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rldubz has 3 years experience.

rldubz's Latest Activity

  1. rldubz

    Fired for Falsifying Documents. What to expect

    In my state, the BON sends us a monthly email of all of the "corrective actions" taken against individual nurses. Considering the kind of stuff many of these nurses have done and still kept their license, I think you'll probably be fine. If I read correctly, the meds were Tylenol and Gabapentin? This doesn't sound too major.
  2. rldubz

    Did you contract anything from a patient?

    I recently had a weird fungal ear infection that eventually led to a ruptured ear drum. Though I couldn't pinpoint an actual patient, my ENT said it was more than likely something I picked up from work. Good times.
  3. While the 16 year old was a peds code in the technical sense, I have yet to be involved in a code of a younger kid (if that makes sense). We don't get a ton of them where I work. A few months back we had a child, age 5, who was brought in following a car accident. He didn't make it. As a father of a 7 year old and a 2 year old, I'm glad I wasn't there that day. I don't know how I would handle that.
  4. As 2015 was nearing its end, so too was my final semester of nursing school. My mood was good. I already had a job lined up, and I felt fairly confident that I would do fine on my final exams. Some time in those final weeks, however, a surge of anxiety came upon me. The cause of anxiety: Whiteboards. The ever-present beings that hung in every patient room, scrawled with beautiful calligraphy of the (mostly female) staff nurses. And yet here I was, with handwriting that resembled a cross between a serial killer's manifesto and a ransom note. This was my fear. This was my anxiety. But I'm not really here to talk about handwriting. I'm here to talk about something that I think is probably a much more prevalent fear, especially among nursing students: the death of a patient. I think one of the reasons the thought of death wasn't really at the forefront of my mind is because, as a student, I never saw it. Sure, my classmates and I were sometimes assigned sick patients. But they were mostly fairly stable. Any death that did occur during my rotations did so quietly and behind closed doors. My first nursing job wasn't much different. I worked on an orthopedic floor for six months. While complications can and do occur, all of the hip and knee replacements weren't leading to the demise of my patients. The most action I ever saw is when one of my patient's oxygen saturation dropped to 86%. She also had COPD. And she made it through. Like I said, I only worked this job for six months. And while I normally stay with my employers for much longer than this, at some point during my time there, I caught wind of a job opening at another hospital in the emergency department. And that's where I really wanted to be. I remember my first patient death pretty well. I'll call him Mr. Gonzales, which was not his real name. He wasn't too old, maybe in his 50s or 60s. He came into the emergency room in cardiac arrest, his heart being mechanically stomped by the Lucas machine that EMS had placed him on. I was new at the time, maybe in my second month, still in orientation. I had no idea what to do (thankfully, everyone else did), so I tasked. I hooked him up to the cardiac monitor, placed a blood pressure cuff on him, then pretty much just observed. We didn't code him for very long before he was pronounced by the physician. His wife and daughter were outside of the room and were called in. They were Spanish speaking, but the stillness in the room by both the patient and the staff told them all they needed to know. They started crying. The doctor instructed my bilingual preceptor to inform them of what happened. As if by magic, my preceptor pulled a box of Kleenex out of thin air and handed it to the patient's wife. He expressed his condolences (I think). I stared at the floor and uttered a "Lo Siento", and my preceptor motioned to the door. Back to business. I had to do all of the code charting. Phone calls were made to the coroner's office, the local organ procurement agency, and the funeral home. More code charting. Put a call in to the chaplain. Charting. Check on the family. Try to tidy up the room, bring in chairs, bring more Kleenex. Charting. The chaplain came down and spoke with the family for the while. Then she came to me with a pink bag that contained a condolence card, a pack of Skittles, and a candle that the other nurses instructed me to never light because if I did, someone in MY family would be on that stretcher. Who knew nurses, with all of their anatomy and physiology and pharmacology, were such a superstitious bunch? I was honestly a little confused by the latter gesture. Why was the chaplain offering ME condolence? I didn't know this patient. I never heard him speak. At the time, I honestly probably didn't even remember his name. I felt terrible for the family, of course, but even those feelings were muted by all of the charting and phone calls that I had to make. The whole ordeal had a very much "part of the job" feeling to it. If there's some sort of macabre spectrum out there of "good patient deaths" and "bad patient deaths", then working in the ER probably falls more toward the left. We typically don't get to know our patients very well, especially the ones who ultimately die. If a dying patient comes to us, they're either stabilized, or they die within a short period of time. It's probably a cliche, but most of the death-related sadness that ER nurses experience is more for the family than the patient himself. And that can be hard. And it can stick with you. Luckily, there's always someone or something to help distract you behind the curtain next door. I work in a busy but small facility, and it's not a trauma center. That's not to say that we don't get traumatic death, too. A few months after my first patient death, a 16-year-old patient was brought into the ER. He had been shot. Many times. EMS was en route to the nearest trauma center, but had to divert to us because his condition was rapidly deteriorating. All of the doctors and all of the nurses rushed into the room, hoping against hope that there was something that we could do to be useful. It didn't work. He was pronounced about 20 minutes later. And it was devastating. What seemed to be his entire family was in the waiting room, and upon hearing the news, they (understandably) lost it. There was screaming. There was crying. There was punching walls. And our hearts broke for the family. But there was more. It was quickly determined that this was a gang-related shooting. And the patient's friends began showing up en masse. As a result, the hospital was locked down. Triage was now taking place not in the waiting room, but in a vacant patient room behind the locked doors of the department. There were police and security guards everywhere. Our focus quickly shifted from the loss of the patient and his family members to the safety of all of the other patients. Mr. Gonzales's family was beginning to file out. I was starting to think (hope) that his wife had cried as much as she could, but leaving him at the end of the night proved me wrong. After she left, my preceptor began instructing me in the ways of post-mortem care. He had been cleared by the coroner, so we were able to extubate him, wrestle the IO from his leg, and remove his IVs. I still hadn't really had too much of an emotional response to the ordeal. We got to the point where we were placing him into a body bag. I began zipping it and stopped when I got just below his chin. And that was my moment. That's when the finality of it all finally struck me, after hours of calling and charting and cleaning. I began to feel that warm, stinging feeling behind my eyes. My preceptor was still present, though he was in the far corner of the room doing some other task. I wanted to make a joke, anything that would distract me from the emotions I was finally feeling. Instead, I looked down at the floor, uttered one last "Lo Siento", and zipped the rest of the bag.
  5. rldubz

    February 2018 Caption Contest - Win $100!

    That moment you realize your psych patient somehow managed to paint the clear glass door brown...
  6. rldubz

    February 2018 Caption Contest - Win $100!

    "Doctor, if we don't make it out of there, I just want you to know that it's been my honor and privilege to serve alongside you."
  7. rldubz

    February 2018 Caption Contest - Win $100!

    That moment when you realize that this year's flu season has been so severe that your facility has run out of masks...
  8. rldubz

    LSUHSC or Delgado Charity

    Hi. Sorry this is late, but I just saw that. 1. I doubt there is any difference at all. 2. I graduated from Charity and and currently in a BSN program. The only difference is with the BSN, there's a ton of research papers. That's almost entirely what the program is. Research and papers. 3. No salary difference at all. 4. I would go the ADN route. You start working much sooner, and, as I said, there's no difference in salary or hiring. I had a job offer before I even graduated. You can always bridge into a bachelors program when you're finished with your associates. That's what I'm doing now, and it's 100% online. Hope this helps.
  9. rldubz

    Looking for a change in scenery

    Hello, all. So I'm an ED nurse in the suburbs of New Orleans. My wife and children (1 and 5) are looking to move to a new area some time within the next two years. The reasons are many, but some of the biggies are crime, terrible public schools, and weather (it's like..110 heat index and 90% humidity today). Maybe we're being idealists, but we're trying to find some place where the nurses are paid fairly well, there's some nature to be seen, maybe some actual discernible seasons (New Orleans gets cold and gray for about 3 weeks out of the year and that's about it), and basically just a fun place for a young family. Decent-good public schools are also a giant factor, as we're currently shelling out around 7k a year for both of our kids to go to private institutions. Affordable housing would be great too (under 250k is kind of what we're thinking). Does this place exist? Do you live in this place? Any ideas? Most of our friends are NOLA lifers, so we haven't gotten a ton of great feedback. Our ideal situation would be a suburb of Denver, but it's SO expensive out there. But, to give you an idea of what we're kinda looking for, Denver would be it. Thanks a bunch. I know this isn't necessarily a nursing question, but I'm a nurse, and you all are nurses, so I figure we must have a little bit it common, right?
  10. rldubz

    Anyone live in Parker?

    Awesome, thanks for the info. What neighborhoods would you suggest? Not dead set on Parker. Just pretty sure I don't want to live in Aurora. Parker just seemed to have a really good public school system (which, where I'm currently living, does NOT), and I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old.
  11. rldubz

    Anyone live in Parker?

    Hello all. I'm a fairly new grad (December 15) working in the metro New Orleans area. My wife and I are considering moving from here to the Denver area (for numerous reasons), and one of the suburbs we like a lot is Parker. Been looking at home prices, and it seems like the cheapest decent home that would work for us is at least 320k. My wife works now (low-paying local government position), but she has expressed interest in not working for at least a year until our daughter enters pre-school. So my question, any nurses live in or around this area? Is it possible to sustain on a nurses salary and live in this part of town? What if it's only my income (or mostly my income)? Any thoughts would be appreciated. For reference, I'm an ED nurse, and my current pay (including diff) is like $28 an hour. Thanks!
  12. Hi everyone. Quick question. I'm starting my nursing program in about two weeks. While I don't have the specifics yet, my textbooks are going to all be ebooks. To be more specific, it's going to be a "Pageburst eBooks Package", published by Elsevier. I'm currently using a google Chromebook as my primary computer, and I'm wondering if anyone knows if I will, in fact, be able to use and access these materials using a Chromebook. If everything is completely web-based, I should have no problem. But if any downloading is required, there may be some issues, since a Chromebook doesn't have a traditional operating system such as Windows or Mac OS. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks.
  13. Hello, nursing folks. The following question may sound dumb, but it's sort of becoming a legitimate concern of mine. I just found out recently that I was admitted into my local nursing school for the upcoming semester. While this is all very exciting, one thing has been strangely bothering me more than many others. My handwriting. To be blunt, it's kind of awful. Not illegible (in my opinion anyway), but still pretty bad. Also, through my attempts at trying to improve, I also realized that I have pretty much forgotten how to write in cursive. Whoops. I'm a guy, which I think kind of predisposes me to having worse handwriting than what will sure to be the majority of my colleagues. So adding that into the mix...it's just not pretty. So I guess my question is: Is this something I should focus too much of my worrying on? Like I said, I apologize if this sounds stupid and trivial, but I need to know. I assume (hope) that a good bit of the documentation I have to do will be computerized, so if that's the case, that will ease me a bit. I just want to make sure I'm not doomed to be the bane of my co-workers/supervisors/patients existence because of my juvenile penmanship. Thanks!
  14. rldubz

    Not-quite nursing student resources

    Is this the one? Critical Thinking, Clinical Reasoning, and Clinical Judgment: A Practical Approach, 5e (Alfaro-Lefevre, Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgement): Rosalinda Alfaro-LeFevre RN MSN ANEF: 9781437727760: Amazon.com: Books
  15. rldubz

    Not-quite nursing student resources

    Thanks for the responses. I will definitely look into all of that. A couple of nursing friends suggested to start getting acquainted with fluid and electrolyte balance, so I got a book on that from the "...made incredibly easy" series.
  16. Hello all. So I finished all of my pre-reqs and I applied for nursing school yesterday (2 year associates program). Based on all the criteria, I'm fairly confident that I'm going to get into the program, and will start in January (Spring 2014). My question is this: Does anyone have any recommendations of books/any other resources to kind of give me a head start? I just want to start getting acquainted with the basics before starting the program. If it makes any difference, the school I'm hopefully attending is Charity School of Nursing in New Orleans. Thanks.