Great products for nurses

I found this little gadget on Amazon and I had an “aha” moment, like why didn’t I think of this.  It’s a tape holder that you place on your stethoscope. There have been numerous of times when my tape will slide off my stethoscope when I open the ear piece to auscultate lung sounds. Luckily, it has never flew out and hit my patient.

The tape holder is made by  StatGear. You simply attach the device to your stethoscope and place the hospital tape over it. The device holds it in place so no more sliding. Yeah!


These are so cute.  EKG design compression socks for a cardiac tele nurse. Perfect!

Do you wear compression socks? I do. With our mandatory scrub color at my hospital,  I tend to have fun with my compression sock choices but you also have to look at pressure gradients and materials they are made out of.

Reason why you should wear compression socks:

1.Alleviate stress and discomfort on your feet for starters and after work ask your significant other for a foot massage to further alleviate stress and discomfort

2.Increase circulation and blood flow that will aid in muscle recovery time because good chances your working tomorrow too.

3.Reduce edema because who wants kankles? No one. With all the standing nurses do, that extra squeezing helps.

4.Help prevent/minimize varicose veins. Nurses stand for long periods of time  and blood will pool at your lower extremities and enlarge those veins. It’s better to prevent it now and keep your legs sexy because we all know your hands are dried and crusty from all the foam and hand washing.

5. Reduce incidence of blood clots. I know everyone thinks “sedentary” when they hear blood clots, but that’s not true. Other causes can be smoking, repetitive motion, birth control, blood disorders.

 I usually buy 20-30 mmHg compression socks, it provides enough compression with all the physical activity that nurses do. For starters, if your new to compression socks don’t jump to 30-40 mmHg(extra firm compression) because it will be uncomfortable.

I know there are quite of few people that wear compression socks during travels too. My airplane rides are usually 1-2 hour long, but I think I should look into buying or wearing compression socks for travel too.

Nurses which gradient pressure do you wear when you travel?

As for the material, I always make sure mine are antimicrobial. I think that is ingrained into any nurses brain. Antimicrobial, antibacterial, foam in/foam out and wash your hands. I think we’re the only profession that washes their hands before using the restroom and of course after.

I remember in nursing school we were instructed to put our compression socks on before getting out of bed because your legs have less edema. I always put them on when getting ready in the morning. Something I can improve on. However, I don’t think my husband will approve of me wiggling in bed at 4:30 in the morning trying to put my compression socks on. haha.

Editors note:  Post was written while catching up on Housewives of Beverly Hills and maybe a small glass of wine. This is definitely not research material or in APA format. 

Vacation pieces

I’m looking forward to our cruise. I can’t wait! I’ve been browsing to find new pieces for vacation.

off shoulder dress

I’m really liking the off the shoulder look on this dress.

 

embroidered dress

Breezy dress while lounging on the chairs reading my Kindle.

 

skirt

I like the bow on the skirt. Perfect for casual dinner time.

 

cover up maxi dress

Maxi dress with pockets. enough said.

one piece swimsuit

I can’t even remember the last time I wore a two piece. Black is suppose to make you look slimmer right?

 

Pyxis is the “water cooler” spot for nurses

 

images via GIPHY

It’s Monday, everyone congregates at the water cooler and talk about the fun weekend they had or the new sushi place they tried out. For nurses, we congregate at the pyxis. We do our bedside report, look up labs, read notes then start our vital signs.

We’re not going to have any abnormal labs or elevated blood pressures until I’ve consumed my coffee, okay.

Ah, now it’s time to pull meds at the pyxis and catch up with each other. Did you do anything fun on your day off? How was your vacation?
The upside- we’re actually standing at one place so we can have short conversations. Downside- increase chances of med errors. Sure, we still have to do our 5Rs.

  • right patient
  • right medication
  • right route
  • right dose
  • right time

But when we’re distracted we can grab a medication from the wrong med pocket. It’s a hassle coming back out of a patients’ room to grab the medicine from the correct pocket when you should of done it in the first place.

Some units are even going so far as to applying a yellow tape around the pyxis as “quiet zone” kind of reminds you of riding the school bus as a child. “Stay behind the line!”

pyxis etiquette:

    1. If  your coworker is trying to count the pills. Don’t distract her. Wait until she’s done. Please don’t shout out numbers to throw off her count. I will not confirm or deny I’ve done that before. lol.
    2. If someone needs to pull a prn, be nice let them cut. Because the next time you need to cut the line, your coworker will let you. Or it might be because she can hear your patient yelling “I need my dilaudid for my paper cut!!”
    3. If you tell me your gonna pull a quick med for a patient, do it quick. Don’t pull that one pill, then pull 5 more without telling me first especially if I let you cut the line.
    4. Make your patient list in the pyxis in the morning and only pull meds for a certain time frame. I do not want to be standing behind a nurse that pulls her 0700-1800 meds when it’s 0700. Please just do 0700-1100.
    5. If a physician calls to speak to the nurse that is currently pulling her medications, offer to finish pulling meds for her so she can speak to the physician. Of course when she’s in her patients room she will still do her 5 rights regardless if you helped or she pulled them herself.
    6. Do not drop a Norco between the pyxis. I do not have time to move the pyxis out of the corner with you to retrieve a pill.

Nurses, wouldn’t it be easier if we can just have a plain water cooler so we can gossip and chit chat like they do in the movies? The closest thing to a water cooler is the ice machine and it is loud.

 

image via webstaurantstore.com

Just for laughs, how many times have you witnessed patients or visitor use the ice machine and they start yelling ” how do I make it stop?!!” And you politely say “move the cup away from the sensor.” ALL THE TIME.

I was skeptical about these Swell bottle keeping your drinks cold. But it actually works. I like how it doesn’t have the condensation. I used to have to put napkins underneath my water bottle when I’m at work.
 

Have a good Monday!

 

Coffee talk

[coffee talk on Friday…..everything random in one post while consuming coffee.]

images via Giphy

Housewives of Beverly Hills

I’ve been behind on my Housewives of BH lately. I feel ashamed I’ve missed several episodes so I’m trying to go back and catch up. Kyle Richards is my favorite housewife. But what the heck is up with Eden? I find her strange with her trying to read everybody’s energy and  asking private questions right off the bat at lunch with Kyle. Seriously, back up a little bit! I know your dad is an Icon, but  it’s not your place to heal or figure other people’s problem. 

Kyle-like I said she’s my favorite. I want to be her BFF. I like how her house looks cozy. She has her pups all over the house, it’s adorable.

Dorit- I don’t like her.I get the “I’m better than you” vibe from her. And her husband PK was definitely enjoying the crotch view. Dorit had no place buying Erika panties and giving her a hard time about her crotch. Hello, it was your husband grinning at the crotch.

Erika-I want to be her friend. That’s it.

Eileen- I’m so glad she told Dorit to shut up. haha. Go girl!

I’m glad Brandi is not on the show anymore. She stirred shit all the time.

Vacation babyyyy

I feel like I need another vacation. I usually start throwing ideas about summer vacation around in January. I’m a planner and a procrastinator, not a good combination. I need planners and list to keep me on track.I would like to throw another Disneyworld trip in the mix, even just for a couple of days. But the husband and son wants a break from Disneyworld. I think it’s about time my daughter and I have a girls trip to Disneyworld or maybe the Disney cruise. Ah, I’ve heard so many awesome news about the Disney cruise, but the price is expensive. My friend did 2 Disney cruise and she recommend that I do the concierge package. So I looked up the price tag on concierge package. Holy shit, it’s expensive. I’ll have to pull off some overtime for that. 

White House news

“Alternative facts” is a new White House word. It really means lying, but I guess alternative facts is a fancy word.

Chinese New Year

It’s the year of the Rooster, which means it’s my year!

Blogosphere

The blogosphere is saturated with money, fashion, beauty, lifestyle blogs. I hope to find more blogs with working moms or blogs  by nurses. Something I can relate to. Any recommendations are appreciated.

Online shopping

I spend 3 to 4 days in scrubs so it’s refreshing to just wear something nice for a change. For my daughter’s pick up, there is this one mom that is dressed up all the time, heels included. I barely get myself in a decent blouse.

low Vneck blouse

My blouse came last week, but I finally got the chance to wear it on Wednesday. I really like this blouse. The length is just right. I hate blouses that rise above my umbilicus when I’m reaching for something in the upper cabinets.

asymmetrical ruffle top

I really like this ruffle top and the blue color is perfect.

flutter sleeve top

Husband said this shirt looks like a candy stripe volunteer at the hospital. Do you remember those? I can’t wait for it to be delivered.

girlfriend jeans

These jeans are less than $100. Yeah!

earrings

I love the silk/rose color. I used to wear hoop and dangling earrings when I was younger. But now it’s rare that I wear them because it just gets in my way. I prefer stud earrings now and these are only $45.

Have a good weekend.

Nurse, please take a look

Patient with a foley catheter presses the call light: Can you send the nurse in. I need her to look at my penis.

[I ask a PCT to accompany me]

Patient: Something is wrong, my penis is bigger than usual. It’s swollen.

Me [I kindly take a look]  are you telling me your penis is swollen?

After some investigation, foley catheter was removed. Patient urinated without any difficulties and patient states his penis feels fine.

PCT and I

Rest assure no penis was harmed in this story.

images via GIPHY

 

Seven interview tips that will help you land the job

I hate interviewing for a job. I get nervous and start talking really fast. Luckily for me, my managers liked my personality and I got the job. Woohoo! It doesn’t matter if your a baby nurse or experienced, it’s always nice to be prepared for your interview and the questions.

As a charge nurse, I often will give the prospect candidate a tour of our unit and introduce her to  coworkers. It’s a good idea to ask the charge nurse questions too. It’s less stressful and it eases your nerves so you’ll be prepared for the interview. I’ve also gotten the opportunity to sit through interviews with my manger and ask questions. Managers will often ask us, how do we feel about the prospect candidate and we will give our opinions.

Few tips:

  1. Be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn. Then be the unicorn. lol. I read that somewhere, probably on my daughter’s tshirts. All kidding aside, relax. Talk and laugh, let them see your personality. You will here”tell me a little about yourself?” Here’s the chance to brag a little bit about yourself
  2. Be prepared have a folder of a copy of your resume and certification handy. Most hospitals now utilize a nursing recruiter that will handle all the paperwork and you do not have to bring anything.
  3. Do your research on the company/hospital you wish to join. What is it about the hospital that stands out? Look for the hospital’s promise or mission statement online. Do you see yourself living the workplace promise?
  4. What are your strengths and weakness? I feel this is the one most people stumble on. It’s easier to answer the strength question oppose to the weakness, but it’s important to have both answers prepared. Strengths-are you a hard worker,  believe in team work,  a quick learner?  Your weakness cannot be your strength. If you don’t voice a weakness, you will appear over confident. Everybody has a weakness because there is always room for improvements. For example, I would say ” my weakness are cardiac drips, I feel confident in starting diltiazem or amiodarone drips that I see more frequently, but dopamine drips make me nervous because of the calculations, I want to continue to improve in that area.”
  5. Goals. Where do you see yourself in 2/5/10 years? You always have to move forward in your career. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable.
  6. Be proactive. participate in committees and volunteer.
  7. Ask questions verify nurse/patient ratio, scheduling, mandatory holidays. Make sure the prospect unit is where you see yourself. Ask about the culture on the unit. It’s amazing to see a culture of friend/family bonding and strong teamwork while you can step onto another unit and see a “swim or sink” mentality.

I hope these tips were helpful and you land the dream job.

How a nurse will describe a workday

@0620 coffee is mandatory

@0630 When you see your favorite nurses.

@0700 Someone doesn’t show up for work and you have to take an extra patient.

@9am you started the IV on your patient that insist he’s a hard stick because he’s vein always roll.

@1100 Confused patient that insist he’s at Walmart decides to sneak out of his room while his family member naps.

@12pm helping your patient shower

@1pm lunch break

@3pm Your patient that has been threatening to go AMA (against medical advice) finally leaves.

@5pm trying to chart like crazy

@7pm time to clock out and go home to my family. Peace out!

 

images via giphy

Dr. Pepper is the fountain of youth

Me having a conversation with my 90 year old patient as she’s putting her make up on. She’s applying her pink lipstick using the mirror on the bedside table. Then uses her pink lipstick to strategically place 3 dots on her cheeks. Not only is she making sure she’s pretty before her physician who she describe “a hottie” makes round, but she is independent, alert/ oriented and still lives at home. She’s the kind of patient you want to keep because she is so damn cute. You tell her family how much you enjoy caring for her. You tell all your coworkers about what an awesome patient you have. She is the kind of patient that reminds you why you LOVE being a nurse.

Me: Are you going to rub those pink dots on your cheeks in or are you just drawling?

Patient: [laughs] of course, honey. I don’t want to look silly when my doctor walks in. 

Me: What’s your secret to staying young?

Patient: I make sure I drink a Dublin Dr.Pepper everyday. Not just a regular Dr. Pepper. A Dublin because of the cane sugar. 

Ahh, so damn cute!

Here are some pretty pink lipstick great for your lips and your cheeks.

                                                                               

Nurses hate HCAHPS scores

What are HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) score? 

Patient satisfaction survey that is required by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid service).

During discharge, I always tell my patients they will receive a survey in the mail and ask them to please fill it out. Usually, the sweet patients say they will. Yeah! It’s the difficult patient that we have to make sure they complete the survey. 

Why are they important?

It is the patient’s view of the care they receive that are reported to the public and it affects hospital reimbursements.

I can understand the importance of  getting the patients perspective on the care they receive. But when patients feel they need certain care or test  that can contradict their plan of care, of course they will feel they aren’t receiving excellent care.

Example, I had a difficult patient that was refusing Vancomycin trough levels because she did not want to have a lab draw. We explained to her what the trough levels are used for and  the importance of the level reading before administering the dose. 

She stated she wanted her antibiotic, but didn’t want a lab draw. Well, that doesn’t make since. You need a lab draw in order for us to get the level for your antibiotic.  According to her, we aren’t providing excellent care, but the patient was not making the best decision. 

Once hospital reimbursement gets affected the pressure to get great HCAHPS score trickles down to the bedside staff. Every UBC (unit base council) meeting, you see those damn scores. Who’s in the red? Dammit, we are. Okay, once again we need to work on our scores. EVERY TIME!

What topics are on the survey?

  1. Doctor Communication- round with physicians so everyone is involved in the plan of care. There are days when I’ve managed to round with physicians on all my patients. Other days are impossible. But at least we try. 
  2. Nurse Communication- bedside report! It’s not going away people. Just do it. We start bedside report at 0630. We go in the rooms, when patients are asleep we usually just whisper right by the overhead sink light. But of course if we need to look at incision, chest tubes or anything important then sorry we’re waking you up. If they’re up, well damn it’s a whole production. 
  3. Staff Responsiveness- I tell my patients if you press the call light and no one is in your room within 5 minutes, press the light again because there might be a good chance the message didn’t get to me. Then of course, they’re those patients that abuse the use of call lights. When I ask you if there is anything you need before I go and you say no. Please don’t press the light right when I’m out the door!
  4. Hospital Environment- “Is your room tidy for you?” If not let me clean that mess right up [ insert sarcasm].
  5. Pain Management- very important, after all it is the 6th vital sign.  How many times have patient abused this? I understand your in pain, but do you really need dilaudid for gout? 
  6. Medication Communication- educate the crap out of your patients. print out handout, explain it and explain it again. 
  7. Discharge Information– discharge begins when? At admission. Yeah! I hate it when patients rush their discharge because they need to beat traffic.  
  8. Food Services- as a nurse I can’t control this, but patients take it out on us. I can’t fix it if your tilapia is dry or the chicken is stale. I can only pass the message along to dietary. 
  9. Overall Rating of the Hospital- everyone makes an impression. so make a good one.

What is the rating scale of the HCAHPS survey?

NEVER – SOMETIMES – USUALLY – ALWAYS

always!!!!! Apparently, we’re not allowed to tell patients to put “always” on their survey. So we’re suppose to use the word “always” frequently. Similar to subliminal messages, lol. 

 

DID YOU DIE?! NO? THEN AS A PATIENT YOU’RE ALWAYS SATISFIED.

cap locks, bold, exclamation marks . It’s very important.

As a nurse or patient, how do you feel about HCAHPS score?

Don’t make mom mad

Girl and Boy @ Disneyworld 2016

Being a mom is stressful. Sometimes I want to take a “nerve pill” like my elderly patients, but I can’t. Not because I have responsibilities, but because my PCP isn’t convinced I have anxiety. Why doesn’t a house stay clean after an entire day of cleaning and scrubbing? Oh, because we have kids. It’s just not the kids it’s also the dog who leaves her toy laying around. I’m picking up after husband, kids and pup.

I find myself threatening my family with lines from Game of Thrones and no one quite gets it.

Me: Clean your room. 

kids: I will.

[next day. rooms still not clean]

me: Winter is coming!!!

kids: mom, we already know. winter is already here.

 

I need to find other ways to threaten my family. lol. My kids says my cleaning expectation are too high. I think their cleaning expectations are too low. And moms are always right.

Things I bought this week because Amazon Prime is awesome.
1. Travelambo Travel Wallet, Passport Holder, Wallet RFID Blocking Credit Card Holders for Men & Women (black) Don’t ask me what RFID is. It’ll keep my passport, docs and credit card in one spot. Figured it’ll come in handy. My kids said it looks like something an old lady would use. If your an old lady like me, buy one next time when you travel.

2. Pet Grooming Tool & Pet Grooming Brush- NO.1 BEST SELLER For Small, Medium & Large Dogs + Cats, With Short to Long Hair. Dramatically Reduces Shedding In Minutes GUARANTEED,Hot Pink Korra is a husky/GSD pup. Double the cuteness, double the shedding. After husband combed her, he had a handful of fur.

3.Safari Professional Large Nail Trimmer For Dogs Trimming your dog toenails at home is not as easy as it looks. I should of saw that it said “professional” and realized I shouldn’t be doing it. Sure it trims, but then the edges are sharp. I don’t have time to file my dog’s nails too. I will now be taking her to Petsmart for all her nail trimming. Korra likes her nails to be “squoval.” I think Petsmart can handle that. One less task for me.

Things I want to buy

1.Amazon Echo – Black I intended on buying this for Husband for Christmas, but they were all sold out. Siri has been slacking off. I figured if Alexa is around, Siri will get  jealous and quit giving smartass replies. For laughs husband asked Siri “Where am I?” Her reply “Look around.” What a bitch. lol. It was funny though.