"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 3 as an RN: Under Fire

Whew! So, lets go over this week.

Day one summary- Easy. "This job is awesome! I love being an RN! Woo! This is going to be GREAT!"

Day two summary- First patient. "This is great! I'm doing great! Running into a couple problems but easily solved. Helping out lots of others on the floor. Eager to learn more, do more!! Bring it!"

Day three summary- "WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING!!!"

And thats pretty much all I need to say. But I'll say more- have no fear, thats why I'm here.

The biggest lesson I learned throughout reflecting on the day (I actually learned it during my lunch break when I literally just sat there staring at the wall, breathing) was that although the day thus far had been CRAZY and there were MULTIPLE times I literally thought in my head, "I'm not cut out for this. I am in over my head, like way in over my head, and I cannot do this", I do realize that I DID learn a lot yesterday because of that insanity. Not only did I learn true prioritization and time management, but I will remember the skills I learned forever. It was all very fast and in the heat of the moment (s) and it was either do it or you don't do it and the patient suffers.

I guess what I'm confusingly trying to say is, I learn better that way. Under fire. When you really don't have time to over-analyze it, (but still enough time to do it the right way!).  If my preceptor is going to just calmly be like, "Okay, step one, you do this....and step two, do this..." and I only watch, and its all hypothetical, then I might learn that in the back of my mind but its not truly ingrained. Whereas in the heat of the moment, you remember everything that you did. Did it work? Okay, do it again that way. Did you run into a problem? Did you learn the right way to do it after that? That, you will remember forever. I guess I learn best via trial and error.

But anyway, I got through. And by the end of the day, I did everything I was required to do. I swam through the deep end and made it to shore. I got everything squared away with my complicated patient, and even had time to volunteer to do another nurses admission assessment, despite it being my first time doing it, I thought, "How hard can that be? The computer guides you through the whole thing." So I got to do that, that was cool.

Update on the doctors...I got to deal with a new group of doctors yesterday, well, residents really. Which was excellent. The residents are so....eager to help it seems. They are still learning so they are still so genuinely interested in their patients and actually like when you call them. And I even got to meet the resident bunch when they came to do rounds on the floor and I met the actual one I was doing most of the talking with on the phone, and I redeemed myself and made sure to not come across as a total newbie/idiot. So, cool. Getting practice....eventually calling them will be no big deal. Eventually!

I also encountered my first family gathering/update/education session....twice! My patient was 94 and with severe dementia so not much education was happening with her. However, midday someone came up to me and asked if I was the nurse for that patient. I said yes, and she introduced herself as the daughter-in-law and had a couple questions and wanted an update. So I gave her an update and suprisingly answered all her questions! Somehow. So, that turned out alright without any prior "prep time". If I had known she was coming I would have read through the chart furiously and gave her the best possible update. But I told her what I knew. And then a couple hours later, I was informed that the son was in the room and wanted to speak with me. So he had some more questions, which I was also able to answer all of them! I love love love finally being able to answer questions from families! Its been so annoying these past five years reciting, "I don't know, let me get your nurse."  Woot!

I went to a meeting at work, after my shift, that was all about how to handle angry patients and how to make them happy again so they pretty much don't leave our hospital saying they would never come back again. But point is, the speaker made a really good point that shed some light on my work and probably a lot of others, too. Despite how bad my day is, on my worst shift on the worst day, I am doing good. I am helping people. And, I get to go back home at night. I'm not stuck in a hospital bed, waiting for biopsy results, or listening to my IV beep, away from my family. No matter how bad the shift is, your patients day is probably worse. So an interesting perspective to think about when I feel like I am having the worst day.

Well, I have the weekend off! So, lots of drawing, some photography work, and maybe some writing I hope!! Yay!

Thanks for reading everyone,


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