Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CNA Cheat or Brain Sheets

After a while of working my job at the hospital as a CNA I have finally figured out a system that seems to work for me.  I was pretty disorganized when I first started and felt overwhelmed with not knowing what to do when and how to “real-time” chart within a timely manner.

My department is a surgical area and we have a few “cheat” or “brain” sheets we follow.  One of them shows the patient’s room number, name, age along with a slew of information like is the patient on an IV or JP tubes etc, whether they can ambulate on their own, whether they are NPO or swabs etc, also if they are high fall risk.  That sheet is quite complicated to replicate for you all, so I’m going to just show you the main sheet that I like to use the most.

My cheat sheet is pretty basic in the sense it allows for ambulation information, pt. name, pt’s nurse name, whether the pt. has had a bath or bed change, how much the patients I&O’s are and of course all the vital information.  On the top right hand corner of my cheat sheet I like to hand write all of the other CNA’s numbers of the phones they are carrying along with the RN’s numbers too.  These numbers are so amazingly important for when I need help in a quick manner, I just pull out my sheet and dial up another aide for help or if the patient needs pain meds I dial up the RN’s ext.

My hope is that these sheets help others to get more organized and to document this along my journey to becoming a nurse. 

This cheat sheet I follow for the first half of my day shift as a CNA

This cheat sheet I follow for the second half of my day shift as a CNA

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birthday, Baptism, and Kick-Butt Attitude

whit chocolate raspberry cheese cake

My hubby’s birthday was yesterday and my son and I baked him a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.  This dessert took a very long time to prepare than what we normally would spend on baking.  But it was well worth it, this was my first attempt at making cheesecake from scratch.

Sauerkraut, G.O., and hamb. pizza

Then like every birthday his favorite meal would be homemade sauerkraut, green olive, and hamburger pizza.  I don’t care for sauerkraut, and in years past I admit that I wore plastic gloves to spread the sauerkraut on the pizza because it’s pretty smelly and staining on the fingers like onions.  This year however, I was proud of myself for forking it out of the can and spreading it with my fingertips like shredded cheese.  Nice huh!?

This Friday my daughter is getting baptized along with a few other youth in the church’s youth group.  My daughter has been asking for the past six months to get baptized but I wanted to make it a special event for her.  Then out of the blue last week Sunday, she said she was ready to get baptized this Friday with others from our church.  (Our church is having a special youth baptism this Friday and I thought well okay then.) 
I also thought maybe I would keep this event casual and mentioned it to my mom and my side of the family to see if they were interested in coming, seeing as it was such a short notice.  Not something I usually do without a proper invite and all.  My hubby extended an invitation to our family who live in town, and also to his parents who live in Indiana.  Well low and behold after not too much consideration and a long story, we’ll be having and hosting a garage full of family this Friday.  WHAT!! This Friday is too soon with all the cleaning I should do to get prepared for such an event.
Good thing I have a strategic plan for just such a thing.  So I broke out a detailed list yesterday and completed scrubbing out the bathtub.  Yes, one thing to check off on the long list of things to do before Friday. 
Ultimately I just want my daughter to feel special and #1 on a day she has chosen to profess her faith publicly without worrying about how messy the house is.  I’m so thrilled for her and can’t wait to hear her testimony on how she came to believe in Christ; she hasn’t told me yet.

Lastly I have been inspired to lower my caloric intake to kick these last few stubborn pounds to the curb from Rena at The Redbook Experiment.  I spent a good portion of the day yesterday reading her blog.  I know I can cut out some of the bad parts of my eating habits, but won’t beat myself up if it takes me awhile.  Her writing is energetic and infectious.  Plus I’m using a weight loss website called to track my progress of food intake and exercise log.  I believe these two websites along with the YMCA and my own desire are more than enough to help me fit back into the size of scrub pant uniform I wore from last semester more comfortably.  Maybe I don’t have to buy a new pair before the next semester starts after all??  Yay!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Books, Egg Bake, and God's Creation

Thanks to some advice from Christine at A Journey Through Nursing School and Beyond, I picked up two books from pictured below.  Christine mentioned these books would be a great tool when heading into my next two semesters with all the wonderful things to learn about the body.  I love the book series named Nursing Made Incredibly Easy because they have lots of visuals, including pictures, drawings, and cartoons.  I swear you would all think I was in grade school with how I’m entertained to learn.

Thanks to Ange at The Blooming Hydrangea, pictured below is my lovely creation of her recipe for Egg Bake.  I have to say the bacon mixed with the croutons added a special treat this summer that filled my kitchen with the homiest aroma since my winter months of cooking.

Lastly thanks to my creator of the heavens and earth and our small town in central Wisconsin…God for giving us beautiful weather to enjoy.  Notice the smooth sailing on a county highway just east of my city in the picture below.  Such contrast with the blue sky, white fluffy clouds, and the sea of corn fields with some of our town in between the two.  If we ever decide to truly move away from here, I’ll be missing these picturesque days for sure.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Family Clean Plan

Saturday I was working my clinic job where I have the accepted approval to be on the internet throughout my shift and chit chat with co-workers.  The topic of school and the sacrifices a few of us students have to give up started, and I explained to my co-workers that aren’t students just what sacrifices I’ve made. 
I talked about how my relationship with my kids tend to suffer less on the confrontational-argumentative side and more on the neglect-don't-have-time side.  Also the fact that my exercise has decreased along with an increase of poor eating habits.  I guess the thing that’s affected most would be the house work and the everyday pick-up that doesn’t get done. 
So after hearing how some of the other ladies, similar in age, manage to keep their houses picked up, I became inspired.  I went on-line to a bunch of sites offering cleaning list ideas and one of the sites I looked at was Jen's at Iheartorganizing where she has MANY different organizng plans and made my own chart fit for our family needs.

On the main level of my home there are 4 major areas that people come and go through, 1)Kitchen, 2)Dining Room, 3)Front Room, and 4)Bathroom.  It just so happens there are four of us living in our house, so I divvied up each room and assigned one to each family member. 
My daughter has the kitchen because some of her chores were kitchen chores to begin with; my son was given the front room for the same reason.  My hubby was given the dining room. And since just about no one can pee in the toilet I decided the bathroom would best be taken care of by me.    
I went out and bought Target brand cleaners (Method) for fairly a cheap price and came home and implemented the new tasks. 

I have to say the few days we’ve been doing our new cleaning responsibilities, I think its miraculous how more organized I feel.  There is nothing sweeter than working 12 hours and come home to a more put-together home.  Amen for chatting at work and knowing how to make organizational cleaning charts.
Organizing my home was pretty easy, now if only I could organize my job duties as a CNA a little better, I’d be all set.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Anger is an Ugly Beast

At times I question whether my teenage daughter (14) will grow up happy or psychotic.  She has deep seeded anger problems towards her father and mixed with her little control over what goes on in our household equals many days of storminess between her and her father.

At first I thought this was all normal teenage stuff, but then last night I talked to her and I wonder if she may be slightly delusional as well. 

First to set the record straight I have always allowed my daughter to be open and communicate what she feels with me, and last night was no different.  Another argument broke out (despite a contract between daughter and dad to set some boundaries), and in the end my daughter was to blame for her actions.  This set her off to the point that she admitted to me she wished she could punch a stop sign and that her anger was so pent up that she thinks she could hit the sign to the ground.  I tried to explain to her that her strength and anger while completely valid, will do more harm than good and she would probably break all her bones in her hand and wrist.  She seemed so set on hurting my husband for all his past hurts emotionally to her that she wasn’t willing to see what she had done wrong and actually thought the opposite that she wasn’t to blame at all.  That is where part of my concern comes in, and during the heat of everything she didn’t see where her responsibility was in all of what happened.

Ultimately after I heard from both her and my husband and helped to work through all their hurt feelings for the night, much later in the evening my daughter came to apologize to me if what happened hurt my feelings, but my main concern was back to my daughter’s future happiness.

I tried to explain that my husband will always have power over my daughter if she doesn’t chose to let go of some of this past hurt and anger he’s caused her.  She seems so caught up in the present of how she was hurt and how to handle her anger that she’s not interested in thinking beyond today. 

I know I’m absolutely insufficient with dealing with something like this.  I fear that I’m not saying the right thing.  In hindsight I should have prayed with her or directed her to a bible passage that could have helped her.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Anxious Stomachache

Yesterday was day one of two days off in a row and I hardly ever thought about anything work related.  Actually I was more interested in relaxing and sleeping in as late as possible. 

Today was day two of two days off and I woke up with a stomachache, like a gnawing in my gut.  As I analyzed why I was feeling this way my subconscious had a conversation with my conscious and I became aware that I felt anxious because my next day to work at the hospital is on Monday and I’m not looking forward to it. 

Why you may ask?  This coveted job as a CNA should have me jumping for joy, especially as a student nurse right? 
Wrong, actually when I think of going up to my unit, I feel like I want to heave.  At first I thought my skittishness was because of how physical my job really is, but as I considered further, I concluded my uneasiness was undeniably because of my incompetency with my abilities to do my job.  No one likes to go to their job feeling like they don’t know what they’re doing.  I'm talking about just the normal things like when to do when.  For example, when is the best time to get all of my patient walks in and when it comes to morning cares do I start at one end of the hallway and work my way down to the other end, or do I jump around on my list?  Also it seems difficult at times to chart after each task I do with each patient or I get called away from my COW to help another aide or nurse with something that by the time I do chart what happens I'm thinking I forgot something.  You know the feeling of being nervous of getting yelled at for something you should have known to do, but didn't either because you were too busy or ran out of time.
I disclosed my heartfelt feelings to my husband who reassured me that I haven’t really put in a full 40 hours on my own outside of my preceptor’s shadow yet.  He also summed it up for me, in a nutshell; that the only way I’m going to ease my stomachache is to jump full force into my job.  You see, I was hired to work casual (which equals at the very least 16 hours per pay period – 2 weeks) which is about an 8 hour shift per week.  One day a week of work isn’t nearly enough experience to get a handle on this tough job as CNA.  But at the tender age of 33, I don’t produce the same energy as I use to in my 20’s therefore it seems to be taking a lot out of me each shift I work.  If I do put in more hours per week, I’m going to feel like mush by the time I get my days off.  Plus people, don’t forget, that I have my other job at the clinic that although is much easier, still takes its own toll on me in a different way.  I don’t want to give up the clinic job because at some point I’ll want to come back to this atmosphere for future job advancement, but that’s for another post.
So my question is do I pick up more shifts throughout the summer like my hubby thinks, and gain more experience and feel more comfortable and less queasy.  This in turn will take a much harder toll on my body and give me less time with my family (opposite of why I chose a casual position in the first place for goodness sakes this is my summer break, why shouldn’t I get a break?).
Or should I continue to work one shift per week at the hospital and pick up the rest of my needed hours at the clinic therefore giving me the break I need and hope eventually my anxiousness will subside with each week that passes?