First full day in the ED...

  1. ...and let me tell you I am numb. It was completely crazy. I was with a fantastic experienced nurse, and wow I wish I had a tape recorder, I think I learned more from this nurse in one day than I did in the entire last semester of clinicals.
    I am still spinning from the transition from student to RN, I think. I didn't experience this even as an extern. It is just so strange to be the one doing things, if that makes any sense. To be treated as a member of the team, to be trusted as a professional, it is bizzarre. I am so happy to be where I am, and hope to be able to work hard enough to become a good ED nurse. This is the first facility I've ever been to where I was addressed by name and spoken to like I was valued. It probably sounds silly, but it was such a nice feeling to be regarded as part of the team.
    It's going to take some time to feel confident though, I couldn't seem to click it together fast enough. I knew the answers to things, and understood my role, but just couldn't feel confident enough to put it out there yet.
    The people stuff is gonna be tough. I was sort of detached during codes, focused on the task, and treating some of these poor, poor souls, but on the way home while driving, I just cried when it hit me. So sad, so many of the patients coming through there just have no quality of life in so many ways. No wonder they want to stay in the ED, it's much better than anything else they have.

    And nothing is more humbling than saying "I don't know" over and over and over.:imbar But I figure pretending is much, much worse, so now I have a new catch phrase. Maybe I will tape it to my forehead? But it's nice, there are new interns who are learning too, we're all kinda in the same boat.

    Okay, and tell me the truth, is "crack dance" a real symptom? I can't stop chuckling over that one, and wondering if they were pulling my leg. But I'm leaning toward not, since I saw it written in the notes....
  2. Visit Lurksalot profile page

    About Lurksalot

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 280; Likes: 102
    Emergency Department RN; from US
    Specialty: Emergency Nursing


  3. by   Altra
    Quote from Lurksalot
    Okay, and tell me the truth, is "crack dance" a real symptom? I can't stop chuckling over that one, and wondering if they were pulling my leg. But I'm leaning toward not, since I saw it written in the notes....
    I haven't heard that one ... though I do see a lot of crack-induced chest pain and certainly crack-induced craziness.

    Then there's the kidney stone dance ... and the PID shuffle ...

    Lurksalot, I remember feeling exactly as you described during my first week. Hang in there, and welcome to the ER!
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Hey welcome. I did 10 years in the ER and loved it. It is a fantastic experience.
  5. by   TZRNER
    Welcome to the ED!!! A good Preceptor is worth a million dollars! I had a great one and one day she was sick and I got put with a Terrible one and wanted to quit!!! Learn all you can and never stop. Everyday I see/learn something new and it's been two years! Always ask, don't pretend to know! No question is dumb! Relax and enjoy!! I still love to go to work everyday!!
  6. by   Red1RN
    Yes there is a crack dance and a kidney stone and PID shuffle..You mentor will help form you into a great nurse. Be thankful you have such a good one. Welcome to the ED,pay attention and learn much!!:hatparty:
  7. by   RunnerRN
    I wish I could print off your post and give it to every student I precept! Too many of them come in all cocky and don't know those 3 words (I DON'T KNOW). Believe me, we de-cockify them quite quickly

    Besides the PID shuffle, you will quickly learn the "suitcase sign" = psych pt.

    See below for the post "rules for the ER" and learn a lot more lol.
    Keep up the good work - when I oriented, I kept a notebook and during breaks or at night, I wrote down the pts I had cared for (that I could remember) and the little things like drawing a sed rate for sickle cell pts, how a dilt drip is mixed, etc. I was always someone who learned by writing stuff down, and that really helped me.
  8. by   lunakat
    Lurksalot, I am in the same boat with you. I am a new nurse and am on my own now. I didn't get much precepting due to the staff shorted but I did extern there for about 7 months. It definitely feels weird to be called the nurse now. Also If I ever have any questions the staff is always eager to help. I have a huge amount of "I Don't Know Answers". But I do my best to find out. In fact I am finding I am doing almost as much reading as I did in Nursing school. Every time I have a question cause I'm not sure I always ask someone else. I know they sometimes get annoyed but better safe than sorry. I always thank them at the end of the nite for answering my question and dealing with my new nurseyness. You'll be a great nurse because you admit you don't know. I have had the unit secretary and the techs tell me I will be a great nurse because I admit when I don't know and always ask a lot of question. Good Luck You can do it!
  9. by   Lurksalot
    Thank you all, it is great to have support from all of you who have been there/done that! Being able to read the perspective of experienced nurses, and then read another perspective from new nurses, it is something I never get to do in real life. And from the looks of my new job, it is all business, not much chat time! (But I love it already.)

    Where else could I get a straight answer about "crack dancing?" except you guys?!
  10. by   TazziRN
    Welcome to the best part of nursing, Lurksy! I have done my entire 18 years in the ED and I doubt I will do anything ele. I am a true ED addict. You will realize your confidence the first time someone asks you how long you've been a nurse and they say, "Wow, you act like you've been doing this for years!" And it sounds like you have a gold mine for a preceptor!
  11. by   Lurksalot
    Thank you! I sure am in complete awe of my preceptor, someday I hope to practice 1/2 a skillfully as him. I was so impressed, it was like "Wow, this is what I have been waiting for in nursing!"
    hehe, I will not be able to sleep tonight, I can hardly wait for the next shift to arrive!
  12. by   LUVtxNursing
    Congrats!! and good luck to you! I will be graduating with my LPN August 11th and I am soooo ready to be a part of a team and have people call me by my name instead of "the student". I will of course be continuing on for my RN and hope to work in ED or OB, can't make up my mind. Anyway, best wishes on a long and rewarding career.

    Blessings from TEXAS!!
  13. by   Lurksalot
    Thank you & right back at ya!
  14. by   haveachat
    As an old hand in ED,
    I think you should be proud of yourself on your first day!
    It takes us all a "long" time to really hear and understand what is going on around us. You seem to be on the way......keep up the good work!