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M/S, Pulmonary, Travel, Homecare, Psych.
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AutumnApple has 12 years experience and specializes in M/S, Pulmonary, Travel, Homecare, Psych..

BSN with a wide variety of patient care experiences. I currently work in psych, which I never thought would end up being my niche. Avid movie watcher and reader who may contribute an article or two..........

AutumnApple's Latest Activity

  1. AutumnApple

    RN to BSN or straight to BSN??

    I think for this question, flipping conventional wisdom on it's head works best. Usually I believe in looking at the long term goals and making appropriate short term goals based on them. If I like outcome A, I make a plan with goals that will steer me towards that outcome. If I like outcome B more..........same thing, different goals along the way. For this situation though, I think letting the short term goals be your guide is more helpful. *To me* there really is no outcome A and outcome B here. Either way, the end point is a BSN. So, choose the path that suits you best. The one you're most likely to finish and/or the one that will cost you least..............all sorts of variables to consider. Prioritize said variables and pick the path that accommodates your priorities best.
  2. AutumnApple

    Time to step down from management?

    I've been in management roles three times. First: This position ended because I moved. It would have ended eventually for other reasons not at all unlike the ones that made me step away from management in the future. Lack of autonomy (nurses on the floor think this is a problem.........whoa it gets so much worse in management roles) in decision making, lack of staffing (this place simply refused to admit their short staffing was leading to bad outcomes..........it was always someone else's fault) and a general comfort level with poor outcomes by those above me that turned me off. Second: This was the one I wanted to work. It did not. I stayed in this position much longer than I should have. Same things I mentioned above were the problem: People above me were too comfortable with poor outcomes, facility refusing to staff itself and not being able to make my own decisions on too many things. Third: I'm not one to keep walking into the same wall and expect a different outcome. I was begged to take this position, and it was a temporary position. I did it for nine months, a month longer than I was supposed to. They had trained my replacement before I left. Left on good terms but......... .......everything I mentioned above was going on again, and had I not known it was temporary and going to end..........I'd have ended it. Most admin. in medical facilities like to hire, what I call "lever pullers" into middle management. They want people who pull whatever lever they're told to pull without question or regard for how it affects the patient outcome. They do not want out of the box thinking or anything else. Just pull they lever you're told to pull, and pull it well. And throw a nurse bellow you under the bus when pulling said lever ends up being the wrong decision. For me, medical leadership has too much of a "Can't have it any way but my way, but it's everyone else's fault when my way doesn't work" approach for there to be improvements on the system made. So, knowing this, I don't join the song and dance with them. I'm not much of a lever puller. I have self will and independent thinking and all sorts of other things that just doesn't mesh with that role well.
  3. AutumnApple

    Which social platform are nurses using most?

    For both social and for nursing related content, it's chat forums. Forums like this one here at AN, some online book discussion groups done in forum style..........etc etc. FB. God, gag me already. People are still using that? lol I hated FB from day one. Still waiting for everyone else to catch up...........lol.
  4. AutumnApple

    Experienced nurse turned down several times..

    Another point that seems not to be coming up so far: I hope you do understand that not all interviews HR (in any field) conducts are.............actually for the purpose of filling the position. What I mean is, these HR people have quotas to fill. They have to interview at least "X" amt. of people before finalizing their decision on who to hire, have to prove they interviewed a diverse population..........etc etc. So, it's not uncommon at all for an HR person to fall in love with a candidate (or have one in mind from day one) and decide they get the job. But oh! No! (gasp) They've not interviewed anyone else yet! What to do? Easy fix. Just invite three or four people in and interview them..........highlight the negatives of their resume and interview.................presto change-o.............they've now conducted enough interviews to have "done their job" and (gasp, again) what a surprise! The candidate they wanted from the word Go still got the position. We've not even discussed yet how sometimes facilities post jobs they have no intention of filling. They just post it, interview a few people then write things up so it looks like there were no qualified candidates. So, I guess my point is: This could very possibly just be bad luck. If I were in your shoes, I'd take a look at the geography of it all. If these jobs that turned you down with no explanation are all in the same general area.............. Could be that the facilities in this area just are not hiring.
  5. AutumnApple

    Why ? Just Why ?

    Because we are surrounded by "Can't have it any way but my way, but when my way doesn't work, it's your fault" types. Gotta have someone to throw under the bus when that parent/spouse/whoever realizes Pepsi is not good for their diabetic loved one even though they swear they read differently on wikki..............(of course they deny saying this after the fact).
  6. Other nurses pea-cocking, trying so hard to look like the new age F. Nightingale. It's always "that nurse" who does it more than anyone else. You know, the one who never gets their duties done...........but somehow thinks their obsessing over one trite detail of some patient's care makes up for that.
  7. AutumnApple

    Stupid hurts.

    Red wine enemas are NOT sexy............ And your partner lying on the ground not breathing is NOT a "great high".
  8. AutumnApple

    Nurses that “only do it for the money”

    Ah, the old debate about "for the money vs calling" nurses. I have a problem with this debate as a whole. Actually I have a handful of them. Ok, it's more like a truck load. * Not many nurses actually fall into either category (for the money or for the calling). While we may associate ourselves with one belief system more than the other, the truth is we're all a bit of both. In short, while we may debate one side or the other, we tend to be more alike than different once the talking stops and we have to go to work. In my experience there really are no pure "for the money" or "for the calling" nurses. * The whole debate is obese with assumptions. Biggest one is that the "for the money" crowd is lazy, and the "for the calling" crowd is harder working. This is so not what I've witnessed. In fact, this assumption is the polar opposite of what I have seen. My experience shows me, more often than not, the loud "for the calling" crowd (or at least the ones who claim to be, me.......again, I don't think the two sides actually exist) is just covering up their work performance shortcomings with this "God says it has to be this way" attitude. Another one is that the "for the calling" crowd are less likely to practice critical thinking or that they can't prioritize their day. How about the one that the "for the calling" crowd is more in touch with their people? Heard the one that people "for the money" call off more? I could keep going. None of them are fact based. * I don't know a single volunteer nurse. Not one. Not one that does direct patient care anyway. Sooooooo....................... We are all doing it for money. If you accept a paycheck, you've done it for the money. * How is the argument from either side even slightly valid? Umm...........nursing doesn't make us rich (as many have pointed out). So, how is it "for the money" or not? I don't know what to say. Truth is, I just find a debate about two teams who don't exist and which one is more right a bit on the pointless side. Reminds me of the comic book fights the boys in grade school used to get into. "Who would win, Superman or Mighty Mouse?". And they truly got in fist fights about it.
  9. AutumnApple

    Still struggling....

    Yes. They don't know. And no matter how much the instructors at my nursing school tried to educate the students on this reality, it never sunk in. I think people don't want to know. L&D, as I understand it, is NOT the stress free island of nursing that everyone thinks it is. Some of my classmates did actually break into the specialty and only one of them still remains there (almost 15 years later). Most jumped ship either during orientation or first year. The rest before five years in the field. Then the one stayed. It'd be interesting to know where this myth that L&D is somehow..........immune to all the stresses in other specialties........comes from. In my limited talks with people who actually work in L&D, what I find is: It pretty much mirrors every other unit. Mostly the same mix of happy vs unhappy.........mostly the same complaints................ That's just my experience through the eyes of others though.
  10. AutumnApple

    What do you do...

    I do have down time, but no enough that I can immerse myself into anything. Honestly, I've stopped playing phone games that can't be paused because as soon as I think I'm about to have fifteen minutes down time and start playing........... "Can I have a wash cloth?"........................"Why did my doctor change my meds?"..........."Is my husband cheating on me?"........................ I work on a psych unit and most of our patients have sleep disturbance. There rarely is a time when ALL OF THEM are in bed comfortable and happy. So I guess that's my answer. I humor patients.
  11. AutumnApple

    Say it ain't so...........

    Just a for fun topic. We as nurses see a lot of things during our careers. I know I am considered that person at social gatherings who always has a great story to tell that'll get the chatterbox juices flowing for everyone else. Having seen so many things, and seeing people at their worst, can make us jaded though. Yeah. I said it. Jaded. That buzz word used much too often to describe nurses who are fed up with................well, whatever. But there are instances where it is true. So, I want to pick apart a statement I find myself saying to myself (and yes, I of course have heard it stated openly by others too) that might be considered jaded. Or is it? Consider for a moment when that patient appears in the ER once again and you just know they're going to be admitted. Probably to your unit, again. It's their second visit to the hospital this month, and the last time they were an inpatient was no more remarkable than the ten (eleven, twelve, thirteen.............) times before that they were there. The frequent flyer is about to become YOUR patient again. When this happens, often we say: "Oh, they're just bored, coming in for someone to pamper them a bit again." Or we say something to the like of that. In short, we accuse them of just being there for social reasons. They're lonely, bored, poorly adjusted or whatever else and have no idea where else to take their problems. Do you truly think people check into hospitals just for social stimulation? Or are we jaded?
  12. It's all a symptom of the bigger picture in my opinion. Consider for a second: McDonald's. Super giant of the fast food industry. The measuring stick of every other fast food franchise. Yet, how many of us really think what they are selling is good food? It isn't good food. Not on any level. It's overly simplistic, unhealthy, cheaply made, processed and is generally just not that great tasting. Yet somehow, year after year, they thrive and succeed in the business despite being horrible at the service they provide. It makes no sense what so ever. It's like a sports team who never wins drawing the most fans every year. How do they do this? Simple. Their primary purpose is not good food. It's sales, business and profit. Marketing, convenience and a core knowledge of how to make impulse sales keeps them ahead in the industry...........not good food. Hence, the majority of their leadership is business oriented, not culinary. I don't know any chefs who work for McDonald's in any capacity. I'm sure they have plenty of MBS grads in their administration though. (Actually, I'm willing to bet its primarily MBS graduates). The healthcare industry so desperately wants to be McDonald's. But it does not work in our industry. Never will. I've spoken at length about why the "business" and customer service model doesn't suit the healthcare industry. So, we end up with a healthcare industry that is lead mostly (primarily) by business oriented minds and...................... The outcome is very different for us. The flaws in our leadership and the decisions they make are exposed on a daily basis. Anyone at this point in time care to recall the nursing homes who were shutting off hot water on weekends to save money during the recession? That's just one of a million examples of how our administration and the leadership in healthcare drags us down. Hard to soar like an eagle when you're chained to a bunch of turkeys. Speaking of the recession, at that point in time more than any other, a light was shined in the weaknesses of healthcare administration. Everyone was suffering with low census and having trouble making ends meet financially and no one had an answer for it. They couldn't remedy the problem because they only knew business. They didn't know how to solve any of the healthcare delivery problems they were facing. So, ER wait times skyrocketed, return admissions numbers went through the roof, patient satisfaction scores plummeted and their solution was to........... ...............increase the price of flowers in the gift shop to hopefully make up the difference in lost profit. For McDonald's that style of management is fine. Healthcare requires more than that. McDonald's thrives despite it's goal NOT being good food. The healthcare industry can not mimic this approach and succeed when it's focus is anything other than good healthcare delivery. To remedy the issues the former patient talked about in his letter, you need better leadership. Until the healthcare industry stops trying to be like McDonald's, problems like the ones he addressed will continue.
  13. AutumnApple

    Do I have to disclose mental illness

    And now we get to the heart of the matter of why perspective employers ask this question despite it being borderline unethical. If I choose to keep my past private, then have, as you called it, a "mental health crisis" post hire............... More aggressive, penny pinching facilities will use the fact that you did not disclose your history as a means to say: "Very sorry, we can't help you with this issue. Had we known before hand we could have placed some protective measures in place but you kept us in the dark and that is, in our opinion, why things have gotten where they are now." Then comes the questions of whether you believe you are safe to go to work presently and/or if you want to take a leave of absence until things "are safe for you to return to work". And yes, things are very different for you after you need accommodations than they were before. This I know from experience. I've had a handful of people I know whose "past" and mental illness became inconvenient for their employer and most of the time, the end results are not favorable. I also volunteer twice a week at a suicide hotline. It's not uncommon at all for someone in the office (three or four times for me personally) to receive a call from someone in a mental health crisis who is upset because their employer found out about their problem and are reacting poorly to it. Yes, we have a right to our privacy. Yes, the decision to accept said privacy comes with a price. If we choose to keep things to ourselves, the attitude from others tends to be "keep it that way when problems come up too."
  14. AutumnApple

    Do I have to disclose mental illness

    As one who had to seek treatment post rape, I can share my experience with this topic with you: The answer you seek doesn't exist. It's in that proverbial gray area. One person may decide to reveal their history, and have no regrets. The next person who does reveal their history could very well likely end up wishing they hadn't. What I find it all boils down to is: Will not knowing ever become a problem for the facility? If yes, be certain they will point out that you didn't tell them your history after something happens. If no, then no harm in not telling and probably best not to give others a front row seat to the theater of "my life". That rule, in general, applies to life universally, not just with this specific issue. I've never revealed the history I mentioned above to any perspective employer. I never regretted not doing so. BUT the reason it never became a problem is because..........my past never became a problem for them post hire. The little dirty secret about not revealing you past is (whether asking you in the first place was appropriate or not has no weight on this): Once we decide to keep that part of things to ourselves, it's ours and ours alone to manage. If problems arise post hire, it's up to you to handle them without any accommodations from them. I did once, after my incident, find myself slipping back into depression. I had gone into travel nursing and it was great for me in a lot of ways, but not in others. Being so far from home, away from the familiar and comfortable, had more of an effect on me than I suspected. I had not revealed my history to the company I worked for (and yes, they asked specifically, just like your facility did) nor the hospital they placed me in at the time (yes, they asked as well). So.........I was on my own. I had to seek help but at the same time keep things under the radar. That's the reality we accept when we choose not to give perspective employers the whole truth.
  15. AutumnApple

    Nursing: What it is not

    Oh, one that came to mind for me right away that might not be popular with your instructors: Nursing is not about "customer service." I could drone on and on about this: They're patients, not customers. No one chooses to be in need of nursing care (One does not drive through the hospital curb service and order a week of COPD exacerbation, with a side of GI upset). We push health, and being healthy often includes not getting your way (No Mr. Diabetic with a 415 rapid glucose, I won't fetch you a ice cream)................. Don't get me started.
  16. AutumnApple

    New Grad RN: Struggling With Finding a Job

    I'd have to second the motion to move elsewhere if the market where you are at is that bad. Where I am at, it's a different ballgame. Hospitals are competing for nurses, and to be frank.......they love new nurses who come to them with no "habits" from other facilities. Sign on bonuses, job fairs and all sorts of perks that are hard to find (weekend program, free parking) abound. It must be geographical because I see a lot of posts on here that, with regards to the job market, are complete polar opposites. Seems there is no middle ground..........the market is either totally in your favor or not. I will admit though, just as you'd probably expect......since there is a shortage of nurses here.........once you're "in there"........it's not always pretty. I could work seven days a week if I wanted, doubles.