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turtlesRcool's Latest Activity

  1. turtlesRcool

    100k in loans worth it?

    This thread is from 2 1/2 years ago. My guess is OP made the decision already.
  2. turtlesRcool

    What does the floor really think of nursing students?

    We typically like our student nurse associates, and hope they apply to be RNs when they're done with nursing school. I find the SNAs are usually more eager than the CNAs and are more likely to notice clinically appropriate changes and pass it on to me earlier. Not that some of the CNA don't, but they're a bit more of a mixed bag. That said, having a SN shadow me for a shift can be hard. It's definitely more work to show what I'm doing or explain what I'm doing than just to do it. I actually enjoy teaching, so when I've got a good assignment, I'm happy to have a SN. However, when I'm swamped, I'm probably going to groan inwardly when charge tells me I have a student. Having a student divides my attention. No matter how eager and/or unobtrusive a student is, it's still a distraction. On the days when we're short staffed, I'm probably barely keeping my head above water doing the minimum, and a student adds yet another thing to my to-do list. Now, if you've got a clinical instructor who stays with you and does things with you, that's great. If you're doing one of my med passes with the CI so I can go on to another patient, awesome. If you and your CI want to do a dressing change, you have my utmost thanks. But if you're just dropped on me with no warning on a busy day, it's probably going to be stressful for me, and unfulfilling for you.
  3. turtlesRcool

    Is my (50K) BSN worthless?

    If you're doing all the patient care, what are the PCTs doing? I mean, I help, but I don't take over patient care or I'd never get anything else done. If I do something that is usually part of their routine, I chart it and give them a heads up so they don't duplicate it. Like I usually do a full set of vitals in the morning because most people need cardiac meds and I need to check HR and BP anyway. So by checking temp and pulse ox while I'm there, I eliminate the need for the PCTs to do a set on my patients until the afternoon. It builds goodwill and gives the aides back some time to do other things. If I'm with the aide for a two-person transfer to the commode, I'll make sure to chart the output so the PCT doesn't have to later. Little things like that can take some of the pressure off the aides but without the time-suck that comes with doing the bulk of personal care myself.
  4. turtlesRcool

    New Electronic Medical Record + Short Staffing = Danger

    It was a cluster for us. We had super users who were out of the numbers, but I don't think we had enough. And we definitely didn't have enough staff. Whether it was a census surge or call-outs or just not enough staff, my first go live day I had 6 patients on a med-surg floor, three were isolations, 4 required insulin coverage (which requires a second nurse to sign off on it - and good luck finding someone available), etc. It was a mess. Also, the people from the EHR company were on hand, but were largely useless. I mean, I think they knew the program, but they were not nurses, and they often didn't know where to find the information we needed. Unless you're a nurse, it's hard to really understand what a nurse needs to be able to find quickly, and so many of the reps would just take my computer and try to click around in a vain attempt to locate things. On top of that, there was an issue with both the MAR and the discharge planning. So for several days we did all paper MAR (which was super fun because it meant we also had to pull everything from the med select on override), and for a few weeks, all our discharges were done on paper. No, it wasn't safe. No, we didn't get breaks. Yes, we were all there way past our shifts trying to finish our charting.
  5. turtlesRcool

    PRN nurse forced to take a call shift **NEED ADVICE**

    This! Doesn't matter if you have an exam or you plan to spend the whole weekend cutting your lawn blade by blade with a nail clipper. Your time is your time, and you don't have to justify what you do with it to anyone. Check your contract. If mandated call isn't there, she can't mandate you take it. I'm FT, and rarely pick up. As far as I'm concerned, my "fair share" of hours are the 32 control hours in my contract. Anything extra is extra. When I pick up it's because I want to, not because I have to.
  6. turtlesRcool

    Is my (50K) BSN worthless?

    You clearly have the drive to be a good nurse and it sounds like a good work ethic. From these responses, it looks like maybe you need to "work smart" instead of "work hard" going forward. One of the hardest things for me to do was learn NOT do everything for patients. It's not that I feel I'm above a toileting a patient or doing a lift transfer. It's that unlicensed staff CAN do those things but they CAN'T do the other things that require an RN (check results, call doctors, give meds, etc.). If I have time, I actually love to do patient care, but now I try to wait until after my first med pass is done and the pressure to be "on time" lets up. I need to know I have the time available before I start a time-intensive task that can be delegated. It's easy to get sucked into a patient's room, and it's happened to me many times; let's face it - no one wants to say no to a patient who asks to go to the bathroom. What I started to do is to call my aide on the phone or just push the call light which rings through to the aide. I let him/her know that this patient needs to use the bathroom. Then even if I get the patient up, I know someone will be there to relieve me, wait with the patient, and get him/her back to bed safely. Doing all of the lift transfers, while a good way to practice a skill, is probably not something you have time for. You are the RN, and you need to delegate. It's hard. I know my CNAs are better at lift transfers than I am. They're also faster at EKGs because they do them all the time. If I need something STAT and the aide is not available, I CAN do those things, but it's not a priority for me to practice them over and over when I have things to do that the CNAs can't do. Now you are the RN, not a student. Yes, you are learning things, but your primary goal is not to learn. Your primary goal is to see the patients' needs are being met. Doing all the straight caths on the floor just to get the practice is a student nurse mindset. As an RN, if you're off doing all the straight caths, that means you're probably not doing other things that your patients need you to be doing. The longer you're there, the more straight caths and lift transfers you'll do; you don't have to go looking for those opportunities - they'll come to you.
  7. turtlesRcool

    New-ish nurse dilemma

    OP, I agree that it's hard to make the call without knowing what makes hospital #2 so "crappy." Is it just smaller and less prestigious? If so, you might find it more nurturing and with better camaraderie. Sometimes the smaller hospitals do a better job of supporting new nurses. Is it in a "tough" neighborhood? Sometimes hospitals that largely serve lower income patients have a reputation of being crappy hospitals. While it's sometimes true that they are underfunded and universally true they have to contend with a host of social issues in addition to medical ones, they can be great places to learn. Is it a hospital known for understaffing and churning through nurses? Like, nurses who have a year's experience will be your preceptors? If so, then it's not worth the risk as a new nurse because you'll be on your own too soon with too little support - not safe for your patients, your license, or your mental health.
  8. turtlesRcool

    Nursing Scrubs Policy Question

    I'm not really understanding your question about motivational text to scrubs. My scrubs come from a uniform shop, so it's whatever color or pattern I like that is commercially available. I don't understand how I would add text to them, unless it's some sort of embroidery, but it seems like that would be expensive. We have wide latitude when it comes to picking out our scrubs, but I have never seen custom text. It's not hospital policy, but PT/OT/SLP wear grey, transport wears navy, and housekeeping wears blue. Nurses, RTs, and CNAs wear whatever color/patten they want. Some people prefer solids, others have patterns. A few have seasonal/holiday scrubs they rotate. I've never seen one that could be construed as offensive. I'm not sure where I'd even look to find a questionable scrub top. Thinking about it, I have seen some text in patterns, but it's usually something like "boo" on a halloween themed scrub top, or "cure" on one with pink ribbons for breast cancer. This doesn't seem to be what you're asking about, though.
  9. turtlesRcool

    Accepting a job offer knowing I may quit that job shortly ?

    Agree with others that you should take #2's offer, and continue to work there, even if #1 makes you your dream offer in November. You're a new nurse. You have much to learn. If #2 is a decent hospital (and from your post, it sounds like a reputable place), you will learn what you need to know. Spend at least a year there, establishing a positive reputation and developing good nursing judgment. If you still want to leave in a year or two, you will be in a better position to a) not burn bridges at hospital #2 (nursing is a small world), and b) have some choice in which unit you go to in hospital #1. Even in amazing hospitals, not all units are created equal, and if you develop a love for, say, cardiac nursing, would you really want to do ortho just to be at hospital #1?
  10. turtlesRcool

    Guys, I'm an unintentional job hopper.

    You've only been ICU for four months. It's possible that part of "hating it" is just the process of learning it. I think it usually takes about a year to get into a groove. Although you've been a nurse for 2 years, what you do as an OB nurse isn't all that applicable to what you're doing in ICU. You say you felt comfortable in your old tele job, but that was probably a combination of lower acuity compared to your current position and the fact that you were there for a year. You didn't actually ask for advice in this post, but I think maybe you've just got to get up to speed working ICU. Four months is nothing when you have so much to learn.
  11. turtlesRcool

    UCONN CEIN 2020

    I went through the program a few years ago, and while we are officially not supposed to work while in the program, not everyone has that luxury. I know several people who worked while in the program. The ones who had jobs lined up before graduation were usually the ones who were working as CNAs during the program, but others had jobs outside of health care. One of my friends was working about 30 hours per week waiting tables - she was an outlier, but it can be done. The program is intense, but it's not every waking hour. Get a good study routine, and be diligent about how you spend your time. If you made it to the point of getting accepted, you are a good enough student to work 1 or 2 days a week. I didn't work, but I had two little kids (preschool and Kindergarten when I started, and Kindergarten and 1st grade when I finished). Evenings and weekends when classmates could work, I was parenting, sometimes solo while my husband traveled. I somehow managed never to have clinicals or classes on Thursdays, so for two years running, I was the Thursday morning Kindergarten volunteer. I got ebooks rather than physical texts, and downloaded them to my phone - it's amazing how much reading you can do in 5 or 10 minute intervals. If you want a side hustle, it's probably better to set it up before you start the program. You won't have time for anything that requires much in the way of orientation, and you don't want to have to LEARN a new job when you're trying to learn nursing. If you can just do a shift or two of something you already know, that's probably easier than starting something new.
  12. turtlesRcool

    6,500 Nurses to Go Out on Strike 09/20/19 in Four States

    I suppose it depends if the hospital sees that temporary bump in costs as the price they pay for chronic understaffing. For a strike to work, the workers have to create an economic disruption big enough for the Powers That Be to consider safer staffing ratios a good return on investment. The PTB are interested in the ROI - so do they invest in their permanent staff year round or their temporary staff during a strike?
  13. turtlesRcool

    6,500 Nurses to Go Out on Strike 09/20/19 in Four States

    Who is going to care for patients, though? People are still sick, and they need nurses. Strikes still have an impact because the hospital has to pay so much more for the temporary workers. Also the hospital will be losing money from running below capacity, cancelling elective procedures, etc. I'm union and proud of it, but if my loved one were lying in a hospital bed, I would want someone to cross that line to care for him or her. If they didn't give notice, who is going to suffer? It's not admin. It's the nurses who were on shift when the strike started, and can't leave without replacements because that actually WOULD be patient abandonment. It's the patients who are left without competent nurses. As much as I like to daydream about management donning scrubs and working the floor, most of them have been away from the bedside too long to really be safe, even if they do still have RN after their names.
  14. turtlesRcool

    So Burnt Out-Help

    If you work ED, you're probably pretty good at IV starts. What about out patient infusion? Those are usually "normal business" hour jobs with stable patients. You'd have your regulars you get to know, but enough new people coming through so it's not totally routine. Definitely not the adrenaline rush of traumas in the ED, but maybe a calmer pace might be the change you need, if only temporarily.
  15. turtlesRcool

    Running late?, during report stay on topic so I can go home!

    Agreed, but at least our pressure ulcer rates are way down. Management says we're supposed to just do the shift change and call the PCT to do the personal care, but the PCTs are doing their shift change reports at that time, too, so the reality is that if we walk away, the patient is sitting in their own urine or feces for another half an hour or so, and that's not okay. Sometimes I will record my shift change report if I know in advance that my relief is being double floated, but a lot of time I don't find out until after shift change starts and I can't find my person. Another time-waster is when I'm giving or getting report with 5 different nurses. I'm seriously stalking people to finish up with the other nurse's report, so I can have my turn.
  16. turtlesRcool

    Running late?, during report stay on topic so I can go home!

    It usually takes 40-50 minutes to do report, but that's because we are expected to do it bedside, AND we have to do a 2 RN skin check as part of the hand-off process. So, you can imagine that while nurse A is verifying the incontinence associated dermatitis nurse B has stated is on patient XYZ's buttocks, there's a pretty good chance they're going to find the patient needs changing. Which means they're going to have to clean the patient before they can go on to the next patient's report. I have had mornings where I've literally done 4 linen changes in the course of getting my assignment. Today I was giving my patients to a nurse being double floated from another unit, so she had to hand off her patients before she could come receive mine. So, yeah, while shift change is at 1500, I started giving report at 1540.