Wednesday, January 23, 2013

     Starting out in a new office is always an adjustment, and working in home are is no different. Because I'm in orientation I've been spending a lot of time at the office, desperately trying to learn everyone's names. I'm constantly being told to "give this to Deana" or "go ask Carol". It's not helpful that there are two Carols at this office. Learning names was hard enough, but last names too? Double the work!the. There's Maureen and Monique, and by the time I learned the difference, I found out that  Monique was resigning. What a waste of brain cells. Of course now I can see that Maureen is clearly the one who has long red hair, pictures Irish clovers hanging over her desk, and a last name of McSomething. Silly me.

     I didn't end up doing the start of care on my own because the patient canceled. I see that being a nurse requires more than compassion and the ability to look at blood. It calls for patience. A lot of patience. Patients don't pick up their phones when you're trying to schedule a visit, they don't have their meds together and spend half the visit scrambling to find them, and they shove pictures of their grand kids in your face when you're trying to take their blood pressure. So being a good nurse means you schedule extra time in the visit to help them gather their pill bottles, and smile politely and tell them that yes, it is definitely the cutest kid you have ever seen. Because that's the proper way to treat people. With the dignity and respect I would want a nurse to treat me when I get old. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm doing my first starter case today! Starter cases are the admission cases, when the nurses from the agency go to the patients' house to introduce them to the agency, get them sorted out with medical equipment and medications, assess their ability to adjust back to being home. Often times patients come back with a new diagnosis, a shopping bag of pills, lists of instructions from the doctor, and are feeling very overwhelmed. Yesterday the patient we saw had to learn all about how to take her blood sugar and administer Lantus every day. It really is going to be her husband's job, and I could see the worry in their daughter's eyes, wondering how her parents were going to manage on their own. I want to be the nurse that sits down with the patient and their family and tells them that it will get easier, that they'll eventually be able to list all their meds by heart, that taking their blood sugar will be something they can do while reading the paper. But getting a diagnosis of diabetes when you're over 70 can be something you never get the hang of. That's why I want to be the nurse that helps make everything seem just a bit easier to manage.

My preceptor told me she's going to have me go through all thr consent forms, look over the medications, and do the physical assessment. This is whole job is a big step, not just for me but the agency as well, because they never hired a 'brand new' nurse before. And trusting me to handle something as big as this really gives me the confidence that I'm getting the hang of things.

I'm excited. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yesterday was my first patient visit. I didn't go solo of course, which made me feel a little better, because i think there's always a part of you that's nervous whenever you start something new. It kinda felt like the first day of clinical all over again. I mean I've done vital signs on countless people in the last three years, but I still felt my heart beating a little faster as I listened to my patient's heart and lungs, felt a little shaky as I took his blood pressure. And though I've felt for countless pedal pulses (on the feet), I still found myself praying that they'd be easy to find (which they were). I was supposed to see a couple, but the next patient wasn't available and the nurse I was with got a flat tire so she sent me back to the office where I'm waiting to receive my second PPD shot. Tomorrow is my weekly meeting, and then off to see more patients. So far I'm doing well! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I went through a lot of changes since I first started my blog. From Frum College Girl to Frum College Woman (because you automatically become an adult when you get married), and then to frum college mother. When I last blogged I was frum graduate girl, looking to the future and wondering what it would hold.  It's been over a year, but the next chapter in my career has begun. I am now an employed nurse. 

It's funny how life has a way of turning out in ways you weren't expecting in really hoped to get a job in a hospital and eventually work in the emergency department. But getting into a hospital was harder than I imagined it would be. Even moving (and taking my mother's only grandson away from her) didn't help much. So I readjusted my expectations and just when I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever find a job, I found a long term home healthcare agency looking to hire nurses. They were hesitant about hiring me as I have no experience, but it must have been my overwhelming charm that won them over. Or the fact that they're looking to hire. Either way, I started orientation here a week ago, and after waiting for human resources to determine that I'm medically fit and don't have an incriminating criminal record, I'm ready to go and visit patients, with a preceptor. It will be slow going at first, until I get then hang of all the paperwork, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I think the end has come for my blog.

Besides for the obvious reason-I don't blog anymore-if I did continue blogging I'd probably have to change my name from FCG to FGG.

I'm finally graduating :)

It's been a long road and I've come a long way from my first day when I didn't even know the difference between sodium chloride and normal saline. Along the way I've learned about more diseases than I knew my brain could hold, given dozens of injections, administered medications, inserted foleys, cleaned gangrenous diabetic foot wounds, watched a c-section, a PICC line insertion, a cardiac catheterization, and laparoscopic cystectomy, did a shift in the NICU, the ER, OR, cardiac unit, pediatrics floor. I've spent countless hours reading, studying, written papers and essays on everything from nursing management to cultural awareness. I've ingested a lifetime's supply of caffeine, made a dozen friendships along the way, and now it's finally drawing to a close.

Of course I'll be going on to take the NCLEX exam and then go for my BSN and then hopefully a masters, but for now I've come to the end of an era. For those of you who have stuck by my side with your endless support,I thank you, and know that I would not have made it without your encouraging words. I look forward to the next stage in my career.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

While every summer there are kids who come very often, there's always that one kid who manages to come up with the stupidest excuses. This summer that kid is a boy going into sixth grade. He once got a bee sting on his lip which blew up so now he thinks he may be allergic to bee stings. So every time he thinks he may have gotten stung he comes rushing into the office so we can tell him that he's fine. The latest was when he was convinced he'd gotten stung on the back of his neck when it was just his tag rubbing against his neck. But the latest incident takes the cake. There was a bubble machine in camp one day last week. It was a big inflated pool that had a machine blowing large quantities if bubbles out for the kids to jump in. In the middle of this activity the boy came in

"My friend pushed me down and forced me to swallow two bubbles and I saw on the side if the pool it says that you shouldn't eat the stuff and if you do you should seek medical attention immediately so I'm here"

We gave him a cup of water and sent him back.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Little kids have a habit of volunteering way too much information. Not in a gross-I-didn't-need-to-know-that-kind of way, but in a way that makes you want to interrupt their story to tell them to get to the point already.

A seven year old was brought to the infirmary with a sting. In order to make sure the kid wasn't reacting to the sting, I asked him to tell me how he got the sting. "so I s standing in the pool area next to Pool One. No actually it was Pool Two. I was really closer to Pool One but I was walking to Pool Two to go swimming. Not the really shallow pool. That's Pool Three. And i was facing the green tent. I was looking at the purple sign hanging up....."

So cute.

Sometimes it's less than cute.

There's a junior counselor who talks like that too. When he brought a camper in who'd hurt his shoulder it took a full two minutes for him to get to the part about the shoulder. "he had the ball and he was trying to dunk so he jumped up with his arms outstretched like this, (at this point the jc demonstrated for me) and when he came down his foot was like this, (another demonstration) and then he landed on his shoulder"

A simple "he fell on his shoulder" would have sufficed

Then there was the camper who simply did not stop talking. To be honest, I'm not sure why he was even brought in in the first place. He was complaining that it had been very hot in his apartment that morning. But the boys' bunkhouses are air-conditioned. In any event,he sat here for a bit to cool off and then waited for his counselor to come pick him up. Since it was the beginning of the day it took awhile for the division head to send someone to come collect him. So he sat for fifteen minutes talking non-stop. About absolutely everything and nothing at all. About his breakfast that morning and the air conditioner in his apartment and his recent wii score and I'm not sure what else because I sort of tuned him out at that point. Thankfully he left before he drove us all mad.

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