Sunday, April 27, 2008

Continuing education 1 month post-nursing school

Wow I have been averaging about a week in between blogs. Understandable, however, because I have been up to my eyeballs in packing away 5 years of junk so that I can start moving into a new apartment tomorrow.

Anyway, you are more interested in job/nursing related topics, so here's one, despite me not doing anything in a nursing capacity since early April.

I signed up for my first continuing education course today. That's right. CONTINUING education. You'd think that they'd give you a bit of a break before starting to do more classwork related to the profession.

HOWEVER, it's an ECG reading course, and it's online, so it can't be that bad. I'll need it if I want to complete ACLS. I'm sure it'll also help me with the Trauma Nursing Core Course that I'll need to take in order to be a competitive candidate for Emerg after the next few months.

You see, I have a job in the Emergency Department, but it is only a 7.5month temporary full time position. They will mentor me for a while, and it is expected that when job postings become available that I should apply for a full time job at that point. However, there are 7 of us doing the same type of job, and who knows how many jobs there will be. If I want to get one of those spots, I'm going to have to work my butt off, and show them I'm an asset.

So, $150 and an online course, here I come!

By the way if you're ever into light medical reading, Dubin's Rapid Interpretation of EKG's is a fabulous book. Its easy to read, thorough, and it teaches you how to read ECGs. If it wasn't for actually having to have the actual certification, I wouldn't even take the ECG course.. I would just read and memorize this book. I have not been paid for this review.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm a geek and a nerd.

I am definitely a mid-level nerd. So what if I know Mn is Manganese, without even looking it up??

I am nerdier than 74% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Monday, April 21, 2008

363 posts ...

... that I'm working on reading, as I didn't have internet on vacation. As much as I enjoy keeping up to date with things... that's a LOT of reading to do!

In the meantime I'm going to watch Independance Day... I LOVE that movie.

Will Smith is HOT.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Back from Vacation

I'm back from somewhat-sunny Florida. I'm sad to say that most days it was colder there then it was in Ontario,Canada. Sigh. My luck. This picture was taken when it was 65 degrees out. It was one of the sunny days.

I continue to be off for a few more weeks. I'll be packing up my apartment to move to another larger one within the city. Woo hoo. New apartment, new job, an official live-in boyfriend. Wowzers, I feel as though I am growing up.

More to follow.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


That's it. I have handed in my last make-work project, my last reflective practice, and my last report.

I have sent in the ridiculous amount of money it takes to take the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam.

I have paid $40 for a background check for the College of Nurses of Ontario, even though my new employer also wants a background check and I have already paid for that. One will not take the other and vice versa.

I start working as a real nurse in May.

And tomorrow, I'm headed to sunny Florida for 10 days.

Au revior!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Change of Shift

... is up at Nurse Ratched's Place.

I love the Star Trek theme! I always wanted to be Dr. Crusher. That remote controlled scanner was the best!

My Last Day.

I have not forgotten about you, oh loyal 4 readers.

Tonight was my FINAL shift as a nursing student. 4 short hours to make up for another shift where I needed to leave early. I can't believe it's over.

Tonight was a fairly interesting night too. They had a VSA on days right before change of shift, and they hadn't prepared the body for the morgue quite yet. So that was my first task.. preparing the body and taking him down. He was an elderly gentleman who had a probable cardiac episode at home and after an hour of working on him, they called it.

I have seen a dead body before, if you remember a while ago on my first night shift in the ED we had a 26 year old VSA. This guy was much older, but I noticed something similar:
Both dead guys had blue faces, necks and upper chests. Apparently this is common post-mortum. Also, their hands were blue. The rest of them was pale, however, starting to mottle. Since the elderly guy was alive up until about 1730 this afternoon, he was still warm to touch at his core. It was weird to see a dead person, but honestly, I thought I would be more freaked out then I actually was. Here this guy was, lying on a gurney, his mouth hanging open. Except for his colour and the fact that he was not breathing, he could have been sleeping upon first (and non-observant) glance.

So we took him to the morgue. I did not freak out, I did not even feel weird. It was just another task that I had never done before that I needed to do. I'm a fairly spiritual person, and call myself a follower of an organized religion, but I didn't feel that emotionally startled nor concerned. I don't know if that is good or not, but I guess I have learned that I can handle these things.

The next patient we had was an ambulance call with a guy with bradycardia. He had fainted at a visitation for a granddaughter who had died in a car accident. Fairly straightforward story, and once we heard it we thought that he would be medically cleared and sent on his merry (or in his case, sad) way fairly shortly after arrival. However, his pulse was in the 40s, and although he had no chest, neck, back, shoulder, jaw or arm pain, or even indigestion, his ECG showed a V2-V3 ST elevation and 1st degree AV block. He was seemingly in no distress, and didn't even have any shortness of breath! His only symptom was that fainting spell. So needless to say we put in some clot buster drugs, and wouldn't you know, about 10-15 minutes later his heart rate was up to 80, and his ECG looked perfect. Wow. That rarely happens. He probably wont' even need a cath. However, he did win himself a trip to the ICU for the next couple days.

I now have a MONTH off. That's right, a month before I start at the big city hospital doing general orientation. PAID work. Wow. I don't think I have ever actually taken a full month off. I tend to fill my time off with extra part-time work. However since I will be working a lot for the rest of my adult life, I have decided that except for a few days of part time work, I am taking this month as a vacation. I'm even going away for a week to Florida, where I haven't been in over 10 years. Speaking of which, I haven't been on a vacation trip since high school! That's over 8 years people!

I'm sure I won't forget much, however I bet I will be rusty my first few days working at the new hospital. I'll have to learn new protocols, and work with new coworkers. That will take a bit of adjustment. I'll post more as I know more about my orientation!