Saturday, July 31, 2010

the little buggers

In a self-fulfilling prophecy sort of way, it seems I thought myself into an illness. Maybe I just worked my way into it. It only makes sense that if you work around germs you're going to fall to those germs eventually. I work around a bunch of little buggers, well some of them are not so little. Working in a peds office is a surefire way to come down with some sort of virus or other illness. Wouldn't ya know it, last night I started in with a headache and by this morning was feeling worse. Quite frankly, I feel icky.

It's not bad enough to be totally debilitating, but bad enough to keep from me going into DC with Big B for a Phillies/Nats game. It's pretty disappointing, but I knew I didn't want to end up feeling worse, cutting our trip short. Here I lie in bed, while he's off wandering around enjoying himself and will soon be heading to the baseball game. It figures I'm finally able to live freely, since there are no more studies to keep me down and I'm left stuck at home feeling like crud! Boohoo!

The other guys are, thankfully, amusing themselves. LB went off to a concert and AW is in his room chatting it up while playing XBOX Live.

As far as the job goes itself, it's going well...

I love the people I work with. The work has been frustrating at times. I love working with the kids, far more than I ever thought I would. It's the tasks we have to manage that frustrate me, and my fellow new co-workers. We do labs in house, at least as far as drawing blood for things that need to be sent out, simple Hgb tests, rapid strep screens, etc. It's the outgoing bloodwork that has left me wanting to rip my hair out. CBC's go in the lavendar top tube. Got it. Thyroid tests go in the tiger top tubes. OK. The more simple, more common tests are manageable. It's the crazy odd, rarely done tests that we have to draw for that leave me mad. I didn't go to medical lab tech school. It's all very challenging, but once all the other tasks come easier, and they already are, I'll be able to learn the lab tests more readily.

The frustration was compounded when MB, my former classmate who called me for this job, and I had to call in other reinforcements. Fortunately for us we just graduated with a bunch of people who have yet to find permanent jobs, so any opportunity to gain experience and get paid is worthwhile. I called on CM first, but as soon as she and I figured out we'd be on our own on different days, we decided we weren't comfortable flying solo. We called in CH.

The reason for all of this? That goes back to what I mentioned in my previous post. I was brought on to help out because the two regular employees had been granted vacation and time off for surgery and convalescence at the same time. I had one good day of training and one, um...pretty good day. We've all (not including the regular employees) been thrown in with minimal training. MB has had the most, with me coming in second, CM and CH have had little, except for what they were thrown into. CM has since been hired on at a local rehab and nursing center full-time. CH will now be working at the peds office on a PRN basis. MB is now full-time and I will be 3 days a week for August, maybe less later, maybe more.

I think if I do end up staying on permanently I'll have to come up with a nickname other than "peds office". I love working there, aside from the learning curve...zig zag. It's definitely been an experience to remember! I'll forever be thankful my girls came through for me and MB thought to call me!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

first days, GREAT news! I got a job! One of my forner classmates found a job at a local pediatrician's office, that come to find out is in a bind due to short-staffing because of surgery/vacations. I was called to ask if I could help out. Who in the world would pass up such an opportunity? It's not like other opportunities are fruitful, or even exist.

The most recent:
Ms. KLS, RN,

Thank you for your interest in XX Hospital.
I have received your online applications for various RN positions. It appears that you are a new gradute RN with less than 1 year of clinical experience. We do not have any positions currently for new graduates. The next opportunity will be some time in 2011.

I wish you the best in your search.

Nurse Recruiter

Just the day prior they'd sent me this one:
Dear KLS, RN,

Thank you for applying to XX Hospital.
I have reviewed your online applications, and unfortunately, we are not accepting any more new graduate RNs at this time. We will hold our next new graduate fellowship in 2011.
I wish you the best in your search.

Thank you for considering XX Hospital

XX, Nurse Recruiter
XX Hospital

Yeah, cuz in 2011 I will still be considered a new grad...


I started at the peds office today and although I am beyond exhausted, I'm happy. It was a great first day. I didn't make any huge mistakes. All the children left in the same condition they had entered in. I was in awe of the nurse I trained with as I can't wait to just know so much without giving it a second thought. Of course, it'll feel nice to just not feel so "green"!

I am so thankful for this opportunity. It may not be my first choice, but it's better than doing nothing. The people are great, the hours are perfect, and it's experience. I'm not sure if I'll stay on permanently, but it looks like I may, as part-time. That's fine with me!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Not too sure about having a background color...I actually liked having the white background, but was hoping that a colored one would make the banner stand out more.

Should I stay colored or go back to white?

certs & joiners

I'm looking at different certifications and am now pretty overwhelmed. ACLS seems to be the best bet - PALS, too. What other certs are there out there that you've found worthwhile, especially as a new nurse?

Who's joined ANA or any other organizations? I'm just curious, as to the benefits.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

decipher this!


That's my brain on free-time. Since I've passed the NCLEX there is no longer a need to study. I feel like I should be studying though. This is the first time in 11 years that I haven't had any pending school work to do, minus some breaks here and there - but there was still a degree to be finished.

The job market for new grad/inexperienced/newly licensed RNs is still very bleak. I've applied for most jobs I've come across that say nothing more than "experience preferred" or if there hasn't been a specific type of experience or certification required. One of the local hospital's nurse recruiters has called me twice now for a position I applied to, in behavioral medicine. The first call was to inquire as to if I did really want to work in that field. It's not my #1 choice, but I'd gladly take on the challenge. The second call was to inquire about my experience. Other than a degree in psychology and having worked with special needs/emotionally disturbed adolescents (which I forgot to mention) I have none. She said they'd call back if they chose to interview me. Haven't heard from them since.

I have applied for a school nurse position that I would be extremely happy to take even if the pay is minimal. The schedule would be perfect, especially considering some of the things we've gone through this past couple of years with our youngest resident adolescent. That's my silver lining to my jobless situation. I'm home for him this summer. I'm home for all my guys.

So anyway, back to free-time and having an overactive brain. I do better when I have to plan things out and schedule around things. Right now, with no job and the boys sleeping late (I let that become a habit since it helped with my need to study for NCLEX), I have too much free-time on my hands. I got out of the practice of doing a lot of things, like cleaning, and now am having a hard time getting back into doing them. Well that, and it's been hot here. harumph.

baby steps...

Maybe I'll get certified in something...take ACLS...

Monday, July 12, 2010

best news!




Friday, July 9, 2010

the deed is done

This morning I woke up around 0900 after a pretty good night's rest, thanks to Ambien. I had to take it or I would never have slept a wink. I laid there until about 2245 and finally decided playing Bejeweled Blitz wasn't going to make me sleepy as it normally does. I placed the iPhone on the nightstand, rolled over and was a goner within minutes. Thank you, Ambien!

It was nice to wake up in such a good mood. Big B and AW had returned during the night from their man-bonding trip, so I quickly made my way downstairs to check on Big B. He'd graciously slept downstairs, so as not to disturb my slumber. Aww! He is so sweet! He'd already awakened for the morning and was just tinkering around. AW was still catching ZZZs and LB had crashed at a friend's house.

I actually don't remember much other than all of that. What I do remember is my good buddy, Ethel* picking me up and us making our way up to the town where we would meet our doom - I mean take our NCLEX exams. We stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel. You know, comfort to feed the brains. It wasn't long before we had to make an, ummm...urgent stop for level. And we didn't stop just once.

Then we arrived at the testing center with a few minutes to spare. There was one other nervous test-taker in front of us signing in. Then it was Ethel's turn. After she was done and escorted into the gloom room, I was then checked in. We may as well have been entering the classified materials archive in the Pentagon.

Finger prints AND palm prints? Really? Us fledgling nurse-types are certainly a bunch of dishonest sorts. I mean, what, with our eager need to please and be perfect. Geez, give us time to get develop burn-out and then be suspicious!

Then it was time. I sat there staring at that monitor briefly, hoping it would start blinking with notification that I was the lucky, 1billionth test-taker and had been chosen to receive an honorary license. No need to sit through the grueling exam!

As if!

Nope, through the tutorial I went and then onto the real thing.

You know, I must've completed around 3000 questions in preparation. As time went on, my averages went up.


Ha! It might as well have been στα ελληνικά. I hit
next" on the 75th queston and it kept going. Ugh! I thought to myself "Ok,'re going to be in it for the long haul". Then wouldn't you know it, around question 82-83 the screen went blue! Still, there wasn't any notification of an honorary license, but NCLEX was over. I lived through it.

This is what 22+ months of nursing school(not counting the past 11 or so years since I decided to go to nursing school) has come down to...80 some odd, mind-blowing, make-me-doubt-all-I-know questions. A friend of mine, who took it Monday, told me of the 78 she lived through, 4 was the total of what she felt comfortable with. Me? zero. Ethel had about the same number of questions as I did.

Now we wait.

We left the test center feeling as if we'd been rode hard and put away wet. We called our other buddy, RG,RN, and complained about the ridiculousness of what we'd just been through. Yes, RG (78 questions, from above) made it.

We're not one of the 48 hours results states. Yeha, that was the other attachment that came with our ATT email. If you live in this state you may receive your results in 48 hours by paying... Those, from our class, who took it this past week, found out the next day. Since today is Friday Ethel asked, after finishing her exam, and was told "next busniess day". One of the other girls we graduated with called the BoN and found out we should be able to call tomorrow afternoon and find out.

Guess it'll be another Ambien night!

*Name changed for privacy...I'm Lucy, and she is Ethel, as we were known in nursing school.

All this and I might have a job! I got a call from a local hospital's nurse recruiter yesterday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

big gulp

First, let's start off with some shots I snapped of the fireworks from Sunday's 4th of July display...

When I'm tense or upset in any way I like to do things that I enjoy. I love the photos of the fireworks, since they allow me to look at the bursts of color as many times as I'd like. The third one up from the bottom reminds me of sperm swimming in after an ovum.

Why am I tense? I'm tense because I take the NCLEX VERY SOON!

So far our class has been doing very well. Of the 7 people that I know of who have taken it, 5 have passed. I'm extremely sad for the ones who didn't.

I really can't wait to have it behind me. It'll be so wonderful to be able to go out and search for a job, and do the other million and one things I haven't been able to do because I've been strapped down to the old ball and chain of school and NCLEX preparation!

As for the remainder of today, I'm going to go over some pharmacology, and do my last set of questions. LB is the only one at home right now because Big B and AW took a trip up to NJ to get away, and let me have some peace. I think LB and I will go out to dinner tonight and catch a movie.

This time tomorrow I'll be on my way! NCLEX or bust!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

independence '10

Happy Independence Day everyone!

I took these photos during our fireworks outing last year. I got several good shots, and think they're pretty cool for their vibrant colors and designs.

It's great to have the freedom to watch such awesome displays.

I feel freedom and independence are extra-special to me this year, after finishing nursing school. The same day that I posted the last post, I received my ATT and was able to schedule my date for NCLEX. It's coming up pretty soon and I am beyond nervous, more like terrified. I've done a great job studying, and will continue to do so up until the day before I go in to do the deed. It'll be nice to have it behind me, and to have the freedom to spend my days with my family and friends, doing things I enjoy doing without having to worry about studying.

We're getting ready to head out in a few hours to go to a local event center/polo grounds to hang out with some friends, eat scrumptious food, play games, take in some polo and sit back and ooo and ahh over the fireworks display this year.

Enjoy your 4th of July!