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Crunchy Nurses '08 - Page 6

post #101 of 217
One of my nursing instructors: a CNM who taught our OB went to Frontier. She gave me info on it before I graduated. It looks like a great program.

But right now I am in med-surg. I need to get OB experience first.
post #102 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaelynsMama View Post
Wow, I'm so excited to have found this thread. I have never considered myself crunchy, but reading this, I guess I am, and I like it! :

I am finishing my first sem. in nursing school, I will graduate in May '11 because I only go part time. I've been struggling with this future career choice because of the drastic and blatent difference between my own beliefs and the beliefs of the medical community at large. We co-sleep, breastfeed, delayed/selectively vax, and try to just live a healthy natural lifestyle without too much medical intervention. I've tried to convince DH to let me transfer to a more naturally oriented distance school, where I could get my BA in natural health, because my ultimate dream is to open my own health and wellness center where I can educate people about natural lifestyles and help them make the best choices for their health. DH had a fit and insisted I stay in nursing school as a "plan b" I told him if I worked as a traditional nurse it would be a conflict of interest for me, unless I was able to work in a very progressive situation, which, we all know, there aren't too many of, and even less that are hiring. I wanted to work in L&D for awhile... but the situation there is just as bad if not worse.

I'm just thankful to have found this thread so I can see how everyone else handles balancing their personal/professional beliefs.
HI! I'm glad to have found this thread too! I plan on continuing to attend homebirths and become a CPM as well as an RN, eventually finishing up my education as a NP with Frontier... so being an RN is just one part of my education.
BUT I've really struggled with it too. So much of what I see going on in my local hospitals is so totally the opposite of what I personally believe in that I have really delayed and struggled with the decision to go to nursing school.
If I had a bankload of money, I wouldn't. I would just continue my homebirth midwifery apprenticeship and become a CPM and do homebirths BUT in my state, with no licensing, we also have no insurance reimbursment, which means that a lot of the midwives I know, and apprentice with, live at or below the poverty line.
I just can't do that, anymore. I have 4 kids to feed and hopefully put through college, so I have to seek a higher (read:better paying) level of education so I can provide for my kids.
So... off to RN school. I know there are things about it I'll love and hate. I just hope I can make it through, as a pretty crunchy mom/doula/midwife apprentice and not lose my mind. LOL.

I bf all 4 of my kids, the least of which weaned at 14/15 months, the longest at 3+ years.
We don't vax, we have always co-slept, CD occasionally, AP behaviours, slinging babies, respect for our kids, NVC, etc. This really goes against the majority beliefs of parents/people here in our area. I do go out of my way to connect with like-minded parents, because it's so important to me.
I have a feeling that I won't be able to keep quiet in school (never have been able to before, lol) so I am sure I will stir the pot occasionally.
My reasons for going to get my RN are so I can make enough money to provide for my family, and pay for my apprenticeship with hbmw's and eventually for going to Frontier.
I think, sometimes, that I will have to work in the ED to keep away from L&D. I've already been there, as a doula, and I come home burnt out, frustrated, sad and depressed way too much. I can't see working there as an RN day in and day out. I'm too much of one of those people who rail against injustice and wrongs and I see so much of that in L&D....
I'm sure there are some L&D nurses here that probably think I'm way off my rocker... so I'm sorry if I offended anyone... this is just all my opinion.
post #103 of 217
Just stumbled upon this thread!

I'm a crunchy nurse. I work in a free-standing birth center and I am currently in the CNEP program at Frontier. Not sure what I'm going to do once I graduate but my 5 kiddos were all born at home so homebirth is truly in my heart. I could totally see myself having a homebirth practice one day. Time will tell I suppose.

Anyway, I'm glad to have found like-minded RNs!:
post #104 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairydoula View Post
HI! I'm glad to have found this thread too! I plan on continuing to attend homebirths and become a CPM as well as an RN, eventually finishing up my education as a NP with Frontier... so being an RN is just one part of my education.
BUT I've really struggled with it too. So much of what I see going on in my local hospitals is so totally the opposite of what I personally believe in that I have really delayed and struggled with the decision to go to nursing school.
If I had a bankload of money, I wouldn't. I would just continue my homebirth midwifery apprenticeship and become a CPM and do homebirths BUT in my state, with no licensing, we also have no insurance reimbursment, which means that a lot of the midwives I know, and apprentice with, live at or below the poverty line.
I just can't do that, anymore. I have 4 kids to feed and hopefully put through college, so I have to seek a higher (read:better paying) level of education so I can provide for my kids.
So... off to RN school. I know there are things about it I'll love and hate. I just hope I can make it through, as a pretty crunchy mom/doula/midwife apprentice and not lose my mind. LOL.

I bf all 4 of my kids, the least of which weaned at 14/15 months, the longest at 3+ years.
We don't vax, we have always co-slept, CD occasionally, AP behaviours, slinging babies, respect for our kids, NVC, etc. This really goes against the majority beliefs of parents/people here in our area. I do go out of my way to connect with like-minded parents, because it's so important to me.
I have a feeling that I won't be able to keep quiet in school (never have been able to before, lol) so I am sure I will stir the pot occasionally.
My reasons for going to get my RN are so I can make enough money to provide for my family, and pay for my apprenticeship with hbmw's and eventually for going to Frontier.
I think, sometimes, that I will have to work in the ED to keep away from L&D. I've already been there, as a doula, and I come home burnt out, frustrated, sad and depressed way too much. I can't see working there as an RN day in and day out. I'm too much of one of those people who rail against injustice and wrongs and I see so much of that in L&D....
I'm sure there are some L&D nurses here that probably think I'm way off my rocker... so I'm sorry if I offended anyone... this is just all my opinion.
I could've written the great majority of this post. Becoming an RN is just one stop on my path. Working on optimizing the thick skin/I'm rubber you're glue mentality .

Hoping to start working on my pre-reqs this summer, fall latest. Looked at that Frontier link, I'm intrigued! Will check that out more later. I have 0 time for online stuff the last few months but I try and come check this thread periodically. I'm starting my MA externship on Monday which I'm excited about.

Gah! gotta get ready for school. Just one more day of actual class class to go, woo-hoo!
post #105 of 217
moving to working and stupid parents.
post #106 of 217
Hi all! Boy am I glad to have found you! I am a pretty crunchy RN who has been working in the ed fir almost 10 years. I am getting a little burned lately and really want to do maternal child health somewhere but my schedule is hard to fit so we'll have to see. I am looking forward to "hanging out with you all"!
peace and health
post #107 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
moving to working and stupid parents.
I think ya mean student parents!
post #108 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by birthdancedoula View Post
I think ya mean student parents!
OMG... HAHAHAHA...

I am sorry.

Yes I meant "student" parents.

sorry guys.
post #109 of 217
too funny
post #110 of 217
Okay, that was hilarious. I feel kind of stupid for working sometimes, though...



It's funny, I've never felt weird for working in a non-crunchy atmosphere -- and I've been a career-long ER nurse. I love the challenge of educating people on breastfeeding/AP practices, etc. I enjoy meeting like-minded parents by surprise in the ER who are oftentimes glad to meet an ER nurse who *isn't* completely clueless about breastfeeding or vax decisions or cosleeping, etc. Plus, I have been able to educate many colleagues on infant/child 'normals', etc.

However, I do wonder if I could make it in OB. OB fascinates me, and, like, many ER nurses, I have a pet subspecialty in peds/OB as it relates to emergency medicine ... but I wonder if I could actually hack it in OB as far as cooperating with some of the things that can go on there - unnecessarians, etc. - so maybe I would feel weird there. A free-standing birth center would be so much FUN...but yeah, there are none within hundreds of miles of me. So I'll keep on with my ER practice.

I'm glad this tribe is here! Good luck to all of the student nurses.
post #111 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulfaith View Post
Okay, that was hilarious. I feel kind of stupid for working sometimes, though...


i am pretty sure i am never going to live this one down... and that is ok. :

and i work out of the home too mama.. so I have that feeling sometimes too .
post #112 of 217
What a great thread! I'm an RN, worked for 5 yrs before becoming a SAHM. Been thinking about possibly returning to work again, but then I found out I was pregnant. So, baby #3 is due in Jully, so I will be a SAHM for a while yet. I did not technically become crunchy until AFTER I becamea sahm and was no longer working as a nurse. However, it has changed my attitude a lot about nursing. I'd love to work as a public health nurse, but keep debating with myself about how ethical it is for me to be in a position where I am supposed to be a vax pusher, when my personal beliefs are that ppl should not vax or at least selectively vax.

I have to admit that when I left my job as a nurse five yrs ago, I was very unhappy. My primary exp was in critical care. I was good at what I did, but just stressed out to the max and tired of getting treated like crap by many fellow catty nurses and feeling really unhappy about the adminstration in general. Anyway, now I am pondering (AGAIN) going back to school to get my MSN. I can't decide though whether to even bother getting a MSN, or if I should just abandon nursing and go the PA route. As much as I have always been an advocate for NPs, I have realized in the past few yrs, that PAs still get paid better and get more respect, even though NPs are usually more well educated. It makes me mad, but I don't want to spend the $ to go back to get my MS, just to feel unhappy with my career again.

It kind of stinks. I'm a good nurse, but I haven't been able to find, "the job" that I really love if that makes any sense. Of course, we live in a rural area. My choices are basically, the hospital (one hospital, the same one my DH works at and the same one that I left feeling disgruntled), nursing home or home health. I'd love to be a research nurse or a community health nurse, but those positions just aren't available in our area or the few times I have seen a public health nurse position, it is very occasional and the timing did not work out for me.

Anyway, just wondering how many of you are pondering returning to school. On top of having a BSN, I have a BS in dietetics (although I did not pursue my RD and at this point my chance to do so has exp, I would have to re-do ALL of my coursework, which I regret). I have actually thought about OT as well... but now they have made the requirements much more stringent compared to what they were when I was in college. I guess I feel very conflicted. I don't want to go back to nursing if it's the same stuff I had to deal with when I left. I don't know if it was just that I was burnt out on critical care. I think that maybe I may try L&D next if I have to return to work, but I just have this fear that if I go back to work, I will become unhappy again.
post #113 of 217
Didn't read *all* of the replies, just a couple of pages, but I thought I'd chime in.

I'm an RN, working slowly on my BSN online, used to be and LPN. I worked as an aide and LPN on an acute medical floor, then went to work for 5 years as a nurse at a birth center, then back to the medical floor when I went back to school (I needed more flexibility than the small birth center could offer, and also was tired ofthe 45 minute each way commute).

I tried mother/baby/L&D/nursery, and lasted 6 months. I just could. not. do. it. I really did love my coworkers, and there were some crunchy nurses there. I could not stand most of the docs, and frankly, most of the parents--I did learn that for every one crunchy mama who feels an epidural was pushed on her, or feels she was forced into an unnecessary section, or feels her efforts to breastfeed were undermined, there are *10* mamas who DEMAND an epidural the minute they hit the floor, don't understand why a section can't be elective as well as done the minute they are tired of being pregnant, and who give a lot of lip service to wanting to breastfeed, but when the baby wants to eat at 3am or the nipples get a little sore (after hours and hours of education and assistance on your part) say, "I don't think the baby likes this" (sure, blame it on the baby), and immediately switch to the bottle. Working OB was a real eye opener. I have a lot more respect for those nurses up there than I used to. I used to think they were the stereotypical push-the-epidureal, give-the-baby-a-bottle nurses, but really, most of them weren't. The parents, however....they were a different story.

So I made a decision. I truly love being a nurse, and I would rather work with sick people who NEED to be in the hospital than do what goes on in the OB department. I went back to the medical floor. I *love* it. And it suits a crunchy mama just fine. There is a lot of informal education and discussions with the patients on diet, exercise, lifestyle, and personal choice. A lot of the non-pharmacological pain and stress relieving skills I learned as a nurse attending out of hospital births I use every night at work. Therapeutic touch, a back rub, a cool wash cloth, positioning, a warm/cool drink, a sympathetic ear, encouraging words-all of these help my patients.

I also find that medical doctors tend to be more into patient choice. They are pretty realistic about the fact that if a patient doesn't want to do something, they aren't going to do it once they leave the hospital, so in my experience the medical docs are a little more into education and working WITH the pt to figure out how to help them.

I love love love natural birth and there is nothing better than holding that sweet, new baby or helping a mom with breastfeeding--but it wasn't worth it to me to keep working on OB. I also find it very rewarding to help someone understand how to manage their heart failure better, or how to prevent more diabetic ulcers, help their family let go and say good bye with the understanding that a peaceful death does not mean that the battle has been lost. I love it when grumpy little old ladies just melt when you give them a back rub, or how old vets will compare tattoo stories with me if they get a glimpse of mine (their story is always so much cooler and exotic).

Just like nursing has a variety of options as far as career, the parts of nursing I find rewarding are extremely varied. I will probably never go back to birth center nursing, at least, not full time. The work was great, the hours were hell on my family and me, and the pay was almost half of what I make now. I remember many weeks, putting in over 100 hours in a two week time period for a paycheck that barely made it until the next one.

For me, the schedule, the financial security, and the fact that I can ride my bike to work make me so much happier than I was.

My long-winded point? Crunchy mamas like other parts of the hospital besides OB. THere are many factors that make this a rewarding career choice, and they are all valid.

Nice to see other crunchy mamas! I think you'd be surprised how many crunchy nurses there are, even if they don't identify as such. I work with several.
post #114 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedaaria View Post
I recently started working casually in psychiatry, nice to see another psych nurse
I just switched from PICU to adolescent psych and I love it (I work with sexual offenders). I have a great job and feel blessed to be where I am. I got tired and the stress in critical care (affecting my health....my BP was up, tired all the time, etc).
post #115 of 217

finishing AA degree freakout

Hi Crunchy Nurses,
thank goodness for this thread, i'm so glad there are others out there like me who want to give wonderful care and info to mom's and babes and hate seeing the things hospitals do that are horrendous and wrong. i'm in my maternity clinicals right now and I hate it! except when i'm helping a baby get on the boob, i'm LLL leader and would love to become a lactation consultant.

But my question is, can I get hired at a birthing center with my two year degree? i'm planning on going to midwifery school but am really tired of school so want to work a bit when i'm done. I also want to homeschool so maybe i should just get a position somewhere where i can do evenings or part time. Can someone please tell me what it is really like to start out as a working nurse? i feel like i know nothing about how to schedule my time. I'm scared of being squished by the other nurses. ok, thanks for listening!
Danapele
post #116 of 217
Pele, the first yr out is hard. You learn sooo much your first yr out and yes it is stressful, but it's just something you need to get through and after that, you will not only feel better about your nursing skills, but you can get a job just about anywhere. Most ppl prefer you have one yr of med/surg before branching out into other specialties. It gives you a very good basis to have one yr of med surg experience. Some places are desperate, and will hire new grads into maternity, BUT maternity nursing is VERY different from your typical unit nursing. I think that skill-wise, it's best to get the one yr of med-surg out of the way so you have that under your belt first. If you want evenings or nights, they will love you, b/c those are the positions that are harder to fill. Quite honestly though, I prefer to work evening shift vs. day, it's much crazier during the day than evening shift, so it may work out well with your plans to homeschool. Good luck! Oh and don't worry about being an ADN, where I live most nurses are ADNs, there are very few of us who are BSNs, and we don't get paid more and really the whole, "you can't go into administration as a ADN" is a bunch of BS, b/c it is pretty common in the last two hospitals that I've worked at, both which were in more rural regions.

I too am a LLL leader and I am thinking about maybe trying out maternity nursing. I think that eventually I will end up becoming a LC, but I'm just kind of bummed, b/c I know I won't make much $ doing it in our area. The BF rate is probably the lowest in our state, and the two LCs I know in our area are always complaining that there's not enough business, so I don't think they will be happy if there is another LC around.
post #117 of 217
Hi fellow crunchy nurses!

I graduated nursing school last year and was 100% sure I wanted to do either maternity nursing or NICU. I ended up getting hired into the NICU at an inner-city hospital where I had some clinicals senior year. After orienting there I worked in the stepdown nursery, and loved it at first. Stepdown nursery was all “feeder-growers”, babies who no longer needed high-tech interventions, but just needed to put on some weight and transition from NG feeds to breast or bottle before going home. We had a great lactation program at that hospital. I really enjoyed the parent education and support aspects of that job. But after 6 months at that hospital, I realized that I was a brand-new nurse with very minimal nursing skills, other than putting down NG tubes, treating diaper rash, and teaching babies how to eat without choking. Also, although the pay was great, the one-hour commute and the night-shift hours were horrible on my family life. I was either gone, asleep all day, or a cranky zombie for all but one or two days a week.

So, in the interest of my family (and also to become more comfortable using my nursing skills), I called up the manager of the general pediatrics unit where I had worked as a student, and begged her, “Take me back!” (She had offered me a very PT position when I graduated, but I turned her down in favor of the shiny big hospital experience). She hired me back PRN in November, and it was definitely the right choice. I now have a 20 minute commute (as good as it gets since I live in the boonies) instead of 60 minutes each way, and although I don’t have benefits as a PRN, I love the freedom of deciding who many hours I want to sign up for from week to week. No more begging for time off for vacations! I am required to work a minimum of 6 hrs per week, but lately we have been so short-staffed that I work 20+ hours a week, and could pick up a lot more hours if I wanted to. I still work occasional nights, but more evenings than any other shift. This works out great for my family, as my mom and MIL don’t mind watching DD for a few hours a couple times a week.

Being back on a more general unit has been great for my nursing skills. We take care of newborns up to age 17, for all kinds of diagnoses, and also we take a lot of overflow GYN surgery pts, so I get a lot of preop and postop experience that way. There are still areas that I know very little about (ie don’t send me any pts over age 50!), but I feel much more well-rounded now than I did working in the stepdown nursery.

I always thought I would eventually become an LC, but at this point I’m very happy working in peds, just because I have such a great work-life balance at this point. I may eventually try to transfer to the childbirth floor and become an LC, but probably not in the near future.

Pele, as for being “squished by other nurses”, I did have a few times starting out where older nurses would roll their eyes at me during shift report, but that was all at the big hospital. And most of the nurses there were happy to answer my questions. At the little hospital that I came back to, I think I am in the loveliest, friendliest unit I could ask for. None of my coworkers ever act put out about my still-frequent questions, and they are always happy to help out when I get swamped. I am 32 wks pg, and most of them are great about making sure I get breaks.

As for the first year out of school, I have been out 10 months, and I am amazed at how much I have learned and how much more comfortable I feel doing routine nursing tasks now. Just the other night I was chatting with a family while hanging an IV antibiotic for their child, and I suddenly realized, 1) wow, I no longer need my entire brain to focus on programming an IV pump! and 2) I feel fairly comfortable answering the random questions that parents ask! Cool!

I think the hardest part of the first yr has been learning to manage multiple pts (my school *never* gave us more than one at a time , so making the leap to 4 pts was a big deal) and getting comfortably talking to doctors (I found out that 97% have no desire to eat me alive like I thought they would ).

Several of my coworkers work PT evenings/nights and homeschool. And on the associate degree issue, my manager and director both have associates, and the hospital is paying for them to get their BSNs with classes held at the hospital. I actually get teased somewhat for having a BSN, because the majority of the nurses both places I have worked have ASNs.
post #118 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by mags
As much as I have always been an advocate for NPs, I have realized in the past few yrs, that PAs still get paid better and get more respect, even though NPs are usually more well educated.
Isn't that something? Really ticks me off.

It's nice to read about the first year out experiences!
post #119 of 217
Glad to see this thread still alive.
Yay for crunchy nurses and nursing students!
post #120 of 217
Ladies, for those of you who get your CEUs online. Which website is reasonably priced with a good variety of topics? I need to renew my license this summer and need to get cracking now, before baby #3 arrives in July!
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