So they say that a vacation is most enjoyed prior to the actual trip — mostly because you get to fantasize about all the fun you’re going to have. But once you’re there, some things don’t go according to plan — but you’ll still remember that feeling before the trip.
Currently, I’m stuck at the JFK airport waiting for my flight. I’ll back up.
Last week was my boyfriend’s brother’s high school graduation in San Diego so I went for a few days. On the way back, his mom let me use one of her bags to carry back stuff. I first put my ID in a orange backpack. After going through security, I put my ID in that green duffel bag. And left it there.
I worked 4 days. I packed this morning, thinking my ID was in my wallet. I checked my wallet on the way to the airport… a little too late. And no ID.
I thought I left it in the orange bag. My boyfriend, Dan, goes back to see if he can find it. I waited in line for 1/2 hour only to be told that they don’t need a ID to check in but it’d take 1/2 hour to go through the process. Except my flight by then was in 1/2 hour. I rebooked my flight for $50.
Dan gets home. He doesn’t find the ID. I had to go outside to call him. So then I finally recall that the ID was in the duffel bag. And I was carrying that duffel bag in my carryon. I opened up my carry on and there it was — in the front pocket.
I changed up my routine and didn’t put the ID in my usual spot.
Never again… at least I’ll arrive in Vegas at midnight for our biannual vacation with the family.
Yesterday I wrote about a frustrating moment I had. A reader said that nursing is caring from the heart. I agree with that.
Since going to the ICU,
most of my patients can’t talk to me.
But one was A/O x3, could speak, though didn’t seem normal quite yet.
He was what I called “call-bell happy.”
Too hot, too cold, not comfortable–
it can all happen in a matter of 10 minutes.
1st night- “can I have a sleeping pill?” “Ice, ice, ice” “blankets on, blankets off”
2nd night- slept throughout the night but I’d catch him when he woke up and waved at me to come over. “hurts, hurts, hurts” “your bum?” He nods. I turned him to the other side and boom! He was fast asleep again.
3rd night- he looked like a new man!! Ahh the wonders of a good night rest.
He waved me over to fix him up at change of shift. He proceeded, “thank you. I knew that the moment I looked at you that you’re caring from the heart. You have made a big difference for me.”
I was a little bit shocked that he spoke so normally. We continued to talk and he spoke about another hospital. I asked him about his experience there. His eyes lit up and said, “You should be working there! There’s where you belong. You see that everyone collaborates and works so seamlessly as teams.”
I was taken back a little bit because I felt my unit had members who worked well as teams too. Does that mean he implied that here was worse than there?
He continued, “Leave your information. I’m friends with the head doctor there. I’ll get you a job there. I will. Include your specialty.” And he repeated this several times before he went to sleep.
Unfortunately, he was a step down patient and a critical care patient needed to get transferred into his room. So he left. And a new patient went into his place.
I never did leave my information because I felt that it was a little unprofessional but also, would he really remember? He still has to go to rehab to recover and it would be odd to have my information amongst his personal belongings. I’m not sure if I would’ve gone- I kinda like where I am now. Plus I’m just starting here!!
Another patient- I also had her for 2 nights with a couple days off in between. On the 3rd night she just came back from a procedure. She saw me and reached out for me. The PACU nurse said, “aww she really likes you!” I squeezed the patient’s hand and she squeezed back.
Wow, I just read grrm.livejournal.com blog and it reminded me of how I used to write. Just as myself and not another “list” or really thought out piece. So here’s my start to get back to journaling.
I came across another article about stories– the only stories worth reading are the ones when the human condition is in conflict with itself. You have a set of ideals and yet you’re torn with how you feel.
For example, last night a patient was complaining of pain and her nurse gave her pain medication. 15 minutes later, she’s asking for help. Her nurse is across the room and she saw me sitting at nurse’s station. I knew that her nurse had already attended to her so I ignored her (wow that sounds bad but I was busy catching up!!). After she called 3 more times I walk over and ask her, “what’s the problem?”
“Why didn’t you come over right away?” She probed.
“Your nurse just spoke to you. What’s going on?”
“I’m in pain!”
“Did you tell your nurse?”
“Yes. He gave me pain medications.”
I overheard him say that he gave the pain meds 15 minutes ago. “Ok, then you have to let it kick in.”
“Yes but it hurts!!!”
“Ok but you still have to wait for it to kick in!” I thought to myself, why made her think that complaining to me would make any difference?
I felt sympathetic for her because face it, who likes to be in pain? But I felt the issue was already addressed and that’s nothing left for me to do. Is that wrong? Did I lose my patience?
She ended up falling asleep.
As a nurse, I feel compassion and empathy but there’s only so much to go around. I pour it all on my patients and any patient that has a 3 alarm star going off… Or I’ll help out another nurse “boost” a patient up in the bed. But that’s about it.
We live in a world where money is king. We go to work to make money. Once we have money, we spend it on things that we need and want. Unfortunately, the US school system doesn’t teach us “Money 101.” Most Americans spend more than they make and owe credit card companies money. This is a problem!!!
Whenever I bring up topics about IRAs, 401k, stocks and taxes, my friends are often surprised by how much more I know about it than them. Wanting to help, I looked all over Google for the perfect step-by-step guide. I couldn’t find one. I’ve been thinking about creating one for the longest time now, so that they don’t have to keep saying, “Hey Jessica, can you go over that again?”
This guide is written in the order that I was exposed to them starting from when I was young to now.
My Money Story
Majority of what I learned about money is through my dad. As a 5-year-old kid browsing through the candy bars at the checkout lane, I asked my dad, “Dad, will you buy Twix for me?”
He replied, “No, but you can buy it with your own money. Did you bring your own money?”
Sad, I looked down and whispered, “No…” After I got into the car, I realized that it was just something I wanted, not needed to have. And that things cost money.
Just a couple of weeks prior, he opened up a savings account for me and gave me a weekly allowance of $5 (a dollar amount that matched my age so you can imagine my excitement each year on my birthday). He told me to save half in the bank and the other half in the cash box. In the first year at age 6, I had $120!
At age 10, my dad helped me buy a I Bond to save money at a higher interest rate (currently about 1.35%) compared to the bank’s saving interest rates (0.01%). Right now, there are 2 major types of Treasury Bonds – I Bonds and EE Bonds. Starting at $25, you can buy a Bond from the US Government online for yourself, as a gift, or for a child younger than 18. A ‘Bond’ is essentially lending the government money. In return, your money will go up at the rate of inflation plus a fixed rate that’s determined every 6 months. The purpose is to save for the long-term for up to 30 years. You can pull it out starting at 1 year but anything earlier than 5 years will have a penalty of 3 months of interest. Therefore, you would only ‘cash’ in the bond after 5 years.
Also at age 10, my sister bought a CD, or a Certificate of Deposit, which is another way to save at a higher rate (about 0.9%) but typically for a shorter period of time of about 1 year to 5 years. In case you anticipate to buy a large purchase down the road but you want to save as much as possible now, a CD is a good choice. However, personally I have never had a CD. You want to look for one that gives you the highest rate possible with no fees.
Most banks offer free checking accounts for kids age 13-18. I got my first one in middle school. This became my primary account where money flowed into and out.
Income: I got a job!
At age 15, I started to work part time (less than 10 hours/week). I got to deposit my paycheck into my checking account every 2 weeks. My dad’s word of wisdom is to ALWAYS deposit any check or cash you receive ASAP because you can easily lose it. It also creates a permanent record in your monthly bank statements. If possible, get direct deposit.
Sometimes you will get cash payments. You might think, “Oh great I have cash now, I don’t have to go to the bank.” It’s convenient! However, you need to have a record of how much you earned. Always deposit first before withdrawing it. The bank is your friend.
From the money standpoint, it’s important to have a working income because you need it to get a credit card, have a credit score, IRA, a car, rent, and really anything that you may need or want.
From a personal point-of-view, it builds character, teaches you how to interact with others, and gives you a head-start on your resume.
At age 16, I got my driver’s license and started to drive to school. Sometimes I needed to get gas. My dad got me an additional credit card under his name (with a very low limit of $300). This way I got to practice using credit cards. Here were the rules and the reasoning.
#1 Always pay with credit cards. Why: To have a record of your purchases. Also, most credit cards have purchase protection and warranty extension in case you don’t like your new product and cannot get a full refund. You’ll have less cash you carry. And if anyone steals your credit card, you can always cancel it and not pay for any items that you didn’t buy. With stolen cash, you’re left with nothing.
#2 Always pay in full. Why: Leaving any balance on your credit card means you will have a high interest rate (usually more than 10%) and pay much more. Why would you ever want to give someone more money than they should??! If you currently have any balance on your credit card statements, you have credit card debt. This is considered bad debt. Pay this off immediately.
#3 Always pay on time (or a couple days early if your credit card and bank are two different institutions to make sure you are not late with any payments). Why: Any late payments will result in a ‘late fee’ of typically $35 and decrease your credit score. One way to avoid this problem is to set to ‘automatic’ payments online. You just have to make sure there’s enough funds in your account before the due date each month.
You will probably see a couple of other things associated with credit cards.
Cash back, Miles, Etc
I personally like cash back. For every $100 you spend, you get $1 back (or more!) if it’s 1% cash back. Some have higher cash back percentages. Some cards give you miles. Just remember that you pay in full each month and don’t buy more than you need. This is just a bonus, not a way to make money.
0% Intro APR for Purchases for the first 15 months
This means that you can buy stuff and pay the minimum balance for 15 months. You are borrowing the money. You must pay off the entire balance before the end of the trial period otherwise you’ll get slapped with a APR that is usually more than 20%. That means for every $100 you owe, you’ll owe an additional $20 each year. Holy crap.
0% APR for Balance Transfers until Month/Year
This offer can happen when you first open up a credit card or in a form of a check that credit card companies religiously send to you several times a month (arg they are killing trees and it’s driving me crazy!!!). This offer is helpful if you have something else that you owe at a high interest rate (such as a student loan). Here’s how you evaluate if it’s a good deal.
It will always have a fee and a minimum shown like this: 3% fee with a minimum of $10. The minimum doesn’t matter unless you plan on using the check for small dollar amount. The only time I will consider the deal is if the fee is 1%. That means if I write a check for $5000, I will get charged $50.
The only time I used it was to pay off my student loan, which was charging me 7% interest rate. However, by using this balance transfer check, I paid only 1% on the $5000. That means I only pay $50 to pay back the balance in one year when the 0% APR expires. If I had left the $5000 student loan in the 7% account and paid off the account in one year, I would’ve had to pay $350. I saved $300 by using the balance transfer.
As you get older, try to keep the oldest credit card you have as that increases the length of your credit history. The longer your credit history, the better your credit score.
Free Online Money Management Service
At age 17, I had a checking account and a credit card with two different companies. To keep track of my spending and income, I used a free online money management service. I used Yodlee but now I recommend mint.com. You don’t have to use any of their recommended things. Basically you enter your account information and the service imports the rest of the transactions for you. They even have iPhone, iPad, and Android apps so you can keep track of your spending everyday.
IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts)
The day I turned 18, my dad took me to Fidelity to open a IRA. “Dad, why do I need a IRA? I just turned 18!! I’m not retiring anytime soon!!!”
He replied, “Yes, but you will retire sometime. And time is the most important factor to make sure you’ll have enough when you retire.” And my, how true that is! You will always have more at the end if you put in (less) money early than (more) money later. Don’t put it off any longer.. get one today!!
To have a IRA, you must have income. For 2013, if you made less than $5500, the max you can put in is your total income. If you made more than $5500, then you can put up to $5500. Fidelity has a great program for people who are just starting out but don’t have that much. I put in $200/month into a Roth IRA through an auto-deduction with my checking account.
There are 2 types of IRAs: Roth IRA vs Traditional IRA. With Roth, your dollar gets taxed now (your paycheck is typically already taxed [net income]. That’s why you only see about 2/3 of what you actually made [gross income]). With Traditional, your dollar gets taxed later.
When you’re younger and not making as much money, put your money into a Roth IRA. This means that your income is already taxed and when you’re 65, the money you pull out will be tax free. If you desired, this account may be passed down from generation to generation.
If you’re making over $100,000, it may be wise to put money into a Traditional IRA, as it will act as a deduction to your gross income and thereby lowering your tax bracket for the year that you put your money in. However, at age 65, you must begin to take out money.
After choosing which IRA you want to put your money in, you have two more decisions.
1. Primary and Secondary Beneficiaries – Who will owe the account in the event that you pass away? You must pick these people and have their social security numbers ready.
2. Which fund? – I recommend putting it into the Fidelity Freedom Fund with the year closest to when you’ll retire. If you don’t pick Fidelity as your investment bank, there are other similar accounts. The Fund will change the percentage of bonds and stocks it holds based on how close you are to retiring. Typically, when you’re younger, the account will be more ‘risky’ and hold more stocks than bonds. Bonds are more ‘stable’ but also have less interest. It’s called a Freedom Fund because it doesn’t require you to do anything and it’ll do the work for you. This leads us to the next topic…
Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs
I’ve spent over 5 years figuring out the best thing to do with my money by reading books, online material, and doing it with my own money. Here’s what I figured out. For you and me, keep it simple and forget about it. This applies to both IRAs and regular investment accounts.
After picking an institution (listed below), you must pick where to put your money. You can put them into stocks and bonds. You can buy them as an individual stock or bond (for example, if you like Apple and think it’ll grow, then you can buy their stock). Or you can buy them as a big group through mutual funds and ETFs. The good thing about mutual funds and ETFs is that it is already diversified, which means it has many different companies or bonds in that one mutual fund or ETF.
Technically, you should read about each company and you ought you come up with your own feeling about the direction of that company, whether or not it will continue to make profit. Then buy the stock based on that.
You may see in the news that the stock market goes up and down. It does that based on people’s emotions. However, over time the stock market increases, even after the depression. Companies will tend to make more money, as long as it has a sound philosophy and you believe in it.
Anyway, you may have heard to ‘diversify your portfolio.’ Your portfolio is what you own in terms of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. I am a big fan of ETFs because it diversifies for you. Why not mutual funds? Because PEOPLE are managing mutual funds and thus take a bigger cut from you each year (2-3%) whereas ETFs have COMPUTERS managing essentially the same exact thing but for much cheaper (0.05-0.3%).
What’s the difference between Mutual Funds and ETFs?
What is it?
many stocks into one ‘fund’
many stocks into one ‘fund’
Who controls it?
A broker (real person)
How much does it cost?
of the entire investment account
0.05-0.3% annually of the entire investment account
Costs a lot more over time
Free ETFs!! MarketRiders help you pick ones best suited for your situation
In general, you will make 8-10% annually with ETFs. And the best part is there are free ETFs where you don’t have to pay anything to ‘buy it’. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds all cost a commission ranging from $2.50-$10 per transaction depending on the broker. So what are you waiting for???
The question becomes, which ETFs should I buy?
Here’s the best solution that I’ve come up with and currently use myself: use MarketRiders.
It is an online ETF portfolio manager. It has a 30 day free trial. After that it costs $120/year. It creates your own portfolio based on your needs. Use the free ETFs available through each broker (you can customize in MarketRiders). As of March 28th, if you try it by clicking here, you’ll also get a $25 Visa gift card. Not bad! Here are some choices for brokers.
I got one because I wanted to have some money that I can have easy access to and that wouldn’t have a penalty if I took the money out. Pick one that you trust, has a high interest rate, no minimum, easy to transfer money in and out. Then pick a set amount each month that you want to transfer so that you start to build your emergency fund of $1000.
Free Credit Score — Anytime!
It used to be difficult to find out your credit score. However, now more than ever, your credit score tells others your credibility and ability to pay on time each other. It is essential to know your credit score. You can get it free anytime at Credit Karma (www.creditkarma.com). It even tells you how you got your score, how to improve it, and has personalized scenarios of how the score can be impacted based on your actions.
401k and 403b
After college, I started to work for a company that has a 403b. What is a 401k or 403b? It is another retirement account that is only available through your employer. 401k are available for private companies whereas 403b are available for nonprofit organizations. Some companies will match a certain dollar amount up to a certain dollar. Other companies will simply have it available.
You want to take advantage of this program. You can put in a max of $17,500 in 2013. Personally, I put in $500 each paycheck. It will deduct your income pre-tax so that you will have a lower tax bracket. Also, you would think that taking out that additional $500 would leave you with a paycheck of $500 less. It’s actually only $300 less because it is now taxed at a lower rate. Totally worth it.
Please feel free to share. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to know more in depth via email or through the comments below. Thanks!
2013 was the best year of my life.
Independence rang true – new apartment, new car,
new nursing career from the nursing home, to tele and ortho, to ICU.
(wow, I sound like a typical millennial* look at the table below)
My family and friends started new careers too,
life is getting sweeter.
The stats were an all-time high,
Getting emails and comments all the time,
About NYU Nursing
Advising and inspiring future nurses.
To me, there’s no greater praise.
Last year’s theme was ‘New Nurse Blog.’
But now I’m no longer a fresh fresh nurse.
I’ve got one year under my belt!
For 2014 I’m changing it to
‘I wish I knew that before.’ “I” can be me, a friend, or you.
Health, Food, Money and Rights are my passions
So here it goes!
This table is from a Medscape Nurses article about how to manage a 4 generation gap nursing workforce. You can sign up for a free account to read the article.
What They Want
Less demanding schedules (part-time; shorter shifts)
Reduced stress or workload
A job well done
Use a personal touch
Provide traditional rewards
Use as mentors
Offer less physically demanding positions
Recognition for experience and excellence
Positive work environment
Good pay and benefits
Give public recognition
Find opportunities to share expertise (precept, mentor)
Promote “gradual retirement”
Autonomy and independence
Provide opportunities for skill development and leadership
Involve in decision-making
Stimulation, engagement, involvement; multitasking
Socializing and networking
Impatient for promotion
“Move up or out”
Offer a supportive work environment
Begin leadership development early
Provide access to social networks; build on technology strengths
Develop skill base
This 90 something year old man was repeating, “I want to die” a couple days before. With stage 4 cancer (meaning, it spread from the source location), he should’ve been DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). But since he started to lose his mind (he couldn’t answer the 3 questions: name, location, and time), his family members began to make decisions for him (as a Heath Care Proxy). His family was in such denial that it was time for him to pass away. They believed he didn’t need morphine to ease his pain and should remain in full code in case his heart rhythm converted to v fib or v tach (at this point, you do CPR).
Throughout the night, he kept moaning. But his family would only allow him to take Tylenol. Which honestly isn’t enough if you have overgrown cells invading essential organs. And these organs allow you to breathe and circulate blood throughout your body.
After I had given out my morning meds and taken out a foley, I saw a nurse run. The next thing I heard was “999 on 1 West”. I saw 2 nurses with the crash cart wheel past me heading to a room in the next district over. When I saw them wheel the cart into that room, I knew it was him. The nurse there was already doing CPR compressions and someone else got the ambu bag ready. Though it felt like 5 minutes, about 30 seconds later, 2 critical care PAs, 3 critical care nurses, 2 MDs, respiratory therapist, nurse educator, patient care assistants, and all the nurses on the unit were there. The PAs took over the compressions. The pads were slapped on.
The EKG monitor was still on, so I watched it go in and out of v fib and v tach. Nurses made the call out to the attending and the family to tell them to come in immediately. My nurse manager told me to go the next unit over to get the Line Cart. I learned fast that’s the cart with the equipment to do a central line. Inserting a central line would allow them to bolus (or “quickly give”) fluid directly to his heart to increase blood pressure. Without a properly beating heart, the body won’t have circulating blood.
When I came back, I saw that he was also bleeding out from his rectum and abdomen. Cracked ribs and his tap sites from before may be the cause. Regardless, I primed the normal saline line to attach it to blood that we would give to him.
More epinephrine was needed. More flushes. The nurse educator asked if I knew any of the nurses in the room so she can document everything that’s happening in the room. I gave some names and then let the nurse who was taking care of him take over.
After the defibrillator delivered the shock, I heard that sound. That sound was an asystole sound. A solid beeeeeeeeeep. I looked at the EKG monitor and saw a solid line. He was gone. He got his wish.
This happened in 17 minutes.
If only he had been DNR and was comforted, he would’ve died more peacefully. He wouldn’t have bled, have cracked ribs, have something tied to keep his tongue down in case of intubation. He died suffering from pain and misery. It could’ve been in peace in his sleep.
Family members may feel guilty if they decide to make their loved ones a DNR. They may feel that they aren’t doing the right thing and that they should do everything possible to save them. But in terminal cases, the focus should switch from treatment to comfort. This increases the quality of someone’s end-of-life care.
In my mind, when I die, I would want to die in my sleep. Peacefully. No pain. Just as living is a part of life, death is too. And we should pass with dignity.
As a kid, I loved eating these fried buns with condensed milk! I only had it once or twice but I couldn’t forget the taste. After coming to NYC and its 3 Chinatowns, I knew I had to find it. The only places that serve it is at Hong Kong cafes! There are two locations to find this gem. And it’s only $3. Woot!
Manna Cafe (as pictured above!)– right off the 7 Train – Flushing Main St Stop
135-05 40th Rd
Flushing, NY 11354
Cha Chan Tang — in Manhattan Chinatown
45 Mott St
(between Pell St & Bayard St)
New York, NY 10013
When I saw in the New York Magazine that the Monkey King: Journey to the West was showing at the Lincoln Center Festival had rave reviews, I had to see it! I bought the cheapest tickets online ($25) and saw it yesterday.
As a Chinese American, I heard about the story many times, but never knew the whole story. After watching the show, I finally get it.
It drives home the message that
no matter what, you can change it all around.
You can become powerful but if reckless, eventually you’ll be put down.
If you become obsessed with food, wine, and lust, eventually you’ll cause harm.
But you can also commit to change and persist to be different– you believe things are equal, you develop your mind, and your mind is pure and calm.
If you get the chance, go watch it! It’s the best show I’ve seen in New York.