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Merrie82 RN

Medical Surgical

"So I say live, live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift." -Anne Sexton

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Merrie82 is a RN and specializes in Medical Surgical.

CNA for the last 2 years, working on a covid unit for the last 9 months. Just graduated and passed the NCLEX this week (January 2021). Lots of previous experience in mental health working in group homes, crisis units etc. Starting on a med surg neuro floor this week at my hospital and I'm excited to learn.

Merrie82's Latest Activity

  1. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    LOL...I actually already have chronic migraines ?? so it would be totally believable ?????♀????♀?
  2. Merrie82

    Which Nurse are You?

    I aspire to be some combo of these 2, bc who really wants to stay late? And I always wanted to be a badass! So here's to hoping ??
  3. Merrie82

    Which Nurse are You?

    This is why we speak the same language! LOL ?? ??. All those years in psych where we can't decide if we should be helping the patients, or being the patients ?? ????.
  4. Merrie82

    Tips to improve morale

    So, obviously my experience is more from working in psych than as a nurse bc I'm new to nursing....But, morale is morale, and there is a lack or staffing, support, experience, etc in psych as much as in nursing. (Insert sinking ?? meme here ??). So, here are my thoughts: While I agree that the root causes of low morale may be outside of your group's control, there are always things that can help make the day better that ARE in your control. Obviously #1 would be that good attitude that was mentioned, but that can be easier said than done when you're gasping for breath like Rose from the titanic movie (I hated that movie btw, but still hanging with that sinking ship analogy). I feel like in every high stress job the team relationships were the reason I either loved or hated my job. If I could rely on my coworkers, and they could rely on me, we usually had a pretty good day. Sure we were drowning, but we were doing it together! The other key? Food and caffeine, LOL. In all seriousness though, silly things like having planned themed pot lucks on weekends where people bring in, say, Mexican food dishes, and have them in the break room to share among the crew, can help a little. Or making a point of bringing in coffees for the whole team, and everyone takes turns doing this (coffee is LIFE imo). Hanging funny comic strip in the lunch area, or on the doors inside the bathroom. Music playing real low in the med room. One time at one of my old jobs we painted a mural on the wall in the entryway. At my very first job in mental health working in a staff intensive group home we used to have dance party breaks during "quiet time" (quiet time for the clients, they were in their rooms, we danced in the kitchen ????). Small things is my point. Small things can make a huge difference. IDK how your team does with helping each other, but if one person starts it with a simple "hey, what can I help you with right now?" It tends to be catchy. We are all always busy, and with an inexperienced team, y'all probably feel even more so than normal, but once that dynamic of helping each other when u have a second starts to take hold, it can really make the day a little bit better. Now everyone may be drowning, but there's a bit of driftwood in the water to hold on to. I'm not saying you all don't already do that, just saying what has worked for me. And lastly, IDK if you have either a) gossip issues, Or b) the shift wars thing happening? Those both can be huge morale murderers. Trying to change those can be murder too...but sometimes successful. Anyhow, I wish you all the luck in your group and I hope your work morale gets a tiny bit higher as you rock your new mission ?.
  5. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    I don't think they charge us for cashing out pto. And no, my other department was not like this, but I think it IS the "official" policy. Some departments apparently just work around it or disregard it. I have talked to several nurses from other departments now, and it varies whether they follow it. I guess my old department manager was just more willing to work with the nurses. Ooh! Can I be Frank? I'm good at that ??
  6. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    The sparkle is fantastic ??...and thank you ?. I definitely get using humor to plow through the *** parts. I tend to use sarcasm with a heaping pile of caffeine (I know, healthy, right!). In all seriousness though, I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of your response. I bet you're one hell of a friend and nurse. Here's to many more fun and frank conversations.
  7. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    I'm only funny in writing TBH...in person I'm a total snooze fest?????? You on the other hand are probably funny all the time. I love the spinning head....accurate too LOL.
  8. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    Hi! Yah, I get 5 weeks of earned time (all one bank), but can only use 2 as vacation time. The rest either gets used as sick time, or you have to cash out at the end of the year. I am not sure if I am getting more than a typical new nurse, as I have worked for the same organization for about 6 years prior to taking on this nursing role.
  9. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    Wow the laughing emoji react on allnurses is scary looking! Sorry for that ??. I'm definitely a right Brainer. It works in my favor sometimes, other times, like when I'm attempting to be organized and meticulous, not so much. I have to jam myself into that particular box like my 16 lb cat trying to fit into the shoebox ??. Pieces of me still fall out over the sides, but hey! I get an A for effort, yes? ?? forward to more custom made emojis ??
  10. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    Done, good point. Thanks ??
  11. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    Thank you ?? it's not that I don't like my job, I do. I just was remembering all my previous jobs where I was so excited to go to work, and there was definitely that honeymoon period where all was right with the world etc, and feeling a bit weird that this didn't occur with my new nursing career. But it sounds like its pretty normal so im not going to worry too much. ??
  12. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    Hi! It doesn't make much sense to me, since then you're having to cover unplanned absences as opposed to planned ones, but ???♀?. As far as it being legal, I'm sure it is, the hospital has a very good legal department to make sure they aren't breaking the law. The bummer to me is that I didn't realize that was the "policy" bf I accepted this position, since it seems to be department specific. But what am I gonna do. I will just keep trucking, and the next time I am job shopping, I will know better, and I will ask before! I accept the position.
  13. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    Thank you!! I do find satisfaction and fulfillment from my personal life, thank God! The Joan of Arc thing really resonated with me ?. I honestly don't know that anyone told me there would be rainbows and happy unicorns, I think I somehow just imagined it LOL. I will keep on keeping on. And yeah, maybe the union will change things. IDK if it will even pass, the hospital is doing a bang up job at union busting, but we shall see.
  14. Merrie82

    The Honeymoon That Never Came

    So, I am a very new nurse, ie, still in orientation. I am feeling a little befuddled, because I seem to have missed the everything is sunshine, and dewdrops, and kittens, phase of my new career. I'm hoping this doesn't mean I'm going to reach the 'boy I need a new job' phase exceptionally fast. Don't get me wrong, I like my job and my new unit, but I also am very much appreciative of my days off. I started thinking about this because it came to light (ie I had no clue) last that my new unit only allows us to use 2 out of 5 weeks of earned time, and the rest we are supposed to cash out at the end of the year. (Or use as sick time, but I have no plans to become 'sick' so I can use my earned time, its just not in me). I am feeling particularly salty and crusty about this earned time policy, and wish I had known of it before I accepted this position, as I do enjoy being able to take a day off here and there. In fact, I am feeling like a long weekend would be very good right about now ?? ....and that's what I'm sayin'! I just started and I'm already ready for a break ?? LOL. I have worked in the same hospital where I am now employed for a couple years as a CNA, and prior to this I worked for the same organization in a different role as a crisis worker for 3 years. It's also worth mentioning that things are a bit hairy at my hospital right now, as we are in the process of voting on unionization. Also, the covid. My old CNA unit is a covid unit, or has been since March, so I was maybe already a teensy bit burnt out. A friend of mine that I went to school with who also works in the hospital, and has transitioned to a nurse in her dept (ED) is feeling the same lack of ?? and ??, so im not alone. I just hope that this is not a foreshadowing of the shortest career in nursing history ???♀???. This is my second career, and I cannot afford a 3rd LOL. Honestly though, did y'all experience the kittens ?? phase, or jump straight to the "2 more days and I get a day off" phase? I really do like a lot of aspects of my job. I find it to be interesting intellectually. I like the hustle and bustle and organized chaos. As hard as it is, I value being able to be there for patients when they are struggling, or when they pass. I like feeling like I accomplished something at the end of the day. So that's good, right? ?????? Thanks for all your wisdom in advance?
  15. I should add that, no, not everything has been awesome at my hospital, particularly since Covid, but really it just accentuates the issues. We are told how great we are, and how much we are appreciated in the same breath as we are told there will be no raises this year and that we should feel lucky to not be laid off, since the hospital is losing money due to a lack of elective surgery. Meanwhile, travelers are brought in to fill staffing gaps, 20 thousand dollar sign on bonuses offered to new hires, etc. The hospital is penny wise, pound stupid, always has been. The fact that onboarding, orienting, etc a new ee costs more in the long run than just retaining your old ones is something they missed the boat on. We have experienced outbreaks among staff, pretty large ones, and are told it must be because we are eating lunch in the lunch room together (6 ft apart), or are taking drinks of water at the charting station. It definitely has nothing to do with some questionable policy regarding when a covid patient is no longer contagious that has enabled the hospital to move patients along at a faster rate despite them still testing positive, or the fact that notice of contact with a positive patient without covid PPE (so just a surgical mask and eye protection, on covid units our standard is papr for all patient contact) is often days behind, and has resulted in asymptomatic or presymptomatic nurses working and spreading covid. The hospital will make any and all effort to prove that you didn't actually get covid at work, it must be what you have done in the community, etc., and units that are not specifically covid units, if you miss work bc of having contracted covid, you use your pto, or don't get paid. So not perfect by any means. Just wanted to add that on in case anyone was wondering why I'm even considering voting for a union.
  16. My hospital is currently in the process of voting to go Union or not. The NNU would be the union. My employer is putting a lot of time and money into trying to block the union, and the Union is putting a lot of time and money into trying to convince all to join. The needed signatures were gathered, and there is a trial next week to certify the signatures, after which point voting day/deadline will be set. We will be casting our secret ballots by mail, so I assume the date will be more of a deadline to vote by than anything. It seems that both parties have a lot of money at stake, and there isn't much in the way of unbiased info to be had. Of course the hospital is anti union, and claims they see no reason why we would want to go Union. I pointed out to my manager that if everything was roses and rainbows we never would have reached the point of this going to a vote. But anyhow... I am very undecided, as we currently have safe staffing ratios for RNs (4-5/1 floor day, 6/1 at night, 3-4/1 in the ED, 3/1 for step down, 2/1 in scu ), adequate PPE throughout this covid crisis, and decent benefits. Our real shortages come in terms of CNA's, and I don't know how a union that doesn't include them will help us? CNA shortages can lead to a 4-5 pt assignment with no CNA, which certainly makes it more challenging to care for the patients. In our ED they sometimes have 1 tech for the entire unit. CNA pay is horrible, and thus turn over is crazy high. I also keep thinking, would I really be willing to strike? Because if you threaten something, if you aren't willing to follow thru, it isn't much of a threat. So a few questions for those of you who have been in a union. 1) Is it common that the union will present us with a bad contract, if they are unable to negotiate a good one, and our only options would be to either accept this bad contract, or vote "no, and I agree to go on strike"? (This scenario was presented as common at our mandatory "rights" training that the hospital is having us attend, which a 3rd party union busting firm is facilitating.) 2) How often have you been on strike? 3) Do nursing unions do anything to address CNA staffing ratios if CNAs are not included in the union? 4) Have any of you been at a hospital as it was going through the unionization process? What was it like? 5) Why doesn't the NNU like magnet designation, or shared governance? I am a very new nurse (my thing says 2 years because 2019 was the most recent year listed), but not new to the hospital I work at. I was a CNA previously, and before that a crisis worker at the same hospital. Even though the pay is less than at neighboring hospitals I chose to work here because I really like it. It is the largest hospital in the state, and the only level 1 trauma facility in the state (someone in another thread said you can't strike at a level 1 trauma facility, is this correct?). I love the people I work with and management has been decent. I genuinely like where I work, and I am afraid that voting to go union will change the environment so much that I no longer will. Any thoughts or experience would be welcomed!
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