whitecat5000, RN 2,087 Views
Joined Oct 15, '09.
Posts: 45 (47% Liked)
I'm tired of saying "Im sorry " for every thing a pt does not like to apease them.
My patients can't talk. Can I get an "amen"?
My patients can't talk. Can I get an "amen"?
Oh, I can think of a million things that I wish I'd known when I was a brand-new RN........like:
1) Whatever you do, don't, I repeat, DON'T freak out! Panic never solves anything, and indeed may make it worse. Even if your confused elderly patient just yanked out his triple lumen and is wandering around the floor bleeding.......or if you realize you've just discharged a patient without a doctor's order........or if your 30-something patient codes during an iron-dextran infusion......at least pretend to keep your cool. You can fall apart when the crisis is over.
2) All bleeding/vomiting/diarrhea/coughing stops....eventually.
3) Learn to prioritize. No matter how insistent a patient is about having her pillow fluffed RIGHT NOW, your post-op's pain meds are much more important. Also, watch the experienced nurses and to see how they prioritize tasks of equal importance.......that happens more often than not.
4) The best way to encourage some patients to get up and pee is to wave a catheter under their nose and tell them: "If you don't 'go' within the next hour, I'm going to have to put this in".
5) Documentation: No matter how ingenious your interventions, if you didn't chart it.......you didn't do it. Give yourself credit for your hard work!
6) It's OK to cry.
7) It's OK to laugh.......A lot of what we deal with every day is just plain funny!
8) It's even OK to get mad.....people do some incredibly stupid/dangerous/foolish things, and you'd hardly be human if it didn't piss you off sometimes. (You cannot, however, tell the patient they are stupid/dangerous/foolish.)
9) You will have good days and bad days.......unfortunately, the bad days are the ones that always seem to come in groups.
10) IV starts: The more you do, the quicker you'll get good at it.
11) Be flexible. This prevents you from getting bent out of shape.
12) Above all: Med/surg nursing is the toughest job you'll ever love, and if you don't love it, leave it! There are already too many nurses in this field who are doing it only because they need the money, or because they're just marking time until they can retire, or because it's all they know and they're too tired and burned-out to learn another area of nursing. Our patients deserve the best care possible; only those who truly enjoy med/surg nursing are able to give it.
I travel 800 miles by plane, drive 45 min from airport to house, drive another 45 min-1 hour to work. I work 6 days on, 7 off so fly back when I'm off. I have been doing it for 6 months just to have a job. My family and I will move permantly in 4 weeks!! Whoohoo!! So I will only have the 45 min-1 hour drive then, lol.
oh, honey, i am so afraid i'm going to disappoint you. but you did ask.
other than a changed job market, there's not a dang thing different about you-new-grad-now and me-new-grad-in-nineteen-s, um, mumblemumble in terms of nursing school preparedness for the job market, tasks, organization, how to buy a stethoscope, or anything else i see new grads agonizing about here. rant spoiler alert-- get out now if you're easily offended.
the only difference i see, truthfully, is that i don't recall anybody in my cohort whining so much about how woefully unprepared they were and how mean the more experienced nurses are. we knew we had a lot to learn still, of course we did. we were nervous about hurting somebody or looking stupid. we hated working straight nights when our boyfriends/girlfriends worked normal hours. we were exhausted. came with the territory and we knew to expect that.
but the big difference? nobody had been telling us how ding-dang fabulous we were since pre-k, we didn't get medals and trophies just for showing up at youth soccer, we sure as heck didn't have helicopter/snowplow parents (the ones that hover and the ones that remove all obstacles) and we expected to work hard to make our way in the world on pretty much our own merits. we didn't worry so much about a sharp word of criticism beyond what we could learn from it; i don't remember that deep sense of "i'm a special snowflake, i can't take the heat" that i hear so much here. really.
and remember, dear, that the original article with that phrase "nurses eat their young" came out decades ago-- i seem to remember it as a letter to the editor or a short article in one of the nursing mags i read in the 70s-- but it's only this recent generation that has taken it so hard. i love students and new grads, i do, and i spend an inordinate amount of time trying to teach them and support them, they are our future, but honest to god, sometimes i wanna just reach through my screen and slap some of them silly! i hare recently read a spate of articles by psychologists starting to see twenty-somethings in their offices with vague anomie and insecurity; after a prolonged childhood and adolescence with said parents, they find themselves unsure as to whether they can ever make it on their own, whether anything they do is good enough, and they are deeply insecure.
it's not that i have no patience with that, so much, as with the parenting that made it happen. i spent years as president of a college parents' association trying to get parents to back the heck off and let their kids make their own mistakes now when it's safe so they'll know how later. i was not as successful as i would like, as evidenced by the psych articles, eh? "you're criticizing our parenting style!!" was something i heard a lot, as if that were a bad thing. that boinging sound you hear is my eyes rolling. yep, i sure am. and i have raised grown, productive, strong, self-reliant, loving adult kids of my own who would no more whine like this than, oh, fly to the moon. they just...get on with it. (and when one of their babies falls, they say, cheerfully, "you're ok!" and no big deal...and the babies learn that it's no big deal to fall if you get up and get moving again. good life lesson.)
but now, well, young adults, tough noogies. it's time to put on the big-girl and -boy pullups and get out there on your own. you're no more special than we were; your schools owe you no more support in "transition" than what we got: your degree and a receipt for your tuition. get out there and just get on with it.
The trauma nurse in me prays that you do not attempt to multitask beyond listening to the audio of your choice.
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