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turtlesRcool's Latest Activity

  1. turtlesRcool

    Any advice/words of encouragement ?

    I'm not familiar with what you mean by collaborative programs. Could you explain? Since you don't have the details from the programs yet, it's hard to give you much advice on which of the two to pick. But I agree with PPs that there is nothing wrong with holding on to two seats while you make up your mind (I held on to one spot as long as I could, ultimately releasing it before I received confirmation for my first choice school, which was nerve wracking, but ultimately paid off). Your seat will go to someone. If you have any doubts, check out some of the threads on here dedicated to people posting their waitlist numbers and waiting for the call that they're in.
  2. turtlesRcool

    Work Schedule

    I think it depends upon why you are looking at this job. I work 4 8s, and those 8s are usually 9s or 10s. But they're still better than 12s that are more like 13s or 14s. I have no desire at all to work 12-hour shifts. Even working 4 days, those are 4 days that I get to see my whole family. If I worked 12s, I'd leave before my kids were up in the mornings, and be home at bedtime. The schedule you describe would be ideal because I'd always be able to have dinner with my family (or at least spend a little time before bed). The no holidays or weekends would be ideal because of more time with them. But if you're looking to work fewer hours overall, you might be better off with 3 12s (which is already 4 fewer hours right off the bat). Depending on your commute, you might be saving another hour or more by not coming in that 4th day.
  3. turtlesRcool

    Working Less Than 8-Hour Shifts?

    Here's the thing: if you work at a facility that's open 24/7/365, people have to be scheduled for all those hours. Someone has to work them. Why not you? Most of us do not have unpredictable work schedules. There's a difference between a schedule that is not set in stone, and a schedule that is unpredictable. I work day shift. I work every other weekend. My weekdays change because we self-schedule. Some weeks I want my shifts grouped together; other weeks I want to break them up. Sometimes I have something I need to do on a particular day (like a parent-teacher conference at my kid's school), and it's really nice to be able to schedule myself off rather than taking PTO for it. When I worked evenings, it was the same thing, except my start and end times were different. Working 8-hour shifts (or even 12-hour shifts) does not mean you get improper sleep. It means you plan your sleep the same way you would for any other job. While there are some facilities that have rotating shifts, there are many that do not. Many people find ways to get enough rest through a variety of techniques. If you don't think you can handle a rotating schedule, choose a facility that puts its employees on only one shift. But that has nothing to do with working 6-hour shifts or an unchanging schedule.
  4. turtlesRcool

    Working Less Than 8-Hour Shifts?

    I just want to touch on this, because a 5-day work week is rare for nurses. 12-hour nurses work 3 days per week. 8-hour nurses usually work 4. My facility has a few nurses who have 40 control hours (5 8-hour shifts per week), but because nurses almost never get out exactly on time, those RNs pull in overtime every single pay period. The hospital doesn't like that, so rarely do 40-hour positions get posted. In most places, full time is 32 or 36 control hours, which basically provides a buffer for emergencies, shift report, or finishing charting.
  5. turtlesRcool

    Working Less Than 8-Hour Shifts?

    Do you mind answering why you want 6-hour shifts for 6 days a week? Unless you live right next door to a facility, working more days a week means you're doing more unpaid (commuting, parking, paying for gas) than if you worked slightly longer hours on fewer days. There probably are jobs that would allow you to work 6-hour blocks, but they're not likely to be in the obvious facilities to get work (nursing home, hospital, etc.). You might find a specialty clinic that allows shorter periods, or some home health jobs, but finding those may involve networking as well as a bit of luck. As for the set shifts, hospitals tend not to do them, but some nursing homes and home care agencies do. My ex-SIL worked at a nursing home with the same weekdays each week, with alternating weekends. At my hospital, no weekdays are set, but the 8-hour nurses work every other weekend, while 12-hour nurses just have to work 3 weekend shifts in a 4-week period, so there's a bit more flexibility there. Sometimes managers may agree not to schedule an employee for a particular day of the week, but it's usually a courtesy for a specific short-term commitment (like you have class on Wednesdays this semester). Is not working Saturday a preference or a need? I ask because I do know a couple of nurses who negotiated working every Sunday in return for no Saturdays. In their case, they are orthodox Jews who do not work from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday for religious reasons. This was negotiated upfront at their time of hire, and the organization is big enough that they can be a bit flexible with the schedule. Not all facilities can or will do this, but you have a better chance if you can provide a really solid reason to show you need Saturdays off.
  6. turtlesRcool

    Is there any point going to nursing school?

    If you want to be a nurse, become a nurse. There are jobs out there. Lots of jobs. Now the first job out of school might not be your dream job. You might have to move or "settle" for a department you didn't want, but you can get a job. People who complain that there are no jobs really mean there are no jobs for new grads in their oversaturated metro area or hospitals aren't eagerly accepting new grads into the specialty of their choice. Hospitals are always hiring somewhere. Nursing homes are usually hiring everywhere. Get your degree. Pass your NCLEX. You'll find something. If your first job isn't exactly what you hoped for, getting some experience under your belt will put you in a stronger position to reapply for what you do want. Or you might find that you end up liking the job you get (happened to me). Good luck, and congratulations on being accepted.
  7. I did an ABSN program, and multiple people worked and passed. Yes, it was discouraged. But people still need to pay rent, eat, etc. Not everyone can afford tuition and living expenses for a full year without an income. And what about people with children? Kids take up more time than a job, but it's not like you can check out of parenting for a year. No program is 24/7. It's completely possible to work, go to class & clinicals, and study. The key is you have to make sure you really dedicate the time you have left to studying. I didn't work, but I had two small children (kindergarten and preschool). I guarantee I spent more time caring for them than my classmates did working. I even managed to arrange my clinicals so I was able to always be the Thursday morning mom helper in Kindergarten. It just meant being really, really disciplined with the rest of my time. For me, that meant getting my books digitally so my texts were on my phone, and any spare 5 or 10 minute block I had could be spent reading. I studied in a coffee shop that didn't have wi-fi, so I would not be tempted to navigate away from my texts. OP probably shouldn't start a NEW job when she's doing her ABSN, but if she gets through her training and orientation when she's doing her prerequisites, she should be in good shape to work at least a few shifts per week during school. It just means she has to cut back on some of the other things she'd otherwise do in her free time.
  8. CNA and EMT are both great roles to get relevant experience. CNAs definitely get their foot in the door for hospital work because in addition to getting really good at the patient care aspect, you learn a lot about the flow of the floor, see the effect of interventions, and are often the first one to notice a problem with a patient. Obviously, you would bring it to the RN's attention rather than handling it yourself, but it can give good clinical observation practice. It also gives the nurses and managers a chance to know you and be impressed by your work ethic. In my class, the ones who had jobs first were the ones who already worked in a CNA/PCT role, and were hired onto their units. EMT is a bit different because you're not right inside the hospital, so you don't get to know the nurse managers, etc. But you do get to learn a lot of skills that are really helpful for nurses - IV insertion, EKG interpretation, administering a limited group of medications. Coupled with on-the-scene assessment skills, many EMTs find themselves in a strong position to transition to nursing, especially Emergency nursing. Most volunteer positions are not worth it, if your goal is clinical experience or getting your foot in the door with an organization. Most facilities will not allow you to do any patient care at all. Before COVID, our volunteers did things like bake cookies or push around the comfort cart (books, magazines, lip balm, etc.). Since COVID, we don't allow volunteers on the floor at all. The only exception I can see would be hospice volunteer. While it might not directly translate the way CNA or EMT would, some home hospice volunteers do get to provide some direct patient care, and can get a really solid understanding of the dying/comfort process and navigating family dynamics that can come in handy later. This is probably not as helpful to your particular goals as CNA or EMT, but it's an often-overlooked opportunity so I thought I'd mention it.
  9. How soon with the former DON be back? Do you really need to wait for her? Because if she could ensure weekend/offhours coverage, then it's clearly something that EXISTED at your facility. Why can't the current DON do it? What is stopping you from pushing the issue? Tomorrow is Monday. Everyone should be back in the facility. Address it with the current DON immediately. It's a problem that needs a solution. Since you are a go-getter, maybe even draw up a sample schedule of how it might go, so that all a lazy DON needs to do is implement it. Plus, if she refuses, then all the more reason to refer all calls to her after hours. Either she makes the managers take a fair share of calls, or she can field them herself. Secondly, consider the issue of rotating managers to eves/weekends IN PLACE OF their current hours, rather than in addition to them. So, you are going to be the Friday-night-order-enterer? Great! You don't come in until 3pm on Friday, and the manager in the building covers your area on day shift. It's much easier for day shift to call another manager who is actually there than for evening/night shift to figure out whom to call when no one is apparently designated to answer their calls. But really, you need to continue to work on boundaries. It's more work up front to set up a good system, but more work in the long run to keep taking all this on yourself. It's not sustainable or healthy. So DO something about it already!
  10. I don't really understand how it would be possible to work 16-20 hours a day, 5 days in a row. That's getting in at 7am, and leaving between 11pm and 3am. Factor in commute, and you'd not be able to sleep more than 2-6 hours a night, which is not good for your body or your executive function. Either your employer is taking advantage of you by requiring all those hours, or you are not drawing effective boundaries and delegating appropriately. The nurse managers at my hospital usually work 8-9 hours per day, five days per week. Working 100 hours in a 5-day period is neither healthy nor safe. I urge you to consider how you can work fewer hours. You may find you are actually more productive if you have more downtime.
  11. turtlesRcool

    Covid-19, No Beds, Ugly Stuff

    I don't know. What I do know is that back in the Spring, we intubated everyone who needed more than 6L/min via nasal cannula. At my hospital, we had over 50% mortality rate with those vented patients. The ones who came off usually had some pretty major deficits that were going to requite long term care and rehabilitation, often without a clear path back to their prior function. We didn't know better at the time, but we probably did more harm than good. Now we put COVID patients on regular O2, then high flow, then heated high flow (up to 60L/min), and then a few go on BiPAP. Once they're at the point where they'd need intubation, there's virtually no chance they'll come back off. The ones who were strong enough to come off vents in the Spring are the kind of patients who are strong enough to stay off vents now. Once you reach the point where you can't maintain your saturation on heated high flow or BiPAP, your lungs are so damaged by COVID alone that youth and lack of co-morbidiites don't really mean much. It's a nasty, nasty virus.
  12. turtlesRcool

    Leaving Work / Nurse Duties Incomplete Passing To Night Shift

    I just want to know what I need to do. If you didn't do it, that's fine; just give me a heads up. Most of the time, it's something that couldn't be done, either because staffing was terrible, there were too many emergencies, or something necessary for the task was missing (med, equipment, order). Nights are hard. Because the on call resident is covering for so many patients, it can be darn near impossible to get a doctor to do anything until you call a rapid. Just today, we were talking about this with a new attending who was wondering why patients who were stable during the day went downhill at night. Not sundowning, but medical declines. Another nurse (former night shift) and I explained that if it's not an emergency, it's really hard to get a covering doctor to take action. So while the regular team during the day will intervene when things start to go south, the night float (who doesn't know the patient and has a phone ringing off the hook) will probably put it off until the issue resolves itself or becomes a full-blown crisis. I can't tell you how many times I've had a night nurse notice an issue, come up with a reasonable solution, and not be able to put it into action. Then I take that information to the day team, and get the order I need with a 30-second conversation. Day shift has more tasks, more procedures, and more new orders, but we also have more resources.
  13. New nurses can "make it" on days in some units. In others, it's harder. Sounds like your colleagues are warning you not just about the pace of the day shift (which is more hectic than nights, which is WHY the nurse:patient ratio is different), but about the unit culture. Do not discount unit culture as a major factor. Not all med-surg units are the same. As a float nurse, I can see clear differences between floors. There are absolutely units where day shift nurses work together, and the team work is amazing. The floor where I was today is the kind of place where if you see something that needs to be done, you do it. If you see a colleague drowning, you offer to help. But there are floors that are less team-oriented, and would be harder for a new nurse. There are floors where people are just doing their own thing, but will help IF you ask. There are other floors where nurses will not grant you any slack or grace - not everyone on the shift is like that of course, but enough that a new nurse would be miserable. Given that you are not yet on your own, it might be better to get your feet under you with a crew that you know and like before you make the jump to days.
  14. turtlesRcool

    Taking time off to take care of my new baby? Bad for career?

    While I was able to take longer maternity leaves with my first two kids (different field), I put my third baby in daycare at 11-weeks-old to work at the hospital FT. In my case, I was a new nurse, and taking an extended leave would have put me in the position of being difficult to employ. If you have lots of experience, you'll be in a better position to take more time off and get rehired than if you're a relative newbie. On a related note, what I've learned about childcare is that most of the people doing it really love kids. You're not leaving your baby with "a stranger." You're leaving your baby with an infant teacher who loves infants. You're leaving your baby with a babysitter who loves babies. You and your child get to know that person really well really fast. Our current sitter is in our COVID "bubble" and is really cautious about whom she interacts with (not going to her family's big Thanksgiving gathering), and my daughter considers the sitter's daughter her "best friend." I have had good luck in finding two centers and a semi-nanny who were all really great, so there has never been the problem of worrying about how my baby was doing without me. That doesn't mean it was never hard to juggle work and lack of sleep, or juggle working and pumping during breaks, but my baby's health, safety, and happiness were never at risk. Maybe consider interviewing some of the options near you. You might find you are more comfortable with the actual people you meet than the idea of "a stranger." Or not. But at least then you'd know for sure that staying home is worth the potential risk to future employment.
  15. turtlesRcool

    Nice coworker but I'm concerned

    So there were controlled substances pulled from the Pyxis, brought into the patient's room, scanned, and then not given? Why on earth not? Unless there was an emergency that called her away (which still doesn't justify leaving controlled substances unattended), it seems really strange to do most of the work and then stop short of actually giving the meds. Something isn't adding up here. Is there a chance she's "losing it" in some way? Has she always been like this or is this new? If she's such a seasoned nurse, it seems like such egregious breaches of procedure and safety should have been dealt with before now. Speaking up isn't petty. I have colleagues who rub me the wrong way. Colleagues who are not particularly nice. Colleagues who are not team players. But they are good nurses. I don't enjoy spending time with them, but they know their stuff, and their patients are in good hands. I would never lodge complaints against them. What you describe is different. If you have to question if you should say something, consider this: would you want this nurse to take care of you or a loved one? If not, then how can you justify letting her take care of others this way? Even if she's super nice, she's not safe. Could you live with yourself if her negligence seriously harmed a patient and you had said nothing?
  16. turtlesRcool

    Covid and Hospitals: How are things now?

    You may well be assigned to work as a "helper" rather than given a full assignment. For our surge, we had some staff working in the hospital from closed offices, but none took assignments. Truthfully, many of the unlicensed staff weren't THAT helpful because they weren't willing/able to provide direct patient care. But having a helper RN who could grab meds from the omnicell was a godsend when I was all geared up in a COVID room, and discovered a patient needed a PRN. And interestingly, we've been told that if we have another surge, we will NOT be getting backup from redeployed staff. The PACU staff will stay in PACU, and not become ICU helpers. Outpatient offices and clinics will remain open, and their staff will stay put. The network can't financially survive if they shut everything else down to just do COVID again.