Saturday, April 30, 2005

Road Trip...the course is mapped

I am excited about San Diego. Corey's airline ticket is purchased and he is flying to Louisville to visit with friends for a couple of weeks so that I can settle in at San Diego. I have checked the map and my course is set...well as set as it can be, seeing that it IS a roadtrip!! Looks like I will have 2-3 extra days for the road trip in case I meet someone interesting or see something I want to check out along the way. The truck is in good shape, except that I still have to get the fuse checked for my breaklights!! My packing has started and I am ready to get the hell out of here! I have 7 more shifts left and I cant tell you how difficult it is going to work each and every night. But...think about that road trip and a new and exciting experience in a new city!! I cant wait!

The weather here has been high 90's with 100% humidity and is mostly miserable unless you are in the pool, which is where I spent part of the day yesterday. Well, after I got my hair cut and now look like a dike!! Nothing like a bad haircut to make you feel good...ugggghhhhh!!! I guess it will grow back, right??

Ed, Theresa, Corey and I are headed to San Antonio today to see the Alamo and walk the riverwalk....I think it is going to be a lot of fun! I will post soon and let you know how the trip is. All the pups are going with us, so it could prove to be an interesting trip!


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

San Diego here we come....

I haven't signed the contract yet but everything is pretty well set. I am going to San Diego for my next assignment. We arent' going to be on the beach like I had hoped but it looks like we'll have a nice apartment anyway. I have been doing some research on the San Diego area and there is so much to see and do...I dont know if 13 weeks will be enough time or not? Trinity is going to spend 6 weeks with me this summer and she is looking forward to being in California.

Hopefully the social life will improve in SD? Things have been really quiet here on the social front. Could it be that I am at the end of the world? No, I know I'm not, but some days it sure feels that way!

I have started my "to do" list and it sure seems like I have a bunch of sh*t to do. But I guess it always works out. I just hope I can fit all my junk into the truck! It's funny how easy it is to accumulate stuff....nothing that really matters....just stuff.

Gone for now....I'll keep you posted! (((((((hugs to everyone))))))))))

Monday, April 25, 2005


I prefer a life drama free!! I only have 8 more shifts to go....I can do it!! Another day from or in Hell!! I have spoken to my recruiter and also to my DON and requested that I be moved to another rotation/shift/facility for the remainder of my assignment. I dont know yet if anything is going to get done or not but I cant wait to be out of here... Last night's new rule (for me only) is that I am restricted on my breaks...I dont mind rules but lets be fair about this and make the rules the same for everyone. Isn't there some law that forbids that kind of discrimination? I may have to look into that. But for now I just want to survive without the chest pain, abdominal pain and migraines!!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Another Day In HELL

You've heard the song "Just another day in Paradise"?? Well tonight was just "another day in HELL". For purposes of the distant reader, I am going to back up one day to the night before last.....

I had decided since my post titled "just another rant... " that I was just going to keep to myself and pass any information to the day shift charge RN instead of trying to approach my charge nurse. I thought that I had done a good job in my attempts to stay away and not bother the charge nurse (every request feels like a "bother"). However, I guess I was mistaken. Theresa and I took lunch together (as usual), and I told the charge nurse prior to going to lunch that I was taking my lunch. After we ate, I stepped off the floor to smoke (still during my lunch period). Theresa stayed behind due to the charge nurses prior request (or demand) that "per the DON" we are no longer allowed to have more than one nurse off the floor at a time. When I returned to the floor at the end of my lunch period, the charge nurse with hands on hips approached me and pointed at me then to the breakroom and stated "Candy, I need to talk to you." I replied that it was fine and requested to have someone wittness our conversation. I do not feel comfortable with any conversations with this charge nurse without a wittness. Upon my request for a wittness, the charge nurse stated "we can just do it here (at nurses station) if you want". I stated that I didn't have anything to hide and didn't care who heard what he had to say to me. At this time he proceeded (in what I must say was a very un-professional tone) to tell me that I was not to leave the floor without telling him. I explained that my patients were being covered by one of the other nurses during my lunch period and that I told him that I was going to lunch. His reply was that "yes" he knew I was going to lunch but I didn't tell him that I was leaving the floor. I told him that I assumed my lunch was my time and assumed (incorrectly) that he knew that I would be taking time off the floor. His reply was "dont do it again".

Later that night, I went to the desk to inform him that I was going to step off the floor for a minute (another nurse, again was covering my patients). He informed me, again at the nurses station that I was not allowed to have any more breaks that night. In response I informed him that my patients were covered and ok and that I WAS going to take a quick break. He told me that if I went off the floor that I could "clock out and go home". Other things were said....I really lost track of all of it but in the end I basically told him that I was going to take a break and if he still wanted to send me home when I returned then I would go home, but I WAS going to take a break. Somewhere in the midst of this conversation, I notified the DON of the arrising situation. When I returned to the floor, I approached him at the nurses station and asked if he wanted me to go home. He replied "no", he further stated something about not wanting to be "punitive" but that it was important to him that he know where all the staff is at all times. I agreed that he should know where the staff is and agreed to inform him (even during my lunch periods) of my leaving the floor.

Later that evening when things had cooled off a little, I approached him again (at the nurses station) and told him that it seemed as though his expectations had changed on a daily basis and that in order to avoid similar situations in the future it would be helpful for me to know what his expectations were. He again stated that he just wanted to know when I was leaving the floor. I agreed. I then asked him if there was an issue with the amount of breaks/time off the floor that I had. He replied "no".

I finished out the remainder of my shift without issues....taking my breaks as I have done since prior to him becoming charge nurse.

Moving forward to last night............
I decided to work in the hall rather than close to the nurses station again in attempt to "keep clear" to hopefully avoid confrontation. I took my breaks as usual and informed him each time that I left the floor including twice during my lunch (once at the beginning and once at the end). I noticed as I was leaving the floor on one break that he was taking tally marks each time that I left the floor. Now, realize if you would that this is the same man that less than 24 hours prior stated to me that he did not have an issue with the number of breaks that I had been taking, only that I needed to let him know when I was going off the floor. When I first realized what was happening, I kindof laughed to myself thinking that there are much more important things for him to worry about than how many breaks I'm taking...for instance, am I doing my JOB? Are my medications late? Are my patients clean and dry? Am I getting my work done in the time allotted during my shift? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES!! A couple more questions he might worry about rather than my breaks is Are my patients in pain? Are my patients being neglected? Do the other nurses feel burdened by my taking breaks? The answer to these questions is NO. I always ensure that my patients are comfortable and stable prior to leaving the floor in addition to making sure that someone is watching them.

In a nutshell, I feel like this nurse is being unreasonable in his actions toward me. I don't really know what is going on but there is obviously some issues. I worked with him prior to his becoming charge nurse and we took breaks together....the same amount of breaks!! The hostility that is being felt is unbearable. I am so very ready for this assignment to be over. I am counting the number of shifts left (9 more in case you are interested in knowing). Tonite, I was having chest pain due to the stress level. I dont feel that I have done anything wrong. The rest of the staff could probably attest to the un-professional attitude that this man exhibits as most of them have observed it at some point or another. The entire situation makes for a horrible working environment. It is becoming difficult to focus on the tasks at hand when I am wondering when and why this nurse is going to jump down my throat or change the rules again. It's really a shame because prior to this nurse becoming charge, we got along fine and there was no hostility between us. I really enjoy the job and the others that I work with are great!! I was hoping to extend this assignment but in light of the current situation, I cant get out fast enough!

I am sorry that this is so long and boring but I had to get it off my chest...thanks! I feel better now (well just a little...I have to work again tonight).

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Coffee...sangria...and more, oh My!!

A bunch has been happening.... I went to Progresso, Mexico for my first Mexican dental experience. Anyone that knows me, knows how scared I am of the dentist...let alone going in a foreign country!!! It turned out to be a great experience. The dentist was very gentle and explained everything to ENGLISH!! ha ha So, I go back tomorrow to get things finished up. NO MORE CANDIED PECANS!!!!

Theresa, Ed and I spent Saturday at the island...again. We walked and laid on the beach and enjoyed the salt air and warm sun. Then we went to something called SPLASH at Tequilla Frogs, one of the many bars on the island. Splash is an annual gay/lesbian event and was a huge blast!! And...I didn't get hit on (always a good thing in an alternative environment). We all got a little too much sun and some of us...I won't say names...had a little too much alcohol too!! I got to flirt with the waiter at Denny's...he remembered me! There were lots of bikers on the island this weekend too, apparently some sort of Biker Fest was going, some of those boys are HOT!!

On the work side of things...the forementioned "charge nurse" is behaving for now. Actually, he is acting like nothing at all happened. I have a difficult time respecting people that behave that way. It's like nothing happened and everything is just like it was before...maybe for him, but once I lose respect for sorry!! So, I am anxiouly (kindof) awaiting my exit from here. Although I am truly going to miss Theresa and Ed. I will definately be a little saddened when I have to leave them as they have become good friends during the time here. I will miss them. Maybe...sometime in the future we can find our way to another assignment together!

I am trying to get some pictures on here but am having lots of trouble.... I wish I knew how to make my own site for pictures to link to. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to let me know!! I'm just a computer idiot at times...but I fuddle my way through the best I can.

So...four more weeks of coffee on the patio with Theresa in the mornings and drinks on the patio with her and Ed in the evenings... Did I mention that I found a GREAT place for Sangria? OMG!! I am in love....maybe I'll stay just for the sangria?? No, probably not? Oh, and I cant forget days off on the beach or sitting by the pool or in the not-so-hot tub..ha ha! It really has been a good time here...I feel like I am on vacation.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Just a simple, or not so simple RANT

I'll apologize up front to all of those that are looking to see what I've been up to and what new adventure or new friend that I have I need to vent.

Where to start? How about the beginning... When I started this job, I was the only traveler on my shift. I was somewhat dismayed by the lack of direction that the facility and staff showed. However, the job proved to be exciting and challenging and the staff friendly. Shortly after, two more travelers joined me on the night shift....we became instant "buddies". We all saw the same shortfalls in the staff and would share our frustrations with each other. of us became "charge nurse". My initial thoughts were that this would provide us (travelers) an opportunity to show by example the way to lead and work in a group that works together and helps each other...a true team. I was proven wrong.

Upon taking the postion as "charge" this nurse almost instantly became something other than what I would have ever expected by the comments/shared thoughts prior to the job change. The nurse that previously had commented that "the charge nurse should be doing all of our chart checks", soon became the charge nurse that said "dont think I'm going to do your chart have to just do them yourself". The nurse that had promoted himself as a team player suddenly became the nurse that tells you "I just dont have time to deal with that". The same nurse that one day told me how the charge nurse is "lazy and never does anything" became the charge nurse that sits at the desk and tells jokes to the unit clerk while the rest of us are running our assess off. The nurse that I could once go to for any question or assistance became short tempered and rude when asked even the simplest of questions. I have watched as this nurse has become angry, vendictive, rude, and lazy. I ask myself if this was always the case?

Last night was the end all be all...... A patient under the care of one of our LPN's became severely hypotensive. Myself, along with the charge nurse mentioned above and another LPN were in the patients room trying to assess the situation. We were working together well as a team, each contributing ideas and assistance. The charge nurse left the room when we were unable to obtain a blood pressure on the patient, to call the physician. I remembered how once, when working with a former navy corpman....we had the same problem and how she had taught me to palpate a BP. I placed the patient in trendelenburg (head down) position and palpated for a BP. I was able to palpate a BP and immediately went to the desk to tell the charge nurse my findings for him to report to the MD. When he arrived back in the room, following more assessment and patient care...he looked at me and rudely said "dont you have patients?" I replied "yes" and he told me to "get out of here and go take care of them". Mind you, this was at the end of the shift and my patients had just been checked and were all fine. I left the room without further word with this charge nurse. The two LPN's remained in the room, and no comments were made to them regarding other obligations.

I consulted with one of the LPN's after our shift was over in regards to the rudeness that I felt was directed toward me in this situation and we discussed ways in which I could handle the situation. We both feel that I can't approach this person, it would fall on deaf ears. I dont feel as though I can tell the director of nursing because when I discussed issues with staff previously regarding tardiness and not wanting to take report, her response was "you have to remember that we are on "valley time" and you have to pick your fights here or we wont have any staff left". As the old saying goes, "I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place".

All of this comes one day after a confrontation with the day shift charge nurse in regards to him not wanting to take report from me on my patients. There was finger pointing (at me) and plenty of tension.

I am finding myself dreading going to work....I dont want to be there, I am getting headaches before I even leave for work. I know that I only have four weeks left here and although I was considering extending the assignment here...this is no longer an option. I can't work with this charge nurse any longer than I have to. If I could have walked out today to never go back I would have been estatic...that isn't an option. I really like the work and the patients are great...such a wonderful mix of people from all over the US. I am even learning a little spanish. I will do my best at this point to avoid the charge nurse at all costs and do my job and help my co-workers, I'm just not sure how long I can take the rudeness and crask attitude that I'm getting.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Hidden Danger of Candied Pecans

Yep...candied pecans! Made fresh on the street in a boiling pot of oil, sweet, hot and so very innocent looking. Very yummy and you know my love for sweets! wonderful as they are, I will never eat them again. I picked up a small bag of these delectable yet dangerous goodies in Progresso, Mexico today and saved them for an evening snack. Upon crunching on my first bite....yes, my FIRST bite...I chipped a tooth!! Guess I need to go back to Mexico and see the dentist next time. Bad thing is that I have to work the next three days. For now the tooth doesnt hurt, it just feels really wierd with it's sharp edges. So, no more candied pecans for me! Guess I should have passed them up this time as the waistline doesn't need them anyway! Maybe someone is trying to tell me something? Ha Ha Theresa, Ed, Paul and I went back to Progresso today and had a great time. We stopped in a little cafe and had breakfast while listening to a Mariachi band, then we wandered the streets and attempted to jew the vendors down. I picked up some noise makers for Trinity "almost free"! She will love them but I'm sure that her Dad will want to kill me for sending them! After shopping all morning we landed a Poncho's for beer and margarita's. Live music today included some really BAD country singer!! We were more than happy when the Mariachi band wandered into the bar and gave a slight reprive from the bad karoke type country music! After a couple of drinks, we wandered down the street for some fresh taquito's from one of the street stands. I'll save the details but after only one bite, Therea decided that maybe she had one too many margarita's!! Final stops included the pharmacy and liquor store as everyone knows that no trip to Mexico is complete without alcohol and drugs....the legal ones!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Only six weeks left....and counting!

I'm down to six more weeks here in Southern Texas and have been trying to make the best of the remaining time here. Trinity came down for Spring Break and we had a great time. We didn't get to do a bunch but spending time together with her as a family was great! We enjoyed a day at the beach at South Padre Island and ate too much goodies including ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. We celebrated Corey's birthday with cake, baloons and jokes all around. I cant hardly believe that he is 17 already....makes me feel old!

I have been hanging out with several of the other travelers here. Ed and Theresa from Wisconson, and Paul from San Antonio. We are getting along great and have taken several trips into Mexico for booze and drugs (legal ones)! We ate at a little street-side taco stand one day and had the BEST taco's I've ever eaten! The vendors are crazy....if you ask how much "quanto es?" they will tell you one thing and as you walk away...they will keep going down until you cant hear them call out anymore. The best saying yet is "almost free"....everything in Progresso is "almost free" no matter what the cost

Theresa and I spent this past weekend at South Padre Island. We rented a "condo" from our DON. I have to say that some people's taste is a far cry from tasteful!! Royal blue carpet and 4 foot parrots on the wall is not my idea of good taste! Once we were able to look past the horrid decorating in the condo....we had a great time. Had drinks (too many...or just enough, I'm not sure) at a little out-door bar called Tequilla Sunrise. There was live music and too many sexy men!! Met a guy from Dallas named David and hung out with him and his friend (cant remember his name). We laughed and danced and joked and drank then had breakfast together.

Theresa and I got too much sun on the beach and it's amazing how much sand a body can pick up!!! Aco had a great time running on the beach but she is still afraid of the waves and will do anything possible to stay as far away as funny to watch her "dig" in the sand to keep from the waves.

In two weeks it is fiesta in San Antonio and we are all planning to go and stay at Paul's place and party for the weekend. Also planning a trip to Mexico City before I leave. I am kindof not looking forward to leaving as I have met some great people and we are having a lot of fun together. Theresa is talking about trying to get a position where-ever I end up so we can party together some more!! It would be great if she can. She has a few more weeks here than I do....we'll see what happens.

Enough for now....