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CeciBean ASN, RN

MICU/CCU, SD, home health, neo, travel
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CeciBean has 30 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in MICU/CCU, SD, home health, neo, travel.

Late entry RN who was once a linguistics major but dropped out after junior year in college to wander in life. Married, had kids, and decided I might have to support myself and them someday so I went back to school and became an RN. Worked in a little bit of everything and might have worked forever if a health crisis hadn't caused me to retire after 5 surgeries in the course of a year. Being on the other side was an education of another sort! But once a nurse, always a nurse. In retirement I devote myself to jewelry designing, which was once merely a hobby, and I'm considering writing a book about the most interesting part of my career.

CeciBean's Latest Activity

  1. CeciBean

    What is a travel nurse?

    On the whole I loved my time as a travel nurse! There were times I felt kind of rootless, but that was mostly due to other things going on in my life at the time. What I most enjoyed about being a traveler was being able to take the best care of my patients and then go home, without having to be involved in hospital politics. I also enjoyed learning new ways of doing things, and sometimes being able to share the things I'd learned on other assignments. What I didn't like was, in some places, the way travelers were dumped on--given the worst assignments, always being the ones to be pulled first (often to places we had no training, experience, or orientation, and then being left to flounder and getting yelled at when we did), and being disrespected because we supposedly "earned more money" than regular staff, which in most places was definitely not true.
  2. CeciBean

    A Tale of Two Deaths

    I'm firmly on the DNR side. I have been through this scenario so many times, both as a nurse and as a daughter. I've seen some real horror shows as a nurse, and some very grace-filled deaths. When my then 90-year-old father got pneumonia, we were probably more aggressive than we ought to have been, even though he was DNI/DNR and not to be moved to ICU. He ended up in the nursing home after he went home following this illness, fell, and could not be got up by the caregiver. This was definitely not what he would have wanted, but it was the only way. His dementia made it impossible to keep him at home without skilled care. We specified that he was to be a DNR and we did not want him to be hospitalized should he become ill. He died quietly of CHF a couple of months later. While he was at the nursing home, he was able to have visits from my mom and their beloved dog. My mother was able to stay at home with a caregiver until the end several years later, and when she became ill with pneumonia, the doctor prescribed oral antibiotics (he even actually made a house call!) but once she couldn't swallow we stopped them. I live several hours away, but my daughter and her husband and one of her caregivers were with her when she passed. My daughter put on music from the time when Mom and Dad were courting and played it softly in the background and held her hand until she was gone. I'd prefer to go that way.
  3. CeciBean

    Nurse Face Her Fears To Help Patient

    Amen and amen! I did home care in a very rural area and even there some places are scary to go to. When I was on call I did some visits in town also. Both places have addicts and intellectually challenged people and especially very lonely people. It is amazing the difference a home care nurse can make to these folks. I miss it a lot, especially now that I'm retired. Keep up the great work!
  4. CeciBean

    Another Brick in the Wall

    There is no education in the doctor's office because there is no TIME for education in the doctor's office. The doctor is most likely limited to a 15 or 20 minute visit with the patient. This is due to economic and other constraints. It would be ideal if there were a nurse in the office whose job was to do nothing but educate. and the patient did not leave the office until they had a visit with the nurse, but still, the patient might not absorb the information. Doctors have not yet come around to accepting the idea of having a nurse educator in the office either, and of course the idea of paying us to do that would probably be anathema to some of them, but I think it's an idea worth not only exploring, but promoting. It's not a job for LPNs, either, sorry to say. I think it requires at least an ASN with some experience in patient care and teaching. (My brother the internist agrees with me, FWIW, and has tried to get a nurse educator in offices where he's worked, with some success.)
  5. I don't know how I got so lucky. I had my babies YEARS ago (my youngest is 38), long before there was any such thing as a lactation consultant. I just assumed I would breastfeed and would be successful at it, even though when my first son was born in 1970 bottle feeding was the norm and only a few "hippie types" breastfed, at least where I lived. However, my mother had breastfed all of us, at least for a few months, back in the 1940s, so I had a model. I'd gone to La Leche League meetings for a couple of months at the urging of a friend, and they'd been very helpful. When son #1 was born he was a little slow to get the hang of things, partly I think because in those days they kept them in the nursery for 24 full hours before you could see them (!) but thanks to a nice motherly nurse, who I knew from my church, he figured it out before we went home. In those days they kept you for 5 days after the day you gave birth. Unfortunately he died at the age of 3 months, but he was a successful nurser with no problems whatsoever up until then. Son *2 was a little different. He was ravenous from day one, an eager eater who was awake a lot. He was also sick frequently with ear infections, no matter what I did. But I nursed him until he was 14 months old, no problems. Son *3 was the trouble free one...ate when hungry, slept when sleepy, and one day when he was about 4 months old decided to wake up and join the world. Then my daughter came along in 1978. She was an easy feeder and pleasant enough but had horrible colic for almost 4 months no matter what I did. I still kept on nursing her and just had to learn what foods to avoid myself to keep her happy. No cow's milk turned out to be the big one. But I never had any problems getting any of them to latch on, never had problems with my milk supply, and basically just kind of rolled with it. I had one breast infection with my second. I had La Leche League support until my second was 7 months old, and then we moved to a place where there was none and I was on my own. I have no idea how I got so lucky. Maybe not being pushed one way or another, and not having some of today's expectations that are put on mothers were responsible, at least in part.
  6. CeciBean

    Confronting Doctors with Wrong Orders

    I think I might have said something like, "We're doing an awful lot of tests on her to find out what's going on, shouldn't we maybe give her some pain meds just in case there really is something? She seems like she's in a lot of distress." There are ways to get what you want without being overly confrontational. Of course sometimes it depends on the doctor!
  7. CeciBean

    Ageism in Nursing: A Pervasive Problem

    I was a second career nurse who went back to school when my youngest started preschool. I never encountered ageism until I moved to where I live now. My previous job was in a large city where I had worked an assignment as a traveler and liked the ambience. I got the position via a recruiting agency, was actually offered two different positions in that hospital (should have accepted the other one, but never mind) and was hired immediately. I would have stayed there but for being offered a wonderful position (having nothing to do with nursing) by The Man :) . When I got up here I applied for numerous jobs but it seemed that they would all prefer younger, newer nurses that they could pay less (pay was real sticking point, apparently). I went to one interview where the DON who interviewed me was younger than my youngest child and seemed perplexed at what to ask me! I was considering whether to start traveling again when my appendix exploded and I had an emergency appy. Three months later I developed a condition requiring three major surgeries and one slightly less major one over the course of 9 months, which I came to believe was a signal that I should consider myself retired. I still maintain my license and do some volunteer work, but that's it. I am mildly bitter about the ageism I was shown, but I've concluded that everything happened for a reason. I am now in my third career as a jewelry designer.
  8. CeciBean

    Are 24-Hour Open Visitation Policies a Bad Idea? (Yes)

    I am definitely on the side of "case by case". Having worked in ICU, step-down, cardiac, neonatal, and even peds, I have seen it all. I am definitely not in favor of unrestricted 24-hour open visitation; that leads to way too many people and way too many problems. Been there, seen that. In peds, one parent, grandparent, adult relative, or a sibling over 16 was expected to stay with the patient at all times. Occasionally this meant there was a party in the room, not always appreciated by the patient! Fortunately we could kick out non-relatives after 9 pm, which helped some. But in other hospitals where they had 24 hour open visitation, it could get pretty raw. Big urban ones are definitely the worst...and can be scary too. Inappropriate family members were the least of our problems. Thank goodness for security, although there were never enough of those sometimes. In smaller hospitals where the occasional "dignitary" is treated like royalty you can really have major problems if you have open visitation. I remember one prominent politician who was a patient in a smaller, but still urban hospital in our cardiac unit, whose family took *full* advantage of 24 hour open visitation even when it wasn't standard for everyone else, and demanded to be waited on even though he didn't. They frustrated attempts to get him up and moving, and when he crashed post-op, as open hearts often do, they were totally in the way, screaming and crying and carrying on. After they took him back to CVICU the charge nurse had to bar them for awhile until they settled down, and they went to management, but the man himself, when he got better, spoke up on the nurse's behalf (to his credit--that doesn't always happen!). I could tell a lot more stories, but I'll stop for now. When my dad went to the hospital with pneumonia at 90, my brothers and I stayed with him. He was in PCU and was DNR/DNI, but otherwise was being treated pretty aggressively, which we later recognized as probably not the best course. He had dementia and CHF and we took shifts so there was always at least one of us with him. I'm a nurse and one of my brothers is an internist so we knew pretty much what was going on and could help the nurses as well as explain to the doctors, and we tried to stay out of the way as much as possible. I've been in the hospital with my kids and my mother as well and generally try to be of assistance because I know how things are on the other side. On balance, how I feel about 24 hour visitation is that the nurse needs to have the discretion to set parameters and say no without fear of reprisals from management, and that families/visitors need to be told what the rules are and that if they can't follow them, they are OUT, period.
  9. To me, the basic problem is that administrators, especially the younger ones, go through the "BS/HCA" program and never, EVER touch a patient! Most have absolutely no clue what our jobs are really like. In my *ideal* BS in Health Care Administration program, every single one of them would work a minimum of 6 months as a tech. I mean doing the down and dirty, which means they would all have to get their CNA licenses. Following that, they would have clinicals during the rest of their educational time which would involve shadowing the rest of the hospital employees for a specified amount of time each, from the maintenance/housekeeping and dietary staff through transport, radiology, respiratory, and most especially they would rotate through the various nursing departments....all of them. If they have previously been employed in any of those capacities, they could be excused from that particular rotation but not the others. There are too many administrators who have NO CLUE about what *really* makes things run. They only see numbers and count beans.
  10. I was a travel nurse for several years. The only hospital I worked in where the nursing culture was noticeably different from anywhere else had a CNO who had started as a respiratory tech and later become a RN before eventually becoming an administrator. Let me tell you, things really were different there! The whole attitude was different. I loved it there even on a crazy busy tele floor that wasn't my usual haunt. I'd have settled down there if a) I could have afforded to live in that city, and b) it weren't so far from The Man who was courting me