Friday, June 21, 2013

Float On

If you work in an inpatient setting, you've probably floated to another unit when census was low on your unit. In some hospitals, nurses float frequently; in others, it's fairly rare. Some RNs really dread floating. I've learned that here on the west coast, some hospitals have an hourly premium for floating to another unit: you make a few dollars more an hour for working on another unit. That wasn't the case at my Indianapolis hospital. 

In Indy, I worked day shift, so if I had to do the split shift float, I floated to another unit for the last 4 hours of my shift, from 3p-7p. In a way that seems easier, in that you're not scrambling at the beginning of your shift to pass meds and assess everybody and chart within four hours. 3p-7p isn't usually the busiest time in a day shift, while 7p-11p is usually the busiest time in a night shift. And so now that I'm a travel nurse working nights and I'm the first to float, I do frequently float to another unit from 7p-11p, and then back to my home unit from 11p-7a. It's a chaotic way to start my shift, and it's a pain in some ways, but at least it makes the shift go fast. And it's increased my flexibility and my ability to streamline my charting.

If you're intimidated by floating, being a travel nurse will cure you of that for sure. And if you like seeing a variety of units in addition to a variety of cities, then that's another reason to take the leap and try a travel job. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

Travel nursing has been a cool way for me to try out new cities, meet new people, and become less rigid in my work life and personal life. Always moving and never really feeling settled isn't the life for me, though. I'm ready to take a "permanent" (hey, it doesn't come with a ball and chain, you know) job, at least for a while. But where? I love the city of Seattle, and I have a great job here. My unit has openings. What's the catch?

My boyfriend and my family, to whom I am close, live in Indianapolis. My job there was okay. The jobs and insurance are better on the West Coast, at least in general. And Indianapolis has plenty to do, but no mountains, no Puget Sound, no constant grunge band vibe.

I'm ready to feel rooted again, but where?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Adar Nurse Scrub Top Review

The hospital where I'm currently working in Seattle is the first facility I've worked where employees aren't required to wear specifically-colored scrubs based on their roles. In my Indianapolis hospital, RNs wore white and royal blue, any brand we wanted to buy. In California, the RNs wore branded scrubs provided by the hospital, although staff laundered them at home. Here, as long as your scrubs are clean and in good shape, anyone can wear any scrubs. Some people do wear green or black or patterned tops, but most everyone, from transportation to RTs to RNs, wears the hospital-provided ceil blue scrubs.

Sure, it's great to have free scrubs, and it's nice to not have to launder them yourself if you don't want to. However, my two major issues with the hospital scrubs are: 1) They seem to be one-size-fits-almost-no-one and 2) They have almost nothing in the way of pockets. The bottoms have one back pocket, and the tops have one small breast pocket and one small pocket at hip level. Come on, this is not sufficient, especially for a person like me, who likes to have scissors, alcohol swabs, and saline flushes on hand.

So, when a representative from Uniformed Scrubs, a company that sells medical scrubs, sent me an email and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing an Adar Uniform scrub top, I thought, "Awesome, maybe this will be a chance to wear a top with enough pockets." I agreed to check it out, and they sent me a top to try out:

Here are my thoughts:

Indeed, the top they sent me had two nice roomy pockets in the front. During my shift I was able to squirrel away all the supplies I needed into my pockets, just the way I like. The material is structured and seems durable, but it's also soft. The fit was great. I'd never had to order scrubs without trying them on before, but I just emailed my usual top size, and it fit well.

The only drawback for me was the style of the top. I normally buy Landau scrubs in what I think is a gender-neutral style. This top was definitely a more feminine cut. More flattering, sure, but do I really care about that at work? I generally expect my nurse scrub tops to be functional rather than fashionable, and the tie in the back made me feel a little self-conscious and kind of rubbed against the back of my chair (of course we only sit down one or two times in a shift, so that's not a big deal). A few co-workers asked me if I'd lost weight, so I guess the look was slimming. If that's important to you, that's a big pro.

The next time I'm working at a facility that doesn't provide scrubs, I'll definitely consider ordering Adar scrub tops, although I'd choose a different style.

Uniformed Scrubs is offering 15% off of orders through July 31st with the coupon code "trueblue." Here's links to their Facebook page, their blog, and their Pinterest. They're on Twitter as @UniformedScrubs.

Uniformed Scrubs provided me this scrub top to review but did not compensate me in any other way. It was a fun experience. I'd love to get the opportunity to review their scrub pants, you can see from the pictures, my hospital-provided scrub bottoms have neither fit nor flattering style going for them!