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Posts Tagged ‘Locum tenums life’

Readers –

My current assignment in Texas is coming to an end – so the blog content will be shifting back; less photography and more medical news.  I’d like to thank all my loyal readers for staying with me as I indulged my creative side for the last few months, and drifted away from our original foci.

But I hope, that for your part – it hasn’t all been eye-rolling, deep sighing, shoulder shrugging ‘tolerance’.  I hope that you have enjoyed the chance to connect on a more personal and less formal level.

That’s how I feel when I read other bloggers pages about photography, travel, sewing, art or any of the other interests that define me outside of nursing and health care.  I hope that you get that same sense of familiarity, of enjoyment when each of my blogs is posted.

If I can recreate that same, “I wonder what she has today?” anticipation that I feel when reading the Mexfiles, seeing the latest creations at the Renegade Seamstress or vicariously enjoying the tasty travels of Bunny and Pork  Belly; well, that’s success in its own right.

My blog certainly isn’t up to the caliber as the others I’ve enjoyed – but I think if I can get each of my subset of readers (photography fans and medical / health readers) to remain interested and engaged, even when I stray off topic..

with fellow Nurse practitioners in Texas

with fellow Nurse practitioners in Texas

These last few months, since returning from Colombia have been fun.  Figuring out photography and trying to get past point-and-shoot has been frustrating, frustrating, jaw clenching, foot stamping frustrating at times..

But – it’s good photography practice for my future writings, and it’s also a bit less strenuous.  Writing and posting research based articles (with relevant citations) can be a bit onerous after a long day in the hospital.. Tired eyes tend to make for more spelling errors..  I could just post less often when on assignment, I suppose..

Yet – I am always hesitant to leave the blog for too long because it has come to be a place for me to indulge my ‘nerdy’ side with a friendly audience.

The blog lets me address and talk about the issues in medicine and patient care, explore relevant medical discoveries and emerging research as well as passing on some of the information (and patient education) that I have gained as part of my years of taking care of people.  It lets me talk about all the nerd stuff that people at work don’t really sit around and talk about –

Like everyone else, they talk about families, finances, home life. Taking kids to soccer, going to church, socializing with friends, landscaping the lawn..   All good things, great community and friendly folks.. But it doesn’t fill that ‘Dora the Explorer’ inside me; or the inner Florence Nightingale.

It also doesn’t mesh with my family; the vagabond roving band of travelers that we are, so it is sometimes hard to relate.  I mean, right now, I live in a hotel, my ‘home base’ is a storage shed in another state – where we stop in and swap out clothes.. My husband and I are sometimes working in different states (or countries) for weeks or months at a time – so we aren’t the best candidates to join leagues or make long-term commitments.  All of it sounds wonderful but it sometimes makes us feel like outsiders looking in.

So I come here to wordpress; to enjoy Serapa, Nicephore’s diary, and the return of Miss Christina and all the other people I will never meet – but sure enjoying knowing about a little corner of their lives..  I hope it is the same for all of you.

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Best of both worlds

It looks like sometimes I can have the best of both worlds; spending time with my patients (and hopefully helping to improve their lives/ restore wellness) while having the opportunity to travel, to interview and observe surgeons from around the world.  It’s been a difficult balance because it’s hard to find nurse practitioner positions that allow the sort of flexibility I need to continue my other (pursuits?)

Nurse Practitioner/ Medical Writer?

I love being a nurse practitioner but I also see myself as a writer so it’s hard to relegate my journalistic endeavors to the little corner known as ‘hobby’.   In fact, I feel that my travels are an essential counterbalance to my daily practice in nursing and cardiothoracic surgery.  My travels, particularly into cardiothoracic surgery in other locations – give me grounding and perspective.  Otherwise, without continuous effort – things can become too routine, too “by rote”.  While it’s critical to stay-up-to-date in medicine; it’s also crucial to continue to think about what we are doing – to get away from the ‘cookbook medicine’ of algorithms and protocols every so often.

Is it all about the protocol?

Protocols and algorithms based on ‘evidence-based practice’ are highly useful but they aren’t the only consideration when it comes to patient care.  Patients are individuals – and care needs to be individualized to each person’s situation and needs – which is where protocols often fail.

So it’s also helpful to see other variations in practice.  Sometimes the ways that other people/ hospitals/ groups practice isn’t just different; it’s better.  Maybe it’s not better for every situation, and maybe it shouldn’t replace the current standardized protocols at your hospital – but it might fit the needs of some of your individual patients.

But you have to be more that open and receptive to the idea of variations in practice – you have to be aware of different practices.   While conferences, lectures and publications may present and discuss different practices, the best way to learn about and see different practices – is to go there.  

But how/ when can a working nurse practitioner find the time to see different practices?

Locum tenums

Both, now I have found a way to see and experience this on both a national and international level.  I’ve begun practicing as a locum tenums (or temporary) nurse practitioner at different facilities in the United States.   I work for a few (or several) months at different hospitals and practices across the USA – giving me a spectrum of care within a basic framework of American medicine; from rural or small-town surgery programs to big-city/ metropolitan or academic settings.

In between assignments – with careful planning and budgeting, I can continue my international travels.. So far it seems ideal..

fwy bw

Coming to a city near you..

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