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Axgrinder specializes in Adult MICU/SICU.

MICU/SICU; Cardiothoracic surgery

Axgrinder's Latest Activity

  1. Axgrinder

    Only Crusty Old Bats will remember..

    'Member these bad boys??? (I bet I still have a couple somewhere ...) .
  2. Axgrinder

    Only Crusty Old Bats will remember..

    Bravo! Encore!!! {Now I have music from The Time Warp, AND Earache My Eye on repeat in my mind!}
  3. Axgrinder

    Only Crusty Old Bats will remember..

    Great Scott!!! {Clap, clap, clap ... Applause ...}
  4. Axgrinder

    Please don't judge me and my daughter

    I understand many ED nurses are feeling inappropriately slighted by this post, but I think the point is that when you are a parent whose child is in distress in any capacity you no longer are a nurse in the professional sense - you are a frightened parent that goes into mother-bear mode, and she is roaring in pain in the only forum she knows of where she can vent her spleen. When you are a nurse AND a parent, parent wins every time. When you are a scared parent you lose all professional nurse sense in the blink of an eye. You find yourself suddenly naked and trembling, stripped down to your humanity with your soul laid bare before God and everyone. Not a pleasant place too be. More than any one offense of this encounter I sense she felt let down that the type of help she sought wasn't available to be had in any ER by the ED's very nature of saving lives first and everything else come in second. I'm also sorry that an obvious cry of parental pain was met here with such scorn - perhaps that is the type of welcome she received also at her local ER too? Reading between the lines I see a parent who wanted help for her kid - and got it, but the help was delivered in a way that was less therapeutic than she had hoped. No one told me how hard the job of parent would ever be, and it doesn't end at 18 - no sir it does not. You'd do anything to protect that child - and God help anyone who invokes your protective instincts (whether they really deserved it, or not).
  5. Axgrinder

    October 2016 Caption Contest. Win $100!

    "Ah! Here is the surgical team now!".
  6. Axgrinder

    My NCLEX-RN Experience

    Thank you for sharing this. You really applied yourself and it paid off in spades! Congratulations! You certainly earned it. I took the very last pencil and paper NCLEX (yeah, I'm an old bat) while 34 wks pregnant. I drove from Tucson to Phoenix with my husband, and a classmate. 400 questions broken up into four 100 question exams over 2 days. I think it was here that I finally got over my test anxiety. I was fortunate I passed the first try, but they didn't tell us by how much back then - just pass or fail. In theory you could have earned a 100%, or only passed by 1 test question. Approximately 6 weeks later a letter arrived via US (snail) mail: you either received your license (a thin letter), or a letter stating you didn't pass (somewhat thicker). I have been very curious how it has since been conducted. My husband just sat his state boards for COTA and he prepped very much the same way you did. Back when I did it 10% of the populous had home computers - though my NCLEX prep book came with a CD, I had no easy access to use it (I think DOS made computer use much more difficult back then too). The book it was then … Thanks for providing answers I've wondered about, and relieving my curiosity about how NCLEX is now done. And again, congratulations and well done nurse! Also, welcome to nursing, we sure need you! :)
  7. Axgrinder

    One Reason For Nursing Burnout

    I'm so sorry this happened to you - you sound like a competent, compassion, hard working nurse, and a genuinely nice person too. Let me just say these three daughters, as nurses, should have not clung to your every move, critiquing harshly while you did your job - keeping their mother alive. It sounds as though the issues run deep and wide in that family. I for one would not want to be around when the end finally comes for momma. The drama will be intense, and likely worthy of anything Shakespeare could have crafted. It makes me wonder how those three would react in a similar situation at their own jobs? I bet it wouldn't be much fun, would it? From what you outlined it sounds to me like the pathology between the three daughters is ripe. I've been in scenarios that I've been the nurse on duty, the pt, and the family of the pt. In the last scenario my husband wanted me to do something similar to what you described when his father was having CABG surgery out of state in 2001. We drove in to be present for support, and I was also working in MICU/SICU at the time. I assessed the situation - they had it under control, so I refused. In no way was I going in with both guns blaring to make trouble for other nurses caring for my father-in-law, whom were doing a good job - and doing so competently at that. I had the rather distressing experience of having a family member of a pt whom was also a military nurse - an officer, come in to watch my every move. It was creepy, and distracting. I always give excellent care to everyone - be it the president of the United States, or a homeless person sleeping in the street - they all receive excellent care, and are treated like my own family. I found it insulting. I also have had a pt (mom) who used to be a nurse, and her two daughter's - also nurses, in my care. Those two will always be remembered because they understood what it was like to have multiple pt's on one's assignment, and they assisted with much of mom's pt care. I enjoyed their company immensely, and they were always grateful for everything large and small. After mom coded and died (on a shift I wasn't on) they sent me a huge gift basket stuffed full of exotic treats to express their gratitude - which the was enough for the whole unit to share. They were pleasant and kind, and years later I recall it with perfect clarity, fondly. I hope someday I will behave accordingly if ever in the same situation. You didn't deserve what was meted out to you. Just know that to an outside eye there appears to be much pathology and control issues going on amongst those three daughter/nurses. You just happened to be in the line of fire. Enjoy the remainder of your time off, and take consolation in the fact that you probably would never have been able to please those three biddies - even if you had been able to channel the spirit of Florence Nightingale herself.
  8. Yeah, I was dismayed at how little I earned as a new grad: in 1994 the highest pay in Tucson, AZ was $12.75/hr for a new grad BSN. Many new grads make what I make now, 22 years later. I worked insane over time just to make ends meet, and missed buku milestones my child had while I was at work EVERY SINGLE HOLIDAY. Help on the floor? Not. I knew that before I graduated, because I was a PCT, and there just weren't enough of us. I did everything myself as a new grad. Pt's came - and went - and came - and went, and I got home 2 hr's late every night in order to finish everything. My husband thought I was having an affair with a MD - as if, they were not very nice during my workday, no way I would stay in their company by choice - but it was nice not to be trusted. I feared errors because I was just so damned busy. I slept most of my time off - I've felt like a zombie ever since becoming a nurse. A bit more help please? Staffing is always subpare no matter where I've worked.
  9. Pain management in this country has taken a giant leap backwards, taking on a medieval, draconian mindset. 15-20 years ago there was a movement in the medical community to treat pain as the 5th vital sign. "Pain is what the pt says it is" was in all the nursing education annual competencies, and it was used as a subjective pt assessment tool. MS Contin had been around for years before this, and this long acting pain medication seemed to be used without any untoward societal consequences, as there were no daily news stories of abuse and death that I can recall back then when I was a new nurse. Then oxycontin was created as another adjunctive tool to ease the suffering, and increase the quality of life for of millions of chronic pain pt's. Before long a glut of news stories began to surface - reporting waves of crime, substance abuse, and death - hitting the daily news like a hail storm. What lead to this? Did oxycontin itself act as the catalyst that created this epidemic? That is certainly what I've surmised from the countless articles I've read on the subject over the years. But is this true? Did oxycontin create a hoard of mindless, slavering drug addicts - who'd sell their mother for a fix - from once previously pious, everyday people? Suddenly chronic pain pt's - all chronic pain pt's - were under scrutiny, and became objects of suspicion. It became a shameful thing to suffer from chronic pain and take routine Rx pain medication to offset the agony. Seemingly over night the view point regarding chronic pain did a 180° turnabout, leaving countless genuine pain sufferers in the lurch. Rx narcotic regulations changed, stating acute pain in some states could only be treated up to a 72 hr limit, and postoperative surgical pain for up to 7 days. Chronic pain is more difficult to receive proper treatment for now than ever. And if you actually have chronic pain you better be able to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. What if you, or one of your loved one's suffered chronic severe pain? What then? Those whom have abused narcotics, and those whom have abused and died from overdoses, have become the new poster children for the face of chronic pain. Due to the internet, news stories are able to be all around the world in a matter of hours, sensationalizing it even further. Long before the oxycontin news stories became a dime a dozen, there were still people who abused and misused - oxycontin didn't create these behaviors. And I'd like to point out those whom will abuse Rx narcotics will likely abuse any substance: ETOH, street drugs, illegally obtained Rx narcotics, cigarettes, aerosol chemicals, bath salts … the list goes on and on. What does this mean for those folks whom genuinely have a moderate-severe to severe chronic pain problem? They are SOL now, because those who've never experienced intractable, unremitting chronic pain have bundled them all together into one giant group and now treat them all the same. Many provider's attitudes toward pain is: "Pain hurts, and it is to be endured". There are people who literally cannot imagine what it is like to experience pain that never gets better or goes away. Pain that takes your breath away … pain that makes you cry. Most people's experiences with pain are acute situations that usually get better over time, move toward resolution, and eventually is gone for good. If you're lucky that is. Of course there are people who abuse narcotics - we've all meet them in the course of our career - or even in our private lives, however there are also those people who do not. Those that use their Rx meds exactly as Rx'd, who've stayed at the same dose well managed for years, who don't ask for early refills, don't come up with ridiculous stories that their Rx was stolen/lost/accidentally thrown out, don't ask for higher doses, don't have other illicit substances in their urine, don't doctor shop, don't visit the ER's, whom use the same pharmacy every time, and tough out their acute pain flairs at home quietly. My mother was that person before she died. Those people don't deserve to suffer as a group unfairly because of other people's actions. Each pt needs to be treated on a case by case basis. This does take time and energy - but what's the alternative? Condemning people to endure a lifetime of suffering that could otherwise be alleviated? I agree with the OP - this set's some pain sufferers up for suicide risk. I can think if at least 3 pt's in the past 22 years of my nursing career that were medically mismanaged and couldn't stand the constant severe pain a minute longer, taking matters into their own hands to do just that. I feel so very lucky my mother's pain was well managed, and she didn't live to experience the current totalitarian cultural climate of chronic pain pt's always being under suspicion. To see her suffer would have broken my heart. The Rx pain meds she took enhanced the quality of her life, and she told me many times that she would rather die than suffer though the pain she had underneath, that which the Rx pain meds blurred and softened around the edges, but never took entirely away. And I believed her too.
  10. Axgrinder

    Throwing the Rubik's Cube at Nurse Burnout

    In regard to nurse burn out, and the dangerous behaviors many of us may have exhibited while working as nurses - behavior widely varied, yet none the less self destrutive … I have to wonder why it occurs? I know I was not the type of person whom demanded perfection from myself prenursing school - what changed while in nursing school? How did I myself become so obsessive about little details? Is this behavior perhaps something that was encouraged and nutured unconsciously while in nursing school? Is it a flaw in the educational system in which we are all trained? I have to wonder, because as I said before already that type of behavior was NOT my style before entering the college of nursing prior to 1992, but it most certainly was post graduation. That type of dangerous behavior began almost immediately upon working, picking up horrible, self destructive habits almost right off the bat. Some seem impervious, but it seems the majority I've known are not. Just food for thought. And for the record, I myself have been bullied by other nurses in my career early on with disasteous consequences to myself. This was something I didn't deserve (I used to be young and pretty - other nurses took issue with that). However, I myself don't blame the OP for behavior of other nurses. I doubt any of those previous colleagues would ever admit to having done something so terrible, and had perhaps done it many times before, and since. OP can't be held accountable for the things other nurses may have done to us - she is not a scapegoat to bear the brunt of every mean person also working as a nurse. There is a distinction.
  11. Axgrinder

    Throwing the Rubik's Cube at Nurse Burnout

    Dear AutumnApple, I have never read anything more powerful on this site - perhaps ever. That story took a steel spine, and more fortitude than many people can ever dream of possessing, or hope to achieve. Despite all your reassurances to leading up to your tale, not once did the behavior you had described as the person you had previously been invoke my ire - on the contrary, who can honestly look into the mirror and say they have never once behaved in a way that made them ashamed of themselves at a later time in their lives? No one - that's who. We are human, and are therefore imperfect. Imperfect is what we as humans do best above all her things while wrapped in the mortal flesh. Glass houses and all that. The strength you found to put it all back together is literaly mind boggling; a lot of people have never returned from a lot less than the total sum of what you endured … but you endured, and found your way back to a much better place than from where you started. You have become the person I can only hope to be. And your tale gives me hope that maybe - just maybe - I can get to the place you are now. Thank you for your brutal honesty. And thank you for having the guts to share your transformation with virtual strangers. I hope all the responses you receive are positive, because that is exactly what you deserve. Although we will likely never meet, I am proud to have you as a colleague. I would also be proud to have you as my nurse - and friend.
  12. Axgrinder

    The Dark Side of Hope

    Not everyone is able to accept the hard cold facts about a dire prognosis. Some people will become very angry and offended - even if the advice is sound and well meant straight from the heart. It's how they cope I suppose. It's surprising how far the human mind is willing to go to delude itself in the name of self protection.
  13. Axgrinder

    My Best Deaf Patient!

    You've made me see that not only do I need to learn sign language, but also Spanish, because AZ has a huge Spanish speaking population. No more excuses (and thank you).
  14. Axgrinder

    Honor in Indignity

    That was insanely, poignantly beautiful. It's so awesome to know there are other people out there with tender hearts - wherever you may be (it's also nice to know someone may be willing to take care of me when I'm old, broken). God bless you Molly Hershman! You rock - most definitely as a nurse, but also as a human being too.
  15. Axgrinder

    Leaving Bedside Nursing

    I really hate to admit this, but I agree with you wholeheartedly - I couldn't have said it any better myself. I did not enjoy bedside care, especially in a large teaching hospital, which is where I wound up as a new grad in my first RN job. The stress was literally indescribable, it was both physically and mentally exhausting, and often times rudeness coupled with despicable behavior reigned supreme (i.e., other staff, MD's, patients, family members - ad nauseam). It was survival of the fittest in this environment - apparently no one was happy, at least as far as I could tell anyway. Welcome to the jungle, baby! I can chalk up nearly all of my worse nursing experiences while working bedside care during the first 5 years of my nursing career. I always wondered who decided a 30 minute lunch break in a 12 hr shift was appropriate time to rest? The habits I acquired in order to fit in everything I needed to do in that time were atrocious for my health and well being. Even after leaving nursing for a 10 year medical disability retirement, it took me years to learn not to stand at my kitchen counter while bolting down a meal as fast as possible. Often I didn't even realize I was doing it. Large facility or small, it mattered not: I disliked most aspects of bedside patient care for all the reasons you described, plus many more unique to my own personal life (including missing many of my son's first Christmases). The pressure to take on an almost insanely unsafe patient load was always looming too - even in ICU. Nursing administration never seemed to understand that open beds -vs- enough nurses to safely accept another admit were two completely different matters entirely. I'm happy for you that you invested only a short amount of time of your overall nursing career in an area of nursing that made you so unhappy (granted, it likely felt like an eternity and two eons). I admire the fact you wasted little time to make positive changes in your life for the better. Too often in nursing we end up taking care of everyone but ourselves, and sometimes it can become difficult getting out of that vicious cycle for numerous reasons different for each of us - working in a job you hate definitely falls under that category. When I returned to nursing (having not died after all) I knew I couldn't survive back in direct patient care - under no circumstances would my health allow it, or permit it. What to do? I knew what I needed, and what I wanted: to work from home. Most said it was not possible, at least as an RN. Then a telephone triage gig literally plopped into my lap - it paid well, my triage nurse coworkers are great, and my boss is phenomenal. I love the job, I trust each and every one of my coworkers to watch my back when things implode, and I can honestly say it is the best nursing job I've ever had. I also discovered something else: I'm good at it too (bonus!). I wish I left beside patient care long before I became so ill I had no choice but to retire on medical disability. Obviously someone has to do it, otherwise who would care for sick hospitalized patients (nurse's included)? Some nurses love it, and they do a truly amazing job balancing the stressors of the daily grind - but it was not for me until retirement age. It's a tough job, and definitely not for sissies: those who do it, love it, and have refined it down to an art form have my greatest respect.
  16. Axgrinder

    Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?

    There are some pretty unkind things being said here. I think this kind of makes a statement in of itself.