1. My. Feet. Are. Sore. Not used to being on my feet for much of 12 hours! Thankful for good supportive shoes, and even my “sprained/strained” right foot did alright.
2. God moves in mysterious ways. Last blog post I wrote about my hopes to be on the Maternity floor at LMH. What followed was great disappointment with denials for that floor, citing the need for me to have more surgical experience first. Then my first request for Surgical 2 North was denied. Asked for it to be sent in one more time, and got placed!! So I am working on a fast-paced surgical floor …and loving it. Not abandoning my desire to be on the maternity floor though. :-)
3. Doing the nursing skills in the labs at KUC is different from doing said skills in real. On real people.
4. Once I changed a surgical dressing, I felt like a real nurse again. Weird eh?
5. Working with helpful people makes the days go by more pleasantly. My preceptor, K, is awesome. She’s approachable, knowledgeable, likes to teach, and gives me freedom.
6. The charting, paperwork and policies/procedures to know/follow is WAY more intimidating than actually caring for patients. Right now feeling like I’m never going to remember all of it!!
7. It’s WAY different being a 40 year old Graduate Nurse Refresher Student as opposed to a 20 year old nursing student. Not only are you treated differently by the staff, you are not really seen as a “student” by the patients. But the tricky thing is, sometimes the staff THINK you can do more (alone) than you’re actually allowed. “What? You can’t give insulin/anti-coagulants alone?” “What, you can’t sign out narcotics alone?” :-)
8. Amazed to see what LPN’s can do now, skills-wise, as opposed to 18 years ago. And they need RN’s – why? (just kidding!) Crazy that they can dispense narcotics, but not be allowed to hang an IV solution bag with potassium in it. Thankful to see how well the LPN’s and RN’s work together on this particular floor.
9. LOVING the needle-less systems in place now. (well yes, there are still needles for injections, but not for other procedures!)
10. My hands have taken a beating. Hand-washing is promoted as the #1 way to reduce infections in hospital, and nurses are required to sanitize hands ALL. THE. TIME. Enter a room? Sanitize hands with the alcohol based hand sanitizer. Finish assessing patient? Sanitize hands. Move to next patient? Sanitize hands. Leave the room? Sanitize hands. Going to put on gloves to drain a catheter bag? Sanitize hands. Take off gloves after procedure? Sanitize hands. Wash with soap and water once in a while to remove “sticky” feeling, or when visibly soiled. Help patient out of bed to chair? Sanitize hands. Yikes. I get it, and I’m 100% in favour. But OY. My hands are chapped, red and dry. But be comforted …your risk of infection is WAY lower! :-)
11. I like wearing “scrubs”. Comfy and no one cares what you look like in them – not the staff and not the patients. :-)
12. There is much satisfaction in seeing improvement in patients over a couple days. Mr.X on our floor was agitated, confused and not doing well when I first met him. Today? He was making jokes, cooperative, sassy and (mostly) compliant. Love it. Love speaking with the families, and seeing their genuine appreciation for what we do. One sweet lady today gave me a Lindt chocolate because I brought her her “pain pill”. :-)
Yes. I am thankful I decided to purse this direction. It’s challenging, but satisfying. I know, I know. I’ve only done 3 day shifts, and just started. But I don’t need much more to remind me why I went in to nursing in the first place. It also reinforces my desire to be a maternity nurse. Can’t wait to get my hands on the babies!!!! :-)
A shout out to my family – Martin and the kids. Who daily have wished me well, prayed for me and asked me how my days have gone – each day I came home. Love them! Thankful for the friends who remembered what I was doing and either emailed, texted or sent me a message.
And thanks be to God for giving me strength and courage for this new chapter!