Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Whoaaaaaa

I haven't been on here since MAY???  WHAT???  I am so sorry...(if anyone is still reading my blog).  Time has literally flown by.  

Let's see...where do I begin?  CDU....I love it!  Talk about less stress and aggravation.  Although a month after we opened, we reverted back to basically a PCU unit because the doctors were fighting over who could admit to our unit.  They had to have a bunch of studies and meetings and after about 2 1/2 months, we are back to CDU status.  The patients for the most part are much easier to care for (and more normal).  They like to sleep at night, they are alert & oriented and the majority are not drug seeking.  There are always a few that slip thru the cracks.  I literally had a patient a couple weeks ago that the doctor advised her to stop doing crack.  No joke!

Oh...another update from CDU...the manager is one of my best friends...lol.  She is the nurse that left with me from the last hospital we were at & started our new venture at this one.  She opted for the admin route while I am sticking with bedside.  I just have no tolerance for meetings & b.s.  I only want to work my 36-40 hrs a week & be free the rest of the time.  She is on call 24/7.  I couldn't do that no matter what the pay was.  It is nice though having her as a manager.  Plus our unit is small & our staff gets along great.  Absolutely no drama & we all have each other's back.  It really is a nice place to work.  I will enjoy it while it lasts.  Only 25 more years until I can retire...yay! 

And yet another hospital update...the manager from my old unit - the one that was way too much of a micromanager.  Well, she no longer works at my hospital.  Enough said.

Puppy update...Timber is now about 70 lbs.  She has grown quickly.  She is adorable...very energetic.  If I can figure out how to post a pic on here, I will.  

Me update...I have somehow managed to lose about 50 lbs in the last couple of years.  I didn't exercise or eat better to lose this weight...I just ate less of the junk I usually do.  However, I have now joined Weight Watchers (mostly because my hospital gets me a big discount) & managed to lose 5 lbs in 3 weeks.  Doesn't make sense because I cut out 70% of the junk & started exercising.  I know...taking it off slowly is better, but I am sick this week & unable to keep up my healthy eating or exercise & I gained all 5 lbs back.  Ugh!  I'm not going to let it get me down.  This is a journey, not a race.  Gotta get rid of this cold & get refocused.  I am determined.  And thanks to instagram...there is tons of support & incentive & recipes.  I still have a long way to go...but I am going to get there.  One day at a time!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What a difference...

What a difference a month (or so) makes!  I just finished up on my last shift as a PCU nurse this morning.  I start on Tuesday in a brand new unit in my hospital...Clinical Decision Unit aka 23 hr observation.  I've always wanted to try this & by luck of the draw...I am now in a position to do that.  Luckily the person putting the unit together was the manager that hired me at this hospital 5 years ago.  Yep, been 5 years there already.  And best of all...I won't be starting alone on the new unit...cause 6 of my coworkers are starting also.  Needless to say, our current manager isn't happy we are all transferring.  We all need it though.  The hardest part about leaving my unit is saying goodbye to my coworkers who are staying there.  I feel for them because that unit has gotten so unbelievably difficult.  The workload is tremendous & it doesn't look like there is any end (or help) in sight.  I just worked 3 nights in a row & I am exhausted (and woke up with a sore throat...grrr....go away!).  

I cannot wait to try something new.  I know this will be totally different...much more fast paced as the patients cannot stay in this unit longer than 23 hours.  And the fact that they can get up & walk to the bathroom all by themself.......ahhhhhhh...makes me happy.  That's all it takes to make me happy these days...lol.  Oh & bonus points if they aren't diabetic because my hospital has gone bananas trying to master keeping blood sugars under 170 at all times (even when a patient is getting Solumedrol).  When they first started, they were making everyone hypo...not good.  I think it is impossible...especially when a person who has a good control on their blood sugar via medication & we take them off all that & throw them onto an insulin sliding scale = disaster.  

On a different note...the puppy is getting much bigger.  She's 5 months old now & has gained about 20 lbs in the last 2 months.  She gets along wonderfully with my dog Shay.  They are really cute together.  I didn't think Shay had it in her to be buddies with another dog, but I have been proven wrong.  :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Well...hmmmm

I swear I don't know where the time goes.  The last 5 years have literally flown by.  It was 5 years ago that I had had enough at the last hospital I was at & I started over at my current hospital.  At times it feels like I have been there forever, but most of the time I think there is no way it has been 5 years already!  So many staff has come & go...yet I'm still there.  Sometimes I wonder why...because it has gone from admin having no real involvement in our jobs to admin being complete control freaks even down to the words we are supposed to say to our patients.  All because of a government satisfaction survey.  I'm not gonna rant about that right now.  Just don't feel like it.

In other news, I somehow got talked into getting a puppy.  I don't know why I agreed.....well, she is simply adorable...but a puppy is like a newborn.  SO MUCH WORK!  I had it made with my 6 yr old dog who does no wrong.  I now have a 3 1/2 month old german shepherd/rottweiler mix named Timber (yes, after the Ke$ha song...it's going downnnn, I'm yelling Timberrrrrr).  75% of the time she is good.  The other 25% is still a battle trying to housebreak her & she is the biggest drool monster I've ever seen.  I have never had a dog drool while anxious.  When I put her in the crate when I have to leave the house...she drools non-stop.  Like basically gives herself a bath in all the drool she creates.  But it is even worse in the car...she drools & then eventually gets sick.  Needless to say, she only goes for car rides when absolutely necessary.  Like today...for her second set of shots.  Drooled everywhere...looked like I gave her a bath before taking her to the vet.  So embarrassing.  I'm hoping she grows out of this.

My niece went to her prom tonight.  She's a junior.  I can't believe she's 17 & going to prom.  I still remember when I went.  Sigh, time sure does fly.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What the ???

What the heck...where did the last 3 months go???  Wow...got some catching up to do.  Basically...nothing's changed...lol.  Well, except for my attitude.  I've decided I'm going to look on the bright side & to try to understand things from a different point of view.  ANDDDDDDDD I'm not going to allow work to stress me out.  I leave it all at the door now & I am happier than ever.  

I mean...what good does it do to fight against all the changes that I cannot change?  Nursing is no longer a healthcare career.  It is customer service...plain & simple.  Sure, we give meds & we do dressing changes & we try to teach out patients how to live a healthy lifestyle...but any nurse that works in a hospital knows that all that we learned in nursing school comes second to trying to please a patient & their family so that we get a good survey after they go home.  Because the only thing that matters is their perception of how clean & quiet the hospital was.  Why fight it?  I'm good at customer service.  It's part of the reason I connect so well with the majority of my patients.

The past couple of weeks I've had to take care of heroin addicts, crackheads & alcoholics.  This was definitely not what I pictured when I was in nursing school.  And I must say it is the hardest type of patients to care for....because they do not care about themselves & all that matters is their drugs & the me, me, me attitude.  I had one spitting on the floor the other morning.  I looked at her like WTF??? & told her to stop it.  She knows better, she just doesn't care.  And then she'd whine "no one cares about meeeeeeeeeeee."  She ended up leaving AMA (against medical advice).  I just don't have a high tolerance for this.  

We are sort of creating this attitude though.  We cater to their every need...and don't get as much as a thank you.  I don't know, maybe I say thank you too much.  Something as simple as a waiter refilling my glass of water will warrant a thank you from me.  At work, I run my ass off for 12 hrs & it still isn't enough.  But remember my first paragraph...it isn't going to stress me out anymore.  I can only do what I can do.  I will continue to try my best to make someone's night a little better.  And when I go home...it all stays behind in the hospital.  I'm not taking that stress home.

Nuff said.  Moving on.  I'm still with my guy.  I tried to end it...a few times.  He doesn't go away...and I don't mean in an annoying, stalking type way.  We work through the issues & right now things are pretty good.  Who knows what the future holds.  I'm not going to worry about that either.  Life is short...enjoy each precious day.

That CEO of the other hospital I posted about in my last post.......she got fired.  Big shock...lol.  I haven't heard much else about that hospital lately.

Our employee survey....the results were not as great as they hoped.  Another big shock.  Nothing has changed...they still continue to short staff us on purpose.  They call it productivity.  Yeah, ok.  Sigh.

The Gators were the worst ever this year.  Luckily, my alma mater, UCF is doing great!  GO UCF!!!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Not Much

Not much to really say about work lately.  Why?  Cause I've only worked the equivalent of one shift in the last 2 weeks.  I called in sick last week...for 3 days in a row.  And this week I was only scheduled for 2 shifts....I got put on call Tuesday...only to be called in at 10 pm.  Ugh...and to ICU.  It turned out to be ok.  I can guarantee you I'll never be an ICU nurse though.  It just isn't for me.  And I went to work Wednesday night & my charge nurse called me at 10:30 & said "Hey, do you want to go home at 11?"  Uhhhh, heck yeah!!!!!!!!!  It is rare that this ever happens any more & the stars had aligned cause I didn't carpool that night either.  My paycheck isn't gonna be pretty...but my peace of mind is skyrocketing.  

I don't know if other hospitals are doing this...but my hospital admin is obsessed with controlling blood sugars.  I mean to the point that we are making practically everyone hypoglycemic by morning time.  So they switched it up, but it is OCD I tell you.  To the point that on some patients we are doing accuchecks every 2 hours.  We don't have any endocrinologists that come to our hospital.  I think without an expert in the field, we will never be able to come up with something that actually works.  So instead, we will poke & prod & over-medicate these people...just to make admin happy.  In the past, they actually had us giving insulin to those with a blood sugar of 121 or higher....at bedtime.  Ummmm, I don't think anything under 150 at bedtime is anything to worry about.  They are going to sleep & not getting breakfast until 8:30 am.  Over 15 hours since they had dinner.  Sigh.

On a bright note...college football is back.  Go Gators!!!!!!

I have decided to end things with my guy.  I just don't feel I'm a priority in his life...sooo see ya.  He won't go away though.  Wish me luck.

The other hospital in the area that is our competition is having some real struggles.  They have decided to cut the nightshift differential in half.  That's basically a $10,000 pay cut for each night nurse.  Admin states they have to...in order to meet the budget.  Mind you, the CEO gave herself a $120,000 raise though.  So instead of a million dollars, she makes $1,120,000.  Is that not insane?  And the hospital is going downhill.  No wonder we have been so busy the entire year.  I hear hospital morale is non-existent.  That's sad.  They are also laying off 400 people....but giving the doctors $500,000 bonuses.  And that is after acquiring a doctors group for $50 million.  I will never work in admin.  I just can't screw people over like they do.

We had our employee survey last month.  They say a record number completed the survey...93%.  Can't wait to see those results.  I hope people were honest & not brainwashed with all the meetings we had about it.

And on a final note....it's nearly fall!!!!!!!!  Which means pumpkin everything!  Yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

911

I had the cops called on ME.  Yep...ME.  One of my patients was mad her daughter left & for some reason claimed I wasn't her nurse.  We aren't talking about a little old confused lady either.  We are talking about someone less than 10 years older than me & totally alert & oriented.  I would categorize her as needy...as in has her family wrapped around her finger & isn't happy when there isn't anyone in the room giving her attention.  So she called 911.  And a cop showed up.  And I got a lecture from the security guard regarding the fact that cops don't like coming to the hospital for stuff like this.  Ummm....hello...I didn't tell her to call 911.  Direct your lecture to the patient.  Heck, give her a ticket for wasting their time.  I shook my head & walked off to check on my other patients.  The ones with real health problems.  

I swear...I think back to nursing school & that semester spent in psych nursing & declaring I'll never be a psych nurse....HAHAHAHAHAHA.  At least 50% of my patients are in for psych reasons & not medical.  Sometimes they are medical, but you still have to deal with the psych side too.  And with them closing down the majority of pain clinics & pain doctors who were abusing the streets with prescription pain killers...well, we may as well be a psych hospital.  So many drug addicts, so little time.  We have so many frequent flyers now.  Discharged one day, back the next.  Because they will get admitted & we'll give them the strongest pain meds we have...and they don't even have to pay for it.  That's what healthcare is turning into.  Maybe Obamacare will crack down on stuff like that...I can only hope.  Since it will all be tracked in one national database.  We'll be able to see exactly when & where & why you are seeing a doctor or going to another hospital.  That is about the only good thing I see coming out of this national healthcare push.

To top it off...on that survey they get when discharged...the survey that determines if the hospital loses 1% of their income....they ask if their pain was controlled.  HA!  Their pain is never controlled enough.  We cannot win on that question.  Asking a drug addict if they got enough pain medication to their satisfaction.  If we gave them what they wanted, they'd overdose & they don't even care.  Seems like so many just want to drift through life.  It's sad.  I know some start out with a legitimate need for the medication & end up hooked.  But I would say that is a small majority.  

Alright, enough about that.  Not even sure how I got there.  We got called into an impromptu meeting the other morning & basically chastised that we all have bad attitudes & it is affecting the patients so please leave your attitude at the door.  WTF?  Why not address the reasons we may have bad attitudes & work towards changing that?  The leadership we have had the last couple of years is awful.  Yeah, I'm saying it...awful.  The staff is not the problem.  We have a great staff & we put up with a lot of b.s.  We are not the problem.  

It is like they want us to be robots with no personality or thoughts.  Just do as I say & don't talk back.  Do you know there are some nurses being called into the office because their shoe laces are are different color than white or black?  Or their shoes have some other color than white or black on them.  How does that affect their ability to be a nurse?  It's bad enough we are all in the generic navy blue scrubs, but now we can't even have a pink or blue line on our shoes?  That makes us non-professional?  Shoe laces?  Seriously?????????

Sigh, just when I think they can't possibly think up anything else to add to our job or complain about....there is always something more.  And now we have techs....great.  But we need to ask them "nicely" to do their job or just do it ourselves.  We have to ask them to do their job.  Does that make any sense?  And if we don't ask nice enough or if they don't want to do it, we are expected to do it.  Come on!

Guess I needed to vent a little bit.  :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Time is still flying!

That patient I wrote about in the previous post...her husband got banned from the hospital because he was taking her pain meds & shooting them up in his arm.  Nice.  

Seems like we are seeing more & more of those type patients since they cracked down on the "pain clinics."  So many drug addicts...and it isn't just being addicted to the meds.  They are shooting them up, snorting them, taking wayyyy too many of them.  I really don't know how they are not overdosing.  It's sad, but we aren't a rehab.  And I'm not saying all of them, but a large majority come in with that selfish attitude & act like we owe them something!  They have attitudes & they aren't pleasant ones.  

I'm not one to judge & hold back on meds.  As long as they are ordered & their vital signs are stable & they are alert & oriented...I'll give what is ordered.  I've always told my new nurses...this isn't intervention.  Just give what is ordered & shake off the attitudes the patients give you.  It isn't personal.  They value a drug more than life itself & we aren't going to change that in the 12 hours that they are in our care.  Besides, they aren't here for help...they are here because they can't afford the drugs on the street & in the hospital they are free.  

Needless to say, I've had a very light schedule for summer.  Two shifts a week & relaxing the rest of the time.  I was getting close to the feeling of being burnt out...so I took a break.  I refuse to allow work to stress me out.  It isn't worth it.  The only things that matter to me are health, family & friends.  Life is too short to take everything else too seriously.  

This is the first year that I've noticed what a negative work place that being a bedside nurse really is.  I mean we take care of sick people.  They are stressed & venting to us in order to feel a little better.  We are taking care of people who may not necessarily truly be sick physically, but mentally they are very sick & again...attempt to drain us mentally.  I see people would rather drag us down to their level than to break free from the stress & make changes in order to be happy.  I don't know why it took me so many years to see how draining a bedside nurse's job really is.  

I still love my patients (well, most of them).  I love the hours.  I love that when I walk out the door at the end of a shift, all the stress stays in those doors.  I refuse to take it home.  Although there are times where I feel it creeping in (perhaps more hormone related) & I immediately address it.  I am not going to let stress get me.  I don't thrive off stress or drama.  

Looks like I just destressed here...lol.  Whatever it takes.