August 10, 2011, 10:12 pm

Totally INANE!

Boy, time flies when you’re not paying attention!

I had a fantastic experience, last week, and I’m just now blogging about it!!

I spoke on blogging at the annual conference of the International Academy of Nursing Editors.

Here is a picture with Shawn Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Nursing, taken by Peggy Chinn, Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Nursing Science, following the plenary session.

(I am so going to name drop here!)

*****

You could say they are totally “INANE”! No, I did not just insult my audience, that is the acronym for the group. The INANE “About” page (linked above) describes a “non-organization” without formal officers, elections or dues, and with a mission of promoting “best practices in publishing and high standards in the nursing literature.”

So while the name hints at a great sense of humor about themselves, their journalism is serious business.

*****

Transitioning to the online milieu in publishing and engaging readers via social media is challenging. Sessions were designed to guide members of INANE in the basics of blogging, Twitter and Facebook

While I covered blogs, Shawn’s enthusiasm for Twitter was contagious (she got this casual Tweeter using Tweetdeck); and Leslie Nicoll, Editor-in-Chief of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing is a master of connecting via Facebook.

*****

I’m all about social media; I’m definitely all about blogging. Many nursing journals are already active in the blogopshere.

  • INANE’s blog, From the Editor’s Pen, is written by Leslie Nicoll who (a) loves Cherry Ames and (b) is a Kindle expert. My kind of gal!
  • Peggy Chinn writes the blog for Advances in Nursing Science, called Advancing Scholarly Discourse. I bookmarked this on first sight; it’s a definite need-to-read, as is the journal itself.

*****

I believe there will always be a place for print media, particularly print journals.

Right now, as I am typing this, TweetDeck is scrolling, my email is “dinging”, and Facebook is telling me I have 6 notifications and 3 messages waiting. Online, a million things vie for your attention. Even turned off, there are a million temptations, a millions potential distractions at your fingertips.

But when I’m curled up with my latest issue of the JEN: Journal of Emergency Nursing, it has my full attention. No email, no Facebook, no Tweeps tweeting tweets to tweak my concentration.

Just a quiet read.

And speaking of JEN, I met Renee Holleran, Editor-in-Chief, and I’ll be writing a guest editorial on social media at the beginning of next year.

All in all, a most enjoyable, INANE afternoon!

August 3, 2011, 12:15 pm

So, You REALLY Want To Be A Nurse?

Editor Kitty is pretty funny!

Actually, I’ll be hanging out with a bunch of “Editor Kitties” tomorrow!

I’m giving a talk on “Getting Started in the Blogosphere” at the annual conference of the International Academy of Nurse Editors, held at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco.

Check out their initals: INANE! 😀 Something tells me this is a fun group of folks!

Wish me luck. My biggest fear is they will introduce me and I’ll stand there with my mouth open and nothing will come out for an hour! Or all they will hear is Charlie Brown’s teacher: wah wah wah-wah wah…. 😀

**********

I have a new blog! I’m now blogging over at MastersinNursing.com – my first post went up this week. The site just underwent a revamping as did the blog, and I’m looking forward to posting twice a week on nursing education and other nursing related topics. I’ll be earning my MSN eventually, so this was a perfect fit for me! Learning new html stuff, too! It was bound to find me! LOL!

**********

And if it looks like my MacBookPro is smokin’, well, it’s because it is!

I’m in blog heaven!

Twice a month you can find me at AllHealthcareJobs.com, where I am writing about my recent experiences in the job market (and my hard-earned education in what NOT to do!).

The easiest way to find me is to subscribe to the newsletter.

*******************************************************************

You want to be a registered nurse?

Let’s cut through the B.S. and get real about it.

Put a hold on all this soft-focus “I live to care!” or “It gives my life meaning…”

Here’s the reality.

***

You will study your ass off.

Nursing science is based on biology, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, psychology, sociology and philosophy. Yeah, every single one of them. You will incorporate those into every decision you make in your practice. It’s called critical thinking. You master it and become a professional, or you don’t and you become a robotic technician.

Bottom line.

Your choice.

Oh, and the studying doesn’t stop after you graduate. Nursing school is just the warm-up.

***

The work is physically exhausting and emotionally demanding.

Are you tiny, petite? No? Neither am I and neither are your patients. You will push, pull, lift, turn, transport and transfer loads you wouldn’t even consider attempting at a gym. The lightest patient is dead weight when bedridden.

You probably won’t get a chance to eat. Need to pee? Should have thought of that before you left.

Legs that weigh 500 pounds each, feet that throb, backs that ache – welcome home after your shift. Give that ibuprofen bottle a hug; it’s your best friend.

Patients die. You are tough; it doesn’t bother you. But on your way home it hits that someone’s mother won’t be making Christmas dinner next week or you remember the father collapsing in your arms when his daughter was pronounced…

And you cry.

It sucks.

You really want to deal with that?

***

You’re first in opinion polls and first on the firing line.

Oh yes, the public loves nurses.

Until you are the nurse.

Patients get pissed off. They are tired, in pain, hungry, cold, upset, frustrated, agitated, ticked off at the doctor, bad food, had to wait. Guess what. YOU get the brunt of it. Family members, too. Decades of emotional baggage and they have to show they care for the patient by yelling at the RN.

In twenty different languages!

YOU are the one through which all things come, and never fast enough! Including explanations for why every single department in the hospital is behind, late, inept. My favorite is fielding questions as to why Doctor Holy Mother hasn’t shown up yet.

And when she does, expect to be totally ignored.

***

Body fluids.

If the body produces it, you will handle it. Feces (insert your own euphemism here); vomit; blood; infectious exudate, aka “pus”; vaginal drainage of every sort; amniotic fluid; saliva in the form of spit directed at your person and whatever secretions a trachea is producing on a given day.

Each fluid comes complete with it’s own odor. None of them are pleasant. Often, when these body fluids occur in combination, their odors combine to produce a new and distinct aroma. When alcohol has been consumed and is in the process of being metabolized even more unique olfactory combinations ensue.

Some of these linger and will come home with you, as they seem to settle in your hair and skin, even without contact.

You will gag and most likely at one time or another you will vomit yourself.

Just keepin’ it real here, folks.

If you are lucky, you will be wearing protective gear when said handling occurs.

Other times, all you can do is duck and pray.

***

Regulations.

They come from various state and federal agencies. You can be sure of one thing: they will make your job as a registered nurse harder.

Always.

And if it shouldn’t, like nurse-patient ratios, the administration will find a way to turn it around and use it against you. That is a whole post in and of itself.

Ostensibly they are all for patient safety, but in reality they exist because somewhere, someone does not want to reimburse for something and so ponderous regulatory hoops will be put into place before the money will flow, usually in the form of “documentation”. New forms, new regulations, more work, less patient care…

Makes ducking body fluids seem like a Disneyland “E” ticket….

***************

So, you still here?

Seriously?

You must really want to be a nurse.

Okay, then.

Oh, and all that soft-focus stuff?

About living to care and giving life meaning?

It’s true.

We’ll talk about that in another post.

Just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page….

July 15, 2011, 12:17 pm

There’s Been A Change In Plans…

Need magazine subscriptions? Check out these guys for great prices and no auto renewals.

Apparently a few nurses did not complete their HIPAA modules!

My goodness, ladies, remember yourselves!

You just know that one in the back follows all the rules, all the time. Doesn’t eat at the nursing station. Has the best cap. Her charts are perfect.

She’ll peek later.

**********

When I applied to the University of Wisconsin to begin my BSN program, I took a leap of faith. I didn’t know how I was going to afford it, how much work it was going to take or, basically, what the hell I was getting into.

I was nervous. I was excited. And I was at peace with the decision from day one. Everything fell into place.

I was meant to be there.

Now I’ve been accepted into the MSN program at California State University at Dominguez Hills.

*****

Have you ever had misgivings about a decision and pushed them into the background, discounted them as “butterflies”, ignored the nagging little voice in your head? Until one day, something happens and you realize you are not being honest with yourself.

That’s what has happened to me.

It seems so trivial.

But it made me realize I made a mistake.

*****

What triggered this realization?

On July 12th, the trustees of the California State University system approved a 12% increase in tuition for the fall semester. A semester I had already been charged for, by the way. California has budget cuts, I get it. This state is basically a financial cesspool. But the trustees also approved a $100,000 raise for the president of San Diego State. This esteemed academician will now make $400,000 a year.

Going into debt for this degree ran against the grain of every bone in my body, but I was going to take a small student loan to get started. But not anymore. Not for this program. I will not take on debt for a 12% increase in tuition so a university president can get a 25% raise in the same year. I don’t know about you guys, but $300,000 AND A PROVIDED RESIDENCE is a damn good living, even in San Diego and even in California. I’m sure there are people willing to do the job for $200,000.

(You can best believe my would-have-been nursing professors don’t even see half that.)

*****

CSUDH is a great program with a good reputation. They are a pioneer in nursing distance education. One of my colleagues graduated with her MSN in Nursing Education from the program and she absolutely loved it.

But this is neither the time nor the program for me, and all the doubts about attending and the misgivings about financing that I suppressed, ignored or rationalized came to the forefront with this one news headline.

I’m still going for the MSN, but something tells me I’ll be looking outside the state of California.

Graduate school is an enormous decision, frankly, more than I appreciated. I am going to take my time, research the programs, evaluate the options. And I’ll know when the decision is right because it I’ll be at peace with the decision.

You’d think I’d have learned by now to listen to that nagging inner voice…

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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