"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, January 13, 2012
So I have to have balance. And that is hard to find, especially on night shift. Because on top of it all, on a work day, on a off-day, on a normal day, on a not normal day, I'm tired. I'm tired when I slept all day to recover from the previous night shift. I'm constantly yawning. So I want to crawl into bed. The bed, all the sudden, becomes the number one priority and I just can't wait to crawl back in, day after day, always looking for the next opportunity that I can sleep and I'm allowed to sleep.
So, I have to figure something out, I guess. Each day, I try to accomplish a mission on my neverending to-do list. Something I've been procrastinating, putting off. Something I've been afraid to do or finish. Each one of these tasks that I accomplish, life gets a little better and I can sleep better, knowing that at least I accomplished something small that day. Anything.
I know that this lifestyle is worth it. That I'll get through it. That despite the above depressing three paragraphs, that I am in here and I am going to be OK. It's winter. I'm on night shift. I see the sun 5% of the time it is out. I am practically a vampire. I like to follow the delusion that I am reacting normally, and I'll be fine. I definitely don't plan to be on night shift for long.
I know its worth it because I help people at work. I know I do. Its the hardest job I have ever done thus far, and who knows, maybe the hardest division of nursing. Floor nursing.
I am getting better every day. Every shift. I learn something new every day at work. I am slowly developing a bag of skills and tricks to use to make me a better nurse in the future. Other nurses have told me they forget that I'm new, and forget that they need to help me at times, because they think I'm good. And that is good, I guess, but it makes it hard. I like figuring things out, I like solving problems for patients. I like making ethical decisions. I can't wait to be a seasoned experienced nurse so that I can do all those things, except better. I try and solve problems now, and I do, but in 10, 20 years....I can exponentially solve those problems even better. I can't wait to have those extraordinary skills. That "nursing instinct". To know what is wrong with my patient without even them running a test. I want that.
I'm doing fabulously better with communication with doctors. Extraordinary. I never thought I'd say this, but the problem went from being 95% of a problem to nearly 5%. I learned pretty quickly that, 1) Doctors signed on to be called at the randomest of times when they took an oath be a doctor, that 2) if they don't want to be called, they'd have hospitalist/residents cover for them, and 3) in the heat of the moment, you don't have time to be nervous to call the doctor, you just have to call and 4) it is your JOB to at least call the doctor and make them aware.
So thats not a problem for me anymore.
What is my current problem? The simple, mundane task of starting an IV. I am not getting them. The one thing I thought I'd be good at, the one thing I thought I'd enjoy doing....I'm just not getting it. I'm not getting the best veins to go for in the first place. I see everyone as a "hard stick" unless they have bulging veins I could put a 18 G in. Its my number one thing I'm afraid of. I know this fear will go away by practicing. But practicing sucks for your victims. I hate hurting people. I hate having to stick people just so I can get practice, and then not getting the stick and having to send better nurses in. But, I'm still only 3 months old. I'll get it. In time. Just have to....keep practicing.
Other than that, I just have to learn new things yet. I have to just wait for new experiences.
I'm still afraid to have my first Code, or even first CAT/ RRT call. I'm trying to avoid my first Code BY calling the CAT/RRT before the Code. I try to do my best by remembering everything about my patient all the time so that in the unfortunate a code or CAT/RRT call happens, I can tell the team everything they need to know....but I'm still pretty scared.
The worst part of it all is the anxiety. The insomnia. Every time i do try and sleep, my entire shift replays in my head. Did I cross my T's and dot my I's? Did I remember to waste all the drugs in the machine. Did I remember to chart about everything I did? These thoughts race through my head. My entire shift gets repeated, constantly, in my head, just waiting for a mistake for me to realize I did, so that I don't get any sleep. I hope that 1) this is normal for new nurses and 2) this will go away soon....its exhausting and definitely not contributing to restful sleep.
Well, I work tonight. Every shift I have to make myself a better nurse, somehow. I remember always having a back up plan in school, like- "If I don't pass this test, or if I fail out of the program, what am I going to major in next? What will I do?" Well I passed school, I graduated, I got a job now. Obviously. But the confidence still isn't there. I'm still constantly conjuring up a back up plan. Is that detrimental to my career? I'm constantly thinking, "If I get sued so bad I can't practice anymore, or If I got fired, or If I got laid off, or lost my license, what would I do with my life? Would I be able to move on? To do something else? To maybe follow my real dream, art?" I think these thoughts are detrimental.
But anyway. Time to get some shut-eye before tonights shift. Sorry, depressing post. But it helped, a lot. Got a lot of my current anxious thoughts out of my head. Look forward soon to a happy post. With photography. And artwork. And a movie review! Coming up! :-)
PS- Don't worry about me, I'll be alright. I promise :-)