Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Whole New World

I started on a new floor in my facility this week. It is a whole new world. I typically work on floors that are all long term care, but this hall is a mixture of long term care and rehab patients. It is scary for me, because it requires more than "just" handling medications and redirecting. Typically, long term care halls have residents that are pretty stable. Your infections are going to occur. Your falls are going to occur. Your need to referee the residents because they can fight with each other on a level that rivals my children, is going to occur. Perhaps my perception, or fear of the unknown, is what makes me believe that our rehab patients are a bit less stable than our long term care residents. A lot of them are full code, not DNR, which means the handling of a situation occurs on a completely different playing field.

Monday and Tuesday were rough. Things happened. Chaos clustered and piled up. I felt like I had no. idea. what. I. was. doing. I second guessed myself, multiple times. I felt like crying multiple times. I have an extremely hard time with not being in control and I felt out of control at times. Not only was I trying to learn how this hall did things, which is different from how other halls do things, but I was trying to shovel my way out of the pile of shit that kept getting thrown at me.

Now that it is the next day and I'm not there, I've had the time to sit down and breathe. I've had the time to reflect on the past 48 hours and realize...I learned a lot.

It's okay and necessary to ask for help. I know that I'm new. I know that I don't know everything there is to know and I probably never will. I need to be able to ask for help. I'm so thankful that I did, or yesterday could have had a very different outcome.

I'm a new nurse. I embrace all that that means. It means that I have a drive and a determination that perhaps veteran nurses don't always have. I'm still very much in my shiny honeymoon phase and I have this desire to save the world. It also means that I still have a lot to learn.

I learned that I do okay under pressure. I can feel like I'm going to hyperventilate and die on the inside, but for the most part, I can handle my outside. I can still delegate what needs to get done and I can still focus on the important for the moment.

Not all people have common sense. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not walk up to me and hand me your TB paper to sign, when you can plainly see that I am standing over someone who is unresponsive. Breathing and pumping blood is vital to life, folks and I'm trying to encourage my patient to keep doing that. Me administering your TB test is not important right now.

Even veteran nurses will admit that they are worried or nervous or aren't sure what to do. Thank you. That makes me feel like I'm not a complete failure.

Nurses can still joke with each other, in the middle of a crisis. Not everyone will find us funny, but it sure keeps us sane.

I learned more clinically, in those two shifts, than I have in the last month. Pushing myself outside my comfort zone is going to make me grow.

Growth can hurt. It's okay. I will survive.

I have people in my life that believe in me. Even when I don't believe in myself, they can see in me the nurse that I want to be.

I  am stronger and can handle more than I think I can.

1 comment:

Candygirlflies said...

Love you xoxox. Just take it one minute at a time, one second at a time... You can do it.

Yours and mine are jobs that can ONLY truly be learned by "doing". It doesn't matter how many hours you spent in a classroom or studying textbooks-- what matters most is how you react in the moment. If you can keep your outside from reflecting the turmoil you feel on the inside, that's half the battle right there.

I don't think that it's right to say that "things will get easier", because each day (and night!) will present their own unique challenges. However, every time you go back, you will get better at handling things. We never truly become "experts", because the very best people learn new things every day of their lives.

I believe in you!!! xoxo CGF