Thursday, April 30, 2009

AWHONN conference

I had planned on booking my plane tickets today to San Diego and registering to attend the AWHONN conference to be held there in June, but after listening to the Vice-President's warning about public transportation and the swine flu on the TODAY SHOW, I just don't know. I don't like to live my life in fear of the "what if's", but it seems sort of irresponsible to "fly in the face of danger".......pun intended;) Considering San Diego's proximity to Mexico and breathing shared air with all those people on the plane, I think I might have to sit this one out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I have decided that after ten weeks of a 60 hour per week schedule, a little pampering will help me survive these last three weeks. Therefore, I have scheduled weekly indulgences at Urban Retreat Spa at home in Redding, CA. I started today with the Metropolitan package..... a one hour massage and foot wrap followed by a one hour facial. You experience instant relaxation upon entering this inviting oasis. After being greeted at the reception desk, you are led to a lounge area where you can sip your cocktail (I chose a delicious appletini) and admire the beautiful decor. I recieved a fantastic massage from Shelly, followed by a facial from Taryn that was so relaxing that I actually fell asleep! I can hardly wait until next week:)

Monday, April 27, 2009


I have worked with two different nurses in the past two weeks who have YEARS of experience, but can't seem to function on their own. They manage to get other people to do things for them either by manipulation, or because they are so sweet and nice that people just want to make things easier for them. This is ENABLING people!!!! This doesn't help them in the long run and it certainly doesn't help the co-workers that they are supposed to be backing up! Sure you can help them, but do it in a way that teaches them skills and critical thinking. Everyone benefits from this....the nurse feel good about teaching....patients are are happier! .........I will step down off my soapbox now, thanks for listening.


I set off on my own today to Kelseyville for a little wine tasting and a lot of shopping! Shelly's Quilt Shop was adorable and had a nice slection of fabrics. I picked up three more bottles of wine at the Wildhurst Vineyards tasting room along with some unique finds from their gift shop. Yummy tacos from the stand across the street filled my tummy as I headed of to the Ployez Winery on my quest for Lady of the Lake pear champagne. Alas, the Lady still eludes me as she is bottled, but not sold there. Now, I really need to get to work and make some more money!

Wine Country Weekend - Day Two

After a VERY lazy morning, we headed up the hill on High Valley Road to Brassfield Estates Winery. High Valley is breathtaking and apparently the perfect appellation for a vineyard. The wines were so fantastic that I joined their wine club! They have big plans for expansion....lodging, conference center, restaurant, picnic grounds, etc. Definitely a must see if you are ever in the area. After another late lakeside lunch, we headed back to the RV park to sit in our lounge chairs by the lake until it was time to say good-bye.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wine Country Weekend - Day One

I don't know if I have mentioned that while I am on a travel assignment, I continue to work my part-time job at Mercy in Redding, CA. This does not allow for much time off for fun, but this I have this weekend off while I am in Clearlake. My boyfriend drove down and we headed off to do some exploring. Our first stop was the Ceago Winery, the only "boat-in" winery on the lake (we drove in). The grounds were gorgeous and the wine was spectacular! Bubba tasted the whites while I sampled the reds. We left with three bottles. We drove past Tulip Hill Winery, which of course had a field of blooming tulips out front, but decided we better eat lunch before doing any more tasting:) Lunch/dinner (lunner?) was at the Blue Wing Saloon next to the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake. We shared fish and chips and beef sliders with sweet potato fries...... with a wine selection from Tulip Hill. It was all delicious and we enjoyed dining out on their patio by the fountain. We continued our drive all the way around the lake (100 miles of shoreline), checking out the little towns as we passed. We made our way back to the fifth-wheel, after a brief stop at Walmart to buy a bucket...the hot water tank valve has started leaking:( After watching a movie, snuggled up in front of the fireplace, we fell asleep for 10 hours!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What's up with Dilaudid?

This week I have had three different post-op c/s patients who had poor pain control. I spent the first half of my shift knocking myself out trying to get their pain under Toradol to supplement pain relief, adding comfort measures, encouraging more frequent doses, increasing their dose, etc. When I was finally able to switch them to po pain med's, their pain relief improved dramatically! All three were on IV Dilaudid. Has anyone else noticed this? Very frustrating!!!!! I also find myself frustrated with some nurse's and physician's attitudes regarding pain medication, especially for people with a history of substance abuse. We all deserve adequate pain relief regardless of mistakes we have made, or are currently making for that matter. I have had a patient for the last two nights who is in a rehab program and is now recovering from an emergency c/s to deliver her first child at age 38. When I first met her she was in quite a lot of pain and had been receiving stingy doses of pain medicine. I added the Toradol that had been ordered prn (that she had not been receiving) and made sure she was medicated regularly through the night. That, combined with a little empathy and kindness was rewarded with the sweetest, most heartbreaking look of gratitude through moist eyes that I think I have ever received. We should never underestimate the impact we have on people's lives and we should strive to always use that power for good.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Medical Solutions

I am very happy to report that I love my new travel nurse company, Medical Solutions. I used Preferred Healthcare Staffing (AMN) for my last assignment and it was a nightmare! I opted to extend my 8 week assignment and ended up working without a contract for a while due to poor communication and multiple errors on the part of my recruiter and other members of her company. I spent countless hours on the phone and e-mailing just to get paid! In the end, they neglected to pay me the completion bonus that I was promised and after 2 months (yes, I gave them 2 months) of more phone calls and e-mails, I was forced to file a complaint with the labor board. Working with my Medical Solutions recruiter, Jeremiah Zech, has been delightful. I was placed in my first assignment quickly and seamlessly. My paychecks are always deposited on time and they are for the exact amount promised. In the middle of my assignment, I received in the mail a canvas tote bag and an electric foot massager:) They also have great tips on travel nursing at

Sunday, April 12, 2009

8 weeks and counting..............

I feel sort of like I have "hit the wall" this week. I am tired, but can't sleep....I miss my family and feel like I am neglecting them.....and I am trying to remember why I thought this was such a good idea. The experience has been good and the extra money is nice, of course, but I am ready to be done with this assignment. My biggest issue with the hospital is no central monitoring. Their reason?..."the nurses won't spend enough time in the patient's room". Not a reason to risk patient safety as far as I am concerned. I am nervous wreck when I can't see my monitor strip. I have met some fantastic, interesting people while I have been here.....a lovely nurse who has worked in every area from med/surg to OB to critical care (was even the DON) and is now starting her own staffing/education company, a single OB nurse who moonlights as a massage therapist named Venus at a "clothing optional" resort and a brilliant, dynamic nursing supervisor who doesn't like to wear jewelry because it "slows her reaction time"!:) I have also had my first experience with a mid-wife delivery (loved it, loved her).
The area is not what I expected either, I was thinking quaint wine country town and have actually found it to be very non-touristy with a lot of crime and drug use. It is sad because it is really gorgeous country and should be an affluent community on a beautiful lake surrounded by vineyards. Ah well........five more weeks to go..........