When I finished nursing school it was sketched in my brain that I had to get a job in a hospital. While in nursing school most of your clinical is done in a hospital and you always hear people saying start in Medical Surgical. You are told to get your one year of experience before you move onto something else. So naturally with clinical, everything you learn and with what other people say it is no surprise that most of us new nurses think we need a hospital job. When I first started nursing school I remember never having the desire to work in a hospital. I actually was interested in nursing homes. Then once I was finishing school I felt I needed to get into a hospital so I would be marketable. So when I graduated I got the hospital job but six months later I quit. Since then people have said to me “Why would you quit a hospital job?”….well…because I was not happy. During my six months and post quitting I would hear “You did not give it enough time” “It takes a year to become comfortable” which is great and all but again I do not want to be unhappy for a year. One year will not change patient ratios or the stress levels of working in acute care. I searched high and low and all I found was people saying “you will lose your skills” “you are not marketable without the experience”. Well let me tell you this…whether you are a nursing student, a new nurse or at any stage in your career. It is okay to not want to work in a hospital! You are marketable and you are worthy. You are just as much as nurse as anyone else. You do not have to be working in an Emergency Room with someone having a heart attack to actually make a change in someones life. Nursing is not all action and saving lives.
Companies can and do hire new grads for community based jobs. Do your research and apply to whatever makes your heart happy. You may not be placing IVs everyday but you will learn new skills. Skills are relative and can be thought but holding someones hand while dying or providing a shoulder to cry on can not. And the other great thing about nursing is the opportunities. You do not need to stay in one position or one field. Your opportunities are endless. You do not need to work in Medical Surgical to get the position of your dreams. The only thing you need to prove that you are a nurse is your completion of nursing school and your licence. If you are not interested in hospital nursing your career path may include:
- Ambulatory surgery
- Home health
- Public health
- Corporate health
- Correctional nursing
- Private physician practices
- Community health centers
- Rural clinics
- School nursing
- Women’s health
- Outpatient cancer care
- Infusion nursing
- Case management
- Insurance nursing
- Psychiatric nursing
Find what makes you happy and this may take some time but just remember that you do not have to work in a hospital. You may even find that non-hospital jobs provide more flexibility and better compensation.
Nine months ago, I was in Aruba with my husband on vacation when I got my first nursing job offer. I will never forget the day because I cried from the excitement. I finally did it! I was finished nursing school and was scheduled to take my NCLEX-RN and had a job on the table pending passing the exam. Thankfully, it all fell into place and I passed and started working as a Medical Surgical nurse on a high acuity floor…. Six months later I quit my job.
So what changed? I knew going into this job that it was going to be hard. I was enrolled in a nurse residency program on top of that. There is research that shows when new graduates are enrolled in these types of programs that the retention rate for the hospital is higher then average…. but it was not for me.
I know I was good at my job and I started to get down my time management and thrive in my skills. I was handling six patients with round the clock antibiotics hanging, heparin drips, fresh tracheotomies, colostomies, insulin drips, wound care, turning every two hours, rapid responses and the list goes on. I absolutely love doing skills and being a nurse…but I was not happy. If you are a new nurse or nursing student you will hear this time and time again. “It takes at least a year or more to feel competent and comfortable in your first job” and “You should do at least a year of MedSurg before branching out into a specialty”. I have to agree with the first statement but the second one…not so much. Yes Medical Surgical will provide you a great foundation to build upon.
So why did I quit? First off, I was not happy. I worked at a great hospital that was a teaching facility and had Level 1 trauma. I worked side by side with some amazing nurses and staff and had support. The problem was I hated everyday not know what I was walking into and it gave me too much stress and anxiety. It did not fit my personality. I did not like the pressure of just getting tasks completed by a certain time and always being behind. I always felt rushed and I do not like to learn under those circumstances. And as much as I love doing skills I just did not enjoy working in the hospital. I had some great patients but the rude and demanding patients seemed to get the best of me. Yes, I know that no matter where you go as a nurse you need to expect the unexpected but I never felt like this was the place for me. To top it off for me was the drive. A 40 minute drive and falling asleep on my way home. That might be nothing for some people but I hated it. It was the farthest I have ever traveled for a job and it was too much. I was an accident waiting to happen. Everything added up and I decided to pursue something new…. So now I will be working with a population I never considered. Medically fragile children and adolescents in a home setting.
That is the great thing about being a nurse is the opportunities. There are so many different populations and jobs available that you can try out a little bit of everything. Six months gave me a great foundation and showed me what I did not want as a nurse so now I can pursue something new. Some people may worry that six months is not enough time for a new grad or it may hinder new job opportunities. I did not have a hard time at all finding a new job and nobody questioned why I was leaving in a short time frame. I honestly believe I now have a great foundation to build upon. To top it off my new job is closer to home, pays better and is less stressful (every job will have some type of stress). If you feel frustrated in your new career hang in there. There is something out there for you and you will find it.
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As a nurse or nursing student, you have plenty of things to worry about and your hair should not be one of them. As a new nurse I am always tired so I need quick styles that I can throw together so I can look great and get as much sleep as possible! I know you feel me! These 4 hairstyles are my go to and some more than others. I have seen nurses wear their hair down but I personally do not recommend this. It gets in the way plus think about all those germs and you do not want some one to grab your hair! Do not allow your hair to be a weapon against you that can cause you harm.
- A Simple Braid
Most people now how to make a braid. This is my #1 go to hairstyles because of simplicity and it looks nice. Plus when you take your hair out you have nice waves! I like to keep my braids loose and not tight against my head. You can always add a cute clip or hair tie at the end.
- The High Bun
Another classic that you can add your own personal touch to. This style is functional and versatile and guaranteed to keep your hair out of the way.
First, brush your hair to remove any tangles. Then pull your hair up and back to the where you would like the bun centered on your head. Then half wrap a hair tie around the hair.
I use one hand to twist my hair and use the same hair tie to wrap and hold my hair down.
Add some bobby pins and hair spray if needed to hold the bun down. I purchased some bow scrunchies from Primark and add these to the bun.
- The High Bun II
I like to use the same hairstyles but add some different variations through accessories. This is the same styles as above but with a sporty headband. I like to keep styles simple but by changing a few minor details you have can have a whole different look.
- Twisted Ponytail
This is another style that I love to wear. You can add variation by keeping it with a simple ponytail or adding a braid.
Start by parting a front section of you hair and pull the rest of you hair back and out of the way. Next, start at the top and take two pieces of hair and start making a twist. I then start grabbing a new small section of hair and start incorporating it into the twist and work my way down.
Keep working the twist until you run out of hair. I then grab all my hair and put it in a low ponytail. Use bobby pins to hold the twist in place.
There you have it! These are my hairstyles that I use to keep my hair out of my face while taking care of my patients. Do you have any styles you recommend! Comment below! I would love to hear them. If you have any questions about any of these styles feel free to comment below as well.
All my life I have been told that I have a beautiful smile. Just last week a patients wife told me she can not remember the nurses names but she remembers me because I have a beautiful smile! What a sweet compliment! I always try to smile for my patients because they are going through so much and maybe my smile can bring them some joy.
Growing up I had braces twice and I have always been insecure about my teeth. To top it off, a dentist once told me that since I had damage to my teeth from braces that whitening my teeth would never work because it would make certain spots whiter than others. I had a break down of calcium that has left marks on my teeth. I now have a different dentist and was told that I could try whitening. The only other product I tried was a teeth whitening pen and I did not see much difference and did not like the process. So when Smile Brilliant reached out to me and informed me of their process I could not say no! An at-home teeth whitening kit that provides professional teeth whitening, at a fraction of the cost! I decided to give this teeth whitening process another try.
I have been using the T3 Sensitive kit and it contains everything you need. Did I mention they make you custom teeth whitening trays! They make the process convenient and easy with instruction cards to follow. You mix the catalyst and base and send off your impressions! The fact that you can complete the entire process from home gives this product bonus points! As a nurse I work 12 hour shifts and on my days off I do not want to spend them in a dentist office. The process felt like they were bringing the dentist office to me and for a fraction of the price.
Once your impression come back it is time to whiten! If you have sensitive teeth like me then they will send you a desensitizing gel. You use this after you use the whitening gel. This stuff works wonders because I have sensitive teeth and had no issues. The process is simple, you brush your teeth with water, clean and dry your custom trays then apply a thin layer of whitening gel. I started off keeping my trays in for 45 minutes and worked my way up to three hours. I would whiten before bed so that way I would not eat or drink anything.
I have been using the kit for about 12 days and even skipped some days and I will continue to use this product! Since my teeth have decalcification I could see certain spots were whiter then others but it has quickly evened out and looks amazing. So if you have this same problem it is possible to whiten your teeth!
Thanks to Smile Brillant for building my confidence and allowing me to show my pearly whites off. Hopefully, I can continue to bring more smiles and happiness to my patients.
I can not keep this amazing product all to myself! Smile Brillant was awesome enough to allow me to do a giveaway! One person will receive their own T3 Sensitive Kit ($149 value)!!! Click on the link to enter>>www.smilebrilliant.com/g/rebekahtaylora
Or if you want to try out another product or make a purchase you can use my code to get 15% off store wide code: rebekahtaylora15
Tooth Whitening Gel
Who is not obsessed with Amazon!? Surprisingly, as much as me and my husband buy off Amazon we do not have Amazon Prime. I have tried to convince him into it but it has not worked yet. Oh well, does not stop us from shopping! I love to find pieces for all areas of my life on Amazon and today I wanted to share my most recent nursing purchases from the last six months. I would love to know what nursing related items you have purchased so please share!
1. Nurse Coloring Book: I have a sailors mouth, like to color and need a way to reduce stress. So this coloring book is perfect! I shared this on my Instagram and tons of people asked me where I purchased it from. The quotes in this book are totally relatable as a nurse or healthcare worker. If you need a little humor and stress relief then I highly recommend this book!
2. Oh Sh*t, I Almost Killed You! A Little Book of Big Things Nursing School Forgot to Teach You: I am going to start reading this book this week. So I can not give a personal review just yet but I have heard great things. Also, I love to read nursing related books. There are a ton of things that nursing school does not teach you and there is a reality shock when you get out into the world and start your first nursing job. Would be a great read as a nursing student or new grad nurse.
3. Nurse Mates Women’s 12-14 Mmhg Compression Trouser Sock Ekg: As a nurse or student you are on your feet a lot. Some 12 hour shifts I am lucky to get a bathroom break so when I started my job these were a must. I actually feel naked when I leave my house and forget to put my compression’s on. I purchased these in black and white and love them. They support my legs with mild compression, improve circulation and reduce varicose veins.
4. GEARONIC TM Lady Women Purse Insert: A purse insert!? YES!! These things are amazing for nurses because you can only shove so many flushes and alcohol wipes in your scrubs! I keep this bag at my station and fill it with flushes, alcohol wipes, extra scissors, post it notes. This bag is perfect to stash extras and at the end of the day I empty my pockets into this bag so I can use it on my next shift. The amount I have accumulated is a bit insane but this bag is very helpful to stay organized.
5. Blank Plastic Horizontal Make Your Own Badge ID Card Pocket Reference Guide: I had hopes for these cards but was not as impressed as I wanted to be. I purchased a twin pack and thought they were overpriced. I have since only used one and did not write on it. I typed up the info I wanted and tape it onto the card. Not a bad idea and does come in handy but the price is not really worth the product and since they are so small it is hard to write nice on them.
6. Medline MDS10478 Lister Bandage Scissor, 5.5″ (Pack of 12): I learned quickly as a new nurse that people (*cough…doctors*) will ask to borrow your scissors and have a bad habit of walking away with them and good luck hunting them down. So I decided to buy myself a 12 pack of some basic bandage scissors. Oddly, since I have purchased this pack I have been getting all my borrowed scissors back so now I so many!
7. CAVN Pen Light with Pupil Gauge LED Penlight for Nurses Doctors, 2 Pcs Reusable Medical Penlight for Nursing Students Rose Gold and White: Show me anything rose gold and white and I am sold! For the longest time I was using some very cheap penlight that my nursing school gave me. So when I saw these I had to buy them. They are very durable and are even great to use a flashlight to sneak into patients rooms at night. Batteries are not included so make sure you pick some up for these.
I decided to try something new on the blog and hope to do this every month! A book of the month and book review! I love to read and it is a great way to relieve stress so every month I wanna read a new book and share it with you guys!
For the month of March I am recommending and reviewing: I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse. This book contains narratives from nurses experiences with their first birth, first patient death and first injections. You will find yourself either as a student, novice nurse or experienced nurse relating to these stories and feeling all the emotions as you read this amazing book. This book makes you appreciate the raw and terrifying experiences that nurses face on a daily basis and the compassion and love we have for our patients. Even if you are not a nurse this book is great for anybody in the medical field who wants a perspective of what a nurse deals with and how we impact the medical field. This book would make a great gift to yourself, a nursing student and even somebody contemplating entering the nursing field. This book is a quick read and something I know I will pick up again to re-read in the future.
If you have any recommendations for a book I would love to hear them! Have you read this book? What did you think about it? Leave a comment below!
Nursing Report Sheets are premade templates that nurses use to organize their day and keep track of their patients. They can be made to fit the population of patients that the nurse cares for. They are great to stay organized and on track and will help when it comes time to give the next oncoming nurse report.
The report sheet should contain the patients basic information such as name, attending physician, allergies, reason for admission, diet, vitals and consults. These are only a few of the items you can have on your report sheet. Every nurse is different and likes to have different information. Whatever the nurse thinks is vital and critical to know on their patients should be on their report sheet.
There are numerous benefits to using reports sheets because depending on your type of unit you can have up to seven patients. That is a lot of people and information to remember. It is so easy to get patients, medications and diagnosis confused with one another. These sheets give you quick access to vital information. Imagine being in the middle of something with no access to a computer and the doctor calls you asking for information on your patient. You can whip out this paper and hopefully help that doctor out. This also helps keep your charting more accurate. If you are not able to document while you are assessing then write it down on their report. This way when it is 4 hours later and you finally have time to chart you are questioning “Whose lungs sounded diminished?” “What that room 7 or 10?”
Some nurses do not use report sheets and that is fine and all but as a new nurse and if you are a nursing student then I highly recommend you use one. The amount of information on patients can be overwhelming and you must have your information accurate. Plus, why cause yourself unnecessary stress by being unorganized. I created my very own report sheet and customized it to my job. I work on a Medical-Surgical Post OP floor but I believe this is a great basic report sheet for any Medical-Surgical floor. I even added little check boxes to mark off as I complete my required work for the day.
Another pro tip is to use a multicolored pen! I write anything in red that is critical or what I must take care of. This way it stands out and I am less likely to forget. These include any nursing orders like wound care, heparin drips, insulin drips or if my patient is on telemetry. If you would like a copy of my report sheet I have included a downloadable link >>here<< Feel free to customize it and share with others.