Sunday, November 26, 2006

Not a new nurse anymore

Where oh where has the time gone? I'm approaching my second anniversary of graduation from nursing school. It's official...I'm not a new nurse It was confirmed when we got an email regarding this head to toe assessment seminar that is happening this coming Thurs & Friday at our hospital. The email said that they are only paying for certain nurses to attend...mostly the newer nurses & that they would be contacted personally so they would know who they are. I wasn't I guess they are confident that I am fine with my assessment skills & thus I no longer fall into the "new nurse" role anymore. We can still attend the seminar if we want, but I really don't want to. Not that I don't think it is helpful & beneficial....but two 8 hour days going over assessment info??? No thanks. Besides, I'm working Friday night so it wouldn't work out anyways schedule wise.

Speaking of work - I just can't get into it. I've taken too much time I did work this past Wednesday. It is so simple now with the computers...hours of charting only take minutes now. It's wonderful. I had 4 patients that night who all wanted to pretty much be left alone to get some sleep. I'm fine with that...I think they are sleep deprived at the hospital anyways with all the interruptions. I was planning to work this weekend also...but thus...I didn't.

My was a 23 yr old who has had her period for approx. 2 weeks. I guess this is common for her although the doctors don't know why. As a result, her H&H dropped to 6.0 & 17 = really not good. Needless to say, she received 3 units of red blood cells. My next patient was someone with kidney failure & she should have gone home that evening except that she is unable to even stand up, much less walk. Her insurance won't pay for rehab & the doctor didn't feel comfortable sending her home if she couldn't take care of herself. So they were planning on arranging home health care the next day. My third patient slept pretty much the entire shift. She has cancer all over & the edema is taking over...3+ pitting. She didn't even want to move, didn't want to be bothered, didn't want anything to eat or drink. What am I going to do other than allow her requests? My fourth patient was a new admit that I volunteered for. A male in his 50's with respiratory issues. I figure usually the younger the better & he was pretty stable. He had one episode in which he needed a breathing treatment, but other than that...he slept. So it was an easy night that went by so very slowly.

Tomorrow I'm gonna go watch the Chicago Bears football game (Go Bears!!!). Monday night I have a volleyball tournament. So I may work Tuesday night. I'm not scheduled so I'll play it by ear. I am definitely working Friday, Saturday & Sunday....I think that is when I'll go for working a bunch of days in a row & make up for all this time I took off. Ahhh, the flexibility of part-time...I love it.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I spent mine at my parents home with about 30 other people...mixture of family & friends. That day & Christmas Day are my favorite days of the year...because we all get together. The time goes by too quickly though. I guess that's how it is the older I get.

Thanks to those of you who gave me camera advice. I did end up getting the camera I ordered & I like it. Of course I'm having buyer's remorse which is what I usually have anytime I buy myself something expensive. I will keep this though - I've needed a camera & digital is the way to go. It is a great deal....Polaroid I733...$149. It goes up to 7 megapixels & it's pink for breast cancer awareness. I got it at if anyone wants a great camera & an awesome price...there ya go. Now if only someone had warned me to buy rechargeable :)

I feel like my journal has been boring lately...I haven't had anything major going on with any of my patients. I'm knocking on wood while typing Not that I wish for a crazy shift, but something interesting would be nice. We shall see...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A week off

I've been off for the last week for a couple of reasons.  One being...I've been sick.  I started out with a scratchy throat & next thing I knew I was achy & tired.  Now I have more of a head cold, but a little more I think I'm getting better...hopefully.  I don't want to be sick on Thanksgiving. 

The other reason is one of my friends broke her foot.  I took her to the doctor & have been helping her out a little bit.  She's supposed to get a cast put on it next week...after the swelling goes down.  Poor girl. 

My schedule this week is pretty light unless I decide to pick up some shifts.  So far I'm only scheduled for Wednesday night.  Have to prepare for shopping madness this weekend.  Well, staying away from it.  I hate the crowds & hoping to do some shopping online.

I forgot to end my last entry with one of my favorite things so I'll have two in this entry.  The first being...Emmitt Smith.  Anyone that watched Dancing with the Stars knows why.  He was spectacular.  Enough said.  My other is hot chocolate on a cold morning.  Is there anything better?  :)


Monday, November 13, 2006

Divided up week

Last week was the first time I divided up my nights at work. I worked Sunday night, Tuesday night and Saturday night. I much prefer working 3 in a row - it's just easier to stay in that frame of mind & on the proper sleep schedule.

I already wrote in my last entry about Sunday night, so I'll try to remember Tuesday night. Nothing really stands out...hmmm. I'm telling memory is Ok, it's coming back to me. It was what some would claim a busy night for me, but yet I didn't feel busy. Right before I got to work, one of my patient's signed out AMA (against medical advice) I was automatically down to 3 patients. They changed the assignment a little so that I would have 4 patients...a new admit waiting in ER. About 20 minutes later, I'm discharging one of those patients. Right after that I got my new admit, took care of her admission & off to bed she goes. Ok, so back to 3 problem...with the computer charting, it takes very little time to complete the necessary paperwork for charting & I'm looking for stuff to do to pass the time.

Around 11 pm, I get a fax report of a test one of my patients had done. The results were negative & according to my doctor's orders, this patient was to be discharged if the results were negative. I run it by my clinical leader because my patient is now sleeping & it's after 11 pm. She says "If the order says to discharge, you have to discharge." So I hesitantly go into my patient's room, wake her up & give her the news. Luckily she was thrilled with the idea of going home - she said "You just made me the happiest person." Whew...didn't think she'd be that thrilled about being woken up & kicked out of the hospital. So it takes about 10 minutes to discharge her and I'm down to 2 patients. I can't even really remember much in detail about them. I know one was a man with congestive heart failure that was improving. All he wanted to do was sleep. My other patient - in with chest pain & just wanted to sleep also.

I was told I was getting another admission & that was before I had even discharged the last patient. No problem, something to pass the time. I don't remember her diagnosis, but she was another one that simply wanted to sleep since it was after midnight. About the same time as all this is happening, the hospital decides our hallway floors need to be cleaned. It's a pain in the neck because we aren't allowed to walk on it & it's just a mess that lasts for hours. So there I am at about 2:30 am, with a laptop in my new patient's room & I'm charting in the dark while she sleeps because our nurses station is a mess due to the cleaning of the floors. Talk about an all-time low!

It was actually a blessing in disguise. I volunteered for the next admission even though it could have gone to another nurse. I was told it was a confused patient that was a handful. Due to our floors being cleaned, we couldn't take the patient at that Now it's after 5 am & the ER is not happy we have delayed taking this patient. That made me wonder about this bad is she that the ER can't wait to get her out of there? Finally the floor are done around 6 am & I get report. The ER nurse brings the patient around 6:30 am - which I think is ridiculous...hello, shift change starts at 6:40. I end up just taking the patient's vital signs, make sure she's comfortable in bed & give report to the oncoming nurse. This confused patient though...oh's not so much that she was confused as she was just in her own world. When she spoke, she sounded like Marge from the Simpsons. She was very unique...I'll take that over some confused person that is yelling or hitting.

So after 2 discharges & 3 admits all in one night...I was glad to go home. I went out Wednesday night with 3 of my best friends...we all went to high school together - that's how far back our friendships go. What is 25 years or so. One of them I've known since I was born. It was nice being able to just kick back, relax & catch up with each other. We stayed at the restaurant for nearly 4 hours!

Thursday night was spent celebrating my niece's 10th birthday. She was so excited & so happy. Friday was spent carrying on the celebration & taking her shopping at her favorite clothing store "Justice" & also over to Libby Lu's for a makeover & some new boots. I can't believe she's 10 already. Where does the time go?

Friday night I went to the county fair...I haven't been there in years. I forgot all of the junk food they sell there...but it is They had tons of rides & the usual livestock, but they also had tigers. Beautiful tigers...I love looking at wild animals. I think next month I'll take my niece & nephew to Disney's Animal Kingdom. I haven't made it over to that park yet.

Saturday night I worked...only I wasn't a nurse that night. I was the unit secretary. They rotate the nurses into that role when they are fully staffed & I didn't mind one bit. I had 8 admissions to do, but it wasn't bad. I don't really care for ICU admissions because it's so different than PCU...but I was floated around to whoever needed help with their admissions. The rest of the time I sat & chatted. It was great.

I'm trying to buy a digital camera...the one I want is either backordered or overpriced on Ebay. It's a Polaroid's pink...for breast cancer awareness. Wal-Mart was selling it for $149 which is a great price for a 7 megapixel camera, but they are back ordered...grrr. Anyone have any other suggestions regarding a great digital camera? I was hoping to have one before Thanksgiving next week.

I've got volleyball tonight & back to work tomorrow night...ahh, the life of a

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

An Amazing Outlook

Hmmm...what to write about??? I worked Sunday night...another easy night. It's starting to scare me a am I just having easy nights or am I just more relaxed at what I do? Probably a combination of both. I did have one amazing patient...amazing in the fact that he has cancer & it's spreading & he has totally accepted that fact. He still has a smile on his face. Perhaps it's the age??? He's in his early 70's, feels he's lived his life & will accept what God gives him. He has a very supportive family which is good to see...sad knowing what they are dealing with, but inspiring to see how they band together to make life a little easier for him.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I had a woman in her mid 80's that is ready to just let go & give up on life. She is refusing to eat...wants life to be over. I managed to get her to smile & to drink a little bit of Ensure...but you can't make someone do what they don't want to do. I tried to keep her as comfortable as possible.

I had volleyball last night...we won again & we only had 4 players. I have work tonight, then I'm off until Saturday night. My niece's b-day is we're celebrating a little early...Thursday she'll be with her mom on Saturday.

Tony Stewart won again this past Sunday...I'm loving it. Speaking of loving it...I think I'm gonna end each journal entry with writing about something I love or since I just mentioned him....I'll say Tony Stewart. Even though he didn't make the "race for the chase"...he isn't giving up. He's still driving hard & having fun with it even though the best he can do this year is finish in 11th place. He is starting to remind me of Dale Earnhardt Sr...the way he dominates on the race track & can stir up trouble very easily yet still walk away with a smile. Only 2 races left in the season. :( Go #20 & #8.

Friday, November 3, 2006

7 Nights Straight

What a week! I worked 8 out of 9 nights....7 of them in a row...12 hour shifts. I haven't even calculated the hours I put in...hmmm, somewhere around 105 hours give or take. I set a personal record for myself. It wasn't bad at all & I absolutely love the computerized charting. What a difference it makes. Luckily, I was able to pick it up pretty quickly & charting is so very quick & simple now rather than hours of handwriting.

I had another pretty smooth group of patients. They were all stable for the most part. I had a lady in her late 80's that was going into v-tach now & then...but according to the cardiologist - what do you expect for an 80-something year old heart? She was asymptomatic with no worries.

My only patient that really stood out was what we call a "frequent flyer." She's in & out of the hospital on a regular basis. This was my first encounter with her & hopefully my last. She was in with CHF and on fluid restrictions & all she wanted to do was drink & drink & drink. I tried explaining to her the purpose of fluid restrictions & why the doctor prescribed that - but she didn't care. That's the part that frustrates me...people doing the opposite of what is best for their care...WHILE they are in the If you don't want to comply...why did you even come to the hospital? She loved me the first couple of nights, but when I stood my ground on the fluid restrictions...I think I lost points. Oh well...that happens sometimes. I'm not there to make friends, I'm there to help them get better, right?

I'm debating about whether to work this weekend or not. The money would be nice, but so would some time off. The county fair starts maybe I'll go check it out. I'll decide later. Have I ever mentioned I love the flexibility of my job...haha. :)

My week started out wonderfully after seeing Tony Stewart win yet another race. Go #20!!! Dale Jr. stillhas a shot of winning it all. Only 3 races left. Go #8!!!!

It's finally getting a little cooler out, I love the time change....feels like winter is coming. Less than 2 months until Christmas...woo hoo. This is my favorite time of the year...Thanksgiving & Christmas.

Hope everyone had a great Halloween & that you have a wonderful weekend!