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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

    Is it like this everywhere now?

    Sounds like a smart move. When I'd been a nurse for 20+ years and had a pretty solid cardiac/tele/ICU profile in my pocket (and was leaving my then-husband) I decided to become a traveler. I never regretted that move. I traveled for 3 years and loved it, learned a LOT in that time. Once I got in over my head in a unit that was poorly managed and I honestly wasn't equipped for, but I muddled through and didn't get my contract canceled, and all the other times, except the last one, were pretty great. You learn something new at every place you go and often you teach them something also. After the 3 years I relocated and settled down for a couple of years and thought I'd be there permanently, but the man I was seeing changed my mind for me 🙂 I moved again but couldn't find a job here, and I was thinking about contacting my recruiter and becoming what's called a "local traveler" when I got sick and had multiple surgeries and ended up retiring, but that's a story for another time. Traveling is not a bad gig either. There are online forums that can help you decide about agencies and hospitals, and you can often get gigs locally or not far from home. Being able to take care of your patients and not having to be involved in hospital drama and politics is THE BEST.
  2. Yes, hospitals absolutely ARE abusive employers! The farther away I get from them (now retired 6 years, volunteer work only) the more I see it. At my last job, I had joked with a co-worker about calling in on a certain shift because my gentleman friend (now my husband) was coming into town. I had fully intended to come in because he was going to be there for a couple of days, but as luck would have it, I woke up with a raging UTI (complete with nausea, vomiting, excruciating back pain, and fever) that morning and had to go to urgent care. I called in from there and was threatened by my manager that I would be fired if I didn't bring in a doctor's note THAT DAY. I dragged myself in with it and then went home and went back to bed. The same year, a co-worker was hospitalized with meningitis in that very hospital (on a different unit) for two weeks, and on her return to work was "counseled" and written up for "excessive absences". REALLY, people? Y'all talk about strong nurse organizing, but do you realize how many states are "right to work" (or as my late ex would say, "right to slave") states, in which the power of unions is slim to none, or there are NO nurses' unions whatsoever? That state was one of them.
  3. CeciBean

    The COVID 19 Battle Cry for Retired Nurses

    I'll be 77 in a couple of months. I don't think so.
  4. CeciBean

    They locked up all the masks in security 😳

    So why not just keep them in the stock room, for heaven's sake? Most places I've worked, the stock room is only accessible with a code anyway.
  5. Especially when they're your manager. This has actually happened to me! Aside from that, and preparation, let's please get AWAY from the "business model" of nursing. In fact, let's get away from it in the whole healthcare profession, please. We are supposed to be about taking care of PEOPLE, not the bottom line. Let's get back to that. And let's go back to proper preparation. More clinicals. Less theory. The old diploma model had a lot to be said for it, and there's a lot from that which needs to be incorporated into modern nursing education. Please don't come at me with the "anyone can learn to blah blah blah in the year after they graduate but they need to learn all this theory first". No they don't. They can learn it concurrently. And you don't need to know calculus to be a good nurse when simple algebra will do, but you do need to know how to make a patient comfortable and how to treat that patient like a human being, not a piece of a profit and loss statement. Okay, rant mode off.
  6. CeciBean

    The Wrong Dose - A True Story of Medication Error

    I made a terrible error when I was a fairly new nurse. It was partly because I misread a doctor's handwriting. He had written an order for 10 mg. of Vistaril to be given to a severely vomiting child, but to this day I will swear it looked like 100 mg. At that small hospital the pharmacy was not open at night and the supervisor had to get the medication. She looked at the order also and signed off with me and went and got the medication. The child stopped vomiting and went to sleep and I went on about my duties (I was the only nurse on the unit because that was how it was staffed.) The next day when I came in to work I was hauled in to the DON's office and interrogated. We all looked at the order and I was told I "should have known" the medication. Yes, that was my fault, I should have looked it up. But I got the blame and the nursing supervisor, who had looked at the order and signed off with me, apparently got off scot free, while I got written up and was transferred off that unit permanently (which was a relief to me, really).
  7. CeciBean

    Is 63 too old to start traveling?

    Heck no! I started traveling about that time, and I found that most travelers are either in that age group or quite young and without strings. Some of the older ones traveled alone, maybe were widowed or divorced, others with retired spouses. I had just separated from my husband when I started traveling, and I loved traveling. It was something new all the time. I found my niche in tele/stepdown and intermediate care, although I had worked ICU in smaller hospitals previously and then on a busy cardiac medical floor in a Top 100 heart hospital. You will find that you learn something new in every place, and most likely will be able to teach something also. I was pretty good at starting IVs, and in some of the places I went, they had IV teams up until 11 pm but the night shift nurses were not always real good at sticking so I got a reputation as a pretty good sticker and was usually in demand for that. You may find you have a skill that's in demand somewhere.
  8. CeciBean

    Do male nurses face gender bias in nursing education?

    I graduated from nursing school in 1986. Out of the 104 students in my class, 5 were male. The only gender bias issue I noticed was that the guys were not allowed in the delivery room, which I thought was weird, since the OB/GYNs in all the clinical settings were almost entirely male. I mean, excuse me? When we started applying for jobs, the guy who was in our study group was getting really depressed because he wanted to start out in Med/Surg and everywhere he went it was assumed that he wanted critical care or ED. One of the females said to him when he was complaining about it, "Now you're getting a little taste of what women put up with every day!" which I thought was pretty valid because that definitely was gender bias. (He worked a couple of years M/S, then transferred to a big teaching hospital CCU and eventually to their cath lab where he is now in hog heaven) Since those days I've worked in a variety of settings and have almost always had from one to a bunch of male co-workers. I usually like it when the ratio is close to 50-50, especially in a critical care or cardiac setting. It just seems more collegial and less (if you will excuse me for being sexist here) catty that way. I've found that majority female settings tend to get fractured and clique-y and I am not a big fan of that. I wish women wouldn't act that way, especially since we are all in this together.
  9. CeciBean

    Addressing the Predicted Nursing Shortage

    I agree pretty much with everything that has been posted. I'm retired now, but the "nursing shortage" was predicted many years ago when I was in school. So was the BSN-only. And my thoughts about that, after 30 years in the field, 28 active, are this...I trained an awful lot of brand new BSNs, and they mostly came out with heads stuffed full of book learning and not one clue about how to take care of a patient. Oh, I'm sure they could write a beautiful care plan, much better than mine from my ADN school days (I remember mine, they were full of red ink when I got them back!), but when it came to putting that into practice, most of them hadn't the first idea where to start. The exceptions were those who had worked as CNAs, and those were darn few. They had watched and listened, and they knew nursing from the ground up. Now when young people ask me about nursing, I tell them to try CNA work first, or maybe even EMT if they're really gung ho, and they if they still like it, go on and get their ADN and *then* work while they get a BSN, maybe even online. A BSN is a nice thing to have for advancement, but not necessarily a good thing to have for a starter. You don't learn how to take care of patients in a BSN program. You learn how to take care of theory. The last place I worked had a good partnership with the state university in town so that your work counted as clinicals. They also reimbursed you if you got a B or better in your courses from anywhere. As far as a shortage, maybe if our workplaces treated us better, there wouldn't be one. I saw so much when I was a traveler that really made me sick and disgusted with the whole business. I could write a book about it, and maybe I will someday :) What I will say is that the best place I worked had a CNO who had literally risen through the ranks....started out as an RT, went to nursing school and worked the floors, eventually got the advanced degree and went into management and rose to CNO. The nursing culture was completely different at that hospital, and I believe it was *because* they had a CNP who knew what it was all about, from the bottom up. Would that it were like that elsewhere.
  10. CeciBean

    Refusing to change/toilet pts

    OK, here's my POV. If, during initial rounds, for instance, I would find a patient lying in poop but otherwise in no distress, and the poop wasn't all over the bed, I might tell that person I'd be right back to help get them cleaned up, *or* ring for my tech if there happened to be one (I didn't always have one!). If it was a total mess, of course I'd have to attend to it right away and the rest of the rounds would wait a bit. It kind of depended on how many patients I had too--bear in mind that I usually worked in critical care/tele/stepdown, so no more than 5 generally. I often, though not always, found that family members, if they were present, were surprisingly willing to help! But there's a story attached to this. Several years ago when my father was in the hospital one of us stayed with him constantly because he had dementia. We tried to do pretty much everything for him without calling for assistance. He was very weak and required assistance to the BSC, which my brothers could do but I couldn't without help because I am quite a bit smaller than they are. So this one particular day, his nurse was a guy who, years ago, had been a nursing supervisor at a hospital where I was new grad and had chastised me one night for "expecting techs to do things which i could do myself" such as changing patients or helping them to the toilet (never mind I was still trying to figure out then how to do my job and was still always behind!). I recognized his name but he didn't recognize me after 25 years. At one point I rang for someone to help me get my dad to the BSC and was told someone would be there shortly, but no one showed up. meanwhile, this nurse was outside the door in our pod, I heard him chit-chatting with another nurse, and I heard his phone go off....but neither he nor anyone else showed up. I rang again 5 minutes later and it ended up almost being too late before a tech showed up. She apologized, saying two of the techs on the floor had called in. She also ended up having to clean the floor as Dad was in such a hurry. Think I was mad at that nurse? You bet! It would have taken just a couple minutes of his precious chatting time! I almost said something to his charge nurse but didn't. I did, however, leave his name out of the thank-you note I sent to the floor, where I mentioned the other nurses and the techs by name. I know, little revenges aren't nice.
  11. CeciBean

    Having issues with being a "babyfaced" nurse.

    When I first got out of nursing school I worked for a brief time in a pediatric hospital. I was 40 then and looked young for my age, but at the time I had teenagers, so I didn't have trouble handling the teenage patients, who were sometimes very angry and acting out. I had a co-worker, however, who looked abut their age although she was 23, and she had some real difficulty with them giving her grief. She frequently had to call on our charge nurse, an "old hand" who'd raised five kids and had the air of a Marine drill sergeant, to settle them down. I don't know how she eventually fared as I left there after 5 months. It wasn't the kids that drove me out of peds, it was the parents. Later I worked with a cardiologist who we all loved. He was from India and looked like a teenager. He would sometimes go in to see a new consult and introduce himself as, "Hello, I am Dr. ____, and yes, I am old enough to be here." It always broke the ice and the patients loved him.
  12. CeciBean

    15 Minutes in the Life of a Nurse

    Boy oh boy! That is why I chose to work nights. Stuff still happens, but it happens at a slower pace, thank goodness. What you describe probably happens over a half hour or so, and usually before 10 or 11 pm. By 11 we (generally, at least) had everyone tucked in, and if anything happened, it was usually one thing at a time...until shift change, of course, or unless the ED decided to send us two patients at once, one of them without report for some reason. Having to call the doctor often meant the hospitalist; if not, the worst it could be would be getting fussed at because you woke someone up--well, s/he's on call, that's life!
  13. CeciBean

    Nursing, Hurricanes, and Floods.

    If I could afford it I would be volunteering with RAM, however my fixed income will not allow for me to fly to Texas and put up in a hotel so I will have to send a donation and leave it at that. They do really good work and are always on the job.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. CeciBean

    Sunday Service and Weekend shift

    The Jewish tradition, from which the Christian tradition springs (please remember that Jesus himself was a Jew) has a principle called "pikuach hanefesh", that is, literally, "to save a soul" or "to save a life". This principle permits Jewish doctors and nurses to work on Shabbat if they cannot avoid it because they are saving lives. Religious Jewish nurses I have known take this principle in varying degrees. Some would work on Shabbat without complaining, particularly if they were ER or ICU nurses; others would try to trade if possible, for instance work Saturday night for Friday night, particularly in winter when the sun sets earlier. (I don't have that much experience with day shift.) So you might look at it from that standpoint. You are saving a life here, therefore it is permissible to work. Also, you are not going to work *every* Sunday; it's usually every other Sunday, or every third Sunday, depending on how your unit is scheduled. God understands these things.