The Life and Times of a Busy Woman

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ten Things I'm Looking Forward To After Graduation

Everyone seems to be making lists lately.  I have a list going in my head ... so now I'm going to try and organize it.  I have been in college since the summer of 2007 and I'm looking forward to the freaking END of it.  So official Graduation is in December and I've been asked, "What are you going to do when you actually have free time and no classes to complain about?"  Plus, the statement has been made, "You're not going to know what to do with yourself when you don't HAVE to run ragged anymore."  Hmmm ... here are my thoughts - in list form - about life beyond graduation.

1.  Graduating from Nursing School traditionally involves a Pinning Ceremony.  I'm looking forward to that and I'll probably cry when I see my parents in the audience.  I screwed up my teenage years [long story, hence why I didn't start college until I was 25] and it will be more than emotional that I will have actually earned my Bachelor's Degree in Science - Nursing.

Mine will have my school on it ... but you get the gist.

2.  A whole NEW role.  Currently, I am a highly trained CNA/Paper Pusher.  We joke in my department that I am "trained to every except diagnose and give meds."  I have been a CNA since 2006, before that I worked in home health as a PCA.  I have been doing the dirty work of nursing for 9 years now.  I now do a lot of desk work as a Unit Coordinator and fill roles as necessary due to call outs.  I have learned a lot and I value my time as a CNA/UC ... but I am B-O-R-E-D and ready to move on.  I spend most of my work days working on NCLEX-RN questions to prep for my boards in December/January (whenever I can land a date). 

I already have one of these

3.  Giving an answer to a nursing question and not hearing, "You're a CNA, I better look that up."  Recently, a nurse openly asked a question about a drug.  She'd never heard of it.  We had used it A LOT in my Maternity rotation.  I said, "Oh, it's a pain drug.  Safe for pregnancy [patient was pregnant].  Dilute it in a 10 [ml syringe of saline], and push it over at least 2 minutes, but less than 5."  The answer I got [above] and her look was incredible.  If I'd been an RN, she wouldn't have given it any thought whatsoever and would have just done what I gave her for an answer.  Back to my desk.

Funny Workplace Ecard: I may not be an RN yet .... but I'm not stupid.

4.  A job.  Granted, I love where I work now, but as a New Grad I really won't be able to be picky.  I'd love an ER job while I'm young and can physically handle it, but I'll have to take what I can get.  Everyone asks me where I want to work.  My preferable criteria:  ER or ICU; benefits; reasonable drive from home; and, loan reimbursement.  Some hospitals that are Critical Access [small, rural] offer student loan repayment for each year a New Grad contracts with them.  That would be substantial since I'll have an estimated $400/monthly payment come June 2013. 

5.  Making double the hourly wage I am making now.  I value my CNA experience ... heck, that's how I made it through the cardiac section in both Pharmacology AND Med/Surg ... but CNAs aren't paid what they should be.  Granted, CNAs don't push medications ... but the grunt work we do is amazing.  I don't plan on being the grouchy nurse who's attitude is, "That's CNA work, have them do it," but it will be nice to get paid more.  Nursing scope of practice is everything a CNA can do, and more.  Just because there's an RN after someone's name does not make them better than a CNA, it just gives them more legal responsibility.

Funny Workplace Ecard: The best RN's worked as CNA's *first.*.

6.  Vacation.   My graduation present from my husband ... to all of us ... is a well-earned vacation.  Since the 3 of us have been through (and still have 1 more semester of) a hellish schedule, all 3 of us are going on a Disney Cruise.  One week in the Caribbean in January ... yeah, I'll take that!  When I'm interviewing for jobs, I'll just have to mention it.  It will be without pay since I won't have worked anywhere long enough ... but that's ok with me.  The relaxation, partying, and excursions will all be worth it.

7.  Days off.  Granted, I will need to work at least 3 days a week ... maybe pick up a per diem slot for another day in the week ... but it won't be a 7-day/week schedule like it is now.  It would be nice to be able to say to my daughter, "Yeah, we can do that," instead of, "I'm sorry, but I have class."  Sure, I'll have my shifts, but I'll have a bigger pool of people to possibly trade with, too, if something comes up last minute.

8.  Ambulance Shifts.  My volunteer job that is just down the street [that I am keeping] is rewarding.  More experience is great.  Prehospital care is a realm that I love and want to learn more about.  Plus, I can be home while I'm on call.  Amazing how clean the house is getting/staying with me being home on duty this summer!

9.  "Leveling-up."  I cannot believe I'm writing this, but I will have to go back to college to get my Intermediate EMT license.  I'm going to wait for a bit, though ... give myself a break from studying.  EMT-I will be easier with my RN experience and my last 2 years [thus far] as a Basic.  I plan on staying at EMT-I for a while.  I like my Basic instructor's idea, "Stay at a level for a while and get comfortable with your skills before you pursue the next step.  Good BLS [Basic Life Support] saves lives prior to ALS [Advanced Life Support] even showing up."  She always preached that ALS providers needed to remember their BLS skills if they were going to be effective at all.

10. Traveling ... I love to travel.  I used to do a lot of trips with my mom as a kid and the recent trip I just took reignited the fire.  It was the first time that I'd gotten on an airplane since 2002.  I'm ready to go again.  I'd like to take my daughter to meet her family on the West Coast.  I'd like to do the tourist stuff in NYC [again, for me].  My husband isn't quite the traveler, but I'm sure he'd go on a few trips with us.  I want to go to the Grand Canyon.  Hmmm, maybe I should make a list of travel destinations.

I'm sure with more thought, I could add plenty to this list ... but 10 seems to be a good amount right now.  I hate to wish away time [and this summer weather], but September brings the start of my last semester ... and I could definitely get going right now.

Senior Partnership

Found this ... it describes a Nursing Senior Partnership perfectly ...

We hope you've had a great experience at this internship where you basically did our jobs for free.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm Baaaaaaack ...

Well, I've been back since the 17th ... I've just had to work my behind off since I took so much time off unpaid.  Bills suck.

The trip was amazing.  Daylight 20.5 hours of the day, dusk for the other 3.5 hours ... guess where I went.  :)  I will definitely be going back, just FYI. 

A lovely time-lapsed shot
The wonderment after it all was ... I came back to the same crappy attitudes that I left.  I have a few different employers, but one at this point in time takes the cake.  Wow.  I mean, I've encountered pettiness and backstabbing [really, who hasn't?], but this is quite the debacle.  At this employer, we submit our availability within the last week of the prior month and the schedule is made.  I didn't have any availability in July due to my trip and my two other jobs, so I didn't work [this was communicated ahead of time].  I submitted my availability for August, knowing full-well when *extra* people were going to be needed ... and "none of the shifts [I] requested are open."  Really?  I know the size of the roster.  I know how many people are needed/when ... yet, I couldn't get even one of those slots?  On top of that, double the original minimal availability is now required.  I begin back to school on the Wednesday after Labor Day.  With nighttime Partnership schedule, daytime class schedule, family, and my 2 other jobs ... do they really think that I'm going to have time? 


This isn't the first time that I've had scheduling issues.  My availability is limited, but they put others in slots that I could have filled - those others have much greater availability [and a ton of shifts].  As much as it pains me, I'm going to turn in my stuff and official resignation this week.  I've worked there for almost 2 years, but it's not worth the hassle and heartburn of wondering if I can make the minimum.

I don't know who I unknowingly crossed, but it would have been better [and much more professional] if they would have approached me about it - rather than squeezing me out of the schedule.  At least, that's my theory as to why I'm unable to get shifts.  I just wish I knew who to confront about it ... we are adults, after all ... or at least I am. 

Onto happier things, I had a good day at my other job [that I'm keeping].  It was busier than it ever has been with me on duty... and I've definitely had enough to sirens for today [and maybe tomorrow] ... but it was a good day with a good partner.  My Chief is really cool, too.  I'm working again tomorrow ... so maybe I ought to get some sleep tonight ... and take some Advil.  My partner tomorrow has been quite the magnet lately.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Wow!  It's finally here! 

Pretty sure I looked like this multiple times throughout the day ...
This chica is finally on vacation.  Do you know how long it's been since I've been on a true vacation?  I don't ...  I know it was before I started school in 2007, but I'm unable to pin down a time frame. 

I began partying at 0545 at work this morning.  Just the thought of being able to LEAVE at 1800 and NOT WORK AGAIN until July 21st made me do jigs allllllll day.  Well, that's when I was not answering the phone and getting yelled at (more about that in a bit).  I'm thinking a good chunk of physician office staff in our area know I'm going to vacation (they wouldn't know me if I saw them on the street, but still).  Every time I placed a call or received a return page, I used my trademark phrase of "Happy [day of the week]!"  Then we'd get into a banter and it would turn into, "It's actually MY FRIDAY [that's when you know someone works in healthcare] and I'm on vacation in T-minus [however long]!"  I do really enjoy making people laugh and I definitely made these other office staff chuckle. 

About getting yelled at ... it's NOT appreciated.  I do not particularly enjoy when people call me [well, my workplace] and expect me to fix their issues.  Especially when it had nothing to do with my department or even my facility in the first place.  Some people need to vent, I understand, but my phone has pretty much unlimited lines (digital network phone) and I've seen up to about 8 "lines" ringing the department all at once ... with no one around to help me answer since they're doing their primary jobs.  I ride home in silence most days, which says a lot since I spent over an hour loading music onto the hard drive in my car since I refuse to go anywhere without access to tunes.  After days like today ... Silence is golden, brought to you by silver.

Some days, I wish I kept a roll of this in my desk.
Duct tape would also come in handy for psych patients whom are a danger to themselves or others, but think they can outrun security.  Too bad that would be illegal.  Oh, did I mention it's full moon?  That would be why we have been overrun with psych patients lately.  If you think I'm FOS [full of shit], work in healthcare ... I dare you.

Today ended on a chaotic note, but a successful one.  I finally got transfer transport for two psych patients.  It's the day before a holiday, the rigs are all skeleton crews [pretty much 911 only] ... it took almost 3 hours to get one transport, and I happen to stumble upon another available one in the process.  THANK GOODNESS!!  They handed me the 2nd acceptance paper after it took hours for the first one and I looked at the Counselor and asked her if she was nuts.  I've never come so close to coming up empty with transport.  That bummed me out for a while during the scavenger hunt.   I love a challenge, but not on my Friday.

Any time I would start to get bummed out related to the transports ... I would remember what my most favorite geek told me this morning:  a person that I cannot stand, who continues to be a major PITA, insult me no matter my professionalism, and be THE laziest co-worker I've ever had .... their contract is up for renewal and is being ..... [drumroll]  DENIED!!!!!!!  They'll be gone soon!!   I'm not the only person who has had issues, which is apparent, and it's unfortunate for someone to lose their job ... but this person brings down the morale of the whole team.  Their track record with a lot of other things sucks, too.  They'll find another job with their field, that's a guarantee ... I just hope their sense of duty improves so they can keep the new one and not torture other people like they have done to us.

And do your work for you, too?
I am so excited for the next few weeks of fun ... and today may have been chaotic and taxing, but it was my Friday ...

And I don't think that I've ever been so grateful for a Tuesday ...