Baby Nurse, Reporting for Duty.

So, NO…I’m not a “baby nurse” in the sense that I take care of babies. Peds is certainly not my thing. But, I am a “baby nurse” in the sense that I just survived my third week off of orientation!

I wish I could say no one has died since I’ve been on my own, but that would be a lie. Although, they didn’t die because of something I did/didn’t do, so hooray for that! I have experienced many firsts in these three short weeks of flying solo. They’ve gone something like this…

Week 1:

Remember, my unit cares for all 3 levels of care floor/tele, progressive, and ICU. Well, I got assigned to the ICU! *YASSSS :D* I was pretty pumped about that. I had a great pair, too. I transported my first intubated pt alone (with the RT of course). But, unfortunately my week ended in sadness. Can’t avoid death forever, right? It’s a special privilege to care for someone in their last hours of life. Many good things learned in week 1.

Week 2:

Still in ICU. *YASSSS :D* I’m loving it. Again, super easy pair. This enabled me to help with all of the excitement going on with other pts! The best part about week 2 was realizing where I stand with my fellow RNs. While their pts were crapping out, they were calling on me to help. ME! (They’re crazy, right?!) And they appear to trust my skill and knowledge (VERY BASIC TO SAY THE LEAST) enough to ask my opinion, set-up their drips, and babysit their orientees. Yeah, you read that right. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. Anywho, figuring out that you are earning your way into the gang is the best feeling ever. I love my co-workers and my unit!

Week 3:

Progressive care. Ok, not bad. 3 pts. I can do this. Worst part about this week was following the same nurse all three nights. She left me in a shitty mess every night. Empty IV bags, wrong fluids hanging, drips still running that were cancelled hours and hours ago, labs not drawn, etc. UGH. I know I’m new, but I hate that shit just as much as everyone else. I’m that nurse who goes in and hangs all new bags and changes all old lines, checks/cleans up all orders, cleans up the pt’s rooms, turns/fluffs/stuffs/pain medicates, and makes sure all dressings have been changed at shift change. Isn’t that what you do for your fellow nurse? Maybe that’s just the newbie in me?

This week, I also experienced my first “something is wrong, but I don’t know what” nursey moment. I wish I could tell the story, but I’m always afraid in some shape, form, or fashion I’ll violate HIPAA. Being a new nurse is so hard! My fabulous co-workers were very supportive, both during the incident and after. Of course, I was feeling guilty. Like I didn’t do enough. And now, I’m realizing the limitations of being “green”. My co-workers saw my defeat and really picked me up. It felt good to be told, “See! You were right! You’re a good little nurse, you did what you could. You tried so hard, I know you did.” Seriously, they’re the greatest. 😀 Thankfully, this wasn’t a life or death issue, but there was a life-altering outcome. *Sigh* Have any of you had an experience like this yet? How did you deal?

Exciting stuff right?! 😛 Now that I’m settling into a routine, I feel like things are going really great. The sense of doom that once surrounded my nurse duties has morphed into an attitude of “deal with it!”. I no longer feel like I can’t do this. I can do this, and I might even be decent at it!

Until next time,

-Rach

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2 Comments

Filed under Life after Nursing School.

2 responses to “Baby Nurse, Reporting for Duty.

  1. Tamie

    Okay, I’m looking to start college and gain my BSN. I’m married, I have a baby and I wanted a career that would ALWAYS be in demand and something that I could support myself and my son without my husband(something about that empowerment I just can’t wait to have). But I found myself getting kind of scared of nursing. I know I could be great at caring for people but I have no idea how I will react to trauma or ER situations. I mean, who could really know how they would react right? Before I had my son I was on no squeamish or scared of seeing anything gory. And I don’t think I’ve changed much since I’ve had him but I’m just not sure. I would love to be a nurse and I really want to be. But I’m just scared to go through all of the schooling and spend all of that money just to get put in a life threatening situation and be like a deer in headlights and completely humiliate myself and make a fatal mistake. OR I could got into a “mode” like I do as a mother when my son gets hurt or when your instincts kick in and your body just knows what to do. The second option I hope happens but I know you can’t get emotionally attached as a nurse. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Can anyone reassure me?

    Thanks to anyone who reads ☺️
    Tamie

    • Hi Tamie!

      Girl, don’t get scared. And don’t let my last post add to your fear. Things have gotten better, and my unit is going through lots of issues. I think that has added a lot to my stress/frustration. No one automatically knows how to react to trauma/ER situations. And you’ll never know until you experience it. And even if you’ve experienced it 100 times, on the 101st time you might completely lose your shit. I’ve seen nurses run out of their coding patient’s room…crying. And I’ve seen nurses save a life like boss and clean up the mess when they’re done. Nursing is an art. And like other forms of art, it requires practice. You won’t always do the right thing. And you might (and most probably will) contribute to someones death. But, we never do it intentionally (most of us anyway). There is an incredible amount of “trial and error” in nursing. Don’t let that hold you back, it’s foolishness! As far as emotional attachment goes, there are some patients that you just can’t avoid getting attached to. And there are others…well, that you just hate. Go to nursing school! You won’t know until you try it and if you never try it, you’ll always regret it! Hope this helps!

      -Rach

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