December 7, 2015


My dad's condition has deteriorated.  My sister arrived and is going straight to the hospital.  I get in early afternoon tomorrow.  I wrestled with going today, but it's also the little one's birthday today, and I wanted his day to be special.  Birthdays are the world to a kid, and he didn't need to have his saddled with me leaving to see his grandfather who may or may not make it.

My birthday will definitely be while I'm out there, but after a certain point in life, birthdays are great but they also kind of just another day.  Last year I spent my birthday in a hospital too; sitting with little one #2 as we waited to see if he had a concussion.   

Right now, I'm not doing much other than waiting and trying to be optimistic.  My dad has beat the odds a lot of times, so I can only hope he pulls this long shot off.  I'm not doing very well, but I'm trying.

So let me talk about some nursing stuff for a bit.

My ED preceptorship ended...well, it would have ended tomorrow, but I had to truncate it because of the trip.  I discovered that a lot of the skills I learned in nursing school that I don't often perform in psych came back pretty quickly.  My assessment skills and ability to prioritize care has improved.  I'm starting to get the hang of starting IVs.  I've learned a bit about lab work and lab work interpretation.  The MDs here expect you to tell them what you think the patient needs, instead of you telling them about the patient and waiting for them to order everything, so I definitely needed to know a little bit of everything.

And I learned that even with a max ratio of 4:1 (it was usually 3:1), I was still running ragged trying to stay on top of things.  So while I've had great time management skills for an inpatient psychiatric nurse, they were lousy for an emergency department novice.

I have some paperwork to finish up for the class, so my computer is coming with me so I can do that. The last day of class is Saturday.

I decided that I liked emergency nursing enough to try for a position.  My main organization periodically offers ED training for nurses interested in switching specialties.  Usually they ask for 1-2 years of tele/stepdown/med-surg experience, but this most recent posting will take 6 months of acute care experience.  So I applied even though I don't have the 6 months yet.  In addition to telling them about the ED course, I stressed how my psych skills would be very handy in the ED, how I started working with psych-medical patients, and how I go to their ED to do psych assessments so they've probably seen me.   The program starts in January so I'll hear pretty fast either way.

I applied to the ED at the other organization I work at and gave them the same sell, with some modifications, of course.  No idea how long it'll take for me to hear back from them.

We'll see what happens.

I am also applying for a psych-medical position.  I started floating to one a couple of months ago and while it's not my absolute favorite (that is psych ICU), it's very educational and I'm liking it.  One of their staff left and I expressed interest in applying...interest that was received positively by the managers.  I had some questions about the schedule that I'm waiting for answers on before I put in the application.  I may try to do it tonight before I leave.

That's all I've applied to for now.  I am kind of hoping I'll hear back from one of the EDs before I applied to the psych-medical position, but on the other hand I can't string them along--they are short-staffed and need to fill that position.

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