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vamedic4 EMT-P

Peds Cardiology, Peds Neuro, PICU, IV Jedi
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vamedic4 has 23 years experience as a EMT-P and specializes in Peds Cardiology, Peds Neuro, PICU, IV Jedi.

If I'm not at work, I'm on my bicycle or hanging with my (how'd they get so old?!) children. Working with sick children is a passion of mine, having been blessed to work with some of the sickest anywhere. Making a difference in their lives over the last 23 plus years has made an enormous difference in mine.

vamedic4's Latest Activity

  1. vamedic4

    I couldn't do it, but that doesn't mean you can't!

    Thank you both. And Eric, it's great to hear from you, too! Always nice to see a familiar poster on here. I haven't been back to allnurses since I dropped out of the program, but I felt I needed to share some things and perhaps someone might take something from my experience. I think I started out with realistic expectations, but they fell by the wayside when I enrolled and couldn't afford to pay for exams. That led me to take far too long to get my exams done. And with all that time came doubt. Doubt that I could recall the material. Doubt that I could get it done in time. Doubt because I thought I was missing something. I actually got two grades below C, and had to retake Chronicity and Maternal Child which totally sucked, but by far the worst mistake was paying for an exam and not showing up. Yep...got lost, couldn't get where I was supposed to be, and lost all the money I paid for the exam - $265. That was painful enough, but not near as painful as trying to tell my wife what happened. Yeah. I just hope that those who embark on the EC journey remain acutely aware of the program's expectations and their own limitations, that way they can get everything out of the program that they work so hard to achieve.
  2. First of all, congratulations on your acceptance and willingness to further your education into the field of nursing care. I started the EC nursing program after it was recommended to me by a coworker who had been through it and passed, so I enrolled without truly taking stock of what was involved. At the time you were able to take NCI and II prior to enrollment to see if it was going to be a good fit for you, but I lacked the funds to do so. I wish I had, that would have shown me the sheer volume of info I would have been responsible for knowing for those exams. I enrolled in 2005, and set to work on NC I. I read, and took notes...copious notes. I even looked online for notes on different subjects, but they didn't really help me if I didn't first read the material myself. I also bought myself a digital voice recorder, to read my notes and listen to them at a different time. Repetition, for me, is everything. I was five years into EC before I ever took a test. Five years. The material seemed so much, and my own doubt set me on a path toward uncertainty that I just couldn't shake. Things are very different when you are trying to "teach yourself" and assure yourself that you are actually learning the material. My advice is to set a time limit for yourself for each exam, and make it both realistic and achievable. Don't do what I did and just be like ..."meh, I'll take it sometime soon." You'll never finish that way. One of the problems I had was distraction. There was always something more important, and the "no semesters" format only lent to me putting off studying in favor of just about anything else. Whether it was the kids or the wife or my own unwillingness to sit an learn, it all led to me running out of time and having to request an extension on the seven years they give you to complete the program. And by the time I did actually get busy and really study for the exams, there wasn't enough time left for me to finish. I finished six of the eight exams I needed (minus the FCCA and CPNE) but ran out of time - again, due to my procrastination. It was not a lost cause, however. The things I've learned from the program and from my studies have helped me to do my own job better and enhanced my knowledge of the nursing process and disease processes so that I may be of more help to the nurses I work with. Be honest with yourself. That is perhaps the best advice I can give you. While a lot of what nurses do is common sense and intuitive, a great deal of it is not and if you don't have a solid foundation then you may struggle with the program. If you know you're prone to procrastination, this program is not for you. If you learn better from an actual instructor, perhaps this program is not for you. If you don't like to read, this program is not for you. If you are not self motivated, this program is not for you. I don't want to crush anyone's dreams, quite the contrary. I just hope that you can be realistic about the work you are about to undertake. The program requires a good deal of work, dedication, and your best effort. Only by giving your best can you expect the best results. You are given seven years to fulfill the requirements and complete the program, but I was unable to finish before the deadline. I place the blame squarely on my own shoulders, and think of all the time I wasted when I should have been studying. But that was my journey, and I made the decisions that affected my progression, so I have no one but myself to blame. Don't be afraid, just follow your content guide and do what you know works best for you. But don't dawdle. Take it seriously and get it done. You'll be glad you did. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Allnurses.com is an awesome reference for all of you about to undertake this journey on your way to becoming a registered nurse. Many of the members here have been successful at Excelsior and have offered invaluable information that might be able to help you, too. Good luck to you as you begin your journey toward becoming a nurse. And thanks to all of you who have helped me along the way. This isn't the last you'll see of me, I'll be back. I've just got to head in a different direction for a little while. All the best to everyone.
  3. vamedic4

    Domestic Abuse Assessment

    I can't imagine the courage it takes to relive those moments in your lives. Thank you, ladies, for sharing your experiences with us. Experiences like yours present a stark reminder that the questions we ask, we ask for a reason. Flashpoint is right, sometimes we get so into the routine that we don't consider that something insidious may be going on.
  4. vamedic4

    Are energy drinks effective?

    I have used energy drinks sparingly, as in...maybe ten times in as many years. And I don't do the "drinks" like Monster or Rockstar, I do the energy shots...12 Hour Energy. It's much less to consume for me. I can't be drinking 20 ounces of something that feels like bees buzzing around in my mouth. The 12 Hour Energy does help me focus and concentrate though.
  5. vamedic4

    Males in Pediatrics :) Thoughts?

    Hayden, I'm a 42 year old male paramedic and have worked in pediatrics for the past 18 years. In the beginning, I was one of the only males anywhere in the hospital. Now, males are much more a part of the hospital's makeup in all staffing roles, nursing included. My best advice to you: ignore stereotypes. In this case, they are absolutely not true. I began working in pediatrics before I had children. 364 days later, my oldest was born. Everything I learned in that first year helped me to understand and to be able to relate to my new little boy. It made me a better person to others, a better father, a better man. Everything I have learned since has supplemented and reinforced that. We are just as capable of caring, compassionate care as our female counterparts. All we need is the opportunity.
  6. vamedic4

    Seven down, two to go.

    Amazing, isn't it? First off, thank you for your service to our country. Growing up in Virginia myself I had always thought that the military was an option for me. Scoring high on the ASVAB test in HS brought recruiters to my home for years after graduating. Unfortunately for me, hydrocephalus made me unable to serve. I wish you all the best and can't wait for (years from now) your posts or a book outlining your experiences. Likewise, if you had told me twenty years ago that I'd spend almost that long making a difference in the lives of the sickest, most beautiful children anywhere...I'd have told you that you were batsh*t crazy. I was a field medic all the way. Then I started working with those kids, and they changed my life forever. Now I just need to get my head back in the game and finish what I started.
  7. vamedic4

    Seven down, two to go.

    Thank you, Lunah. As always you remain an inspiration. Hope all is well with you!
  8. vamedic4

    Seven down, two to go.

    Thanks, EricEnfermero! - Bet you didn't think I'd remember that username. Hope all is well with you, sir.
  9. When in doubt, make the charge nurse aware of your concerns...always. What you describe isn't uncommon, moreso when children are in pain because you can bet your bottom dollar as a parent I'd be deep inside someone else's nether region if I find my child's pain isn't adequately controlled. Keep in mind, too, though, that this nurse might know this patient better than you do, and have a bit more insight into his entire history so she is better able to communicate both with the patient and his family with regard to his needs and pain issues. Sometimes children can exaggerate their pain. Even when they don't, a parent on the other end of the line only hears "my baby is in pain", and they go into "I'm going to chew someone up and spit them out" mode. Don't put yourself in the middle. Just notify the nurse and the charge nurse of the situation and let them deal with it. When you're the help on the floor, leave it up to the ones with the responsibility and the accountability to handle this situation. All you can really do is notify them of what you see, and hope that they do the right thing. Patient advocacy is really what we're all about, and it sounds as if you wanted to do what was right...I'm sure you did.
  10. vamedic4

    Seven down, two to go.

    Almost there, and I'm ready to be finished. Tests down are Health Safety, Health Differences, Lifespan I, II, and III, Transitions, and LS Developmental Psych. All that's left are Reproductive Health and Chronicity...then on to FCCA and CPNE! What started years ago as something I wanted to have done relatively quickly turned into a process that has taken much longer than I could have imagined. My message is simple: don't despair if you're not done in a year, or even two or longer. Life happens when you're busy making other plans, and it's not hard at all to lose sight of a goal, or lose your job, or have health issues. Stay motivated and you can do whatever you set your mind to. Best of luck in your studies, everyone. vamedic4 It's been awhile
  11. vamedic4

    Just sick...

    Had an exam scheduled for 10:30 this morning but didn't make it in time...got lost getting to the test center and blew all that money. I'm so mad at myself I want to break my own arm or something. Good thing I have a heavy bag in the garage.:mad::mad::mad: Ugh.
  12. vamedic4

    Texas Childrens

    Nikki, You might just want to pick up the phone and speak to someone in HR at TCH. The economy has forced even nonprofits to scale back the hiring of RNs so they really want those who "want" to be there. I completely understand your need to have a job before coming to Texas. It's a big move to come across the country, establish yourself, and start a new job in a new place. Best of luck to you. vamedic4 It's warm outside...yaay!
  13. vamedic4

    CMC Dallas and CHOA-Egleston

    Yes, the pedi trauma ICU is part of the PICU. We have three floors dedicated to critical care peds. Yep, you'll get to do IVs too. And yeah, it never hurts to review your notes. Welcome!
  14. vamedic4

    CMC Dallas and CHOA-Egleston

    The Surgical Trauma ICU deals with patients we get who have been traumatically injured due to MVA or other accident (fall from height, diving accidents, ATV accidents, non accidental trauma, et cetera. During this time you will be taught the "Children's" way of doing things, you will be able to see what critical care nurses do on a daily basis and work alongside them to care for the kiddos. Any opportunities you have to learn in the PICU, I advise you to take advantage of them. They have grand rounds every month that present a different topic and the effect on the peds population - it's an excellent learning opportunity. The experience you will gain will depend on many factors, your willingness to learn being the most important one. You will be able to start IVs after demonstrating proficiency, change dressings (CL, CT, PICC line, ostomy), you will get the opportunity to practice your assesments and learn the finer points of critical care. Best of luck with your position. vamedic4 One to one tonight
  15. They can here in Texas.
  16. vamedic4


    I moved from Va. to Texas in '95. The weather is great here in the DFW area, we get tons of sun. Yes, it's hot in the summer but our winters are definitely mild compared to Chicago. We actually had appreciable snow 3 times this winter, though that is definitely NOT the norm. I work close to downtown Dallas and I love it. My 26 mile commute is all interstate and I can be to work in 20 minutes. I have worked here for 15 years and plan to continue here after graduating from nursing school.