Category Archives: Life as a Nurse

Overused & Undefined

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Perhaps it is because I work in the health field, more specifically mental health. I often hear the diagnosis “Bipolar,” being thrown around, spit out of peoples mouths and on the tips of tongues of so many people. It’s inevitable I guess, people assume if one has “mood swings,” or “highs & lows,” they should be deemed and labeled: BIPOLAR. The fact that life is like a roller coaster ride for almost anyone and everyone, means that everyone suffers from mental illness and we are are Bipolar, right?

I had pinned this quote (above) on pinterest awhile back & came across it while visiting my pin boards last night. I re-read it and thought how it suites me so well, describes my life & my emotions. Sometimes I wonder who I’d be without my sensitive side. I think as I age I tend to find myself reacting more to things that rub my heart the wrong way, words that make my mind cringe, or circumstances that arise that are completely out of my control. My days are usually filled with highs and lows, I think that is what one would expect from life, right? That doesn’t make me bipolar or mean that I’m moody, that just means I’m human & living life.

Life is what you make it. This quote makes me smile, giggle and feel embarrassed for those who choose to label people. Life is too short to worry and depict why people are sensitive, why people have emotions that they allow to be heard & seen by others, why people judge people based on their personal roller coaster ride. Be your own voice, be heard, and don’t allow yourself to pick up any pieces to YOUR puzzle, because that puzzle is your own, and you are not broken.

forgoing my full-time RN Job

rot2On March 22, I became a new woman. Well, not so much. I’ve been contemplating quitting my full-time job for quite sometime now. I’ve been constantly battling myself to take the plunge and just go for it. I had fears and still do. Will I be okay financially? Will I miss the crazy hustle and bustle of my life as a nurse? Will I regret the decision I made? After many hours of complaining to Mr. D about how unhappy I was, how stressful my position as a full-time charge nurse had become, how drained I felt and how I was losing passion for my career, he gave me the “ok, it’s time babe,” talk. He’s been begging me to quit for a long time now, but he knew it wasn’t up to him. He’s always been 100% supportive in whatever I want to do, choose to do and strive to do. As his business continues to grow, the work load of the company has been requiring me to spend more time in our home office. It was the perfect time to be “okay,” with my decision to cut back hours at the hospital and fulfill my financial needs by working in the office more.

The Nurses, Social workers, Doctors and staff were so sweet. On my last full-time day, they had lunch brought in, a cake, party hats and gave me a card telling me how awesome I am. Hello! Tears. Mr. D thought I was crazy when I told him what they did, “Babe, you’re not leaving for good!” Anyways, so far it hasn’t really sunk in. I’m still busy and time will tell if my life will slow its roll and the parking brake will be used.

 

I cried. I’m okay with crying.

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This is not the post I had planned today. I wanted my week to be filled with JOY, with fun posts, posts about my favorite things, the things I can’t live without, products I LOVE and lots of other goodies. But, today I feel the need to use MY space here on my blog to reflect. Reflect on my day yesterday. I’m tired, I’m frustrated and broken. I cried. I cried my whole drive home from work. I cried on the phone to Davie & vented my life away. I am an emotional person, not overly emotional, but I have no guilt, remorse or regrets when I cry. In my opinion, crying is good for the soul and a way to express emotions.

I had one of the most trying days at work yesterday. I was challenged, not necessarily by my patients, but my support team. I was let down. I was betrayed and I was given a 12 hour shift filled with un-necessary challenges. I am only one person. I can only do so much. I offer support, I offer advice, I offer a listening ear, I offer the world to my patients and to my support staff. I give my career 110% all of the time.

People tell me I work too much, that I need a vacation, that I need to cut back on hours or quit one of my jobs. People don’t know everything that goes on in my life. People don’t know my personal struggles, my financial burdens, my love for my career, and my ability to manage my jobs, my creative life, my personal life and that I do what I do because I choose to.

There are struggles in every career, there are days of frustration, days where you may want to walk out and never look back, days where you just want to curl up in a ball and not face life, but life rolls on. Life is what it is and you learn to deal.

Last night when I got home from work, I crawled into bed, hoping to get a good nights rest, sleep it off and wake up with JOY. Unfortunately, I’m still broken. I’m hurt, I’m frustrated and I’m silent. For those that know me, know that I’m not a silent person. I speak my mind, I tell people what I’m feeling and so forth. I’m silent today, I’m at work and I’m keeping to myself. People know I’m upset, and that’s ok. I feel they should know, because they challenged me yesterday, in so many negative ways. I want them to realize that I am ONLY ONE PERSON. I cannot do everything, just because my badge says “Charge Nurse,” does not mean that I am EVERYTHING, that I am a single member team, that I have all the answers that I will solve every crisis and most of all that they should be 100% dependent on me. I will get through today, I will find JOY and I will go on living my life. I am ME and no one can change that.

That Week When…

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The Surveyors showed up at the hospital, unexpected of course, because thats what they do. They show up unannounced, to visit, inspect and survey the hospital for 3 long days. They inspect anything and everything you can imagine, they have the Nurses, all staff, managers and the whole facility on pins and needles and wanting to vomit. They’re intimidating, if you allow them to be, they’re mean if they want to be, they speak their minds whether its things you want to hear or not, BUT most off all they give you your accreditation and recognize you as a hospital who provides quality care and has met standards.

If you need me this week, I’ll be dealing with the surveyors for 12 1/2 hours a day for 3 days.

I am a Registered Nurse:a lil’ series {Part IV~The End}

I am…

a Registered Nurse

{Part IV~The End: Chemical Dependency Nursing}

My lil’ series on my life as a nurse is coming to an end… Thanks for letting me share {a smidgen} of my life as a Nurse. There aren’t enough days in the Week, Month and/or Year to share all the stories, heartache, smiles, and love to write about everything that’d I’d love to share.

My 2nd job as a RN is working with the Chemically Dependent patient. I work with patients going through Detox, Rehab and treatment. The patients that I work with are detoxing from Alcohol, Benzodiazepines, Opiates, Pain Meds, Heroin, Bath Salts and surprisingly, much more. What most people don’t realize is that “dependency,” is a disease and lethal.

Detoxing from substances like alcohol and drugs can be very serious and life threatening, but the recovery process is promising and so rewarding! I love when patients come in for an AA meeting at night and have a huge smile ear to ear and tell me they’re celebrating a year of sobriety…

Whats tough about my job is that I’m NOT in recovery myself. I work with a lot of other Nurses, Counselors and M.D.’s that are actually in recovery themselves who are able to relate more to the patients that we work with. At times its a challenge, a struggle and a barrier, but I continue to do my research, read and expand on my knowledge and educate myself on this horrible disease.

Feel free to email, comment or send me a message with any questions or resources if you know anyone who may need help with addiction, dependency or mental illness… I love sharing knowledge with others… It makes my heart happy and FULL

I am a Registered Nurse: a lil’ series {Part I}

I am…

a Registered Nurse

{This is me, no filter, dark circles under the eyes, no make up, just me in my scrubs…}

I decided to do an “I am,” series this week. I feel like part of my blogging journey is to open up and share, so I can’t wait to start and welcome you all into my crazy chaotic life.

After graduating High School, I was quick to head off to College. I started my journey at Cal State San Marcos, then transferred to San Diego State after 2 years. I knew thought I knew, what my passion was at a young 20 years of age. I majored in Speech Language Pathology, and at the time I LOVED it! I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in 2004. In order to pursue a career in SLP, you had to have a Master’s, WELL… I decided to go backpacking and travel Europe instead.

Seriously, the rest is a weird blur. I ended up taking a course at ROP in Anaheim to be a Certified Nursing Assistant, the next thing I knew I was signed up for a 13 Month program to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). In 2006 I graduated from ROP, took my boards and was soon working as an LVN. My first job as an LVN was in a Medical Office and also with a private pediatric client. I LOVED it, and at that time knew 100% that Nursing was my passion and what I was destined to be. I pursued my RN, by paying A LOT OF MONEY, to go to a private school, before long 18 more months flew by, I took my boards and was now an RN!

{REWIND}

 When I decided to go back for my RN I left the medical office and pursued a 3 day work week, working 12 hour shifts at a Psychiatric Hospital. I NEVER wanted to be a psych nurse, but needed to get in somewhere as an LVN and work 12 hour shifts…

{FAST FORWARD}

I stayed at the psychiatric facility, (where i currently work now), and transitioned from an LVN to an RN. I was shortly there after promoted to Charge Nurse. A year and a half ago I started working for a second hospital, the hospital I was actually born in and always dreamed of working in (it took me 2 years of applying and finally having a Doctor Friend get me in).  I work in the Chemical Dependency area of this hospital (a.k.a. Medical Detox)

I LOVE what I do, wouldn’t change if for the world

I work A LOT, like 40-60 hours a week

I feel at times I’m complacent and stuck in psych, yet I know I help, encourage and save lives in a different way everyday

I always wanted to be an ER Nurse, an ICU Nurse, a Delivery Nurse, but I’m NOT

I see myself in all areas of nursing, but I know that’s not possible

Want to know what I do as a Psychiatric Nurse?

{I’m going to share a day in the life as a a Psychiatric Nurse, tomorrow…}