Slacking off and it’s not even Dog Days yet!

It’s been an entire month since I wrote ( or close enough). I’d like to say I have been terribly busy but can’t. Everyone made it through July 4th without any major calamities. I seemed to have spent most of the month on the lawn mower or holding a hose. Thus far has been a bee-u-ti-ful summer, just like when we were kids, including the poison ivy.

Picked lots of blackberries a few weeks ago; ate some and made jam but only 3 pints for at least 4 qts of berries. I tried to mush out most of the seeds which lost some of the fruit and didn’t use pectin, only sugar. Haven’t tried any yet, it’s better on a cold winter morning on hot toast.

have been reviewing the resolutions for General Assembly. Some make sense – nursing protocols, TBI/concussion education, advocate for decrease in Rx drug abuse (duh!) Some seem kind of no-brainers- creating a national trauma system, using orientation guidelines, standardizing emergency codes (I thought this was already in the works per TJC?) We (NYS ENA) did sign on to the nursing protocols resolution, even though if passed it will not effect us as the NYS board of nursing education does not allow the use of protocols, “outside our scope of practice”. I’m not sure we are ever going to get past that one. would certainly expedite pt throughput though wouldn’t it?

I’m off in the AM with Sue and whomever else to Binghamton for the July quarterly meeting. hope to see some of you there. Ginnie

a few things of interest

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A few things have been either bugging me or were brought to my attention recently. Jessica Castner from Western, who is working on a research project about protocol orders, sent me some info: New York stands out as the least likely to have protocols across the board – in some cases the odds are up to 11 times that you are more likely to have protocols if you practice in any other state. I don’t think this is news to anyone who practices in NYS and her research is not final, but it continues to amaze me that NYS, while professing to be so progressive in health care, continues to insist that registered nurses are not capable of deciding about protocol order use. I don’t think the current resolution up for voting at October’s GA is going to make much difference, although I will vote ‘yes’ for it’s passage and hope that it will be another point towards getting the NYS board of education to change this ruling.

The other thing came from Ken Steinhardt’s Washington Update. The great state of MIssouri has signed into law a bill which allows med students who have not done a residency but have completed their licensing exams, to begin to practice medicine in underserved areas. They would have to join a primary care practice with a collaborating physician who agrees to accept responsibility for them. The creation of this new “assistant physician” is used as a strategy to address the shortage of primary care in many areas of their state. BUT Missouri continues to impose more restrictions on NPs, who could also fulfill this shortage, than many other states. Another challenge for nursing in the current healthcare milieu.

As I watch my little VW convertible be towed off this AM, I also read that the last two weeks of August may be the hottest of the summer. Somehow I always manage to be too proactive. I decided that since it barely passed inspection this year and I am not putting any more money into it, that I would donate it to LollyPop Farm. So cleared it all out, took off the plates, loaded up the four spare tires on rims which have been taking up space in the garage for five years. I even removed the new CD/radio I put in and let them have the old one. (which worked very well but had a cassette player; that tell you how old it was?) Maybe I should have waited at least until after first frost? Oh well, hind sight etc etc.

See you all in October I hope, stay cool and keep safe…..Ginnie

Who says vacation is overrated?

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Well, I spent a week in Massanutten VA, part with my sisters and part by myself. As you can see, we DID zipline although this is the only photo; my sister whom we forced to go first so she could take pictures, did not actually get any pictures of me coming down the line. Very interesting experience, I would go again even though the method of transportation from the landing platform was “step off into space and hang on”! My landing was similar to a beached turtle but we all survived. After they left on Sunday the rest of the week was pretty quiet. I did tube down the Shenandoah River, took an all day winery tour (had to buy a few bottles), shopped, did some crafts, and in general did not worry about lawn mowing or anything else.

Now I am back, working on stuff for General Assembly and Indiana conference. Thanks to all the delegates who were able to attend the orientation on the 25th. We will be more than ready when the time comes to push the button on our beepers!

Next project is nominations for upcoming elections. As usual it’s like pulling teeth; I realize that everyone is more than busy with work and family and school and the positions are volunteer. We are still missing someone for Pres-elect. This is a 3 year commitment when you figure in pres-elect, president and past pres spots on the board. PLEASE think about this level of participation on our state board. Kathy is on vacation this week; if you are interested in any of the positions open – pres-elect, board at large or treasurer – contact her soonest. The information needed is on the NYS website.

See you in October!!! Ginnie

escape

I’m sorry for slacking off on this thing, but it’s been so hot. NYS delegates have all been informed of their status, in early June actually. The entire process has been interesting to say the least: a few anonymous, a few late applications, and one which never got registered. I apologize to those who didn’t make the deadline or whose applications disappeared into cyberspace. I have asked Sarah if there is a way to have something emailed back which says your application was received and she is checking on this for next year.

July council meeting is 25th/26th in Binghamton, Doubletree as usual. There is/was a misprint on the online calendar; hotel charge is $129 not $99, my bad I guess. We have had to cancel the instructor class d/t so little interest; maybe several areas can try to hold their own, may be easier to get folks together. The delegate orientation is from 5-7, BOD meeting after that in my room, where ever that turns out to be. Please be watching your email for notice that the online orientation is ready; we did not get an award last year as not everyone had done their online orientation. Let’s get Sandi in that line next year!

I sent my registration for Indiana today, did the early partial payment, a little easier on the VISA that way. I think Sue has already made our reservations and Tammy is working on the Tee shirts. Since I haven’t checked my Facebook in several months, I hope they aren’t waiting on me for any decisions to be made. I again promised Mickey to haul stuff for her, hope it’s not too bulky, you get four women plus luggage in a van, there isn’t usually too much room left over.

I survived the trip with Baxter, he really is a dear. Many firsts for him: hotel, elevator, getting his splint made. Except for the ‘have to go out at 0330’ we did fine. He is walking better, though still with a limp and occasional foot drop. Wants to go, but just not as perky as previous. And aren’t we all like that as we age; the desire is there, just not the physical ability to always do what we want.
See you in a few weeks……G

National (?) Elections

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OK elections are over, very close in President and Sec/Treas categories. I was surprised to see that Mickey Mouse, Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as President Obama were all write-ins for nominations committee.

Now we are all prepping for chapter elections which must be complete before the October meeting in Middletown. I realize that these positions can be time consuming and are all volunteer, but if you want your chapters to be viable and active, we must begin to coach and mentor younger members for the challenging leadership roles.

Delegate orientation online is not open as yet; if your application was accepted (and you should have all rec’d an email from me by now notifying that you are a delegate or in line in case of a cancellation) please plan on attending the 5-7PM orientation on Friday July 25th in Binghamton. All the resolutions have not been published as yet but will try and bring those I am aware of to be discussed. The meeting info is on the calendar re the council meeting and number to make reservations at the Doubletree. Don’t forget to let Dan know if you are planning to attend the Saturday meeting so we can plan for lunch.

Will be spending some time on the road the next few days, going to PA for MD appt with Dad and of course the road trip with Baxter. I think I spend as much on gas now as I did when working every day. Oh well, can’t take it with me. See you all next month in Binghamton. Ginnie

up before dawn

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up early today (O445) to teach an ENPC class. Do you know there are people on the overnite radio who talk about aliens? I need to get up earlier more often. Small class today hopefully will be done before the thunder starts. G

6/11/14- ENA has made the AARP Bulletin! Was reading latest edition of the old-timer’s magazine, has a really good article on nursing as a second career. One RN was previously with the NYFD, now works for NY VNS; one was previously a judge in Minnesota, now a nursing doctoral student; a Buddhist monk, now a psychiatric NP; and not least, a crime reporter, now an ED nurse in Hartford Conn. And there, attached to her ID badge was a nice big purple and white ENA button! Way to go!! I guess that no matter what your previous career, there is always a spot in nursing for everyone. (Of course, they were all mega years younger than I). My second career is going to be taking up space on the planet. I am already good at it.

I will be making a short trip to PA in a few weeks with my son’s dog Baxter who has torn his ACL. He gimps around anyway from arthritis in the hips, who knows how he did this. At 12, surgery is not an option so he and I are trekking to near Philadelphia to get a brace made. If it does nothing but help the pain and him to walk better, will be worth the trip. Glad I’m not paying for it though. We could do it from home and have it mailed, but hey, a road trip is a road trip. Can’t wait to spend the night in a hotel with a gimpy dog. I think we take better care of our pets than we do ourselves and in some cases, our kids.

Today is last day for voting, in fact the deadline has probably passed as I sit here. Not quite 5% for NYS, not as good as last year, any suggestions on how to interest folks in voting? I’ll take suggestions from anyone unless it involves spending money. G

Elections

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Apathy is most commonly defined as a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern. It is a state of indifference. Many, if not all of us, have felt this ‘state of indifference’ for varied reasons. It may be a natural response to disappointment, dejection, or stress. But too many of us remain apathetic when there are simple ways to express our needs and wants to others. I am trying to come up with reasons that only 72 out of over 2400 NYS ENA members have voted in the current national elections. When it takes less than 30 minutes to review candidates and make your selections, what adequate reasons can there be for not using those 30 minutes to good advantage?
1- don’t have time: skip a smoke break
2- don’t know the candidates: whose fault is that?
3- doesn’t concern me: are you an ED nurse, a member of this
association? then it concerns you.
4- what’s in it for me?: education, support for legislation,
self esteem, what’s not in it for you?

Two years ago at National General Assembly, the board wanted to have elections decided by the board, due to continuing poor turnout for membership voting. The GA voted this down, wanting the total membership to have a say in who represented them. If the <10% voting continues, I am afraid we will lose our ability to choose. It's up to you. Voting ends June 11. Get online and make your choices. I try not to get on the soapbox too often, but sometimes it's necessary. Mel will be sending me info on how many from each chapter have voted soon; do not make me get up here again, I always need help getting down. Be a part of your association, not just a dues payer who sits by and doesn't participate. G

getting back to ‘normal’

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I can truthfully say I have done nothing this week except laundry and mow the lawn. Twice. I drove to PA on Saturday for my 50th HS reunion. I don’t know where those old folks came from, although I did recognize a few. And an astonishing list of those gone, hope I’m not on the list next time around. Doesn’t seem like 50 years, next will be 50 from nursing school. Although I grew up with the HS friends, the nursing school friends are the ones with mega memories and good times. There is something to be said for immersion into the training; you learn to cope with all kinds of people and happenings. And are prepared for just about anything, whether it’s a secret wedding (we weren’t allowed to be married) or a family issue that somehow effects everyone, not just the student involved.

My dog Evee (see photo above) was glad to see me. She has been disappointed at the dearth of car rides this week. Next job will be the groomer and washing all the dog beds and blankets. My son’s dog will have to be included in the outing as payback for dog sitting while I was away. They both tolerate going and always look so nice and shiny when done. For about two days until something good to roll in comes along.

I am working diligently on the delegate list for national in October. We are only allotted 38 plus one alternate and have 60 plus applications so far. There was some confusion as several applications came in as ‘anonymous’ but I think I have it straightened out. Deadline is 5/31 so results will be sent out early in June. If you didn’t make the cut, do not despair, there are always some who find they cannot attend and the next in line gets to move up.

Also, don’t forget to vote in National Elections! You cannot complain if you don’t participate in choosing who represents us on the board. See you all in July I hope……Ginnie

HOME!!

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As Dorothy said, “there’s no place like home”. Arrived tonight, straightened out my checkbook (still in the black I am glad to say) and will welcome my own little bed tonight. Sue and I had a nice time visiting Gerard White in Cork and touring Mercy hospital as well as an Urgent Care and Cork University Hospital. Gerard is an APN seeing pts in the ED and return visits for follow up. Although Irish healthcare is under the National Health Service, we all have the same problems with boarding at the top of the list. Nurses are paid less than the Irish minimum wage of 9 euros (about $13) so facilities are having difficulty keeping staff who tend to migrate to where the money is. (does this sound familiar?). Their recent recession and changes in government has not helped. Healthcare innovation is about 10-15 years behind the US and nursing as always, continues to find work arounds to care for their patients.

ON a whole our trip was great, barring the daily multiple showers (always followed by a rainbow) and cool weather. We returned the car with all it’s parts, although I know somebody’s side mirror went flying on one trip through some little burg! We put 2400 miles on the car, scraped a lot of mud off the edges of the road and drove on several roads with grass in the middle. The green hedges on every road were lovely but we all knew that under there somewhere was a stone wall. Lots of sheep, lots of cows, a few horses and burros and the occasional alpaca. You will be happy to hear that although we all climbed Blarney Castle to the top, Sue was not allowed to kiss the stone; one of our party did after multiple assurances that they sprayed the stone after every ‘kiss’ and thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant after closing every night! Hah, you and I know what they probably do every night and cleaning with disinfectant ain’t it!

In looking back at our two weeks, I don’t think that as a young country, whose history only encompasses a few hundred years, we are always able to appreciate the history and sacrifice of others. We can admire the fortresses and castles, look at the statues of leaders who gave their lives for the cause (whatever it was) without gaining an understanding of why the sacrifice was important. We take for granted in the US what other nations continue to struggle to achieve, even though their longevity is greater than ours. And now I am getting tired and running on……good night. Ginnie

On the road again (gotta luv retirement)

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Happy May Day! hope you all found baskets on your doors this AM. Hah. Does anyone do that anymore? Anyway, Sue and I are off to Ireland this weekend; she needs to finish STEP then will be coming Monday w/our ENA husband and other friends. I will be solo with the car for two days, pray for me please. I am looking forward to returning to the Green Isle and plan to veg out. I promise I will NOT let Sue kiss the Blarney Stone!! Can you just imagine what that would bring? We are planning on meeting with an International ENA Member on Wednesday and touring his facility, can’t wait.

Great issue of Connections came this week, already read from cover to cover. Good review of Leadership and the chance to read about upcoming election candidates. Do your due diligence, read their info, watch the videos and VOTE!

Will not be blogging until I return, am looking forward to no computer, no phone, etc. Just like the olden days AKA my childhood! See you when I get back…..Ginnie