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SoCal Nurse

SoCal Nurse

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SoCal Nurse has 7 years experience.

SoCal Nurse's Latest Activity

  1. SoCal Nurse

    ACLS for New Grad BSN RN

    If you've got the dough, I'd say go for it. Otherwise I'd let a future employer pay for it. My hospital doesn't recognize outside certs and so they recert all new hires. This policy was started when they discovered fraudulent cards being passed off as genuine by new hires.
  2. SoCal Nurse

    PCCN exam

    Ahrens and Ed4Nurses.com did it for me. GREAT resources. When I took it about 45% was cardiac, and 3 of my questions were the same. Know what changes in what ECG leads suggest what area of infarct (there's a chart for it online). For example: Changes in leads II, III, and aVF are typically signs of... Inferior MI. Get those two resources, study and I bet you'll do fine :)
  3. SoCal Nurse

    Depressed and Disappointed in Myself

    When I first started on the floor I almost died. I lost 20 pounds in 30 days, was stressed beyond belief, and ended up getting placed on probation (twice) because my time management sucked so much. I really, really struggled, and things got better by going to nights, (although night shift f'd me up) and my time management got a lot better when I started using a "brain" sheet that I developed. I can send it to you if you want and let you know how I used it. It saved me...That and charting in real time were the biggest things. Hang in there. I sent you a friend request, and would be happy to help you out... Gary
  4. SoCal Nurse

    Electives/Capstone for RN-BSN Accelerated Online

    Hi Suzie, Congrats on almost being done! I'm just finishing my capstone this week, and I found the course to be a breath of fresh air. There is no textbook, no tests. There are discussion board posts, a Powerpoint (15 slides) that you have to present at work, and a 4 page paper at the end. The paper is basically a recap of all your discussion posts reflecting on your changes as a result of the program. I had a lot of stuff to attend to outside of school and so I had to get ahead early, and ended up finishing everything a week and half early. It is totally doable. Just be very thorough with your weekly discussions (you need to include a reference in each post), and that way all you have to do is edit them all to come up with your final paper. Follow the rubrics and you'll be fine.
  5. SoCal Nurse

    CCTN Transplant Nurse Certification Study Advice

    Congrats on finishing nursing school soon! Out of school I started on a medsurg unit, two years later went to our stepdown ICU (PCU) lvad/heart transplant/ctsurgery unit. We do more heart t/x than any place in the world, so it was a very busy place. Lots of joy, and sorrow too on the unit. I now work in our outpt advanced heart disease clinic so I get to see the HF pts, MCS pts, as well as the post t/x follow up pts. While you might be able to get into a transplant unit as a new grad the learning curve would be steep and I think if you get your "basic training" done on a medsurg floor, then transfer to a stepdown transplant unit that would be best. From there you could go to the CSICU if you want to care for the "fresh" transplant pts. Feel free to contact me at anytime to discuss, especially if you are in the Los Angeles area. 661-972-8564
  6. SoCal Nurse

    Choices - Which Job to Choose?

    I would absolutely take the MedSurg job. You'll learn so much (time management, how to interact with the interdisciplinary team, how to read ECG's and what to do about wonky rhythms, wound care, how to work in an RRT/Code, IV starts, foleys, labs, meds, you'll hone that "gut feeling" when you know something isn't right, you'll learn how to communicate with pt's and their family, did I say TIME MANAGEMENT?) And it doesn't have to be for 2 years. You are not an indentured servant. Start at the bedside, learn how to be a good nurse, then revisit the new and many options you'll have after getting med/surg experience.
  7. SoCal Nurse

    tips and tricks for difficult IV starts?

    3 minutes is just fine. Take it slow with the harder cases, better to take an extra minute and get it in than not. If you don't get flash, just stop, take your time and go real slow while you "fish around". I always ask my pts' where the best place is to go. Position that arm low and heat it up with a few warm packs wrapped in a warm blanket if possible. If there is no latex allergy those wide penrose drains make EXCELLENT tourniquets, and you can always inflate a bp cuff to 30 mg pressure (many auto cuffs have an IV setting to do that). In short, take your time and go extra slow, ask, heat and position, tight tourniquet, and oh yeah, an Accuvein is great if you can get one.
  8. SoCal Nurse

    Why do we do codes?

    Oh boy, how to answer this. I'll keep it short. Don't let numbers mislead you and keep you from giving 100% during an RRT or code. My hospital has pretty good success rates with codes. We RUN to a code because every second matters. That is the mindset you must have. Maybe no one capable to at least do compressions is in the room (did a smart family member or visitor push the code button because their loved one just went into cardiac arrest?) We run a code because the pt is a full or partial code status. Maybe they shouldn't be, but for now they are and you work the code like hell until a doc calls it. If you feel weird about coding a person who in your mind should have been a DNR status then you learned an important lesson about the importance of a crucial conversation with your pt and their loved ones about code status (get the MD's and ethics folks involved) We work codes to their endpoint to help perfect our response, critical thinking, and teamwork not only in that moment but for all the future codes you will be a part of. This is no simulation. Learn something from every code, debrief every code, and carry that knowledge with you to help others. You never know when you will need to do CPR (my RN friend had a bicyclist drop dead right in front of her as she was leaving a gas station. She did high quality CPR on him until the medics arrived. Another RN friend ran a "code" when a fellow passenger had a cardiac arrest on an airplane). You just never know. Feel free to pm me if you want to discuss this more. Best, Gary (ps, I'm a member of my hospital's RRT/Code Blue Evaluation Committee. Maybe you should look into your own hospital's eval group. It's really very interesting)
  9. Review chest tubes too😬 Im sure you'll get an orientation and training, so don't stress out too much now, just get a bit familiar and the blanks will get filled in real fast... Best, Gary
  10. SoCal Nurse

    Med Calc Help!!

    Break it down...you need to know the rate, which they actually give you. You know how many TOTAL units per TOTAL min is infused, so you can just break it down per min. Need: units per 12 min Given: 1,500,000 units/20 min 1,500,000 units/20 min=75,000 PER minute 75,000/min x 12 min=? with many problems just step back a second and see if figuring out the rate is all that is needed. Just because they give you data like drip rate doesn't mean you need to use it. best, Gary
  11. SoCal Nurse

    First job - step down or CICU

    If you haven't worked in an icu before I would go for the stepdown unit, for sure. Learn how to be a nurse, how to interact with the team, the flow, procedures, time management etc, then explore your options. The pressure on a new nurse is intense. I don't know your capabilities or how you handle high stress situations, but since you're asking for guidance I'd say do yourself (and your patients and their family) a favor and don't take on too much all at once. Also, having a recognized/prestigious hospital name behind you definitely does not hurt. Give the stepdown a year or two. Learn, then then hone your skills, get advanced certification, then reassess your situation. Oh yeah, join LinkedIn and start networking. Best, Gary
  12. SoCal Nurse

    New nurse.. Just want to quit everything..

    This is what I would do: 1. Make a resume detailing all the work you do, and responsibilities you have etc. Make it look good, no spelling errors. 2. Reach out to local hospitals with your resume. I'd frankly send the resume to the CNO of every local hospital. 3. Be sure to point out that you have been accepted into a BSN program Doing these things will make the time you have at work a bit easier as you know that you're working on getting out of that bad situation. Don't give up on nursing, rather, change your situation. Be very careful about covering your butt in all your charting and documentation as it sounds like you're in a high risk environment. Make sure you are not working outside your scope of practice. Hang in there. Change your situation. Be aggressive in getting your name and resume to people who can get you hired. Lots of places want and need people like you, and will provide a better and more supportive environment for your professional growth and mental well-being. Good luck
  13. SoCal Nurse

    Los Angeles County Nursing Questions

    From Griffith Park you'd be best served working at St. Joes in Burbank or at Cedars-Sinai, which is where I work. Message me at 661-972-8564 and I can give you lots more information.
  14. SoCal Nurse

    Gun Owning Nurses

    The wonderful thing about nurses owning guns is that in the very, very slim chance any of us would ever have to shoot someone is that we can then render appropriate aid. Remember folks, we have a duty to render aid, and our actions after any shooting will be highly scrutinized in court.
  15. I could have written your post 6 years ago. I had to extend my orientation, twice, and was on a type of probation during that time and I saw a counselor to help with my stress. First, you're not, I repeat not, a failure...the nursing system is. I believe we as a group have allowed our employers to exploit us all to the extent that a huge percentage of new grads quit the profession shortly after working so hard to become RNs. The schools have also failed in not adequately preparing students for what they may encounter on the floor. Consider going back to your employer and meeting with the director of nursing. Maybe a different unit or starting at nights would help get you through the hump we apparently all get. Nights did that for me, then I went to days, and eventually I left the floor. Time management is critical and I have a tool I created that saved my buttocks. I used it everyday and it really made me a better nurse. I'd be happy to share it, just message me. It'll be ok, and this experience will make you stronger in the end.