"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?"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week Two as an RN: Getting my Legs

Would you believe I have seven blogs in draft mode that I've thought of in past week, and this is the first *spare moment* I've had to sit down and even start the first one? (This one). It's been absolutely insane!
Well, I survived week number two as an RN, and boy..........have I learned and done a lot. Tomorrow it starts all over again, three more days. This past week I've had a very interesting set of patients, as well as having practiced continuity of care. I started the week with two patients and kept one of those two for the whole three days.

I ran into a lot of problems, but was able to solve them. I'm running head first into a lot of "oh my god I can't handle this!" type moments, but the important thing is learning that they ARE going to happen everyday no matter what and no matter how experienced you are. The important thing is to take a deep breath, close your eyes, reprioritize, and get right back to it. As long as you constantly reprioritize and act with the best intentions, you can't go too wrong.

So that was my second week. I missed things, yes. Things fell through the cracks. But as the week went on I learned from those fallbacks and made sure the next day to not let it happen again. As much as I hate making mistakes, in my opinion-bring on the mistakes now while I have a preceptor (rar!) who can teach me the right way, rather than in a month when I'm on my own on nightshift. The worst thing you can do, and something I am faulty of, is trying to figure out something on your own. The hardest (and easiest, sorta) lesson to learn is knowing when to ask for help. To put aside your own pride and dignity for your patients sake and safety.

Its funny, those frazzled moments....You start off your day with everything calm. You get there, get report, organize all your papers, make to-do lists, draw up your AM meds, do assessments....and for the most part its pretty calm. But then, then the frazzle moment happens. Its been a different time of day each day so far for me. Sometimes its 10am med pass, sometimes its a random point in the day at 2pm, or sometimes its right before we leave, in the evening. The frazzle moment is when you HAD a plan, but somehow that plan was thrown out the window, and replaced with four new plans, and everyone needs you to do something. But not only do they need you to do something, but they ALL need you to do it right away. And its hard to prioritize when they all want you at the same time, and you have to figure out who to make wait and who can't wait.

But, talking with my staff development educator after one of these frazzle moments helped me learn something else: Knowing when to delegate!  I explained to her that I was having a hard time with that, because the aides on the floor are my friends, and its hard going from working with them to now telling them what to do. She noticed I was having a problem because I was trying to do everything myself for my patients. Things aides can do, and my own nurse work, and thats where everything was getting to be too much. So, have to work on that.

But, I'm really excelling in my skills. The hardest part so far has (still) been communicating with doctors, and prioritization. But, that will come. Every day I learn something new! :)

So, exciting news?? I got in my first IV!! on the FIRST TRY!! WOOT!!! It was pretty amazing, and I really had to restrain myself from literally jumping and doing a dance in front of the patient, but I refrained because I didn't want to further help clarify that it was my first time. I think she was already nervous enough as it was. But yay! But despite having done one once, I'm still nervous for # 2....Is that normal? :\

Needless to say, There has been a LOT of prayers coming from me this week. I have levels of prayer...some are just mere wishes, like, "I hope the cafeteria has chicken sandwiches today".....and some are level 1 prayers, like: "please let me have a good day today." Level 2 would be, "please let work, please let this work!"  and the ultimate......Level 3: WHen you hear the beginning sound of a code when you're on your lunch break, "For the love of GOD, PLEASE don't let that be my patient!"

Lets just say a lot of Level 3's have been entering the prayer (center? Receiving area?) from me.

But eventually they will fade. In a couple years, I won't need prayers answered, because I will know how to do things myself rather than rely on chance and fate.

Also, I got to use my "therapeutic communication" skills (or lack thereof, I really don't know). I was sitting at one of our more secluded nurses stations, by my section of patient rooms, and a woman (visitor) came outside of a room.  I looked her way, we made eye contact, I smiled, and went back to charting. But then I registered that she was crying. I looked back and asked if she was alright. She nodded, but clearly wasn't. So, even though she wasn't in my patient section, I'm not about to just continue sitting there while she cries in the hallway. So I closed my charting, walked over next to her and told her that although her loved one was not on my patient section (and therefore I couldn't answer any questions) I'd be more than willing to sit and talk with her if she wanted. She agreed, and explained to me why she was crying (it was a really sad story :( ) and so....with all this sadness..I didn't know what to say, but who does? I tried to remember all the things we learn, that silence is golden, and people like hugs....So I tried to just stand there with her and not say anything, and when it was time to say something, I just tried to say encouraging words and encouraged her to talk more. Hopefully it helped some and I wasn't an intrusion.

So, here's to a new week ahead! The most important thing is to learn from my mistakes and learn something new every day. :-) I need to invent a portable screeen of some sorts that follows me around and my tasks to do get added to it and things that ive done get added to it on a time schedule, results come up right away, orders.....and so when you do something on the to do list, you can virtually cross it right off and the computer prioritizes for you whats next. We could all be super-nurses! Until the machine breaks....lol.

With much love, WNB.

PS- I have like eight more posts to write, so keep an eye out for them coming up soon!


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