Feb 23, 2006


12 Lead Ekg Readout

The ER was boring. It was busy but boring.

We (my classmate and I) come in as the nurses were giving report. We stand about 2 feet back and listen (like we should). At the end of report, the nurses start arguing in front of us about who "gets stuck with us." They even joked about putting us with the aide.
One nurse volunteers to take both of us and this spares one of us from being stuck in Triage all day. (Triage means vital signs, no procedures... all day)
The bad part about that is there were only so many procedures to go around, so all in all I did one IV and one I &O Cath(A urine cath designed to get urine for testing, In and out...doesn't stay in) and that was it. Basically we were stuck "setting patients up" in rooms for the rest of the day. We hooked up monitors, changed patients into gowns, and emptied urinals. Scut work.
We made it clear to the nurses that we were about to graduate and was given permission to do anything but they still treated us like aides.
I can say one good thing though, I learned how to do a 12 lead EKG. I did about 4 of them yesterday.

Update on 3/1/2006:
Ironically enough, this week my classmates who rotated in the ER today had a fantastic experience. They shadowed 1 to 1 nurse and had ample learning experiences including receiving a Med Flight in from the helicopter, an MI who was rushed to the cath lab and a woman going into anaphylatic shock in the waiting room.
So I guess we just went on a boring day.

Feb 21, 2006

"Sam Taggart" from the show ER. Did you know she's the same actress who plays "Velma" in the Scooby Doo movies? It kinda bothers me that they felt it necessary to show belly in this picture. Bad, Velma, Bad!!

Good- ER rotation tomorrow.
Bad- There's only one day in ER
Good- I'm very Excited
Bad- I still have to get up at 5 am
Good- I have free reign to do anything needed of me in the ER
Bad-I have free reign to do anything needed of me in the ER
Good- This particular ER doesn't take level 1 or 2 Traumas
Bad- This particular ER doesn't take level 1 or 2 Traumas
Good-No paperwork to do this weekend
Bad-I will spend too much time playing on internet without homework
Good- No clinical on Thursday.
Bad-Will post about the ER on Thursday.(See! Playing around!)

Feb 18, 2006

Blue hand

I think I knew when I woke up on Thursday that it was going to be a bad day. I woke up AGAIN with a sinus headache and I was very hot. It was really warm Thursday morning and it got up into the mid 80s that day. I hate waking up hot. (It is now in the 30s.....crazy freakin Texas weather)

I took Ari to school and her teacher informed me that the check I wrote for Ari's yearbook a few months ago came back because I addressed it wrong. I was supposed to have addressed it to the publisher instead of the PTA. I distinctly remember the lady saying PTA when I asked for whom to address it. The deadline has passed now for order. Oh well, it's only Pre-K.

I needed to drop off my application package(fingerprints for FBI, photos, etc) to the school before clinicals started at 1:30. I had attempted this already 4 TIMES this week but the secretary who needs to notarize it was NEVER in her office. The deadline was Fri, 10 am. I drive out of my way to the school, find parking and march my butt all the way to the office only to find she was gone in yet another long meeting. So I had to drive up there again, on my day off, yesterday.

So I head to the hospital early to wait for clinicals. I put my 20 ounce coke in my bag so I wouldn't have to carry it the few blocks from parking to the hospital. By the time I got to the cafeteria, my backpack started to feel wet on my back. Upon inspection my coke decided to explode inside and my backpack was now a bucket. My syllabus and patient paperwork was destroyed, my stethoscope sticky, and by the grace of God, the plastic in my folder sleeve had protected my fingerprints and photo.

On the floor, I discovered that one of my patients who just had a new dialysis fistula placed the day before had a blue hand, very hard to find pulse, and it felt significantly cooler then the other hand. My co-nurse with her patronizing style shrugged it off. (Patronizing in a way like saying "She's on Lovenox, which is a blood thinner to prevent clots" DUH! What med-surg patient isn't on Lovenox and I think I know that by now) So anyway, she shrugged it off, so I called my instructor. When co-nurse saw me telling the instructor she decided to go in and investigate with us.
Co-nurse is seeing good capillary refill where I don't and feeling a good pulse when I don't. My instructor got the Doppler and we found a weak pulse only after searching for awhile for it. She tells me I've done all I can do and to make sure I document it thoroughly.

I know the patient was in End Stage Renal Failure but I thought maybe the patient would like to die with both arms.

Feb 13, 2006

Graduate Nursitis

There's a new ailment going around....It's called Graduate Nursitis. It's kind of like Senoritis only with less partying, but it carries a lot of similarities. I thought I would take this opportunity to educate. Symptoms include:

*Procrastination-Hallmark sign
*Being easily distracted from studies for long periods of time
*Pounding headaches at the sight of a nursing textbook
*Doodling pictures (non medical ones) instead of making notecards
*Deciding the day before a test that it would be a great time to catch up on all the phone calls you need to make
*Intermixing studying with games of Mahjong (and others) at www.pogo.com
*Designating stuff like laundry and dish washing at a higher priority then studying
*Tachycardia/ anxiety about graduation followed by the later signs of
indifference and a general feeling of hopelessness and loss of control

Diagnostic tests:
Based on symptoms
Labs: Possible decreased Iron, Protein, and Albumin from forgetting to eat
Upon examination:

*Hair may look "frazzled"
*Marked increase in "worry" lines on forehead
*Fingernails may look chewed down to the quicks
*Suborbital edema may be present

* Graduation and passing the NCLEX
*At least 2 week therapeutic vacation to a tropical island or other location of patient's choosing.
*More then 5 hours of sleep a night
* Sex (controversial)

Yes, I am a Graduate Nursitis sufferer, this past weekend my symptoms had exacerbated.

I made an 86 on my test today....not too bad but could've done better.

Is it May yet?


My Word Cloud. I gotta get the t-shirt.

Feb 11, 2006

Even better shout out

My 15 year old brother, Walker is the next Ron Howard. My 10 year old brother Zak is the next Tom Hanks.

This is really funny and quite talented for kids their age.

Godzilla vs Tuck

View more video clips at Yashi

Feb 8, 2006

Shout out

This is a shout out to an old high school chum. We called him Danny back then but now he's called Charles Daniel Sandoval.
He plays a terrorist in a little indie film that is getting some great reviews.
He's in
The War Within and it's available for rent or to buy at your favorite movie retailer.
I shared a scene with Danny back in HS, he was awesome, I sucked...but he didn't hold it against me. (I still appreciate him working extra with me after school to get that scene somewhat decent.)
So go see it, Way to go Danny!

Feb 7, 2006

"LIKEYOU" lost soul

Worked a shift tonight at the hospital. We got out of lecture early, so I headed over there 3 hours before my shift started. Much easier then trekking through traffic home and not wanting to leave my house again. Besides, my school is not very far from where I work. I came in and grabbed some lunch at the cafeteria. Ran into my charge nurse there..(he is my Idol, voted Nurse of the year last year) Anyway, he asked if I could come on early after I ate and sit with a suicide (attempt) patient. I agree as my only alternative was studying alone in the lounge, might as well study with a suicide patient and get paid for it. The patient was actually being discharged and was low maintenance. We had a nice chat, watched some good TV, and I got a little studying done. At the start of my shift I went on the floor. We were short one CA, so no one at the desk tonight. (Why does that always happen on my one or two shifts a month?!)
I had an unusual patient. A man found altered with no ID by EMTs. Broken bones in his face and generally doing pretty bad. When they brought him in they found he had bleeding in the brain(subarachnoid and subdural), enough so that it probably has caused some major brain damage. After a couple days, he's in the clear physically but mentally, still very altered. He was in restraints because he became very agitated and combative and wouldn't stay in bed. He had a sitter too, just a much bigger MALE sitter. Male sitter asked me at one point to relieve him for a break, so I got to sit with this poor man. I talked to him, even though he barely responded with anything intelligible. I told him about his view from the window, how the weather was. He didn't say much to me that made any sense, sounded like gibberish really. The sitter came back and I went back to my other patients. Later as I was walking past the door, the patient started shouting "LIKE YOU LIKEYOULIKEYOULIKEYOU" at me. I went in and said "Mr. X there's no need to shout, I'm right here. " So he starts whispering "likeyoulikeyoulikeyou."
So I guess I got through to him a little.
Social worker figured out his ID and his address. It appears he lived alone, no family or friends found yet.

Feb 3, 2006

Big Whopper with cheese

I know I post about a variety of things on this blog. I try to keep it predominantly about Nursing as it is what has enveloped my life for the past 2-3 years. I have also written about being a single mom, my nutty family, and widowhood. Tonight I need to post about the latter.

I knew it was coming, I just didn't expect it so soon and so early. Ari had her first emotional break down just a few hours ago. We were sitting on the couch talking about the day and Ari mentions something about her Nana and Poppa being old. She asked me if they were going to die and go to Heaven like her Daddy. I told her, "Yes they will one day get sick and die and they will meet her Daddy in Heaven". I felt compelled at this point to explain more about Heaven. I told her it was a wonderful place where you are always happy, and people never get sick or hurt themselves. I told her that I also believe that they can watch us from Heaven and that Daddy is watching us every once in awhile but we just can't see him.
It was then she said and started crying "I miss my Daddy in Heaven, I want to see him." She cried for quite a bit while I just hugged her. It's still breaking my heart.
I told her how happy her Daddy was that he got to live long enough to see her when she was a baby. And I told her that when he was sick, he was hurting a lot from the cancer, but once he went to heaven, he didn't hurt anymore. I told her we still have each other and the two of us are a team. Then, I offered up some photos for awhile and we watched an old video of Mike. She fell asleep watching it.
I thought I was prepared for it but it took me by surprise, coming home, late from clinicals and I felt a little knocked over. I guess I expected her to be older before she felt the loss. She grieves more for losing a Daddy, not particularly her Daddy. She can't remember him fully, she was 4 months old when he died. But then, maybe she does in a way, as she has seen so many pictures of him, and heard so many stories. Her memories might be false, but they have to be good at least.

Mike and Ari 2001

I still miss him too