New-ish nurse, almost 2 years out of school. Recently moved from a 25-bed critical access hospital in a rural community to a 505-bed facility in a city 31 times the size. Had been on nights for the last year and a half, and now making the transition to days in this new position. Have always worked inpatient, med-surg, 12-hour shifts.
In high school I wanted to be an art teacher. I’m a pretty crafty person, have always liked kids, and had a lot of teachers in my family. Then, I took Human Anatomy and loved it. I knew I couldn’t pursue a career that was purely scientific because being in a lab, solely focusing on research, or anything at the microscopic level did not interest me. So I had to find a career that combined science with human interaction. I came across radiology and found that interesting. All the scans and imaging that allowed you to look at the body through different lenses. However, that left me options of radiology tech who took the images or radiologist who read them. I wanted more challenge than the tech position offered and more patient interaction than scan interpretation. After a while of looking at possible pathways, my dad suggested nursing. Takes the science background and applies it to a whole person. And well, here we are.
- Scrubs: Sketchers Vitality or Cherokee Workwear
- Nursing shoes: Greys Anatomy Vantage/NurseMate Align
- Stethoscope: Littman Classic II in Caribbean Blue
- Number of questions I got on the NCLEX: 92
- Preferred patient population: Respiratory or Cardiac
- Where I could never work: ER or OR. ER is too “never know what’s gonna happen” for me. And OR isn’t enough (awake) patient interaction for me
- Favorite clinical experience: I had a very positive home hospice day. Completely shaped the way I view hospice services and end of life patient care.
- Least favorite clinical experience: Going to a medical prison. For sure a need for healthcare professionals for that population, but I am not one of them.
- Most challenging class in nursing school: Pharmacology. So many flashcards…
- Latest I’ve stayed past my shift: 2 and a half hours. I was charge. We had 6 discharges and 6 admissions. One pediatric. One of those days where everything happened at the same time. Zero charting got done. It happens.
- Something I always forget: Label my IV tubing. And update my whiteboards.
After being a nursing student, graduate nurse, and going through two separate orientations, I’ve accumulated a lot of recommendations. So here they are.
- Ask questions. It’s when you don’t that problems arise.
- Take time to breathe. Instead of just pushing through a shift, frantically trying to keep up with orders and meds and patient requests, step back. Take a drink of water. Breathe. And reset yourself. You’ll think much clearer and care for patients much safer.
- Clump your cares. Try to avoid going in and out of a patient’s room multiple times if you don’t have to. Look ahead and see what you can do together. Give 1400 and 1600 meds at 1500 with your afternoon assessment.
- Charting can wait. When having one of those days, patient care comes first. As long as vitals are in, orders are acknowledged, and labs are drawn, charting can wait.
- Leave work at work. And when you can’t, talk to somebody about it.