Monday, January 24, 2011

NICU job

So I applied for a NICU position at Inner City Hospital (which is also about 30 minutes closer to my house) in December. I emailed the manager explaining the situation (why I would want to leave the adult ICU after not so many months, what kind of experience I have, etc.) and got an email back saying she was gone until January. Shucks.

I called her in January and got the answering machine. Left a message explaining who I was and what I wanted. No call back. Starting to grind my teeth a little. Gave up for a little while.

THEN, my friends, I had a moment of clarity. Unfortunately, this came in the form of a dude with a GI bleed getting bowel prep. He kept needing to get up to the bedside commode every thirty minutes or so because of the loveliness that is Golytely. This guy, however, had approximately six brain cells. He would jump out of bed and pull his IV pole by his catheter site and yell "I GOTTA GO TO THE CAN!" Multiple attempts to educate him about the wonders of the call light were unsuccessful. The cherry on this wonderful sundae of a night shift was the face that he kept shitting all over the floor. I don't know how exactly you miss while pooping into a bedside commode, but every time I knew he was up (his tele would go crazy) I would get to mop up tons of shit off the floor.

I tried to be as nice as possible. "Honey, what happened here?" I inquired. "I don't know," the hapless gentleman would reply, shrugging.

I don't want to give the wrong impression. I totally understand that cleaning up shit is part of being a nurse. I get that. I don't mind that my really sick, 99-year-old, helpless patients really can't hold it. That doesn't bother me. This man is well enough to get up to the toilet, but apparently has no shame while watching nurses continually wipe his crap off the floor. The real kicker is that he would bend over the bed, prison style, so I could wipe him. "Um...sir? It's OK for you to wipe yourself," I tried to offer. "I don't want to," was his pathetic reply. He would then get back in bed with his gown halfway up and his balls hanging out all over the place. This happened about six times over the eight hours I had him. Charming.

Do some people have no shame?

Either way, that night motivated me to call that NICU manager again the very next morning. She answered the phone - yay! However, she explained that she was in the middle of a meeting and she had over 50 applicants for the position, so she had no idea who I was. Deflating. However, I am sort of glad I had that patient because it totally solidified in my mind the fact that I can't deal with adults. Children are always helpless. Adults...not so much.

RN? Yes. Smarter? No.

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted. I am now a brand spanking new RN with a shiny name badge and everything. I work in a newly opened ICU.

So far it has been merely OK. I spent six weeks at Mega Hospital's cardiac ICU training while they were still building Relatively Small Hospital. That was an adventure. I had a pretty nice preceptor. Anal, yes, but nice. I have yet to get used to the intensity level of ICU nurses. It's really quite startling at first.

We opened the new hospital where I've been receiving a sort of orientation. By this I mean I get a preceptor and actual ICU patients when we have enough staff. This annoys me to no end.

I am applying to graduate school right now in hopes of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner. In my college job I worked with kids and I really miss that. I've been applying to every peds job under the sun (or at least in the metro area) to try to break into the field, but I guess you either have to have tons of experience or know someone at Children's to even get your application routed to a manager. Try NICU perhaps? We will see.

In the mean time, I'll try to make myself feel better/laugh a little with stories from the ICU.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pedi in a nutshell

I finished pediatrics with flying colors! I think that rotation confirmed that I like kids and I want to work with them. They are small (to better lift you with my dear), compact (to better bathe you and change your sheets my dear), and they have a support/babysitting team right there at all times (to better have all of your basic needs taken care of my dear). It's a good deal.

The rotation at the hospital was fun even though they made no indication of what our role was. I gave a few medications, helped do a few procedures, and changed lots of beds, but not a lot other than that. I did a rotation in the IMC and PICU which was really interesting. They never let us do that stuff with adults for some reason. I worked with mostly young nurses but also a few seasoned ones. I never felt like an intruder like I sometimes did at all of the adult facilities.

I did do a rotation at a clinic in Cedar Park. That was merely OK. My preceptor had apparently had a horrible student the rotation previous to mine so she was a little jaded. The student had, according to her:
1. Spent the whole time texting and playing on her phone
2. Told the preceptor that she didn't need to do any of the work because she was planning on going into critical care
3. Sat in the doctor's chair/work space area and didn't take hints that she needed to move
4. Taken a two hour lunch
5. Done about a million other appalling things I couldn't believe.
The preceptor was so pissed that she talked to the student's instructor for 45 minutes and asked that the student not return for day 2 of the rotation. Damn. That is one overdeveloped sense of entitlement.

This made it easy for me, of course. All I had to do was take initiative and act interested in the work. I had it made. The second day I had a preceptor that was too busy calling her lawyer and spying on her soon to be ex husband online to care too much about what I was doing. I practiced drawing blood in the lab and gave about 15 Tdap shots. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it doesn't get much better than this.

After that we had a rotation doing school nursing. My preceptor was extremely nice and easy to get along with. She was a PICU nurse for 17 years and then had kids, so she decided to do school nursing. Shifted gears a little, you could say. One of the kids came in like three times in two days, so we had to call his mom. The teacher who had sent him apologized profusely. "I didn't know he had already seen you today," he said. "Kids are such whiners these days. When I was a kid, going home was a punishment. You were on a god damn lock down in the house. No games, no TV, no nothing. If I was too sick to go to school, I was too sick to do anything but lie in bed. Damned wussy kids." He was, needless to say, awesome.

The last semester of undergrad is upon us! I feel old.

Also, I never thought I'd say this, but I HATE lying around and not feeling productive. It's really hard.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Does this look cool at all?

Definitely thinking about it.

Piss and Vinegar.

There are few things in this world that are more awful than orientation. Humans just aren't built for a whole day of lecture. It's not right.

So far, we have had five orientations since the beginning of nursing school in Fall of 2008. I remember the first one. The instructor assigned to lecture our class would trail off about her daughter's (Star Wars themed) wedding. This was for three straight days. Gag me with a blender.

This past orientation wasn't much better. We had a two hour lecture on child abuse today, complete with pictures. It was necessary, but really, really sad. Then we had a hour about what we talked about yesterday, school and community health. 30 minutes with the PICC team, 30 minutes with child life, and then 2 hours reviewing skills. It made me want to cry, honestly.

I really hope the pedi rotation is better than maternity. I am still awaiting my evaluation for that class. I hope I did well, because I feel like I really busted my ass trying to look busy all the time. I felt totally shortchanged and left out by that clinical. Other people saw multiple c sections, vaginal births, and interesting post partum patients. Not to mention they actually got to go to the nursery to bathe and play with babies. My turn comes and all of the sudden we're going home early. I'm not bitter or anything.

Sorry this is a huge rant. I'm just sort of pissed about nursing school in general.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No more...

Today was the last day of Maternity. Just as we were getting comfortable with the unit and the topics, we're done. My instructor decided that today we would just do our presentations and go home. Too bad it was my day to go to the nursery and play with babies. Awesome.

Thinking back on the whole thing just kind of makes me wince a little bit. More than half the time there were no patients, but when there were, we weren't allowed to do much with them. No giving meds, doing assessments, starting IVs, or anything else for that matter. Either the nurses didn't want us to do any skills or the patient didn't want us to do it. That and every thinking process I had was wrong because none of the patients were sick, they were just giving birth.

Everything is different in Maternity. They don't use the same abbreviations. They have strange flow sheets and charting. They only have 1 or 2 patients. They are really open about talking about their vaginas, poop, sex lives, etc. It's a whole other world in there that I'm pretty sure I don't want to be a part of.

Also, is it just me or are L&D nurses extremely opinionated?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Labor and Delivery

So far, Labor and Delivery has pretty much been a big snore. I have had exactly one patient who almost gave birth. The other few days have been filled with stories and explanations and endless amounts of droning about the finer points of L&D. I mean, it's not the instructor's fault that there were no patients the last two days in labor. However, wouldn't some sort of plan in case of this very situation comes up be extremely helpful? I think so.

I'm pretty sure L&D isn't my thing. It's a lot of waiting and watching. And vagina tearing. Being in lecture makes me cringe and squirm in my seat sometimes from all we talk about. It's not pleasant.

I hope it gets better soon. I don't want to be doomed to another few weeks of hating 2/7 of my week!