Thursday, November 06, 2014

Gratitude Challenge Day 6 -- Details

My job is all about the details. The details on how my patient looks, what his/her history is, what meds are being given, what the home meds are, when thing need to be given, what everything sounds like etc....You have to be seriously organized.

And I am not naturally organized.
I love how my nurse friends have made some great organizational 'brains' to help them get through their days/nights. I end up spending too much time trying to plug in what I need to in the slots provided in the various 'brains' out there. I'm more of a let's be free kind of person. (wheeee, picture me in scrubs singing and twirling -- never mind, don't picture that). I also have to have everything on one page to make sure I don't miss anything through the night. I'm not good at continuously flipping through individual sheets for each patient to see if something is due for that patient.  So this is how I organize my night.

 At our hospital we get our assignment sheet and individual information sheets for each patient. I just used blank sheets for my demonstration here -- because you know, HIPPA, they frown on us sharing personal patient information.  So my top page is our assignment sheet, and the bottom sheets are the individual patient information sheets, all folded so if I leave my 'brain' anywhere personal information isn't in plain view. I put the room numbers on each folded patient sheet and if there's something really important to know about a patient I'll add that too - i.e., DNR, or NPO, or a PICC line.
The top sheet is where I put everything I need to do for the night. I organize it out by times. In my job there are some time sensitve action items, and I find this helps me stay on target. Mostly it's when my patients' meds are due. I also give myself a note in case the meds are not in the Pyxis and they are in the patients' med bins, or if it's an IV antibiotic (then I'm queued into making sure I have lines etc to hang it). I'm on a neuro joint spine surgery floor so we need to do neuro checks every four hours. For our safety no falls protocol we also need to check on their toileting needs every four hours and check for pain every four hours if they're on a PCA (NO ONE EVER GETS TO SLEEP IN THE HOSPITAL). Our 730 am meds are kind of a gray area between night and day shift, technically they're a day shift medication, but I try and give them if I can, so I put them on my list (I'm nice that way). I also put down when my patients can get their PRN pain and nausea meds. Because it's a surgical floor with a lot of people with chronic pain people, those PRN pain meds are really important. Like REALLY important.
So on each individual page I put down what I get and what to give in report. What I need to tell the CNA about the patient in my report to them, the patient's assessment, their fluids, their diet, what arm bands they have and if I need to add a band (i.e., if they don't have their fall band, or missing an allergy band) pain, times I do things since I'll be charting later.

And there you go. The detailed way and unorganized person, organizes her day. Because in my job, those details are important.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Day 3 - Dreams - 30 days of Gratitude - in pictures

I had many dreams of what I would be when I was growing up. One was being a decorator. I would even make doll house out of cardboard boxes, creating walls, doorways and windows, making sure the floor plan was usable. I would draw furniture in each of the rooms. My sister would then ask for the finished product so she could play with it with her dolls. Pretty much the only time in our young lives I didn't care she wanted something that was mine (such are the feelings of an older sister). I gladly gave them to her, because the joy was in the designing. I wanted to go to an art school to study interior design, but my father insisted on a four-year liberal arts degree. I would be more marketable he thought.  He died after my first year of college, but I continued with his advice. Because, pleasing a dead man makes so much sense, no? I majored in creative writing and minored in history (completely and totally NOT marketable).   One of my other dreams was to be a writer. The problem was and still is, is that I'm mediocre at best and didn't have the discipline to make writing a career.  But let me tell ya, it was a fun major to have. I got married, worked job to job, not very fulfilled. Then had babies. 

Another dream -- being a mom. I love love being a mom. I love parenting. As much as I complain about it, I don't mind the numbing-tiredness that parenting can be at times. I love my children with all my heart and love the men they are becoming - metaphorical warts and all. When the kids were older, I needed to think of a career, one that would be fulfilling, one that would tap into the caring person my children taught me to be, one that would give back. I thought about teacher, because how much fun would it be to inspire kids to want to write and read and have wonderful discussion about great works and newly discovered authors. Yeah, I'm an idealist. I also thought about nursing. Nursing won out, I enjoy the science of health, I think the nursing ideal of loving care of those who are in need fits right in with my personality. It was hard, nursing school was hell (seriously, if Dante actually went to nursing school, this would be the closest ring to Satan himself). But it was all worth it.  Nursing was a newer dream, but one of the hardest to achieve and I'm proud of the work I've done to get here. I also get to add teaching back in as I volunteer to precept, speak at nursing schools, mentor and encourage new nurses. I also do a lot of patient nursing was a great choice, even if I'm not discussing great works and encouraging writing (although, I do talk to patients about the books they have on their bedside tables and have had great discussions about books and authors).
I haven't given up my dreams on decorating and designing. I just use my own house as my canvas and once in awhile my friends will ask for my advice and I gladly and enthusiastically give it to them, sometimes with swatches. I, and I can't believe I'm admitting this, am starting to write a novel. I'm not sure how good it'll be, or what will come of it....but if I don't try, I'll never know.

That's the thing about dreams, the first step is the hardest, but once you take that first step you are that much closer at achieving whatever it is you dream.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Day 2 Gratitude Challenge

Thirty days of gratitude....yeah yeah, we should all be grateful daily and I am. I just don't announce it to the world because I really believe the world enjoys my whining so much more.  I'm going to do this thirty day gratitude thing (don't worry, I'm sure I'll still whine). It won't always be on my blog...because let's face it, I've been sucking at blogging. Day one was on my FB page -- I just posted a picture of the Front Range and thanked the Lord I live in one of the more beautiful cities in the US (because I really do, I mean how many people get the beautiful view of the Rocky Mountain Range on a daily basis).  Today (as you can see by the nifty challenge graphic below) is laughter.  And I LOOOOVE ME some laughter.  I really do have one of the funniest husbands ever, he makes me laugh all the time -- he sometimes even does it intentionally. I am also always finding amusement in my children, who are both growing up with wonderful senses of humor -- sometimes even appropriate. I love laughing and I love to make people laugh.
 For this post I am thankful that although my sister was full of pain to the point she lost her life to alcohol, drugs, and depression, she had the most contagious laugh of anyone I have ever met. Her smile and laugh would light up a room and you couldn't help but laugh when she was laughing.  We grew up laughing. I am grateful I was able to hear my sister's laugh for over 40 years of my life. My sister and two of my brothers are pictured here laughing.
 After she died, one brother and I went to Florida to be with my mom, step dad and other brother. We spent the weekend crying, fighting (good-naturedly), and laughing. I am grateful for such two awesome, talented, handsome brothers who can do silly like no one's business.
 Look at my hubby's could you not laugh all the time with this guy, and the youngest -- he is such a lovely sweet boy who says the wildest things, and the teen, who has that typical teen expression, has a dry sly wit that catches you off guard. I am grateful for all of them. I am the luckiest mom and wife in the whole entire world.
And my coffee lady book club neighborhood peeps -- crying, laughing, gossiping, hugging group of women who give me strength -- All have wonderful senses of humor. How can I not be thankful with these lovelies.
One of the best pranks ever played and it still makes me laugh is when a group of my friends added a bunch of extra wives to my sticker-car-family -- a little making fun of my weird obsession with plural marriage (okay, all of us had a little obsession, we got together to watch Big Love every week and we call each other sister-wives).
 My marriage started out in laughter...the best way to begin a life together. My sister and sister-in-law laughing along with me, one of my best friends from high school and my best friend from college joining in (the three of them also came to my sister's funeral, to say good-bye because they too knew my sister, loved her and laughed with her). We have all had our own journeys to live, one with a mother and husband who had cancer (and are still alive and doing well). She and her husband make me laugh all the time. One whose daughter has Down's syndrome with autism, but posts the cutest and funniest pictures of her son and daughters on Facebook, and the third, my sister-in-law has advanced MS and she still is able to laugh and enjoy life.
So, yes, I am grateful for laughter. Without it life would be unbearable.