One Year In...

  1. I kept on meaning to sit down and write this post over the past couple of weeks, but life just kept on interfering. And the fact that I have been so busy that I haven't had time to really sit down and do this.
    August 7, marked my one year anniversary since my first shift as an RN. I remember how nervouse I felt that morning when I woke up. I knew that I was no longer the student and the butterflies were in full beat in my stomach.
    Over the past year I have seen and done many things for the first time. I went from being a ball of nervous energy on that first day to being an experienced RN today.
    All the way through my first year, I have kept a positive attitude and have not let the stress get to me. Yeah, I did crack once during an extreme shift in December and cried at the end. I have had shift that were worse than that, but I managed to get everything done and stayed on top of everything.
    I coded one patient that at 98 should have been a DNR, and felt honored to be at the side of a grieving family at the lose of a loved one.
    At a wedding this summer, I showed my family what I do. And a funny thing happened, my mother started to give me some respect. And I do mean some. Oh well. I guess I will always be a child in her eyes.
    But I have also become an increadibly calm person. I use to be a very anxious person, someone that anxiety plagged left and right. But I have become very calm during emergencies. Yes, my voice does get loud and I become more talkative when a patient makes me nervous. But, I have become calm under pressure.
    In the past year, I have taken care of hundreds of patients. But I think the most rewarding was the patient I took care of this past weekend. The one I saw was hurting, but hide it. I finally got them to open up, and when they did, I gave them my shoulder to cry on. I was there for them. I got that patient the emotional help they needed. The night nurse had reported the next morning that they kept on asking if I was going to be back the next day. Even if I was off, I would have gone in, because it was the right thing to do. And to all of my patients, I am there for them when they need me the most.
    If it means that I will be leaving work at 8:30 instead of 7:30, then that is fine by me. There are somethings that are more important than what I need to do at home.
    When I made the decision to become a nurse, it suprised me. I honestly did not see this one coming. Funny, now that I am an RN, I look back at my life, and realize that I was always the type of person willing to help. But that is who I always have been. A compassionate person.
    For the Newbies who are just starting. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and prepare. Take every day as a learning experience. Do something I do on a daily basis. I look at my performance through out the day, both the good and bad. I look at the mistakes I have made, and see how they have happened. I refer to this as my lessons learned. And then I adapt so that I don't repeat the mistake.
    Leave the stress of the day on the floor. Realize right now you are inexperineced. And you will feel a little bit more stressed. But realize this, in one year you will have experience to fall back on. And always smile. You will be suprised how a smile will get you through the tough times as well as the good.
    And always keep a sense of humor. Learn to laugh it off. And if you feel uncomfortable, ask for help. Your collegues will think more of you when you admit you don't know something.
    And don't be afraid to stand up to an arrogant MD. Because not only are you that patients caretaker, you are also their avicate. And trust you instinct. If you feel something is wrong with the patient, even when you can't put your finger on it, or nothing is there, then chances are, there is something wrong with the patient.
    I am now one year in to my profession, and today I know that I made the right decision when I chose to become a nurse. Because it is in my blood.

    Adam D., RN
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Cerebrum
    Thanks for your words. They are reassuring. As a total novice I'm sometimes freaked out by some of the postings in the "First Year in Nursing" forums.

    Ruben Meinhofer, Paper RN
  4. by   leslie :-D
    good for you adam!
    i smiled reading your post.
    your pride is palpable.
    and you have every right to feel as you do.
    keep on keepin' on.

    leslie
  5. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    It's wonderful to read this post. I hope you continue to enjoy your nursing career! I'd be proud to be assigned to you if I were a pt!
  6. by   MoriahRoseRN
    Thanks for posting that Adam, it gave me a lift reading your experience. I am still trying to figure out what I should be doing with my RN license I worked so hard for (even after one year of graduation). I am going to print your post and keep it in my folder to reread when I get anxious and doubtful about nursing.
  7. by   studentsistah
    Hi Adam,
    Thanks for sharing. All the best to you!
  8. by   smilin_gp
    Congratulations! It seems that the year has really helped you to discover and build on your abilities to be compassionate and to effectively take charge of situations.
  9. by   chelli73
    Adam, I wish you many more good years doing what you do best--NURSING.
    I hope that I follow suit....
  10. by   Tweety
    Always to good to hear from you Adam. Good luck as you continue your career in nursing and hope to hear more from you.
  11. by   missninaRN
    I always enjoy your posts, Adam. They give me hope that one day I too can do what you have done: become a great nurse.
  12. by   RN and Mommy
    Adam, thank you for your words of encouragement!!!

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