OMG, YOU ARE A NURSE!?

Being a nurse is a huge responsibility! Like many other occupations when people find out that you are a nurse they want to ask healthcare questions. Of course healthcare is so super personal, after all it is a life that were talking about! So this means that 1 single human being, in an 8 hour shift, has (literally) 15-50 (depending on the shift and nursing home) other human beings lives in their hands! I was always so envious of the super organized and focused nurses who seem to have super human abilities to complete their work. Having said that, I knew how to nurse like that but something inside me prohibited me from doing so. I’d like to say it is my big heart or my conscience but either way there is no room in a nursing home for a nurse such as myself! I’m not being caddy, that is just a fact. Let me just give you a quick story from my first week of nursing that will explain the difference between these “Super Nurses” and me.

My first week as a nurse in LTC I worked on an alzheimers unit. It was a locked floor with 40 residents for 1 nurse and 3-4 CNAs. I was working dayshift, a nurse was orientating me and we were doing morning med pass together in a common area. He was walking up to the residents and administering medications efficiently, like 5 residents to each of my 1. He finally stopped, looked over at me and said: What are you doing? Of course he must have read the confusion on my face because he went on to repeat my greeting to each resident in what I suppose was my voice “Good Morning Mr. Smith, How are you?” “I have your medicine for you” still I looked at him with a look of what could I possibly be doing wrong, He is explained to me: “There is no time to be making friends with each of them, you will never get done”. He was not being malicious he was just being honest!

I just came across an article that accurately describes LTC in the nicer nursing homes!

The Truth About Nursing Homes: David Macaray; counterpunch.org

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is : How to Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows

I’ve come to realize lately that letting go of nursing is only a problem for me the way the thought of seeing your ex with someone else keeps you in a unhealthy relationship! The state surveyors know they are unrealistic yet nothing/no one changes anything. The administrative staff…well I’ll leave that alone. I love and respect about 95% of the nurses and CNAs I worked with! I feel that is saying a lot considering….

So, APPARENTLY Erikson was correct with his theories that missing out on things as a child will have long term consequences! Meaning: I can’t deal with the feeling of having my hands tied. That my friends is what nursing is all about! Your license is in everyone else’s hands and the things that you think you should be able to do for your resident’s just isn’t so! Well, I can’t speak for all of nursing, I’m really speaking of LTC. I’ve said this many times before but nursing homes (I’ve worked in 6 nursing homes in 2 different cities and there was one thing they all had in common: Never enough time to give everyone individualized attention!

Sooo, where does this leave me? Well, I’ll tell you where…..unemployed! Don’t get me wrong, being done with nursing wasn’t all my idea but I do feel like it’s for the best…..I just don’t know….my identity I guess….I’m no longer a nurse I guess (after 12+ years) Do I still want to be in healthcare? I’m working on a bachelors in Organizational Leadership but I won’t graduate for another 2 years…….

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Illinois Nursing Board

This is my response to the nursing board and their “recommendations”

Sunshine Fegett1:13 PM (3 minutes ago)
to Beth

For some reason I did not realize that I only had 14 days to respond to this email. I also can’t understand why the email came 3 months after the conference call. I haven’t worked as a nurse in 8 months. There is no food in my fridge, my checking account is overdrawn $600 and my mortgage payment is 2 months behind! I am floored that the stipulations are so stringent! They aren’t even reasonable. I don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on special extra evaluations and testing. I’ve been doing everything I am suppose to, seeing an addiction specialist, going to counseling, single and group every week and monthly drug testing. There are so many nurses in the program! How are these archaic rules helping the healthcare profession or the public! Is the Illinois Nursing Board not aware that addiction is a disease or that there is an opiate epidemic occurring nation wide? Wouldn’t it make much more sense to assist healthcare professionals in avoiding situations that make their lives worse such as spending $2000 on an attorney in addition to court fines and monthly supervision fees!?!? All this in addition to taking away their only means to making a living? No one gave any thought to the 12 years I worked in LTC and did a good job. No one spoke with the residents and family members at Imboden Creek that are still asking about me daily!! No one has paid attention to the fact that I gave my everything to my residents, working extra shifts and hours, NEVER calling in sick as to not leave the facility short or my coworkers short. No one stops to think about the REAL issues in LTC: 1 nurse administering medication twice in 8 hours to 29-50 residents or 1 CNA unable to give individualized attention to residents that worked their entire lives just to be stuck in a tiny room with a person they don’t know and having to beg to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water!!!! Resident’s climbing out of bed because they just can’t wait another minute to go to the bathroom, trip, fall and fracturing a hip! I am currently attending Millikin University to obtain a bachelors in Organizational Leadership. It is my plan, hope, prayer that this will enable me to make a difference in the lives of the aging population because as a nurse (at least an LPN in LTC) your hands are tied by the rule makers who the majority have no idea what real life is like working in a nursing home! I mean no disrespect whatsoever and I’m sure my license will be suspended indefinitely since my response is a week late but I could not agree to the terms either way.                                                                                                                     Thank You, Sunshine Fegett

Nursing in a nursing home 2

This first picture (I’ve used elsewhere on here) is me , my Mom and Melissa. This 2nd picture is since my mom had a stroke. In 2002 she had a stroke, spent 6 weeks in the hospital and then 6 weeks in a rehab to home program in a nursing home. I thank God that this was before I was a nurse! I genuinely think I was clueless about nursing homes at the time. In 2015 my husband had a diving accident and spent 3 weeks in Carle clinic a ‘trauma center/hospital”. I noticed E V E R Y T H I N G the staff did whether it was right or wrong and I acted a fool several times when they did something I didn’t like.

So imagine that feeling for your loved one!alexaanddad

Better yet imagine a nurse (and their are many) that take their job personally, to heart, wearing their heart on their sleeve! It is emotionally draining to be a nurse no matter what! Then to add 30+ human beings to it and 2 med passes in 8 hours and then threats if you work over, threats if you don’t, threats on your license you caused and didn’t.  30 human beings with a past, with a heart and a mind and a family that sees them how they were and wants you so badly to see that person the way they do so that you never forget that YOU are the person they are counting on to take care of their Mom who raised them fearlessly, or their Dad that never let them down and they don’t want to let him down.  Being a “nurse in a nursing home” whether you are a CNA, LPN, RN (Rob Good you are my super hero) is no easy task and it is so very hard to be present in their everyday life and then go home and pretend like nursing homes are equipped to take care of someone’s loved one in a way that will ease your mind enough that you can go to bed and sleep without a heavy heart!!!!

They say nursing is one of or the most trusted profession, well let me say a couple of things about that! 1: I know how to do nursing by the book and anyone that tells you that nursing home nursing can be done by the book is a big fat liar! You can’t take care of 30 resident’s in a way that follows what “the state” claims they expect and what the very same people know is the reality!! 2: The thing I heard most or the compliment I held nearest to my heart as a nurse is/was: “Sunshine it is obvious how much you genuinely care for your people” I  believe that more often than not nurses want to do a good job for their patients/residents and many nurses have varying ideas on what that is!

Every nurse has their thing they are good at, something they aren’t good at, something they stay away from at all cost (I am terrible with phlegm) and of course it can never be at all cost because nurses take care of business. That is our job under any and every circumstance!

What does it mean to be a “good nurse”?

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Kati Kleber, RN
Kati Kleber, RN

 

“There is something about a good nurse. Having a nursing license and job doesn’t make you a good nurse. Working for 30 years doesn’t make you a good nurse. It’s not about being a good IV starter or being best friends with all of the physicians.

It’s so much less defined and measurable than that. It isn’t measured in letters after your name, certifications, professional affiliations or by climbing the clinical ladder.

It’s something you feel when you see a good nurse care for their patients. It’s that security you see in their patient’s eyes when they come in to care for them. It’s that nurse whose patient’s family member will finally go home to sleep and shower because they know their loved one is cared for with that nurse.

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