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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It has been way to long... time to stretch my blogging muscles

School has started!  I'm actually surprised with the program.  I knew it would be intense when I started the shortest LPN program in the state.  Not to mention it has more credits and twice the clinical hours of the other program in the city.  This is crazy though.  I took my first final today, and tomorrow I have a midterm in another class.  Oh!  And now that Nursing Concepts is done I start Nursing Foundations tomorrow as well!

I love it though.  I'm not saying I won't complain or vent over the next13 months. To know me is to know I vent.  But I am so glad that finally things came together and I'm finally making progress towards my goal.

In other news, work is crazy.  I've been putting in a few NOC shifts during the weeks.  Makes class the next day interesting as I'm all hyped up on caffeine.   We're moving!  Hopefully the last time for a long time.  I'll post pictures as we get all settled in.  The official move is tomorrow, while I'm taking my midterm, I squeaked out of another move =o)  I have been packing however.  I can't wait for it all to be done!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Martians Need Health Care Too....

Thank You SUPERPOOP for the chuckle =o)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Did It!

It's time to celebrate!

I was warned that most students that go through my CNA training program take 2 or 3 tries to pass the state exam, if they ever test at all.

I passed on the first go!

My skills were bed pan, ambulation with a walker, positioning a patient on their left side, measuring and recording I/O and of course hand washing. 

I laughed when she said I would be demonstrating the bed pan.  Of course I have only ever had to assist a patient to use a bed pan once.  It didn't go so well, she insisted on rolling on and off the pan and was heavy, the pan (plastic mind you, not that harsh metal) suctioned to her backside while she sat on it.  She rolled before I could un-suction the pan and it spilt everywhere.  Yay for making and occupied bed at the same time!  One of the girls waiting to perform her skills was retaking the test.  She failed one skill her first go through... the bed pan (insert moody dun dun dunnnnn!)

The bed pan was my first skill.  My RN Observer read the scenario and we went in to get started.  I knocked on the door, greeted my "patient" (a volunteer that comes to help out). Introduced myself and got started.  Then my patient started to change my scenario.  According to my scenario "Mr. Smith" was able to lift his hips for positioning and removing the pan.  Well once we got started, "Mr. Smith" decided he was too weak to lift, and wanted to roll on and off the pan.  SERIOUSLY??? I was convinced I was failing at that point.  I performed the steps (pretty sure I was missing the little ones)  I don't know what went through the Observer's mind when I said "I'm a barrier girl, you can never be to cautious."  I had barriers on all surface I might even think of putting my graduate or the pan down on. 

I completed my skills in less time than allotted.  The girls I was testing with all rushed me outside the building when they realized I was out.  One of the girls was from my class,  I so wanted to be the confident and positive girl she knew from our classes.  I was the one that was called on to teach the class, the first to have my skills checked off for lab and was caring for multiple patients on my own before anyone else in the group.  That day I really didn't know how it was going to go.  I smiled, I knew she needed me to tell her it was easy, all I said was "now we wait and see". 

And I waited.  I was told 3 days to wait for my results.  Three days is an eternity when it comes to things like this.  When I went online to check, I was told I was not in the system.  I called the facilitators, they told me I could check back online at 5:30.  I checked, not in the system. I called, they were closed for the day. I called the next morning, that time I was told 5:00.  People I work with were telling me not to worry.  I know my job, I do it well and if I failed they would have told me right away so I could pay the fee to retest and get it scheduled.  Each shift I have worked since Saturday I have scrutinized every thing I do.  Would I have passed my state exam if that was my skill?  Long days.  Luckily, yesterday at 3:30 I got an email that my scores had posted and I could check after 5:30.  And there it was, 94% on the written exam and each of my five skills passed. 

Happy dance! I am now ahead of all the other students in my class for school this fall =o)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mamma Said There'd Be Days...

Graveyard shift at the LTC, I got the psych pts.
3 hours of sleep.
6 hours at the construction company.
In here somewhere I have to find time to study for my Boards Saturday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh Pooh, Swine Flu

Okay so I'm freaking out a bit. My older brother was at PAX 09 this past weekend. Because he wasn't able to help me with my moving I of course wished all sorts of horrible things on him, but not this.

PAX gets Swine Flu!
Posted using ShareThis

     "Though it might not be as serious as the T-Virus, the first case of the H1N1 virus was recently confirmed via the official PAX twitter account, “Just heard of our first test-confirmed swine flu case at the show. PLEASE if you feel symptoms (fever, etc) go to the doctor....”

He wasn't worried, but I got him to leave work (he works on the trains in Seattle) and have been assured that he will go to the doctor. 

We've been joking about swine flu for a while.  I guess joking makes the fear of this illness easier to handle.  Now that it is hitting so close to home and being helpless to make it better, there's been little relief.  Except for the cartoon above, that one made me smile.

Other great happenings, I got a call from the company that facilitates testing for CNAs and CMAs.  Apparently, OSBN (Oregon State Board of Nursing) did not release me to test.  Therefore, I've been dropped from the test on Saturday.  I get to be rescheduled again.  I spent the morning on the phone with OSBN.  It was an oversight; apparently my application was missed due to being mixed in with another applicant.  I've been assured that I will be released today.  She even thanked me for getting all my paperwork in early, glad I scrambled to get the extra fingerprints and background checks completed to be sent off.  If the facilitators don't have me in the system as good to test I will have to drive to Salem. 

I'll keep you all posted.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sigh of Relief

There is now an echo in my apartment.  All the big furniture is out and in the storage unit.  What's left behind are a few dressers from Ikea, a desk and chair and some living room items that are all listed on Craigslist.  Some guy is supposed to be coming for the dressers.  I don't hold my breath for Craigslist though.  People are flakey. Well, not all people.  I had three amazing people really come through for me today.  I thought I had all this time to move out of my place, two weeks seemed like all this extra time compared to the 72 hours that was to be listed in my lease agreement.  Right next to my pet addendum, behind the move in/out form that I swore I'd get to eventually.  I'm good at a lot of things.  I am GREAT at procrastinating.  It is not that I'm putting things off because I'm unmotivated or don't care.  I really do, I just always think that there will be more time.  Time to see him before he passes away, time to go back to school, time to patch up an old friendship.  I have so much going on today, that could wait until tomorrow right?  So my move in paperwork was never done.  I didn't worry about packing right away because 2 weeks was plenty of time and Hood to Coast was last weekend.  But then I started picking up shifts at work.  Week one went by in a flash of relays and getting boys off to the desert.  Week two was lost to extra shifts for the Pool.  Wow, I really should have packed a bit each day.
No one besides my boyfriend saw my apartment before it was all in boxes in the back of a truck.  I never put art on the walls, I even had a couple of boxes still packed up.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that those boxes were still packed up from my move from Tucson over a year ago.  I always thought I would have people over once it was "perfect".  everything perfectly in a place in the cupboards, the right color painted in the bathroom and when I finally found the perfect screen to divide my big room upstairs into a bedroom and an office.  Every weekend I said that this was it, the weekend I hang my art.  And then I load the box of prints into the truck and move them again.   Rather than moving them to storage this time, I moved them to my boyfriend's place.  My art is going on his walls.  I had planned on having that done before he got home from his vacation tomorrow, but I planned on a lot of things this week, few of which happened. 
I will get things organized at my boyfriend's before he gets back from vacation.  I don't want him to walk in after a week and just see boxes everywhere.  I might be moving again really fast if I tried that.
Oh!  And my new favorite daily tidbit, Natalie Dee.  She makes me smile. 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Moving Update

Nothing of note in the truck.

Lots of boxes packed.

Avery is snoring.

Craving Thai food, no place that delivers.

I found out that this apartment is a haven for spiders... I found an egg nest in a shoe, and every time I move furniture a spider runs out.

Really wishing that I had someone to help with the heavy lifting.  And bring me coffee.

I'm Packing

He is not helping... adorable, but not helpful.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just Keep Dancing.

Awesome day.

 I love my job.

I love my residents.

I love my life!

HAPPY DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now if only these boxes would pack themselves.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mission Possible

I am still humming the theme. Now you are too =o)
This week I had my first shift in my second facility. By far the easiest location to get to, bonus! The thumbprint identification turned into a whole hand scan. It is beyond cool. I feel so sneaky when I clock in and out.

Hand scan aside, I love this facility. The building is old, and huge. There's a locked wing for dementia and behavioral patients that I can't wait to get into. Not a surprise, I'm the one that's been talking about driving the 45 minutes to the State Hospital. I love psych, almost as much as trauma.

I had a lot of rooms to take care of, but the nurses were much better about spreading my rooms down one hall so that I wasn't running between 5 sections all night. When I reported on my patients, the nurses didn't look down on me, but were truly thankful for me updating them on skin conditions. The nurse’s attitudes were so different in this location compared to the other facility I work in. They were all friendly, happy to show me to the breakroom when I got there, and genuinely welcoming. The best part and what showed me how much these nurses care was dinner. Almost all residents eat in the dining room, and it is a full room. All the CNAs pass trays, drinks and feed residents. I sat on a swivel stool between two ladies and turned back and forth. I got lucky and only had to really carry on one conversation, more on that later. All of a sudden, there's a flash of ceil blue going from table to table. It's one of the nurses. She's feeding residents. The charge nurse stayed at the nurse’s station, and all other nurses were in the dining room either passing meds or feeding. It was truly a team effort. And the way everyone moved around it was like a dance.

I fed one resident about 75% of her meal. It was one of my most difficult meals because she didn't want to eat, she wanted to talk. She was in late stage Alzheimer’s and hard to follow, but we had a great time. Once I couldn't get her to eat anymore, another CNA traded me spots and got her to finish the rest of the meal. She finished eating so she could have someone to talk to. My other resident's family showed up half way through dinner. Which to be honest was a little awkward for me when the little boy was trying to tell Grandma about his camping trip and all Grandma could say was "kill, kill, kill". He didn't seem worried by what she was saying, but was obviously irritated that she kept interrupting his story. Cute kid.

I'm working day shift in that facility tomorrow, even though the shift starts earlier than in the other facilities I'm super excited to get in there and take care of some residents. Plus I love seeing the screen say "Handprint Identified".

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Short Stature, Gigantic Heart

I was never the tall kid. My older brother is 6 feet tall, my little brother was 12 when he passed my adult height. He now uses my shoulder as an elbow rest. Even my little sister has a good 3 inches on me. I grew up "the little one".

The thing about being the short kid is that you get to tell yourself that once you're "big" height doesn't matter anymore. You live for that day of adulthood where suddenly being barely 5 foot tall is okay because you're an adult. In first grade, my teacher made us stand up by our desks to answer questions, I had to stand on my chair.

In high school, I was always at the end of the kick line on the dance team. If there were going to be lifts involved I was the one lifted. My coach called me and the other end of the line the "short Sallys".

And then I graduated. College was supposed to be a whole new world of doors opening, adventures, and equality amongst heights. My dorm mailbox was on the top row. The kids in the mail room liked to watch me jump to open it and empty the contents, bonus on the days I'd get the box open and had no mail. Nothing like meeting new people and when you'd expect to hear a "nice to meet you" all you get in return is a blank stare and "wow, you're kinda short".

So now I'm 28, pretty much a bona fide adult. There's been heartache along the way. I wanted a Subaru as my first brand new car, but when I went to test drive it found out there was no way for my feet to reach the pedals to be able to shift gears on the manual transmission. I refused to give up,on having a manual, I bought a Toyota. My dream car? Not even close, but it's mine and as long as I don't get into an accident in which the airbags deploy and could kill me, my car and I get along. I decided it was time to go back to school and finally get my BSN. Part of this goal has always been to get my CNA. Of course working in LTC means wearing scrubs to work.

Finding Petite length scrub pants has been hard enough, but something that I could feel good wearing has been next to impossible. Nothing is more upsetting then going into the local uniform store and asking for their "petite section". It always goes the same, the sales person does the "size up" gaze of up, down and back up. Then the look of "difficult customer" crosses her face. (Insert exasperated long sigh) "follow me". At this point the sales person huffs off through all the racks of the cute seasonal scrub colors in the fun colors and bright prints. Keep going past the men's section, colors are getting more drab at this point. Ahh.... finally, the "special lengths" section. The section is a rack, a small rack for that matter. The sales person dismissively waives over her shoulder, grumbles something along the lines of "if you need any help, please hesitate to ask" and goes back to the front counter. Hooray! My size scrubs! Wait, these are all tall. Oh they must be mixed in. On the entire rack there are 4 colors. None with cargo pockets, and no smalls. Awesome. I trek back up to the front of the store to ask the sales person about other options. "Order online" is the two words I get. I never buy pants online, too risky.

I've run out of options though. I wear scrubs 5 days a week I, have one pair of petite length cargos which I love. They're black though, not a lot of options for color if you want the right length. My other 4 pairs I hemmed myself, and the hems keep falling out. But if I'm going to pay that much for the pant, why pay more to have a tailor alter them?

So the search for an online option begins. I started just doing searches for the brand that my black scrubs are. That helped me find some online retailers. Still, not a lot of color in the petites. I'm a color girl. Twitter has been a great way to find other bloggers and businesses. And that's where I found My Nursing Uniforms . Great selection, great colors and great articles.

The reason I hate ordering online is that I stress over the sizing. All scrubs run differently. You can wear an XS in one and a M/L in another. Usually sites have just a generic size chart. Not these guys, you want to know Cherokee's sizing? You got it. Urbane or Landau? There individually, easy. I ordered on pair of Urbane boot cuts, no cargo pocket but they perfectly matched a top I fell in love with. Placed the order, shipping was beyond reasonable. And fast! If it wasn't for the weekend I would have had them in 3 business days. The sizing was right on, I worried over nothing. There's now no reason to spend the high boutique uniform store's prices when all the deals are online.

It just just happened that the "Strawberry" perfectly matched my toes, not planned but a fun surprise. I'm now in love with the Urbane line for all my fun colors. I had heard of them, but never really looked into them until My Nursing Uniforms, they have so many colors and they all coordinate. You can check out the site in my links section.

I wore my new scrubs for my first shift at my new facility. I'll write more about that later but I love going out there. The scrubs were a hit! I'm used to people commenting on my Koi prints, they always are received well. But the colors last night went really well with both the staff and the residents. Looks like it is time to get a few more colors. There's a great fuchsia with orange trim that I have my eye on =o)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's one of those things that we all argue about.... a little fun

HR Forum: Friday HR Humor - HIPAA/HIPPA: "Friday, March 28, 2008
Friday HR Humor - HIPAA/HIPPA
HIPAA - One of the most misspelled acronyms in the HR vocabulary.

What it stands for (if you don’t know already): Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

HIPAA or HIPPA? You say tomato, I say tomahto? Potato, potahto?

Instead of calling the whole thing off, here’s some ideas for what HIPPA could stand for:

For bureaucrats:

Help in Paper Proliferation Acceleration

Help Incompetents Push Paper Around

For cautious optimists:

Hopefully Inclusive Patient Protection Act

For realists:

Hopelessly Incomplete Patient Protection Act

For health care big business:

Healthy Individuals Push Profits Away

For the rest of us:

Hospitals Inspire Patently Pitiful Appetites

How is Paperwork Protecting Anybody

Hell’s Infernal Paperwork Proliferation Act

How Intelligent People Prevaricate Administratively
Posted by The G.Neil blog team at 12:09 PM"

Thanks G. Neil for the smile.

We took a whole day (that we really couldn't spare) to go over HIPAA in class. And still it goes back and forth HIPPA or HIPAA? I like "How is Paperwork Protecting Anybody" =o)
I've been humming the Mission Impossible theme all day. I blame the facility I'm working at for having thumbprint identification.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Crazy Weekend, Crazy Week Ahead

So here's my goal for this week, if I'm not up to my elbows in secretions, I'll be blogging.

It's been a little bit, so here are the updates to the Journey:

I am no longer managing the group home. They just wanted too many hours. A full time on site manager. When I was offered and took the position it was to be ten hours of administration and 4 nights per week on site. They knew I was a nursing student and would be working as a CNA while a student. Over the last few months, while I gave options to fix the budget and some of the behavioral problems in the building including moving out two violent residents, they were requiring more and more hours. On Tuesday I had a meeting with my boss. He offered me more money a month in exchange for taking the building full time. Full time meant not starting school this fall and no CNA work. I would be able to be out of the building long enough to see a movie and have dinner. I turned down the offer. For those of you who know my situation, my job gave me my home. Looks like I'm back to my nomadic life style.

The night before that meeting was even better. Of course I was going to blog about her sooner or later. And here it is.

I can't even call her the Nazi Nurse, the Nazis were organized. She thinks she's organized, but is far from it. Of course if you ask her, she's just so organized she seems a mess. What to call her? Frizzy hair, not curly, not straight. always changing colors. Loves to tell you how awesome it is that she keeps dropping pounds, but she looks like crap because a strong breeze would snap her in two. No work ethic. I think that's the worst part of it. She's never been a CNA, has no idea what her CNAs should be doing, and not doing for that matter. She had the balls to ask me to pass meds because I have a better rapport with the resident. When I told her I was not certified to pass medication and would not risk my license to do so that was it. She tried to report me to my boss. Said that I was incompetent and would not make it as a nurse because I'm not a team player. I am a team player, I'm just not willing to break the law.

Don stopped by the house to pick up his forgotten ticket and broke my rant, I'm sure I'll come back to her later. Maybe once I can think of something to call her.

My stepsister was in town this week. We had a blast bowling in the OC, her first ink, a visit with the grandparents and my dad, drinks at Kell's and my first VooDoo Doughnut. This morning we had breakfast and Bloody Marys at my favorite brunch spot in Tualatin and now she's boarding her flight back to Vegas. I miss her face already. Time for a trip to Vegas =o)

Hood to Coast. How stressful and fun was that? I did not run, I volunteered for a friend's team and never saw her or anyone else from that team all weekend. What got me through the 12AM drive and 4 hour shift in the rain from 3:30-7:30AM were the texts from Don's team updating on times and paces. I'm so proud of him. He ran 18 miles in 24 hours, that's my pavement pounding rockstar! I think I'd like to run it next year. We'll see how it goes, I'm not really the running type, but it would be such an experience and accomplishment. When I got home yesterday from my shift I slept for nine hours. I needed it, after getting Don up and out the door Friday morning at 4:45AM to make it up to Mt. Hood for an 8:15AM start time, starting laundry for his week at Burning Man and the furry kids, I really hadn't done more than cat nap for over 24 hours. Feeling good now, looking forward to continuing to catch up.

But that won't last long. I work all three shifts this week (days, evenings and overnight), and might try my first double. Oh! And I have to pack and move out of my place. Sleep is over rated anyhow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dance Dance

I've been needing to find a dance class for the last year. Yep, back in Oregon for a year means needing a dance class for a year.

I tried the Alumni Team from high school. Don't get me wrong, I loved the girls I danced with back in the day, but it just wasn't the right fit anymore. I was the oldest one that came to practice, one of two that was unmarried, ditto to childless. Sadly it was less of a practice and more of a sit around and stretch and talk about husbands and children for an hour. Oh, and when we actually got to the routine I was way out of my league. The majority of the alumni still practicing are newbie alumni, not the I haven't seen a dance studio since I graduated 10 years ago alumni.

So now I'm looking for an adult beginner class. And it has been proving quite difficult. Classes are either on the other side of town, incredibly expensive, not beginner or all of the above.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Road block??? HA! I'll see your road block, and I raise you one hell of a fight!

Nursing Blogs on

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So I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed lately.

Between starting work as a Nursing Assistant, studying for my State Boards, work at the group home and trying to somehow get everything in order at the office before I start my nursing program in October.

Maybe I'm setting myself up to fail. I've been known to take on way too much at once. Not able to relinquish power, striving to be the top of everything. It wouldn't be the first time I've bitten off more than I can chew. And to be honest I've choked more than once.

But... MAYBE... just maybe, I'm setting myself up to THRIVE. I know that once all is said and done, and I'm not just little me. Once I'm little me with my BSN it will all be worthwhile. I'll have bleed, cried and clawed my way through to the dream on the other side of this nightmare.

Sometimes I wish that I had things handed to me a bit more. Parents that were supportive (emotionally and financially). Wouldn't it be nice to work because I wanted to and enjoyed helping my patients in LTC rather than being elbow deep in secretions because I have to keep a roof over my head? Well yes, obviously that would be better. But these are the cards I've been dealt. The weak fold, I go all in.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Expanding waist lines and receding hairlines....

I did it!
I survived my 10 year reunion. I promised pictures before, so here they are.

Denise and I
Emily and Bobi
My hot date... I'm a lucky girl.

Me and Matt... He's one of the best guys I know

Megan and I, she's one hot momma!

Like prom, 10 years later =0)

M.J., Cheryl, and Me

Jamie and her hot date Loni Kristina

Thank you to everyone that made the night awesome... see you in another 10!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Scrubs and Uniforms to Wear When Working With Children

Scrubs and Uniforms to Wear When Working With Children

This was too funny to find today in my current quest! My boyfriend really doesn't like my scrubs, can't understand why they'd make something so unflattering. I'm in constant search for the right cut of pant (tough to find being 5 foot tall) that isn't super long or super high waisted. A top that is fitted but won't scare children away showing off the goods. I thought this article was really interesting about children's perceptions. Working in LTC, I stick to a solid pant and usually a print top. I try not to wear solid color sets. Ceil blue pants and a navy top or pink pants and a black top are usually what I wear when I go solid. I try and avoid all black or all navy, just a little to depressing.

Thank you for the article!
I don't think I'll ever get used to "casual Friday", I'm not sold on the idea that scrub tops and jeans should go together. And I'm certainly not providing patient care in my Lucky jeans.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The The Greatest Journey Starts With a Single Small Step...

So here it goes...

I never thought my life was all that interesting, well at least not interesting enough for anyone to want to read about it. Since getting out and about in the nursing world, I've recently found out that a lot of people are very interested in what I'm up to- so I've started this blog.

In this journal of my journey (I love the way that sounds), I will blog about previous trips that led me to where I am now, where I’m headed, and of course the journey along the way.
Pack your bags, go-before-you-go, grab some GORP and let’s hit the road!