I've been a RN for nearly 30 years.I started out on a general surgery floor in a busy teaching hospital.I next moved to the Burn Center when I became Associate Nurse manager at the age of 24.It was quite a challenge,I had great coworkers but it still was HELL. No matter what kind of great team work,work setting,best monitoring equipment etc working in a place like that is just all out traumatic.I've seen things that I wish I hadn't and can't forget. EVER
I went from there to CVICU,adults and peds. WOW! I was so busy there.I'd come in day shift have 2 pts,transfer both-one to CCU one to stepdown floor come back set up for pedi(<10kg) pt that someone else is getting ready to admit.Set ups including multiple pressure set ups,drips,vents,suctions for n/g/ett/ct took about an hour while the admitting nurse was studying the proposed surgery that the child would be having and trying to foresee any problems that might arise.While I was setting up I'd find out what pt that I was getting,pedi or adult.(Kids scared the SH!! out of me,give me the sickest adult please!) Someone would set up for me.I'd admit my(hopefully) stable post op CABG or valve replacement surgery.In addition I'd usuallt take over someone else's now stable 2 day out CABG who is extubated and only has a few lines and needs monitoring.They did adult heart transplants too .
God help you if your pt crashed,when they did they crashed bigtime and got their chest cracked-not a good thing.
From there I worked in a transplant stepdown,trying to slow down some.It was way toooo much of a slow down,I was bored to tears. I had never worked anywhere that I disliked so much as that floor.
From there I worked in Bone Marrow Transplant.I had aways kind of wanted to work there because I had a brother who died before I was born of ALL.It was the first and hopefully last heme/onc experience that I had.They have a very dismal survival rate.It made the Burn Center look like a happy place in comparison.
Lastly I worked in Tele,did not like that much either,the floor or the institution.
I'm kind of getting away from the bedside now because I don't have the physical endurance but I still feel that I have something important to offer.
Ask me any questions,I've learned a lot in my career,if I don't know the answer I'll let you know.
I so encourage the new nurses,we need you so much.When I started nursing in the '80's there was a shortage(not as bad as this one) but I learned a lot,got promoted more quickly and did I mention-learned a lot. It was a very good experience,I wouldn't trade it for the world.