Retiring Boomers – Want a Brain-Dead-Simple Plan?

Finances after fifty – yes, you have more buying power than any other generation alive. But here is what credit card companies and other lenders don’t want you to take seriously. In reality, this might be catch up time for many.

But who feels like dealing with it? When you’re short on time and energy, what brain-dead-simple retirement solution can you put into place FAST?

And where should you begin?

  1. First, decide to get serious about it. Start with what you know. Use the Nursing Process.
  2. Assess. Inventory your assets and debts. Include how much time and money you might have to pay to help your elderly parents. Remember Dave Ramsey’s asset calculator which is free for your use.
  3. Diagnose. How bad/good is it?
  4. Plan. Set a financial goal and a time frame in which to reach it. Remember that you might live longer than you expect.
  5. Implement.
    • Tweak things in your life to: make more money, spend less, and save/invest more.IMG_0078
    • Do you still need that big home and new car? Can you save more if you downsize and get rid of your monthly interest-charging bills?
    • Tell your family you will be cutting way back on holiday gift spending.
    • Prepay your funeral expenses. You certainly don’t want your grief-stricken, vulnerable loved ones to pay extra to a hungry salesmen at the funeral home – especially if you haven’t made your wishes known. (I wrote another article, called “What Motivates a Nurse to Prepay Final Expenses”, in May of last year, that you can check out if you want more detail on that.)
    • Decide if you should work extra shifts or take a second job for a year or two? Is there a hobby you love that has earning potential? Many Boomers are moving into business.
  6. Evaluate. Calculate your progress so far. (Like Dr. Phil says – “How’s that working out for you?”)
  7. Start over with another assessment.

Here is a great basic starting point: The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances After Fifty: Answers to Your Most Important Money Questions .

Many nurses have scoped out the other, less strenuous, jobs at their hospital and learned how to fill those positions when the time is right. Why Retire?: Career Strategies for Third-Age Nurses .

There are so many productive ways to keep busy and find meaning after retirement. Portfolio Life: The New Path to Work, Purpose, and Passion After 50 .

Many Boomer nurses dream of creating their own business after they retire from the hospital. Boomers into Business: How Anyone Over 50 Can Turn What They Know into Dough Before and After Retirement .

So, any person can do this – even if they feel brain-dead sometimes. Here is a way to make it more interactive: Quicken Financial Planner, QuickPlan Edition .

So you see? Boomer nurses’ retirement planning is so simple! Just do what you’ve been doing it all of your nursing career – using the Nursing Process.

What do you love? Go for it! Let your excitement for a bright new future come alive!

Cheers!

10 Prep Ideas for Retirement – The Working Years

Can’t wait to retire? Will you be ready? How much money will you need to live your dream-retirement? How long will it take to save enough money?

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What are some tricks you can use to move you toward your goals during your working years?

Let’s get started.

  1. Learn how to start making your money work for you. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
  2. In the meantime, work extra shifts – as long as it doesn’t interfere with your family or your health. Besides the money, it looks good on your performance review.
  3. Keep an eye on your 403-B or 401-K’s performance and the overall health of the country’s economy. Intervene only if really necessary.
  4. Daily, spend time day-dreaming about your desired retirement. The more you do, the more your subconscious prompts you to move you toward your goals. Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
  5. Buy quality, and take excellent care of your belongings to make them last longer. 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire: So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World
  6. Advance your own physical, mental, and financial health. Don’t allow dysfunctional people to drain your hard-earned assets. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
  7. Give to charities according to the way God leads you. Do not be coerced.
  8. Whenever possible, get needed surgeries and treatments completed before you retire. That way you get paid during recovery – with FMLA and/or PTO.
  9. Never allow credit card debt. If you have it, get rid of it fast. Rich Dad’s Advisors®: The ABC’s of Getting Out of Debt: Turn Bad Debt into Good Debt and Bad Credit into Good Credit .
  10. See the post just previous to this one. Do your best. Learn about money. Diversify your investments. Never stop dreaming.

A lot of nurses worry that job-hopping (common among nurses) might hurt their retirement goals.  Not as much as you might think! Just remember to always keep rolling your 403-B or 401-K over to your next job.

And if you do job-hop, you might consider travel nursing. You can even stay in your same city, the agencies offer more than all the usual benefits, and travel nursing generally pays a lot more than working for any hospital.

*****Do you want to use Dave Ramsey’s investment calculator for free? This Dave Ramsey article lets us do just that. Just go to his article and clicking the link there.

Dave Ramsey has also brilliantly written some good news about: Retirement for All Ages: A Planning Guide for Your Retirement At Any Age . He shows the steps to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

The recommendations here are from various named sources and from my experience. Verify before taking action on any of it. Hope this helps! What are some of your savings tricks?

Cheers!

11 First Steps: Retirement Planning Tips

Here are some of the things I did to sabotage my own retirement plans during the initial phase of my nursing career.001

Upon landing my first GN job in 1987, I was thrilled to earn $11.00 per hour! We had been struggling financially during nursing school – and it was finally time to celebrate! We started immediately on our “well-deserved” upgrades.

Meantime, student loans, from nursing school, would soon require monthly payments. With me as the only support for three people, I soon realized that our money left after bills was going to be less than before I landed that great job.

So, when a US Army recruiter told me we would get free housing, free medical, and my student loans would be deferred for as long as I was working as an Army nurse on active duty, I grabbed the chance.

I should have begun my early phase of retirement planning right then. But the starting salary of a Lieutenant – nurse or otherwise – was not much. Even after my two year raise, we were still struggling and getting further into debt.

We could have budgeted better, but we were stationed in Honolulu. We “needed” all of the Hawaiian things that other nurses’ families had.

Some friends worked another nursing job on their days off. But I had two kids, and we wanted quality time together. So instead of making money, we made (semi-expensive) memories.

What could I have done differently, and what strategies do I recommend?

  1. Don’t take student loans if you can avoid it. Work a job to pay for as much of nursing school as possible.
  2. Burn off your excess energy and frustrations by working a physically active job instead of paying money to go to a gym.
  3. Live with family or get an honest, reliable roommate – especially when you are a single parent. Even if they don’t contribute any money, you will still usually get free help with child care.
  4. Shop thrift stores. But watch prices and ask for better deals. Some will negotiate if you ask.
  5. If you have a neighborhood co-op near you, find out what tools, yard equipment, etc. you can borrow. You might be able to – say – borrow equipment, for free, to paint somebody’s bedroom for $100.00 in your pocket!
  6. Grow some of your own food – organically. You will save money – and nurses know the importance of eating healthy.
  7. Save 10% of each paycheck toward your one-year savings account to sustain you in case you are ever out of work for up to a year. And do not ever dip into it except for a true emergency.
  8. Start, the day each child is born, to save for their college.
  9. Deliberately live below whatever lifestyle your nursing income allows.
  10. If you want/need something big, save for it and buy it with cash.
  11. Never take on a car payment again, and make your current car payment your last.

I learned this from experience as a new nurse – and there are even more great tips in this terrific little book: 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire: So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World This book will save you tons of money!

P.S. Its not that we nurse just for the money. But in order to pay our own way through life, we need to manage what we earn as well as possible. So, plan early – and live long!

Cheers!

Snakebit – Patients who Hiss at You

128px-The_Grass_Snake_-_Natrix_natrixWhat does it mean when a patient hisses at you?

Could it have been ICU Syndrome, mental illness – was he a terrorist – or maybe he was raised by snakes???

Ridiculous? Maybe – but here is my story.

I remember caring for one particular non-English speaking patient when I worked in the ICU at the county hospital in 1987. I was a fresh new grad – had not even taken state boards. Yet, I was being groomed in the SICU. So fun!

They let me care for extremely critical cases with all kinds of monitors, drains, and devices! It was a teaching hospital, and every day was new and exciting.

We got the rare and hopeless cases that other hospitals could not afford to take – because of their need to keep their scores high. We were not in competition. We accepted everybody. Nothing was too hard for us!

But this one angry patient was probably my biggest challenge in those days. He was in his early 20’s, slim, dark skin, black straight hair, and buck-naked. He violently refused to wear gown or covers. So there he was, day after day, wearing only his foley strap.

He was handcuffed to the bed (not unusual for our hospital), but nobody could communicate with him. His police guard didn’t understand his language any more than we did. Staff of various ethnic backgrounds also tried to understand his speech – but to no avail.

Communication was nearly impossible for staff – except for facial expressions and hand gestures. But he would make deliberate, angry, piercing eye contact, wriggle like a snake in the bed, say words I didn’t understand, and hiss.

Oh, yeah – and he would spit at us too.

My most memorable day with this patient was when his serum potassium level rose high enough to treat with Kayexalate – but he was NPO. Uh Oh. Not good news for him, for me, or for all my helpers.

I’ll bet you can imagine how many milliseconds he retained that enema. And – no – my flying leap was not fast or far enough!

After that, I had a couple of days off. When I returned this patient was no longer on our unit. Nobody knew what happened to him, and I never saw him again.

Not much later, I was recruited into the US Army to serve in Honolulu. New nursing job. New life. But, for a long time, I could still sometimes see those angry eyes and hear that sound in my memory. And I always wondered why he wriggled like a snake and hissed at us.

What was your most unusual patient encounter?

Here is something that might tickle your funny bone: Snakebit: Confessions of a Herpetologist

 Cheers!

Haldol – a Nurse’s Best Friend

Vitamin HH letter

What are some of the main indications for Haldol use?

  • Uses the callbell too often
  • Talks too long
  • Repeatedly comes out of room to find nurse

No – really – just kidding!

Official indications for Haldol administration is to gain therapeutic control of the patient whose behavior may be a danger to themselves.

In hospital – Haldol (haloperidol lactate) – fast acting antipsychotic – pharmacological class: Butyrophenone – Old Faithful

 

Indications Schizophrenia (Moderate), Psychosis Schizophrenia (Severe), Psychosis ICU Delirium Ticks and outbursts as in Tourette’s Dementia related psychosis
PO 0.5-2mg Q8-12H prn 3-5mg Q8-12H prn – up to 30mg/day 0.5-2mg Q8-12H initially. May need to increase to 3-5mg Q8-12H. Some have had up to 100mg/day. Not approved due to increased risk of death
IM 2-5mg Q4-8H prn (may require Q1H prn initially) See note below table Not approved
IV (off-label) 2-10mg initially. May repeat Q15-30min (doubling initial dose sequentially. Then 25% of last bolus Q6H & taper off as able) Monitor EKG for prolonged QT intervals. Not approved
Geriatric dosages 0.25-0.5mg Q8-12H initially Less and less often than adults under age 65 0.25-0.5 Q4H & watch EKG for prolonged QT intervals Not approved
Negative (potential) side effects EPS, Tardive dyskinesia, Prolonged QT interval, Torsades de Pointes, Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS), can affect blood, blood pressure, GI, liver, skin, endocrine, electrolyte balance, ability to drive -> -> -> ->Highest risk group for Tardive dyskinesia, Death
Contraindications CNS depression, coma, Parkinson’s -> -> -> ->
Use caution in patients with Allergy to Haldol, severe CV disorders, neutropenia, seizure disorder on meds -> -> -> ->
Potential interactions Neurotoxicity if on Lithium, potentiated by many other meds
Storage In syringe, in your pocket (just kidding!)

If Haldol is being given to a person with bipolar in the manic phase, they could quickly move to depressive phase after receiving med.

IM or PO haloperidol decanoate (depot)  is for home use – not for hospital use. Dosages are different and it is longer acting.

Thanks to: RxList.com ,  MedScape.com ,  and Drugs.com .

So there is your handy-dandy snapshot of Haldol – a nurse’s best friend! (when used with caution) Here’s a great resource to find out more: Mosby’s 2015 Nursing Drug Reference, 28e (SKIDMORE NURSING DRUG REFERENCE)

Thanks for checking in! Let me know if you want more med summaries like this.

Cheers!

Should Nurses Have to Be All Things to All People?

You have what it takes

On being all things to all patients – and some tips to getting through the shift in one piece.

So needy – Why is it that patient’s emotional needs can wear you down faster than their physical needs?

Super-size me – And don’t most patients want you to pile on the time, service, and sweet-talk all the way to the ceiling? Plus they think you should know every latest about their case.

On any given shift, a typical patient mix will be extremely diverse. And patients’ emotional needs are as varied as their diagnoses.

Here’s what experience taught me -

You’ve got the stuff – It can be done – And you are well able to make each patient happy when you set your priorities and communicate well. Even new nurses are well-received and respected when they are open about needing advice occasionally.

Comprehension is key – I found out that the quality time I spent with the patient, early in the shift, made all the difference. When patients truly understand their plan of care for that day – what to expect from all the disciplines and their own role – they relax more and their compliance increases.

Share the love – When your patient understands who does what, they call for you less often. Make sure they have the phone extensions of their CNA, social worker, RT, the kitchen, business office, and the like. Give this information in a positive way that empowers them.

You are brilliant – You graduated college and passed boards. You are a professional in a well-respected vocation. You have a good heart. You serve others to the best of your ability. Most patients, whether or not they ever tell you, appreciate your work and how you made them feel.

They don’t define you – Those patients who do not appreciate you are usually too caught up in their own problems to appreciate anything outside of themselves. So don’t be concerned if they complain. They are defining themselves – not you.

So, can a nurse be all things to all patients? For the most part – yes, you can. And you can do so without hurting yourself. There will always be the exceptions; but as long as you look and behave as a professional, you will be considered as one. When you stay focused, organized, and compassionate, you win their confidence. And their decrease in fear makes a big impact on their speedy recovery.

Next up is the story about the death-CNA. This one will freak you out.

But for now, here’s something that will make you laugh out loud! ”Only A Nurse Could Laugh at This…” – Funny Stories and Quotes from Real Nurses for When You’re Having “One of Those Days”

Cheers!

Cool Video – How to Ace a Nursing Job Interview

Is it job interview time? How do you show them that you are a hero inside? Would you like some easy – and awesome – ideas on how to ACE a job interview? Check out this YouTube video, and you will quickly get terrific, on-point advice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id1N9u7q60U

This video is 14 minutes and 9 seconds. Everybody will surely learn something from it! Also, here is the link to her new book: New Nurse?: How to Get, Keep and LOVE Your First Nursing Job!

I don’t mind supporting and promoting this nurse because she is doing a great service for nurses – especially new nurses. She is all about inspiring and empowering others to succeed. So kudos to you, Caroline Thomas!

That’s all for now! Be back soon!

Cheers!

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