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Welcome!

Welcome to nursenightingale.com!

I am so happy you dropped by, whether accidentally or with a purpose in mind, because I know you will have an interesting browse through these pages once you’re here!  You might even decide to bookmark this site…as I plan to add more and more exciting stuff for nurses as time goes on.

This site is brand new, and will grow, but for now it will offer nurses a place to come and read great articles,  find informative links, plus shopping opportunities and at the very least have a good laugh, because I think we all need something to lift our spirits now and then.

The lady to your left is of course Florence Nightingale, the wonderful nurse this site is named after.  She was quite a lady, and in my mind encompasses everything we strive to become as we enter the nursing profession.  I have included her life story, and some interesting facts about her, and the work she performed so well.

Grab a cup or glass of your favorite beverage and sit back and relax…and welcome again! :)



It’s been about three months since my last post. I feel very bad about that, but my life and work…especially the latter, have always gotten in the way of keeping up with my needs, wants, and desires.
Well that is about to be a thing of the past.
I will finally, after three decades of nursing in Psychiatry, be retiring! Yes…I said RETIRING!
It has come out of the blue, and I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say that I was given an opportunity due to lay-off’s in my facility, for early retirement…and I’m grabbing it with both hands, and possibly a scissor-hold of the legs just to be sure!
I have a new chapter beginning in my life, and it will be filled with all the things I love to do most…travel, photography, sleeping, creating art (manual/digital), writing, gardening, sleeping, walking, spending time with friends, reading, doing anything fun, did I mention sleeping? Plus of course, and this is my actual priority…spending more quality time with my fiance and my family.
Now when I started this blog, all about nursing, which has been a very large part of my life…for over half my life in fact…I had no clue that this was going to happen. It is indeed a minor miracle, as I’ve been hoping and praying for such a thing, but even so…it took me by surprise. As we all know, we pray for things, and hope like the dickens, but part of us really doesn’t believe it can materialize!
I believe in Treasure Maps, or Vision Boards as some call them, and I’ve had one for many years that I update around New Year. I have made a Squidoo lens about it actually… click here if you’re interested in making one for yourself…and I can tell you this ‘miracle’ has been on it for a few years! Sometimes it takes quite a while for things to manifest, and in fact I have not been following my own rules on this, I haven’t been looking over the Treasure Map daily and focusing and telling myself that these things are coming to me. Which is why I’m sure it’s taken so long! I would remember it now and then and change the date on when I wanted it to happen, updating each year when it didn’t happen, and removing the items that had come into my life. Looking at it only now and then isn’t really enough, daily is much better. The more you focus your mind on something and visualize it coming to fruition, the quicker the Universe will help you to manifest it by putting the puzzle pieces into place.
But I digress….(a bad habit!)…I started this blog for nurses, and now I will be a retired nurse, or maybe…a casual part-time nurse depending on how my finances go! However, I will keep this going, and writing about nursing, my experiences, and thoughts and putting up any good articles or videos I find…and lets face it, I’ll have much more time now to find them (grin), although I hear you’re busier in retirement than when you’re working? Hmmm…well, I will still make time for this blog, and will also be working on my store over at Zazzle where I have a section devoted to nurses and in fact right here on my NurseNightingale site if you look above at the menu, you’ll see there are gift ideas for nurses of all types from me and other talented shopkeepers at Zazzle.com. I love making new designs for nurses, and especially for nurses week, and naturally I’m partial to psychiatric nurses so I try to include items for them that are respectful and not just the same old ‘psychiatric nurse joke’ type stuff I see everywhere which at times I find most annoying, depending on how crude or tasteless it is!

Anyway, that’s my latest news…I still have a few shifts left to work, and I haven’t really had time to get my head around it as it’s come up so fast, but every day it gets a little more real! It’s definitely going to be strange not having my life structured in this way, and I’ve thought recently, as I drive down the road I’ve driven down for 30 years, the road that leads to the hospital… ‘I’m not going to drive down this road ever again!’ As someone said to me the other day, “It’s surreal!” Yes…it is surreal, I can’t quite believe it myself, but it’s happening…and boy am I happy and grateful!
P.S. I won’t miss Meditech one little bit!

Meditech Purgatory?

Hello everyone…I have to update you on “Meditech Hell” which I was in recently!
It’s now been a couple of months, and things have become a little easier…not perfect by any stretch…just easier.
I would say I have floated up to “Meditech Purgatory” where I am guessing I’ll remain for quite some time! It’s nice here in M.P. …we all smile everyday at the thoughts of not having to do all that paperwork any more, and there’s a collective sigh of relief that we don’t have to check all those millions of med. sheets for errors every Tuesday night! (I used to hate Tuesdays)
We have a little more time now at the end of the shift, as in I’m not still there 20-30 mins. after my shift ends working for nothing, trying to catch up on my charting and other assorted tasks. Still not excessive amounts of time for the patients 1:1 chats, but better.

But I have to say, the glitches are still continuing, the med. cart computers are still painfully slow at times, and the scanners don’t scan at all at other times, or will allow you to make a mistake when it is supposed to catch it, and we are still fighting over computers with scanners…we have two med. carts, and one other scanner that can attach to a pc out in the nursing station, but you have to take out meds. to that spot to pour and that’s a pain. There’s a lot of ‘back-and-forth-ing’! Not time efficient. Plus it’s easy to get side-tracked out there in the ‘fish bowl’ as patients see you, and if they see you, even though they can see you’re working on something important, they will knock repeatedly at the door and windows to get your attention, usually for something they think is vital….like a “juice”, or “cigarette”.

We have some small ‘notebook’ things that are the next thing to useless for me, as they’re so small, it’s hard to see with bifocals! Plus half the time the scanners on them don’t work.
If we’d been given 5 small carts for the 5 nurses on shift, that would’ve been perfect.
Of course we have a tiny med. room…from back in the day when there was only one med. nurse (and I wish there still was some days)….and so there’s nowhere to put 5 carts, but we could find another room to put them in I’m sure.
Anyway…there’s a lot I still can’t figure out on Meditech, but here in M.P. we aren’t concerned with that…we’re just happy to be finally out of Meditech Hell…(smiles blissfully).

So….I see, it’s been about 2 1/2 months since I last posted here…not so good huh?
I apologize..not because I think anyone out there is hanging on my every word, but because I hate to start something, and then let it fall by the wayside. I am actively working as a nurse, which is the main problem, and my shifts/life are keeping me from…well, keeping up!

As the title says, I wanted to say a few words about Psychiatric nursing. It is still carrying the stigma of the past, and is a very under-rated profession. I find that Psych. nurses do not get the recognition they deserve when nursing is discussed, and I hesitate to say this…as I know some will not agree, or won’t want to admit it, but nurses in other fields tend to almost look down on Psych. nurses…like we’re not ‘real nurses’.
Yes, gasp…it’s true! These nurses (and I know it doesn’t mean all nurses), think we just sit around and talk all day about delusions, and the “voices in your head”…and we know nothing about bedside care. We just deal with the mind? Not so…we deal with the whole human being, mind body and soul…just like you…maybe more so than you.
Our patients have usually been on psychiatric meds. for many years, they take a toll on physical health, and not only do these drugs create physical side-effects, but this population does not care whether they eat themselves into conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and obesity that causes complaints of S.O.B., bad knees, back etc. They also smoke as a rule, and this as you all know causes a multitude of physical illnesses, plus they may also have drug/alcohol dependencies…the list is endless. We’ve had to pack ulcer cavities, run I.V.’s, deal with SARS, clean up vomit/diarrhea, etc. etc.
So, before I make a long story longer…Psych. nurses deal with the mental illnesses of our clients (I hate that word btw, and prefer ‘patients’, but I’ll be PC here!), but increasingly we are dealing with physical health issues as our population ages.
The ward I work on has age groups from 20 yrs. old to up to 65 yrs. and all kinds of diagnoses, both genders, and we deal with physical health issues on a daily basis. It’s part of nursing in general hospitals, and yes…it’s part of Psychiatric nursing.

I have taken patients/clients to general hospitals many time over the years, and I have been dismayed at the off-hand treatment our clients, (and usually the nurse accompanying them) have received, while waiting for care, and during same. Quite often we have been left waiting and waiting, despite reminders from the Psych. nurse that “we are still here”, and it’s only when the client begins to get anxious/angry that we are taken care of (our clients don’t always understand the wait process!). Sometimes nurses in general hospitals forget that our clients may be high-functioning, have feelings, and can answer questions… and speak to the nurse accompanying as if our client isn’t even present! Don’t feel too bad, I’ve had doctors do the same thing!
So, I’ll step off the soap-box now, I hope I’ve made my point.
I recently went to the States, and was visiting a relative in a general hospital, and noticed they had a bulletin board filled with lovely cards that they had received in thanks for their good work!
Well, I thought that was great…but it got me thinking, on my ward we don’t need a bulletin board for Thank You cards, as we get so few. I know we do good work, and often we get a patient well, and see them again 1-2 months later after they’ve gone off their meds. and decompensated quickly, and we have to start all over again! We work hard to get our patients ready to re-enter the community, and fight to keep them there with follow up, but sometimes you’re fighting a losing battle, and that’s the frustration of Psychiatric Nursing. It’s a challenge every day. We get sworn at assaulted and feel unappreciated a lot of the time, but we keep on going…it’s a very tough type of nursing, and only the strong can go the distance.
But…when we do get a reward, a kind word, it means so much…most of our “thanks”, is verbal and it counts too don’t get me wrong. However, a thoughtful card with a personal note that you can pin on a board, or put in a scrapbook is something to look back on and remember.
We’ve had the odd card that got thrown out, and now I wish we’d kept them…but when they’re infrequent you don’t think of it. At Christmas time we get chocolates and cookies from one or two families…and I know I sound like I’m whining…but compared to other nursing disciplines, we don’t get the recognition we truly deserve.
I made some nursing cards the other day, and I’m going to work on making some specifically for Psychiatry. I have a few funny ones, but I also need to pay respect to Psychiatric Nurses everywhere, and make a line of cards that say what (in my rambling way),  I’m saying here.
That’s on the agenda…oh where to find the time?
Here is my latest nurse appreciation card to all disciplines…I hope you like it.

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