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Nursing: You can’t live with it, you can kill it!

Many people ask me if I miss nursing since I left. I usually give them the short answer: “Miss it? HA!”, but when I really think of it more carefully the answer is a little more complex. Nursing changes you and once you’ve been there, I am not sure if it’s possible to break out of certain nursing habits. I still hate long, painted nails and prefer them clipped and clear. I can’t handle dangly earrings and high heels. I still wash my hands (frequently) up to my elbows, and if there are no paper towels, I dab my hands on my clothing, rather than on an overused cloth towel (admit it, you’ve done it when the paper towels ran out at the hospital). I scold people for not taking their pills on time, and I collect pens and tape like crazy. I have my own coffee mug, I like labeling things and I try to find a practical use for any waste (my bf hates when I collect empty boxes).

There are moments when I look at the time and think of what I would be doing at that specific time if I was still a nurse: making beds, handing out tea, breakfast, lunch, supper, doing observations, wound dressings, paper work, running about, suppressing anger for the nurse that’s not pulling her weight, bed baths, pleading with the clock to mark the end of my shift, answering telephones, wheeling patients around, tending to bells, bedpans and vomit, listening to the distressed patient tell me stories about how horrible the food is, taking commands from a hundred different supervisors, running past certain rooms to avoid that patient that can’t help but ask for something each and every time he sees you, getting high on caffeine and sugar, pleading with the clock to let me go home, messaging my bf to complain about my aching feet, nearly in tears because the manager was being mean, controlling visitors and suppressing anger when they would purposefully talk down about the nurses, within earshot, like I wasn’t there. (especially when those very people refuse to change the diapers of their loved one). At times I think of the patients I once cared for and wonder how they’re doing and sometimes I get the urge to check in on them.

busy-nurseSo, it’s safe to say, nursing hasn’t broken away from me completely but I will definitely not go back to it in a hurry.

There are just too many issues that aren’t getting resolved quickly enough and I just get frustrated because most of the problems could be resolved with a shot of common sense, but astoundingly, it seems to be in short supply in many SA hospitals. I watched nurses try to fight off the nonsensical ways of hospital management but very few come out winning and many of them just end up feeling more stressed out after their efforts get shot down.

So I had a choice to make, I either stay with it and be miserable, or I get out and do something different. Hats off to those that stay and are still happy, despite the many challenges! But to those burnt out nurses that are staying in it simply because you think you have no alternative, you have to create an alternative and it’s not impossible! I will be writing more often about how you can put the internet to use and create an income from it. So keep watching this space!

You(tube) Star!

Hey guys, how are you this Monday?

Oh me? Despite the flu, I am good! I was chatting to my friend Kuri who was feeling the Monday morning dread coming on, and it just struck me at that moment that I don’t feel Monday blues anymore! Woohoo! I don’t ever have to feel Monday blues ever again…EVER!

I can finally start to love and cuddle and adore my Mondays!

Okay, okay, I know that sounds boastful and cruel to those of you that are actually going to some place you don’t want to be at today, to listen to your whiny boss, to pull the weight of your lazy colleagues, to be overworked and underpaid, forever and ever til death do you part. 

Yeah I know, I am not making you feel any better but did you ever stop to think that it doesn’t have to be that way? How many of you have been brainwashed into thinking that there is only one formula for success in the whole WIDE world? Have you ever looked past Farmville into the thick of the World Wide Web? People, this is the door to everything! Well, almost everything. With it you can make anything happen (well, almost anything!)…okay…quite a lot of anything…the Egyptian government had to force a shutdown on the internet because it is a tool powerful enough to enable citizens to overthrow their rulers. It is the ultimate form of expression and there is room for everyone! 

I wish sometimes I could warp into a different dimension and discover something cool.

Hmmm, what if I could at least visualize myself doing that? Like so…

Want to know how we did that? Simple. Jash wanted to learn how to do special effects so he Googled it and found a ton of free tutorials. Yes! FREE high quality, in-depth tutorials on how to create special effects. He downloaded the trial version of Adobe After Effects and presto! 

Now watch how these guys make some money out of special effects on YouTube. 

The possibilities are endless and the results are deeply SATISFYING!

For those that don’t know, if you have a channel on YouTube and your show brings a lot of viewers, google (who owns YouTube) will pay you because you’re bringing in viewers. This is funded by businesses who advertise on YouTube. Kind of like television, except, you’re not watching TV, you’re making TV. It’s a chance to have fun, get famous and possibly make some frikkin big money! How cool is that?! 

Caution: Like any other creative pursuit, don’t go into this with the idea that you are going to be an overnight millionaire (though you never know with the internet). What you should be focusing on is having fun! Lots of fun! Enjoy every moment, feel your way around. Does it make you feel happy inside? Do you feel your passion rising and your interest in it deepening naturally? Do your friends enjoy it? If you’re making one person happy with what you’re doing, you’re succeeding. Think of it only as a hobby that you’re obsessed with for now. Nobody ever really expects to make any money from hobbies but we all invest our time in it anyway. The good part about this particular hobby (and many other hobbies I will be blogging on) is that with enough time, you will make money out of it. Think of that as a plus, but not as the main goal. If you think of the money, your patience will wear thin and you will end up frustrated and creatively blocked. The object is solely to have fun.

I can hear you say:

“But I am terrible with computers! Special effects? Omg! Are you kidding?” 

No, you don’t have to use special effects to get views on YouTube. Of course to get your videos up, you should learn some basics, like how to record a video, how to do some light editing, and how to upload the video to YouTube. There are plenty of FREE resources out there, so you can learn how to do just about anything! 

If you really want to get your channel plenty of views, the best thing to do is network.. It matters hugely when it comes to stuff like this. American YouTubers seem to have the advantage of hosting social events like YouTube parties where they are able to meet each other physically, collaborate and produce shows together, but if you're not American this doesn't necessarily put you in a disadvantaged position. Word spreads around the internet fast and if you network enough with people online, you will get good numbers but don't just go out there spamming people, and posting your link at every site or forum possible. Go out there and make real friends online. Speak to people, help them out of their spots, let your personality shine through. Be yourself, be helpful and have fun. You will find that people would more naturally keep coming back to your website/youtube channel simply because they feel a personal connection with you. There are millions of sites out there and there just isn't enough time for one person to visit them all. You have to give them a reason to keep coming back to you. Once you're in the circle, the word spreads from there and that's when you will start reaping the benefits of your hard work. But hey, the internet is unpredictable! You may just get lucky and go "viral" (spread quickly around the net) almost without any effort on your part. If so, hats off to you!

Are you going to or have you already done something cool on YouTube? Share the link with me and let me know how it's going! 🙂 

Click here to read about some successful YouTubers:

 

 

Hellooo Nurse!

HelloNurseI know it and you know it, guys get very excited when they hear that you are a nurse. How many times have you heard the line “Nurse, I wish you’d take care of me!” Maybe this is thanks to the porno industry for their persistence on shrinking the size of the nurse uniform considerably but it very likely could be attributed to the profession itself as well.  Strong independent women are sexy, but strong independent CARING women are sexier. 😛

One of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid was “The Animaniacs” and I always found their “Hello Nurse” song amusing. Their display of affection for their nurse is cute and “uncreepy” but I’ve been creeped out by some male patients who just don’t have any self-control. One recently tried to collect as much info about me as possible and was trying to find out where I live! Sometimes showing compassion to a lonely and ill man can get you into awkward situations, which is another reason why I preferred working in maternity! Nurses in my hospital often refer to the male wards as the “snake park” and they loved teasing the students about it because it’s always awkward and scary for a new nurse to handle…snakes…

That takes me back to my days as a pupil nurse when I had to put on a condom catheter for an elderly man. I was petrified, but apparently he was more petrified than I was! He kept trying to hit me whenever I reached for his “snake”. It was terrifying. I told my supervisor that he was trying to knock me out cold and she told me to keep trying! Easy for her to say! I eventually got a male nurse from the neighboring ward to help me. Thank heavens for all the lovely male nurses out there. You guys are saviors! (I’ve never encountered an unfriendly male nurse! Why is that?). Anyhow, I am not a lesbian, but I do prefer the vagina when it comes to patients! It’s even easier to say the word “vagina”. Say it with me: “Vagina, Vagina, Vagina.” Easy. See?

Enjoy this cute tribute to nurses from The Animanics!

Did you experience any awkward moments in the snake park? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below! 🙂

Nursing Management FAIL (Part I)

matron1When I was working in maternity, I greeted a Matron while passing her by on my way to the laboratory. She greeted back and asked me if I was enjoying the post natal ward. I quickly replied “Yes, I’m happy.” Her smile faded as though I’d blurted a vulgar word and she replied, “You’re not supposed to be happy, you’re supposed to be working hard!” Now maybe she just likes messing with people’s heads but in general, the managers all seem to live by that principle.

Management FAIL number one: Practicing negative reinforcement.

They practice negative reinforcement techniques and do everything possible to make us feel like we‘re on opposing ends, working against each other. They never hear us out and if you did speak of your preferences and needs, they’d give you the exact opposite. Your opinion has little value to them, and they love walking around with their noses in the air and a sense of exaggerated self-importance.

Management FAIL number two: Stilting career progress.

Like any oppressive leader, management has some nonsensical rule against nurses studying. I’m not sure if it’s like this everywhere else but in South Africa, there have been nurses who have had to threaten to resign in order to be given permission to further their studies. They try to blame this on poor funding but they won’t allow you to study even if you pay for the course from your own pocket. My assumption is that they don’t want nurses to study because they want to save some money. You pay less for a staff nurse who is a jack of all trades than you would for an RN. When they are short staffed, it is not uncommon practice to see an EN or sometimes even an ENA running the ward!

Management FAIL number three: Instilling false hope.

I’ve seen many great nurses fall into this trap. Management hints at the possibility of a promotion to get certain nurses to take on more responsibility than they need to. These nurses lead the department meticulously. They organize the department, iron out its problems, get working systems in place, manage staff, and take the rap when things go wrong. They carry the department gracefully and with pride and passion, only to later find that the promotion is given to someone else. The glow that once represented their quest to be rewarded for their outstanding efforts dims. No explanation given, these poor nurses have to suck it in and accept it but everything they do from then on, is done with less drive and less passion then before and the nurse in her slowly dies from acute demotivation syndrome.

“Management FAIL count” to be continued. Comments welcome!

Nurses don’t know when to quit.

createnurse1So I haven’t been able to post in a while, my sister just got married and weddings take up more time and money than you would ever expect. She made a beautiful bride and she is now honeymooning in Durban with her new hubby. Now that the wedding’s over, I finally have time to reflect about my resignation from nursing. How does it feel to be an ex-nurse? Joyous and scary all at once!

While you’re in nursing, the thought of leaving it is always scary. It’s all you know, it’s a part of your life and a part of who you are. You can’t picture yourself doing anything else. Despite all the problems that come with it, nursing is admittedly a very stable job (as long as you can avoid lawsuits), and as a nurse you earn a certain amount of public respect (even though nurses are the number 1 scapegoat for when anything goes wrong with a patient). One nurse said that she is proud of me for following my dreams because nurses don’t usually do such things. They get into nursing and they stay in it no matter what the cost is to them.

It may not seem like it, but every single day a nurse goes to work, she is in danger. You just never know what to expect out of your day. Many nurses get injured on duty or attacked by violent patients, and some are unfortunate enough to contract diseases from their patients. Every day you spend lifting heavy patients, working long hours on your feet, working the night shift, eating quickly prepared high-carb, sugary snacks, sleeping at strange hours, your body takes damage points. Nurses end up highly stressed out with back and knee problems in the end. Nurses often are the strongest member of their family because they are trained to suck in their own feelings and neglect their own needs in the interest of others (much like mothers). But there comes a point in every nurses life where they will feel like they’ve had enough! The problem is that many nurses reach that point but don’t know how to break away from nursing and that’s when burnout sets in.

You find yourself calling in sick often, being cold and unfriendly to staff and patients, you feel depressed and cry often, you go home and get agitated with your family, you stay home, locked away in your room, refusing to socialize…it affects every aspect of your life…but you still won’t quit nursing. What would you do other than nursing? How would you cope without that steady income? You’ve studied for too many years to throw it all away now. You did this all your life. It’s too daunting to start over now.

Yes, it’s a tough decision to make but I think I have just the thing to help inspire and motivate you to either change careers or ease your burnout. I believe that everyone is multi-talented. In fact talent has little to do with it. When I started learning about web design, I wasn’t very good with it, I just found it a soothing and relaxing hobby. It made me feel good after a long day at the hospital. It took my mind off of the bleakness of nursing. The more my interest in it grew, the faster I started to realize that this could actually be something I could make a career out of. The more I practiced, the more confident I became that I could actually leave nursing behind me with no regrets attached.

I just added a new section “Creativity” to my blog which covers anything and everything creative and inspirational. Check it out, who knows you just might find enough inspiration to help you either be a happier person (hence a better nurse), or to develop a new career altogether!

A nurses good nature…

There I am feeling soft and mushy, taking care of this very ill and seemingly debilitated patient. As I clean her body, I feel guilty for taking my own health for granted and my heart goes out to her. I take extra special care to remember to comb her hair after I wash her body and put on body lotion, baby powder and perfume. Tugging, pulling and pushing all by myself, I change her diapers and her position in bed every 2-4 hours. I touch her hand and ask her how she is but there is no answer. I feel even more sad thinking that she won’t last long.

But then a “miracle” happens…

Her family request that the doctor release her for a weekend. He grants the pass out. The family arrive the next day to fetch her and she sits right up, walks to the bathroom, takes a hot shower and gets dressed like any healthy person would. I watched in disgust as she laughed and joked with her family. This woman had been crapping in diapers when she was fully capable of walking! I spent a lot of time taking care of her and feeling sorry for her and she had been faking it the whole time. Even worse, she could hear me when I spoke to her and asked her to get better. She was probably sniggering under the covers when I turned my back!

I felt really pissed off that she wasted my time and energy and used me like that! She didn’t even leave with a small thank you and she never returned to the hospital since. Now I know how a wet wipe feels!

There are people who try to act sicker than they are but they don’t all manage to pull it off that well. This morning I had a patient who tried to fake like she was shivering. I almost laughed on her face at her failed attempt to get some attention (glad for the facemask I was wearing that hid my smile). She just looked so hilarious. Her body was not trembling, her lips were not quivering, her teeth were not chattering. She just bobbed her head from side to side like an Indian dancer and made a strange sound that resembled the mooing of a cow. Acting FAIL!

Slippy Slide Baby Ride!

You ladies making babies love caesarian sections because it means your vaginkles wouldn’t have to stretch the size of a watermelon and although I know it seems convenient, it really isn’t. Elective c-sections are the pits for nurses who have to unnecessarily put up with 3-4 days of you whining about the pain, acting like you’re suffering with a debilitating disease rather than celebrating a commemorative moment of joy. Our patients who volunteer to undergo natural childbirth are up and about almost immediately after birth and they leave the hospital the next day, fully capable of taking care of themselves and happy. FYI, your body is designed for childbirth such that your vagina regains elasticity after the child is born.

 

On a side note: it is worthy noting that there are women who have had so many children that their vaginas have reached their final stretch and no matter what you put in there, squeeze as much as you’d like, it’s just gonna fall right out. Yup, I’ve seen many a uterus fall right out. On the other hand, birth by gravity could be fun for baby! A single sneeze would give baby a slippy slide ride right into your midwives arms. Weeeee! Let’s do it again, shall we?

water-slide

Higher force takes nurses life!

Oh wow! I actually handed in my resignation with a 1 month notice. 17th January is officially my last day as a nurse! It feels surreal! After doing the same thing for so long it is going to take some time to adjust to the change but even with all the mixed feelings I am having, I am sure that this is the right move.

I went to the manager’s office like I was on auto-pilot; it felt like my legs were taking me there quickly before I could change my mind. Before I knew it, I was sitting in the office face to face with the Matron wondering how I got there!

“Good morning, I came to give in my resignation.” said a familiar voice that spoke without my permission.

The manager looked at me for a minute, taking my words in, with a look of surprise and then disappointment on her face. “I thought you were a keeper and there is a new nursing course around the corner waiting for you.” she said. I took in the words slowly, feeling my fear rush in, and for that moment I felt a tinge of doubt. Should I change my mind and take this course? Maybe I should continue my studies in nursing? Nursing is after all one of the most stable jobs in the world with many perks.

I mean, everybody loves nurses (well almost everybody). Banks love them, credit card companies love them, and salesmen especially love nurses. You can get credit approval, loans and vehicle finance almost instantaneously if you’re a nurse. They know it’s a long-term career with a very stable income and there are always jobs available in nursing. Plus they know that nurses love to spend! Something about being an independent, professional woman makes you spend impulsively. I would be even more independent and considered an even more respected professional if I took this course which the Matron was cleverly using as leverage to make me retract my resignation.

I tried to retreat, but some force inside me put me on mute so I smiled stupidly and waited for her to speak further. She looked at me for a long while before she decided to read the letter. Then she wished me luck and said that I would be missed. Doubt crept over me again as she said that. It felt like I was leaving a family behind. I had gotten fond of many people at the hospital and it felt like a loss to let them go. I thanked the Matron for her time and I walked out of the office like a robot. I was in such shock that I somehow ended up at home without remembering myself driving there. Once reality struck, I let out a screech of excitement and told everyone about it.  I am so glad to have so many supportive people around me, or I would never have worked up enough courage to let it go! I am all kinds of nervous and worried that if I fail at my new web design business, I am going to become a drunk hobo on the streets begging for coins. But when I am level-headed, I can see myself doing really well in this new career, with my awesome and incredibly talented partner, Jash, being my backbone, while I adjust to the changes. The best part is I LOVE the work! It feels rewarding and fun and I am making money doing it.

If you are forcing yourself to be passionate about your job, then you really should start looking into alternative careers. I squeezed out all the strength I could muster to remain interested in nursing and eventually all the passion potion ran dry and it felt like my soul was dying. After I put my fears to rest and marched forth, steady focused on my dream, my soul revived itself and great new things are coming into play automatically! It’s like the "universe" is waiting to give you all the things you want from life, pending action on your behalf. If you don’t open the door, don’t expect good things to come in. 

*Cuts the red ribbon for the opening of our new business: EccentricHusky!* YAY! (Website coming soon)

 

Heartfelt THANK YOU’s go to:
My mom & Jash’s mom (for your wisdom, tolerance and unconditional love); my sisters: Shady (for leading the way, you’re the bravest person I know!),   Kia & Niki (for your enthusiasm and love), Dhiya (you have been super inspiring and encouraging!), Vana (for always pushing me forth), MJ (for being the independent woman that you are ); my bro (you’d call me mushy if I said anything nice…so…you’re an idiot and I love you); my nurse friends who I can’t mention by name here; and most especially JASH! (Couldn’t be here without you babe! You’re my rock!). All of you are made of awesomeness beyond measurable!!

License to Parent

Dear ill-informed procreator
RE: License to parent

Any idiot can have children; the question is whether idiots should be allowed to have children in the first place. I am all for child-making if the parents are sturdy, smart and stable. My issue is with those that thoughtlessly spread it and populate the world, regardless of whether they’re able to uphold an environment and lifestyle fit for raising a child. It is your right to have a child right?

Just because you have the ability to make a child, doesn’t mean that you have the ability to be a parent! If I had it my way, everyone would have to be issued a parenting license before being allowed to actually be parents. They’d have to go for psychiatric evaluation, IQ testing, and their homes and job stability would have to be scrutinized carefully before they are deemed fit to be parents. Even though adoptive parents are usually financially secure and mature when they decide to adopt a child, they have to cut through loads of red tape first. It doesn’t make sense then, that we put adoptive parents through so much scrutiny, when there are stupid people everywhere popping them like Pringles non-stop! Just think how much nicer the world could be if procreators were given some restrictions? All kids would be raised in a more favorable environment and they’d be more inclined to grow to be well-adjusted adults, which in itself contributes to the betterment of the world.

I am sure it’s quite well-known that poor people have too many babies. This is not confined to Africa, it’s a world-wide phenomenon and it is quite baffling. Why do poor people tend to have so many children? Some would be quick to answer that it’s not their choice. Let’s pin it down on cultural influences or social standing. Let’s blame it on history and politics. Let’s blame it on abusive men in a world where women’s rights essentially take precedence over men’s rights, and where contraceptives are freely available. Let’s find every excuse possible to self-justify the rubbish we believe in just so we can have it our way. Let the voiceless child get born into your world condensed with ignorance, indolence and decadence. Turn him into you. Convince him that having a hard-knock life is just the way it is and it has nothing to do with the repugnant choices you’ve made for him. Blame the world for your problems, that way you always have an excuse handy when your child asks you why the world is so full of anguish. Lie to him. Contort his mind. Lead him to believe that the working class owes him something. What are you doing with the child care grants your government is giving you? Why are you pregnant again for the eighth time? Is it not enough that you’ve destroyed 7 lives? Let your children become criminals and hustlers, make the older kids mother the younger ones, send them off on the street like unloved strays and allow them the indignity of begging for food and money. Watch their lives fall apart while you sit with your thumb up your butt and the temerity to say it’s your right to have a child! If I could, I’d pull your eggs right out of your uterus and send them smoldering to hell!

To the men out there that act like it’s their life purpose to fertilize the world, what do you think you have a human brain for? It’s meant to be used to make intelligent, informed decisions and your hormones should never override your common sense! It’s one of the things that differentiate us from animals. The world is a sad enough place without you populating it with mini versions of yourself. Quit behaving like a frisky humpallot mutt and keep your seeds to your frikkin self!

Signed
Overworked Maternity Nurse. 🙂

6,887,800,000 humans and counting!

Nurse! Decode this Prescription!

Doctors must obviously be intelligent people (well most of them anyway), but what’s with their handwriting? I was told once that because they do a lot of writing over the years, it makes it difficult to keep neat handwriting. I am not expecting beautifully constructed letters that would make my first grade teacher glow with pride, but can’t they manage having ugly handwriting while keeping it legible anyway? Of course if a nurse gave the wrong medication because she decoded the doctor's handwriting incorrectly, she’d be the one to take the fall. There are obviously some serious issues with illegible handwriting. Doctors usually refuse to help the situation, so the pharmacists at my hospital waste no time sending prescriptions back to the doctors with a note written boldly in red ink instructing the doctor to rewrite the prescription neatly.

Dr. Mathal is famous for having the worst handwriting and he would get extremely offended and defensive whenever the pharmacy would send him such notes. He’d kick a fuss and refuse to rewrite the script. He once even just walked right out of the consulting room and left the hospital. I wonder if he thinks he was making a point or something because in the end, it’s the patient that gets shoved about. First the patient gets sent back to the doctor with the illegible prescription to be rewritten and if the doc who wrote the script is no longer around, another doctor has to review the case from scratch (since he can't read the notes), then the patient goes back to the pharmacy again. It's a waste of time and it's frustrating for the ill and elderly.

But as karma would have it, one day Dr. Mathal had to write up a repeat prescription for a patient on chronic meds. He pulled out the previous script hoping he could copy it off from there so that he could finish up with the patient quickly and catch a ride home with one of his colleagues. The old script was illegible, and after studying it for a while, he couldn't decode the handwriting. The funniest part of it all was that it was his own handwriting! He look flustered and annoyed and had to interview and examine the patient all over again, which took him an extra half hour and he missed his ride home! I smiled inside.

Nurse should be paid to decode these!

If you can read this, you're a nurse!