July 31, 2013

I have to wonder why my agency is advertising for nurses needed stat; they keep canceling me and I'm available.  In all fairness, I am limiting what shifts I am available for, and there's stiff competition between regular staff and other agency nurses.  I'd bet that if I put in for NOC or weekends I'd have no problem getting shifts.  So I guess I really don't have anyone but myself to blame for not getting enough hours.

I may actually have to put in for a weekend here or there if I keep getting canceled during the week.

Though I am thinking of making the plunge into non-psych.  I think it may be time for me to do it.  Not that I'm unhappy in psych...I just feel restless.  I'd also like to get this experience while I'm still in CA, the land of nurse:patient ratios.  I'd rather not jump into the medical nursing pool and be stuck caring for 8-9 patients while I learn the new ropes.

While I'm not planning to switch tomorrow, I figured that I'd start laying some groundwork and see what I need to do in order to transition over after I finish the BSN.  Why not start where I currently work?

So I dropped a note to my hospital's recruitment office about what opportunities out of psych may exist for me.  Surprisingly, a recruiter called me back the same day.  Unfortunately I was with a patient and couldn't take the call, so now we're playing phone tag.

There's always psych medical, but nothing open in there right now...plus they want a BSN.  Granted, I'll have that in a few months, but still, there's no accounting for preferences.

There is a ED nurse training program opening up at my facility, but they prefer applicants with medical nursing experience.  In addition, they would be starting in the next couple of months, and I'm not ready to go back full-time just yet.  I really want to wait until little one #2 is a year old.

Meanwhile, someone told me about another ED nurse training program--outside of my facility--that is worth checking out.  Three months of training, and then there's an internship I could apply for.  I have far better chances of getting into this program, so I may give it an honest look.

I'll look outside of my current facility as little one #2 gets closer to one year old.  Several have recommended LTAC, and there's a few places in the area that have LTAC units.

Of course, several psych opportunities cross my path right now...but I'm going to hold off on most of them.  Though there is one that I am seriously considering.  Part-time at my current facility, only having to work 3 days a week at normal hours.  It is tempting...then again, I'm not sure I want to sign on for it when I'm looking at leaping out of the psych pool.

July 26, 2013

Cancelled...tough week.  Not much I can do about it though.

July 25, 2013

The only physical traits my sister and I share are that we are both tall (though she is a little taller) and we sound exactly the same on the phone.   That's it.   Some people say we have slight resemblances in facial structure but we don't see it.

She has straight blond hair, blue eyes and tan olive skin.  She's also willowy and thin.  I am pale with dark hair, dark eyes, and curves.  My frame is more athletic and willowy has never been used to describe me.

We were out to lunch today and she introduced me to her friend who was convinced that I was the sister-in-law, not the biological sister.  

It's always been like this, so we're both used to it.  

In other news, I was cancelled once this week...hopefully not twice.  If it is twice, I can't pick up anything on the weekend as it's ACLS renewal time.  At least I had one guaranteed shift this week and next week I'll have another one.

Financially, I've made my childcare cost quota so anything else from this month is strictly profit.  Still, I'd like to do a little better than just barely breaking even.

I also decided to put off the CARN certification until next year.  Between the cost of the test and the CEUs as well as the fact that I've have to take this test in October, I'd rather just focus on finishing the BSN right now.

July 20, 2013

It must have been something in the hospital water

I was proposed to by four patients.  Only one required redirection for his behavior:  the other three kept themselves in check.

One of these three tended to hover near me.  Long story short:  he hadn't had a pleasant time there so far and was anxious, and I guess he found my presence comforting.  Quiet kid, no behavior problems at all.  It made for an interesting situation when I had to relieve someone on a 1:1.  The patient being watched (who wasn't one of my admirers--in fact, he didn't like me one bit), kept wandering around the unit.  Five feet behind him (just outside of an arm's swing) is me trailing him.  Five feet behind me is my admirer trailing me.  The charge nurse thought this parade was very amusing.  

Agency work has been going well.  I got both my days this week--I changed my schedule so I wouldn't be competing with as many other agency nurses for shifts.  Yes, there's not many agency nurses there anymore, but considering that the ones that are there have been working all this time while I'm returning for a leave of absence, they're more likely to be scheduled than I.  

I haven't been assigned the psych ER too much.  Most of the time, I've been assigned to one specific inpatient unit...which to be honest, I'm growing to really like being on.  I didn't think I would, but I do.  It's nice to have a patient population that doesn't completely turn over every time I visit.  I'm working with a good crew of people.  Staff there seem to like me.  Plus there's been too many changes to the ER:  too many new P&P, too many familiar faces gone...so I don't feel like I quite fit in there anymore.

Of course, having just typed that, the next time I'm scheduled, I'll probably get sent to the ER or another inpatient unit.

Next week, I decided to put in for three days.  I'm preferring to stick to the two days a week, but between the vacation and the upcoming tuition bill for my penultimate class, I decided to put in for a little extra this week.  One is at my main job so it's a guaranteed shift; even if I only end up with one of the two agency shifts, I'll still be ahead financially. 

July 14, 2013

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Those with antisocial personality disorders are all about themselves.  They do not have any remorse for their actions, nor do they feel empathy towards other people.  They will lie, cheat, steal, calculate manipulate, violate, disregard, act recklessly and basically do whatever they want for their own purposes.  They don't want to be caught but if they are, they're not sorry for what they did and they don't care what the consequences are.  All the patient with antisocial personality disorder cares about is whether their horse will win the race.

These are the ones who abuse animals either directly or indirectly, such as setting a cat loose in a full birdcage.  They may abuse other humans the same way, either directly or indirectly.  Instead of stopping a child from touching a hot stove, they may just sit back and watch the child burn themselves without intervening.  They lack compassion--the suffering of others may be an amusement to them or merely something about which they don't give a flying...anyhow.

It is said that a majority of prisoners have antisocial personality disorder...I'm not surprised.  Most people with antisocial personality disorder are male, but females can be diagnosed with it.  It shows up in dual diagnosis frequently, appearing in the company of a chemical or other addiction.

Like all other personality disorders, antisocial personality disorder is a bitch to treat because it's how the patient is hard-wired.  You can never cure them, just help them work with it.  But the problem is that by the nature of the disorder itself, those with antisocial personality disorder don't want to work with it because it's not what THEY want.  These patients are very resistant to treatment.

Someone once told me that patients with antisocial personality disorder are lost causes.  Some days, I agree with that sentiment.

They're not my favorite patient population to work with, and it takes a lot of self-assessment and self-control for me to do my job properly and provide then with the best care that I can.  It's hard not to appear or be judgmental and to treat them with the same level of dignity, compassion and respect that I'd give any other patient, especially after I hear what they've done.  These are one of the patient populations that take a lot out of me.  I find working with patients with other personality disorders, even those with borderline personality disorder, far easier.

July 9, 2013

Entering the homestretch

I have applied for December graduation.  I still have two more classes to go, but I need to apply for graduation now, so I did.   The next class (Vulnerable Populations) begins in mid-August, and the final class (Capstone) begins in late September.  My academic advisor reviewed my records to make sure that it's only these two classes left, and it is.

Providing I don't fail either of these classes, I will graduate with Latin honors no matter what grades I get.  I'm still holding out hope that I'll finally have that 4.0 (I came so close in the ADN program).  But ever since research, I'm looking more at finishing each class than getting a specific grade for them.  Research class--and talking to my group mates in it--made me rethink a few things.

I can't believe I'm going to finish the BSN this fall.  This has been a long road...way too long.

July 6, 2013

Swimsuit model...and happy anniversary

Four years ago today I found out that I passed the NCLEX.  Happy nursing anniversary!

As I wrote earlier, we're going on a small vacation this month. I dug out an old swimsuit which fit me...for the most part. It's passable...but not flattering. 

You see, even though I am now at my pre-pregnancy weight, this body does not look like it did before I actually got pregnant. Two children have wreaked their havoc on the body. The stomach is flabby from being stretched out, cut open and sewn back together. 50 pounds gained the first time and 41 pounds gained the second time...surprisingly, I do not have any stretch marks. My chest is still pornstar-esque in its dimensions, though it has shrunk slightly--I think I may now be an E cup instead of an F. 

The burn scar is pretty hideous...ok, that's not the children's fault in any way, shape or form. But the fact is that I can usually pretend it doesn't exist as shorts/pants neatly conceal it.  Swimsuits do not conceal it.


 So after work, I dragged the family two towns over to where a Lane Bryant that sells swimsuits exists. One day I will graduate from having to shop there...I'm not too far off: I fit into their smallest sizes. 

Anyhow, I go and look at swimsuits. Unfortunately for me, they just had a swimsuit sale and pickings are slim. If I were a size 22 or 24, no problem. A size 14 to 16, however… I did find one that could have worked. However, it had a corset-style lacing that made it impossible to get myself into…but that wasn't the deal killer. The deal killer was the $120 price tag. Seriously, if I'm going to spend over a C note on a swimsuit, it better be easy to get into and apply my sunscreen for me. Plus the fact that I intend not to be this size for the rest of my life, so why am I going to spend $120 on a swimsuit that hopefully I won't fit into a couple of months down the road.

So I went home and ordered a swimdress from their website. $50, which is more than I'd like to spend on a swimsuit…but better than $120. I just hope it arrives in time.

July 3, 2013

Resisting temptation

So almost all of my patients were paranoid and delusional.  Some of the delusions were so outrageous that it was hard for me to keep a straight face, but keep it I did.  These delusions are very real to each patient and me showing visible amusement would be both untherapeutic and insulting.  So I take them seriously.  I can decompress after hours.

I seem to be doing well with the agency work so far.  It's all coming back to me.  I go back next week provided I'm not cancelled.  I may not be given how few agency nurses I'm seeing on the scene, but we shall see.

I was offered hours today at my main job.  As tempting as it was, I declined.  First of all, I have some appointments today that I'm tending to.  I could have rescheduled them but I need to get them done with before we go on vacation.

Second...I've worked one day this week, and I will be working Friday.  I didn't want to take a third day.   I really want to keep working to two days a week so I can be there for little one #2, as well as little one #1 during the summer so he doesn't have to go into summer care every day.  I may make occasional exceptions, but I don't want to routinely take a third day because before I know it, I'm working three days a week, then four days a week.  Then soon I'm working full-time when I don't really want to be. 

So I said No, even though it would have been easy money.  But I'm glad I did.  I had my first appointment over and done with.  Now I'm hanging out with little one #2 and catching up on a few things at home.  It's nice.