Category: Nursing

Brain drain

I wrote an awesome post yesterday with my race plans and more. It disappeared. I’ll rewrite again soon.

I have worked the last 5 nights in a row and I have 2 more to go. This is self imposed torture because I picked up Sunday night as an extra shift. The weekend was great at work, but all hell broke loose last night and when the shit hits the fan on a psych unit it hits hard.

Most of the nurses I have worked with suck at team work and many of them are martyrs.

People in “charge” have a very hard time accepting help even if it means lightening their work load to free them up to do more important tasks.

I’m soul searching today.

I am still uncertain of what I want to be when I grow up. I am certain that it’s not what I’m currently doing.

I refuse to eat my feelings today. I want to because that’s what I’ve always done and still continue to do so at times, but I will not do it today! I’d like to not do it ever again.

I ran the most wonderfully refreshing 9.5 miles yesterday morning after work. I took off from the parking lot of the hospital and ran around the town I work in. It was not a pretty route at all, but the sun was shining and the  temperature was so perfect for a run. I smiled a lot and I made incredibly impressive time considering the stops and starts for traffic.

Carlos and I played tennis yesterday afternoon. We suck at it, but we are getting a little better each time. We laugh at ourselves, run around after the tennis balls, get fresh air and spend time together. It makes us happy.

The other day Carlos and I ran a mile together. He only took a few breaks and didn’t complain. I was impressed. We are running a couple of races together this summer and we are super psyched about them.

Carlos is losing teeth like crazy. He has lost 4 bottom teeth and finally lost his first top tooth. He looks like a jack-o-lantern. He is my pumpkin after all.

My baby boy is graduating from Kindergarten in a few weeks. I’m wondering where the last six and a half years went.  I feel like I savor my time with him, but just thinking about how quickly time has flown by makes me want to freeze each and every moment.

One of my dearest friends is courageously fighting breast cancer. She starts chemo this week. Please keep her in your prayers. She’s in mine.

Since my post didn’t go up as planned yesterday I want to send out a belated thank you to all those who serve or have served our country in the armed forces. Also to the families of our soldiers my heartfelt thanks goes out to you as well for the sacrifices you make each and every day.

I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel blessed.

What makes you smile these days? 

Work

I don’t mention my job much here, but I am a nurse. I’ve been a nurse for five and a half years. It is my second career, the first being a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher. I began my nursing career on a standard Medical/Surgical unit aka Med-Surg. I learned so much in my nearly three years there. I saw a wide variety of cases. I confronted most of my nursing fears head on as I delved into patient care which included post-op patients, pre-op patients, patients with drains, tubes, dressings, etc. I learned to manage my time with an often overwhelming patient assignment including admissions and transfers. The experience prepared me well. Med-Surg nurses are often overlooked and underrated. I have great respect for Med-Surg nurses who have dedicated their careers to this demanding, specialized niche of nursing that really serves as the backbone for all of nursing.

After being floated numerous times to the Intermediate Care Unit (IMC), a monitored cardiac unit, I knew that the time had come for a change. The great thing about being a nurse is that there are so many areas I in which to practice. The switch to cardiac care initially proved to be a challenging yet rewarding change for me. My co-workers were incredibly supportive and knowledgeable. However, my training was severely lacking and I trudged along for a year feeling as though I was not quite cut out for the critical care setting. Aside from the frequent staff drama there were also some major administrative and management changes that had occurred a few months after starting the position in IMC. I had an erratic schedule and I was leaving later and later each day. I loved the patient care aspect but the rest of it weighed heavy and caused a great deal of unnecessary stress both at work and home. I got talking to one of the nurses from the Psychiatric Unit and after numerous chats she told me of a night shift nursing position available on her floor. I went to Human Resources that morning after work to apply. I didn’t even need to think about it.

Did you ever just feel right about something? I knew instantly that this was the path I was supposed to take in nursing. Needless to say I have been on that unit for almost two years. The time has flown by and I have never been happier in my nursing career. I absolutely love what I do. I work with a terrific group of people. I have a supportive boss. I get out of work at 7 am on the button which makes bringing Carlos to school possible and going for runs immediately after work on the weekends a lot easier. I have a set schedule and no mandatory holiday schedule. Though we are required to work some holidays there is a sign up sheet that is posted for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. The funny thing is the slots get filled without any difficulty or argument. Some of us like the extra money and don’t mind working those holidays, others are so grateful to be able to have the time off.

It isn’t hard to believe that while working on the previous nursing units I was unable to lose weight and though I tried to run I didn’t stick with it. Since I started on the Psych Unit I have lost and maintained an 8 pound weight loss. I have been able to commit to running. I find sincere support and interest from my colleagues. They actually let me blab about running amongst other things. It’s a two way street as I love hearing about their lives too. We all lend an ear when someone has a dilemma or had a bad day. We work great as a team. I truly enjoy going to work at night (oh and believe it or not I love working nights!).

Being content at work has translated to other areas of my life. I always believed that my career would be a priority. That was until I had my son. I am a hard worker with a very strong work ethic. I’m motivated and driven to succeed, but not in the same way I once thought was important. Ultimately caring for Carlos is my primary job and one that I am blessed to experience. People often ask me if it is difficult to work nights. I reply, “my night job is not nearly as difficult as my day job.” When I come home in the morning grinning from ear to ear it’s not only because I’m happy to see my family, it’s because I’ve had another great night at “my other job.”