Content That NurseOnAMotorcycle Likes

Content That NurseOnAMotorcycle Likes

NurseOnAMotorcycle 14,643 Views

Joined Jan 16, '11 - from 'NY'. She has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Med-Surg 1, Emergency 5, CEN 2/2016'. Posts: 1,029 (62% Liked) Likes: 2,647

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  • Apr 27

    Remember that time your entire shift at work was filled with patients praising the saintly work you do, calling on you as the angel that you are, and respecting you as a profession, and maybe even as a person? No? Me neither. I work as an emergency room nurse in an inner-city hospital, and the majority of my day is spent sweating profusely, reassuring patients that I really don’t have another sandwich to give them, doling out medication like Altoids, and cleaning up an exotic variety of bodily fluids (how a human can have so many different types and combinations is beyond me). And like nurses all around the world, in all different healthcare settings and specialties, I am sworn at, talked down to, yelled at, and ever so often, threatened. Ahhh, yes. Nursing.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love being a nurse. Though it was once more pastel Pinterest-esque quotes about healing hands and all heroes not wearing capes that fueled my understanding of what nursing was when I was a student, it is now actual clinical experience as a professional nurse that reinforces to me just what nursing actually is, and how despite so many negative factors, it is also awe-inspiring.

    Is nursing a calling? To me, yes. Is it always glamorous? Obviously, no. Nursing is almost impossible to describe, considering its fluidity in its every aspect: the ever-changing amount of difficulty, excitement, and reward, even on a day to day basis. I may never be bored, but I may always be exhausted. Nursing is creative, interactive, and hands-on. It is also rare-I don’t believe many other jobs involve such a full body experience of mind, body, and soul.

    Last night I had an older patient that was unable to use the majority of the right side of his body due to a previous stroke. He was painstakingly attempting to feed himself applesauce with his working arm. In an effort to give the man a sense of normalcy, and maybe maintain his dignity, I only moved the cup around to ease his interaction with the spoon, and did not attempt to feed him directly or point out anything that had spilled. Finally, after too much fallen food, the man put down his spoon and said, “I’m a disgusting eater.” When I tried to reassure him that he was fine, that this was not a big deal, and that honestly, this wasn’t even close to the most disgusting thing I had seen all day, he shook his head and put the spoon down. He whispered, “I’m done eating”, and turned his head away, even though clearly he was still hungry. I tried to urge him to continue, but my words fell on deaf ears and stubbornly closed eyes.

    I went home later that night and told my roommate about what had happened. To my horror I started crying as I told the story (I generally only cry at surprise military homecoming videos and animal deaths in movies). Even so, it wasn’t hard for me to know why: the heartbreaking look of frustrating, embarrassment, and finality on that man’s face had struck a tender-and-not-yet-burned-out chord within me. What must it be like, to have your mind be as you always knew it to be, but your body will not listen? What is it like to know what you once could do, and to know what you no longer can? What does that type of indignity feel like?

    Nursing can take a little bit from you each day, I think. You can give yourself so fully each shift, be it through putting a patient’s needs before your own, by going above and beyond what your job description entails, or even just by showing up to take care of someone new when you’re still emotionally exhausted from the day before. But even at its most frustrating, its most negative, its most paperwork filled/tiring/disgusting/ridiculous worst, nursing is hauntingly, heartbreakingly beautiful. Because you are a witness to someone else’s struggle, to someone else’s pain, to someone else’s fight against death. It was a moment like yesterday that reminds me to keep my head up, to keep my smile on, to keep pushing myself to be the best nurse that I can be for each patient, because how many other people, other professions, or other job descriptions see such indignity, such heartbreak, such defeat?

    To any and all nurses reading this, no matter how often you are disrespected, broken down, exhausted, or burned out, remember that YOU are amazing, special, awe-inspiring, and life changing. You hold the hands, clean the mess, provide the comfort, and witness the heartbreak. You are honor in a moment of indignity.

  • Apr 27

    Best of luck with your NCLEX. Let us know how it went.

  • Apr 27

    I've been a member for several years now, and always kind of felt like an impostor because I'm not a nurse. I've learned so much from you all, I can't even begin to explain.

    I read a lot of posts and soak up all I can and I've learned a lot from thinking I knew what I was talking about when I didn't. For that, I am really thankful because those lessons are probably some of the most valuable.

    Anyway, tomorrow I take my last exam for my nursing program and in a few months, the NCLEX-PN, it's really very surreal.

    This has been the hardest, most exhausting and emotional 12 months of my entire life but I can't even describe the elation.

    Holy cow! Love you all!!

  • Apr 27

    Just remember: ICU = OCD, ER = ADD. That is to say, you'll have to let some of the niceties go in favor of the bare necessities! And you'll understand why some patients go up to the unit without everything being "done." Also focused assessments, not head-to-toe. The unpredictability means that your priorities will constantly shift. My biggest piece of advice: whenever you get a new patient, eyeball them ASAP — take that sick/not sick look at them. Sometimes it'll surprise you what other people miss and you'll go, "Whoa, that 'stable' person is really sick, omg!" And your priorities have just shifted again.

  • Apr 26

    Quote from nutella
    Crea 22, BUN 190 - alive (but not sure for how long) - will not undergo dialysis.
    we have a chronic patient that regularly doesn't go for his dialysis tx and when he gets weak enough he comes in with labs like that through the ER

  • Apr 26

    When the cards went missing what did the supervisors/managers/charge nurses/admin people do? How long ago was this?

  • Apr 26

    Hello wonderful nurse friends!

    I am wondering if any RNs share this concern with me... I am almost one year into our profession (I was a nursing assistant for years before) working night shift on a large cardiac interventional/telemetry floor. Our shift length is between 14-15 hours (12's are no such thing, we are understaffed and the expectations for documentation are just not conducive to getting out on time, additionally our entire unit needs to be reeducated on how to give/receive report, giving report takes over an hour = insanity) ANYWAY...

    I lack energy on my days off and living a healthy lifestyle is VERY important to me... before I joined this profession I ran half marathons, went to the gym a minimum of 4 days a week, did yoga, cooked my own meals daily and it seems that I cant even manage on my days off the do any of this anymore... I feel myself falling into the rut on poor eating, low energy, chronic back pain, high stress... It seems that our profession is unforgivable in terms of wear and tear on the body... so many nurses I work with are over weight, over tired, limping(!)

    I LOVE this profession (even though it's killing me physically), but I also value health (physical and mental) and an active lifestyle and recognize how of this type of strain could affect me long term... and to be honest I'm scared! I want to run with my future children, hell I want to run when I'm 70!

    Any shared concerns or thoughts?

  • Apr 26

    I wish I knew that it was OK that I felt like I didn't know anything after school and I started my job. I learned 90% of what I know on the job.

  • Apr 25

    Burnt-out, snobbish, energetic, and respectful show up in all departments that I've been in. I think the difference you've heard about in the ER is the fact that no matter how someone else of any level treats you, there's not a lot of time to think on it or let it bother you. If it was truly offensive, you'll pick it up with them later. Neither you nor the other person has time to bother about whether a tiny, insignificant misunderstanding was your fault or theirs so there's less to get into conflict about. I work resource pool so I've seen nearly every MD there is to see at my facility and working in the ER is far and away my favorite! Just about to head over there in fact...

  • Apr 25

    Quote from pthelper777
    I feel overwhemed. I love when I'm chugging along & I'm productive & efficient. I don't like feeling as I don't know what to do with a patient...if I'm not sure what to do. Usually when Im over my head.
    Thank you for asking me what i don't like. I want to love what i do!
    When you don't feel like you know what to do, do you have a mentor/coworker that you can bounce things off of? Maybe a clinical educator? With each new patient encounter, there is the opportunity to learn. We all have those days when we feel like we're drowning, and that is the worst! I make sure I help other nurses out when I have a minute, and they are quick to return the favor when I am struggling with competing priorities.

  • Apr 25

    I'm jealous of your caps. ^

  • Apr 25

    Quote from calivianya
    I get jealous of other nurses sometimes... but it usually has more to do with their life successes than anything. I started off in my dream specialty because I was willing to relocate 400 miles for it, so there's no envy there. My problem is a lot of nurses I know are dating people who are at their level financially and I'm not. I get jealous watching them take vacations with their equally well-off SO while I sit here and twiddle my thumbs because mine gets upset when I pay for everything, so we just don't go anywhere.

    It is making me feel really stagnant that I can't even do anything fun on my days off. So, to all you nurses on my friends list going to Disney, going to Paris, spending a week climbing mountains, going on cruises every couple of months, or going to concerts every other weekend... I hate you. Really.

    I swear there are at least three people on my friends list on a fantastic vacation at any given time, and it sucks. If I want to go on a fun vacation, I have to go alone.

    Let's go on a vacation together!

  • Apr 24

    The routine for time management is to consolidate. Assess, line, lab at the same time. Know your standing orders and get things moving. Chart on the fly, never wait until the end of the shift.

    Good luck and have fun.

  • Apr 24

    Not being phenomenal at starting IVs doesn't matter, you'll get plenty of practice. If you're really concerned about, depending on facility policy, see if you can IV ultrasound trained and/or IO trained. When somebody comes in from the field and its a basic crew, nothing beats an IO for insertion speed.

    Typically ICU & ICU stepdown nurses can make the clinical transition pretty well. They usually have the critical care knowledge and don't need to be taught a lot of stuff (vents, art lines, etc.). I have seen a couple struggle with remembering every patient isn't swirling the toilet when they first transfer. This typically gets rectified fairly quickly.

    I've also seen somebody struggle with the organized chaos and lack of routine in ED. Since ICU already responds to all of the traumas you probably have some idea of this. But, I just mention it because I have seen people struggle with the lack of having a routine.

  • Apr 24

    Those who have been there, know.