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jewel53's Latest Activity

  1. jewel53

    Failure is an Option: A New Grad Story

    "It hurt my feelings that people didn't like me, but it hurt even more to think that if I couldn't even keep a stupid clinic job, how was I gonna keep an acute care job? It was worse than if they had not hired me at all." I trust this quote from the original post by elixRN was simply a very poor choice of words. I get her point. However, I am one of those RNs who actually chose to spend 25 years of my career in a so-called "stupid clinic job". It does take brains to function efficiently, effectively and still meet the needs of patients in one of those "stupid clinic jobs". We all have our places within the nursing profession. Acute care is not for everyone. The choice of a registered nurse NOT to work within an acute care setting does not necessarily reflect a lack of ability or knowledge to function in acute care. Live and learn.
  2. jewel53

    Just got accepted, what now?

    Psych up NOW by reminding yourself that this is what you have been looking forward to so that your mind and attitude are prepared to persevere despite all challenges you will be facing. When I entered nursing school, I had mental battles to fight in that I thought everybody else was so-o-o-o smart and I was so-o-o-o-o dumb. Remember, you are NOT dumb or you wouldn't have been accepted to the program. A prepared mental outlook and attitude are very important!
  3. jewel53

    RANT: Fed up with nursing!

    In my state of Indiana, it appears the majority of RN openings are for "experienced". With regard to LPNs or LVNs, they have been "phased out" of the majority of hospitals. I never understood why, but I think it has something to do with the emphasis on trying to achieve "MAGNET" hospital status. Personally, I feel all new grad nurses, whether RN or LPN, need the opportunity to learn. No one becomes an "experienced" RN or LPN simply by graduating and passing state boards. Although one may reside within the United States, the economic status of each state varies. I would advise shellebelle212 to think long and hard about all the work she put into obtaining her LVN license and avoid a spontaneous decision to throw it all down the toilet because of a time of discouragement. I am a baby boomer RN myself and anticipate that I will require care from nurses as I age. Nurses - LPNs, LVNs, AD RNs, BSN RNs, Diploma RNs, MSN RNs, NPs we DO need you. PLEASE be there for people like ME!
  4. jewel53

    I am about to graduate and I feel like I know nothing!

    At this point, "keeping up" may well be related to a need for learning organization and prioritization of tasks related to the care needs of each patient. This is something that must come with time, experience and patience. Virtually all RNs have had days when we felt bombarded and spent the entire shift in repeated and (seemingly unsuccessful) attempts to "put out fires" rather than providing quality care. I am unaware of the specifics pertaining to your difficulties with family members. However, I would offer a couple of insights - Remember each family member brings his/her "baggage" (issues) along with him/her when visiting a hospitalized loved one. Some family members have a great deal of difficulty in relinquishing "control" of their loved one to an unknown person, namely you, the nurse. May a patient, understanding heart be yours as you begin your RN career! Be encouraged!
  5. jewel53

    I am about to graduate and I feel like I know nothing!

    Take it from an RN who has been in the field for many years -- Your level of confidence and overall knowledge will increase with time. However, please appreciate the fact that you will never be a nursing "know it all". The worst mistake one can make as a new grad is to fail to recognize what he/she doesn't know and fail to ask for assistance. Typically, it is easier for RN co workers to "forgive" a lack of knowledge as opposed to "forgiveness" of a subsequent patient care error that could take place simply because the inexperienced RN did not ask for input from experienced RN co workers. Should an RN coworker try to "blow off" addressing of your question, move on to someone else for help. Believe me, the majority of experienced RNs WANT to see you succeed!
  6. jewel53

    Should ICU get more pay than floor nursing?!?

    I graduated from nursing school 40 years ago with the perception that RNs who worked in outpatient clinics or MD offices did so because they were the ones who were too stupid or incapable of working in a hospital. After working my first six months on a med surg floor as an RN, I moved to another city and took a job doing telephone triage for six physicians in a clinic practice. I quickly discovered how much I did NOT know about the field of ambulatory care and began to respect the nursing intelligence possessed by the experienced clinic RNs. I felt totally inept for about four months while I learned. The nursing knowledge base each RN may possess is usually more specific to the area in which he/she works. Believe me, I have yet to work anywhere and in any capacity as an RN where it was 'easy' or where I was automatically due a higher salary because it was 'hard'.
  7. It has been suggested that I share an article I have composed about my nursing education and experience over the past 40 years. Due to its length, I am posting parts 1 & 2. If interest is demonstrated, I will post the remainder of the article in parts as well. 1. How and why did you decide to become a registered nurse anyway? My decision to become a registered nurse was made at the tender age of 4 years. Initially, I was impressed by the ¾ length sleeved, clean, crisp, starched white uniforms and attractive nursing caps worn by RNs. Later, I read all of the "Sue Barton" and "Cherry Ames" books I could acquire from the public library. For me, these books provided insight (although romanticized) into a variety of nursing specialties through the experiences of the characters. At age 14, I volunteered as a "candy striper", progressing to employment as a "nurse aide" during summer vacations just 1 month after my 17th birthday. At that time, no type of certification was required in order to become a "nurse aide". The "nurse aide" training I received consisted of an 8am to 5pm OJT course (lasting 10 days) at my local hospital and then I hit the floor running (literally). I gave enemas, etc the whole works! 2. What was the reasoning behind your choice of a nursing educational program? When I graduated high school in 1971, there were basically two educational routes by which one could acquire "nurses' training". An individual whose ultimate desire was to perform bedside nursing care chose to attend a hospital-based Diploma RN program. However, one whose ultimate desire was to become a nursing administrator chose a university-based Bachelors Degree nursing program. During more recent years, it seems the fastest way to initiate an extremely heated discussion within nursing forums has been simply to intimate that one holds either of the aforementioned nursing education perceptions of a "by gone" era. Although academically qualified for acceptance to a university Bachelors Degree program, I opted to obtain nursing education via a hospital based Diploma RN program. My personal desire was to care for patients. According to the information available to me at the time, I felt the Diploma program was best way to effectively accomplish that goal. I will never forget the words of my (now long deceased) crusty, old family physician when I told him where I would be attending college. According to Dr. H.: "Either you'll be the best (double expletive) nurse who's ever been or you'll lose your mind." Over the years that followed there have been many occasions when I questioned which of the predictions of Dr. H. ultimately came to pass! Hopefully this will help you rethink the reasons for your original choice of nursing as a career and the educational path you chose in order to achieve it. Since this article is a bit long, I will be happy to post the remainder of my nursing article in pieces for your insight, should interest be expressed.
  8. jewel53

    Remember the Geri-Chair?

    This story was a real hoot! Sadly, I am old enough to recall when use of a geri chair wasn't even considered a form of restraint!
  9. jewel53

    Nurses Notes: Guidelines On What Not To Chart

    One thing that raises a potential red flag for me as a legal nurse consultant is documentation that may be viewed as "defensive" documentation that appears to place blame on the patient. For example, a patient in a long term care facility frequently refuses to take his/her medications or to allow wound dressing changes to be performed. Simply charting said refusals took place is insufficient, making the charting appear to shift the blame to the patient for complications that may have resulted from said refusals. Be sure to document interventions attempted in order to try and achieve the patient's compliance. Were vital signs taken to evaluate if the patient may have been ill? Was the patient in need of pain medication prior to the prescribed times for dressing changes? Did the nurse return to the bedside at another time, say 10 minutes later and present the meds to the patient? Was the care plan changed to indicate patient's medication refusals? Psych eval for possible depression? In essence, why was the patient refusing to comply? Nurses no longer can simply say the patient chose not to comply without documenting attempts made to gain compliance from the patient. Is there documentation that the physician was notified? Were changes made in the patient's care plan and were those changes in the care plan actually initiated? In short, document sufficiently to cover your actions should an adverse situation or litigation present itself months or years down the road. You will find those interventions you may well have attempted have departed from your memory.
  10. jewel53

    25 Years and Counting

    I would encourage everyone to post his/her experiences again when (like me) you are a 40 year RN. I happen to have graduated from a Diploma RN nursing program in 1974. Therefore, I am a true dinosaur in the nursing profession! I composed an article concerning my Diploma RN nurses training experiences and the changes I have seen in 40 years as a registered nurse. However, I have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Suggestions?
  11. jewel53

    Diploma nurses are worthless?!

    As a Diploma RN with 40 years of experience, I would put the hands-on experience gained within my nursing education beside that of any BSN program. Your interview experience was an insult to the nursing profession as a whole! The last time I checked, Diploma grads, ASN grads and BSN grads all must pass boards and their license reflects the status of Registered Nurse. License does not state Registered Nurse BSN HURRAH! or Registered Nurse Diploma UGH!
  12. jewel53

    What the heck have I gotten myself into??

    It appears the more things change the more they stay the same. Just one week after graduation from nursing school in 1974 I was assigned as the permanent 3pm 11:30pm shift charge nurse for a 40 bed post op surgery unit. You guessed it -- I had not taken / passed Boards yet. Had it not been for a well experienced LPN named Carrie, the ultimate outcome for some of the patients on the unit would not have been positive. I knew I had volumes of information in my head but couldn't seem to put it all together or get all my ducks to stay in a row so the care I was providing actually made sense. Jumping from task to task, it seemed to me that I was accomplishing absolutely NOTHING! Obviously, the hospital should never have placed a new nursing grad in a charge nurse position - especially since I was not yet licensed as an RN. Please don't get discouraged. Cut yourself some slack and it will all come together over time. Do not hesitate to express feelings of being overwhelmed to your nursing supervisor. Additionally, seek assistance or input from other members of the nursing staff. No one expects you to know it all. In fact, none of us will ever know it all. All RNs are constantly in the process of learning. Chin up!
  13. jewel53

    Is nursing worth it?

    During my first year of nursing school (43 years ago) I experienced many of the symptoms you describe. I do not know if you are just beginning or are well into nursing school. Personally, I had more difficulties at the beginning. I was questioning if I truly "fit" into the program, was capable of completing al the requirements and maintain sufficient GPA to retain my scholarship. Lots of stress! What helped me the most at that time was to observe nursing students that were ahead of me in the program and tell myself "If THEY can do it, I SURELY can do it! Be certain that nursing is really what you desire to do as your career. Then talk with your instructors and nursing classmates. You will find there is a lot of understanding and support available to you, but you must be willing to share your feelings with them. Take it from one who knows, antidepressant medication will not "fix" your problems, "make" you happy, or alleviate your stress. An individual who is content within himself/herself as a person is most likely to achieve the goals he/has has set and yet enjoy the journey.
  14. jewel53

    Hero Worship of Nurses: Misplaced

    After all, nurses are only human. We have our times of frustration with "the system", with certain patients, supervisors and a seemingly unrealistic-thinking public. One thing all of us can do is to be CIVIL to everybody! Hero worship? For me, not really. However, I found that my elderly father would call me from 100 miles away to ask about a simple thing his doctor said rather than to talk to my other sister (an elementary teacher with a master's degree) who lived less than a mile from him. I'm just a Diploma RN, no BSN. At least my dad thought a lot of me as a nurse. Who cares what others may think? I had the respect of my own father (By the way, he recently passed away at age 91). Thanks Dad!
  15. jewel53

    Nursing school when there is no true RN shortage?

    Just a note about where we have come FROM with regard to pay for RNs - In 1974 (my nursing school graduation year), federal minimum wage was $2.00 per hour. My first job immediately out of nursing school was 3p - 11p charge nurse of a 40 bed post op surgery floor at a wage of $4.15 per hour, little more than twice the minimum wage. That pay rate of $4.15 /hour included a 15 cent general "shift differential" with no increase for being the charge nurse and no increase in pay after I passed boards. Yes, I was the shift charge nurse and had not yet passed boards! Talk about being taken advantage of!
  16. jewel53

    Becoming discouraged about becoming a nurse?

    Were some of the issues listed here created as a result of the wider range of responsibility desired by the nursing profession as a whole? RNs have yelled loud and long for respect from physicians, permission to perform medical treatments independently etc. Have we created somewhat of our own 'monster' in that qualified RNs become overwhelmed, leave the profession and discourage others from entering the field? I remember speaking with an elderly RN who was a patient at the long term care facility where I was the Director of Nursing. During the time this patient worked as an RN, only physicians were permitted to take blood pressures, not RNs. An RN could place a thermometer under the patient's tongue, but only the physician was allowed to read the result.