Tag Archives: ADN

Start the countdown. . .

I was going to write some awesome posts about ICU beauty tips (the BEST way to get dried blood out of hair, for example) but weirdly combining summer/post-school/post-NCLEX meh with job-seeker anxiety has served to completely eliminate my blogging drive (kind of like overdoing the oxygen flow on a COPD-er – over time that minimizes the respiratory drive).

So, after all but giving up hope of an RN position where I currently work (the only interview I had was for the OR – some of my nurse coworkers flat out laughed at the thought of me in the OR because I LOVE patient interaction, hate to stand still, and almost never shut up) and that didn’t really go anywhere.  But when the hospital made a last minute decision to hire more new grad RN’s, a classmate did me a solid and gave my name to her manager.  4.5 days later, I had a job offer.

This is good, because I was contemplating keeping my CNA job for the health insurance and internal applicant status for future new grad opportunities later this year or early next, and combining it with an RN position somewhere else so I could start acquiring experience, all while starting work on the RN-BSN. (Stress!  Stress! Stress!) I was listening pretty hard to all the current wisdom that says “you don’t want to be an inexperienced “old” new grad!” Combine that with the spouse saying “Hon, you’ve really been through the wringer this last two years, it’s OK if you just take it easy for a bit.  You’re wonderful and some place will see that and hire you.  Please, here is some chocolate, now stop freaking out!” and you’ve got the recipe for a somewhat schizophrenic outlook (“I’m OK, I’m OK, I’m Ok!  No, I’m not OK!  I’m OK! No, I’m pretty sure I’m not OK!“).

So, now I have just four shifts left to go as a CNA.  I’ve ordered my new scrubs in the appropriate nursey colors (PS:  I love Koi Warehouse – they sometimes blow out separates for under $10 each!  They are awesome, check them out if you wear Koi.)  My oldies (but goodies) have new homes waiting (I hate waste!) and I’m completely (well, mostly) excited but also more than a bit terrified about how I’ll do in the new job.  One of my coworkers said it took a year before he felt like he wasn’t really in danger of killing anyone!  Help!

I’m bringing treats to celebrate my coworkers (Cookies for breakfast?  Why not?) and celebrate that things worked out after all.  They were all pulling for me, RNs and CNAs alike. Because they are filled with so, so much awesome.  And I’m so glad I get to keep coming to work at the same facility, still on night shift, so I won’t lose touch with them.  They are my work family.  

So, wish me luck!  In the mean time, I’ll figure out what my next blogging adventure comes next.  I might just bequeath this blog to my son (Son of DisorderlyCNA) as he enters into his own CNA adventures!

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Pinned. . .so now what?

I’ve earned the RN pin. . .the culmination of five years of hard work, lost sleep and intense caffeine consumption.  Our critical care director, probably one of the kindest docs around, and much beloved by our hospital’s nurses for the respect and admiration he has for the nursing profession, spoke eloquently, with just the right touch of humor.  A Nightingale ceremony, with an appearance from Flo herself (reincarnated), really capped things off.

So, one set of busted pumps, several beers, and a couple of deadly Fireball/beer cider dunkers consumed (imaging a cinnamon apple that makes one extremely tipsy), plus one barbeque (huh, who knew my classmates’ talents included keg stands? Impressive!), I’m contemplating the future to come.  There’s an NCLEX review class at my community college (a good deal at $200), plus some interviews (critical care and surgical units at my hospital). . .but what I really wonder is, what’s next?  Will I gain employment at a hospital without a BSN in my grasp? Can I hope for a critical care job?  Can I hope for any acute care job?  Does it really matter?

After a gut check (after the weight gain of nursing school/working full-time night shift, there’s plenty to check), I find that, no, it really doesn’t, as long as I have the privilege of caring for patients, in any care setting.  Long-term care, long-term acute care, acute care, community-based care, home care – I think any of them would work out, as long as I have the right attitude and the willingness to continue blooming where I’ve been planted. Til’ then, I’ll be happy to continue walking in circles for 12 hours a night, caring for patients within my scope.  The path will be there, I just have to take it when it appears.

 

What to do? What to do?

Geehosiphat!  My final term – and nursing preceptorship – are flying by.  I realized it was time to update the ol’ resume, start putting in some job applications for when I’m all grown up and a real nurse, and to finish up some scholarship applications that I’ve been cheerfully ignoring.

I realize, the job market being what it is, that choosing a nursing specialty might not be my option, but that it will instead choose me.  I personally think I’d make a hell of a med-surg nurse – I actually enjoy meeting new friends all the time (but not at the turbo pace of the ER).  I realized that getting people excited about eating hospital food, getting them their meds on time, and making sure they are safe actually makes me happy.  Let me tell you about our pudding and jello options, folks!

Don’t get me wrong. . .I have loved my time in the ICU, and if I landed a critical-care job or new graduate internship I’d be wildly happy. . .but at the same time, the ICU doesn’t always afford a lot of chances to be joyful.  Every day, bottom line, you are guaranteed to be surrounded by people who are having a crappy time (at a minimum) and are possibly dying.  Yeah, yeah, I know death is part of life, blah blah blah.  Try telling that to little kids who just lost their mom or dad because they couldn’t sustain life and the grownups had to let go and turn off the pressors and the machines.  Tweakers who OD’ed trying to get out of bed and painting themselves with their own offal.  People who may never get out of bed again, period.  The sad, sad, futile sadness of some of it.  There’s just a lot, and it’s hard to describe it until one’s wallowed in a large ICU for some time.  Yeah, the machines that go ping! are pretty neat, and I know they save lives, but sometimes it’s a bit much.  (The ice cream parties for the staff, courtesy of the organ transplant coordination agency aint bad, either.)

My coworkers tease me sometimes. . .”Oh disorderlyCNA, sounds like a long-term care nurse in the making!”  So it’s not like there’s a betting pool, but some of my coworkers are starting to put down bets one where I’ll end up.  I will end up somewhere!  I’ve told them that if I’m still there as a CNA six months from now to kick me squarely in the ass!

Some think I’d be great in peds (they are insane!) or in the NICU (yeah, right. . .tiny sized critically ill patients sound so much better than adult critically ill patients!).  One of my managers thought I’d be a great psych nurse.  Really?  (Are you mad at me?  Writing me up?  Glaaahhhh. . .)

So, I guess it remains to be seen where I’ll end up.  So for the time being, I’m enjoying the learning opportunities afforded to me by my preceptorship, and acquiring the rest of the RN role.  Long way to go, though.