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eggyweggy

eggyweggy MSN, RN

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  1. eggyweggy

    Is it Worth it?

    I just finished the flexpath program in nursing education. I found it to be an economical and efficient way to get my MSN as I was able to complete the program in less than a year at an affordable price. I had to bust my buns to do it, though. I liked the flexible deadlines and I loved that there were no group projects or mandatory discussion board posts. I feel like I learned quite a bit from the assessments but it required a lot of independent learning. I didn’t interact much with online faculty during the program except for when they graded my assessments and that was pretty minimal. There is a course tutor (sort of like a TA) who is available to answer questions and clarify assessment questions. There were no friendships or relationships made during the program since it was all independent work. At the end of the day, employers seem more concerned that I have the degree and less concerned about where it came from. I do have some concerns about being able to get graduate credit for my Capella courses if I choose to enroll in a more traditional DNP or PhD program down the road, but I’m still undecided about whether this is something I even want to pursue. Getting the MSN for me felt equivalent to the hoop-jumping I did for RN-BSN. I was able to teach as an adjunct with just a BSN, but the MSN opens more doors for me in education. I lined up a clinical adjunct teaching position for the spring semester at a more reputable school than my last adjunct job. The pay is less than my hourly base pay at the hospital so I’m not sure that I’ll give up my bedside job for full-time academia any time soon. TLDR: Capella’s Flexpath was an efficient means to an end for me and nursing education is just my side hustle right now, not my main career.
  2. eggyweggy

    New Grad, work calling on days off

    Just in case you need another vote in favor of saying no without guilt, short staffing is the hospital's problem not yours. I only answer my phone if I'm interested in picking up extra hours during a given pay period. And I only pick up if it doesn't require jumping through any hoops on my end. Otherwise, I work the FTE that I was hired to work. Same with swapping shifts with co-workers. If it doesn't inconvenience me or result in a super-long stretch or a random day in the middle of my stretch of days off, I'm happy to swap equivalent shifts with my co-workers. But I definitely don't bend over backwards to do it. I feel absolutely no obligation to help cover shifts that aren't my responsibility to cover. it's management's responsibility to hire enough staff. Consistently picking up at the last minute enables poor staffing practices.
  3. Thanks for the insight. The staffing was not ideal this particular evening. We had a mix of RN/LPN and two were floats from other units, so not ideal in terms of resource people for new nurses. I did ask some of the other staff and they were unable to help, so the charge nurse was really my best resource that night. We worked together again tonight (she wasn't charging) and she apologized to me for not being more helpful. I told her that I understood she was stressed and that I appreciated what she was able to do under the circumstances. It was an unusually busy night and her patient load was way heavy for a charge nurse. Charge nurse usually gets a lighter assignment so they can be more available. She was frustrated that nobody was offering to help out (which is something that she always does when not swamped and is a vey nice thing to do), but wasn't delegating any of her tasks either. So I think my takeaway is that I'll try to use her as my last resort when I can see that she is busier than usual. Knowing how stressed she was the other night, I helped her with a few things tonight and she was very appreciative of that. The charge nurse tonight was much more comfortable in the role and had time to help me troubleshoot a particular drainage system. She has a little bit more approachable personality and I'm sure that helped.
  4. I'm still a fairly new nurse, about two years into my career. I've been at my current job for almost 3 months, off orientation for the last three weeks. Needless to say, I didn't encounter every single possible thing that I might need to know during my orientation period, so I still have quite a few questions for my more experienced coworkers when it comes to skills that i haven't done at our facility. The expectation is that if we are doing something for the first time (even after being off orientation), we will grab a more experienced coworker to talk us through the skill and sign us off on our competency checklist before we do it on our own. The majority of my co-workers are fantastic and more than happy to take a few minutes to help the newbies. There are quite a few of us on the unit who very recently came off orientation, so I get that it can be overwhelming sometimes if you're constantly being pulled away from your own patients to help someone else. The charge nurse who I was working with during this particular episode that has me feeling kinda crummy is a very nervous and easily frustrated individual. She doesn't handle unexpected very calmly and was tense and jumpy for the bulk of our shift the other night due to some staffing changes and some issues with a few of the patients on the unit. So she was already on edge before the shift even started. So a few nights ago, I had a patient pass away toward the end of my shift. I've dealt with this before in different facilities, but I was unfamiliar with the protocol for my current unit. It was an expected death, so I had just been providing comfort care for the patient until they quietly passed. After confirming absence of vital signs, I notified the charge nurse and told her that I would need help as this was my first time dealing with a patient death at our facility. I asked her where I could find the checklist for this (as I had seen one out on the unit another time, so I knew it existed) and she replied that it wasn't necessary, then rattled off an incomplete list of what needed to be done. She picked up the phone and called a few people to notify them of the event (without telling me who she was calling), and told me that I needed to wait for the MD to pronounce the death before we could do anything else. I again asked where I could find the list of tasks that needed to be completed and she replied with "For heaven's sake, haven't you ever dealt with a patient death before?" I said "Yes, but not at this facility. I know in general what needs to be done, but I don't know the protocol HERE." I know that she was having a stressful evening, but her lack of assistance made it very difficult for me to do my job properly. Thankfully the family was very understanding and patient when I honestly answered their questions about what would happen next with "I'm not sure exactly what the procedure is here because I'm still new to this unit, but I'll let you know as soon as I find out." Still, it was a lot of running back and forth because I was flying blind by the seat of my pants with so little assistance. I did eventually find the checklist that I had seen before, so that helped somewhat. But there were still things on the checklist that I was unfamiliar with, and when I tried to clarify those things with the charge nurse she gave me answers that were different from what was on the checklist. I simply did not feel confident that I was doing things correctly because of all of the conflicting information I was getting and I could tell that she was getting more and more stressed/irritated with each question I asked. I said "I'm sorry, I know you're really busy tonight and you don't have time for this, but I need to make sure that I'm doing this correctly. This is my first time dealing with this here." She threw up her hands, made a sigh of disgust, and walked away. OK, so that was mostly a vent session but I'll welcome any suggestions for dealing with a co-worker who doesn't want to answer questions from a newer nurse. Again, the majority of my co-workers are great and approachable if I need help. I could see where it would be bothersome if I was asking for help with things that I had done several times before, or asking for help with every single little thing. I try to utilize my own critical thinking skills before I bug someone, so I'm not asking questions every hour on the hour or because I'm too lazy to find the information on my own. After this experience with this particular charge nurse, I'm honestly a little afraid to approach her if I have other questions. It may just be that she is not a good resource when she's also doing charge duties, so maybe I'll make her my last resort from this point forward. I must be getting tougher because while it rattled me a little that she was rude to me, I didn't take it personally or as an indication that I was incompetent for not knowing exactly what to do the first time. Still, I'll take any feedback for how to handle people like this in the future.
  5. eggyweggy

    Do you talk to your coworkers alot on your lunch break?

    I'm still new to my unit and getting a feel for the culture. In general, if people are in the breakroom together, they make small talk for at least part of the time. There are a few antisocial types that are engrossed in their phones, but for the most part people make an effort to converse if they are eating together. We have designated times for our breaks so half to 1/3 of the nurses will be on break at the same time. About half the time I stay in the break room to eat and make small talk with my coworkers, the other half of the time I take my lunch and go find a quiet corner in the hospital where I can be by myself. My unit as a whole is pretty open and friendly and most of the nurses are happy to chat about personal stuff in addition to work stuff. Those who have been there for longer than me have much closer friendships and quite a few people get together outside of work socially. I'm still too new to get invited to most of it, but my unit does do some social events for staff outside of the hospital a few times a year that are inclusive of all staff. In general, people seem to be pretty welcoming (the turnover on my unit is higher than most because it's a foot-in-the-door kind of place) and not super-cliquey. We also get float staff to our unit on pretty much a daily basis, so people are accustomed to working with nurses who don't make their "home" on our unit.
  6. eggyweggy

    What Would I be doing?

    In a nutshell, you would be a slave to your med cart. With treatments and paperwork in between passing pills.
  7. eggyweggy

    Unsupportive spouse?

    Sometimes people change. I met my XH when we were both 21. By the time we hit our thirties and had three kids, we had both changed more than I think either of us expected. Sometimes what works well for you in your twenties doesn't work as well with life stress added to the mix. I didn't realize my ex was controlling with *his* money until I didn't have any of my own. We were too young and dumb to have some of those tough conversations that maybe we should have had to be sure we were on the same page. My XH is also an alcoholic and changed considerably when he quit drinking. Again, I didn't realize the extent of it until he hit his rock bottom and I had already invested several years into the relationship. I honestly didn't have high enough standards for myself at the time and I accepted a lot of behaviors that my older self wouldn't dream of tolerating. That's how people end up married to people they shouldn't. We chose the path of least resistance - get married or break up. There wasn't ever anything so obviously bad that breaking up seemed like a better choice. So we got married, had a couple of kids, and my going back to school ended up being just one part of the catalyst that finally did us in. I saw some red flags before we got married but I chose to ignore them because I wasn't confident enough to prefer being single over being married to the wrong guy. So there are a lot of reasons why smart women don't choose the right guy. You can never know the whole story just by reading a few posts on the internet.
  8. eggyweggy

    Unsupportive spouse?

    My ex-husband was supportive of me going back to school in theory, but once I started and he a.) had to do more around the house and with respect to childcare and b.) realized that I might leave him if I was financially independent, things went south. He ended up having an affair because he felt neglected and I started my nursing program a few months later as a single mom of three. They were 5, 3, and 1 when we separated. I got through it, not sure how. Turns out that I had a lot of support from others - from friends who watched my kids so I could get to clinicals to my parents who helped me financially, I found the support I needed to get through. It isn't an easy road, but it is possible. Also, my ex became a lot more supportive when he realized that it would ultimately decrease the amount he had to pay in child support if I had a good job. Funny how that works. Four and a half years later, I have a BSN, a job that allows me to be home with my kids several days a week, financial stability (other than the massive student loans and other school-related debts, but I'm tackling them), and a boyfriend who has been 100% supportive of me during my RN-BSN journey. Things work out the way they are meant to.
  9. eggyweggy

    Different job markets for ADN's & BSN's?

    Hmmm. My ADN program was very acute-care focused and had very little content geared toward other types if nursing. My RN-BSN program was primarily public health oriented. In terms of nursing skills, I did not enhance my knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, prioritization, or critical thinking in my BSN program. I did, however, learn mad personal time management skills due to juggling school, a fulltime job, and a family. I also learned how to quickly spew out 12 pages of APA formatted regurgitation of whatever the professor wanted to hear. I learned a lot about community health, which I found interesting and relevant, though not terribly useful on the job. But....jumping through the hoops for my BSN did open more doors for me professionally and also came with a higher starting salary. Doing the ADN program and working while completing my BSN was more cost effective for me as I earned more working as a ADN in home care and LTC than I did in my non-nursing career. Many of my LPN coworkers have said that they know they will have limited opportunities if they don't get their RN eventually. I think the same holds true for the ADN prepared nurse that doesn't go on for the BSN. I don't think the content of the ADN program should change to reflect the reality of the job market, though. If we all have to sit for the same NCLEX, then the focus of the ADN program still needs to be acute care. I'm not convinced that four semesters of fluff and paper-writing makes me a better nurse, but my employer seems to think it is worth something and hence the push for a workforce of BSN prepared nurses.
  10. eggyweggy

    When is the "best" time to do an RN-BSN program?

    I also have a non-nursing baccalaureate degree and completed my ADN in 2013. Passed my boards in June. Didn't get a job until August and a huge barrier was not having a BSN combined with zero healthcare experience. When I first started looking for jobs the language on the postings was "BSN preferred." Within a few months it became "BSN Required." That was the point where I wished I had bit the bullet and gone straight into a RN-BSN program instead of waiting. I ended up taking a job in home care, which didn't have nearly the same learning curve as an acute care job would have been, and it would have been totally doable under those circumstances. I spent that semester researching programs and applied to the one I could start right away the following semester. It took me 4 semesters, but I just finished my program and landed an acute care job this month. I would say that having the BSN in progress made a huge difference in my marketability. I took 6-10 credits most semesters in order to get it done. There were times when it was a little overwhelming, but I told myself I could do anything for 17 weeks at a time. And I survived. I did a hybrid program, so it offered a combination of structure and flexibility with online courses. Because the content is theory-based, you can absolutely do the program without nursing experience. I didn't have the same breadth of knowledge about healthcare as some of my classmates, but I also wasn't jaded going into it. Whether it's doable for you right off the bat will largely depend on your work schedule, your family support, and how well you manage having multiple things on your plate. Most programs can be done either part-time or full-time. I started off with 2 classes at a time to make sure I could manage, then hit it hard my last two semesters and took 10 credits at a time. I decided that I could work moderately hard for three semesters and graduate in the fall or really hard for two and graduate in the spring instead. It was a tough 8 months, but I'm glad I knocked it out and got it done.
  11. eggyweggy

    HELP!!!!

    Oh honey, you're not a failure. The right opportunity just hasn't presented itself. I know plan A is to get into a hospital, is there a plan B that you could pursue in the meantime? Not saying you should give up on your goal, just that maybe a change of scenery might give you the challenge you need. SNF/Subacute is kinda soul-draining work, especially when it's not your passion. Have you considered joining a professional association or taking some continuing ed courses to counter the feeling of learning nothing in your current job? I really do understand the feeling, though. I watched many of my classmates get hospital jobs right off the bat while I struggled to find ANY job. I outgrew my first job pretty quick and looked for per diem work at 6 months in for a new challenge. 6 months after that, I started looking for something different and ended up with 3 job offers. None of them were my dream job, but it helped me feel like less of a failure for not getting the awesome jobs my classmates were getting. I took the job that had the best hours and work environment and kept on plugging away. Every round of applications I redid my cover letter and résumé to make sure it was really selling me as a good candidate. As for broadcasting on social media, it's all about how you phrase it. Saying "I'm looking for a new challenge" sounds a lot better than "I hate my current job!" If you go that route, choose your words carefully and be aware of the fact that someone who knows someone at your current workplace could easily get wind of it. I hope things look up soon!
  12. eggyweggy

    Anxiety & Nursing

    As you get more comfortable in your role and confident with your skills, I bet your anxiety will naturally decrease at least a little. Self-awareness is huge - that alone is something that can help. I find it calming to be able to identify the source of my anxiety. It helps me prioritize the steps I can take to alleviate some of it. Personally, I find that trying to get all those supposedly relaxing things accomplished adds to my stress level. Sometimes I really do need a few days of overindulging on sugar, grease, and bad TV. I do feel better when I exercise and eat right, but sometimes I need to feel the other extreme to make me understand the value of it and motivate me to make it a better habit. Sometimes my anxiety is how I know I need to slow down and recharge by taking a break from working so hard for that balance. Things do get better on the job front. I felt sick to my stomach every day for the first several months on the job. At some point, things did shift and I realized I wasn't feeling those awful dreadful things any more. The idea of calling the MD didn't twist my stomach into knots. My assessment skills got better and I started catching things earlier, which meant that I was able to be more proactive than reactive. My time management improved to the point that I skmetrs got out on time, or even had a few shifts with actual downtime. It gets better. The learning curve is steep, but you'll conquer it.
  13. Go with the job that best matches your passion and career goals. So many nurses go into acute/subacute because it's what you are "supposed" to do and end up moving on after a year. Why be miserable in a job that isn't going to get you closer to your career goals?
  14. eggyweggy

    Resurrection University (chicago) will NOT prepare you for NCLEX

    Sorry you had a bad experience. Personally, I found that NCLEX tested all of that textbook nursing stuff and my clinicals barely scratched the surface. My skill set was pretty limited after my nursing program. My first time doing a lot of skills on a real person didn't happen until I was on the job. I don't know that more clinical time would have made a difference with how hard/easy the NCLEX was for me but it probably would have given me more confidence in my skills. And even though I'm a graduate of a school with a very high NCLEX pass rate, I still had to do a lot of learning on my own after I completed the program. Based on your post history, it seems like you are a little sour grapes over your nursing school experience.
  15. eggyweggy

    Resurrection University (chicago) will NOT prepare you for NCLEX

    Double post.
  16. eggyweggy

    Impossible to work correctly

    You'll definitely get faster as you get to know the residents. When I first started working the LTC unit at my facility, I was horribly slow and med passes felt like they took forever. The beauty of LTC is that the residents are stable and they aren't getting new orders every week. As you get more familiar with the residents and where meds are located in your cart, you shave off a lot of time. Instead of reading through the MAR and learning all of their meds for the first time, you can start reading through the MAR and looking for changes. Even though I have the same residents each shift, I still take time at the beginning of each shift to flip through each individual MAR and look for new orders. Don't get complacent or assume that things never change just because it is long term care. It just doesn't change on a daily basis. With time, you'll also learn which residents you need to get to right off the bat so that you don't waste time during your shift chasing them down for meds and treatments. I also try to get the treatments that require the patients to be undressed or in bed (ie, wound care on bottoms, creams, suprapubic catheter dressing changes, etc.) before patients get dressed and out of bed for the morning. Taking the time to organize your med cart at the beginning of the shift and making sure that you have all of your supplies will also cut down on the number of trips you make to the supply room in the middle of med pass. I also try to keep my med cards in alphabetical order in the drawers so that they are in the same order as the meds appear on the MAR. If meds are kept somewhere other than a card, we jot a little note on the MAR (ie, "bottled med" or "in fridge") to make it easier to find things. We only do vitals on the people who have parameters for holding meds or a specific order for more frequent vitals. Even that isn't a full set. If it's a BP med, we get BP and HR. If a resident is on O2, we get O2 sats q shift. If they are on abx, we take their temp q shift while they are on them. Assessments are only done if ordered or if there is a change in condition. Otherwise, I spend the bulk of my shift passing pills. I can usually finish my morning med pass and the majority of my treatments for 20 residents in about 2 - 2.5 hours. And that's with me only working this unit once every couple of weeks. I'd be a lot faster if I worked it every day. I also found that my time management got a lot better when I organized myself by task. While I still try to cluster cares for residents when possible, some tasks such as getting blood sugars, passing out supplements, and taking vital signs are easier when you get into that groove and knock everyone out one after the other. If I try to gather all of those things and take them with me to a room with meds, I usually don't have a free hand left to knock on the door.
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