Friday, March 22, 2013

Smile like you know what you are doing!

Smiling like I'm in complete control and have absolutely no doubt about my abilities has become my new go to face. It's a particularly useful face to have in a patient's room so s/he doesn't think I'm crazy or incompetent. That being said I generally leave the room and immediately go run options by my fabulous coworkers. They may have no more experience than I, but it's nice to be able to get some confirmation that my head is indeed screwed on straight. In the event that I truly don't know what I'm doing I run to one of our fabulous charge nurses or to the assistant nurse manager on nights. That being said when the charge nurse of the week is your boyfriend, it makes me want to ask questions a little bit less. Nonetheless I persevered, asked the questions that needed asking and everybody lived. They may have either been snowed or restrained, but no one died...that's the main point anyways. 
Now, when your boyfriend is the charge nurse for the week that means his lovely and talented nursing student needs to be precepted by someone else. Somehow that someone else turned out to be me...yes me as in the haven't been working four months yet but somehow people think I'm competent enough to oversee someone else. Needless to say it was an entertaining week as I tried to stay 20 steps ahead of the game, keep my student on track, teach, catch up the stuff that day shift hadn't done, and deal with some quite frankly critical patients. It was a good learning week for my "mini me" to say the least. She learned what massive, rapidly growing hematomas look like, how to restrain people, how to interpret some basic rhythms, what to say when your 96 yo patient asks you if she's in outer space, have we replaced her body, and to bring her bourbon and a man (this same pt the next night would have me kiss her on the cheek three times, and then later grab both my ass and my boobs and try to bite me). I think it was a good learning experience, and she seemed to be enjoying the fast pace, but I definitely wished we'd had a bit more down time to talk things through (that's the goal for next week!). 
I still love my job, but this has definitely been a trying month, and to top it all off my rad blood drawing skills seem to have left me the past couple of weeks. I haven't had a great stick in quite a while :P Oh well I guess it all comes in waves. I am just glad the week is over though because I've been hit, fondled, bled on, and told by my previously sweet patient that she was going to "sock me in my puss". I was so shocked by this statement, that she momentarily won the mitten restraint battle and smacked me in my stomach. It's just been one of those stretches where the mantra of "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job, I love my job" has been the only thing keeping me going at times. Hopefully by Sunday night I'll have recharged my nursing battery and will once again be the little engine that could  =)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sometimes comfortable is a good thing

I am currently laying on the couch at my boyfriend's house listening to the familiar sounds of call of duty in the background, and I have been struck by a wonderful realization. I am comfortable, I enjoy laying on the couch without obligations or concerns. There are no exams to study for, I no longer feel like I have to spend hours looking things up for work, and the thought of working on my own no longer makes me want to vomit. I am comfortable. However, this is not to say that I have become complacent, far from it in fact. I simply have the time to invest in life now; both my own and those around me. I'm sure there will be days where I am completely out of my element, and I am stuck with difficult decisions to make; for now though I'm going to enjoy the new life I have taking root, the people I have met (if I haven't mentioned that my boyfriend is awesome let me say it now: he's pretty incredible and for some reason thinks I'm amazing), and the experiences I am having along the road I'm on :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

One of the worst feelings, in my opinion, is waking up in the morning (or early afternoon) and immediately planning for my afternoon nap. Nonetheless, this has become my life as I have transitioned from working days to working nights. After completing my first week on nights since nursing school, I have come to the realization that I like my patient’s awake. I thrive on the fast paced environment on days, and I genuinely enjoy working with doctors and NPs that circulate the floor during the day. The part I miss the most though is the patient education; we’re so busy from 1900-2300 that there’s no time to spend more than a couple of minutes with your patients. Once things slow down, ideally you want them to sleep, so barring complications the next time you interact with them is to draw their blood at 0400. And I don’t know about you, but the last thing I would want to do at 0400 is have a conversation with anyone. In fact, most of my patients just stick their arm out, let me draw their blood, and then roll over and try to catch a few more precious hours of sleep before the hubbub of the day overtakes them. I often tell my patients that they come to the hospital to get well, not get sleep. Unfortunately it often seems like the two are mutually exclusive. By the time my patients start to wake up in the morning, I am almost on my way out the door. They are awake just long enough for me to introduce them to their next nurse and say my goodbyes as I stumble my way home for some much needed sleep.

All of that said, there is a certain charm to nights. You have more time to review patient charts and orders; and when things go wrong on nights the entire floor pulls together to help get you, and your patients!, through it. Not to say that doesn’t happen on days, but it’s just a bit less hectic generally. Perhaps the only thing that’s made me truly laugh on nights are the patients who tell me they don’t want to call me because “I look like I need my rest!” However, as much as I love my night shift coworkers I am looking forward to hopefully transitioning back to days in the next couple of months. That being said I think it’s time for my pre-work nap before I start funneling caffeine into my system :)