Monthly Archives: September 2012

Blazin’ Fast Chicken Pot Pie for Two

So, it’s a little hard to afford Claim Jumper chicken pot pie when you’re making bank as a CNA. Yet, there it is, the craving for comfort food with only an hour to spare….the solution? This recipe!

Blazin’ Fast Chicken Pot Pie

Faster than a drug seeker in the ED with a call light, this yummy recipe is just the thing for a long night of studying or work!

1 – 10 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 to 1-1/2 cups frozen carrots/peas/corn vegetable mix or similar
1 can chicken breast (drained) or 1-1/2 cups cut-up cooked chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk baking mix
1/2 cup milk

Note: to make this recipe more heart-healthy, use skim milk, low-fat baking mix and just the egg-white or Egg-beaters

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit

In a 1 quart oven-safe casserole dish, stir together soup and milk until thoroughly blended. Stir in vegetable mix, then microwave on high for 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together egg, baking mix and remaining milk.

Remove casserole from microwave, top heated mixture with batter (will be a little runny, that’s OK). Place casserole in preheated oven, bake uncovered for 20 minutes (crust should be nicely browned).

Serves two quite nicely (or one hospital security guard, or one member of the Lift Team)


No More Cable Bill. . .Also Known As Saving Over $100 a Month

Guess what?  When you work as a CNA and are a full-time nursing student, you don’t have very much time to watch TV. 


So unless you absolutely must have ESPN, switching to free, over-the-air broadcast television, supplemented by a couple of other goodies, will help you save a bundle while still getting your Grimm on.  (Yay for a nationally broadcast series that not only gets the whole “Keep Portland Weird” vibe but also features a leading lady who is the niece of my CNA course teacher.)


How do you still watch football, OPB (yay for muppets and McNeil-Lehrer) and other stuff without cable?  Here is my personal collection (thank you husband for the research and installation) of components you can easily install to get back some of the features you’re giving up:

1.  The Mohu Leaf antenna:  this flat little insanely amazing piece of engineering goodness installs in seconds and has amazing range.  I use the amplified version of this indoor antenna (can be powered by USB or electrical outlet), but if you live in a major metropolitan area, you can probably get away with the original or the non-amplified HD antenna.  Price tag?  $38-74 plus shipping (about $10).  Look, just buy it, OK?  This company also sells a digital-to-analog converter box if your TV is not able to receive a digital signal. 

2.  Orca Antenna:  $70 plus shipping as charged (varies).  Advantages?  Looks like it came out of Star Trek, signal strength reception independent of whether it is mounted on/adjacent to exterior wall.  Disadvantages? Some assembly required, requires electrical outlet, makes husband feel silly for buying it.  You could mount it outdoors (have fun finding the needed pole/adaptor) or in your attic.  Or, you can be like lazee me and stick it on top of a bookcase and have done with it. 

3.  Channel Master CM-7000PAL Tuner/Dual DVR:  The other half bought this one through eBay. Someday, there will be no more from this source, as this particular model is no longer manufactured.  Features an easy-to-use channel guide and DVR recording setup.  This product was manufactured for DISH network; DISH has since switched to another product, but this one works extremely well!

4.  Subscription TV service of your choice.  Netflix (about $8/month) has been around the longest.  If you’re a procrastinator, don’t bother to add DVD delivery service to your account.  You’d be better off with a quick trip to the store or McDonalds to visit Redbox or Blockbuster’s vending machines.  Hulu Plus (about $10/month) is favored by others (different offerings).  Amazon Prime ($79/year) allows pay-per-view viewing. Beyond that?  Waaaaay more expensive!

Yeah, I’m spending my savings on movies at the theater (with beer, thankyouverymuch), more beer, textbooks, and support socks. 

Happy Idiot Box watching!


Keeping That IV In – How to be a Pro With Mitts

Sometimes, patients are unable to control the impulse to pull at their various lines, ET tubes, telemetry leads, or (gasp!) Foley catheters.

Restraints may not be in the best interest of the patient’s safety, and sometimes serve to agitate the patient further. Using a CNA as a sitter is a great restraint alternative choice, but let’s face it, sometimes keeping a patient from pulling at their lines is like trying to put a cat in a box to go to the vet!

So, here’s where mitts can be the BFF you’ve been waiting for! Several manufacturers produce washable “hand protectors” (yeah right, more like dressing/Foley/IV/nurse sanity protectors). In general, these protectors feature a generously pillowed palm, and lace-up or Velcro closures. The patient can move his/her arms freely, but cannot grasp lines to remove them.

So, you ask, how do I keep the patient from removing the mitts by using their teeth/other hand/legs? The hidden secret (when using lace-up mitts) is to cut a small hole in the top of the tongue (of the mitts, NOT the patient! This is important!). Lace up the mitts, and thread the top laces (furthest from the fingers) through this hole, then tie the laces in a bow to secure the mitt. This one small modification makes a world of difference when it comes to keeping the mitts ON your patient!

So, happy sitting, and enjoy that patent IV line!