ER nurse and resident knitwit

Compressions compressions compressions

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The new recommendations are out for CPR from the American Heart Association. They advise compressions only, 100 per minute. It is more important to perfuse than ventilate. My new favorite blogger, Life in the Fast lane has posted a nice summary. Or check out the AHA directly. And always be ready.

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October 27, 2010 at 9:07 am

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no longer a new grad

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So hey, yesterday marked my 1 year anniversary of being hired in the ER, my first job out of nursing school.  Does this means I am no longer a new grad?  I am not sure.  The learning curve has been steep this past year, with lots of scary moments when I felt like patients lives were truly in my hands. I have survived that first year and have emerged with more confidence at being able to handle any patient that comes through the door. Now I can get IV’s in most patients, even the long time drug abusers that have no veins left. I can rely on my gut feeling about a patient’s condition enough to confidently bug the doctor to take another look. My biggest thrill is to have an experienced nurse ask me for my thoughts on a patient or try for an IV that they have missed.

The other day I had a stroke patient that met the criteria for tPA. I was shaking in my Danskos as I pushed the loading dose into her IV and turned on the pump for the tPA drip. She didn’t bleed, and began to show slight neuro improvement. It wasn’t the miraculous recovery we all hoped for, but we didn’t cause harm.

Do no harm. I have managed this year not to make any of my patients conditions worse, mostly I am able to help them and send them on their way feeling better than when they came in.  I never realized how much teaching goes on in the nursing role and I am getting much more comfortable at it.

I still feel new at the job, but much more confident now. Many things come naturally now that felt awkward a year ago, and I don’t have to look up infusion rates on every single antibiotic anymore, I know them.

I will continue raise my eyebrows at what patients decide to insert into various orifices.

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September 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm

India bag is done and packed!

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Just in the nick of time. I got all the facing stitched down this afternoon. I opted to just stitch the strap onto the bag rather than use some hardware to make it adjustable. I am so pleased, it is roomy with lots of pockets inside and a soft cushy strap.
So Bon voyage my knitty friends. I’ll blog when I get back. I wonder if there are yarn shops in India?

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April 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm

India bag almost done

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Ooh I’m on a roll. Thanks to my knitting buddy Char. She knit the connecting gusset piece, so I have spent the last couple morings assembling, desiging as I go. This photo shows the inside of the bag with 2 bottle pockets, a large front pocket and 2 smaller pockets along the back. After I attached all the pockets to the lining pieces I sewed the knitted sections onto the lining. I reinforced the gusset with a long strip of wide twill tape. It will be integrated into the strap but I haven’t figured out exactly how yet. Then I sewed all the sections together and bound all the raw edges with gosgrain ribbon. I faced the strap with another length of wide twill tape, sandwiching some polyfill in there for cushioning. Now I just have to figure out how I am going to attach the strap. Maybe some hardware.
Sorry only 1 photo in this post. Soon I will post photos of the whole process in case any of you want to make one of these bags. T minus 38 hours till we are in the plane!!!! 4 more hours left of my shift and I am officially on vacation!! Yay. I’m just a little excited, I love travelling to new places. India is going to be a wild experience.

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March 31, 2010 at 7:04 pm

India bag 2

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I’m making progress. The front piece is done. The back piece with flap has just a few more inches. And my good buddy and faithful reader, Char is pitching by knitting the gusset. Wonder what I should use to line the bag? Khaki? Maybe some old jeans that already have pockets to fit with the whole recycle theme?

Am getting very excited about the trip. The passports with visa stamps arrived. We are taking our doses of Typhoid vaccine. And I ordered the adapter for my iPhone charger. I’m taking my sock club socks to knit, and a thick book for the plane.

Departure in 9 days. :D

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March 24, 2010 at 1:40 am

nursing is my fitness program

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There have been some studies that show that standing up while working is better for you than sitting at your desk all day. Duh!  “Your chair is your enemy” says New York Times Opinion writer, Olivia Judson I chuckled as I read this after I spent nearly 2 1/2 years as a student studying in a chair, on the couch, or lounging in bed when I wasn’t sitting in a classroom!  I  have never had a desk job,  so I can’t speak from experience about what it is like to sit in a cubicle and work at a computer day in and day out.  I used to do lab work which involved lots of standing at the lab bench. Then I had my own photography business in my home while I was raising my kids. Didn’t sit around much with that either, if I wasn’t chasing one of my own kids, I was chasing one of my clients, or traipsing around in the parks looking for good portrait spots.

Then I went back to school and had to spend hours reading and studying.  I wish I had had one of these treadmill desks then!  Today I read a piece from Macworld, Stand While You Work, and it inspired me to write this post.  The author talks about how he converted his desk to a standing work station and the other adjustments he had to make to take care of his feet.

I jokingly say that nursing is my fitness program  because as an ER nurse I rarely sit down.  In part it may be because I am new at it and not as efficient as the veterans, but I am constantly walking, running, pushing or pulling heavy things, reaching, bending down, balancing, and squeezing myself into positions while working with a patient. I actually like this part of nursing, I have never been one to go to the gym, many health clubs have made their money off of me because I will sign up with the best of intentions and then after a few weeks or months stop going.  I get bored easily and frankly exercising is not my idea of a good time.  But the physical activity required of me to do my job makes up for it.  When I get home I am physically as well as mentally tired.  This picture isn’t in my ER, but it depicts a typical scene in mine.  The beds are always full and patients line the hallways, and those hallway patients are often commenting on how busy we look, they are not usually the ones that complain that we are not getting to them quickly, they see what we do…. for 12 hours straight.  I have to say that in the six months (I can’t believe I have been there six months now!) I have been working, my body feels good. I am active, I am using muscles that have been dormant too long, and I am dropping pounds (not at a huge rate, but enough).  I live close enough to the hospital that I often walk to work and some days the walk home seems to take forever because I am so tired, but it does me good.  I see far too many patients with health problems stemming from a sedentary lifestyle and poor food (and drug) choices, that I am grateful to have a job that works for me this way.

Now, my couch is inviting me to put my feet up and relax on my day off. A body does need rest too.

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March 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

India bag

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Joe and I are making a trip to India in a couple of weeks and I’ve been trying to figure out what bag to take with me. I have a large backpack and many totebags but none of them seems quite right. I plan to take my big camera, my knitting, my iPhone and a moneybelt. I’m not taking the laptop (aaaahhh). I’m told there are many Internet cafes around. Anyway, I had these balls of yarn made from recycled saris that I bought at stitches LAST year. It would make a perfect messenger bag. So I started searching for a pattern. There are lots of patterns for felted bags but not much for what I have in mind. So I am making it up. I started with the strap 12 stitches on size 7 needles in garter stitch gave me a 3 inch wide strap. Then I used that guage to figure that 60 stiches ought to give me a 15 inch wide bag. So here is what I have so far. I like the density of the fabric. It seems sturdy. I plan to line the bag and put pockets on the inside. Now the question is, do I have enough time between now and our departure to get the bag done. Or will I be at REI on the last day franically looking for something that fits my idea.
Stay tuned

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Written by knitwitmama

March 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm


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