Category Archives: Off-Topic

Lack-o-posts = other priorities

Hello all.  Sorry for the lack of posts.  It seems my hospital is THE “in” place to be, so as a consequence, I’ve been picking up extra shifts to help my facility (and also my pocketbook) out.  Plus, Mr. DisorderlyCNA spent a stint in the hospital, but he’s much better now. Needless to say, it’s a holiday miracle that there are Christmas lights on outside the house.  (I’ve resorted to begging Son of DisorderlyCNA and one of his friends to procure a Christmas tree for me so I can decorate it on a day off.)

Things that have been accomplished?  Little steps for the cat to use to climb up into the loft above the living room (It’s not much of a loft, really just a horizontal, ceiling-height divider between the entry and the living room, but it’s a great place for a cat to snuggle into a bed and snooze the day away) have been installed.  I swapped out the showerheads for spray nozzles (if I had known it would only take about 5 minutes each, I would have done it 19 years ago!).  And the laundry is caught up!  Huzzah!

I’ll try to post a lovely photo of Christmas pork roast, because other than Sunday (which will be spent sleeping and attending “Anchorman 2”) there isn’t a day off until then.

All I can say is, thank goodness for Amazon, because between work and studying, there isn’t a lot of time for shopping in the traditional sense.

Feliz Navidad, y’all.


R.E.M. Daysleeper

Quit waking us up during the day!

Lyrics, so you can sing along in a grumpy, resentful, sleep-deprived fashion with the rest of us vampires who work nights:

Receiving dept. 3 a.m.
Staff cuts have socked up the overage
Directives are posted.
No callbacks complaints.
Everywhere is calm.
Hong Kong is present
Taipei awakes

All talk of circadian rhythm
I see today with a newsprint fray
My night is colored headache gray

The bull and the bear are marking
Their territories
They’re leading the blind with
Their international glories
I’m the screen the blinding light
I’m the screen, I work at night.
I see today with a newsprint fray
My night is colored headache gray
Don’t wake me with so much.

I cried the other night
I can’t even say why
Fluorescent flat caffeine lights
Its furious balancing
I’m the screen, the blinding light
I’m the screen, I work at night
I see today

Don’t wake me with so much. the
Ocean machine is set to nine
I’ll squeeze into heaven and valentine
My bed is pulling me.

Daysleeper, daysleeper.
Daysleeper, daysleeper, daysleeper


Time to Drop a Few. . .

Somehow, I’ve let myself tip the scales at > 250 lb.  Life happens. . .nursing school + working night shift = stress+boredom eating.  I can rationalize anything!  Oh, it’s Pi day (March 14, 3.14) – I’d better have some pie to celebrate.  I’ve been a good girl . . .time to have a venti machiatto coffee to celebrate me.  Unfortunately, there’s a bit too much of me to celebrate now, and I’m worried about immediate and down-the-line health consequences.

My “numbers” aren’t too bad right now. . .blood glucose in the mid-normal range, cholesterol numbers could use some work but I need some 12-hour fasting data (going to biometric screening after night shift when one has had both dinner and “lunch” probably skews the data).  The weight is too high, and the fact that my blood pressure readings immediately after a shift has systolic or diastolic (or both) consistently in the pre-hypertensive or hypertensive range is not a promising sign.

Yes, I take care of folks with CVA’s, folks who are bariatric (oh, the sad, sad skin issues. . .the burly bumpy pannus skin, the sores, just heartbreaking). . .that alone should motivate me.  But the thing that I read today, that gave me a target, was a flight nurse job posting.  I am years (or never) away from having the qualifications to do that job, but one thing really stood out – must be able to weigh in at a duty weight of 210 lb. or less (including gear).  Now, the gear probably weighs about 15-20 lb., because a helmet is involved, boots and a flight suit.  So that would put the target at 180 lb.

After kid #1, I weighed in at about 170 lb.  Then, I came up with the great idea of using Depo-Provera for birth control, and that’s when the weight gain started.  Add in 20+ years of working behind a desk, and up to about 215 lb. I went.  After a summer of working in long-term care, I got the numbers down to a consistent 220 lb., but then nursing school kicked in, and I’ve been sliding upward steadily.

So, graduation approaches. . .I’ve begun cutting portions, and eliminating the high-calorie coffees and the soda pop.  Once I have 3-4 days a week back, it’s time to start walking while the weather is nice.  Add more greens, whole grains and lean stuff.

I know the road ahead is long, but I have much to lose!  (Pun intended.)  I’ll probably never be at 120 lb. (my build just doesn’t work like that), but if I could reach a healthier weight, my heart, lungs, circulatory system, feet and back will be much happier.

I’ll keep you updated, internets, on my progress, good or bad. . .


Slacker CNA Jobs to Grab For. . .

So, it’s a busy night in the ICU. . .what tasks should you jump at to give your barking dogs a break?

  1. unit/monitor clerk – on the plus side, you’re definitely off your feet.  On the minus side, that phone just keeps ringing with the lab tech whose accent makes him/her impossible to understand!  Don’t miss the chance to remind your peers when one of their patients has a telemetry lead off, but don’t bother to tell them which one.  Who doesn’t love a game of bug the sleeping patient??  Be the most popular person in your unit!
  2. 1:1 safety companion – pros:  possibility of patient falling asleep, leaving you with time to read, study, Facebook or finally solve that tough Angry Birds level.  cons:  being hit, scratched, kicked, punched, spat upon or sworn at (my fave comeback:  “Hey, only family gets to talk to me that way!”)  LOLs aplenty for all! 

  1. bed driver for MRI/CT scan – pros:  ability to sit in comfy chair for extended time period in operator’s booth watching scan in real time and listening to radiology techs bitch about their hellish shift (points for variety here).  cons:  transferring heavy-ass bariatric patients from bed to trolley and back again, getting lost on the way to imaging and looking silly.
  2. semi-professional typist – tired of actually doing your job?  seek out the nurses working on their LPN to RN or RN to BSN or whatever and offer to type their papers for them!  pros:  they do your work  for you extremely happily while you type and will buy you coffee if you whine enough or look at them with a pained expression.  cons:  APA format sucks, possible repetitive stress disorder. . .
  3. code lurker – pros:  excellent slacker position for newbie hospital CNA, lots of exciting things to learn, no bodily fluid splashes.  cons:  may get pulled into doing compressions, may get asked to get exotic piece of necessary equipment from storage room way the hell across unit, thereby defeating slacker purpose of job


Disclaimer:  these positions are temporary at best.  As always, your best bet is to keep moving, because a rolling stone gathers no moss and a CNA in motion tends to remain. . .employed!

Wednesday, I’m in Love…

OMG OMG OMG! I can’t wait ’till it arrives! A Pentel 8-color automatic pencil! My textbooks and note cards will never know what hit’em! A review will be forthcoming…

Pentel 8-Color Automatic Pencil

Update: it’s here! And just as marvelous as anticipated! Here’s a picture of this gadget:


A Sedation Alphabet

A is for Ativan and anxious

B is for benzodiazepine and barbiturate

C is for central line

D is for dopamine receptors

E is for Equanil

F is for frontal lobe

G is for glutethimide

H is for Haldol and Halcion

I is for intravenous and IJ line

J is for JCHAO

K is for Klonopin

L is for lorezepam

M is for mitts and morphine

N is for neuroleptic

O is for obtunded

P is for Propofol and Precedex and Prozac and paradoxical reaction

Q is for quiet

R is for restraints and Restoril

S is for sitter/safety companion and sedative and Security

T is for tardive dyskinesia and tricyclic antidepressant

U is for understanding

V is for Valium and Versed

W is for waking

X is for Xanax

Y is for y-site compatibility

Z is for zzzzzzzzzzzz…