October 21, 2008

I'M ALIVE!

I should be sent to blogger jail. I've commited the worst blogger crime imaginable. I've not been blogging. Oy!

So, what have I been doing you ask? Well...I have been working and sleeping....A lot. That's it. I have no excuses, except perhaps uninspiration. Maybe I didn't want to blog about the realities of actually being a nurse, but I'm back now biotches so watch out! In the months that has passed I have been pretty busy. The highlight of my summer was our Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World for 14 days....it was awesome. I'll fill you in on that later and also upload some videos and pics from our trip. Aidan is doing great right now and started Kindergarten this fall, my twins are the same...silly little pre-teen boys and my oldest is going through puberty and sounds like a croaking frog when he talks. Other than that hormonal stuff, I've just been working a lot, reading some good books and actually have even taken the liberty to start writing one of my own....details later.

So I've been a nurse for 8 months now and have been at my job for 10 months....can you believe it? It's almost been a year...time flies when you aren't having any fun.
So what have I learned in this time? A whole hell of a lot. Let's start with the technicalities, shall we?

I really feel as if I'm getting a good grip on my job. I know what's expected of me, I have a routine, whether it's possible to maintain in the midst of the unexpected is another thing. Anything can happen at any moment which can knock you off your game, but that is nursing folks. It's never dull. Period.

Ok, so as you may or may not know, I work as a med-surg nurse doing all kinds of medical surgical stuff. ;) The majority of my patients have had some sort of GI surgery so we get a lot of colostomys, JP drains, NG tubes etc...you know, all the nasty stuff. In other words, I'm up to my ears in shit night after night. Before I rant about things I want to say that I am so glad I started on a med-surg floor. Nothing like being thrown to a pack of hungry wolves to start your nursing career. Seriously. It's sometimes the best way to learn and you get to do and see just about everything. I have friends who have yet to hang a bag of blood, put down an NG, monitor someone who's on telemetry or even put an IV in. No, they may not need to due to their fields, but I feel like I'm getting a more well-rounded education. I say education because it's a learning process...always. I love all the skills I get to perform and I'm getting a lot better at it and it makes me feel good about my abilities. I love sticking people!!!!!!!! lol I love putting IV's in...it's an art and you can either do it or not. Sometimes I suck at it, but for the most part I'm good at it....big props to me.

The "nursing" part I found was the hardest to learn...you know the caring, comforting, fluffing of the pillows sort of things. When you are a new nurse and you are overwhelmed and drowning, you don't have time to "be there". Your patient is a room number and a diagnosis who stays on the call light just enough to make you want to slowly poke at your eyes with an 18 gauge needle. Your job at that time is to make sure you get your meds passed, procedures scheduled, assessments completed, charts reviewed and that they stay alive, the other stuff comes later.

I don't know about you all, but I have a different learning style. I have learned things in chunks and sometimes a little light will go off in, my oh so tired, brain and I can recall something an instructor said or something I read in one of my nursing books. Ding, ding, ding! Maybe I did learn something afterall.
Slowly it all starts to come together and it depends on your learning style on how quickly you catch on.

Nursing is such a broad spectrum of knowledge and it takes a lot of practice, work and learning to be able to put it all together into one whole entity. Having said that, I feel I am just NOW grasping the entirity of the job. Now that I know my job (a little), how to do things without asking (for the most part, cause I still ask a shit ton of questions) I am able to be the more caring and compassionate nurse that I truly am. Of course I've always been caring, but learning to incorporate it into your job is a skill in itself. When you first begin, your goal is to leave with everyone still breathing.....who cares if they liked you or not or if you got them their sherbert in record time? You keeping them alive is more important. Rememeber .....PRIORITIZE?! That and organization is so essential in the role of a nurse and you'll learn your own way and get better at it as you go. Once you have the ability to do your job properly all the other stuff falls in line naturally and I am just now getting a handle on it. Shew. That was a mouthful.

Do I like nursing? I love it. Can't say I would have said that a few months ago. Are there nights when I never want to walk back through the door? Yes, but they are becoming more few and far between these days. It's much easier to like your job when you feel you have some clue of what you're doing. What I don't like is the fact that we're always understaffed, I barely get a real lunch break, shit happens in the middle of your smooth sailing shift that you aren't prepared for, I leave so exhausted that I feel like a zombie, I absolutly hate, hate, hate, hate nightshift...I feel like an old lady, my feet hurt, I run my ass off, I wipe lots of butt and I am always tired now. Do I still love nursing after all that? Yep cause it's not nursing I don't like...it's the realities of the job itself that makes my job harder than it should be. Insert reason for shortage here.

Once my year is up I am going to look for a day position somewhere else. I have put my time in, learned a lot and now I want to focus on a specialty. Something I can sink my teeth in and know what I'm walking into everyday. I don't like surprises and hiccups. Especially when I'm just getting comfortable. Anyhow....moving along...

I get nursing students ask me all the time...do you like it and the even bigger question...is it worth it? That is a loaded question. The money is good, I admit. I work part time...2 days a week/24 hours and I bring home a little more than some of my friends who work 5 days a week at an office type job. So, I can't complain about that now can I? I also already got over a dollar raise....not too shabby after 6 months eh? But, money isn't everything. If you're doing it for that purpose then you need a reality check, cause although it's good....you are going to work your butt off to earn every single cent that you make. You barely have time to sit and you are going to be working the graveyard (most of you) and yes, you'll feel like the walking dead. My schedule is so messed up that it's reeked havoc on my moods, hormones, eating habits and overall general well being....so if it's about the money run away now....fast.

When someone's life is in your hands you don't have time to sit and worry about other shit at work. You best be on top of your game and not screw up because not only is your license on the line every minute, but so is someone's life. That's a heavy burden to carry...for anyone. I don't like the feeling. It ain't fun, but I love making someone feel cared for and am now able to do my best to give them the best care I know how. I always think to myself....what if this were my family and that is how I try to approach everyone....even the patient who kicked me square between the boobs, yes it happened (alzheimers).

Integrity is so important as well. Don't do anything that you wouldn't want done to you. I have seen things I wish I hadn't...people dropping a med on the floor and picking it up and giving it to the pt. Anyone ever heard of MRSA? EEW! Those rooms are dirty as hell. I wouldn't let my dog eat off the floor. If you make a med error, such as I recently did for the first time....report it...even if no one else knows. Mistakes happen...just admit your fault and move on. I gave someone 25mg of Phenergan (oral) when all they were supposed to have was 12.5. I felt like such a tool. I got distracted (Sarah Palin was on tv)....it's so easy to do.....and just threw the whole pill in with his others. Now, if it were IV, I'd definately not have done that. Everyone knows you can never give that much phenergan IV. Shudder. Anyhow...it didn't hurt him or anything, but I still gave him the wrong dose and felt so bad, but he's ok and I'm ok now and I always double, triple, quadruple check everything. Damn Sarah Palin and her winking and Joe Six Pack malarchy. Speaking of that.....
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Anyhow....the moral of this blog......always do your best because that is all you can do.


Onto other things.....(I'm covering all the bases) I am writing a book. I have wanted to for so long. I had a dream and it has stuck with me forever and I thought...why not write a book about it? I don't care if anyone ever reads it. I just know I wanted to write it, whether I am good at it or not. I'm taking my time with it because I want it to be the best of my abilities, if I have any. It's a love story that is set in the 1815-1830 era in England. I've been doing lots of research and reading other books to gain inspiration, but it's totally my own. If I explained the story you'd think it sounded dumb, but the story is about unrequited love, two souls searching for eachother, human emotion, betrayal, love, greed...all the good stuff. Ha.

I only have 4 chapters so far and I am fine tuning them to death. I may take me 15 years to complete...but I will complete it because it's my baby and I love it.

Alright....check back regularly cause I vow to blog atleast every week now, k folks?

I'm also going to update my page...it's mighty ugly.

Until next time.....

1 comments:

Kirsten S said...

Yay! She's back! I've been meaning to ask you the "is it worth it question", may have already-brain's fried...anyway! Glad you're back on here and can't wait to hear more of your nursing stories, as well as about your book. I too would someday like to write....someday. My rainbow still has about two years to go!