April 24, 2010

Completely non-nursing post

I wish my mother would understand that I would call her a lot more if I wasn't beaten down and berated every time I called her about all the things I'm supposedly doing wrong in life, all the things my sister is doing wrong in hers, everything my father is doing wrong with his.  A bitch-fest from start to finish and she takes it all out on me.  And there's always an excuse why she's stressed..."it's your father/your sister/my job/your family/life/etc.". 

Nothing I ever do is good enough either--if I say something, it's not the response she's looking for. 

Then it's all capped off with ranting about how "my children never call me."  Neverminding that we last spoke less than 72 hours ago.  I'm sorry, but if that tactic is supposed to get me to call her, it hasn't worked:  I'm not that masochistic. 

Once she started in on me, I pretty much shut down and just said "OK" to everything she said, to the point that she got aggrivated and said that she'd let me go.  And I damn well hung up that phone fast.

I'd like to say, "well, she is stressed, etc."...but this has been going on for far too long.

I bought the Mother's Day cards today, and it was the hardest thing I had to do in my life.  I read the cards and not one of them I could apply to my mother.  I finally settled on a basic one...which I know won't be good enough, nor will what I write in it be good enough.  Nor will the flowers I send her be good enough.  So why do I bother?

Sorry for venting.  Her phone call and subsequent torture ruined a perfectly good Saturday for me, and my mood has been black ever since.

April 11, 2010

BSN stuff

I'm highly entertained by school right now.  First of all, so far it's mostly old hat review of patho content, so no need for marathon study sessions.  I'm currently running a 97%.  If anything kills me in this class, it will be the APA.

Second, I can tell which classmates are nurses (either RNs or LPNs) and which are not just by reading their posts.  The nurses get right to the heart of the assignment, reference the textbook without tons of verbatim quotes, and focus on how they'll treat the patient.  The non-nurses obsess over the minutiae, quote the textbook to death, and focus on how they'll treat the problem without considering the larger picture. 

Also, the non-nurses tend to overreact with the homework problems.  One problem included an electrolyte imbalance:  the electrolyte was a hair outside of normal (literally, only 0.1 off).  Every non-nurse honed in only on that, saw it as a medical emergency and went into full panic mode by providing a detailed list of all of the side effects of said imbalance.  Every nurse saw it as something to keep an eye on and that some orange juice will probably correct it, so in the meanwhile they'll focus on that oxygen saturation of 80%.

April 6, 2010

Cold feet

I got the permanent offer.  Same rate (good, I thought it'd be lowered), paid days off after 60 days, benefits (not really needed but nice), same balance of shifts, and based primarily in the unit I want to be in, though I will still have to float as needed.  So I went ahead and signed.

And felt immediately horrible.  I was sick to my stomach on the way home, when registering my little one for school, when grocery shopping, when eating dinner...you get the idea.  I feel...trapped.  Like there's no more freedom.  No way out.  Like I'm at their mercy now instead of having some control.

I did get dinner down the gullet, then decided to sit down and write it out.  See, I do use the coping skills that I teach my patients for myself. 

I decided that right now I'm experiencing the nursing equivalent of cold feet.  I was a carefree bachelor(ette) before  this and now I'm making a committment--it's only understandable that I'm going to feel awkward about it.  And it's not as though things are changing drastically.  Cases in point:

  • Freedom of scheduling.  The reality is that ever since I was hired 8 months ago, I have pretty much worked the exact same schedule.  On rare occasion I swapped days or didn't put in for a day...for the most part you could plan your life around my schedule.  Hopefully they won't play too much havoc with my hours--they know I have a little one and that I'm willing to plan around him and do different days, but they have to give me advance notice.

  • Vacation:  why am I upset over this because since when have we taken a vacation?  The last one was in 2003.  Like we're suddenly going to now...not with my better half's work schedule.  And I did find out that if necessary and I don't have enough vacation time, I can take days off without pay (with supervisor approval).

  • Hours:  I've been putting in 32+ before this.   I've been hired for 32.  It's not as though they've tacked on an extra shift.  I am concerned about being there for my little one, especially with school starting.  But the way it is now, half the time I work while he is in school; the other shifts my better half has him for quality bonding time.  The child is not living his life in daycare. 

  • Security:  that was more insecurity than anything, though with the hiring tear they've been going on it may have been possible that I'd be competing with too many other PRN staff for hours.  I'm still a new grad until I hit that magic year, and with this job market I really don't feel like I can scale my hours back.  But now it's nice to know that my hours are guaranteed.  Also, now I'm more likely to be assigned to my unit.  I don't really mind floating, but it's also nice to have more consistency, you know?

  • The unit.  I picked it...so you know it's detox.  The staff is happy to have me come on permanently, and I'm happy to have  a good staff to be joining.  Also, I was terrified of being assigned to the depressive or stepdown units.  I'd have rather gone to the intensive care unit.

  • Last...it's not forever.  I didn't sign any length-of-service contract.  I can drop back to PRN if I need to (though they prefer I wait a few months because people have abused it in the past).  Also, I do live in an employment-at-will state, so I could always walk with no more than two weeks' notice and a "so long and thanks for all the fish."

So if I still feel like this tomorrow, I'll cancel the wedding.  Otherwise, this could be interesting.

April 2, 2010

In local news...

Pathology started Tuesday. Fortunately, the due dates for assignments, quizzes, etc. fall on different days so there will be little overlap between the classes. Unfortunately, there is overlap between patho's schedule and work, so I'm going to have to plan so things get done on time.

No word yet on the permanent position. I did meet with the DON and it went well, so now the ball is in their court. At least there's no pressure on me because I don't need to say Yes. However, things have gotten very stressful there lately...I can't say any more about it other than it's probably best if I keep my head down and fly under the radar for a bit. Nothing catastrophic happened: it's mostly ongoing stuff that as of late has come to a head. It is stressful though.

There's two other nurses in this new class (patho), so that's nice. Everyone else is a shiny-brand-new nursing student and the realities of what nursing is like haven't really set in yet So far a lot of material is just reviewing old hat. What's going to kill me is the APA formatting.