(Foreman performs the life saving “titty twister technique” after House OD’s on methadone)
Renewed my CPR today. In the beginning I was so blase about it. I couldn’t believe that the content could actually take up 4 hours and I complained about it. But once I was there I had a better attitude because I remembered that this is pretty important stuff, and so it’s important to practice and brush up on your skills every once in awhile. By the end of the class I was really starting to thing that I am ready to go back. I’m not afraid. It’s going to be a good thing. Oh sure there will be some tough days (and nights) but I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.
A couple surprises, though:
1. They didn’t mention the Stayin Alive factor. Something I find incredibly useful in keeping pace.
2. They didn’t mention the “titty twister method.” For those of you unfamilliar with this it was on House last week. House went into respiratory arrest and Foreman brought him back with an heroic titty twister. My initial thought? This would be perfect for those who like to fake seizures.
It’s that NCLEX time of year again. While most of us are stressing out about Christmas, I know there are a select few of you who are stressing out about NCLEX. I want you to know, it’s not as bad as you think. I actually wasn’t too nervous about taking the NCLEX back in 2004. In fact, I felt pretty confident. Why? Because my nursing school had a good passing rate. Something like 92%. That means that 92% of the students from the previous class had passed the NCLEX on the first try. While I wasn’t at the tippy-top of my class, I knew that my grades were respectable. Perhaps even admirable. So statistically speaking, it would be very unlikely that I wouldn’t pass. In the end I think passing the NCLEX comes down to three factors:
- NCLEX Practice questions. Take lots of them and when you do, don’t get bogged down by the details. The point of taking the practice questions is to get you to think like a nurse. As a nurse you will have to prioritize everything you do, and therefore the questions are formatted as such. So many questions boil down to prioritization (i.e. You have 4 tasks. Which one should you do first?) And that’s where your ABCs come into play…
- ABCs. Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Live it, love it, learn it. So many questions are based on this hierarchy. So even if you come across a question with a drug or a disease that you’ve never heard of (I’m not gonna lie to you – it happens) you can always try to pare the question down to the ABCs.
- RELAX!!! I can’t stress this enough. I think there are some pretty smart cookies out there that fail just because the get themselves all in a tizzy before they take the test. Don’t be that student. You will have ample time to take the test. Just take a deep breath before every question, and give it your best shot.
And finally, congratulations to Not Nurse Ratched, RN(!!!), who passed the NCLEX early and inspired me to write this post! Creative Commons photo courtesy of Nicole St. John
There’s been a lot of recent discussion about nursing salaries and the nursing shortage.
I wanted to chime in because (a) I love to over-simplify things, and (b) I am on the verge of becoming one of those nurses they refer to – the kind who works 2-3 years after school and then quits.
The reasons aren’t complicated. Here’s why I’ll probably end up quitting:
- The money sucks.
- It takes its toll on you physically.
- I don’t want to work nights, weekends, or holidays.
Sure there are many peripheral issues – nurses dumping on each other, lack of autonomy, lack of time and resources to get the job done right. But other than that it’s a personally rewarding, and (at times) intellectually challenging job. It feels good to help people when they are sick. I love being the voice of calm in a storm. I love working as a team and saving lives (sometimes.)
I just don’t love it enough to get over the three points that I listed above.
It’s that simple. If I became a nurse when I was 22 I might have gotten a few more good years in, but sadly, I didn’t. So if there’s any constructive advice springing from this negative view of nursing it would be this: Get ‘em in while they’re young. The earlier you start your nursing career, the later your burnout will be.