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  1. PeeWeeQ

    Is Shortage in Nursing really a hoax?

    Shortage isn't a good word for it. A better word, from an economic standpoint, is 'scarcity'. Economics is defined as "the use of scarce resources, which have alternative uses." Scarce simply means not enough to go around, and, in nursing, there are all kinds of "alternative uses." Think of all of the different types of positions that RNs hold that aren't involved with direct patient care. That said, as I believe many have stated already, it depends on where you are. Where I am, we DEFINATELY have a shortage of nurses and CNAs. There is a major university here that graduates BSN RNs twice every year and a tech school that graduates ADN RNs and LPNs twice per year. The tech is adding a summer 4th semester this year in order to add 16 more grads for another hiring period due to increased demand by employers. We have 3 hospitals here and countless clinics and long-term care facilities. I don't know anyone that is adequately staffed except, perhaps, a few of the clinics. Over in Europe, particularly the UK, it is about to become a crisis. "More than 1,000 NHS staff who belong to the Observer and Guardian's healthcare network were surveyed. Almost half of respondents (48%) said care had been compromised on their last shift, while only 2% felt there were always enough people to provide safe care. More than half (53%) say they cannot provide the level of care they want to." We could argue the reasons, but, that gets into politics, which I'll stay away from here. Its easier to post the news articles from over there than to explain, so, here are a few... Thousands of NHS nursing and doctor posts lie vacant - BBC News NHS facing ‘unprecedented’ nursing crisis with 4
  2. PeeWeeQ

    Going into EMS?

    Well, I'm almost done with my second semester (of four) of nursing school and, coming from an EMS and infantry medic background, I have struggled with trying to shake my EMS mentality for the nursing mentality. I always new that they were different, but, the EMS mentality is much more focused and mechanical while nursing is total patient. I kick butt at taking vitals (I think I'm better without the machine) and doing head-to-toe and focused assessments, but, it's all of the other things (nursing assessments) that I have to keep in mind as well. There is a bigger (deeper is probably a better word) picture that we just don't get much opportunity to deal with on the EMS side. I'm still considering taking the Paramedic course once I'm done with nursing, but, that will depend largely on what my wife thinks about it. She's as burnt out on school as I am and I still have my BSN to think about when I'm done with my ADN. All that said, I can see why nurse's who just bridge to EMT-P could have an issue getting lost in the weeds with a more "big picture" approach. Knowing what I know now, I'd stick to what I said previously in this thread--I'm not sure that bridge idea is a good one. It's hard to shake a certain mentality for another, no matter which way you're going... Just my .02...
  3. PeeWeeQ

    Wearing a beard as a male nurse?

    Beards and tattoos are two VERY different things. Both can be personal expressions, but, tattoos go a little further. In addition, if standards change, for whatever the reason, a beard can be trimmed or even shaved clean. Tattoos are more permanent and tend to be more personal and explicitly expressive. I'm not really a fan of the "offended at everything" culture these days, but, chances are good you will find people who don't appreciate whatever it is your tattoo says/represents/portrays. Maybe or maybe not---it depends on the tattoo and the person. I do believe you will also find that more institutions than not are still not okay with tattoos being on full display on arms, necks, and faces for those very reasons I just mentioned--better safe than sorry, and rightly so. In addition, many believe that tattoos are still unprofessional or LOOK unprofessional. That's also not likely to change in the near future since it is largely subjective, and, again--better safe than sorry. I'm personally one that believes that just because one wants to "express themselves", that everyone else shouldn't necessarily have to be exposed to it, particularly in a professional setting. In public--that's a different story. I think the perception of "acceptance" is more of a result of desensitization than an actual acceptance of tattoos in professional settings. I was going to get a tattoo a few years ago---I had waited many years, seriously contemplating the permanent inking of my skin. After finally settling on a very personal design (a large one that encompassed most of my upper back), I realized one of the cool things about having a tattoo--that they were unique and kind of rebellious--wasn't cool anymore because everyone and their girlfriend had one now. There's nothing special about having a tattoo anymore--the rebellious nature had now become mainstream. I knew more people that had them than not... And, it MAY be more uncommon for a guy not to have a beard these days (I'm not so sure about that), but, I see more nasty, unkempt beards than I do well groomed ones (length not being a factor). I hope THAT trend changes...
  4. PeeWeeQ

    Wearing a beard as a male nurse?

    I had a beard throughout my first semester of nursing school. I kept it trim and neat looking and I never received a comment, positive or negative, from patients, fellow classmates, or instructors. There were other males in my class that also had/have beards. Just check the policies where you will be going to school and where you will be doing clinicals and I'm sure you'll be fine. As for the N95, there are alternatives. I work in a hospital, so, I have been fitted for at least 3 different kinds of masks, 2 that work just fine with my beard. I've seen plenty of other male nurses at said hospital that also have facial hair...
  5. PeeWeeQ

    Career Changing

    I'm 43 and I'm about to start my 2nd semester of nursing at our local tech school. I work full time and have 4 kids, so, its REALLY tough, but, if you are determined, you can do it!
  6. PeeWeeQ

    NREMT Paramedic/AEMT Challenge

    I was an infantry medic in the army for many years and worked in EMS and as a Firefighter for 13 years, paid on call. As medic, I learned crics, IOs, and intubations along with quite a few standing order meds. Having been an EMT, I understand the the prehospital role is different in very critical ways from "standard" nursing (if there is such a thing--hopefully, you catch my drift). Also, having now been exposed to the nursing program and the nursing world, I also understand that many RNs are MUCH more highly trained and capable (particularly those in critical care and working in EDs) than many in the EMS world would give them credit for. Anyway, I'm just about to finish my first semester of nursing and, I hope to work at earning my Paramedic cert when I'm done. I plan on speaking with the Paramedic/EMT director at the tech to find out what coursework HE would be comfortable with me skipping, if any. I don't want a "shortcut", but, I'm certain I'm not going to need another year of coursework to catch me up to the paramedic standard our technical college goes by. That said, if that's what is determined that I must do to achieve that goal, I'll do it. I'll do it because I love EMS and I want to serve in as many ways as I can, even after I achieve my RN. I would, perhaps, even like to work on a helicopter, someday, if circumstances allow. Money isn't even a consideration for me--its just in my blood, cheesy as that may sound...
  7. I've studied plenty of philosophy. The ONLY place I've found for it in life is to give name to how one feels and behaves. It doesn't actually guide anything. Philosophy is not principal and nursing theories are not practical. Are theories and philosophy interesting? Sure, but, do they serve a PRACTICAL purpose? Meh...Certainly in certain circles and disciplines. In nursing, they're just common sense organized into bullet points and put to paper. I agree--nursing theories exist to give certain groups of individuals something to do. Patients and their circumstances are unique, and, some people are gifted in adapting to and dealing with those people and their circumstances as it applies in a Healthcare or emergency setting. Some aren't--you can't really teach it. Categorizing how certain individuals choose to apply or in what manner they are adept in applying their craft is a waste of time, effort, and student loans...
  8. I'm just getting to the end of my first semester of nursing school. I've been an EMT and I was an Army medic for quite a while. I'm also a healthy skeptic and I like to do serious research. What am I getting at? I like to THINK I kind of know what I'm talking about (stress on the kind of--I'm not trying to be arrogant here) . Allow me to preface a bit more...I'm sure we all know someone into the home brew cures and magazine article "life-hacks" for all that ales you/us. I've done a skeptic's research into essential oils, "long lost" vitamin and mineral bit, "super foods", green smoothies, and different types of diets. What makes me a skeptic is statements like "if you are thirsty, you're already mildly dehydrated". Or, "most people are low on [insert electrolyte or vitamin/mineral here], so, this is what you need for that." Oh, you're stressed out?--here, have some vitamin B. Oh, AND, rub some of this "stress complex oil" on your forehead and behind your ears (that one has actually worked for me, believe it or not, on more than one occasion). If you listened to every one of these people, do you know how full of crap you could fill up a cupboard? I really do, because my wife's family is really into the natural cures thing. Now, even as a skeptic, I'm not saying I don't agree with some of these things. There is legitimate evidence that some of these things are valid (many essential oils, some of the vitamin and mineral bits). But, when I listen to some of the articles that are read to me, knowing what I DO know about how the body works, sometimes I find myself laughing out loud. Then I have to pause and wonder how many people get taken for a serious ride with some of these snake oil cures and remedies. I've recently heard the term "glutaphine" (supposed to be a chemical that causes gluten to mimic the effects of morphine). The author was then begging the question "can you imagine your child bouncing off of the walls like he/she was high on morphine?" Ah, can you imagine a world where you actually understand the nature of a narcotic before you print something dumb about it? Looking into this, I think I discovered where the misconception comes from, and that is the effect that eating foods high in sugar, carbs (or, gluten, I suppose) causes the release of endorphins, much like almost any drug high does. It's what makes you feel good and want to go back for more. But, it's not even in the vicinity of being high on morphine. How about that "most people" are magnesium deficient, or "if you aren't drinking 8 cups of water per day, you aren't getting enough?" I get tired of hearing, every time I get a sniffle, "you need to take some of this or that." Again, I concede that there are some natural medicinal and dietary practices that are probably as old as the dirt and really are effective. I also understand that there is an optimum or therapeutic zone that our bodies would, ideally, love to maintain all of the time, but, I also understand that our bodies were built or evolved (whatever you believe) to handle a very large variety of imbalances and ailments. The more I learn, the more I'm continually astounded anew by the body's propensity for homeostasis and it's ability to find it...
  9. PeeWeeQ

    Any advice on how to study for NURSING SCHOOL???

    Thanks for the post! I love seeing all of the creative ideas and study strategies...!
  10. I have to take a break every once in a while, so, I've been watching a bit of the "pre-Grey's" medical drama, "ER". The original main character was Anthony Edwards (yes, "Goose", from Top Gun). Being an older student, I actually watched this series from start to finish with my wife. I'm working my way back through it now. I've made my way through "Grey's Anatomy" (not a fan anymore), "House", and "Scrubs"--I even used to watch "St. Elsewhere" with my Mom and Dad when I was a kid (yup--Howie Mandel and Denzel Washington were in a medical drama together). I used to watch MASH and I've been able to watch a bit of "Chicago Fire" here and there. Bottom line--I've seen quite a few over the last few decades. Having been and EMT, Army Medic, and a Firefighter since the early 2000s, I've seen a few things myself, mostly on the EMS side. To say the least, my wife hates watching some of these shows with me. However, now, being in nursing school, and with my prior EMS and FF experience, I've developed a PRETTY GOOD nose for what's BS and what's not... So, I decided to rank (well, its more like just a list) which shows I've found to be most accurate over the years and which I think are total BS, with a few in the middle. Let me know what YOU think... Grey's Anatomy--Where to start? My biggest issue, I think, are that these docs and residents do all of the procedures that NURSES would do. I don't even know why nurses even grace the halls on that show at all...I always thought the total rejection of authority and utter disregard for standard medical procedures would probably be a pretty quick pathway OUT of a surgical residency, but, that's just me... Chicago Fire--It's kind of fun, but, good grief--I know Hollywood tries to balance accuracy with drama, but, this show is really hit or miss. Of course the Firefighters and Paramedics are going to disobey orders and do that which they know they shouldn't. Some of the med procedures are alright, but, many of them are set up to work around some other drama. I like the camaraderie and some of the departmental rivalries, but, A lot of the fire stuff is just total bunk... House--It's tough to rank these with so many different factors. How long do you think a defiant sociopath with an opioid addiction and utter disregard for authority would last in the medical field--no matter how good he is? Of course, the docs would NEVER be doing many of the specialty diagnostic procedures or lab work. And, can you imagine having a TB patient in a non-isolation room without negative pressure? The constant breaking and entering by the team-members to investigate patient environments? The science part of it and the mysteries were always super-cool. All that said--I LOVED that show...I really didn't care about the inaccuracies, but, in all honesty, this should probably be at the bottom of the barrel for it... ER--My favorite by far. I like that the nurses have a semi-major roll in the show. Even the non-credited regulars stayed consistent over all 15 seasons (Halay, Chuny, Malik), and, a few of them were main characters (Carol, Abby, Sam). I know the docs do do more of the procedures that nurses would be doing, but, its not NEAR as bad a Grey's. And, watching this now the second time through with a better base of medical knowledge of terms, meds, procedures, and diseases, I'm noticing that this show never shied away from alienating the layman. They rarely dumbed it down, medically. Not to say there were not inaccuracies (especially if you really watch the things going on off to the side or in the background)--of course there were plenty. I always thought they worked a little TOO fast for a trauma team, especially in terms of patient safety--adds to the drama, right...? One of the things I REALLY appreciate about ER is their portrayal of ethical and cultural issues. They always left you with the sense that there may have been another way to go, and that maybe one or the other were neither right nor wrong--very thought provoking. It often leaves you asking, what would I do? Scrubs--Goofy and definitely a comedy, but, I always appreciated that the outcomes weren't always good and sometimes even unresolved--you didn't always see how things play out, suggesting that there was more to a medical story than you could portray in 30 minutes--I thought that was very realistic. I remember there not being much in the way of technical medical material, but, I've HEARD that the portrayal of medical residents and their interactions with other areas of the profession was very accurate. Honorable (and not-so-honorable) mentions: St. Elsewhere, Chicago Med (ugh), Quincy-M.E., Private Practice, China Beach, Emergency Room (90s sitcom), Chicago Hope (never saw it), Doogie Howser, M.D., The Good Doctor, Emergency! Like I said, let me know what some of your favorites are/were and what you think of my list. What do YOU think is the most accurate and the most inaccurate, medically...?? What have you seen that is total crap? What have you seen that is really accurate?
  11. PeeWeeQ


    I was verbally and physically bullied when I was a kid. With social media, it has evolved. In the younger generation, I've run across many who have lost sensitivity to real-life social cues and don't even have basic respect for those they should have respect for (elders, parents, teachers, authority figures, other people in general). Likewise, sensitivity to this lack of respect has also gotten touchier. Not to mention, they are emboldened by not having to deal with an actual physical reaction (we know how much of communication is non-verbal). THIS aspect I have seen carry over into even the "older" generations that should know better. People who would never have said the kind of things they do on social media in person, are carrying it over into the "real world". All that said, when people go out of their way to step on your actions or judgement simply because they can or think you won't do anything about it--that's a lighter form of bullying. No, not to the extent that most would call it, but, someone using some aspect of their position, size, or personality to deliberately make someone else feel uncomfortable, IS being a bully. I look younger than I am. Typically when asked, people think I'm around 30 or so, when in fact, I'm almost 43 and am already retired from the military. I've had a few jobs where people thought they were gonna screw with the new guy. Now, I expect that to a certain extent. I've even done it to others--its a right of passage. But, trying to intimidate me just because you get some jollies from it--NOT HAVING IT. I think the best thing to do is have a conversation with the person causing you a problem. Be open, but, polite and respectful--make it clear that you are serious about just wanting to get to the root of the problem. "Do you have a problem with me?" "Have I done something to upset you?" Give examples of why you feel that way. BE RESPECTFUL and look them in the eye. These are completely reasonable questions. If the individual(s) you are talking about are actually participating in some kind of 'pushing you around' just because they can, there's a good chance they'll be taken aback by your boldness and it might just stop for your asking. On the other hand, be prepared to eat some crow. Someone might just be trying to see what you're made of--assessing you. If that's what they're doing, you might get a little crap for your confrontation. If this happens, you'd better make sure that they understand that you were just making sure because you couldn't decipher what was going on and take ownership--you just didn't want to be causing a problem. The point is, gather up your courage and just talk to them. Hope you get it figured out...
  12. PeeWeeQ

    Nursing Shoes for Males

    I used to read meters for a living (13 years)--walking and walking for up to 7 hours per day. On top of it, I have some of the flattest feet you've ever seen--I am no stranger to plantar fasciitis. Of course I wear orthotics, but, the best shoes I've ever worn are Merrells. Yes, they are expensive, but, they are like walking on little pillows of heaven. They are VERY comfy, very tough, and come in all kinds of styles and colors these days. Everyone is different, of course, but, my Merrells have always served me well. Oh, and the company stands by their product as well...
  13. PeeWeeQ

    Is Shortage in Nursing really a hoax?

    It depends on where you are and what is going on there. I live in Western Wisconsin. We are a growing community (with a very large elderly population). We have A LOT of LTC facilities, many regular, outpatient clinics, several outpatient surgery centers, 2 hospitals, and 1 more hospital being built. We have a technical college that offers an ADN and a UW college that offers a BSN. And no--we do not have enough nurses here. Not by a long shot...
  14. PeeWeeQ

    Question about Nursing Diagnosis

    I have to wonder if it doesn't have something to do with how they are managed. In my limited experience, it seems to me that hyperthermia (depending on stage and severity) can likely be managed independently, entirely within the RN scope of practice. Dyspnea can have a plethora of underlying conditions that may be causing it (COPD, anxiety disorder, panic attack, metabolic disorders, cardio-respiratory issues, neurologic malfunction, etc) that require medical intervention to treat... Just a thought...
  15. PeeWeeQ

    A&P and Micro - Summertime

    I took advanced A&P and Micro in the same semester. It sucked, but, I averaged roughly 95% between the two. You can certainly do it. I had two different instructors for General A&P and Advanced A&P, and a third one for Micro. I like them all and was glad I had the ones I did for the classes I had them for. Good as they were, Khan Academy and Crash Course were my best online friends in the world.. I never had to deal with TEAC, but, I thought the HESI was WAAAYYY overhyped. I didn't think that it was difficult at all. I took it roughly 4 months after finishing Adv. A&P and got 100% on that portion with no studying in between. I don't RECOMMEND that--that's just me. Of all of the nightmares I've heard about it, after I took it, I had to wonder what those folks were being taught in their A&P classes... College classes and instructors are like a box of chocolates....