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TracyRN's Latest Activity

  1. TracyRN

    more on pit inductions

    We've noticed a trend lately at our small LDRP. We've had alot of pit inductions on women (including primips) who are either pre- or at-dates with no clear reason other than "I'm tired of carrying this baby!" Anybody have anything to offer on this one? We've also had a rise in the number of sections...
  2. TracyRN

    med/surg or L&D

    Yes, I think med-surg is the best place to start for any new grad. For an example, in the small (13 bed) LDRP in which I work, every new grad that has started there fresh out of school without doing time in med-surg has lasted less than 1 year ( out of the last 3 years). We're not eaters of our young: other, experienced nurses are still going strong even without previous OB experience. I believe that the difference comes from a self-confidence gained through experience on med-surg. It was there that I learned how to deal with difficult families, irate MDs and uncaring/ignorant adminstrators. It was also there that I discovered that, no matter where I go from here, I'm a great nurse and can function well in any unit. Of course, if I had been hired into OB straight out of school, I'd have gone rushing in... and probably quit after 6 months...
  3. TracyRN

    If you have the time, need advice!!

    If you aren't unhappy where you are right now think long and hard before you make a radical change into a highly specialized unit. Of course you can do it but you are wise to put a lot of thought into it. Most of us have made changes in our careers because we "needed" the change whether we were unhappy with where we were, needed more money/security/respect... the list is endless. If you are happy and fulfilled with your current position...? One of the few benefits to nurses during this time of critical shortage is that there will be positions available to us when we need to change. If you decide not to make the leap, it doesn't mean that you've burned the bridge to ER, you've just chosen not to cross it at this stage of your career. Best of luck. Tracy
  4. TracyRN

    New Grad needs advice

    I'm sorry. I'm still chuckling over the idea that its more violent here. That's sure stereotyping! I've lived in Florida for 13 years and my children haven't been warped too badly... yet. In any case, I've worked with some excellent Canadian nurses and would welcome you. Conditions in my hospital are just as bad/good as they seem to be across the nation. I live in the center of the state: the pay is lower but so is the cost of living so that's something to consider when you choose locations. Many hospitals here are offering sign on bonuses and travel expenses so I'd recommend shopping for a position. Where I work its $10,000. for RNs for a 3 year contract paid in 3 installments. Word of advice: starting out in nursing is stressful enough. Get some basic experience where you are before you think of moving. This is not financial utopia so don't come here thinking it'll be all sunshine and roses. Come with eyes wide open and take the posts of those who are disillusioned seriously: we all started out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at one time. If things were great we wouldn't need to come to this BB to complain. Take your time in deciding but know that you'll be welcome if and when you decide to make the move. I am glad to hear about how violent my environment is, though. I guess I'll have to start locking my doors at night now
  5. TracyRN

    Have you ever been hit by a patient?

    The worst I've had is when a teeny little old confused lady grabbed my left breast in a death grip and twisted... and gripped... and twisted. Had an interesting bruise. Learned not to lean over confused pts.
  6. TracyRN

    Atkins Diet

    Shunna, I tried the Atkins diet last fall: bought the book, recipe book... lasted 2 weeks until the holidays hit and then a plate of cookies called my name too loudly for me to resist. The diet was actually recommended to me by my doctor when I asked him for advice. It is true that you aren't hungry but its an expensive and very strict diet that requires alot of willpower for those of us who grab fast meals, like sandwiches, on the run or who have small children who need the carbos in their diet. Nothing like being on the Atkins for a week and eyeing your 2-year-old's plate and thinking that he's too little to stop you from stealing his mac&cheese! If you run a search on the internet you'll find lots of support/recipe sites. Keep in mind, from all I've read at the sites, if you go off the diet, unless you are very controlled, you will probably gain back what you lost. That's why Atkins himself says you have to make it a way of life, not a quickie cure. I'm trying a slightly different tack. About 10 years ago my brother was a member of Overeaters Anonymous (OA) which (as I understand it, never having been a member) is a 12 step program modeled after AA. Back when he was a member, they were still recommending diets (no longer a practice, I understand) and the following is the diet he used to lose about 100 lbs. over a 1-2 year period and my brother is a confirmed desk jockey who does not exercise beyond walking. He doesn't follow the "strict" diet any longer but still retains healthier eating habits and has maintained a decent, not thin, weight. Simple rules: no wheat and no processed sugar. Of course, some of my favorite foods are out but the foods that are out are ones that I tend of stuff on. Pasta, bread, desserts... What is allowed? All fruits because only processed sugars are out. I also can eat the "no added sugar" varieties of jellies/jams, Edy's "no added sugar" ice cream, sugar free puddings & jello, all veggies... Popcorn cakes and crisp breads with no wheat are allowed for "sandwiches" and corn bread is okay but watch the mixes for added wheat flour and sugar. Snacks? As long as there is no wheat, anything goes: Fritos, those cheese covered corn puffs that turn your fingers orange... As long as you avoid processed sugars and wheat, you can eat as much/as often as you like. The pounds don't melt off of you with this diet but the loss is steady over a period of time and, I think, its a more realistic diet that many others I've seen. Just cutting out the processed sugars is a big positive step. Oh, yeah! The reasoning behind cutting the processed sugars and wheat is because they (OA) found that those were the most often abused binge foods. I don't binge eat but I do know that my comfort foods fall into that category!! I'm not anal about cutting out ALL sugar and wheat. I eat spaghetti sauce with a little sugar in it to cut the acidity, over rice, not pasta, though. I like cornbread with a little wheat flour in it. And once a week, I eat out and have one piece of bread and a dessert of my choice... yep, I'm a rebel. Jeesh! I've written a small novel here! Whatever route you choose to lose weight, good luck.
  7. TracyRN

    highest paying hospitals in florida?

    I live in South Central Florida and have worked in a (somewhere around) 125 bed hospital, most recently in OB. Pay scale is somewhere around $13. for new grads, based on total years nursing experience for others. After 3.5 years, I'm $15.50. I know that local SNFs are paying higher but haven't been interested enough to check it out. Sounds truly awful until you consider our cost-of-living which is very reasonable. We're a fairly small town, high on the retired side and very seasonal. Great place to raise kids but if you're looking for single-person excitement and dating possibilities... head for the Coast.
  8. TracyRN

    central line dressings

    You can write an explanation of your side of the issue and request that it goes into your record along with the write-up from your supervisor. Keep it short and factual, point out that you went according to posted hospital policy. Then, even if the order was written differently, there's an explanation from your point of view indicating the reasoning behind what you did. Good luck.
  9. After reading the confessions of a nurse eater and the responses it got (I believe originally posted by nurse4kids), I felt I had to post this. I've recently transferred to OB after nearly 4 years of med-surg. In those years of med-surg, I oriented quite a few new nurses. Was I always as patient as a saint? Heck no!! I am HUMAN. I also fight with my husband on occasion but that doesn't make me a husband eater, does it? Now I'm the newbie in OB. Wouldn't you know that I've forgotten just about every blessed book-learned piece of knowledge from only 4 years ago?! I'm starting new. I've had two preceptors in the last 5 weeks. Two different methods of doing things. One was very patient and very quiet, never yelled at me and gave me great training. The other is very, for want of a better word, hyper. She's constantly on me over every little thing. She grills me on things I know I'm right about until I start to doubt myself. I come home exhausted every day I work. I've gone from big fish in little pond to minnow and it isn't a fun feeling. Guess what? I'm learning so much more from hyper-rake-me-over-the-coals nurse than I learned from the nice one. The first nurse was sweet and supportive but she didn't make me stretch my abilities. She didn't make me want to PROVE myself every day. She let me slide if I didn't know something. The second nurse preceptor (who I will finish my orientation under) is tough and doesn't lavish me with praise, but when she gives me a smile and an understated "good job," I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I earned that praise. A preceptor/orientee relationship goes two ways. If I wanted to bow up ( a Southern term, huh?) to my preceptor, she could make my life a living hell. Its up to me to decide how I'll deal with her. I recognize the fact that she has superior knowledge in OB to me. She has so much to teach me in so short a time. Rather than spend half my time muttering under my breath about her attitude toward me, I need to be taking advantage of every limited second she has to guide and teach me. She's been doing this for 14 years. She has the right to come down hard on me when I do something stupid: somebody needs to maintain quality in care and goodness knows administration doesn't give a crap unless a lawyer is involved. She is an excellent but tough preceptor who probably would make some nurses cry. What's my point? I know that there are hateful people out there. Some of those hateful people are nurse preceptors. I've now been on both sides: once as a new grad and now as an experienced nurse learning a new area. Here's the benefit of my experience. You are 50% of the preceptor/orientee team. How you choose to act will affect 100% of your orientation experience. You may not be able to change how your preceptor treats you, but you can change how you perceive and receive your preceptor's guidance. I say this not to excuse a nasty preceptor, just to give an alternate perspective on how to deal with a difficult one. Make your experience the best it can be regardless of the circumstances: its definitely to your advantage.
  10. TracyRN

    The Big Money Question

    I'm pretty sure that there is a law somewhere that states that your output will always exceed your income by 10%. I make only $15.49 per hour as an OB RN which I see some of you wouldn't even consider. I also live in an area with a relatively low cost of living. Sure, I'd like to make more money per hour but I'd hate to live in a big city. I enjoy being where I am so I guess I'll have to take that into account when I compare my wages with others'. All in all, I'm content. Am I worth more? Sure!! Could I make more locally? Undoubtedly. Would I be as content? Nope!! I'll stick with where I am. Would I let admin know that I wrote this here? Heck NO! I'm content, not stupid.
  11. TracyRN

    If an MD shoved you...

    On two separate occasions, in two separate units, he pushed two different nurses while having two different temper tantrums. Whew! That was a mouthful! Both were deliberate, hands-on pushing. Neither one was me. I was just lucky in not being closest when he was ticked.
  12. I took 1 year of pre-recs. The average of the pre-recs multiplied by my NLN score was the basis for acceptance into my program. There were 76 applicants competing for 12 available spots. You'd better check what those pre-recs are used for before you go in and whether you'll be taking a placement test. Consider this: those pre-rec classes are necessary for your degree. You'll be taking them eventually anyway so don't consider it a waste of time. Yes, it takes 3 years to get your ADN but, depending on what classes you do take, when you have the ADN, you're only about 3 semesters away from BSN.
  13. TracyRN

    If an MD shoved you...

    Okay, if, theoretically, of course, an MD shoved you, in front of a patient and the patient's family, what would you do? Not just the fantasy answers (although, as nurses, we can be quite creative in coming up with revenge tactics ). Please evaluate what you would do as well as the possible consequences of your own actions. If, however, you have a particularly irrisistible revenge fantasy, lay it on me!!!
  14. TracyRN

    Importing Nurses to solve the shortage

    I posted something a few months ago in regards to importing nurses from Enland. My facility recruited approx 50 nurses from all over the world thru an international agency based in England last November. For an update: its 4 months later. Nobody's here yet. The Visas haven't been granted & the Boards haven't been taken. We're surviving. So be warned: it may take a while before they're there. Incidentally, there are at least 2 foreign nurses at my hospital whose temporary work Visas hadn't been renewed and have been waiting over 4 months for renewal. Anybody know if perhaps there's something going on at the national level? In any case, I work with a bunch of Philipino nurses and several MDs, male and female. They are a good bunch of skilled, friendly people who are no more afraid to stand up for themselves than I am (and I'm no shrinking violet). They have a very strong work ethic and often choose to work OT. Yes, they do send a good portion of their money back to the Philipines: their sense of family is strong and extends to nieces & nephews whose schooling they often finance. These are educated people (the RNs with whom I work are all 5 year BSNs from the Philipines) and I think you'll find that they will be a benefit to your team. Since they do have a very strong sense of family, they are very much more cohesive than we are. If you're looking for an example of nurses standing together, look to the Philipinos, Wildtime.
  15. I keep reading about nursing students who are nervous about clinicals for different reasons. Seems that IVs and foleys are high on the list of fears. I thought maybe there are some out there who'd like to get off the controversial issues and maybe reminisce about where we came from. What do you remember as your best or worst clinical experience, how you overcame and what it taught you.
  16. I think that because nursing school is so intense, we all go a little looney towards the end. I know that I had about a month off between graduation and boards/starting work. I went thru a pretty severe depression that I only recognized after I was thru it. I spent that month laying around the house, doing minimal studying, very little housework, reading romance novels. I scared the crap out of my husband! I've talked with others who say they went thru a weird time, too. I think it has to do with eating, sleeping, breathing nursing school for 2-4 years and then being cut loose abruptly into the big, bad world. Perhaps you can seek a position at a facility with a strong mentoring program to help you. Just don't think you're alone in how you feel. Anxiety comes in many different forms and manifests itself differently in everybody. If you are having a hard time dealing with it on your own, remember what you learned in psych: there is no shame in seeking help outside yourself.