October 25, 2008

From a Newbie to a "Pro"

I actually had fun at work last night. It was interesting and unusual. I had an awesome team of patients, by awesome I mean...undemanding, no pain complaints and some were there only for observation purposes. Sometimes it's nice to have a little break from the normal insanity that is my unit.

Recently, we have had a lot of experienced nurses leave from night shift to move onto other jobs. This left (abandoned) us....all the "new" nurses with the seniority on night shift. Is that scary or what? Next week some time I may be in charge. I'm not ready to be in charge or have my license on the line because our floor is so unstable right now. I have been seriously contemplating leaving because I don't want that much responsability...until I got the ole guilt trip last night.

My supervisor approached me and asked me not to leave...as if she'd been reading my mind! She said she needed nurses on the floor with our experience (meaning the only experience left) and who know what they're doing (she thinks we do). I admit....I do know a hell of a lot more then I did 10 months ago, but I am no where near close to knowing it all...or knowing enough to be a charge nurse. Because we are the more experienced on the floor, we are no longer clasified as "new". Does this mean I can't lean on my new nurse crutch any longer? Damnit! Basically, we have no one to turn to now. We are the people the others turn to for help! (shiver)

So, as not to confuse my GIGANTIC (HA!) audience, I will not call myself a new nurse anymore because we have a bunch of real fresh newbies on the floor...I mean...fresh out of school, scared, overwhelmed and flailing. They have their new baby skin that will soon become hardened to the realities of nursing.

Last night I worked with one such nurse and felt so bad for her. It was her first time on her own, poor thing, and she was stuck there with all of us. She actually cried and my nurturing side wanted to hug her because it wasn't so long ago that I'd skip off to the bathroom and shed some tears myself. BUT, being "experienced" and all, I knew the best thing I could do was to help her as best as I could and let her know she wasn't alone. Our floor is scary. We have some pretty sick folks and at any moment bad things could go down. It can be extremely overwhelming.

She had 2 patients come to the floor back to back, one had a Hgb of 6 so she needed blood. Giving blood is a daunting task in itself. There is a lot of paperwork and attention needed. Not to mention that they could have a bad reaction.....oy! On top of that the woman wasn't voiding and needed a catheter. She asked for my help, so we went in and I helped guide her in the right direction. "Little more to the left, a little right, OOPS, not there!" He he he. Hey.....I'm a female and I didn't know where it went the first time either....it's hard to find ok? The best way to learn anything is to do it. I have never learned by just watching. So now she can say she hung blood and put a catheter in...not to shabby for her first night eh?

I remember wonderding why I had chosen that particular floor to start out, but as many say..it is the best one because it's where the experience is. If you want to get the technical and assessment skills down...work on a med-surg floor!

I read an article yesterday on the MSN homepage that said nursing was one of the recession free careers. It's true...you will always have a job in nursing. Actually...we have a lot of spots open...come work on my floor. :)

p.s. Administrators pay attention....pay us more, we deserve it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!