Thursday, 30 October 2008

Overtime Pays More Than Money

News Flash: I am NOT shit at my job!

You know that old "you get told it so you believe it kind of thing"? Well getting told in placement that everything I was doing was wrong kinda ground me down for a bit.

Then I go off to earn a bit of money on the wards as an auxiliary and fall into a few shifts at the not-too-far-away hospital (instead of the two-buses-from-my-house hospital where placement is). Better yet I fell into a run of shifts at Coronary Care.

I worked so hard for them but they taught me too. Like Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps, these things are cool (seriously technical but cool!). They apparently very dangerous too... granted a balloon sitting in your aorta inflating and deflating with every beat of your heart could be dangerous.

They loved me! I did voluntary overtime (they asked and I wanted to er... stick my nose in on the interesting stuff), oh and then there's the extra shift today which came with a side of overtime. So I'm not shit at my job, least they don't think so.

Right when I go back to placement I am going to kick ass. I can so do this.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Why I Finished the Last Post With Swearing

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets
Apparently I've only used ass once (er, twice now). None of the check words came up. Hell 4 times and fuck twice (er, 5 times and 3 times now). So yea NO UNDER 13's ADMITTED!
104% Geek
I think I may have broken that one at some point. Got the same questions twice for example. Total geek!

Workin' Girl

Ah feck....
What started as a simple 7 hour shift turned into a 10 hour shift simply because there was so much work to be done. Not all at once but a constant trickle. A constant trickle with no end! THEN they talked me into a shift tomorrow morning. Excuse me? I know I was meant to be working there on Friday (before I cancelled it). BUT tomorrow that was meant to be my day off.
I could have said no I guess but who could say not to an extra 7 hours! And 3 hours of overtime today!

Also so I can skew the results of a test... fuck, hell, shit, bugger, bloody hell and just to check - dyke, lesbian, gay.... OK I'll explain later......

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Coolest Job In The World!

I have found maybe the coolest job advertisement in the world.
Sadly no it's not chief chocolate taster for Cadbury's.

There's a paediatrics hospital that wants adult newly qualified nurses! Man best news all year! You have to be willing to learn.... well I'm willing to put myself through college again to retrain and get my degree if I have too. No I'm not putting the link up, I want this one for myself!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Quotes and News

If a patient is cold,
if a patient is feverish,
if a patient is faint,
if he is sick after taking food,
if he has a bed-sore,
it is generally the fault not of the disease,
but of the nursing.
See old Florence talked sense occasionally. In fact she was at least 100 years before her time with this...
Bad sanitary, bad architectural, and bad administrative arrangements often make it impossible to nurse.
I don't think she'd notice any difference! Of course I think she might have been talking about little rooms and oddly shaped wards. Preferring those long wards with 2 rows of beds, to the more modern 4/6/8 bedded rooms and single side rooms. But hey the perennial problem of bad management seems to prevail like a crop of bad weeds.

Anyway, my last post was no good but it was true. I've had to cancel one of the shifts this week to make way for a dentist appointment. Since one of my few remaining lower molars is aching. So I get the joy of going to the dentist and I lose out on a shift! They won't let me do a back shift or anything. Poo.

I was going to comment on a news story I found but I'm tired and really it's not the most. interesting thing so I offer quotes and a little comment... and a toothache grumble.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Work: It Keeps You Busy

I have my last essay to start and all the write ups for placement but I'm still working.

Ben and Jerry's Baked Alaska ice cream is great when you've just finished a special obs shift.

I have no coherent thoughts left.... sorry.

Friday, 24 October 2008

30 Hours Should Do It

If I work for 30 (and a bit) hours I can afford one of these!

That's a lot of work......

I've got 39 hours of work lined up for the next week.

Am I an idiot?

This is an addiction.

U.K. peeps - Waterstone's have ebooks for the Sony BUT so do WHSmiths (and Smiths are cheaper!).

U.S. peeps - I can't wait till the Kindle arrives here because it has been delayed till next year. I have to take what I can get.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


See this is how it goes..... Back in first year I bought a whole load of textbooks. At the moment it works about to around 1 per essay. Then you go and get told that what I was using (which was fine for first year and are still accepted by the college fore written work [or so I thought]) are not in fact of any use. Well granted since I bought most of them they are now out of date. Some of them went out of date only 6 months after I bought them. Massive waste of money, though I still used them just referenced the newer edition (and double checked to make sure they said the same things).
Mostly the only bits to go out of date are the resus / acute care stuff (like I started the course and it was 15 compressions to 2 breaths, now it's 30 compressions to 2 breaths for adults) or blood norms or procedure protocols (which are governed by evidence based practice and seem to change on a day to day basis). Recently I've replaced 2 of my textbooks with the new editions (yes I DO realise I only have 3 months of study to go).
So what textbooks are the best? Meh it seems to be a personal choice to be honest, because if you find one to be easy to understand then go for it but the college / uni might be recomending something else.
Right books I really love...

Your starter for 10... I think everyone should at least read this. I bought it at the begining and it has been faithful ever since. The second edition only came out a couple of months ago to match the new NMC code (there's a copy of the code in it) and it's not one of the ones I replacing.
The Student Nurse Handbook (1st and 2nd year) and The Newly Qualified Nurse's Handbook (3rd year and post qualifing) by Bethann Siviter are fantastic.
Oh and she does the drawings herself!

Right everyone needs a dictionary. I've managed to aquire several over the years but this one at least fits into my bag.

Finally a core text... This one is prescribed but I never took to the 2nd edition. The 3rd edition came out...oh about a year ago and I resented the thought of getting a new one especially at £30 a go.
I just couldn't read the werid colour of text in the 2nd edition (and the writing style left me with a headache). I went out and got the 3rd edition today and they seem to have at least fixed the colours and put in a few diagrams. Warning this one weighs in at about 6kg but we've never had to carry it in.

Other text books.....
Research - consider getting a basic book on research if you're going down the degree route.
Area specific - I know people that loved one area so much the have books on specific areas (e.g. acute, older adult, cardiac, etc). Not essential but can be helpful especially if you enjoy those areas.
Calculations - if you struggle with the maths a good drug calculations text might help... or you know find a helpful math geek (*ahem* that would be me in our class) to help you out.
Nursing model specific - I own a text specifically applying the Roper, Logan and Tierny model (it's out of date now but I got it for a nursing models essay at the time). These can be really good especially when filling out placement paperwork and the like (endless source of references for the likes of communication and dying).
Clinical Skills - there are manuals all over the shop outlining the different skills, how to do them and what you need to do them. Some are more basic than others. I own a basic one but will ned to go out later this week and get a more advanced one for placement references. I'm considering the Royal Marsden Manual for this. I've picked it up a few times and it seems to be what I'm looking for. I'll update on that later.

So yea that's that I'll be doing on my week off!
P.S. I don't work for Waterstones (I just buy a lot of textbooks there) but I wouldn't be upset of they wanted to send me an ebook reader as a token of thanks!
P.P.S. Kidding..... slightly.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Warm Fuzzy Feelings

And those are few and far between these days...
I love learning and the whole nursing course but some days you just feel like chucking it all in. I'm trying to remember the good times so that I don't lose sight of where I'm going.
So where am I going? Going to get a job hopefully. I would of course like to pass this final placement and get out the other side. See part of finishing the course means that you are fit to practice. The MNC talk about 'Good Health and Good Character'.... Well I have my moments of Good Health and mostly that isn't a problem.

Good character is important as nurses and midwives must be honest and trustworthy. Your good character is based on your conduct, behaviour and attitude. It covers examples such as someone who knowingly practises as a nurse or midwife before they are on the register, or someone who signs a student off from an educational programme while being aware of poor behaviour.
Now I'd never want to be signed off if I was incapable (also because it would bite the ass of the nurse that did so) and I am scared wit-less of being incapable. Yea OK it's safe to say I have no confidence left and reading the Committee Reports of nurse conduct is not helping me any more. Not that it was helping in the first place (the whole lot scaring the cack out of me!).
I'm not ready yet. I'm like a part baked cookie... I taste all right but there's something wrong (also soft with no hard outer shell to protect me).
Warm fuzzy feelings? Bah! More like cold hard surfaces... clinical surfaces. I'm going to go rock under the table and hope tomorrow is a better day. Oh and maybe the staff nurse I get on really well with might just be working the same shift......

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Memes (2 of 2)

Things women should do before they're 30

1. Hard boil an egg: Done, hate boiled eggs though!
2. Diplomatically tell Mum to butt-out: Seriously? A lifestyle like mine and you think I've not done that?
3. Ace a job interview: *pffft* Nope..... got my first job without an interview.... did manage to get into college
4. Ask a man out: Why the heck would I do that? I have though (went belly up of course!)
5. Send a thoughtful thank you note: Yes but it depends on who you are!
6. Listen to a friend in need: That's part of my job surely?
7. Ask for help: Oh dear god no.... at my lowest point I had to be dragged to the counselor and doc.
8. Effectively end an unhealthy relationship (romantic or platonic in nature): OK not been so good on this front.
9. Beautifully wrap a gift: Oh heck I can do this all the time! I rock at wrapping presents!
10. Say "no" gracefully: Sometimes..... not to food of course.
11. Whip up a great dinner with the five items in her fridge: Yes but only because I did a food shop today.
12. Forget pleasing him, by 30 a woman should be able to tell her man exactly how to please her Oh come on! If you don't know this minuet the get some 'alone time' and freaking find out!
13. Sew a button: Man I learned this in Brownies! I had my sewing badge you know!
14. Mix a kick-ass cocktail: Is it alcoholic? yes. Does it contain everything in the drinks cupboard? yes. Then it's a good cocktail.
15. Take off her bra without removing her shirt: Oh hell yea.... who can't do this?
16. Apply lip gloss in the dark: Yes but why in the dark or am I missing the point?
17. Balance her chequebook: I've not used my chequebook since I got it... oh 6 years ago. You don't really need them any more.
18. Create a budget: Again *piffft* budget what's that?
19. Find the best deal: Mostly usually when technology is involved.
20. Negotiate a salary and/or pay raise: Take what you are given and be happy with it!
21. Read a map: Totally!
22. Hail a cab: Phone out, call taxi company, get into taxi.........
23. Say something in French just for the hell of it: Uh yes but I'm not so good at it.....
24. Apologise when she's wrong: Sometimes.... least I know when I'm wrong.
25. Dress for her body type: Have to..... but mostly it's uniform and PJs.
26. Change a flat (or know whom to call to come change it): I can so change a tyre!
27. Spot a fake (handbag, diamond, potential friend...): In handbags: certainly. In some pieces of memorabilia from my specialities.
28. Feign interest: Oh god yea, that must be part of the job description.
29. Know what to tip on a $25 dinner bill: 20% - $5..... 10% - $2.50 or you know nothing cos your service was garbage........ (where was that $25 tab anyway?)
30. Hold a baby (Hey, someone you know is bound to have one sooner or later): Oh actually I'm quite good at this but no-one thinks I'm any good for some reason.

I meant to post this with the last one but got distracted with the photos.

Memes (2 of them!)


a) Answer the questions below, do a Google Image search with your answer, take a picture from the first page of results, and do it with minimal words of explanation.

b) Tag 5 other people to do the same once you’ve finished answering every question.
P.S. I don't own the copyright of ANY image you see here and I've linked to where the image came from

1. The age you’ll be on your next birthday

2. A place you’d like to travel to (camp be here! well somewhere!)

3. Your favourite place

4. Your favourite food

5. Your favourite pet

6. Your favourite colour combination

7. Your favourite piece of clothing

8. Your favourite TV show

9. First name of your significant other

10. The town in which you live (while the BBC building was being constructed)

11. Your first job

12. Your dream job

13. A bad habit you have

14. Your worst fear

15. What you’d like to do before you die

No tags.... Do it if you want to! I'll explain any choices in comments if your really feel the need!
Back to normal blogging shortly!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Today's Classic

Granted I spent a lot of time walking into this 4 bedded room before forgetting why tonight but I did have a reason the time this happened...
[Middle of visiting by the way]
Sam - That's my girlfriend.
[Sam's 70-odd and was talking to his relatives]
Me - Didn't expect that response to walking in!
Sam - I'm I not getting any love?
Me - I love you too Sam.
Sam - Ah Fuck off.

Ah well can't win them all! And I still have that marriage proposal from a 92 year old.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Your Job, My Job

Cellar Door said something in one of her comments that reminded me about the adult nurse / mental health nurse divide.

I have friends on the mental health branch of the course (mostly from when we all started together in first year) before the 'iron curtain' fell and the 'them and us' mentality was installed.

It's almost natural to think that your job is the best job. Round up a bunch of nurses and, unless you've just caught them coming off the 'shift from hell', most will tell you that they quite like their job. I mean if you hate your job the why the heck are you still working there?

Why do we seem to think that other people, who are also nurses (for talking's sake), have an easier / harder job than ours? You are good at your speciality (even if you 'fell' in to it) and they are good at theirs. Lets put it this way I can't talk down your agitated suicidal patient and you probably can't read the arterial blood gas results and alter the ventilator settings accordingly (OK, I did that once under supervision but I totally get the science).

All our jobs are complicated and technical, but if it came down to it I couldn't do yours and maybe you couldn't do mine (well not without a bit of study or something).

Monday, 6 October 2008

A Turn-around...

Apparently I'm doing better today. I'm not sure what I did. Course I went off and did a dressing (one I did on Thursday and hasn't been done since [ that's OK because there should be 4 days between changes]) without any prompting. It was to be done so I did it. Actually there was more than one dressing but I left the other one to the nurses since the dressing that's on it needs to be reassessed.
Right I just have to extend this a bit.....but let's not count all the chickens.....

A Naptime Clarification

What I meant by running IVs...

  • Running fluids through giving sets
  • Making up (under supervision) IV antibiotics
  • Stopping / recording finishing time / taking down sets and disposal (with permission, dependant on nurse and placement area)
  • Connecting and starting (under some supervision)
Things entirely dependant on place and staff...
  • Disconnecting fluids (not drugs / syringe drivers) so patient can go to bathroom
  • Silencing Baxter pumps and correcting blockages
  • Removal / disconnection / disposal (without permission because the fluids are finished)
  • The prep of the next bag (without prompting)
I'm quite good with Baxter pumps most of the time, including the ITU's 3 line editions. I know it is medications we are dealing with (just because it's not a pill doesn't mean I can be any less careful). Until you do the IV drug course you cannot flush or inject into venflons (and that is the first post qualifying course I'll be signing up for!).

Right I'm off for a nap..... I got 1 hour of sleep last night. I do have something to post later too honest!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Learning To Change

There's this odd jump I've apparently not made yet from student nurse to real nurse and this is what has caused the problems over the last couple of weeks.

2nd Year Students....

  • Do everything while being watched, e.g. dressings, running IVs, paperwork, etc.
  • Do all the work of a CSW / auxiliary nurse
Students at the end of the course....
  • Can do dressings / paperwork / referrals / ward rounds without being watched
  • Can do drug rounds with minimal supervision (we still need the signatures and observation till qualified)
  • Can work on their own without constant prompting / suggestions / support
  • Are essentially mini nurses
I'm stuck somewhere between these two places. It's the working on my own, I think, that's the problem.

Things I can do....
  • Dressings / running IVs / direct patient care
  • Some of the day-to-day paperwork / some of the admit/discharge paperwork (and I can't do it fast enough)
  • Finding things to be done and doing them if I can
  • Finding things that don't seem to be right but apparently are
  • Dragging doctors to patients when they need them
People say I'm missing the confidence to fill in the gaps between these things I can do. Hmm, right. So what do I do now?

More to follow....... when I find some answers.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

No News Is Not Always Good News

I've not been talking about placement because it's rather fresh at the moment but in time I'll explain what's going on.

Sufficed to say nice ward, nice staff, nice patients.... me doing the usual, i.e. not enough, not fast enough, not good enough.

Some days I suck at something I thought I was good at. Right I'm going to bed because my foul mood isn't lifting. Sorry folks. I promise to be happier tomorrow.


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