Friday, December 21, 2012

Wayyyy Toooo Longggg

Just like that...time flew by again.  I swear this entire year was over in 5 minutes.  Is this what it is like as we get older?  Even on my days off where I do nothing but lay around & watch tv....are over in an instant.  Crazy, just crazy.

I have been working nearly a full time schedule the last few months.  I was hoping to make some extra money, but somehow I have nothing extra & I've been relying way too much on a credit card to pay bills.  I have been debt free for the last 8 yrs & then bam...this year I'm no longer debt free.  I make the same amount of money, yet everything costs more.  It isn't fair.  I blame it on gas & supermarkets.  Because other than a couple of cruises this year, I haven't really done anything.  Barely even stayed at any hotels like I usually do.  Where does the money go???

I'm already working on my New Year's Resolutions.  One...stop biting my nails. out, eat healthier.  Three...stop spending all my money.

I think I just discovered where a large amount of money just went....concert tickets!  I gotta have some fun.  Thing is, I end up buying 4 tickets in the VIP seating & then don't have the heart to make my friends or family pay anything.  I need to stop being so generous.  With that being said...I have a great lineup.  Justin Bieber, Luke Bryan, Pink & Maroon 5 in the next 3 months.  Woo hoo!!!!!!!  Then I'm done with concerts for the year.  Seriously.  Done.

I've been wanting to do the theme park thing, but there's just a few problems.  I hate crowds.  I hate theme parks during hot weather.  I hate how much they now charge to get into these hot, crowded theme parks.   I cannot begin to imagine how much it costs these families that come down for a week & stay at the Disney hotels & hit all the theme parks.   It has to be between $5,000 & $10,000...easily.  How do they do it?  They offer us Florida residents season passes for just a little more than the cost of a one-day ticket.  Once I've been to a park, I don't feel like going again anytime soon.  I haven't even been to Aquatica!  Again, the crowds.  I can't stand them.

Work has been going fine.  I don't let anything get to me.  They tell us we're great, then they tell us we have to do more.  Whatever.  Now they are on our case if the patient even uses their call light at all.  So dumb.  I had a patient last week that was scheduled for a colonoscopy & was drinking the GoLytely prep.  He was using a bedpan that he could put himself on & call me when he was done.  Worked out perfectly.  The next day in our breakroom...there was a piece of paper showing the number of call lights with our (the nurses) name next to it.  My patient had used his call light 13 times....the horror!  So I told my manager the reason behind it cause I'm sure she thought I was slacking.  Her reply "good to know the reason you fell out of meeting your patient's needs."  Huh???  What???  I was doing exactly what he needed...exactly when he needed it.  Did she expect me to spend all night in his room waiting to empty the bedpan?  How creepy would that be if I was the lurking nurse while he was having to deal with constant bowel movements?  Oh well, no biggie....not letting it get to me.

I can't believe it has been 8 years since I graduated nursing school.  It really has gone by so fast.  Have a Merry Christmas everyone!  Say a prayer for the families in Newtown, CT. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catching Up

Wowsers...can't believe it has been nearly 3 months since I posted.  Sorry!  I'm still around.  Time to catch up:

**I'm still at the same hospital....over 3 years now.  Time really does fly.  Glad my old hospital was so unorganized in the hiring process, because now they are laying nurses off.  Crazy!  I was pretty upset back in March with my current hospital, but I adopted a new attitude....I'm just not going to let anything from work get to me.  Life is too short & I do not thrive on stress.  So even if I'm having a bad night, when I walk out the door...I leave it all behind at the hospital.  And we have had a crazy year...the hospital has been full & the admin stretch us to take more patients than we should.  But with my new attitude, I survive.  I love my co-workers & my flexible work schedule.  So I shall stay for now.

**I took a cruise back in August.  It was awesome.  I love cruising & the only things on my mind is what to eat & what to drink.  Such a simple life.  

**I went to my 25th high school reunion last month.  I was a little nervous about it because I really didn't hang out with too many people in my class. All my best friends were a year ahead of me.  Regardless, thanks to facebook, I have been in contact with quite a few & it certainly made the reunion more fun.  There was no "who are you?"  They all knew who I was thanks to my charming fb personality.  :)  I had a great time.  Even ran into an old crush & we flirted quite a bit.  Takes me right back to those high school days, except I was too shy & innocent to flirt back then.  So basically I got to act the way I wanted to now with they way I felt back then.  Does that make sense?  It was all in fun.

**The boyfriend...we're still together...sort of.  Our problem is the distance.  He's over 2 hours away which I realize is barely anything, but is not right here by me.  I don't want to move there, he doesn't want to move here.....but we love one another, we get along great, I have never been so open & felt so loved ever before.  That counts for something.  At the same time, I get frustrated that I don't get to see him more often.  I've tried to break up in hope of finding someone more local, but if any of you have tried the dating pool definitely isn't easy & the older I get, the stranger the men get.  So again, I have decided I'm not stressing out over this.  If it is meant to be, somehow something will change & we will be together more often or I'll move on with someone else.  I'm not going to worry about it.

**I'm still debating about whether to go for my Bachelor's in Nursing.  The rumor of Associate's Degrees being phased out & you won't be able to get a job without a Bachelor's Degree is going around.  I have no desire to go into administration or anything else in nursing.  I just want to do bedside nursing & not get caught up in the aggravation that comes with moving to the next level.  Plus I don't want to do anymore school work.  On the other hand, I think one or two classes a semester isn't that is more busy work (papers/projects) than anything else.  I'll think it over some more.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yeppppp....still around

Wow oh is time just flying on by.  Bullet time...

***Work has amazingly gone well the last 6 weeks or so.  I have been working mostly full-time hours & so far, so good...nothing bad has happened.  I hope I haven't just jinxed myself.  I work the next 3 nights in a row.

***I have discovered Brighton jewelry....sometimes I wish I hadn't. ($$$)

***I have also been influenced by my niece in regards to Vera Bradley merchandise.  Again, sometimes I wish I hadn't.  ($$$)

***I can officially say I am tan!!!!!!!  Many hours dedicated to lounging has not been easy.  (Are you feeling sorry for me yet?)  However, tonight I have opted to use the lotion with a little bronzer in it.  :)

***Magic Mike...overrated.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching a man like Tatum Channing dance & strip, but the plot was dumbbbbbbbbb.  And I hear they are making a part II.  

***Katy Perry movie...underrated.  That has been one of the best movies/documentaries I have ever seen.  I went into it thinking it would semi-suck & that I'd enjoy the music since I loved her concert.  I was pleasantly surprised...she even had me crying...happy tears & sad tears.  I can't even count the number of times I got the chills either.  It was either really touching or I was pms'ing.

***My thyroid is finally straightened this I mean my TSH is back in a normal zone.  I don't feel much different except my elbows don't seem so dry & I am not having hot flashes anymore.  I seriously thought I was starting perimenopause with how hot I would feel & waking up sweaty....not to mention the sweating at work.  Ugh. 

***With that being said, I have not lost anymore weight.  Total lost since April 1 is 23 lbs.  But 20 lbs were when my thyroid was all screwed up & I shouldn't have been able to lose anything.  The last 3 lbs....I keep going up & down.  I haven't even weighed in the last 3 weeks because I haven't lost anything.  I still need to get into a regular exercise habit - I plan on joining the YMCA.  I want to do the kickboxing & zumba.  I know I can do them at home, but I also know that being out in public...I am more likely to keep going instead of sitting down & quitting when I get tired.  I also need to start walking.  I'm not giving up!

***Best of all....I leave on a Caribbean cruise in 12 days!!!!!!  I CANNOT WAIT.  I'm going with my niece, my friend & her two kids.  Oh & maybe my  He's a friend of my friend & next thing I know, I'm booking him a cabin on the same cruise.  Should be interesting.................

Monday, May 28, 2012

Boring Bullets

**Still not a word from the old hospital.  I don't even bother calling them.  I'll let time go by & if I get the desire to switch later in the year, then I'll call.  Right now everything is ok.

**Spent the weekend at my parents house.  Love the sun, dislike the tropical storms.  Oh well, guess we need some rain sometimes.

**There are absolutely no good movies coming out this summer.  How is that possible?  Guess this is one way of keeping me from my theater popcorn with butter...or whatever that liquid is that they serve.

**I've lost a total of 20 lbs with Weight Watchers.  I am not doing all that I am supposed to be doing.  Like I don't really track points nor do I exercise anywhere near what I should be doing...but I consider this baby steps.  I have cut out just about all fast food.  My only weakness is Chick-fil-a.  And I'm just a lot smarter about what I'm eating.  I'll up the exercise here soon enough.

**I found out I am extremely hypothyroid.  I have had thyroid issues since I was a child, but apparently I'm not taking enough medication or maybe I just forget sometimes...but my TSH was 25 when it should be below 5.  So we've upped the thyroid meds.  I don't notice any difference.  Like I wasn't symptomatic even with barely any metabolism.  I'm hoping to notice something for the positive though.  We'll see.

**I'm not sure it's over with the bf.  I just don't know.  It's not easy walking away from someone that is like your biggest cheerleader & has done nothing deliberately wrong.  As most things in my life...we'll see what happens.

**Work has been alright.  Our hospital is overflowing with patients.  I really don't know where they get them from.  It is kinda crazy.  

Monday, May 7, 2012


Still no word from my old hospital.  I've given up on them.  It should not take  over 2 months to hire an experienced nurse who not only knows their computer charting system & works for the same "chain" of hospitals...but also one that worked there for 4 years with a spotless record & knows the hospital.  Ridiculous.  I'm taking it as a sign to stay put.  Doesn't mean I'll stop complaining about work & administration, but I'm staying put.  

Speaking of admin, now they plan to videotape us simulating doing our "rounds."  And then they plan to force us to watch it.  Can you say ugh???  I mean really...this is getting insane.  I wonder how many other administrators are going to be watching it...looking for flaws.  It isn't fair.  They want to blame us if the patients aren't happy, yet they won't provide us with the appropriate staffing to meet the needs of these same patients.  I am human, I can only do so much.  Sigh.

In a turn of events, I broke up with the bf.  He lives 2 1/2 hrs away & I hardly ever see what's the point?  I told him it feels more like a fantasy relationship & unless he's willing to make it more of a reality, bye.  I don't even feel sad or bad.  It will be hard to break the routine of being in touch all day, but I imagine after a few days or weeks...I'll be fine.  

Still going to Weight Watchers.  I've lost a total of 13 lbs I think.  I'm kinda stuck at the moment, but then again...I have yet to work out & I know that is necessary.  Mentally I'm all for working out, but to actually do it...ugh.  I know I'll like the feeling afterwards...all those endorphins & such, but getting started is tough.  I have to stop thinking & just do it.

My paycheck has been awful this month....between taking 3 shifts off because of my back (which feels perfectly fine now...yay) & leaving early whenever they ask if anyone wants to go home....let's just say my bank account is not happy.  My peace of mind is though.  I signed up to work full-time all through the month of June.  Gotta make some money.

Three months until my Caribbean cruise....yay!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interview Complete

I had my interview this morning.  It was with a manager that had started a couple years after I left.  So she was explaining the unit to me, which in my head I thought was hilarious as this was the exact unit I left 3 years ago.  She didn't build it up...she said it was fast-paced, that the doctors can usually be jerks & there isn't much she can do about it...that she's tried with no success & that it is pretty much primary care nursing even though we usually have a tech.  We also talked about patient satisfaction scores & how ridiculous the government is allowing it to become.  At my current hospital...they want to videotape us "rounding" so we can see how we really are.  As if being followed with a camera won't throw us off at all.  Ugh, what more can they come up with??????  I should stop asking that question.

Anyways, I felt the interview went fine except she wasn't sure they had anymore night positions open.  Ugh.  So she suggested days & although it is not my first choice...I will leave it in God's hands.  Maybe days would be better for me.  The thought of having a normal sleep schedule sounds like paradise...but the thought of not having that night time pay differential sounds like a nightmare.  Oh is out of my hands.  I just know I want out of where I'm at & soon.  If not, I have an IV checkoff to do, net learning to do, a "treasure hunt" to do...ugh...just let me be a nurse & leave me alone.  Hopefully I'll hear something soon.  This definitely is not the best time to be applying for nursing jobs....the spring/summer census is dropping as all our "snow birds" are going back up north.  Oh well.....whatever is meant to be will happen.

My back is a million times better.  I am grateful for Tramadol.  It allowed me to feel human again.

Weigh-in tomorrow morning...I'm thinking I lost at least 4 lbs.  It hasn't been that hard far.  I still need to add in exercise soon.  :)

Monday, April 23, 2012


I have been working on my house & moving furniture.  As a result, I really messed up my  lower back.  I have called out on 3 shifts...which I hate doing, but the first two shifts....I could barely walk from my bed to the bathroom.  And I feel better tonight (a week later), but I have hardly been out of wasn't sure I would be able to handle 12 hours of moving around.  I'll go in tomorrow.  I have pain medicine and muscle relaxers which are helping tremendously.  I am convinced now that I have got to lose some weight & also find some exercises that strengthen my back.  I'm also convinced this is a result of being a nurse & not having tech help.  I'm physically exhausted after working.  Hopefully I'll be ok tomorrow night.  I have like 10 days off until my next shift.

On a somewhat brighter note, my old hospital called on Friday.  I swear it feels like  I didn't answer, but she left a message saying she wanted to give me the latest status update.  I'm not sure if that is good or bad.  I'll call tomorrow.  I wanted to be sure I could actually move around like a normal person just in case they wanted me to come in for another interview.  And as of Friday, I wasn't convinced I'd be feeling better.  I really do want to come back to this hospital.  I'll be taking a pay cut, but the work won't be so physically demanding either, since they do have techs.  And I'll only be 5 miles away from work as opposed to 25 miles.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Speaking of losing weight, I started Weight Watchers on April 1st.  I've lost 11 lbs.  I have yet to exercise - didn't want to shock my body as I changed my eating habits.  As soon as my back allows, I will be walking & doing some cardio work-outs.  I have a lot to lose, but right now my short-term goal is 30 lbs by June 1st.  I'll re-evaluate once I reach that goal.  :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blah blah blah

I still have yet to hear anything more from my old hospital. I'm taking it as a sign as I don't belong. I mean if they are this disorganized with the hiring process, I can only imagine this is a reflection of the entire organization. I mean this area is in great need of experienced nurses. So when the chance to hire one comes along, they snap you up pretty quickly....except that place. Oh well, it is making me think of other nicu or mother/baby type units. I'm in no rush. Lately work has been pretty good & we have evals coming up which means raises. So I shall stick around while still thinking of other units that might meet my needs in the near future.

I have slept non-stop the last 2 days...not sure why. Maybe I'm fighting a cold. I have the same icky cough I started with last August. It's all in my throat, not my chest...but it is icky sounding & tasting. Let's hope it passes. I don't have the patience to be sick.

Our HCAHPS scores for the first quarter are better than they are off our case for now. Those scores are so unrealistic that I'm not sure how it is even possible. The two categories we need to improve to patient communication and cleanliness. Tell does that become the nurses responsibility? They told us "WE" need to work on it. I say the doctors & housekeepers need to work on it. Nurses have 6 of their own categories to work on, we don't need other staff members categories added on to ours. We can't do it all!

Tomorrow I'm gonna go weigh in. I know I've lost a few pounds. I've been eating so much fruit & salad. My body is craving Chick-fil-a. My mind is looking forward to Olive Garden tomorrow afternoon. Gonna go visit the parents & take my mom to lunch & shop. I also get to see my puppy dog. I had a dream last night that I let her run I opened my car door & let her jump out & leave. Then the rest of the dream I spent trying to find her. Two weird things....people kept sending me where they thought she was & I'd see a dog that looked 95% like her...very vividly in the dream. Yet I was calling out the name of my dog I had before her. I woke up all confused & a little sad...but once I realized she really hadn't run away, I was ok. It just felt so real. She stays mostly at my parents house now because her & my dad are super attached to one another. He's going on vacation soon, so I'll have her back for a little while. She just looks so bored at my house as opposed to his.

I still have the guy, but I'm kind of annoyed with him again. I don't think he even realizes it cause I haven't said anything. Then again, maybe it's pms that has me annoyed & he just is my focus as a result. Being a woman is soooooo much fun!

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm Backkkkkkk

The cruise was awesome....but went by way too fast. I have another one planned...for 7 days, but that isn't until August. Seems so far away!

Update on the job situation....well, I heard from the old hospital & it seems they have decided to eliminate the Baylor weekend option. Ugh. This always seems to happen just as I get interested in it. So that is out the door. They asked if I was interested in full time & they offered me an hourly rate that is just under $3 less than what I'm currently making. Ridiculous that there is that much of a difference. I said despite that, I'm still interested. I figured with less money spent on gas & less time as far as driving (10 minutes vs. 40 min), that I could live with making less money. So she went on to say that since there is a new manager taking over April 1, that she needs to see if the new manager would like to interview me or just take the recommendation from the interim manager that has already interviewed me. That was last Tuesday. I haven't heard another word.

And wouldn't you know it, at my current hospital...the last 3 weeks have been wonderful. Not easy, but not overwhelming either. So now I'm left wondering what to do. I'm leaning towards staying....mostly because it is my comfort zone. Going to a different hospital is like starting at a new school. One of my friends was going to make the switch too, but now she's had stuff come up & she can't make any changes right now. I don't know what to do.

So I decided to re-join Weight Watchers. Perhaps if my main focus is on something other than work, things will be better. And I need to lose weight & exercise. Enough stressing about work, I'm determined to get back to being me. I figure the rest will fall into place (hopefully).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bon Voyage

Quick update before I leave on my road trip to Miami to take a cruise to the Bahamas over the weekend. :)

I interviewed with my old hospital last week. The manager (who is someone I helped train when he became a nurse) said he would love to have me back. That was last Wednesday. He called on Monday asking if I wanted full time or Baylor (weekends only option). I told him I preferred Baylor. He said he was hoping full time. I ended up telling him I could be flexible & do full time if that was what he needed. He said he had to talk to "them" & would be in touch. I haven't heard a word since. I don't know who "them" is either. Oh well, whatever is meant to be will happen.

And wouldn't you know it...the last 2 weeks at my current job have been really good. Figures!

Anywaysssssss....taking a much needed vacation with my two best friends. We have never done this before. I defintely need it! Bon Voyage everyone!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thank You!

Just wanted to thank my fellow blogger nurses for your kind words & understanding. While I'm glad to see that my emotions/reactions are appropriate, it also saddens me that others are in the same frustrated positions. I wish the public could understand all the pressures a nurse is under instead of assuming we hardly do anything but talk & play on the computer. Your support helps me tremendously!

I got a call from my old hospital yesterday....yessssss! Although I'm not convinced that this is going to be an amazing transition, any change right now would be helpful. One of my friends from nursing school is ready to quit the old hospital cause she's sick of management. She won't give me specifics though. I would just be grateful to have some help from patient care techs. I have to call the recruiter back this morning & hopefully set up an interview for next week.

I just realized that I self-scheduled myself to work the next 5 out of 7 days...ugh. Oh well...I have a day off inbetween on Sunday & Tuesday. I'll get thru it. I'm in a better state of mind...after having the last 9 days off. :)

I turned 43 yesterday. It was an easy, relaxing day......dinner at Red Lobster. Time with my family. Much better than last year when I was worried about my niece being around her mother's loser bf.

So once again....thank know who you are. :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

A little better

I'm still recovering from the emotions of last week. I've also been rereading my blog...the past year & seeing how I've tried my best to make this work, but seems things are getting worse instead of better. That reinforces my decision that it is probably best to change things up. Changing my attitude simply isn't enough in this situation. Hard to believe that my "hope" is that my old hospital will take me back. I still remember the frustration I had there. I also remember shortstaffing wasn't one of the reasons. So my priorities have shifted, but my focus has not. All I want is to go to work, do my job & come home. I don't care about the corporate ladder or becoming a charge nurse. I want to clock in for 12 hours, clock out & live my life. No drama, no b.s., no administration type stuff.

I applied online at the old hospital. Got my fingers crossed they give me a call or an email or however it is done these days. The ad had just been posted on Feb. 28, so I figure they should at least give me a shot, right? I'll keep you informed.

I had my 15 yr old niece over for the weekend. She is good at distracting me from the realities of life. Our main focus was food & what to watch on tv or at the movies. Well, we had planned to get some sun as Saturday was beautiful.......instead we got our haircut & watched Lifetime. It's the simple things in life, isn't it? I also changed the cabin on our cruise in August. Got one a little bigger. What the heck? Why not? August 4th can't get here soon enough. Luckily, my 3 night cruise is less than 3 weeks away. Yessssssss! March 22......getting away with my bff's for a girl's weekend. Definitely what I'm needing/focusing on right now.

I'm off until Friday. My 43rd b-day is on Wednesday. Nothing too special planned. Lunch or dinner with the family. I'm not one for making a big deal out of b-days. I'm actually looking forward to a day or two of time to myself. I do need to get a massage...only because I was given a gift card on my last birthday for's not that I don't like massages, I just am not crazy about them. I guess now is when I really could use one though. So Monday or Tuesday I will get it done. Hoping to get a little bit of sun too...need a pre-tan before the cruise. The weather is supposed to be really nice the next few days. See....I'm simple. And I know I'll get through this. Just a bump in the road. :)

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lost It. Sigh.

I officially lost work that is. Last night was a combination of pms + disrespect + work overload + whiny drug addicted patients = me crying at work. :( It is pretty safe to say that I am approaching that dreaded nursing burnout phase. Sigh.

I can't change seems as I get older, the symptoms get worse...especially the crying & hot flashes & sweating. Ugh. It isn't pretty & the 40's definitely are NOT better. Sigh.

Disrespect....that came from an idiot cardiologist. We are required to report all critical lab values....doesn't matter what time it is. Well, last night I had a critical Troponin to report. The patient is renal & I have learned at this hospital that if a patient has renal issues....the doctors really disregard the Troponin results. Leaves me to wonder why they even order it then, but anyways.........our normal value is below 0.03, my patient's result was 0.5. It wasn't extremely high, but comes up as a critical value. So I call it to the cardiologist who immediately gives me attitude. "Why are you waking me up for this?" Because the hospital requires me to report all critical lab values. "This is ridiculous. You call & wake me up to report something you already know will be elevated?????????" Yes, the hospital requires me to do so. "This is INSANITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" At this point, I wanted to hang up...but I didn't. Next time I think I will. I'm the messenger, dude. I didn't create the problem, I am just doing what I am required to do. This isn't anything new. The doctors know this & they know not to be rude to us. While I may agree with him & I really didn't want to call had to be done. A simple "thank you" & hang up would have sufficed. Sigh.

I had two new admissions who were begging for pain medication. By begging, I mean screaming as loud as they could & continuously begging/whining. One I was able to meet his needs. His blood pressure was good, I managed to talk the physician assistant on call to give me some options to work with because I was not going to let my patient scream out in pain all night. It was my third shift in a row & I'm pms'ing = no tolerance. Gave him 1 mg of Morphine & everything was good for about 6 hours with him. Thank goodness. Sigh.

My other patient....not the same story. She is a frequent flyer & while she does have back issues that no doubt cause her pain, I prefer her to be alive with pain than to be dead with no pain. 10 days ago at one of our other hospitals her heart stopped because they gave her too much pain medication. Somehow they managed to save her (she coded 3 times) & she had zero brain damage in the process. I'll never understand that. Anyways, the good ol' ER nurse promised her that I would give her whatever pain medication she needed when she got to the floor. Not a good sign. Her blood pressure when she got to my floor was in the 70's as was her 02 sat as she didn't feel like wearing oxygen anymore & they said ok. Sigh. All she's doing is begging for Morphine. I explain to her that until she's stable, NO PAIN MEDICATION. After about an hour, her blood pressure was back up to about 116/70 and her 02 sat on 3L was 95%. Ok, here you go....1 mg of IV Morphine. Not super strong, but like I said earlier - I prefer my patients to stay alive. Amazingly the doctor came by around midnight & was able to order me the things I needed.....nebulizer treatments, Tylenol (for fever), pt's home meds. She asks him to increase her Morphine dose...which he does to 2 mg. She's happy, until I recheck her BP & now she's in the low 90's. Sorry, more pain medication for you. She's crying that she wants to go home if this is how I'm going to treat her. Sigh. It's so great to be a nurse!

Every half hour she's asking me to recheck her blood pressure, which never makes it above 99 systolic. She finally stops asking when it reaches 89/44. Well, she stops asking me to check her blood pressure, but it doesn't stop her screaming out for pain medication & how awful I'm treating her. So much for patient satisfaction. I guarantee our scores next month will be awful with patients like these. I go in at 6:45 am to empty her foley cath & draw blood out of her central line. She asks again about checking her blood pressure & I tell her we are just about to go into shift change & her next nurse will have to assess her first. Now if this were a normal patient with a normal blood pressure.......I would have given her pain medication. But knowing 10 days ago she coded from pain medication....I wasn't about to medicate her & then go into shift change for 20-30 min with no one checking on her. That's why I deferred it to the day nurse. My patient again started demanding to go home.......saying what is the purpose of being here. I don't think this lady could stand on her own two feet at this point, so I don't know how she was planning to get up & leave. Didn't matter, by this point...I was mentally checked out. Sigh.

I broke down around 12:30 am. I literally had not sat down since 7 pm except to chart my patient's vital signs. Nothing else was done. None of the admission stuff, none of the assessments, none of the plan of cares...nothing. I pictured I would be there till 10 am doing all this stuff & after being yelled at by the cardiologist.....I went into the bathroom & just started crying. :( I couldn't help. Jeez. I could cry right now...which makes me even more aware that it is pms & stress & not directly related to any one incident. Luckily, my good friend was the charge nurse last night & helped me quite a bit as far as she got my patient's vital signs at midnight and another nurse checked a blood sugar for me so I could just sit & catch up on charting. She also gave me a hug, which made me cry more. She gets it though. She & I were the ones that left our old hospital first because we were fed up with the stress & just recently she has been wanting me to get on board with going back to the old hospital together. I was hesitant, but after last night & the last month/year........I am just about to re-apply to the old hospital. Cause even though administration sucked over there, the patient load was not this bad. Sigh.

I am soooooooooo sick of primary nursing. We, nurses, need help. I shouldn't be doing respiratory treatments or emptying trash or cleaning up the patient's rooms or reminding doctor's to do their part or making sure lab is on time or putting in orders. Just because "I can" doesn't mean "I should be required to do everyone else's job." I am all for taking care of my patients, but it has to be balanced with all the charting we have to do. And lately with all the emphasis on patient satisfaction, it is taking away from our ability to be nurses & to use our critical thinking skills. Even last night as my patient is begging to be overdosed on pain meds, in the back of my mind I'm thinking "our hcahps scores are gonna suck next month"........I shouldn't have to think about that crap. I have been so forgetful lately that I thought it was all just a part of aging or I'm beginning early Alzheimer's..........but I totally think I am just overwhelmed at work. And all we hear back is that we aren't doing enough....the patients must be "ALWAYS" satisfied. That is impossible. Who is ALWAYS satisfied with everything...especially in a hospital? Correction...a purposely understaffed hospital? We floated our nurses to another floor because they were short.......which left our floor short. Is that fair?????????? Sigh.

And one more thing to vent.........we have no patient care techs. So our patient ratio is supposed to be 3 patients to 1 nurse. Mind you, these are usually total care type patients with multiple don't think having only 3 patients is a breeze. It's doable, but it isn't easy without any help. They told us "occasionally" you might have to take a 4th patient. By "occasionally" they mean just about every shift you work as well as every other nurse on the floor will have to do that too. So now we have 4 total care patients & no help. It's too much. And then they tell us we still have to do more to make the patient's and their families happy because 60% of our patient satisfaction surveys are filled out by a family member. WTF? How can they judge patient satisfaction if they aren't the patient? That should not be allowed!!!!!!! Sigh.

I don't know that going back to the old hospital is the best option, but it is pretty much my only option - if they'll even have me back. All I know is that they do have patient care techs and the nurses are not doing the respiratory techs jobs either. I'm also wondering if nursing is something I'll be able to do the rest of my working life. Not if this is what it's going to be like. I don't thrive off stress. My mind is worn out & my body physically aches. I'm moody, I complain. This is not me. I'm usually the easiest going person in the world & full of smiles. Now I absolutely dread going to work & count the hours until I can go home. I love my co-workers, but it isn't enough to survive. Wish I could work from home. Sigh.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another First

Ever taken care of a doctor before? I hadn't, but I have now. While she was as pleasant as one could be in her condition, it is not something I want to do again anytime soon. I didn't treat her any different than any other patient, but there is just a weirdness taking care of someone you sort of work with. I don't really like it.

All the nurses did our "rounding" checkoff. It is insane. My hospital is under the belief that if a patient ever uses the call light...the nurse must not be rounding properly. I am not kidding you that I am considered in the "warning" area because since the beginning of the year, I get an average of 5 call lights a WEEK. Not a shift...but in a week. That is less than 2 call lights in 12 hours of working. You would think that would be pretty damn good, but nope. They want a max of 1-2 a week, but preferably 0. Let me remind you, the nurse call button is right next to all the tv controls. Sigh. We used to be able to give the patients our phone number so they could call & ask for whatever they needed, but now administration has taken that away from us also. I wish these so called administrators would spend a week in the real nursing world so they could see that these idiotic ideas they come up with are ridiculous.

So with all this work frustration, I came home & did the only thing I thought to do. Start cruise shopping. Yep, time for me to plan a cruise vacation so I have something to look forward to & something to inspire me to get through each shift. As it turns out, I now have 2 cruises to look forward to. A short 3 night cruise at the end of March and a 7 night cruise in August. I cannot wait!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

First Time

The other night was the first time I actually felt something emotionally for a patient. That might sound let me tell you more. 99.999999% of the time I can do my job without forming any emotional attachment whatsoever. Within a week, I have usually forgotten who I've even taken care of. That's not to say I don't connect with my patients. I do....I am very easy to talk to & get along with & I know my patients appreciate that. The blonde hair & blue eyes doesn't hurt either. I don't think I've ever had a patient ever complain about me to anyone. If they have, I never heard about it. Maybe it's because I know customer service & that is exactly what healthcare is turning into. We may not be able to save your life, but as long as the patient feels like we kissed their ass....that seems to be all that matters. Don't even get me started on patient satisfaction.

I got this patient as a new onset of 2nd degree heart block type 1....wenckebach. I don't see it very often, so I was somewhat worried & wondering how long before she slipped into 3rd degree heart block. She was an older lady, in her late 80's...lived at home alone. A jokester...she was asking for rum & coke as soon as she got to the room. She had a line for everything & while at times that can be annoying, she was cute. Her blood pressure was stable, her heart rate was ranging from 48 to 58. So far she was non-symptomatic, although she did have some dizziness earlier. I spoke with the on call cardio nurse practitioner & faxed her the EKG. She called back & told me to keep a close eye on this patient. Uhhhh, ok. Quit scaring me.

Off to sleep she goes & it isn't long for her heart rate to drop into the 30's. Eeekkk....I don't like it. So I do what I normally wouldn't do...I woke her up. She talked & talked & talked. I listen & listened & listened. I felt for her. She belongs in an assisted living facility, but she owns a home that will not sell. Therefore, she can't afford an assisted living facility. She also has no family around. So she relies on taxies & acquaintances to help her get to the doctors appts, the grocery store, to clean her house. It broke my heart. It made me think about how many of our elderly population is in the same boat. How many are living alone......feeling lonely & having to trust that these mere acquaintances aren't taking advantage of them? How many are being taken advantage of & possibly abused alone with it. She went on to tell me she had 13 brothers & sisters & the celebrations they had when they were younger. Just sad that their final days are spent so alone. I don't know if she had children, she never spoke of them & I figured it wasn't my place to ask. If she does though...I have to wonder how they can just abandon their mother like that. I could never do that. I finally exhausted the poor lady from all her talking & told her to get some sleep. I walked over to the monitor to check her heart rate & rhythm....wouldn't you know it...she converted back to a normal sinus rhythm!!!!!! Heart rate was in the 70's. That doesn't mean she couldn't slip back into the heart block....but it did mean I could breathe a little easier the rest of the shift.

I had a patient two days earlier....nearly 100 yrs old. She was easy to care for. Her son, however, was not. When I say that I would have preferred to jump off a bridge as opposed to listen to him talk....I am not kidding. This guy talked & talked & talked & talked. I was ready to bang my head against the wall as he never shut up...ever. If he wasn't talking to me, he was talking to his mother or the secretary or the patient in the next room or anyone that walked by the room. He never shut up. And he was one of those that thought he knew it all too. Around 9:30 pm he finally said he was gonna go home & get some sleep. Great! Bye!!!!!!!!!! Two hours later he was back & fully recharged to talk more. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even as my shift was over & I was in the elevator to leave, he was holding open the elevator door to talk to me some more. I nicknamed him chatty Cathy. I also refused to take his mother back as a patient ever again. I just could not take anymore non-stop chatter.

On a bright note, I have stopped stressing about work. I figure all hospital administrations suck, so I may as well get used to it & make the best of it. I did a little research of my own on this HCAPHS/patient satisfaction stuff. And while my hospital tries to tell us they won't get any reimbursement from the govt if we aren't super high scoring on the turns out we are talking 1%. They will take a 1% cut if they are a low scoring hospital. I'm sure that is millions, but it's not what I was picturing....that the hospital would be getting no compensation. I think their goals are too hospital wants to score 85% or higher. Ummmm....who usually fills out surveys? Happy people? NO. Mad people? YES. Cause they want someone to know why they were unhappy. Drug addicts? YES. Because we will never be able to meet their pain requirements. Disgruntled family members? YES. Because they seem to think the hospital is a hotel & nothing we do is good enough. Oh well............I'm letting that stress go. Not gonna worry about it anymore.

Things with my guy......a mess. I think I've broken up with him like 5 times in the last 2 months. Funny thing is, he never believes me. He doesn't leave. He also doesn't get mad, which I guess is good for me. I, however, seem annoyed a lot. I'm not so sure it is all his fault. I am giving him credit for being patient & loving me even when it is the last thing I want or deserve.

And when I say I'm not so sure it is his fault...I am convinced I have started perimenopause. Yes, at 42.....I feel like I have hot flashes & moodiness. My period which use to last a max of 3 days is now dragged out over a week. I can cry for absolutely no reason. Like just last night I was watching something on tv & tears came to my eyes. It wasn't even anything sad or touching. In fact, I don't even remember what it was! And the cruel thing about all this......I know when it is happening. Like I know when I am acting irrational, that I truly am irrational. It isn't like I display this behavior & days later I realize I was wrong. I know in the moment that my behavior is not normal. I'm usually so calm & easy going....not much gets to me. The last few months....forget that! And no, it isn't mental illness either. I'm not doing anything inappropriate or detrimental. It's just the moodiness. And the hot flashes. Don't even get me started on the night sweats. I thought this stuff didn't start until at least 50. Sigh.

Ok, enough of this depressing stuff. This week I only work Sunday & Monday. On Wednesday I'm having lunch with my mom, aunt & sister-in-law. After that I'm planning to spend a few days in Orlando relaxing poolside. I hope the weather cooperates. I was going to bring my niece, but now I think I will just take a few days to myself...where I don't have to care for anyone but me. I hope that gets me out of this funk.

One thing that definitely lifted my mood was LUKE BRYAN. He was in concert this past Sunday with Jason Aldean. He is amazing! I felt so much better after the concert.

Have a good week!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Little Moody

Feels like forever since I last posted. Sorry about that. Time continues to fly by. I mean Christmas Eve was nearly 2 weeks ago....and now we are ending our first week of January. Goes by way too quick.

Last weekend at work...ugh, it was not one of my better times. I felt overwhelmed. Not by nursing, but by all of the non-nursing things we are expected to handle. I had a Baker Act (someone on a 72 hour psych hold) that was to be transferred to a psych facility when medically stable. Well, the MD signed the discharge...even though she wasn't medically stable. So the psych facility refuses to take her but tells me "I" need to get the order to cancel the transfer. Why? Why do "I" need to get that order? I have 9023480932 other things to do. Seems like it should have been something case management could handle, but nope. Repeated phone calls to the nurse practitioner on call who refuses to give that order & insists the order is "psych facility refuses patient." Uhhh, that's not an order. After spending nearly an hour of my time getting this "order", I gave up & deferred it to my charge nurse who had to get the nursing supervisor involved. The order never was written either...sigh.

The next night I still had this Baker Act & then got another Baker Act...this one was a crackhead. I'm not exaggerating. He smokes crack, doesn't take his much needed medication, comes to the hospital complaining of chest pain, weakness & acid reflux. He does this about twice a week...for the last 3 years straight. I'm not kidding. At some point, a hospital should be able to say "sorry buddy, no aren't allowed here for this same condition any more." Only I guess hospitals aren't allowed to do that. So I got the pleasure of dealing with this crackhead coming down off a high, his throat burning as though it were on fire & his attitude that I am there to SERVE him. Uhhhhhhh, check that attitude at the door. I have no sympathy for someone in his condition. He puts himself there. You don't want a bad case of acid reflux? Then don't smoke crack cause it breaks down the lining in your esophagus. And don't tell me you're nauseous as you finish off your 10th bowl of cereal in 4 hours, your four ice creams, your 15 fruit juices and ask me for a pepsi & chicken noodle soup inbetween complaining of nausea. I'm not buying it, nor do I feel bad for you. And I sympathize even less when you refuse to allow me or my staff to do anything...refused vital signs, refused heart monitor, refused lab draw. Time for you to go buddy. This is a hospital, not a hotel. Not to mention he got all up in my charge nurse's face for absolutely no reason. She was brave (maybe stupid), but I wasn't about to challenge someone coming down off a high with an unstable psych history who wasn't taking his meds. Nope, my life is too important to me.

And my third youngest patient was 87. I felt like I was caring for triplets. As soon as I'd get one settled and quiet, the other two would act up. It just reminded me as to how much I miss having techs on the floor. Life would be a better place if we'd get techs back.

Which leads me to question if this is the place I want to stay. I feel like I'm getting burnt out. I'm getting frustrated. Not so much by all the intense hands on patient care (which is tiring & my back aches), but by how micromanaged our hospital now is by administration. We are having a mandatory seminar on how to round on a patient. And if that's not enough, we have to get checked off also. Soooooooooo stupidddddddddddd!!!!! And now they are criticizing us if our patients use the call light more than once a shift.....because that makes them think that we are ignoring our patients if they actually have to use the call light. Isn't the call light there so they can call us when they need us?

And I don't think it reflects badly if they use the call light. I had one patient that wasn't steady on his feet. So I asked that he call me before getting up to use the bathroom. And each time, he sure enough remembered to call me. That is the purpose of the call light. Not for me to pop in every 10 minutes & ask if he has to go to the bathroom (as if I even have the time to do that). Or watch him while he's sleeping...just in case he should wake & need to use the bathroom. It is ridiculous. And the scripting....I should be an actress. It is like they are trying to turn us into Stepford Nurses & make us all generic & interchangeable. Ummmm, we're human!

Sorry, I'm kinda moody case you haven't I do have some thoughts of going back to the last hospital I was at...but I have hesitation about that because I do remember it sucked there (but at least we had techs) & they are connected to the same hospital I'm currently at. So if things are changing, it will probably trickle down eventually to the small hospital I left. I don't really want to change to another hospital chain as I have 8 years invested where I am. Soooooooooooo....I'm just thinking for now. Maybe I just need a nice tropical vacation. :)

I have started doing the Jillian Michaels workout dvd's for exercise & to release some of this stress. I am sore everywhere. I'll keep going though...on Sunday. Gotta give my body a little time to rest.

Still seeing the guy, but due to my moodiness, I'm kinda irritated with him too. I love him it shall pass.

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year!