again, there were no issues, and I continued to work (and train a new charge nurse) until I moved out of state. Giving notice always makes you look better, and nursing is a small world. As Annie said, don't burn bridges!
  7. Buckeye.nurse

    financial donation to a needy patient

    I agree with all of the previous posters about monetary donations. One unit that I worked on had a significant number of homeless patients on a regular basis. We noticed that social work generally would drop off scrubs and flip-flops if clothing was needed so we brought up the perceived need in unit council. After much discussion involving management, case workers, etc. we decided to start a homeless closet funded through unit council/sunshine fund money and donations. We stocked it with warm socks, sneakers, sweat pants/sweat shirts, gloves, and hats. Maybe a version of that would work on your unit.
  8. Buckeye.nurse

    How to NOT stress when a patient has high acuity

    Is there a nurse educator who manages your orientation? Do you meet with a manager to discuss your progress at set points during orientation? I'm a bit worried that you are at week 4 of 6 and only taking half an assignment. Do you work 12 hour or 8 hour shifts, and how many shifts do you have left before your orientation is set to end? I would strongly suggest that you ask to take 4 patients for your next shift. If you meet push back from your preceptor, then it is time to talk to your educator or manager. If you work 12 hour shifts, and have 6 shifts of orientation left, then set a tentative goal to take 4 patients for your next shift, then 5 patients for 2 shifts, and the entire assignment of 6 patients for 3 shifts (so that you can get a feel for what the workload feels like with the help of your preceptor). At my current job, a typical orientation for experienced nurses is 6-8 weeks depending nurse comfort, so speak up if you feel like you need another week!
  9. Buckeye.nurse

    Tech falsified vitals

    Just my 2 cents on delegation of vital signs. The PCA (patient care assistant/associate) is responsible for the *work* delegated. IE. they were checked off in central orientation on the actual task, then checked off again during orientation on the floor. False documentation is a fir-able offense, and I have seen it happen during my career. As someone else mentioned, obtaining vital signs (along with accurate daily weights and I & O's) is some of the most important work that PCAs do. Trends can't be measured if vital signs aren't timely and accurate. As for the RN, we are responsible for the *results*, and any actions that need to be taken. We can't use "the PCA didn't notify me!" as an excuse for failing to manage a documented HR of 140, temp of 101.8, or B/P of 74/44 for example.
  10. Buckeye.nurse

    Researching Med-Surg Certification

    I know nurses who have taken both the AMSN and the ANCC med-surg certification exams. From what I've heard, the AMSN focuses more on body systems and disease processes, while the ANCC has questions related to delegation, collaboration, ethics, patient management, etc. in addition to disease questions. There is a *huge* body of potential questions that your exam can come from though, so results may vary. I personally took the ANCC exam from a purely financial perspective. My employer is part of the Success Pays program with ANCC, where we get two attempts, and only pay for the exam once we pass. Like Sammi, my employer gives us a raise for being certified (3.5%!) which is nothing to sneeze at, and it also ties into our clinical ladder program. For me at least, the actual studying for the exam reinforced my knowledge base more than the exam itself. I do feel like studying was an excellent refresher, and the CE requirements for certification renewal force me to continue to stay up to date with articles, classes, etc. Hope some of this rambling helps you, and best of luck! :)
  11. Buckeye.nurse

    You just can't make this stuff up!

    Many years ago when I worked on a general med-surg unit, we had a psych patient on our floor who was a medical hold until a bed opened up at the psych care facility. He was convinced that he was a rapper, and was furious at us for keeping him from his concert in Chicago. He pressed the call light, and promised to give us each a Grey Hound bus if we would let him go. All I can think about is the Oprah Winfrey meme.."You get a bus, and you get a bus, and YOU get a bus!!"
  12. Buckeye.nurse

    Domestic Violence: "Are You Safe At Home?"

    Thank you for sharing your story Ruby Vee! I too was in an abusive relationship in my younger years. I went to the same ER 3 times for injuries (twice for a severely bleeding nose that I thought was broken, and once for a broken hand). I was never questioned further after giving suspicious reasons for the injuries, and was never offered help. Luckily, I eventually left my abuser, but I wonder if I might have left sooner if a medical professional had questioned my stories more thoroughly (and then offered help and resources!). One of the reasons I stayed so long is that I didn't have a clue as to where I might go. Now, as a medical professional, I take the safety at home questions very seriously. I've only had a patient answer no once--and when it did it took me by surprise--but the "No" answer ended up involving social work (who, by the way, are freakin' amazing), case management, our manager, and security.
  13. Buckeye.nurse

    What is a sentinel event?

    Many (think hundreds) of potentially serious or life threatening medication errors occur at hospitals across the country yearly. They are often related to IV pump programming. Most of us would question giving 100 pills...and would call the pharmacist! However, accidentally programming in a 0 instead of a decimal point is not outside the realm of possibility, and results in an insulin gtt dose of 205 units/hr instead of 2.5 units/hr. Many situations just like this have been reported to the Joint Commission as sentinel events. Root cause analysis has resulted in best practice advisories such as independent double checks, smart pumps with guard rails, and pumps that program themselves from the computer MAR. Here are a few articles that go into more depth. (Hopefully they link correctly!) https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/CAMH_2012_Update2_24_SE.pdf https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/SEA_11.pdf IF_Averting-Highest-Risk-Errors-is-First-Priority-Part-1_WP_EN (1).pdf
  14. Buckeye.nurse

    Influenza vaccine

    I'm so glad you made it through your illness alright. Yes, everyone should get the flu vaccine!! In addition to the Leukemia and Lymphoma website, cancer.net also offers excellent advice to cancer patients regarding the flu and vaccination-- How to Protect Yourself From the Flu During Cancer Treatment | Cancer.Net One caveat...get the flu vaccine *injection*. The nasal mist is a LIVE VACCINE and is not appropriate for anyone who is immunocompromised.
  15. Our large nursing unit is divided into 3 "pods" to make assignments more clustered for the nurses and PCAs. Our base nurse to patient ratio is 4:1, but we can increase our staffing to a 3:1 nurse to patient ratio based on our acuity tool. The tool takes into account factors like intermediate care patients, new diagnosis (I work on a hematology floor, and first cycle chemo is time intensive with regards to teaching), comfort care pathways (end of life care), airways, and admits/discharges (we actually staff up if we are having high patient turnover which is very nice!). Our acuity tool also accounts for nurse interns in their first few weeks of orientation because the preceptor spends so much time teaching. And then there's the super handy "charge nurse discretion" line that lets us adjust the numbers for patients that require a lot of nursing time. Overall I think my employer gives nurses a lot of latitude to determine the staffing we need. We don't always have enough staff scheduled to match what the acuity tool calls for (that's a whole different animal). Often the float pool comes through for us, but not always. I'd say though that when we are staffed according to acuity, I believe that we are delivering safe care, and have the time to give our patients the attention they deserve and need.
  16. Buckeye.nurse

    Blood specimen from iv sites.

    I work in the hematology-oncology world. Most of our patients have central lines, but occasionally they have PIV's. We use the peripheral IV as much as we possibly can for blood draws, especially since many of our patients are difficult to access, are prone to bleeding/bruising, and have labs Q 6 hours. Edited to add that, as another poster mentioned, our policy states that blood cultures can never be obtained from a PIV.

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