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Calabria 4,737 Views

Joined Mar 3, '11 - from 'U.S.A.'. Calabria is a R.N.. She has 'Always looking to learn!' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'NICU, OB/GYN'. Posts: 119 (62% Liked) Likes: 291

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  • Dec 3

    It's with sad irony that I power up the treadmill in the gym exactly 24 hours after I started chest compressions on you. You were my first patient loss. Being new to the NICU (though not new to nursing), I know you won't be my last. I forced myself down to the gym to run off the grief.

    The myriad of feelings that I have experienced in the last day is overwhelming. The entire unit, even the doctors, cried as your family walked in to hold you for the first and last time. We held them as they held you. I woke up briefly in the middle of the night. My initial feelings, that I felt like I was wrapped in a blanket of sadness, had evolved. It felt like the wind had been knocked out of me instead. It made me restless. I needed to do something.

    Sweat begins to run down my forehead as I get closer to completing my first mile. Moments replay in my head like a movie, of how your care progressed in the times that I took care of you, of bargaining with God as your heart rate started to drop, of calm desperation as our team rallied around you, and of the feeling of indescribable defeat as we stopped our efforts. I had a feeling that you'd be leaving us on my watch as soon as I laid eyes on you. You looked so unwell compared to previous days. Based on your labs and vital signs, you were circling the drain. We tried so hard to save you anyway. You fought so hard with us.

    Glancing at the clock as I continue to run towards mile one-and-a-half, I realize that, 24 hours ago, your resuscitation still continued. I was giving you yet another dose of epinephrine at that point. We all stared at your heart monitor, praying that (somehow) your heartrate would increase, allowing the rest of us in the room to breathe. And even though I'm getting tired now, I think of your family. I think of how tired they must feel. I think of how you must have felt so tired, especially at the very end.

    I push harder. Thump, thump, thump, my feet whack against the treadmill belt. I force myself run faster. The last time that I ran multiple miles was in high school, but it looks like I'll do it again today. I might hurt tomorrow, but it'll be gratifying to focus on the physical soreness achieved from exercise instead of the emotional pain.

    I step off of the treadmill today one minute after we stopped your resuscitation efforts yesterday. No amount of medication, chest compressions, blood product, or ventilation would keep you with us anymore. Some might say that I was running from my feelings today, but all I saw as I stared at the wall ahead of me when I ran was you.

  • Sep 4

    I knew I wanted my BSN without question when I discovered that I wanted to be a nurse. I attended a second-degree BSN program immediately after I earned my first BS. It was when the economy was at its worst. When I realized I'd have to stay in school longer during my first degree, I started working as an RA to have my room and board paid for, picked up a TA job, and kept my retail job that I continued on holidays back home because I knew that the amount of loans I'd have would balloon. The RA job alone saved me over $16,000 total, in addition to scholarships that I was receiving from school.

    I chose my nursing school based on cost, and job prospects in its region: they gave me a decent scholarship for tuition, and I got a job before I graduated. I lived on a tight budget while I was in school, so that I'd avoid taking out more loans than necessary. The guarantee of a job alone helped me start paying my loans off early. I still live on a modest budget so that I can pay my loans off sooner than projected, but I'm fortunate in that it hasn't been difficult to make ends meet so far (and I've been able to treat myself a little bit along the way ).



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