Saturday, December 30, 2006

Travel Nurse: Assignment in Tallahassee

It's been a long and relaxing break between assignments. I took a break for a month during the holidays to visit family in North Florida and South Georgia. The holidays were crazy. My oldest son, Stephen, found a "mud snake" and couldn't resist picking it up. I have included one of the pictures he made me take of him holding the snake.
We enjoyed our visit so much we've decided to take a travel nurse assignment in Tallahassee, Florida for the next few months. My husband is a big Florida State fan but I doubt we will be here long enough for the next football season to start.

I will be working at one of the two main hospitals in Tallahassee. The winter weather here is relatively mild compared to some of my other travel nurse assignments. The temperature has been in the 60's for the last few weeks (including Christmas Day) which is something I can certainly get used to.

We found a home in a suburb of Tallahassee to stay in while I complete my assignment. I am still working out the
housing stipend details with my travel nurse agency.

I start work next week. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Nurse's Christmas Poem

T'was the week before Christmas, and all through the floor,
The Lasix was filling the Foleys galore.
Stockings were worn to prevent emboli.
They came in two styles: knee- and thigh-high.

The patients were nestled half-assed in their beds,
While visions of stool softeners danced in their heads.
We in our scrubs, and they in their gowns -
Fashions created to hide extra pounds.

When down in the E.R. it became such a zoo.
They called for admissions for me and for you.
They're coming, they're going, they're looking the same.
My patience for patients is starting to wane.

Now call lights are ringing, the patient expounds
"I have not had my peri-care, please send someone down."
So now delegation seems like a good plan.
We pass on to others the needs of this man.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Santa himself and 8 tiny reindeer.
He states that he came in from Central Supply
To bring us LR, NS, and D5.

The doctors then scribbled what no one could read.
Orders for patients, to measure their pee.
We try to decipher illegible words.
Orders for patients, to guiac their turds.

The new shift arriving, our day is now through.
How'd the stool and the emesis get in my shoe?
We give them report and pass on the facts,
And tell them of Duoderm lining the cracks.

And the Nurses exclaimed as they drove out of sight,
"Ambien to all! And to all a good night!"

Monday, December 25, 2006


Hope Santa brought you all you wanted!...Zoe got sparkley pipecleaners and Bear got wrapping paper bits... the other 2 were still sleeping! Lazy bums!

Friday, December 15, 2006

ok, time for some serious sleeping in!

The semester is over, got through the OSCEs in one peice (barely!) and I am now ready to sleep in, relax and strart revising notes for next semester (yes yes I know, I am on vacation). I have made it through yet another semester and still cannot believe that I have made it half-way through nursing school.


Mental Health Carols

1. Schizophrenia -- Do You Hear What I Hear?
2. Multiple Personality Disorder -- We Three Kings Disoriented Are
3. Dementia -- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas
4. Narcissistic -- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
5. Manic -- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....
6. Paranoid -- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me
7. Borderline Personality Disorder -- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire
8. Personality Disorder -- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why
9. Attention Deficit Disorder -- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?
10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder -- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle,Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle

Thursday, December 14, 2006

All Dressed Up!

A quick post about me as a bridesmaid for my good friend Irene this past weekend!

It was great! I had a blast and am glad that I was able to go. It was in the USA (Salem, Mass.). A really cute place to visit btw.


OSCE, aka: OMG, just let me pass!

Last day is tomorrow, we have OSCEs, 6 of them then I have a month off. YAY! In the meantime the stress is high and we are all stressed out. To make matters worse, my hip hurts, my BP is in the toilet (too low), my pulse is tachycardic (great) and my neuro wants me to do a sleep study (among other thinsg) and all I want to do right now is crawl under a rock and HIDE. I am just so fed up with school and need a break so badly. I am afraid of failing the semester (about 1/2 of us are in the same boat, so at least I am not alone). I have to do well on the OSCE if I don't want crap grades this semester.

You may wonder, What is an OSCE? It stands for "Objective Structured Clinical Examination". Basically they give you a scenario and you have to act it out, describing what you are doing and why. Talk it out and do the necessary skills. That's how you get the points. Scary shit at times. So far I have always managed a good grade, but this term we have 6 of them for our final and we're not entirely sure what they will ask us! We have to do it in uniform too... odd.

So any of you out there reading this, cross your fingers for me and wish me luck!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Travel Nurse: Assignment in St. Augustine, FL

Last year I worked as a travel nurse in St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine is generally recognized as the oldest city in the United States and is full of history. Downtown St. Augustine has old cobble stone streets lined with beautiful European style cathedrals. I took a picture of this cathedral during one of our family Sunday afternoon strolls. There are at least a dozen more similar cathedrals.

There is also a street near the cathedrals called "St. George Street" with a bunch of olde world Spanish styled specialty shops. At the end of St. George Street is an old schoolhouse with a sign reading "The Oldest Wood School House In The U.S.A. St. Augustine Florida." I told my two sons that if they didn't start doing better in school we are going to start sending them to that school house.

My travel nurse assignment in St. Augustine was easily one of the most interesting I have taken. As far as the work itself, most of my patients were elderly, retired people who were either extremely pleasant or extremely cantankerous. The work facilities were modern and the computer systems were state of the art. There is not a lot of traffic in St. Augustine which makes traveling to and from the hospital easy.

I would recommend St. Augustine to any travel nurse who likes visiting historical sites. I would be remiss if I did not at least mention the Spanish Fort across the street from St. George street. Students from the nearby Flagler College walk to the fort and lay out in the sun on the open green spaces surrounding the fort. My sons also want me to mention that the fort has a cool moat that they believe once held sharks and alligators at the same time.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Regents approve nursing admission cuts

The Iowa Board of Regents unanimously approved today a plan to halve admissions for undergraduate nursing students at the University of Iowa. Article...

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Julie's picks from the Nursing Literature Nov 2006

Happy Holidays!! These current nursing articles with an evidence-based approach really caught my eye. SJH/CHOC employees can access these article through Burlew Medical Library.
Bedard D. Purden MA. Sauve-Larose N. Certosini C. Schein C. The pain experience of post surgical patients following the implementation of an evidence-based approach. [Journal Article, Research, Tables/Charts] Pain Management Nursing. 2006 Sep; 7(3): 80-92. (34 ref)

McKnight M. The information seeking of on-duty critical care nurses: evidence from participant observation and in-context interviews. [Journal Article, Research, Tables/Charts] Journal of the Medical Library Association. 2006 Apr; 94(2): 145-51.

Drenning C. Using the best evidence to change practice. Collaboration among nurses, advanced practice nurses, and nurse researchers to achieve evidence-based practice change. [Journal Article] Journal of Nursing Care Quality. 2006 Oct-Dec; 21(4): 298-301. (17 ref) Burlew carries this journal

Jackson R. Ameratunga S. Broad J. Connor J. Lethaby A. Robb G. Wells S. Glasziou P. Heneghan C. EBN notebook. The GATE frame: critical appraisal with pictures. Evidence-Based Nursing. 2006 Jul; 9(3): 68-71. (7 ref)

Oermann MH. Floyd JA. Galvin EA. Roop JC. Brief reports for disseminating systematic reviews to nurses. Clinical Nurse Specialist. 2006 Sep-Oct; 20(5): 233-40. (33 ref)

Gobel BH. Beck SL. O'Leary C. Nursing-sensitive patient outcomes: the development of the Putting Evidence Into Practice resources for nursing practice. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2006 Oct; 10(5): 621-4, 641-3. (9 ref

Galligan M. Proposed guidelines for skin-to-skin treatment of neonatal hypothermia. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 2006 Sep-Oct; 31(5): 298-306. (29 ref) Burlew carries this journal

Lake ET. Cheung RB. Are patient falls and pressure ulcers sensitive to nurse staffing? Western Journal of Nursing Research. 2006 Oct; 28(6): 654-77. (39 ref) Burlew carries this journal

Delmas L. Best practice in the assessment and management of diabetic foot ulcers. Rehabilitation Nursing. 2006 Nov-Dec; 31(6): 228-34. (55 ref) Burlew carries this journal

Helberg D. Mertens E. Halfens RJG. Dassen T. Treatment of pressure ulcers: results of a study comparing evidence and practice. Ostomy/Wound Management. 2006 Aug; 52(8): 60-3, 66, 68 passim. (25 ref) Burlew carries this journal

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Something I had to share

I got this off another nurse's blog...
#10 is especially pertinent to me and my classmates at the moment...

It's impart wisdomses!
1. If you tell a resident that you'll take care of bowel management for them, not only will he or she sign anything you write, s/he'll love you forever.

2. Don't call at 0300 for a sleeping pill for a patient.

3. White is a magnet for ook of all sorts.

4. Your favorite clogs have just been discontinued, and your favorite pen is about to run out of ink.

5. The cutest bartender is always taken.

6. There is no substitute for dental floss.

7. The volume of ook that will splatter on you is directly proportionate to how much you like the scrubs you're wearing.

8. The doctor who yells at you is actually trying to make up for the size of his or her genitalia. Don't let it rattle you.

8a. Remember that you can go home at seven; they're on call. Smile.

9. The word "pomegranate" never looks like you've spelled it right.

10. If you're a student, don't fret: you'll never use care plans again.

Sunday, December 3, 2006


Woohoo! The first snow of the season, well first real snow!

Rude, Obnoxious, Incompetent...

These words are not what you usually use to describe nurses are they? Well, the home care nurse my mother had over the weekend was exactly that! I cannot believe how bad she was!!! She is not young and fresh out of school either, we are talking about a woman who is in her 60's at least and has been at this for awhile. For that matter I found out that she has been at this for 40 years and has worked at 2 different hospitals...

We had problems with my mom's PICC line and I called the CLSC to tell them what we needed, we were reassured that the nurse coming to the house would have all she needed... well she came and HAD NO IDEA what to do! She looked tha the PICC line as if it was the first time she had seen one and wondered why they would send my mom home with it! OMG! I had to bite my tongue and not react, I was so mad. At least she had the foresight to bring along another nurse later on who knew what to do. She was younger and was more personable and spoke to me like I had a brain and not like I was an ignorant 12 year old.

Strange huh? (considering her experience).

Hope we don't get her again!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

It's almost over

Well, paeds has drawn to a close, darnit!

I enjoyed it, would've liked it more if I had had more than 3 weeks in the hospital... this community placement sucks rocks for the most part, though it was less work I suppose.

I am starting to panic, have 3 assigments due Monday, a Bio test Monday, a teaching & learning presentation due Thursday, and a nursing test Friday. Then Friday AFTER the test I have to get my ass to Salem, Mass. for a wedding (I am a bridesmaid). Then the following Tuesday I have the Bio final Exam (and when am I studying for that???) and then Friday the nusring final OSCEs (oh joy!).

Have I mentioned I am freaking out?