Announcement!!!!

I have put this post off, because I didn’t necessarily know where to start…

Black Hills/ new adventure

This was a HUGE decision I weighed heavily,  involved so many prayers, most ending with question marks.

Early this summer I head about an awesome, unique career opportunity ….It is entirely different!!! The kind that deviates your path from all of what you previously expected. The more I stalked their website and asked around about them, the more I was intrigued and interested in this company. As one would expect from this post title I clearly interviewed, chewed my nails off  waited, and prayed for guidance. In the end I was presented with an excellent opportunity and graciously accepted the position.

Which meant I had to leave what I have come to feel comfortable with, eek … Leave all the women that have become a second family. Leave the place that became my work “home”. I have developed soooo much personally, professionally, and faithfully while being a part of this team. Not to mention, leave a path I have invested so much time and money into. Somehow in all of those fears I found peace with my decision, and that is when I knew I made the right decision, I concluded it must be a God thing.

So, what is this fantastic opportunity you ask?

I am going to join a EMR (electronic medical record) company as part of their implementation team. Enter jaw dropping response here

So you aren’t going to be a Nurse anymore?……(the first questions nearly everyone asks!)

Yes, I will always be a nurse, I am a nurse at heart. It is a field I am so passionate about, but I will be doing it from a different perspective. This is actually considered a nursing specialty known as, nursing informatics. Instead of providing hands on care and education directly to a patient, I will be providing education and encouragement to the clinicians, assisting in configuring software for each specific clinic,  and at times share my perspective as a Nurse. It is for a company I have literally heard nothing but good news about. They have become known in our community as having a awesome, unique working environment, with TONS of opportunity for growth. So there you have it, my big life changing adventure! I start Monday, and I am very excited!

Did I mention I can wear open toed shoes, Good bye OSHA regulations 😉

God Bless,

Cassie

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How to Care For A Sick Kid

DSCN12882 The influenza jerk hit our house hard this year. So far my poor husband and kiddo ended up with it, I may have squeaked by! The symptoms they had were: high-grade fever, cough, wheezing, sore throat, aches, and head aches. My husband ended up staying home with him one day for his first sick child experience. My hubby, thank god,  asked me what he could give him. DUH Cassie! Between the little guy being nearly nine and me being a nurse the thought never occurred to me, that not everyone knows what to do with a sick kiddo. Bam this post was born.

 Since my little guy was very small, we have had our sick day ritual down. He always gets to sleep in the living room with me or in my bed. We have a special sick cup he uses, and we rent movies. Pretty typical sick day mommy stuff. I baby the crap out of him when he is sick. Whenever there are multiple caretakers involved with my son or any other child I have made a Medication administration record. I know I cant help it, its the nurse in me. It really is helpful. At the top of the page I list the medications that can be given name, indication (what you use it for) dose (specific for this child), and how frequently it can be given. Then below  I put a graph where you can put time, medication, temp, other symptoms, and when this medication is due next. It really makes life easy when you have to give meds around the clock to keep a temp under control. Plus when you bring them to the doctor you don’t forget symptoms, I hate when that happens!

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How we survived Influenza:

Pushed fluids

Ibuprofen every 6 hours

Acetaminophen every 4

(don’t be afraid to use generic, it really is the exact same thing for cheaper)

Be Koool gel sheets (these things are great)

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God Bless!

Cassie

Q&A Sunday…ooops

Alright so I have been MIA for a few days. We have been crazy busy celebrating Thanksgiving. We had two Thursday, one Friday, one today, and 3 were hosted at our place. Plus I did this crazy thing called the Jingle Bell Dash in below thirty degree weather, yikes it was cold!! In response to my Friday Q&A I had a reader with a few questions on how to snag a nursing position. Honestly it is not a whole lot different from other feilds. I am going to put some of my experiences in here and some I have gained from others.

First: Network

Think of people you know in the field you are looking into. The old phrase, “it is all about who you know” can make a huge difference when it comes to landing your dream gig. It isn’t always directly either. If you are a new grad ask your instructors about who they know, and don’t forget to ask for a recommendation letter. In my current role when they have had candidates for the job they always connect with instructors. Also make sure you talk with your previous supervisors, even if they don’t know anyone in the field they may write a great recommendation letter. Of course always make sure you let your references know you are applying for jobs, and they may be receiving a call. I have had people use me as a reference and not told me. The reference would have been better if I wasn’t caught off guard at the grocery story, talk about being hit by a bus.

Second: Polish that Resume

Make sure you dust off the old resume, and make it job specific. If you are applying for a nursing position, but don’t have any nursing experience, make sure that the description of your previous positions are geared towards things necessary for nursing. What may be helpful is look at the job description and list qualities (nursing qualities listed below :)) they are looking for, and make sure to pull those qualities out of your previous roles. The other thing is make your objective line catchy and specific to each position and employer you are applying for. For example if you are applying for a pediatric nurse position say; Obtain a registered nurse position on the pediatric care unit with Mayo clinic to utilize my education, nursing skills, love for children, and compassionate nature. If you are a new grad I would highlight that you want to develop and highlight the skills you already have. There are tons of online tools for nursing resumes, and NEVER submit a resume without having someone else proof reading it!

Third: It is all about the Interview

In all reality the first two steps are what land you the interview, but the interview is what lands you the job! First impressions are everything. Make sure you are polished. Wear something professional, but nothing tacky. Tuck the girls in, leave the hooker shoes at home, and by all means don’t forget to brush your teeth ;). Prep for the interview with someone. Here are some sample interview questions:

Here

here

Top Qualities of a Great Nurse:

1: communication: As a nurse you need to be able to communicate on a medical level with physicians. Then, within minutes figure out the best way to communicate medical information to your non-medical patient. I have often had patients tell me wow no one ever told me that before. In reality yes, they probably did, but it was in a way that the patient could not understand. For example when I talk to my heart failure patients. I explain it like their heart is a sump pump and their lungs are the basement. There sump pump is not very efficient and when the work load is increased (with activity or increase in fluid) their (lungs) basement floods. Most people can understand that.

2: Emotional Stability: I will be honest this is not my greatest quality as a nurse. I still get too attached to my patients, and see them as someones grandma, mom, daughter, wife. This is a stressful field, and you have to be able to leave work at work, or it will take over your life. Put gaurdrails up, and make sure you work in an area you can handle. For example I love kids, but I can’t do pediatrics. You would find me behind bars for kidnapping all these children with idiot parents.

3: Empathy: So you may not be the most seasoned nurse, but that’s okay. Patients know when you really care and have compassion, and that goes farther than a lot of the drugs.

4: Flexibility: Life as a nures is like a box of chocolates, when you lift that sheet, open that door, or plan to do that quick task you just never know what you are going to find. We have to be flexible and able to change the plan without feeling stressed about it. Highlight this!

5: Detail oriented: Every nursing skill seems to have a million steps, but each of them have a purpose. I find it helpful to know why, in fact I am like a two-year old in my office constantly asking “but why”. It helps me remember each step! Show case that you are detail oriented and have great assessment skills!

6: Personable: We are the cord that connects the patient with the physician. As we all know some of these physicians have heads so large you are surprised they fit in the hospital are great compassionate human beings we must communicate with. Figure out the physicians you will work with on a regular basis and find a way to communicate with them. Of course be a team player, each of us has something to bring to the table. Nursing can be one of the worst fields for cadiness and politics of course that has nothing to do with the fact that it is mainly women. Our office is a really positive environment, and I believe it is because we skip the snotty business.

7: Physical Endurance: You will hold your urine until your eyeballs are floating, go without food and water until you feel like you are going to pass out, and sometimes work through every break. Get good tennis shoes, and work on your endurance!

8: Critical Thinking: This one takes a little time and experience, but is very important. As nurses we are problem solvers it may be holding a medication because the patient is having negative side effects, calming a crazy family member, or getting the attention of a busy Doc. We are always looking for problems and finding solutions!

9: Speed: We have to be quick on our feet. It may be calling a code, grabbing the garbage can for the vomiting patient, or grabbing gauze for the delusional patient who pulled their IV out. Nurses tend to be the first responders in the hospital.

10: Respectful: Always try to put yourselves in their shoes. Respect and kindness can go a long way, even when it doesn’t seem like the other person deserves it. The good old rule love thy neighbor as themselves.

Make sure to give unique answers. Everyone says they are a reliable team player, but have some great examples in your back pocket. Make a list of good stories before the interview that you can reference, don’t be too lengthy. Remember to research them and highlight their strengths in the interview. People may not always remember what you say, but they will remember how you make them feel. Everyone likes a good complement, but don’t over do the brown-nosing. Be positive, about them, about your past experiences, even when they ask what your greatest weakness is.

I hope this helps! God Bless! C

Any tips for landing a nursing job I missed add below in the comments! Don’t forget to email your questions for Q&A to adventuresofliving@yahoo.com

Diet for the old Ticker

I spend all day talking about a heart healthy diet, and figured hey it is completely blog worthy! Obviously my everyday speal is given to heart failure patients, but it is something everyone can benefit from. Considering that heart disease is one of leading causes of death in the US. Now I am just going to throw this out there, I am by no means an expert, these are just an accumulation of my experiences as a nurse, and  things I have come across. Lets get started. Grab some nutrition labels

Heart Healthy Rules

#1 What is the serving size?

Many people read the contents of the label, but skip the step of how many servings they are actually eating. More often than not you will be shocked at how small the serving size actually is.

#2 What is the total fat content per serving?          Less than 5 grams

Many people look at the fat break down and that’s great, but not realistic for the average joe. The rule of thumb I always tell my patients is this number should be equal to or less than 5 grams per serving.

#3 What is the sodium content per serving?          Less than 300 Mg

This one is most definitely the Debbie downer! The food in our country is packed with sodium, and it is terrible for you. Feeling a little bloated? You would be amazed at what happens when you watch your sodium intake. Simple chemistry lesson: water follows salt, if you have a lot of salt going into your body, you will retain fluid. Simply stated you’re going to gain those annoying LBS. Idealy to even enter the mouth foods should contain less than 300 mg per serving, but the goal should be less than 140 mg per serving.

The good news! Following a heart healthy diet does not have to be extremely complicated. The key is learning to read labels and follow these easy steps. There are even canned foods on the market that are classified as heart healthy, so pull those cans, boxes, or containers off the shelf and read the labels before shooting them into the cart.

Grocery shopping tips:

Shop the edges of the stores first. This is where you will find the fresh produce, meats, and dairy. When you do enter the middle READ THOSE LABELS. It will take a few shopping trips before you master this technique, but once you get it down you will know which brands are Safe.

God Bless! C