Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pill Queries Solved

The CVS app has a new feature:  a pill identifier.  This has worked very well with some of my doubtful patients.  They love helping me select the pill's criteria:  markings, color, and shape, and then seeing a pictures of the pill in their hand pop up on the screen.

Depakote ER
One of the popular medications for mood disorders.
Requires monitoring level of drug through blood work, which does not always go well-
depending on the mood.

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Not What You Know

It's not what you know, it's who you know.

This is how jobs are attained where I work.  By some miracle, enough nurses liked me to get me in.

The problem for me in achieving employment is that I don't know people, or at least I do not know people who can get me into an awesome job.

I don't get along with most people, so I stay away from them.  The few people I do get along with aren't in my fields and can't find great jobs themselves, nevermind for me.  I also can't purposely associate myself with someone in hopes that they will give good returns on the relationship.  It just seems wrong to me.  I become friends with someone because she is nice to me, not because she is a great recruiter.  (Note that I did not use the pronoun "he."  This is because I cannot be friends with a man.  I thought I could.  But I can't because men only want sex from me, not friendship.  This took a painfully long while to realize.)

I continue applying for an additional or another job.  Imagine my chagrin when one company openly declared the "It's who you know" rule.

Of course I know nobody at this company.  In my case, this is a good thing, because most people don't like me.  But for the average likable person, knowing someone is good.  It gets good results in the employment field (and probably other fields also).

The button leads to the sign-in page at Facebook.  No way am I giving a (highly unlikely) prospective employer access to my Facebook.  Unless I am applying for sainthood or to be in the FBI, I don't see how it is an employer's business what is on my Facebook page.  And there is nothing bad there.  No party shots.  No naked pics or references to crimes.  Just your run-of-the-mill family gatherings and the occasional dinner with friends.  And still none of anyone else's business.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Growing Older inside the Revolving Door

"I'm superman," the patient told me.  "Do you know how I got to be Superman?"

"No," I slowly shook my head.

"I had sex with Superwoman," he explained.  "Do you want to have sex with me so you can be Superwoman?"

"Sir," I replied, "I am your nurse.  It is not appropriate for you to make sexual offers to the staff."

"You know you want it," he smirked, and then began removing his shirt to reveal a Superman "S" tattooed on his chest.  An attendant stopped him from removing more clothing.

This Superman grandiose delusion is not fleeting.  This is a very sick individual who will probably become clearer on Clozaril.  He is in his early 20s and this is his first admission to the adult psych hospital.  When I meet patients in his situation, I flash to my future at this hospital and see us aging together as they get repeatedly admitted and discharged, each time returning worse and worse.

This patient will return again because he will stop taking Clozaril when he is discharged.  How do I know this?  Pharmacists cannot dispense more than a seven-day supply without blood work results because Clozaril can drastically decrease the absolute neutrophil count, a type of white blood cell.  This patient will leave with seven days of Clozaril pills, may or may not take them, will not go in for blood work, and within two months will be picked up by the police for assault or a botched theft, and be transferred to a local hospital emergency room for psych eval.  Then he will return to me.

Other staff members tell me about the older patients and recall their first admission decades earlier, recounting their fading looks, deteriorating health, the death of their parents, the illnesses and eventual disappearance of their siblings, and other tragedies of life, witnessed by the staff through the years.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Money, Money, Money

I have not posted in a while because my laptop crashed.  Literally.  I dropped it.  Not hard.  Everything was intact and still worked.  When I went to use it later, it would not boot.  I took it to Staples.  $70 to assess.  Three days later:  can rebuild for $500; all files lost.  So I bought a new laptop for $600 and am mourning the loss of my files.  Not a complete loss.  I downloaded to an external drive in September.  Everything done since then:  LOST.  I feel like an idiot for losing my files and for costing myself so much money.

I know.  Money isn't everything.  But it is the thing required to pay my bills.  And I don't like to be hungry or without a roof over my head.

I also don't like change.  I have been toying with the idea that I am a bit autistic.  I thought that my only saving grace was that I was great at reading other people and their emotions.  In light of my miscalculations about my coworkers, I no longer think that I have any insight at all whatsoever into other people, in spite of my growing experience at the psych hospital; hence, I am indeed at least slightly autistic.  I prefer to be alone.  I feel no emotional connection to others.  I have my routines and am upset and lost when they are disrupted.

But I digress.

A guy at my gym (he's great but happily married, so let's just be happy that there are some good people in my life) does computer repair as a business because he can't find work.  Note to the chronically unemployed:  Create your own business, even if you earn nothing, so it looks good on your resume.  His verdict:  no files found.

How is this possible?

Anyway, I need money.  I was narrowly scraping by with the one job and no overtime.  I am not a favorite child, so I am not given overtime.  Just one or two shifts a week would save me.  As long as nothing happened, I was okay.  But we know that something always happens.  I have to pay for the charge card in January.  And my car insurance is due.  It's really high now because someone hit me in a snowstorm last year and it was deemed my fault.  She even stated that she didn't see me and was trying to beat the light, yet my insurance company conducted an "investigation" and decided it was my fault.

But I digress.

I am fervently applying for per diem nursing jobs, or full-time if it's right.  So far, all the full-time positions offer the same pay I am currently making, but not as many days off.  One of the main complaints at my job by the nurses is that they make less money than other places.  I have not found this to be true.  In light of the light work-load, my current pay is great compared to other jobs.  Not so great in comparison to my rent, car note, and student loan payments.

So I re-applied at the nursing home where I used to work.  But first I left a message for the human resources woman, asking if I was still active and could just return.  She never called me back.  In the past, I would not bother with her because she was never around and never returned messages.  If I actually found her, she would chastise me for interrupting her and snap, "I can't help you right now.  The world doesn't revolve around you."  In the past, I gave up, fearful that she would report me for harassing her.  I lost a lot of paid time off at that job because of this situation because I simply did not know what days I had earned.  No, it was not printed on my paycheck and there was no employee handbook describing the days off.  If I return to work at this place, I will go over this woman's head and report her as high up as I can for being unresponsive.  Remember the new approach!

Both evening supervisors from the nursing home work with me at the psych hospital.  I told both that I was re-applying and would like to work 3-11 every other weekend.  They said that there is a need and I was welcome back.

I have heard nothing and my messages to the Director of Nursing have gone unreturned.

I do not want to return there.  I would rather spend my free weekends writing and socializing.  But I also want to not be evicted.  I want to pay off my loans (eventually).

I also applied to an agency.  They sent a ridiculous postcard to me and probably all other nurses in the state to entice me to apply online.  (People with nursing licenses as well as their addresses are publicly available in my state.  This is great for marketers and patients looking to kill me.)  The postcard featured stock photos of cash, a woman getting a message, and a beach, with "money" typed on both sides in large bright fonts.  I want money.  I want to get massages.  So I applied.  And someone answered me!!!  So far, I was just sent ridiculous tests to complete online and paperwork to complete and return digitally.  Another nurse at the psych hospital happened to mention that agencies now do not even interview in person; everything is done through email or phone.  Sounds great for me.  I must be terrible at interviews because I rarely get the job offer.

I need more money coming in and will keep you posted.  Thanks for reading and thank you everyone who has sent me messages of support.  I will focus on being grateful that I have the credentials to pick up extra shifts for decent money.