Superstitions Have Saved Lives

Every nurse has shift superstitions. Things that shouldn’t be done/said/heard/thought of while at work.

Shiz you may have heard before:

💀“Do not admit that patient into bed 10… there’s bad juju in there”.

💀“I can’t drink from that coffee mug, the last time I did all hell broke loose”.

💀“DO NOT say that patient’s name, the last time they were here was a shit show”.

💀“You will put the BP cuff on the LEFT arm… not the RIGHT arm. Just trust me on this”.

💀“We’re gonna go ahead and pull some Neo out of the Accudose and have it in our pocket. Yep. Ain’t nobody dying today”.

💀“Let’s just rolllllllll the crash cart right alongside the doorway. Yep. Right there. Today will be a NO code kind of day”.

Voodoo medicine exists and nurses practice the dark arts. Every. Damn. Day. Do this job long enough and you’ll be a believer too. Because every nurse knows about the bad ju-ju. And every nurse knows exactly what to do to ward off those evil spirits. Does it work every time. Nope. Wanna know why? Because we got some people out there that still don’t believe dammit!

The next time you’re workin’ and you hear a nurse practicing the dark arts. Just follow instructions… MKay? Ain’t nobody dyin’ today.

🧠 cred: @nurseabnormalities


Until next time…
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The views and opinions expressed on this channel 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 videos have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this channel 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.
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Taking A Refresher Course To Re-enter The Work Force

Hey Sean, do you have any thoughts for an RN who is taking a refresher course to re-enter the work force after raising a family?

Re-entering the workforce is not an easy task. I have never experienced it myself, but I know many parents who delayed their education, training and vocation to raise their children. And to me there is no higher sacrifice, so I salute you.

I think taking a refresher course is a setup for success. I imagine you’ve forgotten a great deal, but you’ll probably be surprised by how much you have retained. It’s all lying dormant in the back of your brain, you just need to jolt it back into reality. And a refresher course will do just that.

I would approach that course like you would any other scholastic challenge. Study, study and study some more. It might even benefit you to take an NCLEX-style exam just to wake up your brain.

As long as you’ve maintained your CME’s and your license it’s just a matter of revving up that engine again.

At the end of the day, I would take what you can get out of a refresher course but don’t rest your laurels on it. It’s only going to stimulate your senses. It’s not going to get you back to where you left off.

Don’t be frustrated by what you don’t know. It will come with time. Don’t be surprised if you’re a bit shell shocked when you finally step back into the workforce. It’ will probably sting a bit.

Until next time…


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The views and opinions expressed on this channel 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 videos have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this channel 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.
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I am a tattoed nurse

Do you know the difference between a tattooed and non-tattooed person? The tattooed person doesn’t care that you don’t have tattoos.

Nurses who have tattoos. Are they any less professional? Do they provide a lower quality of care? 

Does professionalism have anything to do with art on your skin??

Before you answer… let’s throw a couple more logs onto the fire.

The public’s perception is their reality. Do tattoos change the nurse-patient relationship?

Oh, and what about employers requiring nurses (and other Health Care professionals) to cover up tattoos? (We’ll come back to this shortly)


I’m a professional. I’m a nurse practitioner. I’m a health care provider. And I have tattoos (yes more than one).  I have an admittedly biased, but honest belief that tattoos do not make the person. The person makes the tattoos.

Up until recently, all of my tattoos were hidden from plain sight under my work uniform. I would chuckle at the reactions from people who knew me through my professional life and then discovered that I have tattoos.

“*GASP* YOU have a tattoo??!!”

I’m sure I read into their reaction a bit, but it gives the impression that they’re shocked that ‘I’ have a tattoo. The ‘professional’. The health care provider. (I mean… Sean… you just don’t LOOK like a tattoo person)

Weird. What DOES a “tattoo person” look like then? Hmm.


Yes. I have tattoos. I’ve had them most of my adult life and each one of them told a story in my book.

I’ve blogged about this topic a number of times over the past decade. I don’t feel it makes me any less of a professional. It doesn’t diminish the quality, nor nullify the work I do. It’s simply an expression of me. Each tattoo represents something in my life (no matter how poor or how faded the tattoo may be).

With all that being said, the culture and profession that we currently live in continue to change and adapt. Less than ten years ago, visible tattoos in the workplace were viewed negatively and dare-I-say not accepted.

Tattoo = bad person (untrustworthy, unsafe, uneducated)

Not to mention the workplace just wasn’t having it, at least not in the world of health care. If you had a visible tattoo while in uniform, you had to cover it up.

Until now.

These days visible tattoos are almost the norm and seeing tattoos in the workplace barely bats an eye. While some employers still require employees to cover visible tattoos, others are at the forefront of embracing change:

Nurses with pink hair and tattoos? Why this hospital system is changing the rules

Here’s where things get interesting (with me). Remember I said I’ve blogged about this topic previously? These are the words I wrote back in 2009:

Now, I must also admit that there should be a certain balance when it comes to tattoos in the professional world. Part of being a professional is maintaining a certain level of professionalism, more specifically your appearance. I feel that tattoo sleeves, neck and hand tattoos can be a bit much for my patients. In that same respect, I also think dangly earrings, over-the-top body piercings (non-traditional I guess), unkempt facial and head hair, tattered clothing and lack of personal hygiene are also not ideal appearance qualities for the professional. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.

As times have changed, so have I. Not only is the public embracing tattoos in the workplace, but I have changed my mind about them. I don’t have a specific incident that changed my mind, I can only tell you I’ve gone from not fully embracing visible tattoos on other professionals, to having my own tattoo sleeve.

Oh My God Wtf GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Yep. Change is the only constant thing.


Oh, you KNOW I had to do a video. I did this video a while back:

A tattoo artist discussing his art…


What to you think? Do tattoos matter in the world of healthcare? And is one’s opinion swayed by having tattoos?

Reach out to me on any of my platforms. I visit Instagram daily.


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You know how much I love coffee.


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The views and opinions expressed on this website, videos or posts 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.

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Find all of my recommended products and the gear I used in my videos at http://www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent

Taking care of the frequent flyer patient

We’ve all taken care of the ‘frequent flyer’ patient. Oh, you know who I’m talking about. The non-compliant repeat-offender patient that just can’t seem to get a grasp on self-care. They seem to have a permanent residence in your facility. It becomes a self-defeating act of caring for them and we sometimes grow weary of the repeat cycle. Admitted for the same chronic diagnosis and medical condition because they failed to care for themselves (for one reason or another). Fail could mean many things, the least of which is purposeful refusal to adhere to their medical therapy that has been reviewed with them a dozen times before. But, this could also be the patient that is not understanding of their condition and treatment. We try to ignore our thoughts. We sometimes think don’t care about their own health, because they know if (and when) they fail to care for themselves appropriately… all they have to do is show up in the hospital (again). It’s not a positive or supportive thought… but it’s not something I’m going to deny. Yep, I’ve thought it. Wash – Rinse – Repeat **sigh** I’m here to suggest an alternative way of thinking when caring for that returning repeat re-admission:
Practice makes perfect
Every time something seems ordinary, repetitive or mundane, it’s just more practice to sharpen your skills for that next patient. Do not take this job lightly. Ever. This is supposed to be hard. Lives are at stake. Because the day you let your guard down is when the grim reaper taps on your patient’s window. You will need to coordinate. You will need to calculate. You will need to be aware. You will need your sixth sense. You will need to hustle. You will need to have laser focus on the details without losing sight of the bigger picture. Every time something seems ordinary, repetitive or mundane, it’s just more practice to sharpen your weapons. Learn something every day. Get better at every task you perform. Master the medicine. Manage the mess better than anyone else. Practice makes you better. And perfect practice gets you close to perfect performance. Become efficient. Become resistant. Become resilient.

Someday that next patient will need your A-game. They’ll need your instinct. They’ll need your reflexes. They’ll need your sharp weapon. They’ll need your steadfast spirit. They’ll need you to chew through nails, because the grim reaper will push you to perfect. Be as close to perfect as you can get by grinding it out every single day you are in charge of that next patient’s care… that next patient’s life. Sooner or later that chronic diabetic is going to be in DKA. Sooner or later that chronic kidney disease patient will be in full renal failure. Sooner or later that heart failure patient with be in shock. Sooner or later that next patient is going to need your ‘A’ game. Sooner or later you will be the only thing standing between your patient and the grave. — Keep practicing.
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The views and opinions expressed on this website, videos or posts 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 http://www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent

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


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You know how much I love coffee.


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The views and opinions expressed on this website, videos or posts 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 http://www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent