A Home For a ‘Red-Dog’

Cletus, the day we took him home from the shelter.
Cletus, the day we took him home from the shelter.

For our recent mini-grant project, my group and I decided to work with the Adopt-a-Dog Rescue shelter in Liberty, Indiana. We went and visited with the owner of the shelter, Sarah Koonce, who was very excited to hear that we were going to attempt to get her a grant to hopefully help out the with dogs that she has currently and any that she may help find a home in the future. We visited with the dogs and of course fell in love with all of them.

Adopt-a-Dog is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides a warm place for any adult dogs that are either stray or have been abandoned within Union County. Once the dogs are there, Indiana state law says that the dog must be kept for 72 hours in attempt for the family to claim it before it becomes part of the shelter. Once this 72-hour period has passed, Sarah takes each dog to be either spayed or neutered and receive all of their shots as well as a microchip in case the dog is lost again in the future.

Once the dogs return from being spayed or neutered by the fantastic veterinarians at Logue’s TLC hospital, Jeff and Rebecca Logue, they are put up either for adoption or for a foster family. I foster family houses the dog. Sarah sometimes can find families that will be willing to house the dog until someone else can adopt the dog. Dr. Logue performs all of the work for the animals at a discounted price because of the shelter being a non-profit organization.

The shelter does receive a lot of help from the community and Sarah is great about making due with what she is given. Most of the food is provided by places like Wal-Mart and Kroger who have broken bags of dog food that are unable to be sold so they then donate them to Adopt-a-Dog. The shelter truly is a blessing to the town of Liberty, there are so many dogs that are either lost or unwanted.

A few years ago, my boyfriend and I adopted our dog from the shelter, Cletus. He had been dropped of the day before because his owner no longer wanted him. She has recently put in a new landscape and he had been urinating on her bushes. I told my boyfriend that day, even after looking at other dogs, the ‘red one’ was the one I was leaving with. Turned out, after Cletus went to the vet, he was actually a full-blooded Rhodesian Ridgeback. Sarah even remembered us adopting him 4 years ago, she remember every dog that comes in and out of the shelter.

If anyone is looking to donate some time to a great cause, and play with some of the sweetest dogs around; check out their website www.adoptadog-uc.com and help all these precious babies find the forever homes.

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The Brightest Nurse I Know

A photo of Jenna
A photo of Jenna

Just recently I interviewed my sister, Jenna, to look further into the building up to being a nurse; surviving nursing school. No one ever seems to realize that when they go into nursing school they have hopes and dreams of where they want to end up. Unfortunately, most of the time things change. Everyone is so concerned with where they are going to work and what department, when in reality we just have to survive the schooling first.

My sister is honestly one of the most hard-working women that I know. She has determination like no one on this earth and is respectfully one of the smartest women I have met, beside myself. J I watched Jenna struggle through nursing school, from having a full-time job, to no job, to barely making her rent payment. She held strong, studied like crazy and some how made it all work. She is so bright, she works with children now and she can tell you that child’s name, their parents, step parents, illegitimate parents and all 15 of their half, step and biological siblings. Me on the other hand, I’m lucky if I remember my car keys when I exit the house in the morning.

When I finish school, my goal is not to go into pediatric nursing…ever, I couldn’t work with children; but I can only hope that one day I become a third of the nurse that Jenna has become. The following is a list of questions that I decided were appropriate to ask Jenna about her career and the educational build up to her career.

  1. Tell me what credentials you have.
  2. Well, I am a Registered Nurse with an Associate Degree, and I am also a clinical research coordinator (CRC).
  1. Where did you go to school and how long did it take you?
  2. I went to Ivy Tech in Richmond, Indiana and it took me about 3-4 years to get my RN. I graduated in December of 2010 with my Associates. I did my schooling unconventionally; I got my LPN and then took the fast track LPN-RN course.
  1. Was nursing school everything that people make it out to be?
  2. I would say yes and no, yes because it is hard, by all means it is very hard. But no because if it is something you want to do then you’re going to put the effort into it. If you studied and went to classes and did your homework then it was fine. You have to WANT to be a nurse; you will not survive if you think you may want to be a nurse.
  1. When you graduated nursing school was it hard to find a job?
  2. Oh my goodness yes, I didn’t think I was ever going to find a job. I applied everywhere. I graduated in December, took my boards in January, and I started at Pediatric Associates at the end of April 2011. That 4-month period I thought I was never going to get a job. I applied to every hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office, even home health agencies. Pediatric Associates was the first company to contact me for an interview. It was a blessing.
  1. Where are you currently working?
  2. Pediatric Associates in Fairfield, Ohio.
  1. What is your title there?
  2. I am an RN, CRC. (Registered Nurse, Clinical Research Coordinator)
  1. Did you work anywhere nursing related before that?
  2. Yes, I have worked in the medical field all my life. I worked in dietary in high school at Oxford View nursing home; I was an STNA at the Knolls of Oxford, and then a LPN at a nursing home in Richmond, Indiana.
  1. Do you enjoy what you do now?
  2. Yes, I do. I mean it has its days, but every job has its days. A lot of times I still go back out on to the floor if I have a down day. I like it, it’s just different because it’s up and down. Research can sometimes be difficult but it has its rewards.
  1. Is this the position you saw yourself working when you graduated?
  2. When I graduated I was just trying to find a job that I loved, not in a specific field or anything per say, I just knew I wanted to find a job that I would enjoy and feel like I was making a difference at.
  1. What is your favorite thing about your job?
  2. My favorite thing would be just getting to know the families and seeing the kids grow throughout the years. There are a lot of other things that I love about my job but that is probably the first.

 

  1. What is your least favorite thing about your job?
  2. The least favorite thing about my job would be having to cath a baby. I HATE cathing, it is so awful! Also sometime the families can be difficult, like the parents that are hateful and the parents that refuse to vaccinate their children. I am a strong advocate of vaccinating. People don’t process the potential that not vaccinating poses for other children. There are some children that are unable to get vaccines due to allergies, etc. Which not vaccinating a healthy child is all well because they may have strong immune systems, but a healthy unvaccinated child can easily pass whatever they have fought off onto an unhealthy child who was unable to receive the vaccine and it can be detrimental to them. It just seems that some parents are making these decisions based on unreliable resources like blogs or what certain celebrities say. I just wish they would make an educated decision based on reliable research.
  1. What is your dream nursing position?
  2. I don’t really have one. I enjoy my job, and the position I’m in. I do miss the direct hands on experience that I had when I was in clinical rotations and I feel like I have lost some of the skills that I acquired working in a more hands on facility. But my job is low stress and my facility is awesome. They treat us so well. I do wish I could go back and get my bachelors so I could make more money, but I would still want to work here.
  1. If you could explore one other department/nursing field for a day, what would it be?
  2. For a day, if someone were with me, I would say I would enjoy exploring Emergency or Labor and Delivery, or maybe an OB-GYN office. But only if someone was with me to guide me along.

 

  1. If you were told the nursing field was closed and that you couldn’t become a nurse what would you do?
  2. Well if the nursing field was closed, we would all be screwed. I would probably say I would work in a veterinary office. Taking care of animals would be my next favorite thing; I would love playing with all the dogs and cats. Oh, or Occupational therapy because they make serious money.
  1. Do you think you will go back and get your bachelors?
  2. I would like to; but as far as my financial aspects are looking currently it will not be happening any time soon. But yes, I would like to eventually.
  1. Do you see yourself staying with Pediatric Associates long-term or will you look for other opportunities in the future?
  2. No way. Long term all the way. Like I said they treat their employees very well, sometimes too well. I have no intentions of finding another job unless I am forced to.
  1. What advice would you give to a student in nursing school?
  2. Breathe. Just do your best and make school your main focus. Study hard, do your best and give it all you got and you should survive. That’s the number one thing though, study hard and then study again. And breathe.

I interviewed Jenna on 10-4-2014 @ 1:00pm at her residence.

A drinking town with a college problem?

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This is a photo that a local police officer sent me of a skunk who had a little too much fun, the picture actually made the front page of the local paper!

I work in the City of Oxford, which if anyone knows, is the famous home to Miami University. Miami is a great school, it really is. They offer many different degrees, sports, and extra curricular activities and provide many job opportunities for our community. The college itself really is a great thing.

The oxford campus more specifically is frequented by a lot of the more, ‘wealthy’ background students. The students whose parents are doctors or lawyers, they don’t have to work when they are attending the semester because their parents supply them with money to go on, and they park their expensive cars on every street. Now let me be straight with that statement; I have nothing against these students or their backgrounds.

The issue I fall witness to, specifically from the more wealthy crowd at Miami, is the attitude towards the citizens of Oxford… ‘Townies’ as we are titled. Somewhere along the line Miami has instilled the idea in its students that the people who live in oxford year round are here primarily to cater to their every need. The students are rude, disrespectful, and often times very ungrateful of anything that is done for them. How do I know this first hand? I work in the ER.

Miami has implemented a new policy regarding the rules of drinking, which we all know college students do in excess. The new policy is just this: when a student is found sitting, stumbling or passed out on the side of the street, or someone calls 911 because their friend is too drunk; said patient, must come to the ER. They cannot refuse treatment offered by squad, they cannot sign themselves out of the ER on their own will, and will most likely be ticketed for multiple things.

Alright, in all honesty this isn’t the worst policy in some ways. The students do sometimes sit down to take short naps in peoples front yards, or decide to urinate on churches; things that they should probably be ticketed for. Problem with that is these students should go to jail for the night, not to the ER. See, my argument with this issue comes in where these students aren’t receiving the consequences for their actions, knowing what they have done or not. They are being sent to the ER, where we give them some medicine to make them stop puking, clean them up, and give them fluids so the hangover isn’t so bad in the morning. They are obnoxious, rude, and sometimes violent towards us, and when they wake up in the morning they get to go home felling embarrassed but 100% ready to drink again.

How is this an issue you ask? Our ER is small, we have 12 beds, granted on a normal night we will not have all 12 beds full after midnight; but that is not the point. The point is that Miami University is now referring to the ER as ‘the drunk tank’, basically a place to drop off every drunken college kid that does or does not need to be there and go on with their night. That is not what the ER should be used for, ever. It is a place for sick or injured people, who need attention not a puke bucket.

To add to the issue, if these students are unable to answer our questions, like their medical history and allergies, how do we know that they aren’t allergic to what the nurses give them? Per say they are allergic to some form of medication and something happen to them, like a severe allergic reaction or heaven forbid they die, that is a big liability for the nurse handling that patient. All because the police refuse to take them to the jail. When in reality they are just intoxicated and needed to puke and sleep it off.

Miami University needs to reevaluate this new policy. I am not saying that it is a bad one, but it is far from the most effective one possible. Miami needs to start taking the drunks that they pick up on the street to the jail, or their own ‘drunk tank’ after they have been evaluated by physician if need be. The police tell us that it is a liability for them to haul the students to the jail from the ER… but it is a liability for us to have so many unnecessary patients in our care.

Dancing in the Flames

This is an old house that needed torn down, the owners were nice enough first to let our fire dept. set it on fire and have a day of training before we burnt it all the way down.
This is an old house that needed torn down, the owners were nice enough to let our fire department set it on fire and have a day of training with it before we burnt it all the way down.

I volunteer in a big way, a way that someday may not be so rewarding as many other volunteer activities usually are. I am a volunteer firefighter. When I graduated high school I decided I wanted to go into the fire services. I joined the academy and finished with 13 other men, me being the only female. It was very physically and emotionally demanding, but worth every bit of the pain and running that I had to go through to graduate. When I was finished, it was around the time where firefighters were being laid off, there were no jobs period, let alone for a ‘rookie’. I instead ended up going to work at a hospital drawing blood, which was a blessing as well because it sent me in the direction of my current goal of being a nurse. I had worked so hard for my fire certifications I decided I would not go without using them. So I joined a small fire department where I live as a volunteer.

Now, when I say volunteer firefighter many people just think of it as I help with car accidents and put on fish fries in the summer. But it is, just like every other firefighter job, just what it is titled as. As a volunteer firefighter I wake up in the middle of the night (unpaid), to drive my own vehicle with lights and sirens (unpaid), to a firehouse where I jump in a truck with someone that I know but don’t always work with (unpaid), to go run inside of someone’s burning building; unpaid. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

In high school, one of my best friends died in a car accident. Right after I got out of the academy and joined the first volunteer department, the person who meant the world to me was in an auto accident that I had to respond to. I remember every day the pain I felt having to act professional, and like my insides weren’t coming out my throat, and I remember the pain that I felt in the days to come. I vowed the day of his funeral, that I would do everything I could so that no one else would have to feel that pain. That is why I am a volunteer firefighter. It isn’t because of the t-shirts or parades, it is because I know I can get through what many others can’t.

I have since joined another much larger fire department as well as still run for my original small town department. On both of the departments, I run both engine and squad, but I will jump on a truck before the ‘glorified taxi with lights’ any day. Volunteer firefighting is far from being always rewarding, but all it takes is that one family member, or little old man, coming up to you and patting you on the back and telling you, ‘We sure do appreciate all you boys do for us out there!’ even more funny is when I respond and he is shocked that I am a female. There are many career decisions in life that I sometimes think maybe I should have done differently; but to be able to say I play with fire because I WANT to, I wouldn’t change that any day.

Reader A.D.D

According to Michael Agger, we as readers have “lazy eyes”, which in most cases is very true. Speaking from personal experience, I know I am the first to zone out of whatever I’m reading, especially if I am not very interested. The article Agger published in slate.com talks about things that need to be included in a post to make it more presentable to the reader. He suggests short sentences, bullet points, bold type, and large margins. The less distractions presented in the article, the less distractions Facebook will cause on your study time. Being a new ‘Blogger’ my goals are to keep my posts as simple as possible. Be straight to the point, NO FLUFF. I am not a fan of bullet points, so I highly doubt I will ever use them. Another goal I have is to be as personal as I possibly can, since, it is my blog and I can write whatever I would like in it. Hope you enjoy reading!