Fried Bun With Condensed Milk in NYC!! Yum!

20130715-234143.jpg
Manna Cafe and the Fried Bun with Condensed Milk

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

Monkey: Journey to the West Review

20130715-220943.jpg

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.

Best Part About Working Over 4th of July

20130707-055454.jpg

  1. Enjoying the Macy’s fireworks with your patients on channel 4.
  2. Enjoying the NY Yankees playing… And the NY Mets.
  3. Less traffic, less patients (who wants to voluntarily go to the hospital on a holiday weekend? Um, no one!!)
  4. More downtime… In general.
  5. Time and a half pay!
  6. Less procedures.

But, you still have to be just as vigilant! Know the emergency call number by heart (no, it’s not 911 at the hospital). It will come in handy when you need it!

Off probation — what does that mean?

20130707-054257.jpg

I’m off probation now at the hospital.

That means I passed the series of “tests”—
doing 2 head to toe assessments,
giving out medications through different routes,
going over the chest tube, suction set up, code master (defibrillator, pacer, and cardioversion),
doing drip calculations and entering into the IV pump,
going over the telemetry monitor, and
taking the 50 question EKG exam and passing with a score greater than 90%.

It means no more checking each narcotic.
And trust me, on an ortho floor, a lot of people are in pain, pain, pain.

It means no more checking insulin units.
Yes, I know how to draw up x units of humalog, lantus, and the like.

It means I’ve been doing this for 6 months.
And that means I got 2 weeks of vacation time!

It should mean that I know what I’m doing.
Although I will keep asking questions. And questioning orders that don’t make sense.

It means that I will begin to float to other units.
I won’t be on home turf all the time anymore.
Other med-surg floors and the ER.
I have to admit, I’m a little scared.

It means that I’m ready — and mostly excited!! 🙂

First Day on my own was awesome

My first day on my own was awesome because:

    My charge nurse was awesome. Answered all of my 101 questions. Haha
    My patients were awesome. They were patient. And thankful.
    My ex-preceptor was still my preceptor (yup yup still teaching and still learning).
    All the nurses checked in on me. And answered my other 101 questions. And gave me advice. Gotta love that.
    My ancillary staff were helpful and nice. What more can you want??

I learned:

    If I don’t know about a medication interaction, call the pharmacy.
    I should look at the hemoglobin A1c. If it’s high, the patient probably has DM. And I should probably teach about it.
    Steroids increase glucose levels. I can’t believe I forgot.
    Always prep more saline flushes than you think you need. Alcohol wipes are good too.
    When in doubt, ask the charge nurse.
    Listen to the patient and be her advocate.

Ok, I gotta sleep during the day and go back for more tonight. 🙂

NYC Blizzard Nemo – and I’m working through it

It’s snowing a lot outside.
The nursing home called to ask if I can work
tomorrow morning from 7a to 3p.
I said yes mostly because
If I said no, they would be short.
And those working conditions
Are not safe.

Although I can hear people plowing the streets now,
I hoped that the sidewalks are still clear
Or at least mostly clear
By morning.

I should be used to the snow
I am from the Mitt
But it’s been 6 years out
I even slid when I drove,
And shiver every time
I’m back home.

I gotta go get ready.

How to Sleep As A Night Shift Nurse

This was one of the first questions that I asked my mom who used to work nights as a RN. I also got some advice from a coworker who’s been working nights for a year and half and so far, it’s worked out. I followed their recommendations and I made it through my first three 12-hour night shifts in a row without being overly tired. I thought this was pretty helpful so here it goes.

There are three scenarios.

1) The Night Before the First Night Shift

Sleep in to about 9am-11am. Eat lunch, run some errands. About 3-4 hours before you plan on leaving home to go to work, take a nap. Get up about 1 hour prior to eat, get food ready, and change to go to work.

2) You Have a Back-to-Back Night Shift

This one is easy. Some people like to eat when they arrive home. I personally don’t. I come home, shower (to wash off all of the bacteria from the day — I don’t want to bring MRSA into my bed!!), set up my uniform and food for the next day, and sleep for 8 hours. I need 8 hours. Otherwise, I am a tired mess. But some seasoned nurses (such as my preceptor who is awesome btw) sleep for 5 hours so they can do other things. I wake up about an hour before I leave my home to eat my ‘breakfast’***.

***I thought about the definition of breakfast. Technically, after I wake up from an 8-hour sleep, I have to ‘break my fast’ by eating breakfast. But my sister claims that breakfast, lunch, dinner is defined by time of day. For example, if you sleep in until 10am and then you eat, then that is considered brunch (although my sister claims that brunch only exists on weekends. But how can that be??). I guess when I go on break, I’m either eating a 2am meal or a ‘lunch’. What do you think?***

3) The Day After The Last Night Shift

Sleep until noon (more or less). Try to stay up until 8pm-10pm. Get some errands done or just relax or go work or go to school or whatever you want to do. Then go back to sleep.

I hoped that helped. Besides sleep, probably the next important thing is what to eat. You have to fuel yourself with good energy so you can take care of others!

My move to the hospital

To update you from what has happened from Christmas to now (one month later), I got interviews at a hospital and received the clinical nurse position on a medical-surgical telemetry floor with a focus on orthopedics. I am super pumped.

Yesterday, I received my schedule for the first two weeks. It looks bad — and good. The first 3 days that I’m working nights is IN A ROW and I heard that was a killer. Early exposure to the worst will make me relieved when I don’t have 3 in a row, right? Or maybe I’ll realize that 3 in a row isn’t as bad as people say. At least I’ll have 6 days off after that. I’ll have to figure out what to do with that time!!

The hospital also provides good preceptor selection and training so I really hope that will help felicitate my learning.

I’ve already finished the first two weeks of orientation and I have one more week left. I can really tell that they have developed great nurse educators, clinical nurse specialists, CWOCN (Certified Wound and Ostomy Care Nurse), and overall people here. I think that it’ll be a really supportive environment but I’ll find out soon enough!

Since this hospital focuses on the heart, we spent a great deal of time learning about different cardiovascular diseases, pre & post procedures, EKG readings, stroke, arrhythmias, emergency situations. We also went through different systems (GI, GU, neuro and Skin!!!! wound/ostomy care, and pressure ulcer prevention ~for 2012 0.81% developed PU throughout the whole hospital compared to 2011 when it was at 1.11%).

Intentional Hourly Rounding is also something that I haven’t heard of, but it makes a lot of sense. Ask about personal needs, pain, positioning, education, etc. Ultimately, this is to help prevent falls.

Epic went live at this hospital in December. Based on what people have said, they really like the program and it has helped a lot with documentation. I completed day 2 of Epic training yesterday, and I feel that it’ll be a great tool and hopefully help accelerate the documentation process. In the ‘doc flowsheets’ it asks a lot of questions that you would normally write down in a note. My question is, do I still have to write a progress note based on some abnormals? I think the answer is, probably, but from there, I can copy and paste, and right click to create a note.

Next week, there are 3 exams. Core exam, EKG exam, and Philips monitor. And there’s technically an Epic exam. I have to pass with a 90% or higher (yup, it was the same for the NLN medication exam that I had to take prior to officially having this position). I think that it adds a little more pressure on the employees to do well, but it also puts higher standards for the hospital. And that in the end, the patients receive better care.

This weekend, I’ll definitely be practicing EKG strips. And studying.