Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

Bringing “home” to the nursing home

It didn’t take long for me to realize and/or be told that the nursing home isn’t a home according to my residents. I’ve been working at my current nursing home for 4 years (in September officially). I’ve worked the same hall all 4 years and 2nd shift for the last 3 years. About a year ago I decided to start taking my residents down the hall after supper and “hang out” with them while I pass meds. Initially I did this to take my residents out of the common area because waiting in the t.v. room until you get your medicine and/or go to bed was loud, obnoxious and very impersonal. This process has evolved since I started.  This affords me more time with my residents, prevents falls and gives me a chance to make sure work is getting done without me following people around. Having said this, there have been many naysayers about my methods but I no longer worry about them.

Our nursing home sits very close to a wooded area so we often see wildlife: deer, raccoon, birds, beavers etc. Lately 4 little baby raccoons have been coming up to the porch where my residents sit. The residents absolutely love their visits, it always puts a smile on their faces. There is about 2 foot of glass between them and the raccoons. Last week it was hot one of the raccoons hid in the bird feeder. I realized they could use some water. Yesterday they showed up and played in the water. Here are the pics…….

Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

2nd Shift

While the kids were growing up I worked day shift. So from 1993-2013 I never slept (OK maybe a little) but I certainly never slept in!  When I became a nurse in 2005 I had to work day shift because I had to have the kids in daycare. Of course getting a daycare to take kids at 5:30 am wasn’t easy and getting them there was much more difficult!!

In 2013 when I moved back to Decatur I worked 6 pm – 6 am for a year and then when to 2 pm – 10 pm. I had no idea how much I would love these hours. Needless to say morning time is not my friend. I try to steer away from morning appointments when at all possible.

Being a nurse on 2nd shift especially in long-term care brings its own special set of negatives/positives. It often means more interaction with the family members. It also means fewer staff members. Very little ancillary staff. And thanks to sundowning a remarkable amount of increased behaviors. I often feel like I am in an episode of Twilight Zone, I am not saying this in a negative way. All the excitement makes the time go quicker!! LOL


Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

National Hospital Week aka Nurses Week, aka Mothers Day followed by Nursing Home Week : The week in review

So I am a firm believer that it is of the up most importance to be “normal”. I’ve come to the conclusion the the previous sentence is proof of my ongoing bout with insanity!  Let me attempt to explain how this has anything to do with the title.

Everyday I exclaim to my coworkers “you have to be a little crazy to survive working in healthcare”, I state this to cover a few topics that my self conscience brain uses on me daily: 1: I should be normal and although I don’t know for sure what that means, I know that it lies somewhere in the June Cleaver household (those of you under 40 will need to google the relationship between June Cleaver and “normal”) 2: Because I can’t “live up” to that version of normal I must be “crazy” .  To prove to myself  that all my actions are acceptable I have to believe that “you have to be a little crazy to survive working in healthcare”. No one should  have a thought process this complicated!!

Lastly, due to the insanity of LTC there isn’t quite the excitement or enthusiasm in celebrating anything in the title this year!

Lastly, lastly ask me again in 2 days and I’ll think nursing is the next best thing to sliced cheese!

Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

LPN-Charge Nurse Part 2

The only subject that I could possibly go on and on about is being a mom. The next subject is: healthcare. In 2004 I was living in Springfield and working for Bank One. Some one asked me what I wanted to do in life and of course me being me I said: help people. I thought that’s what I was doing at the bank but as it turns out #1: you can’t raise 4 children on the wages of a customer service rep at the bank #2: it is nearly impossible to feel like you are helping people when you come between them and their money!! This person that asked me what I wanted to do suggested nursing. (I WAS SOOO NAIVE AT THAT TIME) I thought: wow, nursing would be great!! I can genuinely help people AND support my family. Additionally I believed that everyone in healthcare was there to help people, not JUST to make a paycheck. 

Throughout nursing school I couldn’t decide where I wanted to work after graduating but I was absolutely sure that I didn’t want to work in Long Term Care (LTC) those facilities were just the worst. 

During clinical we did a few rotations at nursing homes, a few at the hospital and some at random sites. One thing that stood out to me about Long Term Care was the LONG TERM part. I realized I may actually fair better being a nurse in LTC because the residents don’t change as often as the hospital. In 2005 when I graduated from nursing school I was living in Springfield but I knew more people and places in Decatur. I found out that a LTC facility in Decatur needed a nurse on day shift so I applied and was hired. 

My first job was a locked alzheimer’s unit, day shift, 40 residents to myself. The situation was less than desirable but that was actually a positive. After working there every place was better and I was well on my way to a more confident me!

Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

LPN-Charge Nurse part 1

So, it is an ongoing stereotype that LPN’s aren’t real nurses (that would be an RN “real nurse”). However the majority of LPN’s have either been nurses wayyyyy longer than any RN they work with AND the majority of LPN’s tend to work in nursing homes, aka: long term care. As an LPN or “Charge Nurse” in a nursing home you have far more responsibility than you could ever imagine. It is often a thankless job as with plenty of other healthcare and/or  social work positions.

There has been so much learning, advocating, doubting, yelling, crying, loving situations over the last 12 years since I graduated from nursing school. This job has been scary, exhausting, gut wrenching, rewarding, fulfilling, best ever years of my life. I’ve always loved helping people!

I was so unsure of myself, especially the first 22-25 years of life. I worked for several gas stations but I wanted to work at a bank. At this time I was 22 years old. I had just had my youngest (Alexa) 4 weeks prior to my fist interview at: Soy Capital Bank. At the very end of the interview I felt by milk come in (at the time I was still breastfeeding Alexa. I felt the milk come so I tried crossing my arms over my chest without being noticed: thus I could apply enough pressure that I wouldn’t actually release milk on to my beige top. I successfully kept it at bay for the remainder of the interview and went home, waited for a phone call which I received the next day “Sunshine we have decided to offer you a full time position” (inside my head I’m thinking: Oh My God, thank you so much for taking care of me God!) but I respond calmly:” thank you so much for this opportunity I can start on Monday” (this is one of my favorite topics to bring up when I want to embarrass the kids! I love to say in front of their company “hey remember when I breastfed you” . I realize this would be offensive to many people but somehow my kids thrive in these situations, they are so quick witted that they always have a come back and nothing ever has time to become awkward.

After the bank in Decatur I worked at a title loan company. In 2001 I decided I was going to move to Springfield. In 2004 I was asked what I wanted to do. I responded “I want to help people, maybe I’ll become a social worker…………..

Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

Work ethic

It is completely beyond me the lack of good work ethic these days. Some how there seems to be a sense of entitlement. As I’m writing this I feel myself leaning toward keeping things “politically correct’ which is what I think has assisted in this generations lack of work ethic and sense of entitlement. Whatever happen to respecting your elders and/or doing what your supervisor asks of you!?!? This subject has come up time and again recently and I always get the save response: it’s this generation, not much we can do. I’m just not buying it!! I refuse to accept that its all going to hell in a handbag and especially not when the employees I’m speaking of work in healthcare!! It’s as though forward thinking is the only way to go. Where did all the great people/employees come from that we have now? They were  raised by people with good, respectable work ethics and in turn became the same type of people and I would venture to say the majority of them would/could be considered to be old fashion, not necessarily “forward thinkers”