Saturday, February 23, 2013

My very last Saturday at work...

OK, the title may be misleading.  While I wish it was the very last Saturday of working ever (who doesn't want every weekend off!?!?), it's at the very least the last weekend shift, or any shift for that matter for the next 18 days.

Can I get a "What, What!?"

Oh yea! I walked into work with an extra special pep in my step.  Which one of the security guards thought was "quite pleasant for a Saturday."

But really, I was just pre-game celebrating.  I thought "I can do anything for 10 or 12 hours."

And that I did!

And now I'm done!

So here's to the next 18 days off.  And to a very amazing, incredible, extremely looked forward to vacation with my man!!!

And with that comes time off from blogging as well, because where we're going the internet is unavailable.  Well, unavailable unless your rich, and then you can pay a hefty fee for a few minutes of slow internet.  And we all know that baller status I am not (just see this post).

And that's ok. That's just the way I like my vacations.  Completely away from all of life's distractions.

So I hope you all have a great 2 weeks.  I will see you when I get back.

And if I was a super cool blogger, or one with a remote amount of friends who blogged about the PICU (or anything for that matter) I would have been more responsible and had guest bloggers lined up.

But really, do I roll like that.  We all know not!

So this is all ya get....a Bon Voyage.  And not the Carnival-fire in the engine/lady's with "I miss my cats" signs- type voyage, but a real, genuine Caribbean style Bon Voyage.

*PS- has anyone else noticed that ridiculous picture that keeps popping up on the internet!? If i was stranded in the middle of the ocean on a very large ship surrounded by sewer waste and little food, really, would I be showcasing a poster stating my love for my cats and how I desperately missed them...of all things!?!?

So back to my ADD-I.CAN' be on vacation mind.

Adios. Bon voyage. See ya when I get back.  And yes, I promise there will be a few glorious clear water, golden sand pics!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sexy Sunday

It was a Sunday night shift like any other night shift.  Until it wasn't.

Our unit over the past 5 days or so has been unusually slow.  Actually, slower than its been in years!  So Sunday night I went in to work my 16 hour call shift and was hoping for a chill night.

Which it was.  Until the fellow that was also on call told me that I lost something.  Something important.

I immediately thought, "Oh man...did my Volte phone fall out of my coat??? He's probably been trying to call me and thinking I've been ignoring him since I didn't answer!"

As I walked closer to the area that he was standing at, I realized my phone was still in my pocket.

My next thought was, "Oh man...I lost my patient sheets.  All the information on the patients I'm caring for tonight is gone."

And yet, there they were in my other pocket.

What could I have possibly lost!?!?

And then I saw what he was pointing to:

Yup, Victoria Secret lacy thong, all in its purple glory on the computer at the main nursing station!

And no, these most definitely were NOT mine!!

Which led me to "EWWW!!! Why is there underwear on the computer!?"

We definitely had a good laugh.  And apparently my shriek was a little loud because the charge nurse came running over to see what the fuss was about.  And so did about 6 other nurses in the area.

At the end of the night, or I guess in the morning at the end of the shift, nobody fessed up to the underwear being theirs.

It was obviously someone trying to look Sexy on this particular Sunday.  Except they didn't pull it off, because they clearly weren't wearing them!  Eww... I'm not sure that makes it any better!

Guess we'll just leave it at hope you had a Sexy Sunday...everyone deserves one every once in awhile!

Friday, February 15, 2013

International Research Symposium

The PICU Noise study is complete!  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read more about it here.  In short, I was the Co-Principle Investigator of a study in the PICU looking at noise levels throughout various parts of the unit. 

Since we moved from one area of the city to a brand new building last summer, we did data collection at the old facility and the new.  We wanted to compare noise levels at each facility, and see if any of the noise reduction strategies that were used in building the new facility actually had an impact on noise levels within our unit.

So the data collection at both facilities has been done.  The next step is to present our study and our findings at a conference.  With the Shaw Grant that I received, there was enough money to send both myself and my co-investigator to a conference in a pretty cool place.  

Which led our search for conferences in places that we could really enjoy.  So we put our applications for abstracts out there, and finally we're in!

We got accepted to present the PICU Noise Study at the International Nursing Research Symposium in July in beautiful, historic....



I am so excited, I can barely stand it!  Ever since Emily on the Bachelorette took her 6 guys there I've wanted to go (although, I'm pretty sure I want to go to EVERY place the Bachelor and the Bachelorette go!).  But I always thought that it was one of those places that would be amazing to visit, but never actually become a reality.  

But oh, it is!!!  

I will get to spend about a week and a half exploring the sites, perfecting my photography obsession with the amazing historical buildings and castles, and just taking in the culture!  

If any of you have been, please hit me up with recommendations on food, places to visit, must dos, etc!!  Until then, I will just keep dreaming of the amazing time that is to be had there!  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Money isn't everything...BUT...

The weirdest thing happened at work yesterday- I was sitting in a family meeting to discuss one of our long term patients and his family's wishes for the remainder of his care when my volte phone rings.

The volte phone is an internal phone that we hold so that we can communicate with other APNs, physicians and our bedside nurses quickly via text or call. It doesn't work outside the premises of the hospital, and many times doesn't work great even within the hospital!

But the phone rang, so I excused myself from the meeting to answer it.

On the other line was a man who was speaking in a rather quiet tone, and seemed secretive.  He asked "Is this Dana? How are you? Just wanted to check in with you..." all without even saying who he was!

Which then prompted me to cut him off to ask.  Turns out, he was a job recruiter, and he was calling to see if I would be interested in an APN job in the Pennsylvania area, focusing on congenital heart ICU patients, offering $130,000, and with great translocation benefits (although even now, I'm not sure exactly what that is).  Apparently he thought he'd catch me at a good time being the weekend.  Too bad he called on a solely work line!

My first response was, "How in the world did you get this number...this is an internal volte phone!? And second, how did you get a hold of me!?"  Lastly I thought "$130,000...really??? I knew I was underpaid, but REALLY???"

He then slyly responded, "Now I know you're at work, and you probably shouldn't talk about this matter, but simply say 'Yes, alright that sounds doable' if you're interested."

To which I replied, "You have the wrong APN.  I just started 7 months ago, and am certainly in NO market to get a new job.  Especially in Pennsylvania.  Although, if you could work on getting me that salary or something even remotely comparable to where I'm at now, then we can definitely talk!!"

He then proceeded to tell me if I gave him the information to my co-workers and they accepted the job there would be a hefty referral fee.  As enticing as that sounded, I then remembered we only have 6 APNs at the moment with 4 open positions which leaves us extremely short staffed, and our scheduling has been a bit ridiculous of late.

So NO, I do not have anyone I can give you information to.  And if you, dear APN recruiter even think about trying to pry one of us away, you will have to deal with the wrath that comes upon this APN when she is asked to come off her regularly scheduled shifts to pick up, oh lets say "just another weekend" or "just another night shift."  It's not pretty.  You've been fairly warned.

So it looks like this PICU APN is turning down another $130,000 job to keep working with the incredibly small, incredible close but occasionally dysfunctional APN family right where I am.  OK, I guess I have never turned down any kind of offer like that before, but I am now.

Because there is so much more to life than money.  And while yes, it would be great to make THAT.MUCH.MORE. we are comfortable where we are.  I will put up with the scheduling nuances and politics that go on because, really those are everywhere.  And its nice to know that despite having to put up with it, I can deal with it in a PICU family that truly cares.  We all love what we do, and it shows.

On the other hand, any APN out there looking for an incredible, amazing job that pays really well (like, $130,000 well!), with great translocation benefits???  If so, I have the perfect recommendation for you!....hey, money isn't everything, but a little referral bonus never hurt anyone : )

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Leibster Award

I was nominated by Candi at "I'm Sailing Aweigh" for the Leibster Award....thank you!!
Liebster is the German word for dearest, other translations mean favorite or beloved. The award is given from one blogger to another, and is a way of saying "dearest blogger" or "favorite blogger". To be nominated for the award you must be a blogger with under 200 followers.

How does the Liebster award work, you may be asking? Well, when you are nominated you need to give 11 random facts about yourself. You are also sent 11 questions to answer by the person that nominated you. You then need to nominate 11 other bloggers and set your own 11 questions for them to answer. You also have to notify your nominee's, that could be a Tweet, Facebook message or comment on their blog.

So first off, here's 11 random facts about me:
1.) I am a third generation middle name Lynn..and plan to carry that on if we are blessed with a daughter
2.) I love dressing up and wearing high heels...but then I LOVE taking those off and getting into some amazing comfy sweatpants and slippers
3.) I really, really want to go sky diving but am terrified at the same time
4.) I love working out...seriously!  I just hate eating healthy!
5.) I want to tackle a half marathon, full marathon and sprint triathalon before I am 40
6.) I met my husband when I was 19, and could not be more in love with him today than I was then!
7.) Vacationing is one of my biggest passions...can't get enough of it!
8.) I absolutely adore children, and couldn't imagine working with any other age group!
9.) Speaking of children, Jon and I have had baby names picked out since we were engaged, and we've stuck to them over the past 9 years...just waiting on those babies to claim their names!
10.) An ideal night is filled with chocolate and wine
11.)  I played soccer throughout high school (and a brief stint in college), jersey # 11

And finally, the questions I had to answer:
1.  If you could have a superpower what would it be?-->I would be able to transport myself and others anywhere, at anytime...who needs long flights to get to vacation!?

2. If you could push "the button" and instantly receive 10 million dollars but someone in the world would die, would you?
-->Is it sad if my first thought was, "Would this person already be dying anyways???" Otherwise, no.

3. Do you prefer movies or music?
-->Movies, hands down

4.  Whichever is your preference to #4 then what is your favorite movie or favorite type of music?
-->Ohh, I have so many favorite movies.  I guess the tops would include How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Top Gun, Princess Bride, Elf, Sweet Home Alabama, and Dumb and Dumber...and a recent new fav, although I've only seen it once was Pitch Perfect...hilarious!

5. What is your idea of a perfect day?
-->It involves Jonny, a beach with clear water and baby powder sand, a good cold beer, and a great book

6. If you could snap your fingers and instantly change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
-->I would take off (and leave off!) 15 pounds...but only from select areas...there are some places that just should not get any smaller!

7. What is your favorite season?
-->without a doubt, summer!

8. If you could vacation somewhere & money was no object, where would that be?
-->On a secluded over the water hut in Tahiti or Bora Bora 
8.) Would you rather have money or good looks?
--> parents always said I could do anything I put my mind to, so I'm going with that! Who needs to choose!

10. Do you believe in love at first site?
-->No, not when it comes to romantic love...that just doesn't make sense to me. I would say yes when it comes to having children though.  

11.  What's better New York or LA?
-->Never been to LA, and only been to New York for about 14 hours...but I loved Times Square in the middle of the night, Central Park, and the street pizza, so gonna have to go with NYC!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Grocery Shopping Post-Cleanse

This is the last of the Cleanse Posts...I promise.  But I'm still getting emails and questions about it, so I figured why not just post.  If you want the first two installments, here and here.

Being a nurse practitioner can be hard.  Being a healthy nurse practitioner can be even harder.  There are so many days that just fly right by and you realize you didn't have the chance to eat a real meal.  And certainly healthy eating takes planning.

But I must say that with this planning, I have felt healthier, have clearer skin, and have been more (maybe only slightly, but still!) energized than before.

As I said in previous posts, I truly enjoyed and would recommend the Whole Foods Cleanse that I did (which can be found here).  It was definitely worth the money spent, as well as time and energy used into sticking to it!

The biggest questions I've gotten about it are what does my typically grocery list look like, and what meals do I make?

Jon and I usually divide up the grocery list and either hit up Costco on the weekend together (if we are gonna use their amazing pizza as one of our 10% meals), or he goes to Costo and I'll do Caputos.  If you don't have a Caputos Fresh Market where you live, I am so sorry.  It is the most amazing, fresh and inexpensive place ever!  I LOVE it! And they have every vegetable and fruit known to mankind.

So here's the 2 grocery lists:
1.) Costco:
-almond milk (unsweetened, all natural)
-almond butter
-pecans, walnuts, or almonds (unsalted, all natural)
-hummus (they now have individual serving sized containers that I love!)
-red peppers
-2 bins of organic spinach
-large bag of organic carrots
-big container of blueberries and blackberries
-frozen organic strawberries or berry mix
-bag of avacados
-chicken, lean ground turkey, eggs, or salmon
-kalamata olives

2.) Caputos:
-mangos, grapefruit, pears or whatever fruit sparks my interest that day
-2 heads of kale
-2 heads of swiss chard
-6 cucumbers
-head of cauliflower
-brussel sprouts
-fresh ginger root
-4-5 large handfulls of bean sprouts
-2 bushels of parsley
-1 bushel of cilantro
-lime juice
-2-3 yellow or white onions
-1 purple onion
-2-4 sweet potatoes (depending on our menu for the week)
-spaghetti squash
-butternut squash
-5 beets
-2 large cans of Hearts of Palm
-bag of lentils

The above groceries usually last us about 2 weeks. We try to stagger our Caputos and Costo runs so that we have room in our fridge.  And while we would love to buy everything organic, it's just too expensive. That being said, much of Costco's produce is organic, and you only get one choice there (which is cheaper than other stores!) so it's a win, win.  Last time I went to Caputos, I spent $46 and got all the above plus a few extras (can of black beans, buckwheat flour, etc) which lasts a couple weeks, so not too shabby.

Now for what I actually eat:

I always start the day off with a Green Juice.  We have an awesome juicer that we bought about 7 years ago, and unfortunately does not have its name anywhere!!! I have no idea what brand it sorry!  I just put whatever green veggies are in my fridge, with a handful of baby carrots, lemon juice, and occasionally a beet or 2.  Mmm!  This will sound crazy (I'm well aware) but after drinking it I feel way more energized, a zing, and almost high!  High on veggies apparently...told ya, crazy!  But whatever, I'll take crazy b/c it works.

Snacks I love:
-apple with almond butter
-hummus with red pepper
-kalamata olives and hearts of palm
-blueberries with almond milk
-my healthy version of hot cocoa: just pour almond milk into a pan and add vanilla and a couple tablespoons of natural cocoa powder (to taste), whisk until it gets as hot as you like it...I like mine really steaming!  Mmm!  It's not sweet, but I like it that way.  Jon adds a bit of Stevia to his.

Meals We Like:
-Veggie stir fry (broccoli, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, mushrooms, red pepper, carrots, and whatever else we feel like putting in there). We also add chicken or shrimp if we are in the mood
-Eggplant Parmesean: In all fairness, we can't call this "parmesean" because we don't use cheese, and instead of breading it, we coat it with a pecan meal we make in our food processor, bake it in the oven, and top with a homemade tomato sauce.  But" Eggplant with pecan meal and tomato sauce" just doesn't sound as good : )
-Homemade organic tomato soup
-Roasted veggies: cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and sweet potato fries with avacado dip
-Salmon with lemon caper sauce (use vegetable stock for the base, do not add butter or wine to keep it low cal and super healthy)
-Lentil and veggie chili
-Lentil soup
-Lentil taco wraps: romaine leaves as taco shell, top lentils with tomatoes, cilantro, brown rice, and avacado

Those are the basics.  And the great thing about all the meals and snacks above is that they are easily portable to bring to work.  While there is more prepping, chopping, and cutting than I would love, once we make a meal at night, there are always leftovers to bring for lunch the next day.

Almost daily someone comments on "what a healthy eater" I am.  And yes, it takes work.  And it takes will power to say no to that cupcake or piece of chocolate.   But I can eat a lot of food, feel full all day long, and still work on losing those last few pounds and tightening things that certainly need to be tightened.

And after doing the Whole Foods Cleanse I am on my way to continuing to eat in a healthy, sustainable way which just feels great!

Note: I did not get paid to endorse the above cleanse.  I just completely loved the results, both inside and out!  The above are my opinions, and my opinions alone.  Although if Yuri would like to endorse me as a nurse practitioner, I wouldn't say no : )

As a total side note, there's been a lack of PICU posts in the past 2 weeks or so because we've just been too busy and way understaffed for me to take too much in!  That, and I've done a ton of night shifts which leaves me groggy and in a "is it 3 am or 3 pm?" fog for quite some time!  I promise I will get back to regularly schedule PICU posts this week as I actually have an entire week of day nights included! YIPEE!!