Friday, August 1, 2008

I made it - I'm done working in PA!

On my way to work everyday there several sights I look forward to... As strange as it is this is the first one, a nursing home! I want to live here! Don't you love it? I should have applied here - I wanted to the entire summer!!
I would LOVE to have a retirement home in St. George! I love how they went the extra mile to make it nice! Notice the potted plants and rocking chairs - don't you die over the twinkle lights?!
The next thing I love is this! Painted on the side of an old building! This summer Tam and I listened to "Let's Roll" on tape. It's a book by Lisa Beemer, wife of Todd Beemer - about 911 and the plane that went down in PA saving Washington DC and another disaster! I pass this building to and from work - it warms my heart! I love it!!

I can't remember which of my friends say, "I can do hard things." But, I love that - teaching your children that they can do things they don't like - things that are VERY hard! Working in PA was hard for me! I tried not to complain - in fact I have made myself wait until I finished to blog about it (except from when I first started)! But, I MADE IT! I'm proud of myself - I feel like I could do anything after working here! I wanted to include some of the things that have made it unique!!

It's very getto! Back to double rooms and before the days where you communicate via E-mail. I haven't heard of a single staff meeting or continuing education. I have never have had a size small glove on my hand - they don't have them. They do oral temperatures - in Fahrenheit!! Weight is still done in pounds!
*You use the patient's sink to wash your hands and it's (of course) not automatic.
*There's not a paper plate to be found (because there's no food for patients) - I bring my own fork and knife (along with all my own food). The cafeteria is closed the entire night - you CAN get food in the vending machine if you forget yours! Patients can get a sack lunch for the supervisor if they are hungry!
*The ratios are horrendous - 6 patients for an RN is a GREAT night on the med/surg. floor and aides take about 15 (on a good night.) There were times I had 8 patients without an aide! There's never a HUC at night and the charge RN has a full load of patients so you do your own orders and put your chart together!
*The census on the Tele floor is handwritten by the charge nurse each shift and don't even think about there being a report sheet or up to date Kardex!!
*The pharmacist leaves at midnight - if you get an admit after that you have to wait until morning for your MAR. If you HAVE to have a medication you can call the supervisor. I saw a nurse trying to mix her own Cardizem gtt. the other night - SCARY!! Also, no antibiotics are labeled with patient info or with instructions on how fast to run... They are in a stock in the fridge - along with maintenance bags (even ones with K+).
*This is SICK: They don't empty the NGT output - when it's full they put it in the dirty utility and put this thickener in it. Then they put it in a red bag?!
*I/O's are not done on the med/surg floor (I'm a nut about still doing my I/O's - I add them up for my shift every night) and vitals are done every 6 to 8 hours. The aides write them down on a sheet and then the nurse transposes it onto her notes. ALL charting is paper charting - even the MD orders don't have a carbon copy!
*EVERYONE is cultured for MRSA on admit. Even if the have a history of MRSA they are placed on isolation precautions! On an average night I have 2 to 3 patients on isolation!! And the isolation gear is a JOKE! Besides the fact that my gloves are baggy...
*The visiting hours are enforced - all visitors leave at 8 pm.
*Surgical admits (that need come in for surgery that day) don't go to Same Day Surgery - they are pre-oped on the floor and then sent to surgery. So, on top of your group you already have - you have the surgical patients coming in... It makes it busy!!
*They call their ADA diets CCD - Carbohydrate Controlled!!
*Lopressor isn't pushed. It has to be mixed (by the nurse of course) in a 50 bag of NS and hung over 15 minutes. Lantus can't be given in the stomach - only in the bum!
*On ortho I didn't see a single Suretrans or CPM?!
*On the psych unit they don't have call lights - they use a bell (like a bell from a board game!) They bed alarm is a pad they place under the patient that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't?!
Despite the different conditions I met some remarkable people that I will miss very much! I learned that I can be comfortable in places I have never liked - Tele and Psych! I learned to trust in my judgment - I HAD to - I didn't get even ONE minute of orientation on ANY unit! I learned that I can do what I set my mind to do! I learned that I CAN DO HARD THINGS!! :)
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Rhiannon said...

I don't know how you did it! That would scare me to death and I'd probably go home crying every night. Hearing your's and Krista's stories really make me appreciate where I work and what we have here!

jeny said...

i didnt understand one word of that! but i could hear the frustration and maybe a little disgust in you voice. what a trooper:)