Wednesday, November 30, 2011

meet Pippa

The newest member of my family is a little tiger-striped gray tabby. My youngest son's GF somehow talked my husband into adopting a third cat! Well, she's the second indoor cat now!

She is a mess and a half!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


That's the perfect one word way to sum up my first night back at work. Hellacious comes to mind as well. Shitty even.

It doesn't help that within minutes of getting settled into listening to report that my lower GI system starts to act up, putting a really big dent into any hopes of getting things off to a good start. Any delays in getting your shift off right can cause your whole shift to be one huge massive time if they're not that way already!

Having a patient with respiratory issues and needing to call a rapid response was just the icing on the cake! Then it only took, what, five hours to get him down to the ICU!?!

Oh what a night!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

thoughts o' pondering

I'm thinking....have been thinking...about returning to school for my master's. That being said I'm not quite sure I want to get my MSN or go another route, but still in health care. I've thought about public health with a focus in epidemiology, healthcare administration, and then as far as MSN: admin, public health, and I've even considered education. Its all very confusing, as I'm not solid on one particular track thus far. That, and, different schools offer different programs. I'm pretty sure I don't want to choose a program that is all face-to-face classes, as I'd like to have the option of taking some courses online. Ugh. Decisions... Back to reality... Tonight I return to work after being out for my surgery for nearly a month. I'm excited to go and get back into the swing of things. I've missed caring for patients and some of the people I work with, as I am a social creature. Staying at home is no longer something I can do fulltime! I've healed up quite nicely. My only problem has been the lingering pain in my right side, which has gotten better, but at times - especially after twisting just so - its more uncomfortable. I do have a peek-a-boo suture. It's most likely an internal suture that decided to surface from one of my five abdominal incisions. Every so often I give it a gentle tug to see if it has loosened enough from it's internal resting spot and so far, nope. I look like I have a shopping tag sticking out of me. You know how you get a stuffed animal and when you clip the tag it remains sticking out until you pioke it back in? Yep, mine doesn't budge either way! I go back at the end of the month fo rmy next post opfollow-up and will point it out to my surgeon. That's if it's still there by then.

Monday, October 17, 2011

to blog or not to blog

It has been a it's been forever since I last typed anything here on the ole bloggity blog blog blogger.

Time flies when you're having fun?

It certainly does! The past few months have been all-that-makes contentment. Sure there have been plenty of struggles, but the good has far outweighed the bad and I hope to be around more often. I've toyed with letting the blog die off, leaving it for others to read through, especially those nursing students out there who might need something to help with the insanity, but not keeping it up any further. In the past it's sometimes been a burden to keep up.

So much goes on in my head, hence "order & chaos", so I figure I'll share, if only sparingly.

It seems some come and read and have left comments along the way, so I figure why not use this to let it all out!

Where to start?

The j.o.b.

Three years ago when I first started this blog, if you'd told me I'd end up in med/surg nursing I'd have laughed straight into your face. Weeellll, currently you'd be able to throw back the laughs. It's been great. Sure, there are times it's frustrating and challenges beyond what I want, but it's fulfilling and it's great for experience. Will I stick with it long-term? Doubtful.

Alas, I don't really know what I really want to do in nursing right now, so I'll ride it out until June and then reevaluate. Well, knowing me that'll start mid-March.

So, I've been burning the midnight oil, caring for patients from a 21 yo with cancer to a 90-something with exacerbation-o-everything. I've had a couple of peds patients, several knees, hips, backs, pneumonias, copd'ers, type 2 diabetes, and some with more than one problem.

One thing I've gained is a certain essence, a sort of finesse. I no longer feel like a bumbling student. <<<---priceless.

We are family

The boys are men. LB is off to his freshman year of college and is having the time of his life. AW is a sophomore in high school. He's loving being the only SMan to rule the school, no longer living directly in his brother's shadow. Big B started a new job a few months ago and is loving it.

Latest big deal

After months (years) of dealing with problematic periods (endometriosis, fibroids, abnormal paps, etc) I took the plunge and had a total hysterectomy with both tubes and ovaries yanked as well. That was just this past Wednesday. It was done by daVinci robot. I highly recommend this surgical option. My recovery has been great. I was on Dilaudid for about two full days, and took it for the first three nights at home. Advil/Tylenol PMs have been doing the trick since. I'm having a bit of a problem with what I'm guessing is an adhesion from a previous surgery that was disrupted intraoperatively, and is now angry. It's a pain deep in my right side, that doesn't coincide with one of the incisions directly. It's about 2 inches off from one of the incisions, about where an instrument may have grazed.

It's been driving me crazy to keep up "taking it easy". You never realize how much you do until you can't do it!

Mi casa

I've pretty much resolved to the fact that we aren't getting out of our current home, all thanks to the totally upside down mortgage, without renting it and the difficulties that go along with that. Instead of wallowing in self-pity we've been working on some improvements. We finally put in new carpet up our stairs and on the whole second floor. It's plush and gorgeous. We bought a new king-sized bedroom set and squeezed into the 12x17 space. Again, may I proclaim the gorgeousness of our choice!? Its been fun redecorating. We also redecorated LB's room some, but have left it to primarily being his room. He'll just have to deal with my craft table and the treadmill I plan on purchasing for my butt improvement project. We're going to redecorate the computer room/man cave. And along with other downstairs tasks we plan to put in hardwoods or laminate on the entire first floor and ditch all the carpet. We've talked about adding on to our bedroom out the back, to extend and make a larger bathroom. Our upstairs bathrooms are, I kid you not, probably 7x7 feet total...including the space the single vanity, toilet and small tub take up. So, while I've made an oasis into our his/her boudoir, the bathroom just got a few minor cosmetic improvements, but needs some major ones....STAT.

I've also toyed with the idea of buying a beach house down in NC. On that note, I'm off to scope out what's available!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

oh, what a relief it is!

Monday morning, around 0930 my phone rang. I looked at it and recognized the name attached to the number. It was her.

Within the past few weeks there have been many ups and downs in my professional world. I even went so far as to interviewing for a central scheduling position at The Hospital, that I was willingly going to take if it had been offered. Heck, the schedule would have been perfect. M-F, 10-1, with the possibility of going full-time, maybe. I'd been told my nursing background created interest in me for the position. I was excited.

Prior to that I'd applied for a FT RN position for the skilled unit at the nursing facility attached to The Hospital. I received a call, then, informing me that I had to choose between that or going forward with applying for the new grad program to start in July, that at that point wasn't a solid possibility. So, after thinking on it over that weekend I chose to move forward with the application for the skilled unit. At least then I'd have my foot in the door. Last week I received an email informing me the position had been filled. One of my friends, who works there, informed me that the night nurse had spoken up and taken it.

Of course, all of this came after applying and interviewing for the RN position on the ortho/peds unit in late-March/early-April.

This Monday morning my phone rang, it was her, the HR rep, and she had good news. I thought she was calling to offer me the scheduling position. Wrong!! She offered me the RN position on the ortho/peds unit! FT nights, start date June 6th! I've been on cloud 9 ever since!

Now that's a way to start a Monday! Mountain moved.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Yesterday I heard the "bad news" as well as the "good news". Evidently, the mountain I just recently tried moving has only budged a little bit. After, what, nearly three weeks I was put more into my misery than out of it.

The HR person called with the news. She informed me that the "bad news is we can't move forward at this time...unable to support new grad...."

The good news?

They've decided to open a new grad program in July.

Sure, that's stupendously great news...for a new grad.

I guess that's what I'm being labeled, thanks to still being a new nurse and even more thanks to my experience being from a rehab/nursing home setting. I get it. I get that although my experiences have been great technically speaking, that technically speaking they're not hospital quality. The long-term care world is a different world than that of the hospital. I can appreciate that I will basically need re(inforced)training on some things. There hasn't been a lot of top notch guidance or teaching, so a lot of what I've learned has been sheerly on-the-job and is only supported by the foundational training I was given in school.

That all being said, I am intelligent. I am a quick learner.

I will admit this past year and a few months, since the onset of my last semester of nursing school, has been extremely challenging and might even leave most leaving the profession.

I've never been one to quit, no matter how tempting it's been. There comes a point when, like Kenny says, "You've gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away and know when to run."

I'm 40-years old and it's extremely frustrating to me because I feel at this point in my life I should be beyond where I'm at, professionally speaking, than where I am. I know that I don't want to spend the next 20 years doing bedside nursing.

Right now it's like being at a professional crossroads. Do I stick it out and go for the new grad program at The Hospital or do I apply as a RN2 at other hospitals, which some are probably even better choices experience-wise, but not as close or whatever reasons I have to look at in deciding where to work hospital-wise. That's a whole other blog post.

Or at this point do I fold them, and run, looking elsewhere, possibly using my BS in psych somehow?

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Monday, April 11, 2011


That's the time my phone rang this morning. It was the HR person from The Hospital. She had "good news and some interesting news" to share with me. First off, they're trying to figure out what can be done to support a new grad on the unit. (Have I mentioned that in July I will no longer be a "new grad"....gah!?) <--can't wait. They want to hire me, but it's not as simple as "you're hired!"

Must there be such things as budgets, and personnel considerations...the current state of the US economy?

Secondly, I need to retake the pediatric pharmacology and general pediatrics assessments that I took last time I'd applied for a postion at The Hospital. I missed passing both by around two points. This didn't shock me too much. Actually, I was pleased considering this would have been around January, and at least a year, or so, after I'd studied peds. It shocked me in that I expected to miss it by a lot more.

So, I have five days to retake it according to the assessment instructions. To avoid waiting too much longer to find out if I'm hired or not, I'll only take, at the most, the next 2-3 days. This gives me time to brush up.

As far as the current job goes, I finally received my schedule when I worked this past Friday. Normally schedules should be provided before the month they're posted for, right? Not at the fine establishment I'm so lucky to be working at. As a matter of fact, I'd gone in a week ago this past Thursday, so on the 31st, and asked for mine. No-can-do, it wasn't completed yet. Hmmm, with only being put on it for two days, exactly what was so hard in completing it? Yeah, two days. Two lowly days is all that I was scheduled for, for the month of April. Now, I did request to be put on as PRN (as needed) and they've just hired a bunch of people, therefore fully-staffed, so I'm not as needed as needs be. [--stop here before going on and on about the wonderful...oh, just stop!

Today we have one of those teen-who-needs-to-learn-lessons-the-hardest-ways-possible-because-of-his-own-bad-decisions kinds of appointments with a robed individual. We're actually looking at a deal, but considering he swears up and down that he didn't take part in one of the charges, or at least directly, we might be able to fight it being that there were no fingerprints taken. And wouldn't ya know it, it's April 11th.

Really, by the time my youngest graduates high school my skin should be as thick as that of a rhinoceros', that, or I'll have a one-way ticket to a state institution.

...and maybe I'll be more than a "new grad"...

Monday, April 4, 2011


As Crazed Nitwit pointed out, I did give the wrong date for my interview. It was today, the 4th!! What can I say? I am a dingbat! A hopeful one at that. The interview went fairly well. At least, I walked away feeling pretty good about it. So, now I've done all I can to attain employment at The Hospital. Meanwhile, it's on to more applications....

....and prayers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

the limb

Sometimes you have to go out on a limb and decide to move a mountain.

At one point in your life the mountain may be the Air Force assignment orders you've received that threaten to take you away from the one, or at least keep you far, far apart. That one special person who has come along and you are certain that he is "the one", you may have to be separated before the going gets really good. In late January/early February of 1992, I decided to move a mountain.

Big B had asked me to marry him. We'd both recently received our next assignment orders. I was being sent to Bergstrom Air Force Base, in Austin, TX; a base that promised to be filled with great things to come, not to mention a great area to be single in. College town, great climate, close to other cities that have tons to do, you name it, it was sure to be a great assignment.

Big B had orders to go to Minot Air Force Base, ND. Key the Deliverance banjos and start your engine block heaters!

Did I mention I was set to leave the beginning of March, just over a month away?

Rather than spend who knows how long apart maintaining a long-distance relationship, I decided it would be best to find some way to stay geographically together. The solution? One of the other medics I worked with had orders to Minot as well. Hot diggity dog! We swapped. Thanks to all the muckity mucks (first sergeants, commanders) and a desire for JD (the other medic) to NOT go to Minot Big B and I were able to end up in the great white North together.

If there's a will, there's a way!

Being one that chooses to fight for what I want, I decided, last week, to take the proverbial bull by the horns and move another mountain.

A couple of months ago I was told by the local community hospital that they would not be hiring nurses with less than 2 years experience. Yes, hearing such news was somewhat jarring---think, your own personal mental Iwo jima.

I mean, most hospitals have "1 year (RN) experience" as a job requirement, at least around here. Now you're telling me "two years"???

Far be it from me to sit back and rest on my laurels. I decided to email the HR contact I've kept in touch with ever since that fateful summer I didn't acquire a position as an extern. She's the one that had given me the most recent bad news about experience.

Here's my going-out-on-a-limb-to-move-a-mountain attempt:

HR Person,

Last we spoke you informed me of The Hospital's** decision to not hire anyone under 2 years RN experience for RN positions. Because it is my intention to someday be a part of The Hospital's team, I'd like to let you know I've updated my resume in hopes that I may be considered sooner than later for any open RN positions. Please see attached.

As you know from our last round of communications, I am willing to do whatever I need to do to secure my dream. I willingly became your guinea pig and took the assessment you provided me, and from what I remember you said I did very well. Yes, I am still a fairly new nurse, but the experience I've gained on the skilled unit I work on is worth twice the normal first year of experience for a new RN. I am coming up on my one year anniversary this July. Since being licensed in July, 2010, I've secured a temporary position as staffing relief for a local pediatrician's office and have since been employed working on the skilled unit I just mentioned. As a RN Charge Nurse I do everything from admission to discharge of the skilled patients we care for in our facility. This includes assessments, admissions/discharge paperwork and documentation, any lab work that needs to be done, care and maintenance of tracheostomies, colostomies, PEG/J tubes, surgical wounds, pressure ulcers, administration of narcotics and other scheduled medications, IV therapies, supervision of CNAs, communication with physicians and interdisciplinary team, developing rapport with patients and family who spend 2-4 weeks, or more at my facility, maintaining a patient care load of 12-18/shift, and any task I am asked to do I am certain to complete with a smile on my face.

I have a list of references I can also provide you, to include RG who graduated with me and is a RN on your med/surg/ortho/peds floor.

As always, I thank you for your time in consideration of my resume and taking the time to read this,

**Edited for anonymity--of sorts.

Wednesday I received a call from HR person letting me know she'd read and re-read the email, she impressed upon me to not let her down, and that she was indeed going out to bat for me. She called the director of the med/surg/ortho/peds floor and was going to forward my resume over. She wasn't going to promise anything, but was hopeful I'd be receiving a call.

Thursday, The Director called me.

Tomorrow, Monday April 3rd, 2011, I have an interview.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

cherry on top

Ok, it's been a while. I've often wanted to get on here and type away, but have then decided to not do so and just keep going on with my business, non-blogging.

I'm back.

Here's the Reader's Digest version of my recent goings on:

I'm still at the skilled unit I started working on back in September. Two things keep me going in my nursey-nurse work: the diversity of jobs out there for my profession and the cherry on top? I have just over 3 months until I have the golden year of RN experience. How exciting is that!?

I was licensed last July, and soon after started working at the PO. That fell through and then I was hired at my current place of enjoyment...employment. It's experience, nonetheless. I went from night shift, part-time, to days and am now PRN, solely to clock time for the almighty experience. The people I work with are great. It's just that we have a corporate overhead (healthcare=business, duh) and the unit is a dysfunctional mess. We're currently on our 17th unit manager in 4 years. So far we've kept the current one 3 months! She must like a challenge.

The guys are all doing very well, for the most part. Big B continues to enjoy working at the same job he's been at since late '08. LB is preparing to graduate in June and beat feet to college. He's been accepted to two and has decided on RU. AW is trying to walk a better path than he's been traveling the past two years. He's starting to play soccer again and has also renewed his interest in skaeboarding.

I lost a dear furever friend, Snooki, last month, after only spending a year with her. We have since welcomed Star into our lives. She's an 8-month old tortoiseshell tabby.

AW named her Star, but her KLS-has-to-give-you-a-hundred-names include, Titty-Tat and Toots. I know, bad, right!? I really didn't mean to end up saying slang body part and bodily function words! She's a petite, too-skinny little thing right now and a big lover!!! I'm having tons of fun bonding with my new furever friend.

Speaking of, I need to head out to take Sandi to her geriatric well-check. Poor old girl hit 9 this past November and well, she's my little old lady!

She doesn't look a day over 30!!

Movies I'd like to see.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hanging on by thread, hope and prayers.
Still at long-term care facility on rehab unit, aka SNF, skilled nursing facility.
Does anyone else see the irony here?
Tested, and passed, just 6 short months ago for "minimal competency".
Still waiting on change.
Seems to me it's worse than two years ago.
Have you seen the price of gas?
Nursing shortage?
More like saturation.
Something needs a wringing.

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