dusan-petkovic_shutterstock-com_dentistry-2As a travel nurse, you expect the unexpected especially when one department has staffing issues or if your place of work demands more of that department. True to me experience here in the land full of sands, I was assigned to the Dental Department, a week after I got my hands dirty in the Emergency Department (E.D.).

I was not enthusiastic to work on my first day. I felt betrayed by my superiors. I felt the Queen Bee syndrome was attacking me.

In the Philippines, nurses were not taught or trained in Dental Department . Dentistry in the Philippines is a different field of education and practice. They have their own world, a spectrum different from nurses. But here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Filipino nurses are sought for their expertise in Dental Department.

Now, for a year and seven months that I have been exploring the world of dentistry as nurse, I got a few things to share.

Procedures Beyond Tooth Extraction and Teeth Whitening

I once thought, dentists work only to either remove your tooth or whiten your teeth. Yet as I as getting by at the Dental Department, I uncovered other procedures. There is more to the normal composite filling I asked from my dentist in the Philippines. Here in Saudi Arabia, root canal treatment is a normal thing to asked from your doctor. The treatment is where the dentist would open a tooth and remove the abscess inside after a patient who complained of severe pain and inability to sleep at night comes. There’s also the operculectomy for young adults who have inflamed flap of gums. Another is tooth implantation, where you can place a new artificial tooth on the space where your permanent tooth once was. I also assisted the cutting of ligaments (frenotomy) on the tongue.

Our dental department is known for excellent dental restoration or making of crown and bridges. The preparation of crown and bridges can become nasty and difficult when the patient has limited mouth opening, excessive blood, and gags every 30 seconds. As a nurse, you are tasked to make everything clean and/or sterile. You must suction the saliva or blood from the patient’s mouth, clean the patient’s facial area if there’s blood or any fluid, and prepare the impression trays once the dentist have finished drilling the tooth/ teeth. After the procedure you have to disinfect all used areas for the next patient, and give the impression trays to Dental Laboratory. Dentists will do the prescription or order for laboratory.

I am lucky if we only have two or three crown or bridge preparation for a day. But it’d be overwhelming for me and the dentist I am assisting when we have more than five patients, or when the patient wants both upper and lower bridge (that’s 12 or 14 teeth!).

Assisting General Dentists and OrthoDontist/ Periodontist

In our department, we have at least three general dentists and two orthodontist/ periodontist. General dentists are bound to execute simple tooth extractions, root canal treatment, and reconstructive procedures (making of crowns and tooth bridges). Periodontists and orthodontists works on special cases such as extraction of impacted molars, and tooth implantation. All of these dentists gave me insights and experiences in how the world of dentistry creates its magical importance. A bonus I got with them was the knowledge and understanding of the Arabic language since they’re Syrian, Egyptian and Palestinian.

Digital Dentistry

As far as my insights go, the place I am working works in a traditional setting. But luckily our management will incorporate change as the institution is bound to go digital. The dental department will get the hands- on first and as a nurse who’s been with the digital world, I am looking forward to it.

Travel NurseTravel nurses enjoy a number of benefits from their job, but these perks are also accompanied by frustrating things. So in this post, which took me months to post, I will share to you some of upsetting things a travel nurse encounters.

Inaccurate Detail About Job Location

In a survey conducted for travel nurses, pay and location of work are the most asked questions. Travel nurses need to consider the location of work so she will have a picture of the facility in question. However, there are travel nursing agencies who provide applicants with éxcellent adjectives describing the institution. Agencies will build the health facility as beautiful, and nurse- friendly. They will also go beyond the facility, saying that the accommodation for travel nurses are hotel- like, which in reality is the other way around.

Faulty Details of Salary 

Travel nurses asked for pay every time they apply for a position. If they are compensated fairly, and in accordance to their experience and job description, then they’ll grab the deal. In some cases, there are travel nurses who got tricked by their agencies and employer. The salary written in the contract is not what they received monthly.

In my case, every month I only receive 80% of the salary noted in the contract. Overtime pay is not given as double pay. It was given as a regular pay.

Unfair Treatment by Institution’s Staff

A travel nurse is seen as the strongest in the team. She can face worst patients, and can be placed in a very harsh situations by her superior. The nurse manager is clearly not thinking about patient safety, but how the travel nurse can compensate the high risks work in the institution. So as much as this is a great opportunity, this is also overwhelming. The travel nurse is pressured to give quality care that at most increases risks, and can make her license in jeopardy.

Unfair treatment is often experienced by a travel nurse when her color and height do not agree with the majority of the hospital staff. I am a Filipina nurse, a typical petite female, and got a fair skin. Along with my other Filipina colleagues, we are treated ‘not-so-fairly’ by our superiors. Most work are given to us, while our other colleagues, who got similar blood with them, have longer time to sit. Our complaints are just listened to. No action are given.

I hope I shared the frustrating things you also experience. You can add some things in the comment below.

Goodbye Crazy Obnoxious Weird 2016!

Posted: December 31, 2016 in Nurse
Tags: , ,

Before I will officially utter my goodbye to 2016, I want to share some things about it.

Saved More and Living as a Minimalist

I started the year with a resolution to save more money and to live minimally. I am proud to say that I am in the middle of the latter, but 2meter mark after the finish line of saving money. I have reached the moment of buying less things. I bought what was only necessary for my personal things. Whenever I go to a drugstore, I chose only the basic personal care products such soap, shampoo, lotion, moisturizer, lipbalms and perfume. Make- up kits or products were not included on my list as I believe ‘no make- up’ is a make- up (wink). I didn’t buy lots of fancy clothes everytime I go a mall. I only purchased three items from H&M during their winter sale. During the course of 2016, I bought only the needed items like socks, and undergarments. It’s normal for me now to use what clothes were on my cabinet. It’s best to declutter at the start of the year as it helped me in choosing what’s necessary or not.

Every year, saving more money is on top of my list, and each year it’s not reached. This year, however, I got a five digit savings on my account. That’s achievement! But I was not able to reach the savings the I envisioned last January. I looked back and saw that I spent more on ‘investable’ things like gold jewelries this year. It was not saving money, it was saving gold (hahaha)! 

Forgiving Someone

I had a rift off with my friend mid of 2016. I got so pissed and disgusted of her attitude that I decided to move out from our flat. I transfered from another flat and became so angry to her as she did more outrageous things just to compensate her ‘personal issues’. But as time passed by and as God  permits, forgiveness striked on me. I accepted her flaws as a growing female, and forgive what she did (though she did not know this yet, and we did not talk yet!).

Riding with the Storm at Work

My current workplace is a purgatory with a Clyclone No. 5. The wind intensity of the management is so high that you always receive a fair share of equality; no favoritism or racial/ gender discrimination. The storm’s eye is a calm and watchful ‘traitor’. Its storm has a tail so strong you did not know who or what is good or bad. You cannot determine who you can trust. You did not know when you are going to get demoted by your superior. Above all this, I learned how to ride the storm’s tail.

Smiling Not Too Rarely

My colleagues always a smile plastered on my face. They rarely see me with a frown, and when they do they know it’s time to back off. Patients or their folks also noticed my smiling aura whenever I am assigned to them. It’s on me to smile often because life gives me muscles to do it. I do not wish to use my frown muscles often and get wrinkles at a young age. Plus, I have to prevent myself from being piss or angry, which can give me migraine.

So now, I survived the 365 days and have grown an inch or so in life. I am looking forward to another year. Sayonara, 2016!

Nursing follows or is based on different laws. One of them is Murphy’s Law.

It’s mind boggling, isn’t it?

As a member of the health care team, a nurse is prone to develop varicose veins and spider veins, because she stands, walks and runs through concrete or hard surface for long periods of time. And spider veins are creeping in my lower extremities now! 

Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins

These two types of vein problems, varicose veins and spider veins, are usually caused by weak or damaged valve of the vein, causing poor blood circulation, sweeling and pain in the affected part. 

Varicose veins are usually seen on older people, and may looks like a twisted tube of intravenous fluid. It appears generally because of a damaged valve in the vein, causing blood to pool in these veins. As the blood retains on tne valve, the vein becomes larger over time, and at times painful. 

Spider veins differs from varicose veins in size and appearance. They look like spider, thus the name, or branches of a tree with may look like purple, blue or red. These veins appears following blood accumulation and leakage around the veins.

Prevention and Management

I tried a number of things to prevent them, but it seems spider webs were appearing on my legs. So, I will share both.

Prevention of Varicose Veins

Compression Stockings for Nurses

Because of being prone to varicose veins and spider veins, compresiion stockings are made spcecially for nurses. They are neat stockings that let nurses move and work efficiently without discomfort. Nurses are ussually adept in where to buy and what brand to choose from when talking about compression stockings. As for me, I don’t usually choosw through brand. As long as it is tight, helps in preventing varicose veins without discomfort, I buy and wear it.

Exercise

Usually I was tired after a shift, so exercising was not a choice upon arrival at home. I just lift my legs higher than my butt or put them on the coffee table for 15 or 20 minutes. This practice was not effective, I found out later on. I saw an article in registerednursern.com couple of months ago, that says to prevent varicose veins you have to perform ‘leg exercises that use resistance’ like squats or leg curl machine. I did 30 to 50 squats, and I must say it’s paying off.

Management of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Because I see spider veins as a cosmetic problem, I researched on how to reduce, and eventually get rid of their appearance on my legs. 

Massage

While I rest and lifted my legs with a pillow or with a table, I massage them with an oraganic oil. Coconut oil is a good choice here. This is a simple way to improve circulation, and thus helps in getting rid of spider veins.

Ginger

Known to improve blood circulation because of its fibrinolytic function, ginger is an effective treatment of choice for spider veins. It aids in the break up of blood protein fibrin, that accumulates in weak or damaged valve of the vein. Blood pressure medicines or boood thinners are not friends with ginger, so consult your doctor first before taking ginger.

How to make ginger as a treatment for spider veins? tophomeremesdies.com suggest to make thin slicies of ginger, and put them on 2 cups of water, then boil. Afterwhich, set it aside for 10 minutes, and add honey. Drinking the concoction while warm is advisable.

Yoga

There are yoga poses that helps prevent and manage varicose veins and spider veins. I actually prefer mixing yoga and exercise for 30minutes a day. I’d do yoga poses first, then squats. Boat pose (Naukasana), fish pose (Matsyasana), legs up the wall (Viparita Karani) and shoulder supported stand ( Sarvangasana) are among my favorite yoga poses when I am treating my spider veins. I felt a glorious yet calming ‘burn’ after my session.

Seems simple, right?

infant diseases, newborn diseases, newborn illnessFollowing my post on newborn vaccines, I would like to share some of the common illnesses experienced by neonates and infants, along with their corresponding nursing management.

There are a number of common newborn diseases, but I will focus on five, which concerns the respiratory and digestive system. Read the rest of this entry »

Newborn Vaccine, immunizationAt 1: 15 a.m., a concerned mother rushed into the emergency department, asking me to check her child’s body. The baby was sleeping on his mother’s arm, slightly warm to touch, and two months old. 36. 3° Celsius came through the thermometer ( via axilla). The mother informed me that her son was given vaccine injection at 2 p.m.  in the afternoon. I informed her that slight elevation in body temperature after 24hours of vaccine injection is a common side effect.

In connection to the situation above, I’d like to share a cheat sheet on newborn vaccines and their side effects. Read the rest of this entry »