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frozenmedic's Latest Activity

  1. frozenmedic

    CVICU vs Float Pool

    Agree. For obvious reasons float nurses generally receive the more stable patients on a unit. You want the exact opposite of that. Take all the CVICU disasters you can.
  2. frozenmedic

    Do your clot retrieval patients go to ICU?

    HDU=High Dependency Unit, a level of care between ICU and general floor. What the US would likely call step-down.
  3. frozenmedic


    There are so many smart, well qualified people who want to get into flight, that programs can generally be quite selective. I don't know exactly how you "blew" your last interview, but it sounds like you may not have realized some of the very real non-medical aspects of this job- that flight crews are a marketing tool too. In addition to the actual CCT work, every flight program I know uses its crew in a PR capacity for the hospital-be it for safety fairs, fly overs for community events, or show and tell for nursing students. Later, when you're transporting patients, every time you march into an outside facility/fly to a scene you are likely to be interacting with non-hospital affiliated staff. Those people will see you as the embodiment of whatever program's logo is on your flight suit and you have to make a good impression. Every program needs people who will market them well because this is a business like any other. As far as I know, this is the purpose of the 5 minute presentation-to evaluate your personality, communication skills, and demeanor. It doesn't matter if you talk about puppies, scuba diving, or how to make killer tacos; what the program wants to see is that you are confident without being cocky, engaging, and articulate. Your topic should be whatever you can convey a personal interest in to the interviewers. On a more long-term basis, if you're having difficulty with landing a job, you may want to consider ICU experience (I know, groan here). Depending on how much scene vs IFT work you do, programs may view that as better preparation, and it better compliments (rather than overlaps) with your medic background.
  4. 1. What makes nursing a profession rather than simply an occupation? Overpaid naval-gazers with PhDs in "Nursing Theory," who tell you bedside care is the backbone of our profession, but haven't seen a real patient in 35 years. In an occupation I believe you are required to produce meaningful work. 2. What employment opportunities have you had(or plan to pursue)as an RN? I have nursed in multiple specialties. Long-term I plan to pursue a career in EMS. 3. What trends do you see in nursing that will impact the profession over the next ten years? We will have 10 more years to graduate "advanced" nurses with an ever increasing array of meaningless alphabet soup titles that nurses ourselves can't keep track of, much less our colleagues and the public. How we will continue to generate jobs for these people remains a mystery. 4. What are the benefits(if any)for having an advance degree in nursing I.e BSN The hospital benefits from being one nurse closer to the goals of BSN 2020, Magnet Status becomes obtainable, it looks great on promotional materials etc. Oh, you meant benefits for me, the nurse? I get to do my same job for the same pay without getting fired. 5. What hidden challenges to nurses face that the general public doesn't know? As a rule, the better/smarter/more capable a nurse is, the more frustrated they are by the nursing profession. 6. What keeps you in the field of nursing? Being a flight nurse. It is only slightly like the rest of nursing. 7. What advice can you give me about preparing for nursing school? Consider the multitude of other allied health options.
  5. frozenmedic

    CRRT and mobility

    I work in a unit that ambulates patients on CRRT all the time. We also ambulate people on VA/VV ECMO, external/temporary VADs, and combinations of all these support systems. We have been known to take these people outside as well. The type of support a patient needs is not an automatic rule out, but rather how stable they are once bridged to any therapy. At least in theory a patient should become more stable once bridged to the support they need, and subsequently able to increase their activity level while awaiting recovery or definitive care.
  6. frozenmedic

    Favorite RN Position

  7. frozenmedic

    10 yr LPN going to get RN from Excelsior, TIPS?

    1. How long did it take to finish the Excelsior nursing classes? 2 years, including the CPNE. It could definitely be done faster. 2. Approximately how much did you study? Initially, I did 1 course every 2-3 months, studying for several hours 2-3 times a week. As I progressed things got much quicker. You start to see trends in what types of questions get asked, and I got better at using my resources. 3. Did you study from the provided materials or use things like mystudygroup101? I used the studyguides, practice tests, and eventually studygroup 101. I wish I had known about studygroup 101 earlier. 4. If you used just mystudygroup101 did you pass your tests ok? Except for 1 class, I got straight As. The one B was not a studygroup101 course. 5. What did you do to prepare for the CPNE? 1-Understood that the CPNE is about conforming to a clearly set standard, not about your experience or abilities. 2- Read the studyguide cover to cover multiple times. 3- Practiced each area of care until each element was automatic 4- Took advantage of the faculty phone calls to ask questions and discuss careplans. 5- Used the Sherry Taylor online videos for a month. 6. How well prepared were you for the NCLEX? I got a review book, didn't take a formal class, just did lots of practice questions. 7. Did you pass the NCLEX on the first try. Yup. 75 questions, in and out in about an hour
  8. frozenmedic

    Paramedic and nurse?

    Yup. Been there, done that.... Worked as a 911 medic for years, loved working as a paramedic, teaching paramedic initial education and critical care courses, but still went to nursing school for all the reasons other people have listed. I had no idea going in how much I would hate bedside nursing, but I do value the concentrated critical care time it has given me, and the opportunity to really discuss patient issues and physiology with the docs. For a while I worked as both an RN and street medic; working as both simultaneously is not the issue-it's getting the initial education and certification for both simultaneously that is tricky. This is due to the time commitment involved, and almost zero transfer-ability of educational credentials from one side to the other unless you do a specific bridge program. Currently, I work as an ICU RN and flight RN who sits in both seats, so I maintain both credentials. I only work in the ICU to keep myself sharp for flight, I have no love for ICU nursing. I'm happy with where I am, but it was a long road to get here. When I get too creaky for flight my exit strategy is to quit the ICU and go work in hospice so I can stop torturing old people or go back to EMS education full time. So is there any actual advice is this post? I'm not sure, but what I would definitely stress is this: to start you are going to have to pick one or the other field to focus on. Medic to nurse is the more typical "progression" as you move from a poorly respected field with limited long term career options to a well respected field with better pay and more long-term options. As a practicing RN first it is very difficult to go "backwards" to become a medic because the pay cut is real. Although there are RN to medic bridge programs, they seem to be geared towards RNs who already work in a flight/transport environment and are just looking for the initials too add to their resume. None of the nurses I personally know who have gone that route have actually chosen to work as "just a medic" for a while.
  9. frozenmedic

    Flight nurse?

    It seems this discussion got a bit sidetracked, but assuming you're talking about being a civilian flight nurse here is my input. On paper, the basic requirements are just as other posters have noted, perhaps with minor variations between services. General RN requirements come from CAMTS (medical transport accreditation) for nurses operating in a "Critical Care" mission profile, they also set basic requirements for flight medics. From your post it sounds like you are neither a nurse nor paramedic at this time, and attempting to go to school for both as the same time would likely be impossible. The educational models are incredibly different, but both have a large time commitment. Before jumping on a plane/helicopter with your patient, you're going to need several years of experience in whatever field the letters behind your name indicate, so I would choose the job you think you're going to enjoy the most. Are there medic/RN bridge programs (and vice-versa)? Of course, but that's a bridge to cross later.
  10. frozenmedic

    Emt problems

    When I worked as a paramedic we had this problem all the time. LTC care staff calling 911 for clear non-emergencies because (duh) we'd get there faster than the local transport services. Their protocols also required them to call 911 for any resident fall, even those without injury. Even if the transfer is ordered by the (off the scene) MD that doesn't mean it's an emergency. The EMS system I worked in also had protocols that allowed us to refer patients to other types of non-emergent services. So, conceivably, the crews responding to you might actually have the ability to "refuse" patients. Another issue we had with LTC were "emergency" calls being completely mis-managed. For example, we would commonly arrive on scene to find a patient in severe distress/actively seizing/in full cardiac arrest etc, unaccompanied by staff. Mid-intubation a staff member would present themselves as a nurse, know nothing about the events leading up to 911 being called, claim they "didn't know this patient" or "it's my first day," or "I last checked on this patient 6 hours ago, but yes, I just called 911 now" and "no, I don't have the transfer paperwork ready." I'm a realist-not every facility is like this, but when 911 services are consistently misused, critical patients poorly cared for, and limited 911 response ambulances taken out of service to shuttle these residents around it can be hard to provide service-with-a-smile.
  11. frozenmedic

    My professor told us NPs have no future...

    Just because your professor is a jerk, doesn't mean he's wrong. I work with plenty of great NPs and there is plenty of work to go around, but I don't think the current NP model can last. As others have pointed out there is quite a bit a variation in the caliber of both NP students and NP programs. Unfortunately, the best students and the best programs have the most to lose from the current "race to the bottom" NP program boom. How often do you see internet sidebar ads for NP programs for nurses with minimal experience and that specifically advertise the lack of work/clinicals/classroom time required? Obviously not every program runs this way, but you can't expect the NP field as a whole to maintain credibility in a world where these programs are plastered everywhere and where the student pool continues to pull from less and less qualified applicants. The trend is completely unsustainable. Is it a problem now? Obviously not. In 5 years? Probably still not an issue. But in 20...or 30...? I think by then we'll see real issues. You said you're just starting out in nursing school, so this is a timeline that could very well impact your career. As a young, unhappy nurse myself considering career options, I can tell you I will NEVER go to NP school (for this and a few other reasons.) If I decide to go the mid-level/APP/whatever you want to call it route, I will go to PA school. Maybe it's just my geographic area, but I see far more opportunities for PAs. I see an educational model based in medical reality and not "nursing theory" and reflective journals, and I see a career path that is on the up-slope, not the down slope. I work with several PAs who were former nurses, and they are all happy with the choice they made to jump off the NP bandwagon.
  12. frozenmedic

    BSN not helpful

    As my old boss used to say, "those bridge programs put the BS in BSN." My RN-BSN program was, fortunately, cheap, and from an education standpoint, I certainly got what I paid for. Nursing has done a great job of creating a "career ladder" that now the field is chock full of master's degree pseudo-positions like CNLs, CNSs, CNMLs, that as far as I can tell specialize in naval-gazing, self-aggrandizement, and maintaining a hierarchy based on useless degrees rather than ability. Similarly, what about those "doctoral prepared" PhDs with a specialty in "nursing theory" (still haven't met a single practicing nurse who has any idea what a nursing theory is supposed to do for us or patients) Without this false heirarchy, and loads of undergraduate students with these mandatory classes, these people would have to get real jobs. It's by far in their best interest to maintain the status quo and not push for a curriculum and subsequent care delivery system based on science because then they'd be pushed out.
  13. frozenmedic

    Hopeful future Burn Nurse

    I worked in a burn unit in the southeast. It's a great place to be.
  14. frozenmedic

    Hopeful future Burn Nurse

    If you're starting out as a new nurse and interested in the burn population, you should go for it. I think you'll find that a burn ICU can offer exposure to far more than "just" burns. Assuming you're working in a verified burn center, not just a unit that has burn in the name, you'll probably serve as a regional if not multi-state referral center. I recently left an adult and pediatric burn center located in a level I trauma hospital, and I can guarantee that you don't "have to be basically healthy to burn yourself." We would see multi trauma patients with burns, tons of concurrent substance abuse and mental illness, plus, as another poster has noted a whole host of prior medical problems that will be exacerbated by their burn injury acutely, and during the potentially 6-12 month stay for our big burns. The hyperdynamic nature of burn injury can induce MI or arrythmias in the patient with prior cardiac disease, renal failure in susceptible patients, then there is rhabdo from electrical injuries or unrecognized compartment syndrome from transferring facilities, massive PE due to immobility, and of course sepsis, sepsis, sepsis. We would also treat a fair number of patients with rare non-burn exfoliating skin diseases like necrotizing fasciitis, SJS/TENS, calciphylaxis, erythrodermic psoriasis, and plenty of others. Assuming you work at this type of high acuity place you'll get exposure to tons of drips (pain, sedation, pressors, insulin, paralytics, continuous antibiotics), bedside procedures (trachs, bronchs, PEGs, bedside endoscopy), plenty of CRRT, and potentially unique vent modes or ECMO for patients with inhalation injury if your unit does that sort of thing. Your assessment skills will be tested as you simultaneously care for patients across the age spectrum, attempt to manage pain in the paralyzed patient, or try to walk the line keeping your non-vented patient breathing but not suffering as you give huge doses of meds for wound care. As other people have mentioned it's crucial that you try to get into that unit for a shadowing experience, clinical rotation, or preferably capstone. You need to make sure that you really enjoy working in a super heated room (burn patients get hypothermic easily) while dressed in a plastic wrapper, and that the sight and smell of huge wounds doesn't bother you. We have had both students and regular employees lose consciousness during wound care. Our unit would happily hire new grads, but they were required to spend time on the unit (preferably during a capstone) to make sure they could deal with the realities of burn ICU care. There are plenty of people who have spent their entire career in burns-maybe you'll be one of them. One of the underappreciated benefits is your coworkers: people generally don't come to burns just because there was a position open. People come because they're specifically interested in the field, and want to do what they're doing. These are they types of people you want to work with.
  15. frozenmedic

    I'm not sure if nursing is for me and I am freaking out.

    Like several of the other people who have replied, I was a paramedic before I was an RN. I had no particular interest in nursing itself, but I saw it as more stable career with greater transferability, promotion, and salary potential than working in EMS. I also thought it would be an opportunity to increase my scope of practice, and feel like I had a bigger impact on people's lives. I was wrong, and going into nursing was, for me personally, a mistake. I have worked with several other medics who feel the same way and would NOT recommend the change in career. For the record, I work in a very high acuity ICU that does all manner of mechanical cardiac support devices, ECMO, temporary VADs, etc (sometimes all in the same patient!) I'm interested in the pathophysiology behind the patients far more than the human aspect. I don't think of myself as a particularly emotional or caring person, and I don't get the same joy my coworkers do from connecting with people on a personal level, dealing with their minute to minute struggles, calming down a family who is overwhelmed, or watching them finally relax after giving them pain meds and adjusting their pillows just right. Rather, what I liked about working in EMS was the satisfaction of knowing I was making the best possible decision in a bad situation both operationally and medically, regardless of whether or not the patient, ED staff of anybody else would notice or not. It's very easy for nurses and non-nurses alike to list the things about nursing that are miserable, after you work as a nurse, you'll be able to list even more. That being said, this is a job and what matters more is whether there are enough good things to balance out the bad. If the things I listed above don't sound like perks to you, nursing is probably not for you. You said "What I liked about being an EMT was I treated my patients to my scope of practice and then handed them over to the nurse and moved onto the next patient. I didn't have a desire to stay with my patients for a long period of time." You haven't really seen the nursing side of things yet, but it doesn't sound to me like you're overwhelmed by the boot camp. It sounds like you have similar feelings to me about what parts of your job you like vs. dislike, and nursing is not aligning nicely. It's not too late to choose something else. There are literally dozens of other allied health fields that you might like better. Solely based on what you've said thus far, have you looked into becoming a perfusionist, or Cardiovascular Technologist working in a cardiac cath or EP lab? In each of these fields, you would be part of a team, but have a very specific role, and would treat one patient at a time, then move on to the next one. If you do decide to become a nurse, I would recommend the OR, cath/EP lab, or some type of procedural suite (IR, GI procedures, etc).
  16. frozenmedic

    Anyone use picmonics?

    I think Picmonic is wonderful. I used the "doctor level" Picmonic, as my husband was a medical student while I was studying for the NCLEX, so I don't know how different the "nursing level" would be, but I found they did a fantastic job of making dry, unrelated pieces of information stick. As you probably know, they use ridiculous, cheesy pictures to make the facts memorable, but I found it to be an exceptionally effective way to make concepts stick. I suspect it would be helpful in terms of knowledge acquisition, but probably won't do much to help you practice NCLEX type questions. You might not need that though, since you have other resources available.