The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

Just a mom/wife/nursing student extraordinaire trying to make it in the big bad city…

The Saga Continues…

Posted by isntshelovlei on September 3, 2012

Be careful what you ask for…IsntSheLovlei is back on the blogging scene!

But now I’m all grown up—or at least I’ve earned a few additional letters behind my name. So instead of bringing TDAMCP back I decided to start an entirely new blog. After a behind the scenes title war with myself (and after not being able to come up with anything else for “The Dog” to eat that wouldn’t get me sued), 3Cs: Coffee, Children, and Cancer was born.

3Cs basically picks up where I left off after graduating from nursing school and passing the boards. Now I’m just a mom/wife/pediatric oncology nurse extraordinaire (in the making anyway) trying to make it in the big bad city. Come check it out, hope to see you there…


Posted in Nursing | 2 Comments »

REVIEW: Cherokee Body Scrubs

Posted by isntshelovlei on April 14, 2012

So the folks over at, a retailer of nursing scrubs and nurse uniforms sent me these Cherokee scrubs from Cherokee’s Body collection to review.

My life is hectic enough so I’m usually a if-it-aint-broke-dont-fix-it type of girl. I’ve been wearing scrubs for years now and already have a particular brand that I like and usually wear, but I’m willing to try anything once (sometimes twice). So as biased as I might have been I was actually pleasantly surprised…

As soon as you put them on, you know these are not your run of the mill cheap-quality scrubs. At first glance, they’re cute/fashionable (I’m a girl so that’s important—don’t judge me), and sort of sporty. I like the material, sort of activewear-ish, made of a 64% polyester/33%cotton/3% combo. They’re soft with just the right amount of weight to them, almost like real pants—not like some of the other paper-thin scrubs I’ve unfortunately had the displeasure of wearing. I mean who wants to wear see-thru wallpaper all day? I know you’ve seen the nurses where you can see the big “PINK” written across their arse right through their scrubs—definitely not a good look.

I like the way the Cherokee Body scrubs are cut. They don’t have that unflattering boxy fit—after all, I’m a nurse with curves, not a SpongeBob character. I’m also a peds nurse, which means a lot of bending and squatting and whatnot to get down and work with the kids at their level. These scrubs were up to the task; they really move with you (and likewise allow you to move).

I usually wear size small scrubs, but order medium pants because it gives me a little more room to stuff the pockets full of goodies (I’m a big pocket fanatic—the more the merrier I am). I carry half of the med room and pyxis around in my pockets. The scrubs definitely passed my pocket requirement but the pants did end up being a little too big and I kept feeling like my arse was hanging out (it wasn’t) so I was constantly retying the drawstrings throughout the day, but that was probably my own fault.

Overall I was impressed with Cherokee’s Body scrubs—I might have to make some more room in my scrub closet…

Posted in Product Reviews | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

D-Day: Operation NCLEX-RN

Posted by isntshelovlei on February 3, 2012

After proceeding through various security measures—fingerprints, photographs, and palm vein scans—I sat in front of that infamous computer terminal. The last two-and-a-half years of my life had been leading up to this moment. I took a deep breath and clicked “Start.”

It wasn’t that bad—I kind of pretended I was sitting at home doing practice questions on my laptop. I had beyond my fair share of the dreaded SATAs (select all that apply) which supposedly is a good sign—I’ve heard that they’re considered upper-level questions and if you’re getting a lot of them then more than likely you’re above the passing line.

For those of you who may not know, the NCLEX-RN can be anywhere from 75 to 265 questions (which is why they give you up to six hours to complete the exam). Obviously, everyone wants to only get 75 questions. And most people whose exam cuts off after 75 questions do seem to pass. But it’s all about demonstrating minimum competency. If you’ve accomplished that by 75 questions then that’s great but if not the computer will usually continue to give you more questions so that you can try to dig yourself “out of the hole” so-to-speak and get above that line. Contrary to popular belief, it is also possible to fail with 75 questions. How you answer those first 20 or so questions sort of determines your general competence level. Get most of them right and you position yourself comfortably above the passing line; however if you start off not doing so hot…

After I clicked the radio button for my answer to #75, I hovered my mouse hesitantly over the “Next” button. With one eye shut, holding my breath (and before I passed out), I clicked…and the screen went blank!

It was over!!

Afterward there’s a survey, another palm vein scan (they wanna make sure you’re still you and all), and they send you packing.

And then you wait…

This is truly the nerve-wracking part. The waiting. Official exam results can take weeks to receive in the mail; quick-results can’t be obtained for 48 hours. What on earth are you supposed to do in the meantime? Most people opt for the “Pearson Vue Trick” aka “PVT.” This is an unofficial way of checking whether you passed or not. Basically you log on and attempt to register for the exam again. If the system doesn’t allow you to register again and you get a popup that says something along the lines of “you’ve already registered for this exam, contact your board” you passed. However, if the credit card page comes up, then…sorry, you did not. A nifty little step-by-step guide can be found here.

So I did the PVT and got the “good” popup (make sure the status says “delivery successful” otherwise it’s too early to do it) so I was feeling pretty good. And the very next day my RN license was already posted on the state website—I don’t think you can get much more official than that! I’m a nurse! 😀

To those who have yet to take the exam be encouraged, be confident, and kick NCLEX butt! Good luck!

Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

She Lives…

Posted by isntshelovlei on January 14, 2012

I know, I know…I’ve been a bad blogger—but not without just cause I assure you.

So I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’ve finished my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing!! Now I’m just up to my eyeballs in NCLEX prep as I impatiently await the arrival of my ATT (authorization to test for those who aren’t fluent in nursingstudentese). The bad news is…I will no longer be blogging at TDAMCP.

Somewhere along the way the blog and my identity became intermingled which was never really my intention and I’d really like to regain my anonymity. Not that I plan on violating HIPAA or slandering my organization or my colleagues or anything, I’d just like the real me and the work me to be separate. I also haven’t decided which direction I want to go with my blogging now that I’m no longer a student nurse, whether to continue personal experience blogging or switch to a more professional type of blog. In any event, TDAMCP will remain up for those who may want to reference topics in some of my posts or the resources found herein (I’ll also still be reachable via the Contact Me page as well). And of course I’ll update you all once I pass boards and have officially “crossed over” to the other (dark?) side…

But somewhere, out there, a new grad RN blog has already been born, with yours truly at the helm (I hope they’re ready…). Maybe I’ll see you there… 😉

Posted in Nursing, Nursing school | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

NCLEX-RN Review Course Compare & Contrast

Posted by isntshelovlei on September 6, 2011

Since I’m so close to taking my boards (knock on wood), I figured now would be a good time to look at a couple NCLEX-RN review courses. As studying awaits (and time waits for no nursing student), I am only going to compare two for now—NCSBN’s Learning Extension and Kaplan.

The price: Nursing students (well, any students in this economy) are interested in the numbers. How much am I gonna have to rob Peter (or the parentals) to pay Paul? Well NCSBN’s courses will cost you any where from $50 – $160 depending on how many weeks of access you are interested in; whereas Kaplan is gonna run you about $418 – $499 (this figure is based on my zip code, so double-check your own zip code for the most accurate price in your area). But holy moly cannoli!

The timeframe: NCSBN offers 3, 5, 8, or 15 weeks of access to their course. Kaplan provides 21-hours of class time, plus 3 months of access to their online resources (more on those coming up).

The format: NCSBN is a totally online “campus,” offerring 24-hour access and the ability to work at your own pace. Kaplan has three basic format options—Classroom, Classroom Anywhere, and On Demand. Classroom is basically an in-class, brick and mortar type of deal (like we nursing students want to go to anymore classes—but, to each his own)—set dates, set times, set locations. Classroom Anywhere courses still have set dates and times, but allow you to log in from wherever. And On Demand pretty much speaks for itself—you hold the reins, and can log on and do your thing pretty much whenever (within your 3 months of access of course).

The meat and potatoes: NCSBN boasts access to 1,100+ “NCLEX-style” questions, 2,000+ pages of content review, in addition to other resources such as medical dictionaries and other online references. And if the idea of no professor standing in the front of the room freaks you out have no fear—they do offer the ability to ask questions via their “Ask the Instructor” feature. With Kaplan’s program, after your 21-hours of class instruction (if you selected one of the “Classroom” options), you’ll have 3 months access to 3 online resources—Qbank (question bank), Question trainer (practice tests), and a Diagnostic and Readiness test. Kaplan also offers a pass-or-your-money-back guarantee (certain restrictions do apply).

So that’s an *ahem* brief overview of the NCSBN and Kaplan NCLEX-RN review courses. On the one hand my id is screaming “What are you waiting for? 50 bucks?!? Can’t beat that with a stick!” But on the other hand my ego is saying, “Well wait a minute now, they must be mighty confident to offer a 100% money-back guarantee…”

So what’s a girl to do?

Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Final Semester–Locked and Loaded!

Posted by isntshelovlei on September 3, 2011 last call…the final destination…the season finale… finally here.

Can-you-believe-it? I wouldn’t if I didn’t have the battle scars (and the gray hairs) to prove it…

So—before classes started I trekked to campus and happily marched into the security office to purchase a parking permit. The parking guy asked me if I wanted a full year permit to which I answered no, it’d be my last semester. I am sure I sported a Cheshire grin.

Do you know this guy had the nerve to tell me not to be so cocky about finishing on time—not that he didn’t wish me well he added as an afterthought (um too late, don’t try to clean it up now). Just crush my hopes and dreams why don’t you?…

Of course—sh!t happens—and I plan on just about everything but that happening. So I internally bristled and thought to myself that if he wanted to spend the rest of his days in that 5 x 8 parking office then he was free to do so, but I was getting the heck out of there. Hmph. The nerve.

But I’m ready (or as ready as I can get anyway). All of my books (required and recommended) have arrived, binders are set up, chapter bookmarks are made, powerpoints are printed and hole-punched, and assignments/exams are loaded into iStudiez Pro. Let’s get it crackin’!

I even have the first week—though truncated thanks to Hurricane Irene—under my belt already.

And clinicals start this weekend!

Here we go again!…

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They’re Gonna Git You Sucka…

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 19, 2011 someone made a comment to me that “they’re gonna git you…” in reference to some of the things I say on my blog. I’m not exactly sure who “they” are, but “they” can find me right here at TDAMCP…I’ll be here all day… 

I admit that my posts can be a bit snarky. They drizzle with sarcasm at times. But Sarah Good of social media I am not. The things I blog about such as coming to work sick, bedside manner, test taking, CPR, health statistics, professionalism, med math—just to name a few—are very relevant topics.

I don’t violate HIPAA, I don’t demean or disrespect patients, and let’s face it—I only say what most of you are already thinking (or have thought) anyway. Oftentimes I poke fun at the system—which we all know is far from a perfect one. But in order for things to change we need to shine light on the issues—not ignore them or sweep them under the rug. The light I shine just happens to be a sardonic, slightly mordant one…

So will I continue to blog? Yes. Will I cut down on my snarkiness? Probably not.

A closed mouth doesn’t get fed. And we have a lot of work to do—so open wide.

Posted in Odds and Ends | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Coming to Work Sick: The CYA Culture

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 31, 2011

I see it everyday in the hospital—staff coming to work with cooties because to not come may be career-suicide.  

There are let’s just say…unwritten policies (and punishments)…when it comes to calling out sick—especially in the hospital environment.

First, now you’re on your managers’/charge nurses’ radar (and not in a good way) because it’s an inconveniece—depending on how much notice you’ve given them they now have to scramble to find someone to fill your slot. Then there’s the fear of being given a write-up for an unexcused or unscheduled absence—which could come back to bite you in the arse during your performance reviews. And now that you’re on management’s proverbial sh*t list you now run of the risk being snubbed, given “harder” assignments or a heavier load than others (and being left to flounder), or other forms of horizontal hostility—even possibly being passed over for promotions and perks.  

So now staff just come to work sick. If you’re sick enough according to managements’ standards (which may mean damn near dying) then they’ll have to send you home. And if management sends you home, you’ll avoid a write-up, be seen as a devoted staff member willing to “take one for the team” coming to work come hell or highwater—plus you’ll still get paid for the day/night. So staff now cover their @sses by putting the ball in managements’ court.

But at what cost? Not only are you not at your best (which can be a recipe for disaster in patient care), but it creates the potential for others to get whatever the hell cootie it is that YOU have! And oftentimes, for whatever reason (*hint, hint* staffing), management may not send you home! They may decide (with the plethora of licensed bodies in a hospital qualified to assess you) that you do in fact “look okay” to stay and work. Big. Fat. Fail. Now what?

This call-out taboo is even brainwashed into nursing students. To call out from clinical is to shoot yourself financially in the foot—students are sometimes threatened with having to personally pay the clinical instructor ($50/hr I have heard quoted) to come in on a non-scheduled clinical day to oversee your make up. As if. Or sometimes they’ll give you an ungodly amount of ridiculous busy work to do to make up the hours. And so students just come to clinical sick hoping they can just make it through the eight- (sometimes twelve-) hour shift. We are breeding the next generation of nurses with cover-your-ass-itis.

I was sick a few months ago. And I don’t get sick often, but I really felt like death warmed over. I went to my primary, who gave me a note stating that I needed to stay home (his exact words were “you shouldn’t be in anyone’s ICU like this”). I called the big cheese to let him know (and way before the two hours notice we’re required to give when we call out—I wanted to give him as much notice as possible to find someone else to come in).  I was told that even though I had a doctor’s note it would still be “an incident.” I stayed home anyway.

Would you???

For more insight on the subject, check out Terri Polick’s post, Presenteeism: Why Nurses Don’t Call Out Sick and @TorontoEmerg‘s How Hospitals Punish Nurses for Being Sick.

Posted in Health Care, Nursing, Pet Peeves and Rants | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Semester Roundup

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 26, 2011

Here I am back at my poor neglected blog with its splattering of unfinished posts. I just haven’t had the time or the energy this semester…

So here’s my summer semester roundup!

This summer I took Public Health Nursing (also known as “Public HELLth” if you follow me on twitter) and the Art of Listening—I know, WTF right? But I needed one last elective that had to be an art (already had credit), language (only offered the same night as Public Health), literature (too much reading/writing), history (same), or music. So Art of Listening it was. And it was offered online which saved me another night of trekking to campus.

I actually thought I might enjoy a slight break from nursing topics. How bad could it be with no meds, no care plans, and no NCLEX practice questions? Bad enough apparently. Besides the fact that the class was all over the place the topic just didn’t hold my interest—I developed some serious ADHD trying to get all my reading and forum posts done by all of the crazy deadlines.

And then there was Public HELLth. O. M. G. To her credit I will say the professor tried to keep it interesting: breaking up the lectures with videos, tossing frisbees with communicable diseases taped on them around the classroom, and other theatrical stunts—it just didn’t work. She did give out candy at the beginning of class which was nice—especially if there were pink Starbursts (my fave). But eventually, I just stopped going if there wasn’t an exam/quiz or if we didn’t have something due that day. I found her lectures distracting and understood things a lot better when I just read and studied on my own. I’m not trying to corrupt anyone else, that’s just what happened to work for me, for this particular semester. On the other hand, the instructor I have this upcoming fall I’ve had before and I wouldn’t dare miss one of her classes—her lectures are like GOLD.

I also managed to squeeze in a second peds clinical rotation this semester (we usually only have one) and worked as an Asthma Educator in a peds clinic. And man was there some educating to do! From parents giving their kids their maintenance inhaler when they should have been using their rescue inhaler (and wondering why it wasn’t working) to the parents who just didn’t see the point of giving the maintenance inhaler every day when their kid wasn’t currently having any difficulty breathing—and so they didn’t (le sigh). No wonder there are so many uncontrolled pediatric asthmatics and asthma is the #1 admitting diagnosis in our local children’s hospital. Sheesh.

But that’s all over. Now I get a month off to rest my fragile mind (and get some sand between my toes) before heading back into the flames for the grand finale. That’s right—final semester coming up! I can hardly contain my excitement. Until then…

Peace, love, and coffee…


Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Up For Air

Posted by isntshelovlei on May 5, 2011

My poor neglected blog. But I have been so totally swamped (and tired) this semester. Between adjusting to night shift (as if that’s even really possible), fighting the nursing research demons, keeping up with the reading in med surg, and then just life in general…sheesh.

So what else I have I been up to? Let’s see… I was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing. I am now also a member of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated (shout out to the Spring 2011 line of Theta Gamma Beta).

Then on the home-front there’s always a plethora of things that need to be attended to: IEP and treatment plan meetings, report card conferences, doctors’ appointments, ED visits—my son fractured his wrist when a kid two years younger but about 40 lbs heavier than him fell on it, acupuncture to try and keep my chi in line, birthdays (30’s the new 20), autism awareness events…

But I’m happy to be able to put another semester behind me, and that I’m one step closer to December 2011!

Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »