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sbush86

sbush86

Hematology/Oncology, Critical Care
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sbush86 has 5 years experience and specializes in Hematology/Oncology, Critical Care.

27 year old Naval nurse born in Montgomery, Alabama, but was raised in Franklin, Tennessee. I am the middle of 2 brothers (and the only girl!). I graduated from Brentwood High School in 2005, and got my BSN from Tennessee Technological University in 2009, after which I began my Navy career. I started out in Portsmouth, Virginia, and now live in Pensacola. I have one deployment under my belt, to Djibouti, Africa. I have three fur babies, named Xena, Bella, and Louie, and am married to the most amazing human ever, my husband Chris.

sbush86's Latest Activity

  1. sbush86

    "Bad Patients" - A Labor of Love

    Good point- This gentleman refused an indwelling catheter, and a condom cath only added more equipment to an existing problem of needing to stand. He seemed to take it all in stride that night and was extremely good natured- although, if he had further issues I would not find out as I did not work the following days and he was long gone when I came back in.
  2. sbush86

    "Bad Patients" - A Labor of Love

    Who was your last "bad" patient? Mine was ThreeTimes an Hour. At least,that was the average timing of my patient ringing the call bell that night. Often times he rang more (rarely less), leading to a night remembered as one of the longest shifts of my nursing career. All thanks to a pesky prostate and an elderly gentleman who required assistance to stand. Its funny to look back and think about how much time I spent in that room, helping this man onto thin, frail legs as he attempted to hold on to the plastic urinal with equally frail hands (always with my hand underneath it - never trust shaking fingers to hold a urinal, as I have learned the hard way!). As soon as he produced more liquid gold, I would help him back into bed, ensure his pillow was fluffed and the call button was in reach, and then run out of the room to check on my other patients, get tasks done, and chart as much as possible before the inevitable ring of the call bell returned, marking another twenty minutes as passing. By the time morning rolled around, I was exhausted. The addition of the straight forward task of helping Three Times an Hour to my other workload meant I was one tired lady. When the next shift finally came in, they saw the haggard look in my eyes and assumed the worst - was this a "bad" patient? We have all been there. You walk in at the start of a shift, and see the look in your colleagues' eyes. "Is this a bad patient?" we wonder (or perhaps say brazenly aloud). Is this one who demands much but needs very little - Rude and Condescending, perhaps? Bed-Ridden While On Lactulose, maybe? Needs a Linen Change As Soon as the Bed is Clean (also known as the Back Slayer, the Blanket Hog, or the Leaky Rowboat)? The list goes on for what constitutes, in a broad term, a "bad patient". For myself, however, I have learned much and can appreciate much from these less than savory folks, these who are eagerly dumped onto the next shift as quickly as possible. Don't get me wrong - I get exhausted and frustrated as well, telling myself vehemently that "this isn't what I went to school for!". This particular night was no different - I found myself cursing under my breath each time the call bell went off, each time I found myself already running behind on a myriad of tasks ("why do old guys have to pee standing up? Why?!"). Every twenty minutes, I was expected at the bedside, not to help perform life-saving care or even contribute to the overall diagnostic standing of this man, but to help him with something he genuinely needed assistance with. But isn't this the heart of nursing, all jokes aside? No, we are not merely bedpan cleaners, butt-wipers, or order-followers - we are much more than that. But at times, in these more humbling moments of humanity, I would see in myself what is terrifying to comprehend - my own vulnerability. I see the future: I am not sick, my parents are not sick, my siblings are not sick, we are not weak or fragile - but we will be. Even more frightening? The knowledge that such frailty is not limited to the old; physical demise cannot be compartmentalized to worry about later. And that, I believe, is what makes nurses so special. We see in others, on a regular basis, that which the rest of society gets to conveniently forget about - that is, at least, until they or a loved one are the ones clasping the bedrails with trembling hands. We act as caregivers and healers, but also asa barrier - the very sick can present an ugly truth to those who retain their health. They are, in the very seconds we are cleaning them up, helping them stand, or turning them over, facing the very thing humans like to forget about- demons that we as nurses can stand between, and, for the moment, at least,form a wall of caring that can make even the smaller things feel like uplifting victories. Often, when I drive by hospitals, I look up at the windows and wonder what illness lies behind them, what battles are being waged, but more often than not, I also think about who is performing the exhaustive, thankless work of the Three Timesan Hour patient, my brother or sister aiding in the quest to maintain dignity. I wonder, as I steal a glance up at what must be windows to inpatient units of all kinds, if others do the same - do other caregivers feel moments of solidarity with the souls working that day? Do others feel the pain and fatigue of their cohorts, valiantly working inside? It can be hard to explain to others why nursing is so special, how we not only make a difference for others, but how those we care for can give to us more than weever expect. It can be frustrating to be reduced to a doctor's handmaiden or a glorified pill-pusher. People wrinkle their noses at our stories,and tell us they don't know how we do it. I am grateful for the chance to do it. It isn those moments of looking into someone's eyes as they are frightened, alone, depressed, or embarrassed that I find my work the most humbling. While it may be easy to say,as a new nurse, that you never want a shift like that, you never want to givethe immobile patient a Kayexalate enema or have the patient who needs so many little things that they amount to an enormous mountain, I believe they are necessary for building stronger nurses - if we allow it, those patients can teach us more than we ever imagined. I don't remember my other patients from that night - their acuity, their needs,their care escapes me - but I remember very strongly this man and the care I provided him. Although he was my most recent, Three Times an Hour won't be my last "bad" patient. Next time, in the midst of perspiring profusely onto my scrubs as I perform whatever draining task awaits, my hope is that I remember how I feel when I am outside looking up at the hospital, oddly thankful for the opportunity to humble myself and be called a nurse, holding the beasts at bay.
  3. sbush86

    Troops to Fight Ebola

    Right... I understand on the one hand that this is a big crisis, and they need help. But at what point does the US demand someone else take the lead on an issue? Why send an already weary military to do the dirty work everywhere? And how does one combat the ignorance that is causing people to go after and kill healthcare workers? I don't know what the answer is. It seems like throwing our military at everything as the go-to response, though, is not a good plan.
  4. sbush86

    Troops to Fight Ebola

    Also, google "troops to fight ebola" and several other news sources have the same story.
  5. sbush86

    Troops to Fight Ebola

    Obama to announce troops, funds to fight Ebola - CNN.com
  6. sbush86

    Troops to Fight Ebola

    Good morning all, I was just reading the news this morning and saw that President Obama has plans to send about 3,000 troops to Liberia to help fight Ebola. I was wondering what my fellow military nurses think of this plan? I have mixed feelings... I know this is something that needs to be contained, but I also feel that sending an already strained military force may not be the best approach... any other thoughts?
  7. sbush86

    Army Nursing: All Good Things Must Come To An End

    This has gone through my mind a lot as I have served in the Navy... I keep coming back to the thinking that the grass is always greener, and would I really be happy if I got out, or would it be fun at first, and then as I settled into a routine become something I miss? I think you made the right decision; I have no children yet and nothing to really keep me from getting out at the moment, so in the meantime I am just trying to eat up as much experience as I can and maybe also go to school again on the military's dime. Will I be a lifer? I never thought I would be in past my initial committment, and I am still unsure... guess time will tell!
  8. sbush86

    Want To Become A Navy Nurse

    They can and they do, BUT, in order to make 0-5, you HAVE to have a master's degree. That is true for the entire military, not just nursing or medical, but anyone. It could be in underwater basket weaving, as long as you have your master's you can progress in rank. A lot of people do an MBA. For instance, I know an O-5 Periop nurse who got his MBA, without any other degrees. His lack of master's in nursing did not impeded him one bit. so if you don't want to go the NP or crna route, you can do a lot of other things, including CNS, administration, informatics, etc. As long as you get your master's sometime before you are up for O-5.
  9. sbush86

    Want To Become A Navy Nurse

    To be on a carrier, you need to have ICU or ER experience first. So a snapshot of what I have done: I went to ODS in July 2009. After leaving there, I headed to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia. I started out on a Med/surg floor but I was fortunate in that it was an inpatient Hematology /Oncology unit. I never knew I would fall in love with oncology, but I did. Others who came in with me went to ortho, general surgery, internal medicine, complicated OB, and mother/baby. In 2010, I was selected to deploy to Djibouti. I left Portsmouth and upon arrival in africa, learned that i would be 1 of 4 nurses there. It was an amazing experience: I did sick-call (clinic), ER, PACU, OR, and ICU there because, having only 4 nurses, we didn't have the luxury of calling a nurse from that specific area to work there… we all did it and learned fast. Side note: this is also where I met my husband :-) After leaving africa, I went back to Portsmouth and worked in the PACU. i was there for about another year and then it was time to move, so I left, went to Pensacola (where I still am), and worked in the ICU. I was in ICU for about a year and a half and got my CCRN (which, by the way, they will give you a bonus for). After i promoted to O-3, I moved to be the division officer (clinic manage) of an ENT, Auddiology, and Opthalmology clinics, which is what I do now. In May, they posted all the operational openings, which include carriers, flight nursing, etc, and I applied and got accepted to go on the carrier for 2 years. While on the carrier I am the only nurse… the. ONLY. One. which will be…interesting. So soon, the husband and I will move to the west coast (San Diego) to attach to the ship, and then in November we will move with the ship to Japan. Going operational can be competitive, but really, as long as you stay active and involved in your command, you should have a strong application. Get your ICU or ER time in (you will need about a year) and your certification in whichever one you choose. The comfort and Mercy will go out periodically on humanitarian missions, and that is considered a deployment. They take med/surg, so they are typically easier to get on than the carriers (but they aren't impossible!!). Hope that helps!
  10. sbush86

    Want To Become A Navy Nurse

    Ok, straight from the horse's mouth. I am an Active Duty Navy nurse, and I have been for the past 5 years. I started out brand new, no prior experience in either nursing or the military (22 years old, had just graduated from college). I am currently a Lieutenant (O-3, same as Captain in the other branches). As far as getting your degree while AD, the only way that is possible is if you are enlisted and then get accepted into the very competetive MECP program (Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program). You would have to serve a tour as an enlisted person first, and then compete to get accepted into this program. Once accepted, you are still active duty and get your active duty salary and benefits, but your only job is to go to school. A sweet deal, BUT, you have to be willing to come in enlisted and there is no guarantee you will get accepted. I did the Nurse Candidate Program. If you go to a school where there is NOT a Naval ROTC, like mine, then you are eligible for this program. You apply right before you start your upper division nursing courses, and if you are accepted, you get a $10,000 sign on bonus and $1,000 a month until you graduate (I think it came out to around $34,000 total). Once you graduate, you go to Officer Development School in Newport, RI for about 5 weeks and then its off to the Navy you go! If your school has NROTC, that is the way to go. If you still don't want to do that, you can always finish school as planned, and then go for a direct commission. That is where you have graduated, and go to an officer recruiter and they allow you to enter directly (usually there is a sign-on bonus, but it tends to be less than the Nurse Candidate Program bonus). You then do as above, go to Officer Development school, and then off to the Navy. They typically start you out at one of the Big Three Naval Medical Centers (Porstmouth,VA, San Diego, or Bethesda, Maryland). Unless you had prior nursing experience in a higher echelon of care, they will start you out on a Med/Surg floor of some kind. Typically, you can then transfer to ICU, ER, etc, after doing 18 months of Med/Surg to build up your skills. I have never done Army or AF nursing, but I can tell you this: the Navy has allowed me to go on an Army deployment. It has allowed me to go on a Marine Corps deployment (we provide the medical care for the USMC). Because the armed forces are on a joint model these days, you can deploy to just about anywhere that another branch is. With the Navy, you get the added bonus of bases in great locations (we are near water! That means beaches!). The AF gets a bad rap amongst the other services because they tend to deploy for less amount of time and have cushy facilities, but then again, they also have to go to places like North Dakota in the middle of nowhere. If you are looking to do some exciting stuff, the Navy allows a lot of opportunity. Personally, I am about to be stationed on the USS Ronaled Regan aircraft carrier - what better what to travel and see the world than on a ship that stops at multiple ports around the world? There are downsides, of course. We are salaried, which means NO overtime, NO differential pay, and since you belong to the government, you can be ordered to work up to 18 hours a day (has only happened to me once). Worked a holiday? Sorry, no extra pay. You also cannot travel more than 300 miles outside your duty station unless you are on leave (being UA is no bueno). You have to move about every 3 years. You cannot call in sick, ever (if I get sick, I HAVE to be seen by my provider and then be given official sick status. It can be annoying, especially if you work in an are with a ton of civilian nurses who ARE allowed to call out and then you wind up having to cover for them - hence that 18 hour work day I had that time. Or, they will call you in and you HAVE to go). But honestly? Military nursing is great. The lifestyle is not for everyone, and sometimes just one or two tours is all anyone wants. But I think the exceptional benefits are worth at least one tour (3 years of your life? That is nothing and goes by super fast!). Ok, I'm done... sorry so long!