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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

    Verbal Abuse Is Abuse Too!

    Ruby, this is my first post after a long hiatus, and I want to extend to you my heartfelt apologies that you have had to endure that kind of treatment from the one you loved. What you have been through is not uncommon, unfortunately, and it should never be ignored. We live our lives with the hope that the ones we love are able to love us as we do them, and unfortunately that isn't always the case. My wife endured years of verbal abuse from her parents, and not long after we married I found myself engaging in the same tactics. I will never be proud of any day in my life that found me talking to her in a manner that dehumanized and belittled her, even if I made the excuse that I did it as a response to her words or actions toward me. She deserved better. You deserved better. All of us deserve better. Relationships are built on many things, but mutual respect and trust have to be at the base. If not, then nothing you build above it will last...like building a castle on the sand. I can't imagine the strength it took to get out of that situation, but I am very glad you did. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. With any luck, someone else might read your words and recognize themselves or their loved one as characters in your truth, and may make the decision to get help.
  2. vamedic4

    Crusty old bat in new RN role..

    Some find it hard to relinquish control, even when they are precepting. It is human nature for us, as health care providers, to want to do everything that needs to be done ourselves because we never know whom we can depend on otherwise. That, and the idea held by many nurses that they are "your" patient, meaning that you are the primary caregiver (by yourself and not as a "team" with your orientee), can cause a preceptor to be hesitant to allow you to do the things you need to do to learn. I doubt it has much to do with your experience or anything other than her inability to allow you to "do". As someone who has also precepted new nurses, I found it hard to do the same. She is probably just like I was - all "show" and "tell", not allowing you to perform an assessment, change a dressing, start an IV, et cetera. I didn't do it on purpose, and she might not be, either. Too many times we get busy talking about things, doing things, that we forget the point : that our orientees need the experience "doing". Hope things get better. But like other posters, I think that things will improve after orientation. Best of luck to you in your new position!!
  3. I worked nights for 17 years. It's hard. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't. Your body is programmed to sleep when the moon is up and be awake when the sun comes up. Though there are people who can adjust to it (myself included), it isn't ideal and works against your better health. What works for many won't work for others. I did my best not to work days in a row. That way I could nap a little after a shift because I knew I didn't have to go back to work that day. Then I got a good sleep that night and a nap during the day before a shift. Eating right, exercising also help.
  4. vamedic4

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

    Haven't been back here since I wrote that post, and I wanted to thank you all for your comments and encouragement. Thank you all, sincerely. Right now I am very happy with the work that I continue to do...happier than I have been in previous years because not only am I able to make a significant difference in the lives of my patients every day, my coworkers and management fully approve of my efforts on everyone's behalf. It wasn't always like that. At one time I thought that the only thing I could do to make my job better for myself was to actually get a better one - as a nurse, but, for me at least, that is not the case. My job has me filling in a very important role, and I've struggled to find an appropriate term for it, but that doesn't matter. My job title may say Paramedic, but my job duties should literally be Jack Of All Trades..and I know there are so many nurses who also feel the exact same way. I am still a paramedic, I still work with very sick children. But beyond my patient care duties I have acquired knowledge, skills, and experience to branch out and focus on the ability to provide my floor with someone who is an excellent communicator - not everyone excels in this arena..let's be honest. I am also equal parts firefighter (I put out the small fires before they become a bigger issue and require more resources), paramedic (performing my role as paramedic by keeping my nurses updated on any changes in the condition of their patients or anything I know they are wanting to know), patient advocate (solving problems for families without requiring the manager or nurse's time), and even crisis mitigator - by explaining to parents, in language they understand, exactly what is going on when we engage in emergency procedures on their children. I actually started doing that many years ago, when I observed how no one was talking to the family during a code and found that inexcusable at best. I wanted them to have some understanding of what was going on during what was probably one of the worst moment's of their lives. As a result of the positive feedback I have received from my current leadership and coworkers, I finally realized that it wasn't necessary to me to become a nurse to bring about change, to educate, to console and comfort, to excel in my caring for children and helping others do the same. All I needed was a change in my attitude and a change in my environment. When those around you are no longer aware or appreciative of the extent and scope of your contribution, it is time to leave. That was a hard realization for me, and one long overdue. During the time I was doing the program, I was working at what began as a wonderful place to be, but over the years morphed into a place I barely recognized...and it took a toll on my studies, and my life in general. Even though I thought I could weather the storm, I was drowning and couldn't even recognize it. I had done my part to let my studies fall by the wayside. It was time once again to prioritize and get back to what I did well. Who knows, maybe I'll find myself in nursing school in a few years, again? Perhaps not. All I know is that right now I am happy to be where I am. And I wouldn't have been here were it not for my own particular circumstances and ability to learn from my mistakes. Thank you to all of you who have provided me with encouragement over the years! You were there even when I didn't think I needed someone, and I am forever grateful. This is a great community of nurses and others who should be proud of their contributions to this site and its members. What I want my nurses to never forget is that regardless of our role, we are all in this together. Saving lives, making lives better, that's no job for just one person...it is a team effort. And my current team, like so many other teams I've had in my 22 plus years in pediatrics, is amazing.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. vamedic4

    Husband and wife working together

    Jinny, that policy is commonplace. Nepotism (in the form of wife/husband or even father/daughter, mother/son) has been an issue at many institutions in the past and in order to keep it from happening, they just put policies into place to forbid it. It has nothing to do with YOU personally,or your spouse, for that matter. The powers that be need that policy in force to keep bad things from happening. It's not that either of you would ever take advantage of your position as charge, but the organization can't take that chance. I worked at one institution with my father. He was the paramedic supervisor and I was a paramedic also. We could not work on the same shift because of our relationship. It's just one of those things. ETA: Oh, and for only an extra dollar an hour I would have told them "Thanks, but no." I'm sure it's not worth the trouble, the headache, and the added responsibility.
  11. vamedic4

    EMT-Basic (maybe?) during nursing school?

    If you have that time to "kill", as you say, then it can't hurt to take the class. Even if you don't get a job in the field, the skills you will learn will help you in nursing school and give you a leg up on others. You CAN, however, find work in a hospital as an EMT if the field work isn't looking promising. Hospitals want people with the skills and knowledge, even if they don't have that much experience. And a hospital will pay better on average than your local mom and pop ambulance service. Crazy, but true nonetheless.
  12. vamedic4

    New shift, new person

    So happy for you Good Morning! After 16 years of working nights I now have a new job and I work days. It is so refreshing not to have to nap during the day or to be up for 16 plus hours like I did when working nights!! You don't realize the things you miss out on, and having full days off is such a blessing. At my old job, day shift was (and still is) a collossal nightmare...but here? Not at all. I have found myself up nights though, thinking (at 0200) "I should be working", ....then I come to my senses and remember, "NOPE, not anymore!"
  13. 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.
  14. vamedic4

    Seven down, two to go.

    Thank you, Lunah. As always you remain an inspiration. Hope all is well with you!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.