Abandon your Weaknesses!

While it is much easier to revel in the knowledge of our strengths and bask in the praise of others, it is time to stop beating ourselves with our weaknesses. Who, as an adult nurse, needs to be reminded of those anymore?

That you know what your personal skill weaknesses happen to be is all that matters. That you spend any time at all trying to change a weak skill into a strong skill at this stage of life is a waste of valuable time. Abandon the Weaknesses! Focus on your strength.

A strength is not necessarily defined as ‘something we are good at’ but, rather as something we merely enjoy. It is an activity that completely envelopes our minds and hearts while we are engaged in it. We enjoy the time spent and we are inspired when we are done. I enjoy teaching future nurses how to pass the GED and I know I am very effective.

A weakness is a skill that probably should not be used to earn a living – a good living, that is. If you cannot sing in tune, starring roles in Broadway musicals are usually out of the question. Not being able to speak to large groups means elected high political office and motivational speaking can be taken off the table. And, not being able to expertly run and leap-in-stride absolutely means Olympic Gold in the High Hurdles is not in your future. So, if caring for other people isn’t your thing, don’t try to be a nurse. It’s just as simple as that.

Continue reading

“Are You New Here, RN?”

If the answer is “Yes” – whether you are a new grad or an experienced transfer, it will be in your best interest for you to mind a few simple principles.  They are easy to accomplish, yet effective and powerful in their implementation.  Good luck! and Welcome!!
Just take a look at this video about the five most common mistakes new RNs make:

You are here to learn our ways, not the reverse. You were chosen from a handful or more of others to join us – don’t make us doubt our hiring abilities by becoming obnoxious about “how you do it.”

Be quiet and observe. The working staff have many things to show you that you will never get from the policy manual or conversations.  Interpersonal behaviors, customer service, times to implement certain routines, mannerisms for phone conversations, time management, and clothing options only come from clear observation.

Smile.  Alot. When you smile, you are approachable.  When you scowl, you appear disapproving – and frankly, no one cares to engage another human being whom they think doesn’t like them or whats going on.  So, even if you don’t like someone or whats going on, smile. And then: smile more.

Continue reading

RN Leaders/Academics: No Respect Theory

Ever notice the measuring tool by which we rank our nursing co-workers and charge nurses to decide how to respect them? How to decide if in our verbal and mental descriptions we tag them with “…he/she’s a Good Nurse” or label them with “…he/she’s Not a Very Good Nurse”? In short, how to decide whether or not this colleague has any merit whatsoever for our respect or even our attention?

It is their clinical prowess. Their bedside skill. Their ability to feel, know, acknowledge and rally the clinical team to get the impossible done for the patient. That it (whatever ‘it’ is this time) is right, timely, and physiologically correct leaves us as bystanders admiring them for months and years. We want to “be like that when we grow up!”

Continue reading

Online LPN Programs

The idea that one could become an LPN by taking a course that is entirely Internet-based is, if you stop and think about it, a truly silly one. Yet every day thousands of Google searches are performed by people looking for online LPN programs. Such things do exist, in a way, but the whole thing is a little more complicated than it seems.

Why Real Online LPN Programs are an Impossibility
Nursing is one of the most hands-on jobs that anyone could choose to do, and therefore clinical practice and experience, in the real world, is an essential part of any nurse’s training, whether they want to become an LPN or an RN. In order to work as an LPN, every state in the US requires that an individual is licensed, and there are clinical hour requirements attached to that license. And yet there are still those who believe in the fallacy that online LPN programs allow you to become a licensed practical nurse without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.

Continue reading

Nursing Leadership 101

This is a blog. A personal blog. A personal and self-supported space on the Internet where I get to write what I want when I want about whatever I want – with only the best intentions, of course.  It is ok if you disagree with me – a little or a lot.

If you think I am talking about you but you are not specifically named, then I am not talking about you. If you think you know the situation or person to which I refer but I did not give the correct details or the person’s real name, then you are mistaken. I am a GED graduate, nursing educator, nursing leader, speaker, and students motivator. I also volunteer as an online GED classes instructor at Best GED classes and Covcell.

… if it’s not fun, then you’re reading it all wrong.

This blog is sometimes sarcastic and purposefully edgy. This site in no way reflects the opinions of the hospitals I work or organizations I volunteer.Continue reading

Is a Bachelor of Science In Nursing Really Better than An ASN?

In every state in the union, a nurse can take his or her state licensing exam to become a registered nurse after graduating from a two-year nursing program that awards an Associates Degree in Nursing.

However, an increasing number of students are deciding to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree as well. The question some prospective nursing students often have is why bother with the extra schooling and expenses if both an Associates and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing qualify you to become a registered nurse?

Why take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing? – Like other Bachelor degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing usually takes 4 years to complete and is offered at many colleges and universities across the country. There are also RN to BSN courses available that allow current RNs to gain a BSN in about 18 months.

Continue reading

Emotional Strengths

During my first shift of this week, I discovered a new appreciation for hospice nurses. I started my shift with 2 patients- the first was a 79-year-old female who was chronically ill with CHF and related respiratory issues; she had been back and forth between the ICU and the telemetry unit over the past month. She had been planning for discharge when she coded on telemetry; she was transferred back to the ICU on a ventilator and multiple drips.

Through that evening, the nurse kept having to increase the amount of vasoactive medications she was on and shortly after the start of my shift that next morning, she was maxed out on multiple medications (vasopressin, epinephrine, levophed, neosynephrine, and dopamine). Her daughter arrived at 0800 and we discussed the fact that her mom probably would not make it through the day no matter what else we tried to do (there’s already so much damage being done to the body on that amount of medication).

Continue reading

A Battle Plan Against Depression

In one ‘Cathy’ comic, the heroine crossly describes men as ‘all solution, no sympathy.’ For depressed teenagers and their parents, as Dr. Miriam Kaufman has learned over 18 years of work with teens, this attitude can be as misguided as the oft-derided ‘all sympathy, no solution’ approach. She conveys both sympathy and solution in Overcoming Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents, maintaining a scientific, matter-of-fact tone throughout.

Kaufman makes no attempt to gloss over the complexity of depression’s causes and manifestations; she believes that people need to understand their problems in order to deal with them honestly. Thus, she avoids over-simplification and distinguishes between everyday unhappiness and clinical depression as well as between depression and illnesses with similar effects. A diagnosis of major depression requires loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities, sometimes experienced as sadness and sometimes as apathy. This feeling must be continuously present for two weeks, accompanied by four of the following: sleep problems; changes in eating patterns; difficulty concentrating; listlessness; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt; suicidal thoughts.

Continue reading

Who owns your DNA?

The answer might not be you. In an era when the map of the human genome can be accessed by any professor with an Internet connection, the question becomes more crucial every day. Courts and lawyers and legislatures wrestle with it; people who joined medical studies wonder just what their participation means. Courts have ruled that people who donate actual tissue — pieces of organs, tumors or blood, for example — have no right to financial compensation if a drug or treatment is developed from research done on that tissue.

But DNA, which contains the genetic blueprint from which you were built, seems more personal, something whose fate you and you alone should have the right to control.

Oregon is the site of the most recent battle over the rights to DNA. The state’s 1995 genetic privacy law, one of the first in the nation, gives a person property rights to his or her own DNA. A proposed change to the law last year would have taken those rights away. An advisory committee is expected to offer recommendations to the governor next month on how to proceed.

Continue reading

How The Economy is Literally Killing People

At the very beginning of our shift, we received a transfer from the telemetry floor; a 50-something-year-old woman who was admitted 2 days prior with chest pain and elevated cardiac enzymes.

And, at the time, that was all the information we had. She arrived to us having 10/10 (worst pain imaginable, per patient report) chest pain, she was vomiting, diaphoretic (sweating), and so short of breath that she could barely sit back in the bed long enough for us to get a 12-lead EKG. Her EKG showed major ST changes and her blood pressure was quickly dropping to 62/34.

By this time, multiple calls had gone out to the cardiologist and he had scheduled her to go to the cath lab at 10 a.m. (it was 9 a.m. at this time) and he was given all the same assessment information that we had in front of us.

Continue reading

1 2 3 5