Teaching~No go in the USA

Part of the reason I became a nurse was because of the opportunity to teach.

Many years ago, I was given an opportunity to go back to school. I was faced with the decision of what career path to take. After talking with many teachers and nurses, I realized that if I chose teaching, that’s what it would be, but if I chose nursing, it could be anything from research, patient care, and even teaching!


Throughout my nursing career, my goals and direction were always clear to me. In my early nursing days, I took workshops in mentorship and volunteered to orientate and preceptor students and new staff. I felt pride in guiding the next generation of nurses towards a safe and fulfilling career. My health authority supported these efforts with available mentorship programs and my employer must have felt I was proficient at the mentorship process as they entrusted me with the role.

In 2012, an opportunity came up to clinically teach in the emergency nursing program. I enjoyed this level of teaching and stayed with the program for 2 years. I had so many amazing ED nurses in my clinical groups and felt so proud to be a catalyst in those nurse’s careers. But alas things change, and off to the USA we went.


Shortly after starting my travel nursing career, I embarked on the difficult task of balancing life and the MN (master’s in nursing) program at UVIC. I won’t delve into this topic here as I have previously written about this topic but be sure to check out my previous posts!

We stayed long enough in the USA that not only did I start the MN program, but I also graduated!! So naturally, I wanted to use my new skills and move towards the career I had chosen for myself so many years ago.

I applied for any and all teaching/instructing opportunities both within the hospital system that I was working and at local colleges. As a travel nurse working on a TN visa, I’d need more than luck just to get my resume looked at!

I was able to secure a couple of phone conversations and a few interviews; however, each time the TN status became an issue. The outcome was always the same with a local person getting the job. I couldn’t help feeling that my credentials were valued but just not enough to trump someone local. Although I lack evidence, I am aware that at least one job I applied for that was rewarded to someone without an advanced degree, whatever the factors were, I can only know that I was completely qualified for the position.

After multiple denied applications, it became increasingly clear that I would not be teaching in the USA and the only way to further my career would be to return to Canada. Now, how could we make that happen?

What career decisions have you made that took a lot of effort to accomplish? I’d love to read your story in the comments!

fullsizeoutput_1e3c Trudi MN, RN

Maggot therapy…

Every once and a while a patient enters your care who presents with an unusual situation. I’ve been a nurse at some capacity for about 16 years (LPN-MN) and there are lots of things I have seen, but still many that I haven’t!

One thing I check off my list is maggots in a wound, and not there on purpose. Maggot therapy has been in medicine for a very long time. It’s intended usage is to utilize the maggots for wound debridement (link below). Of course, the maggots are sterile and a regimen of routinely replacing the maggots is important to maintaining a healthy wound healing environment. However, this particular situation (person, place, & time avoided to protect the identity of the patient) was due to poor hygiene and a reluctance to seek medical treatment.


When an interesting case presents to the emergency department, news travels fast! Basically, when a patient is checking into triage, charge nurses are notified of specific situations to help facilitate an appropriate room/space for the patient, especially if they require some kind of isolation. The downfall to this kind of pre-notification, is the anticipation of the unknown, and as the nurse, now my brain is in full though process of “how do I care for this situation”.

On the day the patient arrived with the infected wound, I was made aware the patient would be coming to my assignment, I had an open isolation room. And before I even met the patient, I could feel myself reacting to the idea of seeing these creatures crawling and I was having a difficult time preparing myself to maintain my professionalism while caring for this patient.


After learning the story of a battle with cancer, failure to seek treatment, and an underlying mental health diagnosis, the compassionate nurse in me found its way out to ensure an empathetic and professional approach to caring for this patient. It was certainly not the patient’s choice to have the wound get to this level of infection, nor did they intend for this path to their ultimate demise. But due to lack of insight to the disease process and inability to process consequences the patient found themselves in this situation and I found myself learning how to flush maggots from a wound.

Although I can whole heartedly say that I do not ever want to complete this task again, done & done! I can say that having had this experience allowed me to get to know this patient on a different level than expected and it helped me understand that although resources are available to people, they might not have the capacity to utilize them. What we gave this person was comfort care; however, our interaction was brief, and it is unknown how they will navigate the system from this moment forward. I can only hope, that the care I gave in that moment was more than just flushing those creatures out of the wound.


Have you experienced and unusual treatment or procedure? I’d love to hear about your experience! Feel free to leave a comment!

fullsizeoutput_1e3c Trudi

(personal information of the patient, place, or time has been kept confidential to protect the patients privacy, no HIPPA/FIPPA laws are intentionally broken)
(some images are obtained from google, no copyright infringement intended)