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RatherBHiking BSN, RN

Med-Surg, Oncology, OB, School Nurse
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RatherBHiking has 29 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Oncology, OB, School Nurse.

RatherBHiking's Latest Activity

  1. RatherBHiking

    Anyone here who loves bedside nursing?

    Sorry I forgot to answer the question LOL. I do like bedside nursing even though I haven’t done it in a while due to needing a better schedule when my kids were young. I enjoyed the tasks, connecting with patients, being able to critically think, learn something new every day, not have to work every day, never had time to be bored, lots of variety, working as a team with other nurses (when they worked as hard as you), opportunities for different positions, etc.
  2. RatherBHiking

    Anyone here who loves bedside nursing?

    I can remember back in the day we were expected to give up our seats so the Dr’s could sit down and chart. I drew the line at getting them coffee though! Some did so the Dr’s would be nicer to them. I’ve also been screamed at or talked down to in a condescending manner many times and my very first nursing position the older nurses would literally lie to us new ones then laugh when we got in trouble. It did zero good to report them as they just lied and said we were making it up. That was the worst experience of my nursing career. The second was working in the OR. So many surgeons yelled and treated us poorly and threw temper tantrums daily. The scrub techs all talked about each other and us behind their/our backs like they were in high school. Now I get yelled at daily by people furious I’m quarantining them and their families. I grew up getting screamed at by my father. He screamed loudly all the time about things like not being able to find ketchup quickly enough in the fridge to not talking loud enough. I told my husband if he ever screamed at me I was done. I’ve gotten better over the years at not letting it ruffle my feathers as much but it can still ruin my day.
  3. RatherBHiking

    Which position would be better?

    I'm not sure why everyone thinks just because I don't work in the hospital my job is low stress. It's boring to me in the fact I feel like there's very little skill involved in what I do, not that I'm not constantly busy and go without lunch most days and forget to use the restroom because I don't have time to drink anything. It's extremely stressful and we don't get overtime. We were working over for hours not getting paid at all and after six months they finally decided to at least pay us our regular rate but we had to document in 15 min increments exactly what we were doing and who we were talking to. No one did this at the beginning because we didn't know we had to and of course didn't remember. They acted like we were trying to steal from them or something. So a lot of us weren't paid for the first half of the covid nightmare last fall because we didn't document how we were using our time. We regularly get added more duties and responsibilities for the measly pay we already make. When we complain we're overwhelmed we're told to "hang in there". Our boss does very very little to help us and constantly chances policies or forgets she told us to do something a certain way then gets mad when we do it that way. When we point out that's what she told us she says well we should've known better and went by what she meant, not what she said. We all get a stern lecture and even if we prove her wrong, she never says she's sorry or takes responsibility. We've had nurses who've worked ICU, ER, trauma etc all say this is more stressful than that. We were told don't expect to take any personal days or vacation until further notice. So when I say I'm thinking of returning to acute care it's because at least I'll get paid for every hour I work without having to prove what I'm doing, get paid a lot better, get to use my nursing skills more and at least get more than two days off every week. I've also considered traveling in a year or two and need that experience. I have family that works in the hospital who works with many travelers who love what they do. If I traveled I could work half a year and take the other half off which sounds tempting. Or I can find a career path I don't need a six month break from. I just have no clue what that would be so I have a lot of soul searching. That's where I'm at. I just wanted to clear that up. I do appreciate the insight and agree it's not really good anywhere for nurses right now it seems.
  4. RatherBHiking

    Which position would be better?

    My youngest is in college. I left acute care to be there for my kids. Now that they are all grown I don’t have to worry about it. There are no similar jobs and I probably wouldn’t be able to return to that job anytime soon. No safety net. I’m starting to explore options outside of nursing and/or returning to school for something else maybe. I just need some kind of change.
  5. RatherBHiking

    Which position would be better?

    This is why I wanted advice. I’ve learned when it comes to oneself you don’t always see the forest because of the trees. I know I wasn’t seeing everything clearly due to emotions. My outpatient job isn’t boring in the fact I’m not constantly busy, just in the fact it’s tedious, same old thing, no longer a challenge etc. I was excited to make a change and actually get offers but it’s starting to sound like I’m exchanging one set of problems for another. Thanks for your advice!
  6. RatherBHiking

    Which position would be better?

    I’ve experienced this many times, as well as many nurses in this area, at all three hospitals in our town. I don’t mean a Dr getting irritated but full out screaming as his (always a he) face is red and people stop and stare. It’s better than it was 20 yrs ago and at some you can file a workplace harassment form but consider yourself lucky it has never happened to you or even seen it. The third place I didn’t apply to I was told in an interview once our Dr’s are professional and don’t yell. Yet I saw it almost every day and was reamed out myself by a surgeon for holding a case up and it wasn’t even my fault. One also liked to throw instruments like scalpels across the room one one tech got hit and they still let him practice. I quit that job. Thanks for the insight. We don’t have great choices of hospitals to work at in my area. 😕
  7. RatherBHiking

    Which position would be better?

    I have two job offers from two different places and I'm not sure which would be better. First: Night shift, less pay and better benefits, 40 min commute, less turnover Second: Day shift, more pay, 20 min commute, more turnover The first job I'm concerned about the nights and a 40 min drive home. In the past when I've done nights I've been so exhausted I'd fall asleep at stop lights. I also would wake up after about four hours and not be able to go back to sleep and have a bad headache the rest of the night. That was many years ago so maybe it would be different now??? However the second place is notorious for being short staffed with a higher turnover and Dr's get away with yelling at the nurses a lot. ( I have friends who work here and this is what they tell me. ) However I know I'd handle the day shift better and the shorter commute would save me a lot of time. I currently work M-F but I'm bored and need a change and hate the five days a week. I'm always tired after work and don't feel like doing anything. Weekends I'm busy catching up on everything so I never feel like I get a real day off. I don't HAVE to change or do anything though but I get excited over the thought of something new and only working 3 days a week. Any suggestions or advice? Thanks!
  8. RatherBHiking

    Advice please

    Have you always wanted to be a manager? You were looking to leave because of stress and now you're considering taking a different stressful position. What happens if you aren't happy in the new manager position? Will it take you leaving again before they try to make things better? Of course they don't want to lose you. You work hard, work extra, took a lot of you know what and didn't complain. They did this until they burned you out so you decided to leave and you think this won't happen again just because it's a different position? You just started a new job with less hours, more pay and it's easier. Why not enjoy that for a while so maybe you can enjoy life after work not being exhausted mentally and physically. I'm not sure you've been there long enough to make an informed decision on how easy or hard it can be. I mean it's not even flu season yet. Things are going to get harder just from that but instead of trying to keep your head above water you'll have more help. If you find yourself bored jump in and help others. If you have always wanted to be a manager and think you'll really like this new position (starting out as the same pay as an office nurse at this other practice basically) then do it but if you decide it's not for you don't expect your new place of employment to take you back. Just some things to think about...
  9. RatherBHiking

    School Nurse Pay

    I live in the eastern part of the US in a very rural area. Starting out here is around $38,000/yr. After 19 years I'm up to a whopping $50,000. I will retire at around $55,000 if I stay with it. Our contract is for 200 days but we only work 180 of those. It's like $35/hr for the actual hourly rate of the days I work. So if you think of it like a part time job it's better money. LOL!
  10. RatherBHiking

    ICU to middle school nurse. Any advice would be appreciated!

    Above is good advice. Yes make sure kids have their required shots and if not be calling the parents and follow your district guidelines. Think about what a teacher may need to know about their students to keep them safe. Example: if John has diabetes they need to know that, the signs of low and high blood sugar, when to come to you, etc. That's where the emergency care plans come into play. They need to know who has allergies and if anyone may need an epi pen and where that epi pen will be kept. They need to know who to send daily to you for ADHD meds. Things like that. The first few days I'd just give them the basics until you have time to write up a very detailed care plan if needed. Get your Dr orders quickly as possible. Call parents to get more info on issues or restrictions. See kids who come to see you for not feeling well or injuries. There should be some protocol your district has for that like a fever over 100 goes home, pink eye we send our's to a Dr and can't return until treated...etc. Give teachers a few bandaids for their classrooms. Figure out your system for student visits like should teachers call you first, send with a pass, just send without a pass whenever??? I prefer a call so I can say wait if I'm already dealing with a sick kid. Figure out your covid guidelines. Your school will be having fire drills, lockdown drills, shelter in place etc so figure out your role in those. The school system is pretty laid back about stuff. Most teachers and even principals don't even know exactly what all you need to do or what you may be working on daily. The principal only cares that the teachers and parents are happy and that the student is doing well. Anything you do that helps that process you'll be looked favorably upon. Then whenever you inadvertently mess something up or someone gets mad at how you handled something (even if it wasn't wrong) just learn to let it roll off your back. Choose your battles wisely. Nurses don't usually win unless we can say it's against the law or policy. It's a fine line. You give too much they want to walk all over you, you give too little they don't like you you will be labeled "difficult" and they will make your life difficult. Just learn to be flexible, stand your ground on the important things, and go with the flow and you'll be fine!! Best wishes!
  11. RatherBHiking

    NICU to School Nurse

    Everything AWhinyNurse said is spot on. You're going to go from a highly specialized area where there's a lot of life and death scenarios, using your skills, and being a very important team player in the lives of your patients to well "the nurse". No one cares much about you until they need you for an "emergency" such as someone vomiting or to send a kid home that's driving them crazy. A low blood sugar, well, the teachers don't seem to care so much about that. I find it very annoying how teachers over react to so many things a nurse would be thinking that's not that big of a deal and under react to serious stuff. I've had teachers get mad at me for not literally running as fast as I could to the playground for a kid who couldn't walk because I was dealing with a blood sugar of 40 and then when I do make it out to the playground finally I'm like where's the student and am told "I think they're out there playing now." I don't know how many times I've heard "oh I didn't know my student was allergic to that" after I have repeatedly given them the info that they were. I had a child choking in the cafe and an aide gave her the Heimlich maneuver and NO ONE even told me until 2 hours later. I've had kids with an obvious broken bone that I'm trying to get stabilized to have a principal or teacher try and make the kid move their arm and proceeded to move it for them as I'm yelling STOP! I've had parents cuss me out because their child got lice AGAIN. I've had principals throw me under the bus for things that were out of my control and not my fault (usually the teacher didn't do something) but I get blamed. Then there's the endless immunization checking and documentation and dealing with parents who don't get their kids shots in a timely manner, or they are obviously neglecting them or putting them in dangerous situations like dealing drugs at home and CPS won't do anything because they can't prove it as if a normal five year old can explain how to accurately shoot up and says mommy or daddy does this a lot. During the year of covid last year all our teachers and support staff were recognized by the county but guess who wasn't even mentioned! Yep and then we were looked down upon because we asked for extra pay while contact tracing for hours after work and on weekends when teachers would automatically get paid for a 30 min in-service after work. You will also be expected to do lots of things that aren't really a nurse job. Like find clothes changes, find new shoes, help kids who soiled or wet their pants, fix glasses, fix braces, counsel kids about body odor, make sure they have food for the weekend and if not help with that...lots of things. It's an adjustment to go from a hospital position to school nursing. I remember having a hard time because I was bored a lot. (I don't have much time to be bored these days.) The pace is much slower a lot of the time and you're usually dealing with one mostly healthy kid at at time. Sometimes you'll have a few in there at once but it's all minor stuff. You're dealing with a healthy population of stable students. You're job is to make sure they are able to successfully make it through the day or be sent home if sick. You'll see lots of frequent flyers who just want out of class, want attention, truly don't feel well all the time so you kind of have to investigate why. Parents and teachers get mad because you can't automatically diagnose if a bone is broken or someone is having a heart attack. I'm like all Dr's run tests for these things. Then when I do recommend Dr follow up for something I know needs treatment they are like well I don't want to go to the Dr. Isn't there something I can take for this. Yes a prescription. That gets annoying. I have a lot of aides who get mad I'm not sending a snotty kid home. That's all, just snot from allergies or a cold. I'm like I can't keep a kid home until they are no longer snotty. That could be weeks. I've had teachers get mad I wouldn't send one of their students home who wasn't sick and then go to the principal and be told well they know their student...yeah who is playing them! The best parts of the job is obviously the schedule. No nights, weekends, call in's and you get summers off, a week at most holidays, and snow days sometimes. It adds up to almost a part time job (but unfortunately the pay reflects that). Also, I love when I get a hug because I made someone feel better or we were able to get someone out of a dangerous situation. The kids always make me smile or laugh every day and sometimes I get little drawings or colored pictures. You work on your own which can be good and bad. I like the autonomy with no one breathing down my neck checking off what I've done for the day and you don't have to work with Dr's throwing out orders or aides that aren't pulling their weight. It's just you. Which can be a disadvantage with not one other person in the building who gets you. The closest I've found is the special ED teachers. Also in an emergency it's you dealing with it until 911 arrives. You can't call a code team to come and help. Thankfully it doesn't happen often. Your office is your own space. I've been in some nurse's offices that are open and huge and some that are literally transformed closets but it's nice to have your own spot. Whatever you don't get done as far as paperwork you can do the next day. It will be waiting on you but not usually a huge rush. It's a lot like being a social worker/mom many days. Many families are super sweet. You may get to watch Christmas programs or any other programs that are during the day if you aren't busy. The holidays are always fun and kids are excited. You'll be fine! It's much less stressful most of the time. There's usually ebbs and flows to the day. The end of the day when it's close to time to go home you won't see many kids at all. It may feel overwhelming at first all the new things you have to learn but remember as long as the kids all get home alive you've done a good job and the rest can wait. Kuddos for you for trying something new too! If you don't like it I'm sure it won't be hard for you to find something else fairly quickly.
  12. RatherBHiking

    Not So Sure

    I think part of your problem too might be changing schools so much. Do you have to do that? It's nice if you can stick in the same place a while to become one of the staff and get to establish better, closer relationships with staff and family's. I do think it's good to shake things up and change schools every once in a while but that often can make things harder. Also, you're a single mom working full time. You know stress. I do think a counselor could help you. I also think you should look for ways to bring some fun back into your life and also find a hobby you enjoy that you can do by yourself or with your daughter. Just something you can look forward to. Also, maybe you all could save for a day trip to do something fun. Things like that. Is your ex in the picture or maybe grandparents where maybe you could work weekends while one of them watched your child? Or maybe another parent of one of her friends would be willing to watch her after school the three evenings you would work if you worked at a hospital. You have to be willing to ask for help and it's good for your daughter to get to hang out with other people too. I don't want to come across sounding mean but it's like you've already talked yourself out of why nothing else will work even though you're miserable. You could apply to Dr offices, home health, urgent cares or clinics too. You won't know until you try. Most hospitals now are willing to give you the orientation you need. Also the more you do something the better you will get. I'm not great at IV's either but the way they make them now they're much easier to start. However, before just jumping ship I do think a counselor wouldn't hurt for you to figure out what exactly it is that's making you feel this way and what would make you happy so that you can head towards that and not just end up somewhere else unhappy. Best wishes to you!
  13. RatherBHiking

    Grade Preference...

    I've done all grades and ages. I'm burnt out on elementary and all their neediness and hand holding. I'm going back to middle school. I like that they can tell me what's wrong and they're still young enough to intimidate out of the attitudes and if not off to the principal. Middle school teachers are very strict for the most part and won't put up with too much crap. You can joke with them at this age easier. They are all going through the moodiness and hormones but I won't tolerate disrespect and they know that. Last year I did high school. We mostly saw those that wanted to go home and they had chronic absences and mostly failing. Then there were the dramatic ones faking seizures and constantly having panic attacks. Or the ones that didn't eat all day and all of a sudden feel super sick and get mad when you suggest a snack. I have no patience for that. It was easier in a lot of ways because they could drive or walk themselves home with parent permission. You could explain something to them and they got it usually. They were easy to joke with. They were independent. It's just I rarely got to interact with the good ones except the diabetics. Also high school has a lot of things like sports physicals you may have to help with, graduation, proms, senior days, etc that they need extra staff help with.
  14. RatherBHiking

    Am I too old for bedside nursing?

    I understand how you're feeling! However, unlike you I don't always "love" my school nurse job OR feel respected. I think after almost 20 yrs of being in school nursing I just feel restless for more maybe and a little burnt out. I did go back to the hospital for a year. I did love the task oriented nature, learning new things, growing as a nurse, working with patients who I felt like I could truly help. If they were in pain I could give them medicine not an ice pack. Nausea I could give IV meds, not saltines and hope for the best. Frequent flyers we still had those but not for 9 months straight until Summer came. LOL! I made great money. It was physically harder than I expected. Being on your feet for 12 straight hours (well more like 13-14) wears you out. If I got to work and was feeling more tired than normal I couldn't just take it easier like you can in school nursing. Working holidays wasn't fun with younger kids. Sometimes I needed a day off for something and couldn't get it and would have to try and trade and if that didn't work I'd have to suck it up and miss something. I remember a bad snow storm I was still expected to come in and I was like oh how I miss my snow days now! I was mad quite often at work because they would say they had a nurse patient ratio but then find loopholes to give you more like three are going home except they didn't usually leave until near the end of the shift and sometimes things changed and they didn't leave at all. Things like the pharmacy running behind or not having the right meds on the floor would slow me down. A lot of nurse's aides I worked with were lazy or I didn't even have one so I had to pick up those duties too. I just felt like I had been used and abused after a long shift. I was always anxious the night before work not knowing what to expect or who I'd have so I didn't sleep great. Some doctors were just mean. My kids were having a hard time with me being gone so late in the eve and not being home to help them with homework or see them off to school in the morning. I did love only working 2-3 days a week. I was never bored. That was med-surg and oncology. I thought about going into more critical care with less patients and to learn more but decided to go back to school nursing for my family. Now my kids are all graduated and I'm trying to decide if I have what it takes to go back. I'd like to get a couple years experience and travel. However, I'm 4 years older than you and by the time I get in a couple years recent experience I'd be in my mid 50's. I did this when I was in my early 40's and my feet, back and knees would ache a lot then so I can't imagine now. I'm in good shape and work out regularly but something about those concrete floors aren't easy on you. I was much more tired at the hospital job. I don't have a lot of stress but I also don't have a lot of job satisfaction either. I feel bad when the other school nurses talk about how much they love their jobs. I just don't. I don't hate it. It's easy to me. I love the autonomy and my own office. There's always people and students and families I work with I enjoy but I've been thrown under the bus enough times by principals and teachers I don't fully trust anyone. I've never enjoyed working five days a week ever. So I'm trying a new school this year that came open in our district to see if a change will help. I'm also trying to decide if the restlessness is just due to needing some new hobbies and excitement in my life or a general dissatisfaction of my career. Sorry I don't have more advice other than to say I understand. I don't think one job is "better" than the other, just different with different pros and cons. It's just what you think you can handle for yourself at this stage of life. If you decide to go back, let us know how it is and how you like it!
  15. RatherBHiking

    Please help prepare a nervous RN!

    Welcome to school nursing! You'll be fine! This is a healthy population for the most part. You just need to hold down the fort and get them all home alive and you've done your job. You'll probably see things like kids who complain of not feeling well (everything from migraines, cramps, stomachache etc) to injuries from sports or fights or even that may be possibly be high or using something which your background may help with that! When they walk through the door ask what's wrong and do a quick assessment. Do they LOOK OK, color, guarding any pain, alert, sluggish, etc. This age kids are good fakers. Check temp, ask how long symptoms have been going on, when they started, what brought them on etc. If kids are injured check that out or check for signs of concussion. Always err on the side of caution with head injuries. High school kids can text or call their parents on their cell in front of you and you can get verbal permission from the parent for things like letting them go home by themselves if they can walk or drive and don't have a head injury or seem impaired or too sick to. If you think they're probably fine (no fever, no puking, acting fine, ate lunch, etc) send them back. I always say well no fever so try to hang in there, try to eat lunch, try to wait a while and see how you do...etc. If you truly aren't sure on what to do because they insist they can't make it just call the parent and leave it up to them. Even if you think they're perfectly fine and they start arguing then don't get into a power struggle. Just call the parent (or have them text or call) and say you're able to go home if mom allows but I'm not excusing it based on the assessment. Let it be a parent note. If they got hurt and insist they can't move it, walk on it, or whatever call parent to pick them up and have checked out by a Dr. We don't have X-ray vision after all. All head injuries call parent and observe child. There should be some type of protocol to follow for that and all visits. Call EMS if a kid can't breathe, seizures lasting longer than 5 min (or whatever Dr put unless first seizure ever better call), passed out and turning blue, anaphylactic reaction, or possible broken bone or dislocated knee or something and they can't walk so you may as well call EMS so they can transport them to the ER since you and parent can't carry them. Things like that. Trust your gut. Teachers/staff like to think they know best but they don't. This is Summer school so maybe only half a day? A lot more laid back at least. You may have some routine daily meds or blood sugar checks and some emergency meds just in case. If you don't know something ask your boss, the secretary, principal, etc. Don't be afraid to ask. We create these scenarios in our heads of the worst of the worst but thankfully most schools there will always be people willing to jump in and help in some way in an emergency and those truly don't happen all the time! Find you policies and protocols and go from there. Best wishes to you!
  16. RatherBHiking

    school nurse or clinical instructor?

    You can be a clinical instructor with a BSN. However you usually don't get benefits with that type of job and it's usually part time. If you don't need benefits then try it esp since you're wanting to get your master's degree anyway. However, the pay for a master's degree nursing instructor in my area is dismal. I make more as a school nurse. You could try subbing as a school nurse in your district to see if you'd like it. I sometimes will teach a puberty class, hand washing class, or maybe another wellness class but as a "guest", not as a teacher. I don't have time to teach much. My day is spent doing first aide, med passes, and a bunch of other stuff. If the pay were better I'd get my master's degree and teach but it's not worth it to me because I'd never get my student loans paid back before I retire. I don't understand why nursing instructors get so much less than any other type of college teacher. Just another way nurses aren't given due respect.