August 20, 2013


Last night, my throat started to get scratchy.  Today, I have a sore throat, runny nose, headache and fever of 101 post-Tylenol.  Whee.

So I've been on the couch with little one #2 watching some show about extravagant Sweet Sixteen parties.  I can't believe what parents pay for these things.  I can't believe how whiny and entitled some teenagers can be.

Haven't done any schoolwork because it hurts to keep my head upright.   

I have to work tomorrow....the fever better break by then or else I'm going to have to call out and see my PCP. 

August 13, 2013

And so it begins...

The class instructors have decided that since so many of us purchased the old (and apparently incorrect) textbook, that they will upload whatever chapters of the new (and apparently correct) textbook so people do not have to rent or purchase the new book.  They're going to go between both books.  Of course, this comes after I have already rented the new book, which will arrive here today.

So I ended up not getting anything done for class yesterday as the announcement came through Blackboard while I was at work.  By the time I got home, we had to go right to the little one #1's school.  By the time we were done for that, it was dinner and then collapsing--I started reading and fell asleep on page 4.

Yup.  Not cancelled for a change.   And I'm guaranteed hours at my main job on Friday, so I've hit my goal for this week.

To be honest, with all of the cancellations, I've started to get into the mentality of expecting NOT to go in and planning my days accordingly.  I wouldn't schedule anything in stone, just make lists of things that I needed to do and loose plans that could easily be changed or cancelled.  So I had figured that yesterday would be the same way...but I got the "come on in, you're needed" call.

It was  More colorful than usual.  That's all I can say without running afoul of HIPAA, so you know it had to be a doozy.

Anyway, near the end of the day there, I was chatting with another agency nurse.  She said something interesting that made me think.  She believes that at times, she gets cancelled because the agency is "punishing" her for canceling on them.  She stated that she called out once for illness and was cancelled for about a week and a half.

So it got me to are cancellations really determined?  Does the facility decide who they want, or does the agency decide who they're going to get?  And if it's the agency, how do they decide? Do they rotate the cancellations so its fair?  Do they go by seniority and cancel the new nurses?  Do they go by who scheduled first and cancel those who signed up later?  Do they play favorites?  Or do they take the chance to settle some scores and do a little quid-for-quo?

Of course, this is not a question that I could ever ask my agency...not if I want the honest answer.   Not that I think the worst because I don't.  But I'm sure their cancellation guidelines are not something they're eager to make public knowledge.

I'll admit, my primary job will always get priority because a.  it pays a hell of a lot better, and b.  I really like working there.  I'm proud to be one of their employees and hope to stay there for quite a while.  So if there's ever a conflict between the two facilities, my main job will always win and I'll always cancel on the agency.  If they do not like that, so be it.  But at least I give the agency the courtesy of canceling as soon as possible; whereas I get the news from them about being cancelled two hours before I'm supposed to go in.  And it does get tiresome at times waking up at 0400 for what turns out to be no good reason.

But I knew that was the deal with being an agency nurse from day 1--I was under no delusion that it would be otherwise.  So I accept it as fair.  I don't always have to be fine with it, but I accept it.  They're not doing anything wrong.

Oh well.

Haven't heard back from the hospital that I shot my resume off to on Friday...I'm trying to remember that the job hunt is not an instantaneous process, just like I tell people at the forum.  I figure if I hear nothing this week, next week I'll go in person to complete an application.

Now off to start reading for Vulnerable Populations.

August 11, 2013

This is an ominous start to things...

Apparently, they're using a different book for the class.  The instructor is also someone different than originally mentioned.  And they uploaded the wrong syllabus.

Reprinting syllabus and refusing to reopen Blackboard until Monday, when I will download everything again to make sure I have the accurate content.  Now off to order the correct textbook.

August 10, 2013

My next class is up in Blackboard, so I've downloaded the syllabus and updated my iCal with all of the due dates.

I'm going to have to do two field assignments.  I hate field assignments...I really do.  I'm never entirely comfortable just going out there talking to strangers.  I have no issues doing it with my patients at work but otherwise...yeah.  I actually dreaded this class a bit more than I did Research because of that.  

I don't think it's social anxiety.  I think I just have a touch of Axis II that makes me not the best at social situations.  Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if a psychiatrist pronounced me as having traits of avoidant and/or schizoid personality disorder.  

Or I could just be somewhat shy with strangers and that's it.  Not every quirk has to be a major psychiatric issue, you know?  One down-in-the-dumps day does not a diagnosis of depression make.  Likewise, not wanting to interview people for a project doesn't mean I've definitely got a personality disorder.

That's one thing about us who are in psych:  we tend to overanalyze and self-diagnose, which isn't necessarily a good thing.  They warned us about it in the first day of nursing school...and yet before the class was over most of us in the class had self-imposed Axis I and II diagnoses.


Given that this is the last class before Capstone--plus the fact that there's no way of getting out of this class--I'm feeling optimistic that I can do this.  Only two more hurdles to cross before I can put BSN after my name.  

Actually, when I'm done I'll be RN-BC, BSN.  Or BSN, RN-BC.  And then once I apply for public health nurse certification--which I can do after graduation--I can add PHN to the alphabet soup.

I had thought about reading ahead for this class but decided not to.  I've always been a firm believer that breaks from school should be just that:  breaks from school.  I shouldn't have to be doing schoolwork on breaks...if I wanted to idly thumb through a textbook or guide, that's one thing.  But otherwise I should be enjoying the time off while I can, since the next few weeks will be busy enough.

August 9, 2013

I have had it!

Cancelled yet again.  Time to do something about I just shot off my resume and a cover letter to a nearby psychiatric facility that is looking for per-diems.

Me thinks it's time I parted ways with the agency...or at least not rely on them as job #2 anymore.  Job #3, perhaps.

So I sent it off...let's see what happens.  Though I do need to remember that sending a resume on a Friday afternoon will not necessarily result in a same-day reply.

August 6, 2013

I'm it

Phone tag is over:  the recruiter called me back as I was vacuuming the house.  She was sorry she couldn't contact me again sooner...I'm sure she's very busy dealing with the throngs of new graduate nurses jockeying to get in here.

Anyhow, we've pretty much agreed that the best way for me to get into medical nursing at my facility is via psych-medical.  There's few med-surg training programs and the managers on the units prefer experience in the specialty.  The requirements for the ED program are indeed stringent...but we both kind of knew that.  Whereas my psych background makes me a decent candidate for psych-medical.  I did interview with them once before when I first arrived here, but I didn't have the BSN--in fact, I had just switched schools and was about the start the new (current) BSN program.

Unfortunately, there isn't anything open in psych-medical at this time.  Fortunately, she is the recruiter for that department and will keep me in mind.  She also feels my chances will be better once I have the BSN in hand.

So now I just stay the course and wait.  And starting to brush up on the medical nursing knowledge couldn't hurt either...even if I don't get a position right away, it's still darn good stuff for me to know.

August 2, 2013

Still playing phone tag with that's not very encouraging.  I tried calling twice this week but all I got was her voice mail, so I left two messages.  That's it from my end:  the next call is up to her.

Another cancellation...going for that part-time position is looking better all the time.

In other news, my Vulnerable Populations textbook has arrived.  I may start reading it just so I'm ahead of things once the class starts in a couple of weeks.

August 1, 2013

Well, this is a first...

Coworker:  Is that your real hair color?

Me:  No.

Coworker (actually starts checking my hair roots):  What is?

Me:  ...

I actually wasn't insulted:  I'll admit my hair is dyed.  I mean, it's a fair question to ask someone if they have one hair color one day and another hair color the next day.  But I have never been root-checked before...this happens to be an awesome coworker so I wasn't upset.  More amused than anything.

I suppose it could have been worse.  They could have asked a more indelicate question.

For the record, it's dark ash brown.  I discovered that when I went nearly a year without dyeing it due to pregnancy and childbirth...and apparently, my real color has darkened over the years.   Which means I will now stand out even more among the sea of blue-eyed blondes in family photos.  

Actually, it was seeing the photo of my blue-eyed blond son that prompted my coworker to ask about my hair color.

Currently the hair is reddish brown.   L'Oreal Healthy Look Creme in 5CB if you want to play along at home.