SoldierNurse22's Nursing Blog

SoldierNurse22's Nursing Blog

SoldierNurse22, BSN, RN, EMT-B (38,112 Views)

Joined Mar 29, '10. Posts: 2,076 (68% Liked) Likes: 6,755

An Introvert's Guide To Nursing

In the hustle and bustle of morning shift change on the busy GI/GU unit, I stuck close to my preceptor, watching it all with wonder and more than a little bit of fear. I took report as best I could, checked my sheet against the assignment board, and took a deep, terrified breath as I followed my preceptor into our first patient's room, and another day of discoveries and interactions began anew. My Introduction Hi. I'm SoldierNurse and I'm an introvert, but you wouldn't know it to look... Read More →

The Army's On Its Way

I've found over the years that unless I'm working night shift, 0330 is an unpleasant time to be conscious no matter how you cut it. An adamant night-lover, I wondered at my own sanity one particularly early morning as I stood on the parade field at that ungodly hour, better known to Soldiers such as myself as zero-dark-stupid. A massive installation run was scheduled for that morning, and while it was already 50 degrees on Fort Sam Houston, the sun remained firmly tucked below the horizon,... Read More →


"How much do we have left?" My boss, Angela, stood in front of me with concern bordering on desperation in her eyes. She bit her lower lip unconsciously, tapping the paper in her left hand against her leg. Her anxiety was palpable from where I sat a few feet away. "Not much. If they start up again within a week or two, we can make it. But until then, it's going to be tight." I weighed my words carefully as I responded. "I've gotten instructions from higher. We need to conserve... Read More →

Running Into Midnight

Breath. Breath and feet hitting concrete and cars wooshing blindly by. Deep, dark, damp nighttime, dew on the grass, dimly displayed by the dimpled moon's gentle light. And quiet--a sweet, silent reprieve from the pounding pace of daylight. A midnight run in Metro DC--one of those famous cities that never sleeps. Traffic runs quieter at night, but it still runs. And so do I. A night off work affords me the chance to run through familiar, now-deserted sidewalks and streets and under... Read More →


I squinted, opening my eyes into the direct light of the sun. I immediately averted my gaze to the right, my attention held firmly by the rising quarrel among the seven children in the pool. Their mothers, lingering outside the pool gate in their cars, smoking cigarettes and talking angrily on their cell phones, had left their oldest children to watch the younger ones, the oldest of the group probably about fifteen. Who needs a birth control pill. I thought, half-serious. The atrocious... Read More →

Stuck In The Middle With You

But within the conference room, voices rose, comments intruded, thought processes were interrupted by a constant onslaught of questions and opinions, and the low, distracting mumble of sidebar conversations clouded the weekly meeting of clinic managers. It was an introvert's nightmare, and being an introvert myself, my natural inclination was to either leave the room post-haste or dig a trench in the floor in the interest of cover and self protection. But with the regular nurse manager on... Read More →

To The Beginning

It was 1998, and as far as I knew, the world was perfect. I was ten years old and the reality I perceived was viewed almost exclusively through the protective eyes of my parents, who deftly maneuvered between telling me enough to allow me to grow up while simultaneously protecting me enough to allow for a safe, peaceful, beautiful childhood. I was born curious according to Mom, asking questions as soon as I could talk, and by the time I was ten, I was starting to realize the world wasn't... Read More →

The Brave

I was late. My mind locked back onto the road before me, a mess of brake lights glowing in the twilight ahead. I had an hour to get to Baltimore, but first, I had to stop through work. Not in this traffic, I thought, mentally reworking my route north as I fussed at my dress, a most unusual attire for me to be wearing on my way to my workplace. At this rate, I'll barely make Laurel by midnight. Sirens lit up my rearview mirror. I looked behind me, my ears picking up a distinct sound as the... Read More →

No More May Die

The oncology fellow--a tall, wiry Navy doctor--was speaking to my patient's sons. Dr. Clark was strangely aloof, his eyes meeting everything but the eyes of the men before him, his gaze shifting constantly to avoid the uncomfortable topic that their presence represented. He tossed his weight from leg to leg and his looming stature slouched, leeching confidence by the second. Both of the distinguished, white-haired gentlemen had a myriad of different emotions playing through their eyes, but... Read More →

Deep In The Dark

"Mrs. R? Which room?" I asked in return. "Room four." Ms. O, a plump, pleasant woman of African origins, replied. Her thick accent and tendency to say things with a smile seemed to smooth a much-needed salve over my less-than-lovely evening. The oncology grind was getting to me, wearing on nerves that could snap at anytime, like an anvil held up by cheap dental floss. The loss of a 23-year-old newlywed to lung cancer the week before had hit hard. It was far from my first patient loss, but... Read More →

Little Brother

It was a story I'd seen before: 19-year-old airman, T-cell lymphoma, air evac'd from overseas after a plethora of symptoms led to the discovery of his cancer .I headed boldly into the room, my orientee close behind me. A young black male, no older than my younger brother, sat in bed, large headphones on his ears. A teenaged boy slept on the couch. Both of them looked up as I entered the room with suspicion in their eyes. I introduced myself. I asked about his pain. His voice was quiet,... Read More →

Down to Sleep

I remember one day when you were receiving blood. I went into the room with your primary nurse to double-verify. You were sitting on the couch, that same smile greeting us as we entered. "Let's get the good stuff running, sir." I said. "Is it good stuff?" You asked, the corner of your mouth pulling into a smile. "The last time I got blood, it was Air Force blood on my way over from Germany. I felt weaker immediately." I laughed. "The inhumanity to man." I empathized wryly. You smiled... Read More →

The Fifteen

I didn't ask to be an oncology nurse. I had no real interest in oncology at all, but a friend of mine who is a leukemia survivor was assigned to go initially, and when he requested a reassignment, I was sent in his stead. My experiences on my ward would soon prove unparalleled. The first day I worked on Ward 71 was sunny and bright. We were on the top floor and looking out the windows at the ground below was like looking out of a castle. I remember listening to report, receiving my... Read More →