Monday, October 31, 2011

That Explains A Lot

I found this one in the liquor store
on a bottle of Canadian Whiskey.
So that's what the Fed's are doing with all their time
Maybe the government should supervise other
activities with such care.

Share your funny labels by emailing them to:

Do They Proof Read?

I love finding funny labels.
Here's a good one,
a touch juvenile but funny.

Further over on the label it says
"Hot and Ready in 5 minutes"

OK so that's my juvenile humor for the day.

If you have a funny label you'd like to share
please email it to me at

Saturday, October 22, 2011


A little nursing humor appropriate for the time of year.

If you have never been to Nurstoons please check 
out the website here for a good chuckle

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Patients Say the Strangest Things

  Don't no what made me think of this but I thought I'd share:

  Back in my LPN days I was helping out a co-worker who had fallen behind in rounds, my hall had a low census so I went to pitch in. She asked me if I could administer meds to a nice lady down the hall. I gave the little lady her meds and asked her if she had had a BM or gone to the bathroom today. She laughed at me and said,

  "Oh no sweetie, I don't go to the bathroom, I pee through my blood."

  Not knowing the patient I just accepted the answer, asked her if there was anything else she needed and went to see my buddy.

 "Hey, your lady in 34B just said she doesn't go to the bathroom, she pee's through her blood?"

  "Oh yeah, she's a dialysis patient. She always forgets what its called"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

D.I.Y. Dentistry

Yesterday I was sitting on couch
eating a bowl of gumbo,
suddenly I feel this crunchy,
gritty sensation in my mouth.

Upon further examination,
it appears that the filling in my
back molar has come out.
Of course it would happen now,
when I have no money and no insurance!

So, I do what any prudent nurse does,
hop on the internet and see what one
does to treat this problem.

Here's what I found:
Rinse twice a day with a chlorxehexidine based mouth wash,
brush gently, avoid chewing on that side
and get this stuff.
OTC temporary filling!
I went out this morning
 and picked it up at my local

The stuff looks like white putty in a teeny tiny jar.
Scoop some out, roll into a ball 
and cram it into the offending hole in tooth.
Avoid eating for 1 hour to let it cure,
and I now have a filling that feels as secure as 
the original one.

Best $4.00 I spent all week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Want to Crawl Under a Rock....

Oh yes, 
I knew it was going to be a day.

The paperweight that is my phone rang,
I just about jumped out of my skin
grabbed it and answered in my most 
professional voice,

"Hello this is Nurse Kitty"

The voice on the other line said 

"Hello this is HR lady from the group that Local Hospital is 
affiliated with...."

And that's when 
the phone fell from my hands, hit the floor and promptly
hung up on HR lady.  I desperately check caller ID, it comes up as unknown.

It's been an hour and no call from HR lady again.

I think I'm going to crawl under a rock now.

But I Just Got My License

Job Application
I feel your pain buddy

  So I gave up hope on ever hearing back from Local Hospital yesterday when I received no call in response to my hi-remember-me? call.  Back to the job boards! I found a couple that looked promising, one for a Big Corporation.
 I sit down to begin the process of filling the huge online application out and get to the part where they want me to list all my certifications,

  Basic Life Savings, >click<
  Registered Nurse, >click<
  IV Therapy Certified >click<

Doing good, I was thinking I might get that thing done before lunch. 

  Enter Issue date, month >click< / year >click<
  Enter Expiry date, month >click< / year....uhhhh wait a minute. 
  The drop down menu only gave me up to the 2011.

I knew then it was going to be a long day.....

Monday, October 17, 2011

What They Didn't Cover in Nursing School

Me this morning, last night, yesterday.......

  Couldn't sleep, I think I finally passed out around 3am morning(?) Got up at 7am because I couldn't stay asleep and stumbled around like a zombie waiting for 10am to roll around because I have decided that is an acceptable hour to make that "Hi, remember me?" call. 

  Oh yeah, someone upstairs must be having fun with me today because that silent paper weight I call a phone has been ringing like mad, no one I want to talk to unfortunately. One guy actually called me saying that T-Mobile gave him the same phone number as me and then tried to carry on a conversation asking me where I lived. CREEPY!

  So anyone out there want to give this newbie a hand? This is where nursing school has left me woefully uneducated. I can jump into a code, have been a first responder for a spinal injury but I am lost about the hiring practices. So if anyone, ANYONE wants to chime in on these questions please do!
  1. How long is "normal" for it to take a hospital to get back to you with an offer of employment?
  2. How long should you wait before you decide you don't have the job?
  3. Do you get a "thanks but no thanks" call, email etc? Or do they never talk to you again?
  4. I've called once, is it permissible to contact again and how long do I wait?
  5. Any tips on how to get a job?
  I'd love to hear from anyone, I mean it's something to do other than climb the walls right?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Suit Makes the Nurse?

Wouldn't life be easier if we all had 
to wear this?
  Having decided that wearing a suit was necessary for my second interview I went into a bit of a panic. I don't own one and being a new (and unemployed) grad, I hardly have the money to shell out the hundreds that a decent one can cost. Lucky for the Mr. I have always been a cheapskate and have no problems rolling up the sleeves and digging out a good deal. Earlier in the week I had been to Ross and noted a number of high end suits for good prices, so off we went.

  Having never had to wear a suit I needed back up so I dragged along the only person in the family who has had to wear one, the Mr.  We arrive at Ross and begin digging through the racks of unorganized women's wear, pulling out suits one by one and then off to the dressing room. The lady running the area took pity on the Mr. and got him a chair, she knew we were in it for the long haul.  So let me share what I have learned about a business suit.

  There is no substitute for a quality suit, you really can see the difference. Think of the suit as an investment, do you really plan to never interview again? Of course not, so buy a suit that will last. Cheap suits use cheap material, you will see and feel the difference yourself as soon as you put one on, I did right away and the cheap suit went back.

  Or maybe this is where we talk about the lack there of. Your best bet is to buy something neutral, dark grey or black are often the safest choices, and being so versatile you can wear them again for other functions. Also look at what works best with you complexion, I found that grey's made me look a little washed out so I opted for a classic black.

  This is where I really needed the back up, and if you are a novice at suit buying take someone who is going to be painfully honest. I'm lucky my grandmother was a seamstress and gave me a these basic tips to go by, and here is a model to illustrate what a good fitting suit looks like.

  1. The shoulder seam on the jacket should line up with your shoulder, no going past and no sitting farther up, either means the jacket does not fit so put it back. Also it should not feel tight under the arms or across the back.
  2. The jacket should fit close to the body but you still need to be able to button the jacket up easily. There should be no puckering in the waist when you do up the jacket.
  3. Pants should be tailored but not tight. Translation: If you look in the mirror and think "hmmm I will need to wear a thong with these pants" put them back! No one needs to see your pants crack during an interview, please we have enough nurse-sleeping-with-whoever stereotypes!
  Based on these lovely tips (and some candid input from the Mr.) I selected a nice black suit (Calvin Klein) that was well priced at $80.00 down from $180, score! I liked it because of a couple of less than traditional touches that made it a little more modern and more me, I paired the suit with a pair of pumps with a modest 2 inch heel and a blue camisole underneath.  Strangely I notice this suit made me feel confident, attractive and ready to take on the world. 

   Hmmm a girl could get used to this!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My First Real Nurse Interview

Friday was a bust too,
but I knew that.
The rational part of my brain is saying
if it took them a full seven days to call 
me back for an interview, then
there is no way I will have an offer 
before than.

So I went for some retail therapy.
Unfortunately for me (and the retailers)
there was nothing worth buying.

So for the other newbies,
lets talk about interview stuff.

You Are Here

The Call Back
  So just when I was ready to give up and admit that there was no way I would hear from Local Hospital again, my phone rings on Friday. Just about scaring the living daylight out of me, I look and it's a local area code, OK gotta get this. The voice on the other line is the recruiter that I met last week at the open house. She tells me my pleasant nurse in scrubs wants to schedule a "peer interview" (huh?) on Monday and what time would be best for me? So we settle on a time, I calmly hang up and then do a little dance across our hall to the Mr. I tell him that "we" have an interview on Monday. He of course has to ruin my little celebration by saying,
  "That's great! So what are you going to wear?"

  Uhhhh crap. My only pair of slacks now have a nice coke stain due to that little maneuver I pulled last week (read about it here) and what the heck do you wear to a "peer interview" and what the heck is a "peer interview"? Now the celebratory mood is quickly dissolving into uncertainty, time to research the issues at hand.

  1. What the heck is a peer interview?
  2. What does one wear to a peer interview?
Well after some research (asking a ton of people I know and Google) I came up with these answers.

  1. A peer interview is when a panel of people that work in the area they are considering you for get to interview you and later tell the hiring manager what they think. They are often looking for fit in the department, will you be a pain to work with, how will you interact with your clients, and generally will it work out? From what I can glean, getting asked back for one of these is a good thing.
  2. I learned what to wear to an interview varies hugely depending on who you talk to and what profession you are in. If you check out that link you will see what I mean. Thanks Business Week, that was NOT helpful. So I polled some Nursing School buddies and many of them agreed a suit was the way to go. The best advice I got was "Dress for the job you want, not the job you are interviewing for"

  With that sage advice I decided a suit was a must, I mean we go through school being told that we are going to be Healthcare Professionals and as nurses we have a ton of professional  associations and certifications to join and earn, so why not treat it as such and walk in attired as a professional. I mean the worst that can happen is I am totally over dressed and they can chuckle about the cute newbie later, right?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Setup

I am going to wear a hole in the hardwood.
I can't sit still
my cellphone is sitting here as quiet 
as a paperweight.

how long does it take to give someone a call
and let them know yes or no?

Well to keep me from damaging the floor too badly
let me tell you how I got into this predicament
and then we can take bets on 
who thinks I'm in or out.

The Setup 
  At this time it had been a week since I had written (and passed) the NCLEX which I swore I had failed when leaving. I had about 50 or more politely worded rejection emails from various hospitals saying something along these lines....

  "Thank you for applying but you are totally unqualified for this job and we are not interested in training a new graduate on this unit at this time. Please feel free to apply again when you have some real nursing experience, but please do keep trying you might get lucky"

  I can't sleep, so when my phone goes off at 6:30AM, I am thankful for the excuse to get out of bed and check the message. The text is from a family member letting me know a local hospital is having an open house, no time or place, just that little nugget of info. I check on their website, nothing, random internet search reveals nothing, so I do the one thing that I never do...turn on the morning news. Ugh! And there it is being read by a way-too-cheery-for-this-time-in-the-morning-before-my-coffee news anchor. I scribble down the time and place and while walking the dog, dial up my Best Nursing School Buddy (BNSB from here forward) and convince her that I am doing her a favor by taking her if she drives. 
 BNSB arrives and we head out to the Local Hospital wearing our professional-but-not-trying-too-hard outfits, mine is the only pair of slacks I own, grey wool and a green knit shell over top a collared shirt. We arrive at the "event" and are greeted by a recruiter who asks us if we have filled out an online application, of course I have, BNSB on the other hand has not. The recruiter shows BNSB to laptop and she get settled in for the long haul. If you have not yet had the pleasure of filling one of these things out the only piece of advice is get ready to be in one place for a LONG time. These apps ask for your last 10 years of employment history, the last 10 places you lived and a sample of DNA, slight exaggeration....but only a slight one.

  While BNSB is trying to remember her last 5 addresses, the recruiter finds me in the system and hands me off to a very pleasant lady in scrubs who ushers me to the back room to talk. After a few of the usual interview questions we begin to chat a little and I loosen up and become more of a person. I like her, long time vet of the profession who has done just about everything and then she asks me what I would say to surgery. In the back of my mind I was laughing, here's the big joke...I am NOT about surgery. I have had the privilege to stand in on a number of surgeries through nursing school, and if you get the chance kiddo's I highly recommend jumping on it, but I have very little interest in doing the job of a surgical nurse. I pause then recover and admit that surgery is very technically interesting, and of course would jump at a chance to do it. Honestly I would, it's a job that gives you experience, not my first choice but hey New Grad can't be picky. She also mentions in an off hand manner that ED and ICU are also looking for candidates, but more importantly she tells me she likes me and thinks I could work out well in her department. We end on that note with a handshake and she escorts me back outside into the lobby where she hands over my resume to the recruiter and tells her she would be "very interested" in pursuing this resume. The recruiter puts my resume into a little pile and lets me know she will be in touch with me by the end of next week. With that being said I go check in on BNSB.

  She is at a laptop looking like she's going to give up, so I kick her chair and whisper to her that they have Surgery on the table. Now unlike me BNSB's dream is to end up in the OR in someway other than a patient. So she settles in and gets that sucker done, and then finds out there is an online personality test to take, I totally let that one slip my mind!  So I settle on grabbing a soda from the buffet table and attempt to sit down with it. Bad decision. True to form I bobble the can and end up dumping the whole thing into my lap in front of all the interviewers who turn to look when the can hits the floor. Wishing I could crawl under the chair I grab some napkins mop up the mess on me and the floor as gracefully as possible and then grab a spritz of sanitizing foam before finding a quiet seat to retreat to.

  BNSB finally gets done with that blasted laptop and is ushered back with my pleasant lady for a chat. They are gone for a short time and when they come out BNSB is positively floating, she has a huge smile on her face and out pleasant lady gives the recruiter her resume which goes into the little pile. We both say our good byes to everyone and head out to the car where no one inside can hear us squealing like giddy school girls. On the ride home we spend the time trying ti figure out if what just happened was real, what it all meant and what the heck we do next. 

  So the waiting game begins here.....

The Waiting Game

I hate waiting.
I think everyone does.
But waiting for someone else to get back to you
with news that could potentially change your life....
that makes waiting hard!

I had a peer interview on Monday,
everything seemed to go well.
I met the Charge Nurse of the area
I was interviewing for and the director of another 
area they were considering me a fit for.
I got a tour of the facility 
and both areas.

I went home feeling very positive.
I wrote my thank you letter.
And now I can't let my cell out of my sight
and have been checking it obsessively.

Now the doubts are creeping in.
What if I messed that up?
I replay what was said over and over in my head.
Should I I have answered that differently?
Did I get everyone's name right on that thank you note?

I think I'm going to go find something to entertain 
myself with before my husband (and myself)
goes nuts!

RN, Now What?

Graduation is done,
 I have that lovely piece of paper now that proclaims that 
I have satisfied all requirements of the nursing program. 

NCLEX is done,
I received the confirmation that I passed in the mail.
Wow that is possibly the worst picture I have ever 
had taken of me. 
And yet, it is one that I will cherish for a long time .

So, now what?

Please call me Kitty,
I've been a nursing student for the last couple years.
I recently graduated, wrote my board exam 
and now call myself an RN.
After years of knowing exactly what to expect,
what classes to take
basically having my life scheduled for me,
I now find myself asking,
"now what?"

I hope you will join me on this journey
through all this unknown.
I can promise we will have some laughs
along the way.

Welcome to my story,
I wish I knew how it goes and where it will lead me.
But I know it will be an adventure!

Welcome to RN: The Early Years