My experience with a 36-hour water fast!

 

 

*I would like to put this disclaimer here: I am not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV, ha!. It is important when starting any major change in exercise and dieting you consult your doctor. There are always contradictions to any diet. With fasting it is not recommended when pregnant, Diabetes, or anorexia nervosa. Do your research and talk to your doctor! Below is just my experience and many people have been intrigued so I wanted to share*

(Affiliate Link) I will provide a link to the electrolyte replacement I got from Amazon. 

I have started a weight-loss journey that is well overdue. I’m approaching it differently this time. Instead of completely concentrating on the amount of weight I would like to lose. I am looking at it as part of taking care of myself. For those who followed my blog or read my blog post. You know that I am recovering from nurse burnout. I failed to take care of myself and just about quit nursing all together because of it. Part of me taking care of myself is eating healthier and exercising!

There were a couple of colleagues who told me they were currently on a fast and had good results with it. Instead of jumping right in I decided to do some research on the topic. Turns out it is something that can be very beneficial for your health if done correctly! I watched a documentary about fasting on amazon prime video called The Science of Fasting. It is free with your prime membership. This is fasting done in a medical setting in Germany. This documentary made me more interested in how I could do this myself. I read many articles and decided after prayer I would give it a try.

I decided to do a 36-hour fast over a weekend when I didn’t work. Some people have better luck if they do it during work days. This way it keeps them busy. I felt 36-hours would be too much fasting and then going to work. I stopped eating at 7 pm Friday night and broke my fast at 7 am Sunday morning. I only ate wheat toast with a little honey and it was delicious!

How I felt

The 36-hour fast really improved my mood. I think mostly because I conquered what I set out to do and it was exciting! That Saturday I spent time in prayer and the Bible. I didn’t worry about when to eat. I just drank water all day. I didn’t do anything too strenuous like a workout. I did housework and just went about my day. I went to bed that night worried I would not be able to sleep because I would be hungry. I hadn’t eaten anything in over 24-hours and my head was telling me more than my stomach to eat. I ended up going to bed and slept well.

Side Effects

If you are not a fan of TMI (too much information), you may want to skip ahead. I just want to be upfront and honest about everything my body experienced.

  • Stomach growling (although not as much as you would think)
  • Heartburn (it didn’t last very long and wasn’t bad)
  • Diarrhea (water poops)

This is really all the negative side effects I experienced. Watery diarrhea started at 5:30 in the morning and woke me up. I went to the bathroom A LOT. This worried me only because I was thinking, I am not eating and only drinking water! I don’t want my electrolytes to get off-balance! I read up on it and I truly believe this was my body detoxing. I started eating again that morning and it went away. I felt great the next day after it all stopped. The week that followed I started having more regular bowel movements and normal! Before my fast I continuously had loose stool and stomach cramps. They were all gone! Better yet my weigh in day, on Tuesday, I had weighed 3 pounds lighter!

Conclusion

After seeing I had lost 3 pounds I decided I wanted to do a 48-hour fast. I bought some electrolyte replacement in case I had any more side effects and planned for my fast. Honestly, I almost couldn’t wait to start I was excited. The days I didn’t fast I tried to manage my calorie intake but wasn’t super strict. Everyone’s results will be different. I have a crapload of weight to lose, so I can afford to have some weeks to lose a little more weight than normal. My goal this time is not I have to weigh this much, or I am fat! This just sets me up for failure. I want to be healthy and reduce my risk of heart disease. My father had a heart attack with triple bypass surgery. My brother died of cardiac arrest and my mother had a heart attack in her early 40’s. Everything that has happened over the last year has been a huge wake-up call. I decided I need to get healthy, so I can be there for my boys for as long as God wills it.

Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

Below are some articles I recommend to get you start on your fasting research.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680567/

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/06/short-term-fasting-may-i

Managing grief in the new year!

 

Many of us have heard about the stages of grief. For those of you who are not sure what those stages are, they are as follows: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. What a lot of people fail to mention is that it doesn’t necessarily progress in this order. Or just because you have completed one stage, doesn’t mean you will never go back. Unfortunately, I have found myself experiencing the stages of grief. On December 9th, I lost my older brother. My mother passed away 11 days later. In this short time, I have found myself flying back and forth through these stages of grief and it’s nauseating. I’m completely exhausted. I keep waiting for this moment when I will just “get over” this grief and all will be new again. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I will move between each of these stages at various times in my life. The time in between will just lengthen, and I will learn to live my new “normal”. Until then I will try to learn to cope and go on with the day-to-day. Because I know that is what my mother and brother would want me to do.

So, in this new year 2018, I am allowing myself to stumble, but I will always get up. I am allowing myself to grieve, but I will never give up. I will allow myself to move on, but I will never forget.

My mother, who at times, struggled with depression used to tell me “sometimes you have to fake it, until you make it”. So, I will allow myself some fake smiles here and there to help cope, but I will make it!

Our pastor told us in his sermon, to reflect on the past year and to instead focus on the positives and try not to dwell in the negatives. There are always Gods blessings around, sometimes we are just not paying attention. I would like to share with you some of my 2017 blessings:

  1. I got to spend another year with my mother! She was so sick, and I thought I was going to lose her many times throughout 2017. But I got to see her, talk to her, say goodbye, and love her! I thank god that he allowed me this time!
  2. I got to spend a terrific year with my brother. We took him on a vacation where he got to experience many first. It was like reliving my childhood all over with him. I am thankful I got to spend this time with him, and my children/husband got to see a side to my brother that they only heard about through me. My brother was special in many ways. He had down syndrome, but he was always smiling and happy!
  3. I became an adopted mommy for my mom’s dog, knebbles. This dog is my shadow now. I have always been a cat person, but this little dog has worked her way into my heart.
  4. God led me to organize a fall festival at church in October. It was a great success and it was a lot of fun watching people enjoy and fellowship with each other.
  5. I got to spend some time away with my husband this year. We went on a short vacation where I saw a Jim Henson museum. My favorite movie of all time Labyrinth, had an exhibit there. It was remarkable! If you knew how obsessed I was with this movie then you would be excited, I promise!

If you find yourself struggling, know you are not alone. If it were not for God, I truly don’t know how I would still be standing. Try and stay away from constant negative thoughts. It is okay for them to sneak in, but don’t let them stay. Sometimes it takes writing out the positives, because it is human nature to dwell on the negatives. My hope for myself and you this new year is to draw closer to God. Really, get to know him and form a relationship with him. Stay positive and never give up. My hopes for you and I are for a Happy New Year!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

 

Spooky tales of nursing…just in time for Halloween! (Not for the faint of heart)

Halloween has me in a sit by the campfire and tell some stories kind of mood. If you have been a nurse for any amount of time, then odds are you had a few pop in your head just reading the title! I probably watch way too many horror movies, so I find myself in these “I’m creeped out positions quite often” Reader beware…boooooooo, ahhhhhhhhh, muwhahaha *cough, cough* (clears throat)…okay I’m done, ha!

1) The spooky things people say!

Recently, I was in the ER with my brother. He was diagnosed with pneumonia. For those of you that don’t know my brother is disabled, and he lives with me. The ER found out I was a nurse somehow. I can’t quite remember how, but the jig was up. I wasn’t overbearing either! Really, I always try and stay low key. So, the nurse was taking my brother to his room that he was admitted to. The nurse and I made small talk along the way about nursing and weather. Then he looks at me and goes, “Well, be glad your on the 1st floor.”  I looked at him puzzled and grudgingly asked: “okay, why?” He said, “Well, the second floor, right above us, it used to be our psych unit, before it was closed down when the new company took over.”  He looked around nervously like he was telling me the secret recipe for KFC’s fried chicken and said: ” a lady hung herself on that floor.” He then let out a small sigh, “you could never pay me enough to work night shift here.” “People say she still haunts that room and you can see her ghost roam the halls.” Then he kept going, ” There are knocks on the walls and doors that open and shut.” I must have had a look of shock and pale because he nervously laughed and said: “But you’re on the first floor, you should be fine!” It was 12:00 am when my brother and I arrived at the unit, Nightshift! We said our goodbyes and he scurried away. My brother was asleep, but every knock, door closing, or shadow, I went under the covers. Maybe, he was trying to get a rise out of me, but honestly, the way he spoke, I think he was serious. Guess, I will never know. I can say I didn’t run out of the hospital screaming in the middle of the night. I never experienced anything. It was still creepy though!

2) I see dead people?!

Have you seen the movie Sixth Sense? Or I like to call it “I see dead people!” Well, this is the direction this tale of nursing is going. I was a new nurse at a long-term care facility. I worked on the floor that had a lot of palliative/hospice care. So most of my clients were at the end stage of life and under comfort measures. I worked night shift and was in my medication round for the morning. I walked into my last client’s room. She was female and had been on comfort measures for a while. When I walked in I was shocked to see her talking up a storm. This was unusual for her. If you asked her a question, she would nod yes or no or point. As her illness progressed, she stopped talking, and that is how she communicated. I looked over at her and said: ” I’m so glad to hear your voice, how are you this morning?!” She never looked at me and continued her conversation. It wasn’t making any sense to me. I leaned over and asked her, as I was giving her medication to her,  “is there anything you need?” She came out of her trance and said “no but you might want to ask him.” I looked at her strangely. “Who are you talking about?” Still glancing at me she said, ” well, he won’t go away, so I think he wants something!” I was really confused. “I’m really sorry, but I don’t know who you’re talking about?” She went back to looking where she was initially. She said, “well he is behind you!” My hair stood up on my arms. I didn’t dare look behind me at that moment. She didn’t seem bothered by him just irritated. I finished her medications. I turned on the lights and surveyed the room. I didn’t see anyone. I asked her if she was okay and she shook her head yes. I quickly left the room! She never talked again after that and ended up passing away just a few days later.

Do you have any spooky tales of nursing? If you do, feel free to leave them in the comments section! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, via email. All the cool kids are doing it! Plus, you get automatic updates from me, crispyfriednurse!

Happy Halloween!! Stay safe!!!

Grand opening, my Etsy store & More!

I absolutely love making my pins and duct tape creations. It has been so much fun, and a little escape. I took the plunge and opened up an Etsy store. My youngest son has even been influenced in a good way by this. He has started to make his own Halloween costume this year! He is my little artist. I also decided I am going to open a booth for my crafts at his schools fall festival in November. It is frightening! I am way out of my comfort zone! I figured I would try something small to get my feet wet. Maybe I could be a traveling vendor, ha! In all seriousness it is just something I truly enjoy. I hope you will stop by and look what I have created!

Image result for look what i have created

My Etsy store is Https://www.etsy.com/shop/CFNCreations!

I create under CFNCreations (CrispyFriedNurse creations….get it, ha!) I am running a special through October where you spend $15.00 or more then its free shipping! Etsy is also running a new customer deal, where you spend $30.00 on your first purchase, then you get $15.00 towards your next purchase. I think I will be looking at shops myself and get some homemade Christmas gifts! Of course my family can expect some of my creations to, muwhahahaha! Right now I am only shipping in the United States. If my shop grows then I will expand! Keep checking back I try to add things daily! Here are some of my pins and such! I will let you know how my fall festival booth goes, I am sure it will be interesting!

P.S the picture attached to this article is from my town. It was a beautiful sunset that day!

Nurse bullies: Is it an epidemic and how to stand-up!

Bullying is something we hear about in the news a lot in relation to schools. Something we don’t necessarily associate bullying with is the workforce, in-particular the field of nursing.  On the surface why would you, we are a group of professionals, who had to go through some strenuous training to make it out the other-side.  Every nurse as heard the phrase nurses “eat their young”. As a culture of nurses we have just accepted this to be true. This is not only with brand new nurses to the field, this can be a brand new nurse just to the facility, that is tying to adjust into the culture of the facility. The older nurses usually get blamed for the bullying! New nurses are actually starting to bully the older nurses. So another words it is EVERYONE! Nurse bullying is an epidemic and it is not because of the doctors. Not saying it doesn’t happen, because it does, but not on the scale of nurse to nurse bullying.  There are many theories as to why this is happening, and their are many arguments. Why is it becoming an epidemic ,and how does the victim stand-up, and get help.

Why is it becoming an epidemic?

Did you know in our workforce we have four generations working side by side? That alone is enough to cause major differences. It is also amazing of the wide range of experience, and expertise we can offer our clients, if we come together as a team! As stated before, the older generation tends to get the blame for bullying the younger nurses. This does go on, but it is not just them, and not on the scale that it has been blown up to be. New nurses as mentioned are graduating and are coming in bullying experienced nurses. Why would a new nurse, bully an experienced nurse? Again just like the older nurses, it is not every new nurse. Some are coming out with hyper-inflated self-esteems.  For instance, they just came out of school and have a Bachelors degree in nursing, but this “older” nurse only as an Associates degree,or maybe even a technical certificate. So they think, more education, hence better. What is not seen by (some) new nurses, is that the older nurse may only have a two year degree or technical certificate, but she has been working the floor for 25 years! Both nurses offer things to bring to the table, but they need to work together. That’s what we got to fix. So the epidemic is being caused by many things new nurses, old nurses, there has even been a suggestion of gender playing a role. Personally, I have experienced this. Nursing is a female dominated field. More and more male nurses are coming into the field, and I say bring them on! We need the balance! It is a proven fact the females get into competition with each other (more some than others), and that can lead to friction in the work place. It’s not attention from male counterparts either (sorry guys), it’s more professional competition now. Why can’t we just cheer each other on! Competition is fine, but so is cheering each other on, and ladies, guys have us beat hands down on that (as a general rule). Most of us have heard nurses say, I would rather work with men than women any day. In some situations I have been in, those words have came out of my mouth. The point is there are numerous contributing factors that can lead up to nurse bullying! If you happen to find yourself the recipient of bullying, now what?

 

How to stand-up? (Professionally of course)

When I say stand up, I don’t mean turn into Muhammad Ali! Image result for Boxer cartoon ali

For the sake of this article I am not talking about physical violence. That goes beyond just bullying , that is assault!  I am referencing name-calling, intimidation, threatening, ethnic jokes, slurs, and blaming to name a few. In my opinion, if it has reached physical violence, it has reached into the criminal realm. Think about it, if your were mowing your grass, and your neighbor of 16 years came over and said, “I hate how you mow grass, its ugly, and you don’t know what your doing”. And then proceeds to push you off your lawn mower. As your laying there ,your neighbor kicks you in the leg and says ” You better start mowing better, or else”, and then walks away. What would you do? Most people would want to go Muhammad Ali all on their neighbors face, but hopefully they would call the police, and they would handle it. Of course, if you have to protect yourself you would. But see the point I am making. It crosses a different line when violence enters in. So how do you professionally stand up to bulling behavior? The number one thing you can do is name the behavior. If for example, a supervisor is yelling at you in the middle of the nurses station, in front of other coworkers and patients/families, ask her to move to another location. Start to move toward the desired location. You could say “Patients and Families can hear you and you are screaming and yelling at me” (name the behavior). Another example can be, “I was told by another nurse, that you were bad mouthing how I give report (name the behavior), you could come to me with concerns” It doesn’t have to be completely confrontational, but the bully needs to know that you are not going to accept this behavior, and that you do recognize what they are trying to accomplish. This might not work, but it is still an important step to send the message to the bully this is not professional, and won’t be tolerated. You can do this in a professional way, there is no reason to resort to their methods, or now you have just become a bully yourself. Then start to write down the incidents, date, time, details! What do they tell you in nursing school? If you don’t document it, then it didn’t happen. That means if you have to go up the chain of command write down who you talked to, the result, and if they referred you to anyone. There is always a next person up. Just keep record of everything. Because if this person decides to escalate things, and somehow gets your job in jeopardy, you have a whole lot of evidence backing up a history of abuse, and steps you have taken to stop it. Now sometimes it is just easier to throw your hands up and move on. Some times that is the answer, and sometimes it is not. What if you landed your dream job? Everything was perfect, but the bullying. That would be worth sticking up for. So the situation is going to  be unique to everyone.

Conclusion

The main take away I want everyone to learn from this, if you don’t already know,  bullying among nurses does exist. I would actually be really shocked if you hadn’t experienced it yourself, or know someone who has. If you find yourself a victim of bullying, then please don’t let it keep going, because it will eventually escalate. Like stated before, sometimes the best advice is to just simply walk away. Sometimes that is not an option, maybe you can’t afford to just walk away until another job is lined up. That doesn’t mean you have to be someones punching bag until you find one. Name their behavior, document what is happening, report, and use the chain of command. Even if your leaving, some other poor soul is going to replace you, and be the new punching bags. So hopefully the bullying can be fixed and the cycle stopped for the next nurse. As nurses we have a lot in common just with our profession alone. We should share a common bond, lift each other up, and be our biggest cheerleaders. Lets hope that we are leaning towards that one nurse at a time, that’s all it takes! Take care of yourself and your fellow nurses! Nurse on!

Reference

Thompson, R. (n.d.) Dr. renee thompson’s series on nurse bullying. American Sentinel University. Atlanta, GA. http://ppc.americansentinel.edu/wp-content/uploads/Dr-Renee-Thompson-Series-on-Nurse-Bullying-1-22-2016.pdf

I would rather Work…than nursing!

I would rather work (insert any other job here) than nursing. Or maybe, I should have went to school for this or that? Have you ever had those thoughts? If you have your not alone. I have had many of conversations among nurses. We are sitting around the nurses station dreaming about selling seashells down by the seashore! I know I have, more so recently. One of the funniest conversations I ever had with my oldest son, was when I received a phone call in the car from an application I had put in, at a factory that molded plastic. He could not understand why I would go from nursing to “welding plastic”, ha! The funny thing is, I had several applications out at several different places! And none of them were nursing related, and actually kind of felt good. I was kind of like Tom Cruise in the movie, Jerry Maguire when he sings “Free Fallin” by Tom Petty!

Image result for jerry maguire singing in car

It was an awesome 5 minutes! Of course the reality hit of the major pay cut I was taking.  Money isn’t everything, but you do still have to pay the bills. So at one point I had worked out a plan, and would work basically three jobs to make up for the income I would lose being a nurse. All this just so I wouldn’t have to work a nursing job. Sounds absolutely flipping ridiculous doesn’t it. I would have never been home, and then completely stressed out just for different reasons. But when you’re upset and not thinking rationally, you start making wonky decisions. Of course my husband helped me to realize I was being a little silly, okay maybe A LOT silly! Also, after reflecting on why I was so upset with nursing in general, I realize I just needed a change. And I’m still in the process of discovering what that change is. Because I still have a passion for taking care of people. I love my clients! One thing I really like to do is teach. It’s something even in my non-nursing jobs that I loved to do. I’m always the one that would take ,or was asked to take, the new employees, and train them. And I really do love education, research, and the university setting. I should be starting my Master’s in Nursing Education (MSN), in September. I have prayed and prayed about what I should do. I know from an LPN, I was interested in nursing education. Now it’s time I make it a reality! What are some of the reasons you got discouraged? A few of mine were:

  • Short staffed
  • Unsupported
  • Large Patient assignments
  • Polices & charting taking away from patient care
  • Never getting breaks

We really need good nurses! And better yet, we need them to stay in this profession. So there are some things that need to be fixed. But in order to start fixing things, you have to acknowledge it’s a problem. And for far to long, it has just been looked at with blinders on. I hope that changes! These are a few of the issues I think that led me to thoughts of leaving the profession completely. Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comment section, that you might have had related to an area other than nursing you thought about working, or things on the job that just make you start questioning your life choices, ha!  God Bless and nurse on!

Part 2 My first job! ( I can change the world)

I hit the ground running with my resume in hand. I had decided in nursing school that I wanted to work in the hospital setting. I want to start out in medical surgical nursing, and really get a good skill set. That was the thinking when I first started nursing school. Now medical surgical nursing is it’s own specialty, which it should be! I became disappointed when I realized most hospitals around my area were not hiring LPN’s. I had to shift my focus if I wanted a job.  So I started looking into long term care nursing. It wasn’t long after I applied that I was getting calls left and right. I was in demand and it felt great! I decided on a long term care establishment and accepted my first nursing job!

The realities of nursing hit like a brick. I was given 3-4 days training, which basically consisted of “here are the keys, if you have any questions come find me”. I was taking care of 20-25 patients, more if I worked the night shift. It was a complete shock. I had treatments and charting, medications, families, and cna’s to manage. It was only for 8 hours, 5 days a week, but everyday was a race just to get care done. I could really only do the bare minim for my clients, because of time. I went from thinking I was going to change the world with care and compassion, to depression and guilt. Every shift I worked I gave it 100%, and I still felt like I came up short. I was finding out that nursing school was in a protective little bubble,and I was just now being let out to see the reality of nursing. It hit hard and I didn’t want to let my family know how I was feeling, because everyone was so happy for me. I prayed and decided to stick it out, and luckily I had a senior nurse who took me under her wing, that would help me when I didn’t know what the crap I was doing! She was also a great listener. Unfortunately, the assistant director of nursing (ADON) at the time decided I was going to be her new “punching bag”, and for a year I experienced workplace intimidation, bullying, whatever you want to call it. It was hell.

This nurse would come in, and in the morning her first stop was to make me feel worthless about the day before. Other nurses witnessed this and would intervene at times, or try and distract her. She would come in and criticize my charting, how long it took me to pass medication, or anything else she could think of. I understand this is part of her job, but it went above and beyond. I sought advice from fellow nurses, on how I could improve. I was told I was doing great that this particular person just likes to pick a punching bag (especially a new nurse), and will move on shortly. Well, shortly turned into months and I had finally had it. I had asked her politely to pull me aside if there were problems (she wouldn’t), to stop cussing at me (she wouldn’t), and I even asked her if she could start off with a hello in the morning before she started into yelling ( of course she didn’t). Her response was always “I am making you into a better nurse”. So I went to her boss the director of nursing (DON). I asked if we could have a meeting and possibly discuss what had been going on. Well needless the say it didn’t go well. The ADON was yelling in the meeting and calling me a liar, and getting real defensive. Finally, the DON just asked me to leave, and she would talk to her. I returned to the floor thinking “we’ll at least she saw some of the behavior I was describing, so surly my days of darkness had to he ending”! Well, not really. The ADON actually left the meeting and come found me on the floor I was working. I was in the middle of medication pass. She stormed down the hall like a bull charging at a matador! She slammed into my med cart pushing it at least 3 feet. I was in shock. I thought this is it she is going to resort to physical violence on now. Of course there was no one around to see this. She just stuck her finger in my face and told me if I thought it was bad before, I had seen nothing yet. I ran and found my nurse friend, I was visibly shaken. She didn’t know what to do. She told me just to keep waiting it out. So my torment continued on and off for weeks, until I got a survey where I could fill out how my supervisors were doing, and it was anonymous! This not only went to the DON, but corporate. The DON had already made very clear to me she wasn’t going to do anything about it, so I unloaded in the survey.

Well, a few days went by and I came back from a break, and saw the ADON sitting at the nursing desk where I usually sit. She looked visibly upset. I went behind the desk to put my things up, and she started to interrogate me. She stated “I know you were the one who ratted me out, admit it”. Needless to say she completely lost it in front of everyone and bought herself a one way ticket out the door. She was let go, basically given the option to resign or be fired. Another words she became another organizations problem. Looking back now, I cant believe a stayed in that situation as long as I did. Hindsight, I wish I would have stood up for myself more, and maybe prevented this person from moving on and bullying other nurses. Rumor has it she did end up getting fired from the other company for the same type of behavior. I did choose to learn from this situation. I developed better coping skills, and learned to be more assertive. I wouldn’t wish this experience on any nurse new or experienced, but I chose to not let it define me, and shape my future negatively.  If anyone else is experiencing this type of workplace bullying, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your supervisors, and follow the chain of command. Let your family and friends know what is happening, and if you need to, talk to a professional. Most work places offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that can help. When something like this happens it can be frightening, and you can feel alone. You are not, please don’t do what I did, and what so long to stand up for yourself, and let others know about the situation. The saying is true you have to take care of yourself, before you can take care of others. It took me years to figure that out!

 

Everyone needs a hobby…even me!

I ran across an old sketch book I had, and started in 2000. I have everything in there from drawings, to poems, and a top 10 bucket list! I can check off 3 of those, so I have 7 more to go, not to shabby! After I read and looked at my drawings, I realized my last entry was from 2009! That means I went approximately 8 years with no further drawings, poems, or any type of expressions. I looked at the blank pages and realized, I need to take some of my own advice on burnout, and take up a hobby! I ended up staying up all night looking on Pinterest and you-tube for craft ideas. I remembered a recent trip to Atlanta where I drove 7 hours to see a Labyrinth exhibit at a Jim Henson Museum. What is Labyrinth your probably wondering? It is a movie, and freaking awesome one. Stick around and trust me, you will see I am obsessed with this movie! I wanted to buy some labyrinth pins online, and they cost anywhere from 10-30 dollars. I thought to myself, I could make that! So I got some supplies and started drawing, and brainstorming. Of course the kids caught wind and started placing their pin orders! It was a good trial and it worked! I really enjoy making pins! Like so much, when I ran out of supplies, my husband said I need to wait to buy more until I have steady checks coming in again. (Burned out remember, I have took some time off). Which I understand but, I decided to sell some things I just had sitting around to get more supplies! I know it might seem minor and when people say “You should get a hobby”, you start thinking of excuses why you don’t have time. But since I started my hobby I can already feel my mood change. I used to take long naps in the day if nothing was planned. Now I am hurrying up to get stuff done so I can make art! So long story short, I took my own advice, and advice I have ignored for 8 plus years, and I am thankful I did. As long as your hobby makes you happy (and is legal, ha!) do it!

Image result for shia labeouf just do it

My husband thought it was silly at first, but was happy I was happy. And after the first few batches, he started putting in orders, Ha! I have some original designs that I plan on posting. Also, some more nursing related pins. Instead of being lost inside my head, or sleeping, I am creating! The sky is the limit! Until next time!

Burnout

I don’t wish Nursing Burnout on anyone. It is a horrible place to be, but there is a lot of things we can learn about nursing burnout. Part of the healing process is recognizing that you are in fact burned out. Which means you have to know what nursing burnout is, what to do if it happens, and most important to those who haven’t experienced it, how to prevent it. These are the things I would like to discuss. It took me a long time to realize I was dealing with the ugly beast of burnout. Work life balance and nursing burnout were really not discussed in nursing school. If they were, it was skimmed over and I don’t remember. I feel as nurses, we tend to always put others needs before our own needs. We are caregivers, and sometimes we do it, and don’t even realize we are until it is to late. Which, is what happened to me.

What is nursing Burnout?

  • Nursing burnout is physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion (Rasmussen, 2017). With the nursing profession we are exposed to heavy levels of stress all the time. If the stress levels continue and are not dealt with in a healthy way, then burnout will result. Burnout can be caused by a lack of support, work schedules, and several other factors. The Primary factor is short staffing (NNU, 2017). A lot of these things we don’t have control of as a nurse. Which, can make it very difficult to prevent burnout. That is why it is so important to take care of ourselves and recognize the signs of burnout which are:
  • Constant fatigue
  • Feeling overworked
  • Feeling under appreciated
  • Loss of enthusiasm with profession
  • Compassion fatigue

These are just a few signs that nurses need to be vigilant about. I feel there is a stigma around this topic. Nurses are afraid to talk to each other about burnout. Maybe related to fear of judgement, personal egos, or losing their job. As nurses we have a stressful job that requires us to be 100% all the time, and if we are less than that it is frighting. It doesn’t have to be the end of our career. Currently, I am suffering from burnout, and hope to find a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, it is hard to find people who understand what you are going through. It is important to reach out to other nurses who might very well be feeling the way you do, and discuss your situation.

I am burned-out now what?

The most important step is to recognize that you are burned out. This took me awhile to wrap my head around. I really didn’t want to admit it had happened to me, and for this reason it prolonged the suffering and healing. Burnout cannot be put off or it will just get worse. When I first realized I was burned out, I just wanted to leave nursing all together. I told my job I had at the time I was burned out, and had to step away. The plan was I was going to work in anything, but nursing for awhile, and take a break. After I told my husband he was obviously upset. Like many nurses, we are the sole bread winners of our household, and that’s a hard pill to swallow. Plus, I really didn’t share with him everything that was going on, and how it was affecting me. I really kept him in the dark regarding my career, and how I was feeling. Then I made a life changing decision, and didn’t talk to him.  Needles to say there was an intervention that day in my living room with my teenage son, husband, and mother-in-law present. I decided maybe it wasn’t the whole nursing profession, but bedside nursing. So one of the first things to consider when burned out is to change specializations. Maybe it is hospital nursing that has you burned out, or the bedside in general. That is the beauty of nursing! There are other areas that we can get into, we just have to be patient and persevere.  Also, you have to find a way to cut down on stress. As mentioned I am a christian, so I decided to devote 10 minutes a day to meditation and prayer. I also decided to eat healthier and to start exercising more. While I was caring for everyone else, I didn’t care for myself and my health had started to suffer. Another way I decided to stay engaged in nursing is to go back to school. I want to get my Masters in education. I feel this will help open more doors for me and enable me to reach other areas of nursing. Also, the feeling of accomplishment can help with burnout.

How to prevent burnout?

There is a saying that says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! I believe for nursing burnout this is the case. Speaking from someone struggling with burnout, the climb is a lot steeper out, but doable! So how does a nurse prevent her/himself from becoming burned out. Learn how to say no! That means to extra shifts, to family who have great intentions, but may not realize how much you are already overextended! It is also good if you have a nursing buddy that you can bounce ideas and feelings off of. Who better to understand what your going through than another nurse! As nurses we have to learn to put ourselves first. I know way easier said than done. There needs to be some time that is yours and yours only. Even if its just minutes a day, its yours! Above all we as nurses have to manage our stress. Find out ways that help you cope with stress and practice it! If you ignore stress it will not go away, but grow and eventually lead to burnout.

Final thoughts

Nursing is a wonderful, fulfilling profession, that allows us to be in service of others, at some of their hardest times in life. We are able to make a difference in peoples lives and it can feel great! There are always two sides to the coin and with all these amazing things, does come the reality that nursing is a really stressful job! As nurses we have to take care of ourselves, so we can take care of others. I never truly understood that statement until I myself experienced burnout.

 

References

Ericksen, K (2015). Why it happens & What to do about it? Retrieved from: http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/nursing-burnout-why-it-happens-and-what-to-do-about-it/

NNU (2017). Beating the burnout: Nurses struggle with physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion at work. Retrieved from: http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/news/entry/beating-the-burnout-nurses-struggle-with-physical-mental-and-emotional-exha/

USF (2017). Signs your experiencing nurse burnout. Retrieved from: https://www.usfhealthonline.com/resources/career/signs-you-are-experiencing-nurse-burnout/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Beginning (of my nursing career) Part 1

 

 

Well everything that has an end, must have a beginning. Sometimes the beginning is fast and quick. Or like in my case, it takes 12 years, and was dreadfully slow at times. I truly believe that things happen for a purpose. I am a Christian and feel nursing is/was my calling. I admit at times this did put a tremendous amount of stress on me, because I did feel like I was doing god’s work. I don’t think this was gods intention, this is just my personality and I can be hard on myself. I don’t think that I am not called anymore, but have just lost my way along my life journey, or perhaps have been called elsewhere.

I knew I wanted to be in the medical field from a very young age. My mother caught me taken care of a dead mouse, that my lovely cat had killed. I know yuck, but I was like 4 or 5 years old! I had it in a MASH Unit, AKA a Barbie house under our pool table. My mom of course about lost it, but to me I thought I could make the poor guy better. Fast-forward many years, I decided it was nursing I wanted to pursue. After high-school I was married, with child. and started my journey to nursing school at 21 years old. I had a 1 year old child at home, but was very blessed to have family support. I couldn’t wait to become a nurse and take care of people, and make people better! I applied for two programs and was accepted into the license practical nurse program (LPN). Nursing school was no joke, it was hard, and took a lot of study. But since I was so passionate about it, I kept plugging through, and graduated! I had great instructors, some of who I remember to this day! My instructors inspired me at that time to change my initial goal in my nursing career to be a nurse practitioner, to becoming a nursing educator. My dream had come true! No longer was I trying to heal a dead mouse, but I was a a nurse, who could use her skills to make a difference in people’s lives!

I passed the boards on my first try, which was exciting! And from there, a party was thrown in my honor. It felt like the red carpet had been laid out, and all the people who said I couldn’t do it, watched me walk down the carpet! It was a good time in life. Everyone was so proud of me. I was one of the first people in my family to ever graduate college. This was a big deal! I hit the street with my resume in hand and couldn’t wait to practice as a nurse, an LPN!

 

Stayed Tuned for Part 2 My First Job!