Blog

Two Maxims of Nursing

This is for all you student nurses out there. This is a lesson we all learn the hard way, and it’s a lesson you will learn one way or another.

If you can accept and embrace these to constants in the nursing world, you’ll have much less stress in your day and will not burn out of this career as fast as most do.

1. You start your day behind schedule.

: The moment you clock in, even before you get your assignment. Even before you grab your gear. Even if you’re one of the many nurses that come in early to get your lab work before report. You are already behind schedule. You will always be behind the 8-ball, and the minute you think you’re ahead of the game… something happens. Either a patient has an emesis, you have a difficult family member, or difficulty dealing with a physician…or a patient codes. The list goes on. Accept this and move on. Nursing is a 24hr job, you do the best you can, with what you have, in the allotted time you are given and hand-off to the next shift.

2. Charting is never done.

: There will come a time when you will be finishing your 12hr shift. You’ve giving report, and you are just now going to sit down to do your AM assessment note. For instance, in the ICU world, we do 3 full assessments every 4  hrs. Sometimes more depending on the acuity of the patient. I work a 7a-7p shift. I have had a handful of times where I sit down at 8pm to chart my 8am note. Yes, that means I have to chart 3 assessments, and all the happenings throughout my crazy day. And apparently, it was crazy for me to charting 12hrs later!! Accept this and move on. Charting comes last in the tangled web of nursing.  Yes, you are correct. If it’s not charted it did not happen, but your patients are your priority.

If you can accept and embrace these two maxims, your gonna be a much happier and much more pleasant individual. New nurses always get caught up in swimming upstream and not having any charting done.

Accept them and embrace them. You will have good days and bad days, but these two concepts will be with you every day of your nursing career.

Welcome to nursing. Enjoy the ride!!!

 

Blog reheated: I originally wrote this post in August 2008

Advertisements

Happy re-birthday to me. The day I should have died. 17 years later.

“Never be ashamed of a Scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” Scars are tattoos with better stories.

17 years ago I was given the greatest gift of my life.

A second chance

I know the value of my life and continually appreciate it, no matter how ‘tough’ things may get. Today is my re-birthday.

On September 15, 2001 someone made attempt on my life.

I’ll admit it. Before that fateful day, I was just as jaded, jagged and miserable as many other human beings who occupy this earth are.

I was always pissed off at the world. I continually wanted to know when the universe would stop shitting on me. I bitched at everything and everyone. My temper roller-coastered like it was my full-time job. I had your typical bad luck, bad girlfriends, bad relationships, bad jobs, etc, etc.

Yeah, I was a mean ole’ cuss. I can’t say ‘positivity’ was part of my repertoire. I was going nowhere fast, and I just couldn’t seem to get a leg up. I was simply treading water.

Then someone tried to kill me.

https://media.giphy.com/media/CDJo4EgHwbaPS/giphy.gif

I needed someone to try and steal my most prized possession (my life) for me to truly appreciate its merit.

Yes. You read that right.

I first blogged about it in 2008 (hard to believe). Every year I re-share the original blog post. It’s cathartic for me and my loved ones. It’s important to me because I want the reminder. I want to remember and never forget my gift.

And I’d like you to have the reminder too, because life is fleeting.

Let me tell you a story (in the original words that I wrote several years ago)…

It’s been 7 years.

This time of the year always has a special place in most of America’s hearts. September 11, 2001 is a date none of us will soon forget. It changed the face of our nation and impacted our world in a way none of us could have ever imagined. Emily (crzegrl) shared here views of how it impacted her.

At the risk of diminishing or making that day any less than it really was. This time of the year has a very different meaning for me. I do remember September 11th. I do remember what I was doing that day. I do remember how I felt and how the world around me changed. But it’s not what is in the forefront of my mind.

September 15, 2001

My Re-Birthday.

It’s been 7 years.

It was a Saturday. (Yes I remember it that well)

There was a time in my life when I was not active in healthcare (It was a short time). I had stepped away from the healthcare setting and returned to my career in retail. Retail had helped pay my way through college, and then it was the way to put food on the table after college was over. My career in healthcare wasn’t paying the bills, and retail was a better option (at the time).

It was a typical Saturday night. I was one of the midnight managers on duty. Part of my responsibility as a manager was to hold the night-shift meeting with the over-night employees.

This particular night we decided to have an open forum concerning the difficulties people may or may not be having with the current state of affairs. The terrorists attacks were affecting everyone, and we wanted to let our employees know we cared.

I can’t say I remember how it happened.

I can’t say I was prepared for it.

It happened in time ‘slices’.

I was talking with the over-night group of employees. It was me in front of approximately 20 others. Half-way through the meeting and in mid-sentence I can vaguely remember an ‘itching’ or ‘biting’ feeling on my neck.

….??

It wasn’t anything out the ordinary. I chalked it up to one of the bodily aches or pains I have no explanation for. (Like when I get a shooting pain in my finger that comes a goes in a matter of 7 seconds)

It got more quiet. It was like I could only hear the fans of the air conditioning running. I guess the only way to explain it… is things seemed to slow down.. immensely. Like the slo-mo option on a VCR/DVD player.

I don’t know what happened next. Or should I say I don’t know which came first. The banshee-like shrieking screams or the shadow of a person coming out of my left peripheral vision. All I know is that it was a startling moment.

The Scream.

The Shadow.

And I reflexively look to my left.

I remember saying to my self, “Hmm, why is Jane (we’ll call her Jane for identity purposes) standing so close to me. She should be sitting out in the crowd with the rest of the group.”

She’s now advancing towards me. “What is she doing?”

Her left arm is raised in the air. I think she’s going to take a swing at me. So out of reflex, I block her left arm. I block her arm with my R arm and grab her swinging arm with my L hand. Then I grasp her swinging arm with both hands.

I can’t quite figure out why she’s trying to hit me?

Another handful of screams.

Through the tussle and wrestling of her arm I realize my hand is full of blood??? In fact I have blood on both my hands?

“OK. Who’s blood is this?”, I blurt out with a sense of sarcasm.

… ??

More screams.

… ??

Wait a minute.

What’s that in Jane’s hand?

Is that..?

No way.

Wholly SH#T. Jane has a knife in her hand.

“The blood is YOURS! She cut your throat. Your bleeding from your neck!!!!!!”, a voice from the crowd cries out hysterically.

Now, I’m no idiot. I know the inner workings of the human body. I’m pretty well versed in what anatomical structures are located in the neck.

I know I’m still breathing. I’m not chocking. Not having any trouble moving air.

???

At the same time Jane is tackled by a single employee from behind. Then another, then another. And then more. It takes close to 5 people to get her down.

I put my hand on my neck.. and sure enough … nothing but blood.

Yep. It’s a true story. I was attacked from behind with a swiss army knife by an employee of mine, in front of approximately 20 people. She sliced my neck almost from ear to ear.

Here are the finer points of the story:

– she used a very dull and old swiss army knife

– she did not use the blade side of the knife and drag it across my neck to cut me. She used the knife in a stabbing motion and scraped the tip of the knife across the length of my neck

– she never spent a night in jail. She had a psychiatric evaluation. Her medications were adjusted. And that’s the last thing I was told (Please don’t ask.. I don’t know what the heck happen concerning her lawful conviction)

– Yes, I have a Keloid scar that has taken 7 yrs to slowly diminish on my neck. (The intent of the ED physician was to use the smallest/thinnest suture possible so to NOT leave a scar, and it did the exact opposite)

-The only entertaining piece of all this was that when the 911 call was made. All the EMS arrived expecting to see a decapitated man. And I mean ALL of the EMS. For the small town I was in, I think I counted 4 Ambulances and 6 marked Police and 2 unmarked Police cars.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that day. It changed my life. We always whine and complain about some of the most ridiculous things in life that seem so very important at the time. Everything from being late for work, being stuck in traffic, having to wait in line in the grocery store, having a poor wait staff wait on you at the restaurant, or having to sit in coach for a 4hr flight… the list is endless. Everyone hates having a bad day.

I touched on my theory about life and how bad your day really was in a previous blog post: Blinking & Breathing, I can’t complain.

I’m not perfect. I do have stress in my life. I do have those ‘Pull out your hair’ moments and those “all I wanna do is scream” moments. But I’m always grounded and reminded by my profession and by my past that maybe you and/or I not having THAT bad of a day.

September 15th is my Re-Birthday. I was given a second chance at life. For some strange reason, I survived that incident. I will never know why. I questioned it for a long time, and never got the answer I wanted until I realized there was no answer. I’m here. I’m staying here. I’m not going anywhere. And while I’m here, I’m making the most of my stay.

Here’s what scares me sometimes when I think about my attack.

As an employee for the retail store I worked for, each employee is issued a box cutter. The only reason I’m still here is because Jane had bad aim, and a dull swiss army knife.

What if she would have used the box cutter instead of her swiss army knife?

Nope.

I don’t have bad days anymore.

Carpe Diem

Via Happy Re-Birthday To Me | My Strong Medicine


Fast forward to 2013…

We moved to a new city. With the move came new friends. When my face was still new, I had a friend comment on my ‘positivity’ and being ‘always happy’. I told her there was a story behind my obsessive passion for being happy, but that I’d explain it to her later. I shared this post with her.. (Thanks, Allison).

This is the reason I’m always positive. Why I greet every morning with my:

“Gewwwwwwd morning”

I get to be here another day.

Many great things have happened to me since that scary day.

I became a Registered Nurse, I met and married my soul mate, and now I’m working as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, a job I truly love.

I’m here. I’m staying here. I’m not going anywhere. And while I’m here, I’m making the most of my stay


I’m not too sure where I’d be today had I not gone ‘under the knife’ so-to-speak. I can admit that I wouldn’t have the abundance of happiness I possess now.

What I do know is that I took a tragic, frightening and possibly life-paralyzing event and turned it into something positive. Positive for me, and hopefully positive for anyone who’s around me.

This might sound a bit cliche’… or it might sound a bit phony…

but I needed someone to try and steal my most prize possession (my life) for me to truly appreciate its merit. And for that, I couldn’t be happier.


I continue to value the gifts I’ve been given. I’ve met more amazing people both online and in person. Every so often I take my life for granted by complaining a lil’ too much, but I still cherish every second I’m still here.

Thank you all for being a part of my life.

Sean

The secret to passing the NCLEX: Mental Aerobics

We hire a lot of new graduate nurses where I currently work. I actually help with the orientation and transition process of new grads transforming from Student Nurse (SN)to Graduate Nurse (GN), to the auspicious Registered Nurse (RN).

The biggest question on all GN’s minds is taking the NCLEX-RN.

“What’s the best way to study?”

“How did you study?”

“I don’t want to fail! I only want to take it once.”

Of course, we all want the above. The NCLEX-RN exam is simply a pressure cooker. It doesn’t really measure your knowledge or your total knowledge of nursing basics. What it measures is how you react under pressure. Do you crack, or do you rise to the occasion? Because the reality is, that’s exactly what an RN does every day.

“It doesn’t measure our knowledge?”~ It does, but not like you think. It wants to know how sound your nursing judgment is, and how developed are your critical thinking skills. Nothing more.

You’ll find that some of the most intelligent nurses you attended classes with will have difficulty passing their boards, due to this very simple fact. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have consumed, if you can’t apply the given lessons to everyday nursing responsibilities, it will only do one thing. Get a patient hurt. A good nurse has sound judgment and good critical thinking skills, not a know it all.

So here is the key to passing the NCLEX-RN: Mental Aerobics.

We have all heard and done our homework when it comes to the specifics of the exam. We all know that you will be asked a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 260-ish. It all depends on how well you answer your questions. Answer them correctly and you’ll have fewer questions.

So. 75 questions MINIMUM.

There is the key. You need to guarantee your mind will be sharp all the way up to that 75th question (or more). Because if not, you will be sitting in front of that computer to answer the 260!

Practice questions. Practice questions. Practice questions. Do them. And when you’re done doing them. Do some more.

You have to start small and work your way up. You’d be surprised at how fast your mind will wander and lose focus after just 20 questions. And remember… you have no idea if you’ve answered them correctly. So your anxiety is building with each additional question.

Practice daily. Start with 20. Once you can efficiently answer 20, move to 30. Then 40, 50, 60, etc. You get the idea. My suggestion is to be able to sit in front of that computer screen for 100 questions before you become mentally fatigued. That way you’ve factored in fatigue and anxiety. (Trust me, the pressure cooker is a quaint description of the exam environment)

Oh and one last thing. Do nothing 2 days before the exam. You’ll do nothing but drive yourself crazy if you study up to the night before. Give yourself the mental break to refresh and revitalize.

Best of luck!

Blog reheated: I originally wrote this post August 22, 2008


How does a nurse not get attached to their patient?

How do you avoid emotional transference? Are nurses supposed to not ‘care’ about their care? How much is too much?

And is there a drawback to allowing emotional transference?

Will you miss or make a mistake if you get too attached to your patient?

I offer my thoughts.


**IMPORTANT NOTICE** This was a recording from my ‘old’ Snapchat account, so it’s not the highest quality (wonky formatting). Some of the video content and conversation is out of context, but I thought the information was valuable and wanted to share it here. I hope you don’t mind. Oh, there might be some colorful language.

[amazon_link asins=’1537254715,0763769924,1533081964,1976082463′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’seanpdent-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fb579267-8941-11e8-9216-09a26d5b1d10′]

 


DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES –> HERE!
If you found this valuable, maybe you’ll buy me a cup of coffee? http://bit.ly/seanscoffee
You know how much I love coffee.
________________________________________
Check out all my other videos on my YouTube channel. Almost 500 free videos http://bit.ly/seanpdenttv
________________________________________
**Follow me on Instagram: @seanpdent
**Let’s continue the conversation: http://bitly.com/thenursetribe
**Have a question? http://bit.ly/askheysean
________________________________________
The views and opinions expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only.
*may contain affiliate links*
Find all of my recommended products and the gear I used in my videos at www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent

What are some tips for difficult IV starts?

There is no 100% guaranteed method to successful IV starts, but I share some things that might get you close to that.

This was a YouTube Live broadcast, so pull up a chair.

[amazon_link asins=’1530479053,1480810908,1535143363′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’seanpdent-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’46d45bf7-893e-11e8-b130-a5bf6d074918′]

 


DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES –> HERE!
If you found this valuable, maybe you’ll buy me a cup of coffee? http://bit.ly/seanscoffee
You know how much I love coffee.
________________________________________
Check out all my other videos on my YouTube channel. Almost 500 free videos http://bit.ly/seanpdenttv
________________________________________
**Follow me on Instagram: @seanpdent
**Let’s continue the conversation: http://bitly.com/thenursetribe
**Have a question? http://bit.ly/askheysean
________________________________________
The views and opinions expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only.
*may contain affiliate links*
Find all of my recommended products and the gear I used in my videos at www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent