Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
I had my orientee again this week, it was a rough day. I was back down on the surgical unit. Our thoracotomy patient who had her chest tubes pulled on Wednesday ended up getting them back in on Thursday. It was not a pretty sight. The patient has been in the hospital for almost a month. Lots of hostility and anger on the part of the husband was not making my job any easier. Then we got a transfer from the Dialysis center who was in rapid a-fib. Luckily she self converted before we had to hang the Amiodarone and start heparin. My orientee just wasn't able to keep up with the pace, the language barrier is really tough. I don't know if he is fully understanding me or the patients or the doctors.
Only 13 more days. It has been a fun ride here in Arizona, I really enjoy the hospital and my co-workers, some of them more than others. I would love to come back and work here again. The staff really tries to make you feel like part of the team, it's nice. We'll see what the future brings. Remember first do no harm.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Can't wait for the drive...ok, I really can, but I'm ready to go. My husband has his own personal style of driving and thinks no one else know how to drive. I find it rather annoying but, at least I don't have to drive. I am really not thrilled this time because once again we have a trailer full of stuff to travel behind us. Oh, and not to mention the lovely rise in gas prices. We figure it will cost about $500.00 just in gasoline to get from Arizona to Ohio. Sounds great, huh? Not to be out done by the fact that I don't have a job yet. Ah, the joys of traveling. The above picture was taken somewhere in California, I hate to see these especially when we are pulling a trailer.
So, I had an orientee again this past weekend. He's a nice guy, not the same guy as last time. His English is not the best, and I think I might intimidate him a little. He was looking for one of the patients Med records, I accidentally handed him a different book than the one he wanted. He administered the medication and unfortunately did not follow the 5 rights. Now, don't think that I was not doing my job. This guy is on his last week or 2 of his orientation. He has a nursing license, he has been administering medication for weeks by himself. But, he gave the wrong pills to the wrong patient, he went in the room with the medication record and claims he even looked at her name band and still gave her the wrong meds. I made sure he went right back in the room to assess the patient and take her vital signs. She was fine thank goodness. It wasn't all bad, some of the meds she got were actually right. Some were the right meds but the wrong dose. I reminded him that we are all human and not machines, we do occasionally make mistakes , we just hope no one gets harmed because of it. I had him call the doctor, but, due to his poor English I spoke with the doctor and told him what had happened. Luckily, nothing untoward happened and the patient never knew. When he went back in to administer some medications she needed and hadn't received she didn't ask why she didn't get them earlier. I would have told her they were not available earlier if she had asked. I know how it sounds, like I'm lying right? No, I am preserving the nurse patient relationship. If she had known that he had made a mistake she would not have trusted him the rest of the day. Plus he felt bad enough. I guarantee he will check every name band against every medication record from now on, probably twice. I told him that the way to stay out of trouble is to admit your mistakes, follow protocol and most of all monitor your patient for untoward reactions. It's the worse feeling in the world to know you made a mistake, I try to avoid them by following protocols and safety measures put into place. I always check my patients name bands against the medication record right there in the room. I check my meds 3 times, once when I get them together , again before I go in the room and a third time as I am opening the packages and giving them to the patient. That's why I hated giving meds at the psych hospital. They don't follow any of those rules, you can't even get most of the patients to tell you their name, plus they won't wait for you to sit there and open all the packages, so, you don't get that check. So, as I always say, first do no harm.
Monday, March 12, 2007
So, in choosing a new assignment, I have to come up with my priorities. Like this time, location is my priority, then money (it's always on the top of my list), then company benefits. The hard part is weeding out the people who cannot help you at all. It's a game. It's kind of like buying a new car and recruiters are kind of like car salesmen. I have searched hundreds of websites and sent out lots of emails, some return my calls, some don't. Like RN Network, as I have said before I was not going to use them again because they left me high and dry out here in Phoenix last time I was here. They forgot to extend my apartment lease a week until my contract was over and I had to pay out of pocket for a 3 night stay in a motel. But, I called them and a recruiter left me a voice mail about 2 days later. When I called her back, she said she was busy and could she call me back, I said sure, and am still waiting for her to call me. That tells me she is way too busy to help me. So, I talk with the ones who do call me back and tell them a little of my backround and what I am looking for. All of them want you to fill out their paperwork, whick on average takes about a half an hour. I am not spending my time on paperwork if they don't have a position where I want to go. Everyone says "We have new assignments coming in all the time, if you have your paperwork done we can submit you that much quicker." Ok, but it only takes a half an hour to fill it out, how much faster do I really need to be submitted?
I always ask about benefits, like free housing and what that includes, also if their medical benefits start day one of the contract, some start the first of the month after you have worked for them for 30 days...that's about 3 months by my count unless you start on the first of the month then it's only 2 months. That's about crazy to me. I work in health care...I know s@%t happens when you are not expecting it, I need health insurance. Some people go on their own and buy personal health insurance but I am not at that point.
Those are really my priorities, location money and benefits. Other people are hung up on travel money or bonuses, I'd rather have more per hour than a bonus that is going to be taxed away. Yeah I got a $1500 completion bonus and it was lumped in with my regular pay check so it threw me into another tax bracket and I saw about $700 of it. Why don't they just tell you it's a bonus of some kind and you'll be happy when the check is bigger instead of wondering where it all went?
So, right now I have my paperwork in with about 4 different companies, 2 have submitted me for positions in Columbus, one at OSU (go bucks!!!) and the other at Ohio Health which owns Grant, Riverside and Doctors hospitals. Hopefully I will get into OSU. Now I wait for a phone call from the nurse manager on the floor for an interview. Keep your finger crossed...remember first do no harm.