September 30, 2015

My application status for the new specialty position remains unchanged.

Meanwhile, I've been rooting around my primary organization to see what opportunities they can offer me.  Truth be told, I'd rather not leave fact, I'd like this to be my permanent home.  That is, if I can find a position that is financially feasible and professionally satisfying.  My second choice is to find a permanent position elsewhere that is 3 days a week, and then pick up 2 days as a per-diem here.

So here at my primary organization...

I'm being wooed to go permanent at the temporary position I'm working, or at least transfer to being a per-diem there.  I would, except that it's outpatient.  I really want to go back inpatient, plus I don't get shift differentials for outpatient so financially, it would be tight.  There's also no guarantee of 40 hours...mind you, I could probably pick up a few inpatient shifts here and there.   But I also don't really want to work 6 or even all 7 days a week.

I'm also being wooed to go evenings inpatient.  While I love evening shift, it's very hard to work them with a school-age little one.  Full-time evenings means I'd almost never see him during the week.  So while this isn't a top choice, it's a good safety net, especially since evening shift is the hardest of all to staff:  there's plenty of availability.

I started picking up several inpatient shifts at the medical hospital, mostly nights and the odd evening.  Of all the facilities my organization has, I like this one the best.  I'm patiently waiting for a night position to open up there.  Or an evening/night mix.

I've been offered the opportunity to orient as a liaison in the emergency department  I'll get to evaluate ED patients to see if they meet criteria for psychiatric holds and/or admission.  That starts in a couple of weeks, so I'm going to see what particular things I should brush up on.  My having taken that emergency nursing class will also be a help here, as I'll know more about whether they are medically stable enough for the psych unit.

September 24, 2015

It kind of reminds me of the new grad job search...only with less desperation

"Your application has been forwarded to the hiring manager for this position. Upon review, if you are determined to be a good match, the hiring manager for this position may contact you directly (by email or phone) to schedule a phone interview and/or an on-site interview. Depending upon the department, this process may take several weeks."

At least I'm checking the hospital's career website only daily, instead of multiple times a day like I was when I was on the new grad job hunt.  It does help that I'm several years' more experienced in both nursing and job hunting, and I know and understand that the wheels of HR turn slow.  And it helps that I am currently working, because there's less of a desperate push to jump at anything that I get.

The wording of the above message hasn't changed at all.  Some things just don't change.

September 22, 2015

The saga begins...

I applied for a permanent position.  It was not at any of my current facilities, but an entirely different facility.  And I didn't apply for a psych position, but instead for a new specialty training program.  The training would be in med-surg and tele.  It's 3 12s, which would let me keep my position at Job #1 a per-diem basis.  It's also nights, which is perfect.

So I brushed up the resume, wrote a great cover letter, and applied online.

I don't know what my chances are...apparently the position has been up for a while, so who knows if there are multiple positions, if it/they have been filled already, or if it's just a resume collector.  It's also a union facility, so internal hires get first dibs.  Still, I did get into a hardcore union facility'll just be tougher this time as I don't have anyone on the inside to vouch for me.

We'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, I signed up for a Spanish for Healthcare Providers class.  Lately I've been assigned to a Spanish-speaking patient.  Surprisingly, I manage all right:  I can't really speak Spanish, and I don't understand every word the patient says, but I catch enough of them to have an idea of what's going on...some of the time.

September 17, 2015

Like like

Not to be confused with the Legend of Zelda enemy that eats your Hyrule shield.

When a psychiatric patient likes you, there's one or more reasons behind it:

They truly like you, no strings attached.  Sometimes the blue box is blue.

They truly like you, no strings attached...for right now.  They may have bipolar or borderline personality disorder, and at this moment in time, they really and truly like you.  But something happens, and suddenly you're Public Enemy #1.   It may be something you deliberately did, something you did without meaning to...or maybe you did nothing whatsoever.  Or it may be something entirely on their end.

They're flirting with you.  Be sure to set and enforce boundaries for all parties--including you--to adhere to.

Transference.  You remind them of someone else that they think fondly of.   It may not necessarily be a physical resemblance that triggers it.

You gave/did something that they wanted or which helped them.  Self-explanatory and possibly fleeting.  Mind you, this doesn't mean they're a bad or manipulative person.  Keep in mind that being in a hospital is stressful enough, and in a psychiatric hospital doubly so.  Try to ease the stress for them when you can.

They're trying to manipulate you.  It may be a patient engaged in staff splitting, especially if they're bad mouthing someone else at the same time they're lauding you.  Or perhaps it's a patient with antisocial or another personality disorder using their charm to further their agenda.  While you may develop a rapport with specific patients, don't fall into the trap of "I'm the only one that understands them!" because patients, especially the ones with personality disorders, will work that to their advantage.

Their pain is relieved.  Pain can really bring out the worst in people, and relieving it can bring forth a lot of warm feelings.  I never understood why new mothers say they wanted to kiss their anesthesiologist until I had one start the epidural during my own labor.

The PRNs are kicking in.  A B52 (Benadryl 50mg, Haldol 5mg, Ativan 2mg), or even individual parts of it, do a lot to take the edge off of a patient.

I have a patient who falls squarely into category 2 (with a hint of 8).  They have a history of falling in and out of like with me.  The most recent shift started out with them throwing things at me (we had parted on good terms the last shift).  One PRN and an hour later, I was their best buddy for the next several hours.  Then I don't know what happened, but once again I was on their hit list and dodging items.

September 10, 2015


I don't usually directly link to or even really discuss on my blog, as I prefer to keep my writing here separate from my moderator work on the forum., the two worlds will converge.

I...well, all of us, have been blindsided by this.  I couldn't believe when I saw this in the news and I went to the forum hoping that it was a horrible mistake or a bad joke gone wrong.   Not much is known at this time other than five lives have been lost.

I am honored to have known Brian and to have been part of his team at the forum.   He was a good guy and I'll always remember how cheerful he was at NTI this past May.

September 3, 2015


Still working 5-6 days a week.  Mind you, I'm in two jobs that I both love, so it's not as torturous as it sounds.  But 5-6 days of work a week including a few NOCs in there...and time just seems to fly by.

I started researching online MSN programs.  I decided that I want to get started on my degree in the next year or so.  I'm not going to go for the PMHNP just yet because a.  the cost and b. finding an accredited program that is affordable.  I do live near a school with one of the best PMHNP programs around...but its also extremely expensive.  I spoke to someone who has just completed a PMHNP program and she recommended that since the DNP requirement is (apparently) becoming a reality in 2017, that I get the MSN now and then complete a post-grad/DNP program later.  She pointed out that I'm going to have to do the MSN-level work anyway, so why not do it at a school that is more affordable.

So I'm going to get a MSN in Nursing Education first.

I want to take an online program because of the flexibility, especially with rotating shifts and two little ones.  I have narrowed it down to three schools.  Benedictine, Sacred Heart, and University of Texas at Arlington.  All cost around the same, all are rather flexible, all have great reputations so far, though I'm going to do a little more digging.

UTA has the advantage of the easiest admission:  as I'm already a graduate from UTA, I don't have to submit resumes, transcripts, etc.  or take any admissions testing.  I pretty much have to tell them, "hey, I want in" and I'll be in.

In other news, my little ones are now addicted to Shaun the Sheep...more proof that they are indeed my children.