Saturday, April 15, 2017

Long time away

I know I've been away a long time from here, it's with good reason.

America's been a bitch to me ya'll. Not the patients (mostly), it's the nurses.

My hospital has renigged on the deal for my TN visa and pretty much fucked me over. So starting out over here has just started out on the wrong foot. And it's just continued that way.

My co hort for my nurse residency seem to hate me. I understand that I'm an intense person, but I'm friendly and outgoing. I'm loyal and awesome and yet not ONE has been willing to befriend me! I'm an outcast! I want to say to them all "fuck you all, I don't need you". But it's not worth my time and effort. It does make me sad though. I'm lonely here because hubby and little tyke are back home and I'm here all by myself.

The units I've gone to, my preceptors for the most part have been two-faced. They say nice things to my face, about how good I'm doing and then after I'm done my week of experience there, several have contacted my coordinator and then turned around and said things that should have been discussed with me face-to-face.

I only found this out when I was 3/4 done this whole thing, so I couldn't even try to attempt to "fix" whatever these ppl were complaining about, they weren't giving me the opportunity. But from that point on, every preceptor I had, the first day I talked to them and told them flat out that I wanted feedback from them real-time, not at a later date and if they felt that I had done something wrong or against policy (considering I'm new and don't know policy yet), advise me what the policy IS at this facility, instead of keeping quiet but then saying that I told ppl things against policy - to my coordinator.

Because of the TN issue, hubby (who is a natural researcher) was looking to see what's out there in terms of sponsorships (expecting that things would take like 6+ months), because we were done getting screwed over by using the TN visa. Well he found one and they contacted me and we talked and right off the bat they asked if I would come work for them!!!

Now, I should tell you at this point that this hospital offered me this the day after I had a meeting with current hospital who put me on "final written notice" because ppl were c/o me instead of talking to my face - but because I'm still in the "learning phase", the ownership is on me, not on others. Such BS!!!  So when new hospital offered a job, it seemed like God was intervening and that this was the path I needed to go down.

Well I got my official offer yesterday, contract and all. I'm nervous as heck. I haven't told current hospital. I don't know what I'm going to tell them. It's frustrating that I moved my entire life here and I get treated like this. But I also want them to know that I appreciate the fact that they offered me this chance.

With new hospital, I don't know yet whether I'm going into NICU or progressive care (step-down ICU) - we're going to figure that part out when I get there. I'm really really hoping that they're good with me going into the NICU. I LOVE LOVE LOVE NICU. It feels like that's where I'm meant to be.

So now I start to pack up this apartment, and begin the search for a new one!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

I found my niche

Oh my goodness I love the NICU! I cannot say how much I love it. I'm saddened by the fact that I am only unable to spend 24 hours there in my residency. But alas, we must move on.

I got to spend time with some feeder-growers, but ones that kept us on our toes. One of which would brady and have hold their breath - a septic work up showed an infection brewing but cultures didn't grow anything in the blood or urine. 48 hours of IV antibiotics and the poor baby seemed to be over the hump. Hopefully that's all that was needed.

Our other baby has chronic lung disease and provided us lots of frustrating moments because the baby would be low sating - setting off the monitor.... then a moment later be high sating, again sestting off the monitor as the expectation is that if a baby is high sating for more than a few minutes, then the nurse should turn down the FiO2. But if the baby was turned down, then we would end up with the monitor showing a SpO2 of 50-60%!!!  Not where you want a NICU baby! But we couldn't be chasing this baby all day long with the FiO2.

I was lucky to have a coach who showed me the ropes, but gave me the ability to show what I could do. By the second shift, I felt like I could try my hand at taking care of the babies - gavage feedings, tube feedings, changing diapers while the baby is still in the isolette, assessments, etc... And by the third day I was doing all the babies myself as well as the charting - and my coach was just checking my work afterwards to make sure I didn't miss anything.

I seriously hope that I end up there. It was seriously my cup of tea. Oh how I loved cuddling the babies and taking care of their needs.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

So nasty

I rushed to move into this apartment. I don't know what condition the former tenants left the place in before I came in but when I moved it it wasn't terrible so I was willing to move in when it wasn't 100%.

I'm rather regretting moving in, or moving here....

I'm dealing with COCKROACHES!!!!


These things gives me the BIGGEST heebies and I'm dealing with them in my bathroom and kitchen primarily - and yes I understand this as they like the moist environments and with the kitchen there's always the microscopic (I keep it pretty clean) bits of food.

They were supposed to "bomb" my place today while I was at work today and when I came home I found my cupboard doors open which means that they did but when I came home and went in to my bathroom to use it, there was one.... just crawling around.... ewwwwwww...... ya, I squished that mother ***er!

Then later I made some tea on the stove (I haven't bought a kettle yet) and I put the tea bags in a container after I had used them and when I came back to throw them out about an hour later there was one on my stove!!! Ya I killed that one real fast too!!! ICK!!!!

Then don't you know I go to open my silverware drawer and there's one in there!!!! ARGGGGGGG Of alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the places for them to be!!! Now I have to wash all my silverware, because there is NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO way that I'm using them with the possibility that that sucker has been on the stuff that will be going into my mouth! Yucky yucky yucky!!!!!! That one I killed the fastest I think.

Holy frig I'm sickened out by these! I don't know how ppl can handle these in their place. I've also ordered cockroach killing bait and as soon as that stuff comes in (Monday), that stuff is going
E V E R Y W H E R E !!!!!!! No joke. Goodness these things creep me out big time. I hate them!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I haven't forgotten I've just been busy

So I know I haven't been posting a whole lot, it's not that I haven't had much to say. Oh the contrary. I've been so busy with my residency. And with moving into my apartment. And of course with EVERYTHING, things have gone wrong and tipsy turvy.

So for my residency we do 15 weeks where we have 24 hours on the unit with a preceptor and 12 hours in the classroom learning various things that are pertinent to our respective residency routes. Mine is newborn-peds (YAY!!!) - but I'm also having a smidgen of time (a week exactly) on mother-baby (ie post-partum).... this area I'm ok with b/c at least at that point mom has already had the baby and so less to do with mom and there's stuff to do with baby. That I can handle! L&D has too much mom and not enough baby - plus too much complication potential.

Then I get to have a week of NICU then two weeks of PICU and then a week of something (TBA) then two weeks of Peds then the rest are TBA. Then once we are in the last week, our academy director/facilitator has a discussion with all the unit directors (ie managers) about us academcy nurses and how we performed and whether we would be a good fit for their unit and it's basically match day because we're expected to decide on our top 3 choices on hospitals and units that we want our home unit to be after wk 15 for the rest of the year (or permanently as I believe it).

So it's kinda crazy how this is going to go because there's only me and another girl in my route because the third girl failed her NCLEX exam and had to drop out of the academy. I just hope that there's plenty of jobs, and not just one that is between her or I getting. The information that I have to learn includes EKG and PALS - hopefully it's not too complicated and overwhelming. Oh the things that I will learn....

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

77 degrees vs. 25cm

So what do those have in common you wonder? Obviously me, but besides that little. The 77 degrees refers to the temperature in the state in which I reside. OMG the weather is awesome! Once we arrived, we come to find out that 25cm of snow hit our city back home!!! Boy did we leave in time! I guess that's a blessing in disguise.

But thing quickly started falling apart. When we got to the border the customs guy took my paper work and asked "what would you do if you don't get approved?" - my response was that I would be "fucking screwed" - I was honest. In hindsight, too honest. I didn't have my filter on. I was nervous and forgot who I was talking to! Ooops. Either way, he let me through and told me to go through to the side and park and go into the building and wait to be called by an agent in the building. Okay then!

Not fun considering I had little tyke with us who is almost eight and has a patience level of about 5 seconds. Plus in the building it states that you are not permitted to utilize ANY electronic devices, and so she couldn't even use her nintendo DS to keep her occupied or anything, or a cell phone. And remember that these ppl can find any reason to deny me entry. If they find my child irritating or me or my husband unappealing in any fashion, I could be denied my visa! So I had to some how keep her calm. Easier said than done! I managed it long enough for me to be called.

I had everything they could want and some extra. BUT and it's a  really big BUT the offer letter that the company supplied, I knew was going to be the issue. We had asked the company to revise it because it was missing information - specifically the contract information required for the visa. Because for TN visas in particular, I can only stay in the US for a maximum of three years at a time. As such, my letter must indicate that there is a definate end date because the expectation is that I will return back to my country and share the information I have learned, with my fellow colleagues/nurses. The problem was was that they were unwilling to stipulate that and so we tried to bypass this by indicating it in a personal letter addressed to US customs and border protection. The agent appeared as though he was just going to flat out refuse me entry but then gave me the chance to try to contact my recruiter. I tried. I really tried. But no one would return my damn call. WTH!!!! Then he took my stuff into the back room and talked to his supervisor/manager who then came out while I was on the phone and got upset with me because I was on the phone in the area that was clearly marked EVERYWHERE that you cannot be on any electronic device and I was silently shitting my pants because I didn't want to say anything perceived to be negative to this boss! Thankfully the other agent who was working on my case spoke up indicating that he had given me permission to use my cell phone! So once I was off the phone (I was trying to get a hold of the recruiter again), I was called back up to the desk by the both of them....

And told that although the terms weren't indicated, that they were going to give me a year visa and that that would give me the chance to fix the discrepancy or that I would have to return home... or find a new employer.

I guess I'll have to put it in those terms to my new employer. We'll see whether they'll be more willing to change their tune once I start the residency and all.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The time has come

For things to change.... a LOT

We FINALLY got word that my visa stuff got approved and so things have started to move quickly!

We told the family yesterday that I would be moving on monday - four days from now! And why should I not be surprised but they were not happy for me. To be honest, I think that they were shocked. They were upset that I was going by myself and that I would be leaving little tyke and hubby here in Canada and going and living by myself in the southern US.

Now I'm in a bit of a panic to get everything done - my medical records to take with me (done today!), I also have to pack (still have to start that - heck I still have to get boxes!), get my prescription meds done for the next 6 months (at least then I won't have to feel pressured to find doctors where I will be working/living. This turned into a nightmare and maybe I'll write a whole post on it, we'll see! Man, my life is never boring!

Tomorrow I have to go to the DMV to go get my driver's abstract because when I return to Canada then there will be a history of my driving record, otherwise I will have to start ALL OVER AGAIN and I have a pretty darn good driving record if I do say so myself! Because as soon as I go to the DMV in the state where I settle (which is required in the first 6 weeks) I have to surrender my Canadian license to the DMV.

Tomorrow (which is now today because I had to continue writing the post on the next day) I went and got money exchanged and paid child support of Big boy who lives in home town, that should be interesting experience once I move and have to pay it - maybe it'll be hubby paying it on my behalf - we'll see. Right now I have to pay it once a month by a certain date and pay it directly into their account and so I just go to the bank and get it done. At least that's one thing checked off my list of things to get done before I leave!

Then I had to go procur some boxes! Of course for free! Who doesn't like something for free?! I do, I do!!! Well my mom works in a grocery store and she taught me a long time ago that they have the best boxes for moving - for free!!! If you go and see the produce ppl, ask them for apple boxes in particular - they are built stronger and have really nice lids. Then my next choice would be banana boxes - as long as they have lids - if not, I leave them. The thing about banana boxes though is that on the bottom there is an area in the middle where there is no bottom - so you kinda have to do a bit of arts and crafts if you're willing to take these boxes - simply take other boxes, rip them apart and run a section down the middle of the box to help support the bottom of the box from the inside. Plus for larger boxes all you have to do is look to the grocery area and talk to the ppl there and ask for the bigger boxes and normally all they'll ask you for is your name and ask you to come back for them at a certain time because they'll save them for you. Either way - this is the stage that I'm at... I have to go get my boxes tomorrow morning.

Then I had to talk to my recruiter (who is the senior recruiting manager thankfully) about drafting another offer letter as there were items missing or things that I needed added to it for when I need to go across US/Canadian border monday morning. But of course, in my life, things never go according to plan and so I had to track them down again later down in the day because the letter had to be changed yet again but in the end was able to get to a satisfactory point. Hubby was able to help me with finding the rest of the information on the CBP website in order to write my own letter that supplements my offer letter because my recruiter couldn't couldn't put certain information in it. Point is is that my work wants me but won't sponsor me to stay around forever and so I must go with a NAFTA (I'm sure you've heard about this in the news lately) related visa in which it runs out at the end of three years and must be renewed if I want to stay at this hospital in this position.

So pretty much Saturday will be spent trying to get the med situation figured out - seriously, it's a shit show! And I also have to pack - EVERYTHING - I seriously haven't packed a thing yet. I also have some organizing that needs to be done. Because once I leave, hubby needs to still be a dad - I don't want him to come back here and check out of being a dad - letting his mom take over all the responsibilities of being the parent of little tyke. So these next few days are going to be very very busy! So I suppose I should go to bed and get some sleep. Those boxes aren't going to fill themselves!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Oh to have little tyke home

And everyone else that is. Hubby was the first to come home. I would like to say that it was nice to spend some time together but from the moment he stepped back into the same country as me he proceeded to argue with me incessently and usually  needlessly - like PICK YOUR BATTLES!!!! I don't think he's ever grasped that concept. Either way, we did spend a bit of time together and that was nice. We did get to celebrate the fact that I passed the NCLEX - WOOO FRIGGIN HOOOOO!!!!

Just last week little tyke came home. I am so unbelievably happy to see her again. But OMG ppl, she has lost an unbelievable amount of weight while she was there. So much so that I'm taking her to the physician on Friday. It's from serveral different things (I think...) - from the moment she got to Pakistan she was really sick with a respiratory bug that I think she caught on the plane or in the airport(s) (big surprise considering what kids touch!) and then with the water and food being different over there she developed diarrhea and didn't want to eat or would hardly eat anything and then when she looks like she's getting over the resp bug and is on the mend she all over the place and wouldn't be kept down - always wanting to play with the millions of kids that were visiting - all the cousins that were visiting and such. Then just as she's about to come back here she's struck again with some resp and intestinal thing and it's coming out both ends. They are able to get her to stop vomitting so she's not dehydrated and she's still willing to drink and such so they weren't too worried.

So to have her home and in my safe and capable hands again is more than I can say! I've nursed her back to even keel almost. She's no longer having diarrhea. She's eating properly and indicating proper hunger responses. She has a nasty cough but I don't think pneumonia - I do think that perhaps she may have caught influenza while she was there. Actual influenza, not the thing that ppl just say - Oh I have the flu, when in fact they have a crappy cold or an older kid has caught RSV. Who knows. Either way, it's taken a nasty hit to my child in terms of weight as well. I was told that she had caught head lice (big surprise! - yuck!) and so her first thing was to have a bath and so I stripped her and I was SHOCKED at how much weight and muscle and adipose my little tyke had lost. She just doesn't look healthy. She looks very unwell. So we'll be having a well/un-well/check-up with our doctor on Friday and we'll see just how much weight she's lost and I'll be asking for some blood work to see if there's something more sinister at play at work as well.

But since she's coming home she hasn't really left my side other than to go to school. She has been suffering from some wicked jet lag poor girl. Hopefully all this will blow over soon. Til then I'm here.