Saturday, June 11, 2011

more letters on my business card

So last week I officially became a certified hospice nurse, I passed the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse exam (150 questions, 1 hour, 92% correct). It wasn't too hard...I studied for maybe a total of 8-10 hrs over a couple of weeks, just read the curriculum book and study questions and reviewed a bit with another hospice nurse who took the exam the same day. All this gets me is a few extra cents an hour and the right to add these letters, CHPN, after the RN on my name tag and business card. The main reason I took it is just because it says, "I care about what I do so I took some time to prove it."

In other business of dying news, I'm changing my position! At the end of the month, I will move into an RN float position and out of my current RN case manager position. I'm pretty excited about it. While my 1+ year as a case manager has been an invaluable experience, the thing it mostly taught me is that I enjoy the nursing part more than the manager part of that job.  Our patient load is exploding, which means hours of overtime and often unexpected events or phone calls leading to looooong days. I've worked a few weekend triage shifts, where I just see patients with emergent needs. I get to swoop in, meet the patient and family, assess the most urgent issues or problems, and attempt to provide a solution. So that's what I'll  be doing as a float nurse. No more pages, phone calls, re-certifications, discharges, care conferences, etc. Just see my assigned patients for the day, chart on 'em, ensure appropriate follow-up from the care team is in place, close the computer, and DONE. Sure, the OT is nice on the paycheck but it's just not worth sacrificing my nights and evenings to charting charting charting. Plus, I'm really looking forward to the variety and new challenges of this new position. I perversely enjoy the challenge of "difficult" patients or "interesting" family dynamics when I know that it's just for that one shift. Also, after a year or so of learning a new thing, I tend to get a bit squirrelly...I start thinking, okay, this stuff is no longer terrifying or overwhelming, what's NEXT? That's a pretty cool perk about my job, and nursing in general, is that there are so many different opportunities, positions, educational chances, etc, that's there's really no excuse for boredom or stagnation.