Saturday, December 31, 2005
What's NewYea! Here's my post where I reveal my new position. I had to really find out more about it so I can tell you what it actually is.
I'm working at the Large County Jail (hereafter called LCJ). The county has two of them, and they can each hold about 1500 inmates. The one my job is at is a fairly new building and quite clean and spacious inside. The older one is more of a maze of unending hallways and elevators to nowhere. I'm glad I get to work at the new one, but I told them I'd be willing to take an extra shift at either facility after my training period is up. Although this is not a picture of the facility I work at, it is similar.
There's a infirmary/clinic sort of thing that the nurses work out of, with a provider on site during the 'clinic hours' and another one on call on the off hours. There's a dentist and dental assistant there daily also. The other jail's infirmary area is open 24 hours, and they place anyone who needs round-the-clock care over there.
The people I work with are all really fun and I feel like I get along with them much better than at the hospital. I guess they have a lot of agency nurses filling in, because the other RNs seemed very happy that I was 'theirs' and not an agency nurse (although they had a lot of love for the agency nurse that they worked with yesterday, she seemed to fit in really well and they were used to working with her). Regular med passes are done by the LPNs, and I followed one of them around in the morning because occasionally an RN has to do med pass. RNs staff the infirmary area and the booking area.
After lunch I went to the booking area to watch the RNs assigned to that area do intakes and assesments on new inmates. It's so completely different than the hospital. I'm not talking about the assessment part, but the fact that pretty much EVERY new inmate that needs to see the nurse on intake lies about their meds! Dang! Unless the inmate has an actual prescription bottle on them, we have to call the pharmacy where they get their prescriptions filled at to verify them. I didn't see ONE of them the whole afternoon who were completely truthful about their meds. Some said they were on 4 meds when they were really only on 2. Some said their dosages (on meds they really did take) were twice what they really were. Guess I have to get used to that!
I've got Monday off as a holiday then on Tuesday I think they're going to have me shadow in the infirmary and Wed I've got to be downtown in the county building for County Employee Orientation. Later next week I've got Public Health Employee orientation too!
I've talked to two nurses who worked in jails or prisons and both of them didn't like it - but they were in different states or counties. I have to imagine that facilities can be good or bad, the same as nursing schools or hospitals. Even within the same hospital I had a great experience and loved working with the critical care nurses, but then working in med/surg was like another world. In nursing school there were some teachers I loved, and others I don't even want to look at. I think (and although I may be wrong, I do believe in this case I am correct...) that I will really like it at LCJ.
Two more things: I was really surprised at the amount of respect the inmates (the ones who were already in the population) showed for the nurses. I'll have to think on this, because I'm not sure if they're happy to see the nurses, or if it's contrived because of the position they're in. It also sort of surprised me when the nurse manager was talking to me about high-profile people who either had been in jail or were in jail now. You know I can never talk about them here, but it sort of came as a surprise to me because it hadn't crossed my mind that so-and-so would be in there. Or that other so-and-so's had been in there for many months awaiting trial. It makes perfect sense, but I thought it was weird I really hadn't thought about it. It doesn't bother me to be around these people, because I feel totally safe - but now I know I'm probably going to be seeing some of the people in the morning that I saw on the news the night before! Wild. Note: This is not a picture of anyone who might have ever been in jail here or anywhere else.
Ok! Off to the mall for me. Hubby's going to tune up my truck while I'm gone and then we're going to go out and par-tay for New Year's!
Posted by HypnoKitten at 11:08 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2005
I Need Reminding!I totally forgot to get nominations for NurseBlog of the month for December! What do you guys think? How about a few new names? Put your favorites in the comments and we'll vote on about the 3rd. (Notice how I say about the 3rd...!) :)
Update on the new job coming tomorrow - after my first day following another nurse around!
Posted by HypnoKitten at 7:45 PM
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Merry ChristmasI want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you for your support over this past year. Thanks for being there for my Graduation, NCLEX, and first (and second) nursing jobs. It has helped me to know there were people who care when I was feeling down. It has also helped the NurseBlogs community grow! I look forward to growing with you all as great nurses and great bloggers in the coming year.
We're just celebrating at home today, no big feast or family gathering (they're all out of town). We've had a beautiful, laid-back, lazy Christmas so far, and it's perfect! :)
Happy Holidays to all.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 4:03 PM
Saturday, December 17, 2005
New Job !!I have been offered that job I told you I applied for! I'm so excited!
It's with The County, and the pay is actually $2/hr more than I was getting in the hospital - and the shift differentials are the same or better. The pay is also going up for all RNs at the beginning of 2006, so they tell me I'll actually be getting a raise like a week after I start. They like to start people on the 1st or the 15th of the month, which is ok with me and I hope we get everything done in time for me to start on the 1st. Benefits are awesome. Retirement is on the state plan, plus they have another plan if you want to add on to that. I'll be working in a building that's about 6 years old and really nice inside. The people I met there all love the job. Dress code is whatever you want to wear (scrubs, jeans and a t-shirt or whatever) plus a white lab coat over it. They supply the lab coats, although I think you can bring your own if you want. There are a whole bunch of neat things about this job, but I'll let you know more when I know more about it myself. I've asked for a job shadow day in each of their facilities (there are 2) so that I understand what I'm getting myself into, get to know some of the other nursing staff, and see how the place is run. From what I've seen so far and the attitudes of the staff I've met, I think it's going to be great!
I want to post a picture of my tree. Liz over at A Nurse with a Little Bit of Attitude has a picture of her very beautiful tree and I was inspired! My tree is much different than hers, though. I like the sparkly rock-candy look and I've got large gem-tone bulbs and a string or two of the small white ones. My daughter forgot to put on my favorite glass beads before she hung all of the ornaments, and I was too lazy to re-do the entire tree, so maybe next year. We have the Official Brick Fireplace of Christmas, but I haven't got my swag things or stockings up, so you might get pictures of that later.
Julie from Life in the NHS posted a picture of her tree, and Milliner's Dream has a picture of what a naughty cat on a mission can do to a tree. If you've posted a picture of your Christmas decorations and I missed them, leave a link in the comments so we can go look!
Added: Here's Tara's tree from Tales of An RN up North!
Posted by HypnoKitten at 10:41 PM
Thursday, December 15, 2005
School Nurse Shortage
An analysis of 2004 Census data by USA TODAY showed roughly 56,000 nurses worked full time at schools. That's one for every 950 students, a ratio that fails to meet federal guidelines that call for one nurse for every 750 students.
As a consequence, thousands of children with asthma, attention-deficit disorder, food allergies and other increasingly prevalent health problems must rely on teachers, other school staffers or the telephone.
"I tell everyone, 'If there's ever an emergency, don't even bother trying to find me - just call 911,' " says Kate Earnhart, the lone school nurse for 7,200 students in Tuolumne County, Calif.
Continued at USA TODAY
In other nurse-news:
A former nurse at the Denver veterans hospital is accused of killing an elderly World War II vet when she disabled a machine monitoring the oxygen level in his blood.
"Accused of killing" him? They make it sound like murder rather than what looks to me to be an accident or maybe bad judgement or a misunderstanding of code status. Wow. I don't know what to say about that, the article makes this nurse look like a horrible person. I'd be interested in finding out how this situation is resolved.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 12:30 AM
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
An Awesome InterviewI had a great interview today and I was told by one of the interviewers that I did "excellent" on it. That makes me feel so much better! I guess I get a bit down in the dumps when I'm not working, and being Christmas I was feeling nervous about buying gifts (although we've always been a family that just goes for the basics). Can you believe this job actually pays better and has better hours and much better benefits than the place I was working before? Cooooool!
The interview was a little different than anything I've ever been to. Three nurse managers sat me down and asked me questions from a sheet and graded me on the answers. It was sometimes stressful, but I also had them ROFL with some of my weird sense of humor like at the end: "If we hire you, when would you be able to start?" and I looked at my watch with a look on my face that was like "give me 5 minutes to be ready". I guess you had to be there it doesn't sound as funny when I type it, but truly - they were laughing big time...
I think they liked me a bunch, and I feel like I would fit in very well with them. One of my references told me they called her pretty much right after the interview, and after she told them her opinion of me the lady told her that they were "very interested" in hiring me. So now I wait until all of my references and background checks are done, and maybe I will actually have to work Christmas! OMG!
I'm going out to party tomorrow night when my friend has the night off. We're going to do karaoke and stay up late. I can't wait!
Also - under the heading of "All is right in the world": They have a new Almond Roca called Candy Cane Roca and it ROCKS. If you've got a Bartell Drugs near you, they have it.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 10:35 PM
Thursday, December 08, 2005
November's Winner!Coffee and Conversation won November's NurseBlog of the month!
Start thinking about December's posts, and who's making a real statement. We'll do it again at the end of the month.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 6:47 PM
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Nurses Top ListIn a Gallup Poll released today, nurses came out on top of a list of professions ranked by the public's view of their trustworthyness. Other professions in the top five included pharmacists, doctors, police officers, and military officers.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 12:29 PM
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Vote HereSorry I'm a day late.
Here's the November Voting Box.
Nominated are CodeBlog who was written up in MedScape for hosting Grand Rounds this last go-round; Head Nurse, who just had one of those Signally Bad Days (the kind that comes once a year); Haiku of the Id made some white chocolate fudge I'm going to have to try; Third Degree Nurse wonders if nursing school is worth the pain; Coffee and Conversationhas two bad days at nursing school; Death Maiden works her way through the symptomology of fatigue; I personally added Livin' Large as my nomination because of her great stories of her residency in the OR and fantastic romantic adventure!
Posted by HypnoKitten at 11:03 AM
Friday, December 02, 2005
Animals as Healers
The Delta Society is a non-profit organization designed to improve human health with service and therapy animals through their Animal Assisted Therapy programs. These animals include dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, and whatever else their volunteers have. If you live in an area that has an AAT program and are interested in volunteering your (and your pet's) time, or have some ability to donate some funds, please help out if you can.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 10:19 AM
Thursday, December 01, 2005
My New Cousin
Isn't he cute?
I gotta give credit to his dad for being an awesome photographer, too. What a great pic! :)
Posted by HypnoKitten at 10:03 PM
(but much lighter than this...)
For a pretty neat snow time lapse movie, click here. Let it load once the first time (it takes longer), then press refresh to see the time-lapse effect. Check out how the trees sag to the ground, and how the black rectangles in front of the camera (I'm assuming they're skylights to the floor below) try to melt off the snow, but can't keep up. I must have watched it 20 times - it's cool. I might try to do that this year if we actually get snow that sticks.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 12:55 PM