Sunday, September 30, 2007

SEe the world, be a nurse

Opportunity in the nursing field is all over the place.

Right now, RN's are in demand, and I think we all know it. Most of us could walk into any hospital, in any town USA, and announce "I'm here, Gimme a job". And, unless we were felons or the like, we'd get one without any undue pain.

I've seen more and more nurses choose the route of becoming a traveling nurse, lately.
To be honest with you, as much as I love to go see new places, it was a thought I considered. But I hate hate hate the idea that I'd be constantly having to get used to a new hospital, it's politics, it's people, and it's standards. Or lack of standards, for that matter. I was in the Navy for 4 years, a long time ago, and while the traveling was fun, it is very nice to have a home with some roots, so I decided against it.

Another factor is, from what I've heard, unconscious or not, travelers tend to get "dumped" on on a regular basis. I've heard horror stories from some of the travelers we've had come through our doors about how unwelcome they have been made to feel at some facilities. The nurses don't want to connect with them because they know that the person will just be leaving. And they tend to get the crappy assignment, every time they work.

Podunk, in my opinion, is not that bad to travelers. About the worst thing that probably happens to them is that when there is someone thats going to float, and a traveler is on the schedule, they end up being the floatee. Most of the traveling nurses I've talked to don't really care about that. They are there to to a job, and get paid. And they get paid well, so it doesn't matter to them where they work.
We tend to get really friendly with our travelers. Especially in the ICU. We want them to stay, most of the time. Its like a breath of fresh air. Most of our travelers, if they are happy with us, extend at least once. We have one now, who just extended through January, and I am so glad she's staying. She's smart, funny, and a good nurse. She really fits in well with us. We want her to stay, forever.

Of course, we've had the polar opposite, as well. One lady didn't make it a week in the Podunk ICU. She hated the small town, hated her housing, hated hated hated. And that's how she acted when she came in. Hated everything. She did not jibe well with us. So she left, and I respect that. It has to be hard to constantly move around and try to carve a life at the same time. I couldn't do it. She is really the exception to the rule as far as our luck with travelers has gone. We've been very lucky with most of the ones who've come to play. I hope our luck continues. (Though, two of our regular staff positions have just been filled, and we may be not having new travelers come for a while.)

So, there are lots of travelers, lots of companies recruiting travelers. I get messages fairly frequently from some of these companies. We even get faxes straight into the ICU trying to recruit us away from Podunk. With the nursing shortage continuing, traveling is a definate opportunity for those that choose to take it. I am sure it is an interesting challenge. I'm glad there are nurses out there to accept that challenge.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

how about a lift?

I am sitting here at my computer and looking out the convenient window located right next to my monitor into the hot, August, outside world.

I see a big truck, three guys, and a new washing machine destined for one of my neighbors.

They have this fancy lift on this truck, though. Hydraulic. These guys stepped ONTO this lift, and it LIFTED THEM into the truck. The truck they could have easily gotten into themselves. Now, these guys have the washing machine on the lift, and it is at a working height for them while they put what ever it is they are going to put on the bottom of this spinning new washing machine.

I want one of these lifts.

Our hospital beds are supposed to be able to do all this fancy stuff for us, stand the patient up, trendelenburg, weigh the patient, make it easier on our backs. Half the time they barely work.

And almost every patient, on every exit survey, hates the bed. Its uncomfortable, and there is always the sound of the motor in the room when they turn over. Usually, they want me to unplug the bed. Until I explain to them that if I do so, they won't have a call light. (I think THEY think the call light is a 'perk' to being hospitalized. Where else can they hit a button, and get rewarded with a person at their beck and call? Answer me that Dr. Pavlov.)

Maybe we should just invest in a bunch of these hydraulic lifts like I see on this truck. If my patients are so uncomfortable in the hospital bed, then this shouldn't be much more uncomfortable, should it? With a sheet, and a pillow, it'll do!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

a shoulder

I don't know about the rest of you, but nursing is killing my shoulders.
My back, it never hurts. It's always my shoulders. I injured the first one over at Stinky City Med Center. The other? Here at Podunk.

I love the administration, and their theory that if we hurt ourselves, we are not using the correct "techniques" to lift or move our patients. Its not the technique. I think it's the repetitive motion. We lift and scoot people all the time. Like people who work on computers get carpal tunnel, we get "nursing shoulder". And I've got it. In both shoulders.

Of course, I aggravate the injury at home, too. I re arranged furniture, and spent time playing with, and wrestling my three nephews this week. So, I go back to work tonight, and feel like my arms are going to fall off.

Actually they feel better this morning, but last night? OUCH.

I hope that, against the odds, we have patients tonight who don't require my poor, abused nursing shoulders.
I highly doubt it.

Is it too late for me to buy stock in Advil?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I am stuck on Band-aid brand

...'cause Band-Aid's stick on me!

Probably post a post of jingles alone, but then they'd be stuck in your head as you walked around today, and you'd all be cursing me.
What I have on my mind today, though, is this.

When did the advertisements for PRESCRIPTION drugs start? I honestly don't remember.
I find it really kind of ludicrous that the major drug companies run ad's for drugs you have to have a prescription for.

I bet this must drive the MD's NUTS. People, seeing these commercials, and convincing themselves that nothing but THAT DRUG will due for them. Convincing themselves they have that ailment. And the commercials almost always have this 1-800 number, or website, where you can get the all important "questionnaire" to fill out with your symptoms.

Just what your doc wants to do, sit down with you, and a questionnaire, and go over a list of symptoms that a COMMERCIAL thinks you have! I bet their heart's just sink when they walk into an exam room and see one of those things.

And, the far reaching internet. Where everyone can look up medical advice. I know the doc's in Podunk have a hard time with this one. If I had a nickel for every time a family member said to me, or the doc "well I read on the internet that you SHOULD be doing this this and this, why aren't you?" I'd be retired. I looooove the internet. I love the instant info offered on every topic imaginable. But, truthfully. I hate it when the families think it is the be all and end all of medical knowledge. Why go to Medical School? The internet will tell you what to do!

Ahh. What an interesting era we live in. . .

Hi five for consumerism....