Big Changes

It seems that big changes are in order for me. My wonderful, incredibly smart boyfriend got a job in Minneapolis! I’m so proud of him, and I’m very excited that the next chapter of both our lives is starting – and we get to do it together. 

I’m sure it’s going to be a big change for us to go from living in remote Central Minnesota to living in an apartment in the city, but I’m excited about the opportunities we’ll have down there. And the food. The boyfriend is excited about the availability of multiple rock climbing gyms. I think it’s pretty awesome, too.

Oops

I honestly never, every thought of myself as anything other than a bluntly honest straight-shooter. As I’ve gotten older, sure, I’ve become less abrasive and all (maybe).

I never thought of myself as a thief. And yet, the proof itself was there in my pocket when I got home last Thursday. Folks, I present to you:

Exhibit A - stolen supplies!

Exhibit A – stolen supplies!

Sure enough, I’m a bad, bad person. I’ve not only stolen tape and alcohol wipes, which are pretty normal, but I even managed a carpujet and a penlight (I really have no idea where it came from).

Not pictured: pens. Don’t ask how many.

On the bright side, I have a clinical rotation at the same site this spring so I can bring this stuff back!

Patient Safety First?

fdc9c363-20be-4879-9158-7bc997e23041Currently, there is no clearly defined nurse to patient ratio in the state of Minnesota. Right now, there is a petition going around to promote a decision based on evidence and research showing that overworked nurses miss key elements in patient care and sometimes, it can have long-lasting negative or dangerous effects for our patients.

Check out the studies cited by the petitioners here.

How many patients do you want your nurse to have while they’re taking care of you? Me, personally – I think more than 4 in an acute care setting is dangerous. 1:1 is frequently needed for mental health. What’s the current ER ratio?

Different levels of care are clearly needed depending on patient acuity. As an LPN at my assisted living/dementia facility, I am responsible as the only nursing staff on overnights and weekends for three 16-bed units, as well as on call for assistance in an adjacent facility that houses between 60-75 average assisted living residents. My backup is an on-call RN who usually doesn’t answer the phone and 9-1-1. My facility is associated with a nationwide company and represents average staffing for my state.

Can I handle it? Yes, the majority of the time, everything goes without a hitch. But, what if there were a natural disaster? We’d have a total of 6 staff for over 100 patients, not all of them ambulatory, many of them too hard of hearing to respond to fire or tornado alarms.

The Frustrations of my Hobby

 

I love to crochet. I make some pretty snazzy stuff.  A few years ago, I decided to open my own Etsy shop thinking it would be a great way to make money for more yarn and materials – to support my hobby.

 

I’ve made almost no money from my shop. I don’t know if my talent is overrated, or if I don’t photograph or promote properly, but I’m a little bummed that I have a closet full of merchandise and no time to go to local craft shows to get rid of it.

 

On the bright side, I’m not dependent on the profits at this time, but I also wish I could make some money to help with my bills related to working part time and being in nursing school.

 

Think my items have potential? I do.

 

End Rant.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Sylvan-20120322-00028

 

 

Oww!

Some days I underestimate my clumsiness. Today was such a day. I was running around, getting ready for school. Well, it looked like this outside this morning:

Image

Which is all fine and dandy. Unfortunately, when you have snow on your car and park in your attached garage, it starts to melt. We have a drain the floor but the floor itself is rather level. Problem: puddles in between the cars.

Add into the factor that I love loose tea and drink a lot of it. I’m a little bit of a fanatic. So, I own one of these lovely items:

Image

It’s a vacuum sealed double glass, heat resistant tumbler. They’re lovely, did I mention that?

When one of these with 180-degree water in it hits a cold concrete floor, the EXPLODE. Everywhere. Just so you know. I found that out this morning when it fell out of my backpack. I was frankly a little heartbroken about the whole thing. As I was cleaning the mess up, I slipped in the joint puddle of snow runoff and delicious pineapple-flavored white tea. While I smelled pretty fantastic, I think I’ve messed my back up enough to require the services of a chiropractor, a team of horses from the Levi jeans label, and a 2-gallon ziploc full of NSAIDs.

Please send the above. Oh, and a new tea thing too. Kay, thanks!

The Stigma of Mental Health

So, if you read this blog ever, you may know I’m an LPN. I’m currently almost halfway through an LPN to RN transition program in Central Minnesota.

Also, if you know anything about me, you know that I went through a time in my life when I suffered from severe depression. I broke up with my boyfriend who decided to join the military without telling me, I lost my job, and my very close friend died – all within three months of each other. I want you to understand – it is COMPLETELY NORMAL for an individual to become depressed given a junction of stressful events like that. I got over it, and I’ve moved on. I have a very happy life and I’ve never, ever seriously considered harming myself. (I’m probably too narcissistic to do that).

Several of my long-time friends struggle with mental illnesses ranging from DIC to Schizophrenia to Bipolar disorder to Crazy-Bitch-Itis. I love my friends for who they are. We have meaningful, wonderful relationships.

The fact that a lack of knowledge, fear, misunderstanding and social stigma are stacked against individuals who have done nothing wrong but obtain a diagnosis saddens me. I fight very hard to stand up for what I believe in. So you can imagine my frustration today in class when we started talking about Bipolar Disorder and my classmates immediately began to make snide comments today. It really upset me.

“Does someone who’s Bipolar get, like, a blue parking hanger and get to hang it in their car?”

Absolutely, if their disability causes physical impairment. Don’t like that? Suck it. They get help from the government to help them deal with crisis and return to society with the training and tools they need to survive and have a higher quality of life. Sometimes, they have no one else but that nurse who advocates for them. Can you imagine living your life with the only person sticking up for you being a complete stranger in scrubs?

How do you want YOUR nurse to treat you next time you’re in your doctors office, the ER, surgery, etc.?