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Gooselady BSN, RN

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Gooselady has 23 years experience as a BSN, RN.

BSN in 1991, most of my career in psychiatry/chemical dependence. Spent 6 years in medical oncology hanging chemo and getting my skillz back. Fascinated by forensic nursing. Many hobbies, including spinning yarn and having geese, ducks, and chickens as pets as well as Axel, the African grey parrot. I have two adult children and two grandchildren.

Gooselady's Latest Activity

  1. Gooselady

    RN being bullied by LVN

    I've been working PDN since January, and finally 'landed' a day job where I work with just one patient. The night nurse (we both work 12 hour shifts) is a 'lite' version of your 'adversary' lol. I too am not aggro or confrontational, but over the years I've developed my own 'style' of being assertive, direct and honest with difficult co-workers. There is not just one 'right way' to deal with difficult co-workers -- there are hundreds of effective ways, not that I can provide a list. It's the idea that you can (and will) develop your own personal way to deal with nurses like this. I've been a nurse a long time, and I'm telling you, there is 'one' wherever you go. The night nurse (an LPN) has been with the patient for years as well. I worked part time with this patient since January, and full time since June, so I 'granted' her the "O Significant One" title because she's been with him so long and knows him so well. She is also a classic Chart Nazi, and can find a missing comma or missing set of initials with her eyes closed. She is also generous with her 'why we need to do it this way', and it always concludes with "what if the state/auditors/God Himself were to see that you put 240cc for his tube feeding instead of 237cc, like it says in the orders?" Every day, there is something. The day before, it was "I know this is silly, but could you please fold the end of the tape over when you take off a piece, I hate to spend all that time hunting for the loose end" and yesterday, she found the lid of a saline bullet in his bed and 'just wanted to remind me to make sure I clean up my garbage'. These included 'explanations' as well . The patient's mom intercepted a two page 'love note' she wrote me when it was discovered that a doctor's order to increase the nightly melatonin got lost in the chaos that is our local agency office. It wasn't her fault, or mine, or anyone but the nurse manager who quit work that same day and probably threw the new orders out her car window in her mad dash to escape her job, but she is so insecure and terrified of 'getting in trouble' that she threw the patient's mom under the bus already, and was trying to stuff me under there, too. The mom chewed her out for the 'love note' and I never saw it lol. Anyway, how I deal with her is to deliberately consider what she says, and then 'file' it. When she's right, she's right, and I tell her. When she is OCDing due to her insecurity, I give her my whole attention and do active listening. It shuts her right up . Fortunately for me, her insecurity is so enormous she backs down. To some degree I understand her protectiveness, and forgive her for that because I am rapidly becoming close and protective of the little guy too. I get that. But I wasn't born to help her manage her anxiety disorder, which often comes disguised as being demanding, nit-picky and critical. You have every right to do your job as you best see fit, and to continue to do so regardless of her commentary. I have crumpled quite a few 'love notes' myself. Not my problem. If she has a point, that's fine. When she doesn't, not my problem. What you do is emotionally detach from her. She doesn't have YOUR permission to criticize or judge you unnecessarily -- and you decide where that line is. You don't have to get into a whoop-n-holler cat fight to set boundaries with her. Do what comes naturally, try different things, and -- relax. She doesn't have your permission, remember? Blah blah blah blah. Crumple the 'love notes' . . . and compliment her. I've found that to be very effective with the night nurse. I don't mean make stuff up, but genuine realistic compliments. Usually people who are hard on their co-workers are compensating for insecurity. It may be the last thing ya want to do, and it may shock her at first, but if you are attached to your patient and want to keep working with him (as I do), whatever you can do to help her TRUST you (another major deficit with difficult people). It's not like I don't have my . . . revenge, though. She has these 'special butt pillows' and the chair I sit in his HER special chair she brought in herself. Yesterday, I had bad gas. Sorry!
  2. Gooselady

    Incivility: Beyond the Nurse

    Hey Parakeet :) What I bolded in your quote is one of the major points. We have to ask ourselves what 'par' means. My nursing abilities and experience may be greater than yours (at least the latter), but I am exactly the same kind of human being you are, and deserve no more respect than you or a nursing student in his/her first day of clinical. I see it that we are people first, which automatically qualifies as worthy of the deliberate effort to be respectful and fair. Life is hardly fair, and people are hardly 'created' equal, much less how we differ in our experience and skills. These come secondary to the inherent value of the person, which is equal to that of the next person and the next. Persons with insecurity issues (of whatever sort) tend to cling to their perceived superior status, perhaps their years on the unit, rather than realize they too will have a better work experience valuing themselves and others equally, regardless of 'status'. Sure, the charge nurse is the boss and the manager is his/her boss and so forth. We follow their lead, and we follow the nursing practice act, infection control guidelines, sterile technique. We submit to a lot of 'authorities', but that submission does not DEFINE the worth of the person. This is what can get confused, we humans are very status conscious by instinct. But we don't have to act out every primitive instinct that burbles up from the depths of our being . I've wanted to wrap 3'' tape around the faces of plenty of people but I have refrained (to date). I've wanted to blurt 'what were you thinking??' and I've certainly not felt like saying "Please". Like, a lot. I don't give myself permission, though. I dislike that behavior coming toward me, so it's a Golden Rule kind of thing. So while your skills and experience are not 'par' with that of docs or many nurses, and you can submit to their direction, you don't have to see that as a definition of your relative value as a person. And those you submit TO are not somehow 'deserving' of servile obeisance nor do they have special dispensation to offer you less than practical respect because they know more. I think we nurses are worked very hard, to the limits of our physical and emotional strength, and when we're tired, we don't work as hard to maintain civility, the energy doesn't feel like it is there. Or for some uncool reason, it's not deserved. There's still a lot of push-back to even acknowledging nurse-to-nurse incivility, so it is still significantly institutionalized (ie, 'accepted as part of the nature of nursing'). We can change that ourselves, as in 'be the change you want to see', or cultivate a culture of respect and recognition if we are charge nurses or managers. Sometimes a place is too sick, and we have to save ourselves -- there's no reward for martyrs in nursing, either. We owe it to ourselves to take care of ourselves like we take care of patients or family.
  3. Gooselady

    So Embarrassing

    I was blithely cleaning a spot off of my ped patient's cheek with my own spit and a kleenex the other day. Old habits die hard.
  4. I too think you were set up for failure, through no fault of your own. Caring for peds in home care may sound low key but kids don't mess around when they go 'bad' between one moment and the next! I've been a nurse (in a variety of settings) for 24 years and after blowing my right knee out (and wanting a change) I went from the hospital to home care with kids and adults. So far, I've just worked with kids. I had ZERO peds experience except with my own adult children and grandchildren lol. Kids aren't miniature adults, and my experience may have kept me somewhat calm, it also served the opposite because my imagination for what could go wrong is quite strong. I agree that nurses working outside a hospital or LTC environment need at least a year of experience, primarily to GET that sense of self-confidence. Even if it is fake . Parents/family really depend on their perception of YOUR confidence, which goes without saying. With your anxiety/depression/ADHD, your have some additional obstacles to overcome to get to that confidence, but you CAN and once you do, you'll find that your symptoms are diminished overall, in other areas of your life. I suggest you get direct, specific help for your symptoms as they relate to work. You may have to do this yourself, by learning and applying cognitive/behavioral techniques to your thought processes, become aware of them and work with them (or around them!) until it becomes a HABIT to not just go off at the first feeling of anxiety. Just to make it as a nurse with these conditions, you'll need to work hard on yourself with your symptoms. It will be totally worth it in the long run. One of the things that comes up with depression and anxiety is 'helplessness', where it doesn't occur to you to grab yourself by your bootstraps and get into 'conquer the anxiety' mode. It's hard to see that things are NOT as terrifying as your anxiety/depression make them appear. In fact, nursing itself is actually a good 'treatment' for these conditions. As you learn to manage your symptoms, and get nursing experience under your belt, you will begin to have 'success experiences' where you 'did it right' and then your confidence will improve. It's a bit like being thrown in the water to learn to swim, but that's where YOUR personal efforts to manage your symptoms comes in. Depression and anxiety are one of the rare mental illnesses that can be 'cured' or at least diminished greatly, with or without medication. There are a lot of people 'just like you' and you are far from alone. Nursing tends to draw anxious, sensitive types of persons anyway, so some of your symptoms may actually become strengths once you get a grip on them. You will never find a job, as a nurse, that 'takes care of you', and manages to avoid all the triggers and scary things that set you off. You have that job :) and regardless of what you believe about yourself, you can and will rise above them with some good old fashioned self development work.
  5. Gooselady

    Impaired Colleague

    Does your facility have a compliance hotline? Reports are anonymous (supposed to be). This vindictive manager will get 'caught' with a file full of your complaints. I hate to rock boats myself, but if you can steel yourself, you might get your colleague the help she needs (or whatever) and a new manager, which your unit needs.
  6. Gooselady

    Procedure on this? Nurse and her abuser

    How dare that . . . man even look you in the eye? I hate to imagine what you are going through, and I can't imagine myself being any different. If I were in your shoes, I'd want to get MAD, angry (how dare he??) and that anger, which is perfectly normal and understandable, gives you a sense of power and control. The good kind. Really let yourself rip into this pathetic POS, in your own mind. Be angry. And see how that affects you, perhaps it will help you get through the upcoming weeks until you can find another job OR you might find yourself pushing through the fear and out to the 'other side'. The very idea of this creature impacting your life NOW makes my blood boil. He deserves to have some big scary male (a doctor or coworker) speak to him, erm, firmly, and tell them if he even LOOKS at you this person will make him very sorry. Someone needs to set limits on him -- not YOU. You shouldn't HAVE to feel frightened and triggered and perpetually on guard! He is the one who did wrong NOT YOU. You have nothing to feel ashamed of, you are a serious Survivor. I wonder, even if he isn't assigned to your doctor, if you could get your direct supervisor involved and go to this . . . man's doctor and tell them what is going on. People are likely to be supportive of this, this is one of those things where there isn't much if any sympathy for. How much do you like this job? Are you willing to fight for it? Does your direct supervisor know what is going on, and that you are seriously considering leaving your position over this? I'd ask for MORE help, and if you feel comfortable, push this about getting him assigned to a different office. He's the one who's done wrong, not to mention he is deliberately HARASSING YOU, yes he is.
  7. Gooselady

    My boss is a jerk, and other related gripes.

    Then it sounds like the problem is just as much (if not more?) the run-amok negativity of the nurse's attitudes on the unit. You know how much WORSE it can be when nearly everyone is making the same negative comments, focusing on the same negative things. It's like feeding a fire that won't go out until people stop feeding it. It could be this manager is acting the way he does because of the crap he's getting from the staff! It wouldn't be unheard of. Managers are people too. I know I would feel it loud and clear, it's not something you can NOT notice, when your staff is so negative toward you
  8. Gooselady

    suspended for doing the right thing...

    Resign from this case. When it gets down to this (a ******* match, basically) it's time to admit you and this child/family are a bad mix. I've been doing hone care since January (1:1 with peds patient) and if there is tension with the family, where you (the generic you) are calling them abusive and so critical of them, lord knows what they think of you, there's no way you are going to be able to do your job they way you see fit. I grudgingly had to admit the parent is the boss in 1:1 home care with peds. If they are abusive, notify the company you work for and sign off the case. You've done your bit. Now you've gotten into a power struggle and nurses NEVER WIN power struggles LOL. Never.
  9. Gooselady

    Convicted of murder as a teen and now a nurse

    If what you wrote above was the actual case, heck no! I wouldn't be OK with it. Can't imagine anyone who would be. But this is not what is happening, and it's important to stick to the actual details of THIS case to best discuss THIS case. "Murder is murder regardless of the circumstances" isn't representative of our system of laws. That's why we have everything from involuntary manslaughter to murder one. Circumstances do matter -- to the future of this person. She didn't just waltz in and snatch up an RN license beneath anyone's nose. The evidence for that is all the folks struggling with 'criminal' histories and past mistakes (sounding like Josh Duggar here, sorry ) who literally run the gauntlet to get their licenses. Whoever facilitated her getting her RN put their butt on the line, I'd think, and to give their "OK", I imagine much went on before getting that OK.
  10. Gooselady

    Convicted of murder as a teen and now a nurse

    Funny, it's not like I never think about this . . . one of my close friends (like spending many nights with, hanging out several nights a week with) from grade, middle and high school was an accomplice in the murder of her own father back in the early 80's when she was 16 years old. I knew this chick very well, and what she did made no sense whatsoever with what any of us knew of her. She was an innocent, but she had an angry streak no one really knew about. She'd been raped by her mom's boyfriend for four years before moving down to live with her dad (no wonder she was always asking me to spend the night!). Her dad dealt cards and well, cocaine. Her boyfriend killed her father but she participated in the act and refused to testify against him. She went to prison for 7 years. We met up after she got out of prison. We couldn't even RELATE to one another even though I had absolutely no fear of her or hard feelings (I'd known the whole story thanks to the trial). Anyway, myself and a couple others have tried to find her, but she's vanished. No doubt she's got a new name and a new life, I sincerely hope. It's hard to condemn someone you KNOW, no matter what they've done, when you know them intimately and the relationship was FINE, a very happy teenage girl friendship. That speaks to the issue of what causes us to grab up our pitchforks and perpetuate the public shaming she's no doubt experienced off and on. She hasn't gotten away with ANYTHING by becoming an RN. But is it really worth drumming up NURSES against her, a person we do not know at all except through linked media articles and whatever sensationalist crap we can find on the internet? I'm not even talking about forgiveness. I'm talking about that in each of us that would deliberately seek to cause this person pain and humiliation when she has NOTHING to do with any of us (much less twenty years of no further murdering and mayhem LOL). Do we really want to participate in something like this? Does it say more stuff about those of us who are grabbing up our pitchforks than about her? Can anyone here say they could 'come back' after murdering another person? What choice did she have? Should she have sat at home and hid in deference to our outrage? Would that be OK if it was one of our loved ones, or friends?
  11. Gooselady

    Convicted of murder as a teen and now a nurse

    Macawake said: I have to wonder 'what good, indeed' too. No doubt whatsoever this is a disgusting crime and the loss of the murdered girl's life is beyond inexcusable. But do we really want to be a society that draconian, to lock up a sixteen year old to rot in jail for life, with no chance for redemption (not the religious kind)? Is being that harsh really the best thing for everyone? That's what I'd like to know. Stirring this pot again, to me, is more about the people stirring it and their issues than anything else. What do we (including myself here!) think we are accomplishing by participating in this public shaming? It's nothing respectable, and no good for anyone will come of it, except for indulging in that old, old human instinct to grab a pitchfork and chase the village pariah out of town.
  12. Gooselady

    New grad or inexperienced nurse interview question

    Yes, expect questions to be more of 'what would you do if . . .' than NCLEX style multiple choice That said, there may be a pre-employment exam that tests your basic grasp of common sense and basic knowledge as a nurse, but in no interview I've ever been in has there been questions about med side effects, what is the Kreb's cycle, or the 'right' antibiotic for a UTI. Your licensure is evidence enough of your knowledge base, so the fact you have a license deals with establishing that bit. What the manager wants to know is how intelligently and appropriately you utilize your knowledge and skill set, and the way to get an idea for that is to ask you questions about how you'd prioritize. It's actually quite simple. Always choose to take action on someone who's ABC's are in jeopardy. Period. Patient having trouble breathing or screaming family member? The patient in a poopy bed or the one who's IV is beeping? It's very common sense. You prioritize the person who's circulation, airway or breathing is at risk, always. If this is how you approach prioritizing your job as a nurse, all the rest will fall into place eventually. I have worked with a very few new nurses who genuinely lacked basic prioritization skills. Generally people that make it through nursing school and the NCLEX have these basic capabilities, so you are going to be fine, I doubt you are one of the former. Another very important thing I looked for when I hired nurses was how realistic they were about their strengths and weaknesses. By the way, this is a COMMON question to be asked in an interview for a nursing position -- to give a few words about what you see as your strengths and weaknesses. Have some answers ready; good strengths to share are "If I am not sure, I always ask questions or look stuff up rather than plow ahead and make mistakes" and "I am organized, don't miss a lot of details". A good strength to mention is that you are fascinated by all the things nurses do and can't wait to learn how to do them yourself. Also, that you get along well with others and seek to be a team player. As for weaknesses, don't deny you have any, but don't tell them you keep a fifth of Jack Daniel's in your glovebox for the drive home after work . "Good" weaknesses to mention always include how you work around your weakness. Mine has always been ticking every checkbox-type things. I don't get hung up on details and see the big picture easily -- however, this causes me to have to be extra careful with paperwork. So there is a weakness, and a work around for it.
  13. Gooselady

    My boss is a jerk, and other related gripes.

    He sounds dreadfully insecure/unconfident in his role. I have a sense he is raking himself over the coals far worse than he's doing it to his staff, and I'd bet something tasty but inexpensive that he doesn't like his job very much! When people FEEL this way on the inside, on the OUTSIDE they often come across as snotty or standoffish. Like the shy kid in school that everyone thought was stuck up. I've been a manager, but not in a federal facility. I can only imagine the bureaucracy of HR in a place like that. Federal employees have a lot of complicated rights and there's hell to pay if you as a manager get it wrong. Another reason for him to dislike his new position . . . Anyway, it's sort of your problem now, too. In all my years as a nurse (24 now) I've given up on being butthurt if I don't get much in the way of 'rah rah!' from my manager or administration, you know? If my patients and their families are happy with me and tell me about it, and my manager ignores me except to tell me when I screwed up, then I figure I've got it pretty good. His behavior is NOT personal to you. He's acting the way he is for a million of HIS OWN reasons that have zilch to do with you. Even though his behavior is causing you distress, it's YOUR distress, rather than something he is deliberately doing. I didn't get the impression he is singling you out for abuse or micromanagement, so therefore it doesn't look 'personal' to me. If you are pleased with the job and see your coworkers and unit as good things, then let go of your expectations of this manager. He will either get better over time or he'll quit, just like the next person. Making him into a big scary meanie and yourself into a put-upon victimized staff nurse is ONLY going to ruin your day, and if a person can choose NOT to ruin their own day, they ought to
  14. Gooselady


    These kinds of things are always a two way street. The first thing I'd do is REFUSE to buy into anything that tells you that you are a VICTIM (of racism, of being a new grad, of being NOT her choice to work nights, whatever). Like the others have said, she is your peer. I've been in a staff that had a similar dynamic . . . an outspoken and a bit arrogant experienced nurse surrounded by people who accommodate her by kissing up or fearing and loathing her. You are in the 'fear and loathing' part but you know what? These aren't the only TWO options you have. And what the others on this thread are saying is about this 'other option'. Bullying does happen, it is a shame. At the same time, a person working with a bully has a responsibility to themselves and the job itself (if they choose to stay and work it out). Sinking into a victim role (the fear and loathing part) is ONLY going to hurt you, and this is your first job! You are barely on your feet yet. So now is a great time to ask this question and begin to work on your interpersonal coping skills. Focusing on the bully's bad behavior is going to take you NOWHERE fast. Focusing on what you can do, and refusing to allow yourself to slip into victim mode is your only decent option. I can't say I have never stewed and brewed over just how nasty some people can be, and if they enjoy being so awful. But all that does is fill ME up with negative emotions, which I then take to work with me, and start hating my job, and then a huge chunk of my life is MISERABLE. So focus back on YOU and tell yourself that you are no one's victim, you are her equal at least in the licensure and human resources regard, you have the same rights as a worker. This takes practice. And finally . . . find some way to sit down and talk to this woman. What really helps two people at odds (or when at least one feels like they are at odds) is to get to know a little bit about each other. It humanizes her to you and vice versa. It makes her less monstrous in your eyes, and in hers, it makes you a real person and not some piece to shove around at her convenience. I did this many years ago with a charge nurse who was a yeller and quick to anger. She'd screamed at me in front of the whole staff for something I did wrong. The next day I approached her and asked if I could have a quick word in her office, and I apologized for the scheduling mistake I'd made, told her how I'd fixed things so it wouldn't happen again -- and then asked her to PLEASE pull me aside to *ahem* CORRECT me next time, I was so embarrassed at being yelled at in front of everyone, and so forth. She apologized and I think 'got to know me' and me her, and it changed our whole relationship. I was so intimidated by her and her brusque manner that I had her painted into this Goddess of Vengeance, but she was just a regular nurse with a job to do, just like me. You aren't really a victim, see. Even though you are a brand spankin' new nurse. So don't 'go there', please. Talk to this nurse, try and work out some kind of friendly, polite relationship with her. And give it some time to work. If it doesn't work, you've done all you could. For now, you haven't done all you could, in fact you may be making it WORSE on yourself by retreating into victim mode. Good luck, this kind of thing is common for new nurses, but far from needing to be a huge drama.
  15. Gooselady

    No friends at work

    Your description of events sounds like more of a problem with people being unhappy with your work habits than being unwilling to be your friend(s). You describe a workplace where you have a not-so-good reputation. Having and making friends ain't gonna happen there! And that's sad, I'm sorry it turned out this way. Whenever I hear someone complain wistfully about not having friends (for whatever reason), I remember my grandmother telling me when I was 11 or so that friendly people always have lots of friends. Over the years, this bit o' wisdom has unfolded in a lot of ways. People don't just come to you (the generic you) and offer their friendship while you (the generic you) sit by awaiting them to get over themselves and be your friend. It's more like you are their friend FIRST. YOU make the first move to be a friend, rather than wait around. The first thing I'd do in your situation is take seriously the feedback you are getting. Entertain it, ask them questions about what they are seeing. Respect the feedback, even though it is unpleasant. Whether or not it's TRUE isn't the point. The point is you respecting them, which as a new person in a new town, it's up to you to fit in at first, rather than this group accommodate you. By listening to their feedback (however unpleasant) respectfully, you might get at the 'truth' of whatever is happening. Maybe there is something you are misunderstanding and you don't realize it? You are new, after all :) . Respecting the feedback opens dialogue . . . an dialogue is how people will get to know you and determine if you are friend material. Making friends is mutual, it's not like baiting your hook and making friends out of whoever bites . It's a two way street. Start with taking their feedback seriously, whether or not it's true. If you can't do that, or won't, I'd say move onto another job and start over. It sounds like this has gotten off to a bad start as it is, and if you can't take a step back and try and see things from their point of view AS WELL AS your own, moving on somewhere else will at least please everyone involved.
  16. Gooselady

    Liking members at AN

    Blocking someone who aggravates me takes all the fun out of being on an internet forum!