Blog posts March 2010

LPN - I am a Professional

I received a certificate in the mail yesterday. It states I am a professional. It states I can append the letters L.P.N. to the end of my name. Oh my goodness, what a feeling it was to read that. I've been practicing as a nurse for half a year, but the graduation date, date of the licensing exam, and time it took for licensure to take effect spanned out over 5-6 months. I've, rightfully, been calling myself a nurse for multiple months now, but now I have a certificate I can hang on my wall and I have the right to append acronyms to my name. Wow. What a feeling...

That said, let's take a look at some common myths I've already run into as a practical nurse.

"LPNs can't give injections," said by an RN and read in NRGH's training manual on first floor (cardiac). Wrong. LPNs are trained to give injections in the same manner and style as RNs. The only medications we cannot give thus far is IV medications (includes central lines). Read that again -- LPNs receive the same training as RNs for injections. We can put in subcutaneous butterflies, too. Pretty darn easy skill... I was pretty taken back when this surprised one of my coworkers, but I guess there isn't much effort put towards educated people on the ever-changing role of the LPN.

"LPNs only work in nursing homes." Said by a very friendly coworker of my boyfriend. Actually, LPNs are respected assets to hospitals all across Canada. We work with stable patients. This is where the line blurs -- RNs will take unstable patients while LPNs will care for stable ones. Keep in mind that LPNs/LVNs in Canada are not the same as LPNs in the USA.

"LPNs don't work in maternity wards." I won't beat around the bush, the charge nurse at NRGH's maternity ward was nothing short of rude to my entire class during or practicum. She did her best to make us feel unwelcome and questioned us being there for the entirety of our stay. I really ought to return to the ward to extend my sincere gratitude to the RNs there that welcomed us to the ward with open arms and took us under their wings. For licensing, LPNs are required to have at least one day of maternity during our practicum... Why? Because LPNs can work on all floors -- we are trained to care for the full life span. Our scope of practice expands from newborns to the elderly. We can take all ages, so long as the patient or resident/client is stable. In more remote hospitals, LPNs are sometimes the only nurse on duty in maternity wards and can assist with deliveries. Unfortunately, less remote hospitals are not as open to change and still sees LPNs as having the scope of practice they had nearly a decade ago -- back before we even gave oral medications.

LPNs can... insert urinary catheters, be trained for ear irrigation, trained for dis-impaction,trained for mechanical debridement, soon BC LPNs will be doing IV starts, we can remove surgical drains, perform dressing changes, remove stitches and staples, take all vitals, per rectal medications, oral medications, subcutaneous medications (butterfly or injection), intramuscular injections, can be trained for vaccination administration, topical medication, eye and ear drops, all personal care, assist with ambulation post-surgery, assist with vaginal deliveries, perform newborn baby assessments, baby baths, weights/vitals, etc., etc.

Our scope has changed. We are now what RNs were a decade or two ago. RNs are moving up, too! In fact, I believe they have just had stitches added to their scope! Awesome :D

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Getting Fit - Some Helpful Tools

The toughest part of getting fit is eating right. You can exercise all you want, but if you're slacking off in the kitchen, you won't see much progress, if any. Some helpful things to have on hand are pre-made meals. What can make this easier? Tupperware. I kid you not.

I went ahead and purchased a full set of Vent'N'Serve containers, the stack cooker for the microwave, and a set of midgets containers. Use the stack cooker to fully cook the chicken with some water (4-20 minutes) in the microwave, then pack one cup of frozen vegetables on the bottom of a smaller Vent'N'Serve container, cut up the chicken and place on top of the veggies and you have your main meal for on-the-go, or for when you're too tired to cook a proper meal for yourself. If you're aiming for more calories, just add more veggies and more chicken -- these containers can hold a lot!

As a snack, I use the water-tight midgets containers for packing some natural peanut butter! I love natty PB, especially smothered on a rice cake. The midget container is the perfect size for packing some along without having to worry about peanut oil leaking all over your lunch bag.

Another thing that helps is... An ice cream maker. Maybe it's just me and my insatiable addiction to ice cream, but being able to make my own at home using So Good soy milk, protein powder, and low calorie sweeteners, I can take the guilt out of my must-have treat :)

I'm not too much a fan of the size of Tupperware's sports bottle, but I am a fan of its nifty little container on the bottom of it. Slip your locker key into the bottom of the bottle (removable bottom acts as a storage container!!) And all you need to carry around with you at the gym is your water bottle. Zing!

Grab your own Tupperware goodies at You can also host an online Tupperware party through me -- just visit that website or contact me to make an arrangement.

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Labor Relations...

If you work in a location that does not have a union, just remember that British Columbia has laws to cover your buttocks. Please see the BCLaws website:

Click here for the massive webpage outlining laws for BC employers.

Your time is valuable and you are entitled to certain pays, even if you are "casual," or "part time," rather than a full time employee. Assuming you do not have an agreement with your employer that states otherwise, you are entitled to time and a half for any hours you've worked over 40 during any given week. You are also entitled to time and a half if you are working a stat, have been an employee for more than 30 days, and have worked 15 shifts in the last 30 days leading up to the stat holiday... Unless you choose to move your stat to another day -- i.e. work the stat, but then take another day off in its place; then you are not entitled to the overtime pay.

Anyway, that was just my "light" reading for this morning as I strap on my white shoes and head on out to brighten up some lives and pop a few hundred pills out of their packets while reciting 9 rights aloud, three times in a row. Right drug, right dose, right time, right route, right reason, right person, right documentation, and the patient has the right to refuse and the right to be educated about the drug. There's your NINE. count 'em nine rights. Oi! I think the RNs in BC have recently started doing 10 rights? Anyone know what the 10th right is?

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April 2010 Running Races on Vancouver Island

Here are the April running races for Vancouver Island. If you have one that is not listed, please let me know so I can update the list! 


Date   Location   Race Name  Distance  Race or Organization Website
April 2thNanaimoFletcher's Challenge Trail Race 12K12
April 4th
MervilleMerville 15 K
15 KmVI Running Assoc.
April 11th
CourtenayMS Society Walk 3K/7K/10K3-10 KmMS Society
April 18th
SookeSooke River 10 K  series and Rewards10 KmVI Running Assoc.
April 25th
VictoriaTimes Colonist 10 K10 KmTimes Colonist 10 k

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No Wonder Ants Are Thought to Have Good Work Ethic...

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New Camera: Canon PowerShot A470

After many years of the over-sized, orange-tinting, battery noming digital camera, I finally broke down and bought a new one. I didn't research too much, I just looked at the size and the price. I managed to get the $160 camera for $89.00 thanks to the amazing price matching service provided by the website, which is a Vancouver-based business.

I have ordered two complete computer systems through NCIX in the past 10 years. (Yeah, note to self: dust out your PC tower every once in a while so that you don't set your video card on fire again... Good times.) They provide excellent customer service, great pricing, quick shipping, and awesome return policies. Nope, this isn't a paid blog post or anything like that. I just like spreading the good word on companies I <3

The only issue I have so far is that the camera's software is severely lacking. There isn't a way to resize your images through their software. As much as I love to keep original pictures in 9 trillion pixels by 10 billion pixels, I like to be able to resize some so that I can upload them online  for my website or to send through email to relatives. Luckily, I've recently found this website that allows you to resize images quickly and easily ( Though, it's just one image at a time. I won't complain! It's a free service :D

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Goji Berries - Wolf Berries: What's the Big Deal

For the past year or so, I've been hearing all about goji berries and how good they are for our health. I knew they were high in antioxidants and decided that I'd try eating a handful each day. Mostly, I was motivated by the idea of possibly having something new to help me in the fight against nodular acne. I started eating them at the same time as I started a bunch of changes in my diet and supplementation, so it's hard to say whether or not they've been extraordinarily helpful or not.

I have had one nodule show up since I started eating the berries. Let's take a quick look at Goji berries per 1/4 cup serving; percentages based on recommended intake per a 2,000 calorie diet:

  • High in Vitamin A (20%), Vitamin C (10%), beta carotene, and Vitamin E, Vitamins B (1, 2, & 6)
  • 9% Calcium, 8% iron, and other trace minerals
  • Contains 5 grams of protein and 32 grams of carbohydrates with 150 calories per serving
  • Amino acids, polysaccharides, and antioxidants
  • One of the highest ranked foods on the oxygen radical absorbent capacity ranking system, created by the USDA, surpassing other berries (take that, you snobby blueberries!)

Blah, blah, blah... We always hear about antioxidants. Is it just a buzz word in your vocabulary that you don't have a definition for? Let me help you out:

" Antioxidants: A group of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes called antioxidants that help protect our body from the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that can cause damage to our cells, impairing our immune system and leading to infections and various degenerative diseases. Antioxidants work together with the body's natural free radical scavangers to eat up these free radical particles. " - Acid Reflux Information Website (didn't really have a proper title, heh)

Are they worth the insane price per Kg? Heck yes. In my book, they are! Even if it's just for the placebo effect :P  Do yourself a favor, though, and avoid reading up on the health benefits. Most of the websites you will find out there on google are pushing you to buy the berries while providing unclaimed benefits. Unfortunately for us, these amazing, nutrition-packed berries have not had studies performed on them outside of the animal testing world. There are plenty of false claims out there ranging from "better legs" to curing cancer.

I eat them in three main ways:

  1. Sprinkled in my oatmeal before cooking the oatmeal. Add in some agave nectar or some apple sauce for sweetening. Yum!
  2. Blended up into a smoothie. I recently found they don't mix well with the taste of blackberries... Yeck.
  3. Trail mix: raw almonds, goji berries, and cranberries.


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Are You Enjoying The Weather?

Are you enjoying the weather? The sun has been out all day! My goodness, it's just gorgeous out there. I decided to go out with my sister and her son, our friend Shanon and her daughter, my dog, my daughter and I. We went to the park and checked out the new boardwalk that the town is in the middle of constructing along the beach. It looks like it will make an excellent run spot ;D

On a random note, I've been reading through a lot of antidepressant forums and reading up on people trying to wean themselves off of them. I see so much wrong information and well-meaning, but bad advice being handed out... I'm tempted to write a post relating to depression and antidepressants. Mostly, I want to address the "I feel better now and would like to stop taking the medication." Mentality. Unfortunately, the reason why you feel so good is because of the medication. When depression is made enough that it warrants medication, you are going on the medication for life, not until you feel better... Generally, anyway.

The withdrawals are terrible. You have to be prepared and have your doctor on your side as well as your family and support system.

Aww darn, see? I'm turning this into a post about antidepressants already!  For those of you that are curious, I am on 37.5 mg of Effexor OD for depression. I feel completely normal and completely fine/content/happy while on it despite the occasional headache. My family has a history of depression and I battled with it for 13 years before turning to medication. I only wish I turned to medication sooner. It doesn't change who you are, doesn't make you a bad person, but it does help you to start thinking like a normal, healthy person :D

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Breakfast Cookies You Must Try!

WOW! Maybe adding the recipe will help you out. haha, woops. Here's the recipe for Hearty Breakfast Cookies  :)


I'm really sorry if you're allergic to peanuts! I've been making all kinds of peanut butter based cookies lately. I made these breakfast cookies last week and they were just delicious. I cut down on the sugar, of course... No one needs that much sugar :P

They are filling and have a really good balance of flavors so that there's no overload of sweetness or peanut butter.

Give them a try :D

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