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CV-ICU, Rehab, Med-Surg, Nursing Home
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gemini81sg has 10 years experience and specializes in CV-ICU, Rehab, Med-Surg, Nursing Home.

I currently work in critical care. Presently applying to various CRNA schools.

gemini81sg's Latest Activity

  1. gemini81sg

    OR/floor nurse before CRNA school?

    I started out on a Med/Surg floor, a very busy one that had a lot of variety in regards to patient disease processes. I found this to be a very good place to start as a new grad as it allowed me to get a solid foundation in my nursing skills from an inpatient standpoint. I bugged my nurse manager the entire first year about transferring to the ICU. I was told time and time again that "all nurses should at least do one year on Med/Surg before going to the ICU, but two years is better yet". I eventually transferred to a CV-ICU in a bigger city. Best decision I ever made. I learned all about hemodynamics, cardiac output monitoring, vasoactive drips, swan ganz catheters, art lines, mechanical ventilation, etc. This is what CRNA programs want out of their applicants. CV-ICU also includes experience with heart and lung transplants, VADs, CVVH, ECMO, Balloon pumps, TAHs, etc. Because this was a big city there seemed to be open positions on the unit all the time. The unit is very high stress, high intensity (usually a code or two per week) and I think that is why there seemed to be a high turnover. This is the only ICU I know of that hires new grads on a regular basis. My initial training was 6 months minimal, which included many weeks of classroom and online training. It was a very stressful unit, but I loved the busyness, the constant new challenges and the adrenaline rush that came with working on this unit. So you may want to look into going to a bigger city, but I would strongly suggest getting a good solid year on a Med/Surg unit. I think it most closely resembles the type of care you will give once you are in the ICU. I have also worked in the ED and while this area does permit lots of general nursing skills, you don't have the same ability to study your patient's cases and problem solve by trending patient data/history to assessment data the same way you do in the inpatient setting. Also, your physical assessment skills are much more 'focused' in the ED, whereas on Med/Surg you are doing a more thorough assessment which will strengthen these skills. Hope this helps! Good luck! :)
  2. gemini81sg

    Labor and Delivery Experience with ICU for CRNA school?

    hokieicurn: Just wondering if you have any additional certifications such as ACLS, PALS, NRP, TNCC, CCRN, etc.? These are things you may want to consider to improve your chances, especially the CCRN. Your place of employment may even pay for these certifications, mine did. Also, minimal ICU experience is 1 year. This is a requirement to any accredited CRNA program. The ICU experience should involve hemodynamics, vasoactive drips, mechanical ventilation and so forth. Many of the programs list very specific requirements they are seeking from their applicants, but you can always call and speak with the program director to get a feel for what they require and prefer in their applicants. This should give you a good idea as to whether to spend the time, energy and money applying. Good luck! :)
  3. gemini81sg

    Anyone got accepted to CRNA school with a low GRE score???

    bloomRN: I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing some of your stats - GPA, ICU experience, Certifications (CCRN, TNCC, PALS, etc.)....?? Also, which schools you applied to...?? Thanks!
  4. gemini81sg

    Med error stories

    One night at work one of my fellow co-workers, a somewhat new nurse to the unit, approached me stating that she couldn't understand why Dr. so and so was so rude to her on the phone when he was calling in to check on a patient. I asked what happened. This nurse explained to me that she gave 5 mg of Coumadin to a patient admitted with a diagnosis of GI bleed, positive hemoccult stools, a hemoglobin of 8 and an INR of 3.4. Luckily the patient received a transfusion shortly thereafter and the INR came down. Strangely enough, the same physician had just recently continued this patient's home coumadin on admission just hours before and pharmacy entered the order regardless of the admitting diagnosis.
  5. gemini81sg

    I think I'm too slow for Critical Care...

    Hello GucciRN22, When I read your post, I felt like I was reading something I had written! You and I have similar nursing background and I have also been working on a CV-ICU for about a year now. I know I have had similar feelings as yourself and I have come to the conclusion that these feelings are very normal. Learning this type of unit is so complex and is truly a specialty of its own. This means that it will take time and trial and error and redundancy of performing specific skills before one is truly comfortable and confident. My advice is that you hang in there and try to get involved in situations and experiences that you feel the weakest in. If you do this eventually you will gain the knowledge and ability to perform tasks and skills with confidence. When you are having a bad day (..and we ALL do!!) just think about when you first started and how far you have come from there....the growth you have already achieved. There are some nurses out there that enjoy letting you know how incredibly smart they are...and sometimes informing you of just how 'unsmart' you are. And sometimes physicians have a way of making you feel as if you are a physician who should be diagnosing.....you are the nurse! To me it seems like the nurse is expected to be all the specialties sometimes.....cardiac, renal, pulmonary...psychology for cryin out loud!! Just try to answer what questions you can and when you don't have the answer (for the physician) then tell them you don't have it. Each day at work, I take notes of all the little things that I questions or didn't quite understand. Then when I get home I look things up. I keep a lil notebook with me at work with notes on each body system that includes different illnesses, treatments, ect. I have also bought books specific to the things that I was struggling with. The "Nursing Made Incredibly Easy" series has all types of wonderful books that can be used as resources. I keep two of them in my bag at work and use them often. When I started on my unit, everyone said that it takes at LEAST on year to really feel comfortable there, so just keep that in mind. Remember it will take time and people will make you feel very small sometimes, but this is life....just try not to take it too personal and move on. Take the positive from every situation. You CAN do it, you will get better at what you do. And in the end, if you find it isn't for you, then maybe it is time to search one of the many other areas in nursing. Good luck to you!! nurseatheart81 :redbeathe
  6. gemini81sg

    How's the job market there in Wisconsin?

    Hello, I have lived in Green Bay, WI for a number of years and worked at a local hospital for about 6 years. There is somewhat of a freeze in the Green Bay area. I have heard from my manager that one hospital is even laying off some of their RN's due to the 'economy'. For this reason, I have since relocated to Milwaukee, WI as I had been wanting to begin a career in the ICU. The hospital I previously worked for stated that they would not pay for any additional training so that I could transfer to the ICU there, despite a need for RN's there. In fact, I was told by my manager that she is also unable to fill needed positions in the Med/Surg dept due to a "hold" (not a "freeze"). You may interpret that as you will. The reason I am replying is that I have come to find that Milwaukee has a vast hiring market for RN's at the Aurora sites - St. Lukes, Sinai, West Allis. If you go to aurora.org you can look for jobs there. As a new employee for Aurora in Milwaukee now, I am surprised at the vast number of new grads they hire, even in the ICU, which was unheard of at the Green Bay facility that I previously worked for. Not sure if you are interested in relocating to Milwaukee, as I know I wasn't initially, but there are certainly jobs here and more importantly they are not afraid of hiring new grads. I was greeted with a warm welcome, not too mention good pay and so far so good. Feel free to message me if you have any other questions. Good Luck! nurseatheart81 :redbeathe
  7. gemini81sg

    This is how it really is for this new CRNA

    Sounds like you have a really good deal there....congrats! Just wondering what the population of this "rural" area is? Thanks!!
  8. gemini81sg

    Any grad nurses out there? HELP

    Hello, I recently went through the same thing, but have since passed my NCLEX!! I'm finally a R.N.!! What a relief it is!! Anyways, I waited a long time for my ATT as well as for my Temporary Permit, which the check had been cashed almost a month before they posted it. I was getting a little frustrated as I had already been hired as a Graduate Nurse (G.N.) and my pay was about to be effected. I ended up calling the DRL quite frequently and I was checking the website daily. This can be frustrating as you have to sit through a long phone message, only to leave a message. But they are required to return your phone call within 2 business days....and do not be afraid to ask for the manager if your questions/concerns are not being addressed in a timely manner. Apparently the main person who does the majority of the processing of applications was on medical leave, so everything was getting processed very slowly and in little bits at a time, including my own. The best advice I can give you is to keep calling, especially if you paid for a temporary permit. They do have deadlines they should be meeting. I eventually spoke with a Kathy, who I was told was the manager. Shortly after speaking with her, everything went through much quicker. Once I passed the NCLEX (I took it Feb. 22nd), the DRL website did not post my license until Mar. 5th. I was able to gain the results after 2 days (I took it on a Friday at 2pm and got the results Sun at around 2am). I paid $7.95 to the PEARSON VUE Website....and it was well worth it!! Best of luck to you!! Feel free to message me if you have any other questions. ~Shenandoah, R.N.~ :prdnrs:
  9. gemini81sg

    Did anyone hate nursing school?

    I feel nursing school is really more of trying to figure out what the instructor wants and how he or she wants it than what you need to learn, in order to earn a good grade. It's tough and you really need to set your pride to the side temporarily. I have struggled with some very difficult instructors, spent long nights awake studying and prepping for clinicals, only to get criticized for half the work I did the next day anyways. So, yes it's a struggle, but remember it is temporary and I have also found that the bachelor classes (and general eds) are much more exciting. Remember to just try to figure out what is most important to each individual instructor for each clinical/theory and find a way to make it work. They say you only learn 5-10% of what you really need to know in nursing school versus the real world anyways. Scary thought isn't it? Nursing is so vast and there is so much to learn in so little time. My nursing school expects you to be immediately proficient following one lab check-off, when in reality it really takes a lot of trial and error as well as hands-on experience to grasp the knowledge and skills needed. I work as a nurse extern, and I find that I am learning much more doing that than in school, but school certainly does lay the foundation to begin. I think the key of nursing is to know how to utilize your resources, learn to recognize critical symptoms immediately, GAIN EXPERIENCE - thus increase your nursing intuition and instinct, and who to contact when you're feeling unsure about any type of situation. I noticed some of the instructors analyze, criticize, and degrade students for some very insignificant reasons. But just get through it, keep your head up, know that you're not alone, and it will pay off in the end! GOOD LUCK!! NURSES ARE SURVIVORS!! :yelclap:
  10. gemini81sg

    Herzing college anyone?

    Hello, I do not know anything about the Herzing College, but with the tech college you would be able to get your ADN much quicker and much cheaper granted you have been on a waiting list or there is no waiting list, which is highly unlikely. I currently have one semester left in my tech college program, but I am also taking classes at UWGB towards my bachelors degree. One possibility that you may want to consider is to keep taking a class or two at the UW college while you attend the tech college, that way you don't loose your acceptance to UW Madison. Plus, the tech schools are now offering general education credits, which I am also taking. They are much cheaper (one-third the cost of the UW courses) and most can be taken online. Good luck with your journey! Feel free to contact me if I can help you any further. Gemini81sg
  11. gemini81sg

    ANYONE else having a HORRIBLE education experience???

    By the way...LOVELEP34, I have another post in the GEOGRAPHICAL section under WISCONSIN NURSES in an attempt to unite students from my school....check it out and invite your fellow classmates. It is easy to invite many if you use the BLACKBOARD and use the multiple email feature. I will IM you at Yahoo when I get a chance....talk to you then!!
  12. gemini81sg

    ANYONE else having a HORRIBLE education experience???

    :caduceus: Thank you everyone for your encouragement! I am way too stubborn to give up and nursing is where my heart is. I am dreading my last semester, but trying to keep my head up. To erin1205, I truly encourage you to look elsewhere. I don't say this to insult the school, which was never my intention. I really say this to save you from what I went through. I consider myself a pretty strong person -emotionally, but these guys really got to me. I served in the U.S. Army when I was 17 years old, right out of high school and I can honestly say, I would rather go through basic training again, then start again in this program. I worked so hard - no going out, avoided my cell phone, did studies daily and for many, many hours - all to keep up and keep focused on my school work. I didn't mind giving up my personal life temporarily to achieve the ability to become a nurse. The hardest part was keeping the instructors I had happy. It never seemed to be enough. I spent so many nights in tears and I REALLY hate to admit that! That is not me at all. But you get my point...Horrible experience...and it shouldn't be that way. Learning should be positive, encouraging, and compassionate, not fearful, with constant criticism and rudeness. By the way, my general eds at this school were fine, I only experienced this negative learning experience in the nursing program. I'm really not sure why that is, but it certainly is. Good luck to you all and thanks for the feedback!! :caduceus:
  13. gemini81sg

    Doctoral degree to become an NP???

    Vicky, So what will this mean exactly for the APN? Will he or she then be called doctor? Will this mean an increase in pay? What is your opinion on this? Is there a way as a nurse to voice opinion in this decision? Will current APN be grand-fathered in? Thanks for your help!!
  14. gemini81sg

    Aurora healthcare= no more nurse anesthetists!

    I work at Aurora Baycare Medical Center in Green Bay.....we use CRNA's. I contacted the Chief of Anesthesia by email and he was more than happy to have me shadow a CRNA whenever I wanted to. Starting pay is $130,000 according to one of the CRNA I spoke with last year.
  15. I believe the legal nursing consultant has every right as a professional to expect $100-$150/hr. To work for $14-$16/hr is absolutely ludicrous! A well trained and experienced nurse has proficiency in assessment skills unlike any other as well as the ability to read between the lines. A nurse has the ability to see it as a "whole picture" as we must do in any real life situation. A nurse assesses from every angle and analyzes each aspect of the patient. We are taught critical thinking. We are at the bedside seeing the symptoms both physically and psychologically. We critique everything including meds, diet, labs, pathophysiology, family, lifestyle and so on. We work hands-on with all dept's in a hospital...also deciphering physician orders and double checking for accuracy. We consider family circumstances, social services, and financial abilities. We review the charts from front to back. We must have the patience to deal with the sometimes irrational and cold feedback and behavior from physicians. And how many times has a nurse had to "submissively" try to offer an idea to the physician? Or point out something that was missed? A nurse also holds the key characteristic of bed-side manner...and in this particular type of position a nurse can take those "submissive" feelings and use them to his or her advantage. Generally a physician is in a role where he or she doesn't have to be submissive. The physicians time is limited, and much more costly. This is what give the nurse a special inlet to the LNC role, because he or she will be able to talk to the attorney or interview a potential client as a human utilizing those "bedside manner" skills. A LNC can also remain behind the scenes protecting ideas and information from the plaintiff or defense. Information that would otherwise need to be disclosed as a expert witness. I don't think the concern is so much whether or not the LNC has the ability to excel and offer a great deal of useful and hard-to-come-by insight, and to earn a demanded high wage, but the major issue is how is the LNC going to convince the attorney of his or her worth to regarding their individual cases. Skills, knowledge, and experience are a must. The LNC must learn how to market themselves in a way to educate and prove to the attorney his or her worth and value to their cases. A nurse's role is one unlike any other and although it is not yet or may never get the credit for what it is worth, I believe it is in the perserverance of the individual LNC to make it known. To have the confidence and courage to effectively sell themselves and to prove and further back their abilities. It is all politics really. Much like the battle of physicians and nurse practitioners/advance practice nurses. How is it that a NP can carry out the role of the physician, but not receive the same status or recognition? Why is it that a NP can carry out the same role, and not receive same compensation both financially and socially? Why isn't there a transitional education program designed for an NP to become a physician if he or she desires to do so? How many times have you heard that a friend or family member was much more satisfied with NP services versus an MD? We are in a period in history where this is a slow transition of recognition, but I do believe it will improve with time. The barrier is bound to break when nurses begin to demand recognition for the skilled and educated professionals we are and to hold our heads up high. The nurses that choose to limit themselves to these ludicrous $14-$16/hr jobs are guaranteed to find themselves feeling regretful, overworked, and underpaid once again. And once again seeking an outlet to their current situation. I remember a while back I was working on a Med-Surg floor and one of the nurses said, "Quick, clean up the desk, the doctor will be here any minute." We were crazy busy that morning and I just thought, "It wasn't even clean for us for the past few hours...with all the call lights ringing, breakfast trays being passed, vitals and blood sugars being obtained, patients on bedpans, patients in pain needed meds asap...I could go on and on here" I just thought...respectively, that is not a priority, the patient is my priority. A clean desk versus a patient in need...how can this be compared? It's like loosing the whole idea of why I became a nurse. I certainly did not dream of all the ways I can keep a physician happy, my dream was to help and to care for another human being. And the nurses who fear to call the MD for a critical situation because it is 3am...that is also ludicrous! Why the fear? Why is there a line there as if the physician is the king who should not be disturbed? I think this is an old-school pattern that will fade with time because I feel it is usually the older generation nurses who spread this contagious "fear" and "submissive" behavior. Times are changing...new nurses are coming in....more men are nurses....and patients are recognizing the lack of bedside treatment from physicians. I think there is a lot to be said about this new generation....it may take time and maybe lots of it, but I sense that there will be a higher recognition for other professionals in the future. Healthcare is constantly evolving, including the politics aspect....though slow as far as professional recognition goes. Rights for blacks and women did not happen overnight either. I see high hopes for the future of LNC's....it is somewhat of an undiscovered profession, but only we as nurses can make efforts to change the image, worth, value, and profession of a nurse. :caduceus:
  16. gemini81sg

    If you are drunk, don't drive!

    I agree...there are many things that nurses do that they shouldn't do. Think about how many obese nurses you see in any facility or how many nurses (including Respiratory Therapists!) sneak out to smoke on their breaks. I'm not voting for Pro-Drinking and Driving or anything, but you can get an OWI or DUI pretty easy with the legal limit being .08 in most states. That's a drink or two from a christmas party....not everyone who gets these tickets are "drunks". Stealing money from patients, taking narcotics from the job, denying pain meds to a patient because it's your opinion that he or she is not in pain, denying eqaul cares and services to a patient because you don't like their lifestyle or race for that matter.....these things to me, are much worse than getting a drinking and driving ticket. I don't think a license should be taken for this pending the extent of the circumstances of course. I mean, if you get a DUI on your way to work as a nurse, then I really think you should reconsider being a nurse, and check in to some counseling and rehab real soon!! :beer: