Author Archives: George Tall

About George Tall

George Tall works in the legal field, is a father of three, and a husband of a RN for 25 years. He enjoys writing about everything, especially nursing! He has been writing for a living, at least partially, since around 2000. As an author on dozens of websites, he enjoys being factual, while spinning a bit of humor where possible.

mean patients suck

How To Be A Good Patient

mean patients suckI hear about horrible patients almost every day. You know the ones I’m talking about, right? They’re the type of patients that make nurses want to quit and drive everyone in the hospital crazy! These are the ones that seem to go out of their way to make your job the shift from hell. Do they know how horrible they are? Do they care?

For those that do care, and those that want to make the lives of the people that are trying to help them a little bit better, we came up with this list of things that every patient can do to be a good patient. With this guide, you can help the front line troops in the healthcare field do the job they are trying to do- help you get better and get out of the hospital!

 

1- Have something that is really wrong with you. Don’t go to the hospital telling your nurse that you just don’t feel that good. Your doctor’s clinic is not the place that you should be going to every day just so that you have something to do. If you need medical attention, by all means seek it out, but don’t think of the hospital or clinic as a place to go to for entertainment.

2- Don’t exaggerate about your pain, or don’t try to play down the amount of pain that you are feeling. If you are a drug seeker that says your pain is a 10 out of 10, but you are laughing and playing cards, your nurse is not stupid enough to believe you. Drug addicts that fake their level of pain are obvious, and no matter how good of an actor you think you are your nurse knows better. At the same time, if you are asked to rate your pain and you claim that you are fine, yet you can barely talk and you are clenching the bed, stop that! You need to be honest about the pain you are experiencing so that the staff can treat you. Instead of making their job harder, help your nurse/doctor help you.

3- Don’t beg for morphine or Phenergen for fun. If you are begging for your meds to be pushed faster through your IV so that you feel that wave of a buzz, you have a problem. You are not appreciated, and your need to get high with your nurse’s assistance makes them hate their jobs. If you need a dope dealer, leave the hospital and keep the staff out of the dealing business.

4- Don’t threaten the people that are doing their best to help you. If you think that pushing the call light and saying “somebody better get down here and turn my TV channel or I’m going to call my lawyer” is going to help you, you’re wrong. Instead of making anyone want to help you, you are making them want to do the opposite.

5- Don’t stroll around the facility and park in the nurse’s station to have some fun. You are in the hospital to get better. The nurse’s station is for the workers that are trying to help you get better. Respect their work space and they will respect you.

6- No partying in the hospital, please. Don’t have your whole extended family come so that everyone can “cut up” and roar with laughter all through the night. Don’t ask your cousin to bring a bottle of booze so that you can party. Don’t hide in the bathroom to smoke. In short, the hospital is a place for you to rest, get well, not disturb others around you, and not to treat as a bar.

7- Try being nice to the staff. Being a jerk will not help them, and it certainly won’t help you. If you want someone to care about you and your well being, the best way to achieve that is to be polite and kind. Instead of yelling for some more water, try saying something like, “Nurse Tina, when you get a minute would you mind getting me some water?” You may be surprised at how kind your nurse can be when you are polite to them. Nobody wants to do anything that they don’t have to do for Patient Punk, but many will go out of their way to help Mr. Friendly.

8- Don’t beg to be taken outside at night to smoke, when you know that it’s forbidden. If you are in a facility that has a policy that you can not leave the interior after a certain hour, respect that. Pleading to smoke during after hours just terrorizes the staff, and you are the nightmare patient that nobody wants.

9- Help yourself when you can. If you are actually unable to get some water, by all means you should ask for help. If you are capable of getting up and fixing a glass, do it! The nurses are doing everything they can to get their jobs done. Making them go out of their way and stop doing what is needed because you are just lazy is not acceptable.

10- Say “thank you”. Too many people take their nurses for granted. Many have the attitude that their caregivers are just doing their job, are not really humans, and that nurses get paid too much to begin with. That’s just wrong. Taking a moment to thank the people that are working for you can, and will, go a long way.

Bonus: If you think the staff went out of their way to help you, it wouldn’t hurt to send them a thank you card or a little gift of appreciation.

 

What do you think about this list of what people can do to become dream patients? Would you have anything to add to it? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below.

 

nurse strike california 2015

18,000 Kaiser Nurses In California Going On Strike January 2015

nurse strike california 2015More than 18,000 nurses working in Kaiser hospitals and clinics in California are planning a strike on January 21-22, 2015. The plan for the two day northern and central California strike was announced by the California Nurse Association. Healthcare workers hitting the picket line in California is a fairly common event, but the magnitude of this strike is alarming.

With thousands of workers going on strike, the clinics and hospitals will not be able to function. It’s likely that some will attempt to stay open by hiring temporary nurses and “strike nurses”, but it’s unlikely that they will be able to locate anywhere near 18,000 for a two day period.

Their chief complaints are that:

  • Services have been slashed at the Kaiser facilities.
  • Many patients that need to remain in the hospital for treatments are being sent home early to save money.
  • There isn’t enough training, equipment or resources to properly treat their patients.

The nurse union in California is a powerful tool that is used in CA to influence medical facilities and the regulatory agencies. Their union is so strong that a mere threat of a strike can lead to rapid changes. It is unknown if this strike will occur in mere days, but looking at other similar actions in the area, it appears very likely. A similar strike occurred towards the end of 2014 in California over ebola measures.

Are you a nurse in California that works for Kaiser? Do you have any knowledge of this impending strike? We would love to hear from you for a better explanation of the reasoning behind it. We would also like to know what this will mean for the patients, both in the hospitals where they are residing, and in the clinics where they are seeking treatments. Your comment would be greatly appreciated.

 

nursing in alaska

Alaska NCLEX Exam

nursing in alaskaAs with all other 49 states, it is unlawful to practice nursing as a registered nurse in the state of Alaska without first taking and passing the NCLEX exam.

Alaska requires all nursing exam applicants to have a fingerprint card called form FD258, which must be completed by an official law enforcement agency. This fingerprint card must be included with your application for licensure or the application will be considered incomplete and rejected.

In addition to RN’s, LPNs and CNAs must also register with and test with the Alaska Board of nursing before they are allowed to legally work in the nursing profession.

The completed NCLEX application must be signed and also notarized. You must also include a passport type current photo of yourself, within the last 6 months, of which must be on photo paper.

Check or money order for the total amount of all fees, and a completed fingerprint card (used for criminal background check) must be submitted with your application. In addition, your official nursing school transcripts along with a Nursing Program Verification form which verifies your successful completion of an approved and accredited nursing school must be sent directly from the school to the Alaska Board of Nursing office to which you are making application for the NCLEX. Applicants must also have a valid Social Security number, if not, applicants must complete and submit a Request for Exception from Social Security Number Requirement form.

Even if you have already passed the NCLEX in Alaska, you must keep up with your state license. All RN licenses expire on November 30 of even numbered years, regardless of when it was first issued. In other words, the license is good for two years. New licenses that are issued within 90 days of the expiration date will be valid through to the next biennium expiration period.

There are regulations and provisions for continuing education and competency that nurses in all states must comply with in order to be re-certified during each two year license renewal period.

There are two locations in the State of Alaska where exams are given. Those two locations are in Juneau and Anchorage. Here are the addresses and phone numbers for each location:

Juneau Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 110806

Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Phone Numbers

Main Phone: (907) 465-2550

FAX: (907) 465-2974

 

Anchorage Mailing Address:

550 West Seventh Avenue

Suite 1500

Anchorage, AK 99501-3567

Phone Numbers

Main Phone: (907) 269-8160

FAX: (907) 269-8156

 

emergency room

Emergency Room Nurses

emergency roomNurses are the backbone and workhorses of the emergency room (ER). They work in many specialties and perform many tasks in their daily duties. Some are certified in a particular specialty while others are not, but they all are the center of ER operations. You’ll not only find RNs in the ER, but also Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) as well as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

CNAs are the people you will likely encounter first when you visit the emergency room. CNAs will make the initial triage assessment and take your vital signs and other information like your medical complaint and medical history. That information is then reviewed by a nurse, usually a RN, who will then verify your triage level and determine what needs to be done at that point. Since many people visit the emergency room without life threatening emergencies, if you are put at the lowest triage level, you will most likely have a long wait if there are a lot of other people waiting to be seen that have conditions that are of a more life threatening nature that will be seen ahead of you regardless of what place in line you are.

Given the fact that an emergency room is a critical care setting, RNs who work in the ER gain valuable required time needed for certification in a particular specialty field of nursing. Some of these specialty fields are Trauma Medicine, Cardiology, Surgery, Mental & Behavioral Health and various Pediatric specialties. The hands-on training that a nurse receives in the ER are not only just a requirement for specialty certification, it is also invaluable in their careers as a learning experience.

It also helps build all of the qualities that make a good nurse even better. Life in the ER is often fast paced and a nurse will help build her physical and mental stamina skills there, as well as learning from the more experienced nurses on how to deal with many other situations that may arise in the course of a nurse’s career.

They will learn to build and improve other skills such as empathy, compassion, assertiveness, team work, interacting with physicians and patients and family members of patients.

Nurses in the emergency room will also work with a wide variety of medical equipment. Some of that medical equipment may be high tech, while other equipment may be low tech, but still a vital tool in the capacity of saving a patient’s life. They will also work with many different physicians in the ER, and these Physicians’s specialties range in almost all areas of medicine.

ER nurses are registered nurses who have earned their BSN or AN in nursing and taken and passed the optional Certified Emergency Nurse exam. While RN’s work in the emergency room, having the Certification of Certified Emergency Nurse places that RN a step above the standard RN in the ER. Some of the required training for ER nurses are: Neurological, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, Maxillofacial, Gynecological, Gastrointestinal and Psychological Disorders.

Work in the ER is demanding and at times very fast paced and unpredictable. Attention to detail, high stamina and quick thinking and decision making are needed and honed attributes that they need to be successful.

While it is not necessary to have the ER certification, those that do have it, earn more money and are given more responsibility due to their increased training and knowledge, in most cases.

Pay for Emergency Room Nurses varies on a variety of factors, but the typical salary numbers are $54,000.00 to $84,000.00 annually, and the median annual income is right around $68,000.00.

 

alabama nclex exam

Alabama NCLEX Exam

alabama nclex examIf you need to get in touch with the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) for any questions about taking the NCLEX exam, you can reach them by telephone at 1-800-656-5318. You can also visit their office or write to them at:

Alabama Board of Nursing
P.O. Box 303900
Montgomery, AL. 36130-3900

The ABN is assigned the task of licensing and monitoring all nurses in the state of Alabama. They regulate the industry and its workers, and are the primary regulators in charge. In our licensing explanation that follows, we will explain how the process works for RNs to take the AL licensing exam.

After a nurse graduates from an accredited nursing college, he or she must then apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam and successfully pass it in order to gain employment as a Registered Nurse. Each state has its own set of laws and guidelines for this exam. For the state of Alabama, we will cover the basics of what is required by that state.

You must wait until you graduate from your nursing school before you can apply to take the NCLEX exam. The state of Alabama requires that you apply online to take the exam and that the name on the ID card that the ABN will issue you after successfully passing the NCLEX must be the same name that you used when you apply with the ABN and Pearson VUE for the exam.

Before your application for the ABN test can be processed, you must have already sent them your official school transcript which must not be a student copy and must be from an approved and accredited school of nursing.

Test applicants are now required to show proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence to be in and work in the United States prior to the ABN issuing a temporary permit or permanent nursing license. To schedule your test, you must do so via the internet at the their website.

When you arrive at their facility to take the NCLEX, you must present certain acceptable forms of identification such as: a U.S. driver’s license, U.S. state issued ID, U.S. Military ID card, or passport.

When arriving to take the test, applicants must store all of their electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras, tablets, laptops, e.t.c. with the test administrator who will place these items in a sealed bag which will be placed in and must remain in your assigned locker until the end.

After the exam has concluded you must take your sealed bag to the test administrator at the administration desk where he or she will open the bag for you. You are not allowed to open the bag on your own. Compliance failure will result in an incident report which will be submitted for review and could possibly result in the voiding of your test result, which you will then have to retake the test at a later date.

If you require special accommodations, such as a disability, such accommodations can be provided to you, but you must include a request for accommodation with your test application with an evaluation of the disability by your licensed physician as well as several other items that you will be given more information on when you talk to an Alabama Board of Nursing test administrator.

If you have any questions or thoughts about taking the National Council Licensure Examination in Alabama, or about the AL Board of Nursing, feel free to leave a comment below and we will do our best to get the answers for you.