Hi! I am a new-ish grad (2 years out of school) with 1 year of med surg experience and am about to hit 1 year of Neuro Intensive Care Nursing.. my highs and lows obviously vary greatly depending on the situation (brand new trauma admit often has more lows than highs, but other days i take care of patients who are close to outpatient rehab centers, etc., which often bring more highs).
Here are the highs and lows of my most recent shifts:
Highs - a gracious family who appreciated my weak attempts to speak spanish in order to communicate with them
It's embarassing but helpful!, A family who brought homemade ceviche as a thank you for taking care of their 15 yr old girl, identifying a key but subtle neurological change in a patient that prevented further complications.
Lows - poop. all the poop. SO MUCH POOP. and doctors who want things done right away, even though they've just placed new orders on both of your patients at the same time.
Neutrals - lab draws, taking patients to CT/MRI, IV Starts, dressing changes, etc.
I will say that when I first started in ICU I thought everything would be adrenaline pumping madness... In reality, there are definitely some adrenaline pumping moments (yesterday a patient vomited almost 1 liter of blood all over his bed for no apparent reason, then proceeded to aspirate on the blood and was emergently intubated)... but by and large, my days are "assess, turn, clean, feed, meds, repeat."
Lots more things ot monitor, but not everyone is CRITICALLY critical.