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 ‘Odds and Ends’ Category

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.

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Are You Ready to Save a Life?

Posted by isntshelovlei on March 15, 2011

As health care professionals and students we have all taken a CPR certification course. Every one to two years we have to take a renewal course.

But is it just something you do because you have to—to meet a job or maybe your clinical requirements? When and if the time came, would you be willing (and able) to use what you’ve learned?

Personally, I keep my pocket mask and even my course book in the glove compartment of my car—do you know where yours are? You never know when you might need them and my mind often flickers to the fact that they are there when I pass accident scenes during my comings and goings. Thankfully, I have never had to use that mask though I do remember once having to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on my own infant because some brilliant fool decided to give her a piece of hard candy. I don’t know if it was the years of CPR training or my mother’s instinct, but I acted automatically. Her color changed and she couldn’t get any air in, and couldn’t cough. I flipped her around almost reflexively on my forearm, head down over my thigh, gave her four blows to the back and out came that offending piece of confection. I then proceeded to annihilate the brilliant fool…

I am glad that has been the extent of my calls to duty and that I have not had to perform actual CPR. But have you ever really thought about what you’d do? When people ask on television shows “Is there a doctor in the house?” I always think that there are more than just those that raise their hand. These days people seem to not want to get involved for various reasons—like getting sued or even not being confident in their own skills…

Will you help that person choking while you’re out at a romantic dinner with your partner? What about your neighbor that collapses from cardiac arrest while shoveling snow? What if you found your own child face down in the swimming pool? Anyone can carry a card in their wallet, but when it really matters will you make it count?

I hope that I never have to use what I learn in those CPR courses, but I know that if need be, I’m ready and I will. But the fact of the matter is someone in the United States suffers from a cardiac arrest every two minutes, so you really never know when YOU may be the one called into action. Are you ready to save a life?

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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

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The Graveyard

Posted by isntshelovlei on December 22, 2010

Armed with Starbucks and diet Mountain Dew (please no caffeine-after-dark lectures—I was a caffeine junkie when I worked days and this is now my day so I’m just adjusting my addiction accordingly), I’ve now joined the ranks of those that work night shift. The first day I was cool—I was wide awake all night just sipping away on my Mountain Dew (while other people  managed to sleep sitting straight up). I drove home the next morning still on a MD high, and couldn’t get myself to sleep. I called my husband to let him know that I survived the night and by his amused tone I knew I must have been rambling like a raving manic.  I have since tweaked my nightly regimen to cut off caffeine at around 4-5am so that I am able to simmer down when I get home.

The second night (which happened to be a week or so later) didn’t go as well. First, I didn’t get a (good) pre-nap in. The kids just wouldn’t let me be—they were running around like park apes, excited about finding our escape artist cat who came home looking all mangled (and probably pregnant my husband insists). Second, I had a headache that was on the verge of escalating to migraine status. And third, I was bored to tears (knock on wood). Some things take other people hours to do, but I like to knock them out and get them over with. Then I end up sitting there twiddling my thumbs and clock-watching (which really makes the time go even slower). And with the semester being over I had no homework or care plans to do, and no tests to study for.

Cheese. On. Bread.

When I finally went on break at about 4am, to my dismay McDonald’s had already started serving breakfast and I was craving salt (in the form of fries not some processed sausage patty). They’d also run out of fruit and yogurt parfaits which are about the only two things I’ll eat out of that place (sorry Ronald). And of course I had forgotten my “lunch”—if you can even call it that when it’s consumed at 4am. So I bought an orange juice which I figured was safe and settled down to play a few rounds of Angry Birds and Cut The Rope before going back to the unit.

And is it just me or is it extra cold in the hospital at night? Snuggie anyone?…

But things have gotten better; I’m adjusting. Even though I sleep when I get home in the morning it’s important for me to get that pre-work nap in—it really does make a world of difference. Any other night-shifters with suggestions feel free to drop me a line.

Meanwhile, I am loving winter break. I’ll be back to the wonderful world of nursing school on January 19th.

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Sorry, You’re Overqualified

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 26, 2010

I know the sucky job market is probably a sore topic at this point, but I figured I might as well add my own sucky experience to the heap…

I’ve decided that I want a tech job—like yesterday. Some people think I’m nuts—I get a lot of “You’re lucky to even HAVE a job” or “You work at a top health care facility—people would KILL to get a job there.” And they may be right. Though it may fall under the colorful umbrella of a facility that many SNs (including myself) would kill to work at as a nurse, right now I have a boring desk job. I sit in a dark corner of a very tall building and push papers all day (and I have the paper cuts to prove it). This is not to say that I am ungrateful for having this job. I do appreciate that said job allows me to pay the mortgage, bills, daycare, among other things. It’s just not what I want to do. I am, as Iyanla Vanzant would say, “in the meantime.” In my heart, I am a nurse. Though I still have four semesters to finish and boards to pass to make it official, those are just mere technicalities. I am nurse—hear me roar. 😉

I am so craving patient care at this point it is driving me nuts. Clinical rotations are a tease—wham bam thank you ma’am and they’re over. And since I can’t legally work as a nurse yet, I figure that a tech position will satiate me “in the meantime.” But just like everyone else out there looking for a job right now—I can’t find one either.

My biggest obstacle and the somewhat of a Catch-22 of it all is that I’m in nursing school. The very thing that makes me more qualified (or at least so I think), and gives me more experience (I also have a Medical Assistant background) also makes me seen as a risk. The first thing they gravitate to on my resume is when I finish school.”December 2011 eh? So that means you would be here what—a year and a half or so?…” They’re already thinking that I’m going to have my way with them and then leave the money (or the position rather) on the nightstand. And then they’ll be right back where they started—interviewing again. But I don’t look at it that way. I always apply for positions where theoretically there’d be an opportunity for me to stay on as a nurse after I complete my BSN. What would be better than hiring this awesome student nurse as a tech and then when she’s finished school hiring her as one of your nurses? By then she’ll have almost 2 years in at your department/unit, and will know the people, the policies, and the politics. It’s a win-win situation right? Apparently they don’t seem to think so…

So I’ve been on a couple interviews. During the last one, I had the opportunity to interview with the departments’ NP. The NP and I really clicked (at least I thought so anyway) and I could tell that I would love working with her and would learn a lot. So I had a good feeling about this one. She looked me in the eye and said she wanted to give it to me straight—”I looked at your resume and I thought ‘WOW, she’d be great!!’ But honestly, I think you’re overqualified—I think you’d be bored.”

*crickets chirping*

Huh—what?? Overqualified?!? 

Well alrighty then…

So after a brief episode of apnea, I pulled my palsied mouth shut.


Posted in Nursing, Odds and Ends | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Can I pay my VISA with my Mastercard?

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 21, 2009


Did I mention how expensive nursing school is—before you even get there? I have spent a small fortune on application fees, transcripts that have to be updated after every semester, state background checks, child abuse clearances, FBI fingerprinting, physicals, drug screens, and CPR certification. And don’t forget before classes start you still need to buy uniforms, shoes, a stethoscope, lab kit, and oh yeah—BOOKS! Books at my school (or at least for my program) run $700-1000 per semester. Hopefully since these are textbooks related to my major I will actually be able to continue to use them beyond their assigned semester (unlike, say, the $125 art history book that would probably be more useful as filler for Marshmallow’s litter box). Most of us know that selling textbooks back is close to pointless. You might be lucky to get even 15% of what you paid for them—though in this economy I guess every little bit helps.

Not that I’m complaining (okay, maybe just a little), because I am about to embark on a journey to fulfill my dreams. But money still doesn’t grow on trees. My current school does not even let you use your financial aid to pay for some of this stuff (at least my old school gave us a “book credit”)… The recommendation of the student financial aid office?—“just charge it on a credit card until you get your refund.” Gee—thanks.

The student loan thing is seriously getting out of hand. Last year I was accepted to a school, we’ll call them “Pretzel University” ;). So PU (ha-ha, but no pun intended), sent me my financial aid paperwork stating that my estimated cost of attendance was about $54,000. My financial aid award totaled about $16,000—this including Stafford Loans! Now that is a serious gap! I was told that as they are a private institution, PU is not required to meet my full financial aid and that I would have to apply for private student loans to cover the difference. So let me get this straight—you want me to rack up $38,000 in additional student loan debt per year (and this was not even for a nursing degree)?!? I highly doubt that I could even qualify for such a loan anyway. Thanks, but no thanks—and so I said sayonara to PU.

I came across a campaign on Facebook suggesting that student loan debt be forgiven in order to stimulate the economy which I think is a great idea. I don’t know about you, but that “stimulus” we received—did not stimulate me at all. I probably used it to pay my growing stack of overdue bills. I am also not seeing much of these minute tax cuts in my check (maybe that extra $30 is just making my gross a little higher so I can pay more what?—TAXES!). Okay maybe I’m exaggerating but the cost of living is steadily increasing—did you know that a gallon of milk costs about a dollar more than a gallon of gas? Do you know how long one gallon of milk lasts in my house?—maybe 24 hours if I’m lucky. Too bad I can’t fill my three-year-old up at the local Sunoco.

So instead of bailing out all of the rich folks (that General Motors CEO made out quite nicely and will be retiring next month with a $10,000,000 pension/benefits package), the country should bail-out our future nurses, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals, who once they finally finish all those grueling years of college will actually be able to help “stimulate” the economy provided that they are not engulfed in hundreds of dollars per month in student loan payments.   I hope Renegade is listening… 

Posted in Nursing school, Odds and Ends | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Hello world!

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 20, 2009

Here I am! First post–woohoo! Though I must admit there’s not much to say yet as classes don’t start until August 31st. So in the meantime, check out my About page…and I promise to have something of substance up here STAT! 😉

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