March 22, 2007

Burnt out or depressed?

Usually, this time of year, I am keyed up and excited about Spring. I can't wait to do yard work and plan some project. This year I am just plain depressed! I don't know if it is job burnout or a combination of things.

I have been doing weekend call for a hospice for about seven months or a little more now. I only work two days and have five days off, but I am pulled in five or six different directions at one time and constantly dealing with crisis, stress, and death. Prior to that I was working doing a case load during the week for hospice for about a year and a half.

Is it time for a change or just some time off? I love my job and it is my comfort zone since I have been doing it since I graduated. I feel like I am doing something good and am helping people.

Should I just bite the bullet and go get some hospital experience no matter how badly I may hate it? Should I stick this out and see if I can get over the burnout? Any suggestions?

Posted by Barbara at 06:53 PM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2006

Happy Christmas Story?

I have a patient that has been on service for awhile now. He is 92? years old and lost track of his children. A family had come in to his life and endeared him and he made them his POA. The family alienated his family, took him for everything he had, dumped in a nursing home, and revoked their POA. By this time, his children had given up on trying to see him due to the fact that they thought that he had disowned them for his new family. He didn't know that his family had tried to keep in touch with him only to be turned away by that family.

His request from day one was that we find his sons. We had searched for them through the American Red Cross, local directories, called information for all local cities, etc. We couldn't find them. He was about to give up hope and was not doing very well, then one day....our social worker found his son's phone numbers through some funeral arrangements when she was trying to make sure that he had everything that he needed done, taken care of.

We called one son and he didn't want to have anything to do with him. We were at a standstill and the patient started doing poorly again. I decided to try again. I wrote letters for him as he dictated then called the son for addresses. He was clearly not thrilled, but gave me addresses for both sons and included my phone numbers. One day while I was out for surgery, I got a phone call from the other son. He was so excited to hear from his father and know where he was and that he was still alive.

Once we began to talk about what landed him where he was and their seperation, he was so tearful. He was so upset that his father was taken like he was but so glad that he had a chance at a relationship before he passes. He and his daughters started sending cards and pictures. He began to perk up and do better. Then his family announced a visit. They will be visiting him soon and all are so excited to be reunited. They are seperated by many miles, but will see each other again.

I am so excited and will be present for the reunion. I can hardly wait. It will be one of my best Christmas presents.

Posted by Barbara at 10:52 PM

July 18, 2005

Cool Nursing Blogs

I have been reading some really awesome nursing blogs like Thinking Nurse, 'ImpactED Nurse', 'Head Nurse', "About A Nurse', 'CodeBlog', and 'Where's My Towel?' to name a few. I could sit and read them until I go cross-eyed. They tell of many adventures that I have yet to have and some that I can identify with.

I so want to blog about things that go on in my day to day experiences but am so afraid to because of HIPAA. My biggest fear is that a family member might happen upon it and say, "That's my Mom!" and want to sue me or my employer for talking about them.

Does anyone know legally how I can tell my funny stories without endangering myself? Just change the names and not mention the name of the facility that I work for? My little patients keep me laughing, crying, and truly amazed. The elderly are too underappreciated and forgotten by society. We should truly treasure them. We are who we are because of them...and someday...we will be them. I'd like to share how wonderful they are.

Posted by Barbara at 06:58 PM | Comments (4)

Things Looking Up and Up

I really enjoy my patients at my current job and the thought of leaving them just breaks my heart...so I'm not going to. I'm going to work there PRN on the weekends and accept the new job I was offered. Can you believe that I have already been offered the job that I wanted and was trying to build the years of experience to get? I don't know what to say. I'm blessed!

I begin my new job as a hospice nurse next Monday. I am excited and a little scared. I hope that I can handle it and really want it as badly as I think that I do. Getting attached to these patients would not be a great idea, huh? I know I will though...them and their families. I guess I will take it one day at a time and see what happens. I know that my heart is in it and it is where I feel like I should be and that is what counts.

I also get to go back to dayshift! Woohoo! I have barely seen my family for the last month or so working nights and long hours. It has been horrible. And though my husband tries hard...he's not much of a cook. I think the kids are really tired of frozen pizza and hot dogs. :o) Life will be back to some sort of 'normal' and I am so ready for that.

Posted by Barbara at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2005

New Career...finally!!

I passed state boards!! I was so nervous and worried. The test cut off at seventy-five questions. They told us that meant one of two things. Either you did really well or you did really poorly. I couldn't see myself doing really well after all of the test grades that I saw in nursing school so I was sure that I had bombed it. So, when my husband handed me the piece of paper with my license number on it and I realized what I was looking at....I let out a shreik of joy. My sixteen year old dropped everything he was holding it scared him so badly. :o) When my husband explained to him that I had passed my test, he said, "Is that what you scared the crap out of me for?!"

Anyway, I can now officially say that I am an RN. That feels really good after working so hard for it. Some days, I thought that this day would never come. I just hope that it is worth all of the debt that we have incurred, all of the stress that it has caused, all of the things we have done without, etc. I hope it is. For now though...I am elated. I have finally done what I have wanted to do do for way over half of my life....even if I am just pushing meds at the nursing home for now.

Posted by Barbara at 10:02 PM | Comments (3)

May 02, 2005

Graduate Nurse (almost)

I will be a graduate nurse this weekend. By the grace of God, I have made it! It has been, quite possibly, the hardest thing that I have ever done in my entire life.

When I began nursing school, I was so excited! I had been accepted into nursing school and that was a big thing! Many had not! I was thrilled! However, many nurses and others asked me if I was sure that I wanted to do it. They told me how hard it was and how I'd have to completely give up my life to do it. They told me of how it was nothing but school and studying for 2-3 years...and asked if I was willing to make that sacrifice. My thoughts were..."Why are they trying to talk me out of this?" "They did it and I can do it too." "Why do they want to keep others out of the profession?" When I would reply that I would never be happy until I tried and that it was what I had always wanted to do, then they'd say that I should go for it, but unless I really, really, really wanted it....not to waste my time.

Then, we started classes and the very first day one of the instructors told us to look at the people around us. Then, they said that half of us would never make it to graduation. We got a phone list with everyone's name and phone numbers on it. As anyone quit, got kicked out, or failed out.....I marked them off of the list. After third semester, I had to mark myself off too. MORE than half of that beginning class didn't make it to graduation....including myself.

Of the ones that failed out with me (out of more than fifty that failed out but I don't know how many re-applied), only ten or eleven got back into the program the next year. Of those, only five (that I can think of) made it this time.

Let me tell you something though. When you finish a program like that....ask any nurse....you are proud. You have studied like there is no tomorrow. You know some stuff! You may not know as much as you need to, but by golly you have increased your knowledge base by leaps and bounds since before you started. You have learned an entirely new vocabulary! You can read and understand things now that gave you severe migraines and caused you to take up hours and wear out a dictionary to read it when you first started. You can hear words that you've never heard before and figure out what they mean by breaking them down.

Also, some of those instructors will make you or break you. If you have low self esteem, you will either not make it, or you will have to find something within yourself really quick.'They ain't playin!' They mean business! You need to know your stuff or you can go home and come back the next day when you are better prepared. If you don't do that, then you can take an exit ticket out of the program after being put on probation....if you're lucky!

Needless to say, it has been an eventful few years and I am glad that it is over. I graduate this weekend and have begun a rigorous study schedule to pass state boards to get my lisence. I will probably be taking that test in June.

I guess it just goes to prove that you can do what you want to do even as an old thirty-six year old woman with lots of family things going on, if you want to bad enough and have the Lord on your side.

Posted by Barbara at 07:24 PM | Comments (1)