The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

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

Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Carpe Diem!

Posted by isntshelovlei on January 1, 2011

So what’s it gonna be this year? Lose weight…quit smoking…go back to school…fix your credit? Every year many people go through this ritualistic task of making up a list of new year’s resolutions, only to toss them to the wind by the second or third week of January. Then they wait until next year to try again. What ever happened to Aaliyah’s motto: “dust yourself off and try again?” And I mean, right now, not three hundred and some-odd days from now…

I’ve been working on taking better care of myself. That larger goal is made up of many smaller ones (sort of like a care plan) such as getting more sleep, taking my vitamins, and learning to say “no” when I’m overextended. That last one is a lot easier said than done. I am so many things to so many people—mother, wife, sister, friend—that I myself get lost in the sauce sometimes. Add school and work into the mix and you can have a recipe for disaster. But what can I say, I’m a work in progress…

But why do we need to wait for a new year to make these self improvements? Every day, every hour, every minute, every second, is a new opportunity to do or be better. Live in the moment. Carpe diem—seize the day!

“In today already walks tomorrow.” ~Friedrich von Schiller

Posted in Current Events, Odds and Ends | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Insights in Nursing Podcast, Episode 23

Posted by isntshelovlei on December 17, 2010

This week on Insights in Nursing the panelists delve into the Institute of Medicine’s report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Topics on the docket include the IOM’s recommendation to have eighty percent of the nursing workforce be BSN-prepared by 2020 as well as extending full provider status to advanced practice nurses—something that has seen much resistance by our physician-friends in the media recently. In addition to the nursing shortage there’s also a shortage of primary health care providers—APN’s are ready and able to fill that void. I’m not sure if the problem that (some) physicians have with this idea is because some still live in the ice age and believe that nurses are some type of subordinate health care professional that needs to work for not with doctors, or if they just don’t want us dipping in their honey pots… You be the judge.

Posted in Current Events, Nursing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Insights in Nursing Podcast, Episode 13

Posted by isntshelovlei on September 10, 2010

Has the whole autism-vaccine controversy finally been put to rest? With the internet and so much bad information (and bad publicity by pearly-teethed former Playboy playmates) so readily accessible to people nowadays, will fears now begin to subside? 

Colorado, will now not only be known for its rocky mountains, but for their rocky viewpoint as well (though I guess everyone’s entitled to their opinions…). Apparently, a group of anesthesiologists in Colorado have their panties all in a twist at the thought of nurses, not doctors, making “life-and-death medical decisions” for patients (the gall!!).  I’m not even a nurse yet, and I was personally offended. Can’t we all just get along?… Le sigh. 

And last, an Australian nursing school unveiled an awesome “Women Who Shaped Nursing” display for History Week. Truly a beautiful thing. I’m all about honoring those that paved the way. But what about our male nurses? What about the men who helped pave the way for the military to allow male nurses in the service?  James Derham, who worked as a nurse to buy his freedom? Most people don’t even know that Walt Whitman was a nurse—only that he was a writer and poet. There are many men in the history of nursing—but few people know anything about them because we only talk about the women in nursing. Check out our discussion of these topics and more on the latest episode of Insights in Nursing with Kim from the Emergiblog, host and jack of all trades Jamie Davis, and a scratchy-throat-catching-a-cold yours truly.

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 18, 2010

Has anyone else noticed that all of a sudden textbook ISBN’s are actually posted on the school bookstores’ website? I no longer have to trek to campus in stealth-mode, iPhone 4 camera poised and ready, to snap pictures of those pesky little bar codes while the student employees are breathing down my neck trying to intercept me (once they even had the textbook section roped off “unless you are actually buying something”).

So what’s the deal?

Most of you have heard my frequent rantings about the school bookstore’s crack prices and my refusal to pay them—well the Higher Education Opportunity Act recently made that a little easier. New textbook provisions went into effect July 1, 2010; and you can find a pretty nice summary of them here

First, it makes the professors (who actually select our textbooks) aware of how much we are paying. Textbook pricing was previously withheld from professors so many of them truly didn’t realize how much students are actually paying for their books. Professors can now (and hopefully will) take cost into consideration when selecting textbooks for their courses.

Second is the issue with “bundles” (don’t you just hate shrinkwrap?!?). More often than not, the stuff that comes in those packages you will barely (if ever) use and yet you have to pay an arm and a leg for them. I remember having a bundle for A&P that included about 7 books—we used 2 of them—and one of those was for an extra credit project. With the new regulations, the components of a bundle (including software such as CDs and DVDs) must also be sold separately as individual items. Don’t want the accompanying study guide (I rarely ever use them anyway)—then don’t buy it. School bookstore price cheaper for one book, but Amazon.com has the better deal for another?—then mix-and-match and buy accordingly.

And last but not least, schools are now supposed to have textbook lists posted the semester prior—not 2 weeks before the semester begins like they like to do now and then you’re left scrambling to find the books anyway and end up HAVING to buy them from the school bookstore because you can’t find them anywhere else. Now students will actually have time to bargain shop—”do their homework” so-to-speak. 😉

Those rebellious little institutions who decide not to comply with the new regulations will be risking the student aid that they receive from the federal government.

There are other options. Renting textbooks (through rental companies such as Chegg.com or even through your own institution) also seems to be on the rise. I am also starting to see e-textbooks as required course material. And with the advent of e-readers such as the iPad and Kindle I hope that we’ll start to see more actual textbooks in these formats as well. I would love to be able to hold some of my 3,000-page textbooks in a neat little 1.5 lb package…

The idea is that all of this will help drive textbook prices down and/or make them more reasonable/competitive. At minimum, we as students will now have a little more control over our textbook purchases.

For some other great tips on reducing your textbook expenses check out Coupon Sherpa’s Your Complete Guide to Cheap College Textbooks. Happy shopping!

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

My First Podcast!!

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 30, 2010

Check me out on Insights in Nursing hosted by Jamie Davis as we discuss nursing school, the nursing shortage *enter scary music*, and the job outlook for soon-to-be grad nurses.

And back to the books it is for me…finals and a HESI next week and then I can officially call myself a SENIOR nursing student!! The countdown to the end of nursing school is on—503 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes, and 10, 9, 8, 7…

Posted in Current Events, Nursing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What Nursing Shortage???

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 13, 2010

I came across an article today about how even in this “nationwide shortage of nurses,” one of our local nursing schools’ grads can’t find jobs. So let’s have at this so-called nursing shortage thing.

Many people think it’s the economy. The hiring freezes. That nurses are working to later ages—even past retirement. Among other things. And all of those things probably do contribute to the problem. But this is my spin on the situation. I live in the Delaware Valley / Greater Philadelphia area. IMHO (and what do I know anyway?), I don’t believe there is a nursing shortage here. Why? Because this area is just too saturated with nursing schools. Diploma programs, and ADN programs, and BSN programs oh my! There are day programs and there are evening/weekend programs. There are even various accelerated programs (such as Villanova’s BSNExpress, Jefferson’s FACT, and Drexel’s ACE) that are pumping out new nurses as fast as every 11 months!

Now what surprises me most about not a single one of the AMH Dixon SON grads being able to secure a job yet is that the school is part of a hospital. A lot of their students do in fact think that gives them an edge as far as securing a job after graduation—which evidently is not the case. I have noticed job postings on AMH’s website for “Clinical Associates” (tech-type positions) which are only open to their own nursing students—why not initiate something similar for their graduates? One would think they’d be able to hire at least some of their own grad nurses.

Secondly, Abington is a diploma program. Though they have recently partnered with Jefferson to offer an RN-BSN or RN-BSN/MSN option after you’ve completed their program, that really doesn’t help the new grads right now, with their fresh diplomas in hand. And depending on where/what type of setting (hospital, etc.) you’d like to work at as an RN, know that many of the major players (at least in this area) are now moving from a “BSN-preferred” to a “BSN-required” model. Just food for thought.

Before anyone gets their panties in a twist, please know I am in no way bashing Abington or any of the other diploma or ADN programs—in fact, I almost went to Abington. It’s a great school, the faculty that I’d dealt with were great, and they have stellar NCLEX pass rates—though if it’s anything like my program the bad test-takers and flat-out slackers are weeded out of the program way before you get anywhere near the NCLEX (which is why I never really considered NCLEX pass rates as a determinant of how good a program was). But in the end I decided that it would be best for me to pursue the BSN. Besides the fact that I just couldn’t wrap my head around going to school for 2 years and just getting a diploma when I could go for an extra semester and get a BSN, again, where and what type of position I plan to pursue after graduation requires the latter. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

So is there really a nursing shortage? Maybe—in Texas, California, or the Midwest—but not so much here in the city of Brotherly Love…

Posted in Current Events, Nursing, Nursing school | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »

An Ounce of Prevention…

Posted by isntshelovlei on April 7, 2010

Things are pretty much status quo around these parts…Temple nurses are still on strike…I’m still like six chapters behind in my reading (and yet I have time to blog)…still cranky and sleep-deprived…and still downing venti lattes from Starbucks (aka “iced caramel jet fuel”) like there’s no tomorrow.

In other more exciting nursing news, HR 4601 The National Nurse Act of 2010 has arrived. One of the functions of this Congress-appointed nurse (hey, the Office of the Surgeon General already has their MD…), will be to help promote a national culture shift towards disease prevention—in other words, “Health Care NOT Sick Care.” If you take a look around you’ll see that many of the diseases we are now seeing in almost epidemic proportions are actually preventable ones—obesity, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and so on. Part of the reason we are experiencing this health care crisis is because we are spending billions of dollars treating the consequences of our country’s no-exercising, cigarette-smoking, fast-food-eating lifestyles. And according to this report, if the rate of obesity continues to rise as it has been it will add almost $344 billion in health care costs by the year 2018. Well no wonder there’s no financial aid money to be had…  And this is just obesity alone! This doesn’t take into account all of our other vices such as heart disease, hypertension, even some cancers …hell tooth decay is preventable if people would brush and floss and step away from the Sugar Daddys…

Of course some people don’t think HR 4601 is such a great idea (and I mean what would the world be like without our beloved naysayers?). They want to know why the government should have to fund such a position. And why can’t nurses just band together and form this initiative themselves (with their own funding) if it is so necessary? If we can bail out the automotive industry and the banks and so on, then I don’t see why we can’t invest in something that can potentially improve the health and wellness of our nation—with the added “side effect” of actually saving some money.  A mere eight days after the earthquake in Haiti hit, over $300 million dollars had already been raised. Don’t get me wrong—to see everyone pull together to help Haiti in their time of need was and continues to be a beautiful thing. But I don’t understand why we often hesitate to lend “our own” that same helping hand. When the rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, when a 9-year-old has to learn how to self-administer insulin… personally I think that warrants some type of action—just a little food for thought…

The bottom line is that we are spending entirely too much money on treating preventable illnesses and diseases instead of trying to head them off at the pass. I thought everyone knew that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…

Posted in Current Events, Nursing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

A Gag Order? Shame on You Temple

Posted by isntshelovlei on March 30, 2010

If you live or work in the tri-state area then you’ve probably heard about the drama brewing around Temple University Hospital and their intention to essentially gag their nursing and allied health staff.

Just this past year, two Texas nurses were prosecuted for voicing their concerns via a so-called anonymous complaint about one docs’ practices. The charges were dropped against one of the nurses; the other nurse was later found not guilty.

And now, Temple President Ann Weaver Hart wants to include a provision in their nursing contracts that basically says that if you do your job, you lose your job. Has the familiar saying “snitches get stitches” now crept into the healthcare system?!? Needless to say—the staff aren’t having it (thankfully and rightfully so).

This is not a joke—and it’s really not about money or nurses and other health care professionals on a power-trip either. This is also bigger than freedom of speech—this is about PATIENT SAFETY. Peoples’ lives are hanging in the balance here. Now I may be a wet-behind-the-ears student nurse but what I do know is that one of the very tenets of nursing practice is patient advocacy. And for some patients, their nurses are their only voices. Nurses are at the front line caring for their patients day in and day out, monitoring them closely. Nurses are more likely than other health care professionals to catch a medication error, notice an unsafe practice, or know when something is just not quite right. If there is something amiss, it is their duty to speak up.  

Hart’s proposition is truly ridiculous. Next thing you know they’ll have patients signing statements upon admission that they can only be treated if the patient promises not to sue…

With that said, Temple nurses plan to strike tomorrow, Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 7am. For updates on this situation, check out Temple Watch.

Posted in Current Events, Nursing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »