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Category Archives: Things That Happen To Me

Perspective

Met a woman awhile ago who informed me that her blood type indicated she was from another planet. I asked what type was she. She replied, “A negative.” That was the sanest thing she said to me on that insane stressed out day.

Why bring it up, you ask?

It’s been an A negative kind of day.

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Random Stuff That Means Nothing, Things That Happen To Me

 

2nd Obstacle: Exercise

Update on my last post, I finally settled for eating around 1,350 calories a day. I’ll see how that goes and adjust accordingly.

Now on to my next obstacle: exercise.

I did a google search for the amount and type of exercise I should engage in for weight loss. I got 274,000,000 items that matched my search criteria. Good googly moogly!

I picked three sites because 274 MILLION, ya’ll !?!!! The Mayo Clinic stated I would need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity and I should do strength training at least twice a week. However, that is the basic guideline, losing weight means I need to exercise more than that. An article on smart fitness on the NBC News website said that the amount of exercise to lose weight was dependent upon risk factors, age, and current weight. The CDC also stated that strength training needed to work all major muscle groups. Nice that.

Moderate activity, according to the various websites, is brisk walking, swimming or mowing the lawn (I am going to assume they mean with a push mower). Vigorous activity is running and aerobic dancing. So how do I determine if what I am doing is moderate or vigorous? If I am to use sweating and being out of breath as an indicator, walking up the stairs is vigorous activity, though it was not listed as such on any of the websites.

Well, here goes…

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Losing Weight Sucks And That Is The Plain Truth, Things That Happen To Me

 

Getting Schooled

I’ve been away from this blog for quite awhile spending my days either orienting to my new job as a nurse or recovering from it. We (as in all new grads at my job) were warned there were three phases to orientation: Doing, Being, and Knowing. This is called the Transition Theory. I won’t tell you what I call it at the moment seeing as I am currently in phase II.

Phase I aka Doing is the time period where a new nurse graduate has just started a new job and is learning the ropes. For me it was all about taking the information from nursing school and readjusting it to reality. Nursing school is about the perfect world, but we practice nursing in the real one. It would be wonderful to take the time to listen to a patient’s entire life story, but his next door neighbor keeps decorating the bed, floor and walls with projectile vomit. It is also about building skills. Learning how to do something on a mannequin is dramatically different than doing it on a screaming, fighting, cursing patient. This phase lasts about 3-4 months. I really enjoyed this phase. I had a preceptor who backed me up. I could ask all the dumb questions I wanted and no one looked at me as if I needed to go back to school. I was sad, but ready (ha!) when my preceptorship ended.

Phase II aka Being is where a new graduate nurse begins to have a growing awareness of what nursing actually is. The preceptor signs off and the full weight of responsibility descends. Feelings of incompetence, exhaustion, inadequacy, frustration, and a whole host of doubts creep in and take residence. According to research this phase is during the 5th to 7th months of the new job. I am coming up on month #4, so I am early to the show. I have to say I do not like this phase, not at all. I have had two real confidence-killers. In one I transferred my patient to a medical-surgical floor only to have the patient come back to the step-down unit the next morning.  In the other an RRT (rapid response team) was initiated for my patient while I was at lunch and the patient had to be intubated then sent to critical care. Both times I was told I had done everything right. I cannot let it go. My mind circles those two incidents repeatedly trying to see what I missed, what I could have done better, how did I fail. It does not help that there is a culture of “eating their young” in nursing. My unit is mostly good about this. I have had a lot of support from my co-workers. However I have found that even the slightest perception of doubt in a co-worker is enough to have me scrutinizing everything I said or did that might have caused it. This is a mentally exhausting phase to be in and I will be so glad when it is over.

Phase III aka Knowing happens around 10-12 months and is when a new graduate feels more comfortably in their role, stops being a “new grad” and has gained confidence in their ability to care for patients effectively.

Here’s to Knowing. May she step to the plate faster than predicted!

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Plain and Simple (aka Boring), Things That Happen To Me

 

It’s Too Early For This

I have only been a bona fide working registered nurse for four weeks and I already have three things on my list that annoy me. Perhaps I am checking out of the honeymoon phase of a new job/career a tad early, but here goes it:

The first thing that annoys me is a patient who wants me to make them feel better, but refuses all the care I am capable of providing. Refuse a test or procedure because you cannot afford it or plain do not believe it is necessary – I got your back. I know healthcare is costly and a lot of people have to pay for it themselves. And I know that some doctors just really like ordering tests. Some are just downright redundant. Refuse a medication because it makes you feel worse – I totally understand.  I would be happy to have a chat with the physician and try to find another med that works for you. Refuse the nausea medicine because you don’t feel like taking it, than refuse the antibiotic because you feel nauseous just so you can stay in the hospital longer – hmmmmm, no. Don’t play the system and think I won’t know what you are doing. And don’t think I am going to play along – that includes all you I-have-pain-and-only-Dilaudid-works-on-me types.

The second thing that annoys me is the family that uses the hospital as if it were their home. Do not help the patient order their meal choices, then eat most of the food that comes up on the tray. Do not ask me for crackers and cookies for your children that should not be around their immune-suppressed grandmother anyway. We have a cafeteria for you. Use it. Yes, there is an option to order a guest tray – that is for the spouse/girl(boy)friend/significant other who does not wish to be away from their loved one even long enough to eat a sandwich. It is not for the whole freakin’ family that chose meal time as the time to visit.

The third thing that annoys me is the nurse/care provider who looks at a patient who has just refused a med/test/procedure/whatever and huffs out a “fine” right before walking away. Find out why the patient does not want the med/test/procedure. Find out if the patient truly realizes where that puts them on the path back to healing. Find out if the patient understands the consequences of that refusal or are they so sick they cannot think beyond not feeling good. Do not look upon them as an inconvenience. Learn from them, so they can learn from you. If the reason is valid, do not hold it against them. It is their right to refuse. If their reason is invalid/crazy/weird/whatever, start a dialogue. The patient’s end goal may be vastly different from ours. Maybe they are tired of fighting and just want to go home to live out what they have left, but you cannot know any of this unless you talk with them rather than to them. There is more to our patients then their diagnosis.

Stepping off my soapbox now.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Things That Happen To Me

 

Off To A Roaring Start

Got my first week on my unit taking care of live patients.

The things I have learned thus far:

  • Watch where you are aiming the saline flush when the plunger gets stuck. 
  • Always remember to attach the IV tubing to the patient instead of laying it on the bed…and then forgetting it. 
  • Security frowns on strange people doing strange things outside their hospital.
  • Plan on changing more bed linen than a hotel housekeeper.
  • Documentation will make you its bitch.

My feet and my brain hurt in equal measure.

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2013 in Absolutely Fantastically Wonderful, Things That Happen To Me

 

First Week

Hospitals invest a lot in their new graduate nurses. Most have a residency/orientation program which can last anywhere from 3-12 months depending upon the unit in which the new graduate nurse will be working. It can cost upwards of $82,000 for each new graduate nurse in the program. Which is why most require their new grads to sign a contract of at least two years in duration in an attempt to justify that cost. It is also why hospitals do not hire very many new grads.

For my residency, I just finished my first week of orientation as a new graduate nurse. I expected to be overwhelmed – expectation confirmed. I did not expect to be sitting on my butt all day. The first week was a lot of powerpoint presentations, lectures, and teambuilding exercises. In other words, it felt a lot like nursing school without the improbable syllabi. I will also point out they were paying me rather than the other way around – a situation I much prefer!

Next week I will be on the unit for a couple of shifts, so the real work begins – cue nervous twitching.

 

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2013 in Things That Happen To Me

 

So Not Terrible Exciting, But Somewhat Exciting For Me

So I have not been too happy with this Operation Jiggle Less thing I have going as I haven’t lost enough weight near fast enough. I lost something like a quarter of a pound. I was getting thoroughly discouraged. I have been keeping within my calorie count and diligently doing exercise everyday even though I could definitely find something else to do with my time and my body was just not cooperating. A quarter of a pound. Hell, a quarter of anything gets you very little if nothing. Then – I lost a whole pound all of a sudden. And yes, I weigh myself at the same time every day. Only this time I stared at the scale. Actually I got off the scale and tried it again. Just in case, you know, it was kidding around. Making a joke at my expense. Took me a few seconds more to come to the conclusion that my menstrual cycle was to blame – well, I had to blame something, right? Right?

That might have been a little TMI.

Anyhoo –

Operation Jiggle Less is coming along as it were and I am waiting impatiently for my new job to start. I went to a luncheon yesterday with my fellow new registered nurse graduates. It was an awkward, embarrassing, anxiety-producing two hours. Out of that I managed to give my phone number to three complete strangers and agreed to do a social get-together in early March. I think I was temporarily possessed.

Next week starts the official orientation period to becoming a real-working-with-people-as-in-their-lives-depend-upon-me nurse.

I think I need to go lie down.