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mph53953

mph53953 BSN, RN

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mph53953's Latest Activity

  1. Hi lionsimba, thank you for your advice. I will admit, the majority of my problems stemmed from poor coping mechanisms. Unfortunately, I was immature and not in the greatest place when I was in school. I had to learn that self-care is non-negotiable, and I also learned to cope with high stress situations in the clinical environment. I’ve grown and changed a lot since I was in school, and I honestly think I’m a stronger person and better nurse because of my past experiences. Because of this I still want to pursue CRNA school. Thank you for your input!
  2. Hello! I would eventually like to apply to CRNA school. I need advice regarding the interview. I graduated with a 3.53, got mostly A’s in my core science classes, and was in Sigma Theta Tau. My last semester, I was struggling in clinical and I had to withdraw from the class. I worked as a nursing assistant over the Summer to get more exposure to the clinical environment and met with the simulation lab instructor to review skills prior to the start of the fall semester. The next term I passed without issue. I’m just concerned they’re going to ask me why I withdrew when I interview for CRNA programs. That semester was my most rigorous clinical rotation, and I was dealing with some mental health issues at the time that made it difficult to focus on my studies. I just don’t know how to tactfully explain that in an interview because mental health is such a taboo subject. I feel like when people say they repeated a semester because they were distracted by a divorce, death of a loved one, physical illness, etc. that stuff is 100% understandable. But I feel like if I mention a psych history that’s going to be an immediate red flag to them. I’ve thought about telling them I was struggling with personal problems or health problems at that time, but I’m afraid they would ask me to elaborate and I’d end up digging myself even deeper. Disclaimer- I understand that there are people who believe I have no business applying to an intense graduate program like anesthesia because I’ve struggled with my mental health in the past. However, I do not think that the anxiety/depression I struggled with when I was 18-21yo should define me for the rest of my life, nor should it keep me from pursuing my dream career. That being said, please be kind and only comment relevant advice. TIA!
  3. mph53953

    Cancelled Shadow

    Help! So I’ve been working in a neuro ICU for the past year. It’s fairly low acuity, so I’ve been applying to higher acuity ICUs because I’d like to apply to CRNA programs within the next 2 years or so. I had a phone interview with a SICU the other day and I was supposed to shadow next week. However, due to COVID-19, they had to cancel my shadow. The UD said they will reach out to me again when they finish interviewing the rest of the applicants. I’m just nervous they’re going to offer me a position and I’ll have to make a decision without ever seeing the unit. It’s an 8-bed ICU at a Level 1 Trauma Center. They take care of non-cardiac thoracic surgeries, such as pneumonectomies, lobectomies, and esophagectomies, as well as vascular surgeries. Would this ICU give me the background I need for CRNA school? I feel a bit pretentious posting this before they’ve even finished interviewing all the applicants, but when I interviewed for my current job they only gave me 24 hours to make a decision, so I want to be prepared. Thank you!
  4. Hello! I graduated from a BSN program in December 2017. In January 2018, I started my first nursing job in a medical progressive care unit. In April 2019, I transferred to a neuro ICU. This ICU is a fairly low-acuity ICU and it is not at a trauma center. Within the next 1-3 years I'd like to start applying to CRNA programs, so I'm looking to transfer ICUs within the next month or two to gain better experience. So I'm having a lot of trouble trying to write a resume. When I was a new grad, I listed all work experience and every single academic achievement on my resume to make it look more impressive. But now that I've been working for two years I feel like so much of it is irrelevant now. The last time I applied to jobs, I left all my random teenage jobs out of my work history because I felt they were irrelevant and my resume would never fit on one page. They were random jobs like movie theaters and sandwich shops. While I was in nursing school, I worked as a home health aide, and then as a nursing assistant. Should I include this experience, or would it be irrelevant as well? I also have questions about my education. So I know I definitely need to list my university and degree. Should I still list that I was a student athlete? And do I list academic awards/achievements or is that all irrelevant now? Should I still include my GPA? Do I still need to list my high school? And then my last question is about interviews. I think I've been asked about my five year plan in every job interview I've done. I never tell them that I'm planning to go to CRNA school because I feel like they won't hire me if they know I'm going to run off to school in the next year or two. Usually I just tell them that eventually I'd like to pursue some sort of advanced-practice degree, but for now I want to stay at the bedside. Is there a better way to address this? Any and all advice is much appreciated!
  5. mph53953

    Bouncing back after a bad shift

    So about two nights ago, I had a really awful shift. I’ve been a nurse for about two years and I’ve been in the ICU for about 10 months. This patient was my first 1:1 assignment. I was in an awkward position because the patient was admitted under an aggressive cardiologist (they were family friends or something?) and one of our more righteous intensivists was on that night. Neither the cardiologist nor the intensivist were willing to step back and let the stroke doctor run the show, so I was bombarded by orders from all three doctors competing for control over the patient. Long story short, I was screamed at by the intensivist once in the middle of the unit, and again over the phone. There were two nurses on that night with several years of experience on this unit, and they assured me I wasn’t doing anything wrong, the intensivist was just “in a mood”. I did Q30min neuro exams until midnight, and then Q1H exams for the remainder of my shift, just as the protocol states. The repeat head CT was stable. The patient’s exam at 6am was consistent with previous exams. Then at 7am, I went in with the dayshift nurse to do a neuro exam as part of our handoff. New mouth droop. No commands. Nonverbal. Stat head CT. At this point, I’m emotionally and physically exhausted, and I became upset and began to frantically wrack my brains for a sign I must have missed at 6am. The oncoming nurse insisted that with the microhemorrhages, there’s a very good chance things DID change within an hour, but I can’t stop feeling like there’s something I must have missed. I offered to help take the patient to scan, but the oncoming nurse insisted that I had a rough shift and she could take things from here. I started crying as soon as I got to my car, and I’ve been crying on and off my two days off. I’ve gotten really good about “leaving it all at work” and I haven’t been this upset about a shift since I was a new grad. I’ve dealt with a lot of unpleasant people, but I’ve never had a doctor publicly degrade and humiliate me like this before. And I can’t stop feeling like I missed something and I failed the patient because of it. I feel like my confidence was shattered, and I feel so ashamed I don’t know how I’m ever going to show my face at work again. Does anyone have any tips for bouncing back from a bad shift? Usually I’m fine but this night just broke me. My management’s super approachable, so I’m on the fence about asking someone to talk with me privately and help me debrief. Any advice is much appreciated
  6. Hello, I eventually want to apply to CRNA programs and I’m looking for some advice about if/when I should transfer ICUs. As a new grad I started in a medical progressive care unit, where I worked for 14 months. After that I transferred to a neuroscience ICU in April 2019 and I’ve been there since. I’ve had lots of experience with pre-op/post-op craniotomies, EVDs, seizures, and medical/surgical overflow. We currently don’t have anyone who can do clot retrievals, so we have to send out all strokes who need thrombectomies. We are also not a trauma center so unfortunately I have not had experience with traumatic neurological issues either. I enjoy my current job, however I’m concerned I’m not getting the experience I need to prepare for CRNA school. The majority of my patients are stable, extubated, not on any drips, and just require frequent neuro assessments. Most shifts, I honestly feel like I’m in a step-down unit with extra charting. This has been an awesome first ICU job, especially because all the intensivists, mid-levels, and senior nurses are super helpful and willing to teach, but I’m starting to worry that I’m just not getting sick enough patients to learn from. Are my concerns/reasons for wanting to leave valid? I feel terrible for wanting to leave this unit because I love the management and my coworkers. My unit director is super approachable and supportive, but that somehow makes me feel even guiltier. And when would be the most appropriate time to start applying to other ICUs? I’m definitely not going to start looking before the 1 year mark at my current job, but I’d really like to start applying to CRNA schools sometime between the next 1-3 years (depending on how ready I feel) so I don’t want to piddle around too long either. I just started studying for CCRN, so I’m thinking about applying to new jobs after I take the test. And finally, what sorts of ICUs would give me the experience I’m looking for? I’m thinking about SICU, MSICU, and trauma. I’m also curious about trauma-burn and transplant, but I’d have to learn more about those. And I’ve also been back and forth about cardiac because I’ve heard some bad things about the demeanor of CTICUs, but I feel like I would get invaluable experience there. Ideally, I’d like to be in a high-acuity ICU where I’m getting exposure to complex assignments and high-stress situations. Thanks for reading! Any and all advice is much appreciated!
  7. Hello! So I’ve been a nurse for close to two years now. I was on a med/surg floor for a little over a year, and I’ve been in an ICU since April 2019. I’m 24 years old, but I look several years younger than I really am. I feel like this makes it more difficult for patients/visitors/doctors/etc. to take me seriously. Usually people just ask me how old I am, how long I’ve been a nurse, what sort of training have I had, etc. and I answer their questions professionally and honestly, and then direct the conversation back to the plan of care. But every now and again, I get somebody who really tries to push me around or acts condescendingly towards me. Like once a patient had just come back from the OR about an hour before my shift started (so nothing was done). I had a drip with no order, wrong fluids hanging, about a million overdue meds and new orders to sift through, etc. The surgeon had just rounded and told her daughter the foley could come out. So the minute I enter the room the patient’s daughter demands I pull it. I explained to her that I would pull the foley, I just had some higher priority tasks I needed to complete first. She coldly said “Well do it then.” And then a few days ago, I had a visitor come up to the nurses station because the patient was missing items from his meal tray and she wanted to file a complaint. I told her I would check with my charge nurse to find out who the best person would be to escalate her concerns to. As soon as I walk away, she asks my coworkers if I was a REAL nurse because I sure seemed unsure of a lot of things (note that the only interactions I had with her up to this point were regarding missing meal tray items). And the rest of the day, she kept making all sorts of little comments. Like I’d understand if I had made a medication/procedural error or something, but all because I didn’t know off the top of my head who to contact about a meal tray complaint? (It’s a neuro ICU so most patients aren’t intact enough to realize if their meal trays are incorrect...let alone swallow.) So those situations are probably two of the worst cases I’ve dealt with. Usually when people comment about how young I look, I laugh with them and say “Hey, if it’s still working for me 20 years from now I’m not complaining!” Usually I just try to conduct myself with professionalism and confidence, and I answer honestly if I’m questioned about my age/experience. It’s just situations like this when people are unprovoked, and they attempt to assert themselves over me that I really don’t know what to do. Right now, I just take a “kill ‘em with kindness” approach. I’m afraid to put my foot down and say “I am not going to tolerate you talking to me like that” because I’m afraid it will escalate into an argument that I won’t win (not that arguing with a patient/visitor is acceptable in the first place). But at the same time, I’m so sick of feeling like a doormat in these situations. I have a more kind/soft-spoken demeanor, so standing up for myself doesn’t come naturally. Do all young nurses deal with this or is it just me?!?
  8. mph53953

    Travel Nursing

    Hello! So lately I’ve been curious about travel nursing. I worked on a medical progressive care unit for a little over one year and I’ve been in a neuro ICU since April 2019. I definitely want to wait a few years before going into traveling to gain some experience, especially because I’d like to stay in the ICU. Here’s a few of my questions: 1. I currently live in an apartment. Do travel nurses keep some sort of permanent residence somewhere? Or would I be better off ending my lease? If so, is it hard to adjust to not having a “home”? 2. Would my time in the neuro ICU be adequate to prepare me for for being an ICU travel nurse? Since I started, my unit has only really been 50% neuro patients; everyone else is medical and occasionally surgical overflow. We don’t get cardio-thoracic patients, so I don’t have experience managing swans or anything like that. 3. My boyfriend is in a respiratory therapy program, and I’d like to travel with him after he graduates. Do Travel Agencies work with RTs too? Would they help us find assignments together? Or would my boyfriend and I have to coordinate that on our own? 4. What are the schedules like? Can you negotiate straight dayshift/nightshift, holidays off, etc? 5. Do you really make more money? Between downsizing, moving/travel costs etc? I’m mostly interested in traveling for the adventure, but I’d also like to speed up the process of paying back my student loans! 6. Would travel nursing help me learn/grow as an ICU nurse more than a traditional job? I feel like I’d get more exposure to different things in travel nursing, but in a traditional job I’d be able to find mentors in doctors, midlevels, more experienced nurses, etc. Thanks!!!
  9. mph53953

    Travel Nursing

    Hello! So lately I’ve been curious about travel nursing. I worked on a medical progressive care unit for a little over one year and I’ve been in a neuro ICU since April 2019. I definitely want to wait a few years before going into traveling to gain some experience, especially because I’d like to stay in the ICU. Here’s a few of my questions: 1. I currently live in an apartment. Do travel nurses keep some sort of permanent residence somewhere? Or would I be better off ending my lease? If so, is it hard to adjust to not having a “home”? 2. Would my time in the neuro ICU be adequate to prepare me for for being an ICU travel nurse? Since I started, my unit has only really been 50% neuro patients; everyone else is medical and occasionally surgical overflow. We don’t get cardio-thoracic patients, so I don’t have experience managing swans or anything like that. 3. My boyfriend is in a respiratory therapy program, and I’d like to travel with him after he graduates. Do Travel Agencies work with RTs too? Would they help us find assignments together? Or would my boyfriend and I have to coordinate that on our own? 4. What are the schedules like? Can you negotiate straight dayshift/nightshift, holidays off, etc? 5. Do you really make more money? Between downsizing, moving/travel costs etc? I’m mostly interested in traveling for the adventure, but I’d also like to speed up the process of paying back my student loans! 6. Would travel nursing help me learn/grow as an ICU nurse more than a traditional job? I feel like I’d get more exposure to different things in travel nursing, but in a traditional job I’d be able to find mentors in doctors, midlevels, more experienced nurses, etc. Thanks!!!
  10. mph53953

    Forgot to unclamp the secondary

    Honey, if unclamping a secondary is the worst mistake you’ve made, you’re doing great! It’s easy to feel like you’re making silly mistakes and forgetting things because when you’re on orientation (especially if you’re a new grad or in a new specialty) your brain is literally being bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information. Hang in there and stay positive- it gets better
  11. mph53953

    Preparing to Apply to ICU

    I am a newer nurse. I'm roughly 7 months into my first job. In January/February when I hit the big 1 year mark, I want to start applying to ICUs. I applied to ICUs straight out of school, but the only ICU job offer I got was in an area I didn't want to relocate to. Instead, I accepted a job on a progressive care unit with telemetry. I guess one of the reasons I didn't really get any ICU job offers was because when I graduated I wasn't prepared enough for the ICU. I graduated from Bloomsburg University, which does not have a critical care clinical rotation. Instead, they have us shadow in the ICU for two days. (We still have Adult Health 2, which is basically a critical care course, but the corresponding clinical rotation focuses on assuming a full patient assignment on a med/surg floor). I also did not do an internship or externship in an ICU. So during my interviews when they were asking me about my experiences during school, I was really at a loss. So far on my floor, I have had experience with telemetry, chest tubes, stroke patients, withdraw patients, trachs, dressing changes, drips (heparin, insulin, amiodarone), and everything else encompassed in the med/surg nine yards. I have had 6-7 patients on dayshift and 7-8 patients on nightshift. We have no step-down ICU at my hospital so I'm often caring for high-acuity patients. (Nurse-patient ratios are getting a little better now that staffing is improving.) I'm comfortable communicating with residents, attendings, case managers, and other members of the healthcare team. I'm signed up for an ACLS class in October and a PALS class in November. I guess what I'm trying to say is what are my chances of getting into an ICU when I have a year of experience? Will they mostly just ask me about my year of med/surg, or will they dig up my lack of experience during nursing school again? Also, is there anything else I can do to try to fluff up my resume other than ACLS and PALS? Finally any advice on interview questions? "So tell me about yourself!" and "Why do you want to work here?" are by far my LEAST favorite questions to try to answer because I'm never sure what the "right" answer is.
  12. mph53953

    Experience/GRE?

    Hello! I've been a nurse in a medical progressive care unit for approximately 6mo. When I reach 1 year, I want to transfer to an ICU. Right now, I am considering the MICU, SICU, and CVICU. Which of these units would best prepare me for a CRNA program? Additionally, I want to begin reviewing for the GRE. What is the best way to go about studying? I was hoping to do a self-paced online review course like I did when I took my NCLEX because that worked really well for me. I did a quick google search and the prices were shocking. Nearly $1000 for a review course- REALLY?!?! I'm just not willing to spend more money reviewing for the GRE than I did the NCLEX. I did stumble upon a website called Magoosh that offers 6mo access for $149, which I can actually afford with a new nurse paycheck. But the difference in price has me concerned about the quality. Has anyone tried Magoosh before? Or does anyone have any other affordable review methods that worked well? Thanks!!!!!
  13. mph53953

    Applying to CRNA Programs?

    Thanks for the advice everyone! As far as to why I withdrew...I went into a BSN program straight out of high school. I had no prior experience working in a nursing home, working as a NA/PCT, and I did not seek out an internship/externship. Going to clinical two days a week for a few weeks every semester just wasn't giving me enough practice to feel comfortable in my clinical environment. I was able to get by until my very last clinical rotation, but then my lack of experience finally showed. There was no major "incident" or anything, I just wasn't comfortable in the clinical environment and I wasn't ready to graduate. At my midterm clinical evaluation, my instructor advised me to withdraw. After I withdrew, I got a job as a NA in a step-down ICU and worked full-time that summer. (I was the person everyone would ask to cover their shifts- I was starving for experience so everyone knew I'd never turn down hours!) At the end of the summer before the semester started, I met with the skills lab director and spent two days going practicing every skill and asking every question I could possibly think of. Then before clinical started, I met with my new clinical instructor to discuss my concerns about the upcoming clinical rotation, and to get 1-on-1 instruction so I could better understand what was expected from the paperwork. I passed the clinical rotation with no issues. Repeating this class was one of the most terrifying and heartbreaking things I've ever dealt with, but I did everything I could to turn it into an experience I could learn from. Unfortunately the blemish will always be on my transcript :/
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