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alwaystheoptimist 1,178 Views

Joined Nov 10, '11. alwaystheoptimist is a Registered Nurse. Posts: 42 (19% Liked) Likes: 15

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  • Mar 15 '15

    No one ... I mean ~ no one ~ ... understands what it means to be a Nurse, except other Nurses. (And to a limited degree, our patients and their families.) The general public has no clue. There is no way they can understand.

    Nursing is truly a " walk a mile in my shoes " kind of gig. No one else will ever understand.

    But anyone who sticks it out long enough knows ... you can not expect people to ever "get it".
    The Nursing profession is just too complex, convoluted and dynamic for people to understand.

    That's why, after years of experience, Nurses can look each other in the eye and just "know". There is a "look".
    One of, "been there done that" ... " I know ". Something spoken without words.

    And new Nurses have to put miles on that road to get it too. Respect is earned in Nursing.
    I agree with you, that Nurses should look out for one another.
    Especially in the "corporate" heath care environment where Nurses are viewed as " part of the patient room charges".
    As a new Nurse, if you get into a good preceptorship program you should get the support you need and deserve.

    Somewhere along the way all the theory you learn in your Nursing program gets assimilated and transformed into real life situation and it becomes clear.
    Once that happens, you can walk into any situation and "see" what's going on and what needs to be done.
    At some point it all "clicks" and you "get it". But that comes with hard earned time, attention and effort.

    And no one outside of the profession can be expected to understand.
    So when anyone tries to speak as if they do, just smile ... and realize that ... they never will.

  • Oct 1 '14

    How is it that every time I ride the elevator to my floor, the gorge rises in my throat and my hands begin to tremor. All I can think about is what will today bring me. Will I be asked to perform a task I don't know how to do? Or will I miss something?

    I finally reached the point last week where I would whisper these words inside my head..."they can't take away my birthday". Funny huh? My mom used to say that as a joke when I was a child and things seemed overwhelming. So now each time I have to call the doctor who is known for his terse replies, or try something new, or don't know the answer, I repeat those words. It gives me focus and helps take the pressure of performance off my head.

    It also helps to think that as a new grad in the ICU, I now am striving for mediocrity. Funny to hear that coming from me. I have always been an overachiever, but not in this profession. My first year I KNOW NOTHING! I am reliant on getting hands-on experience and wise teaching from more experienced nurses. So this is my plan, I am going to strive to be mediocre this year, because no new grad nurse in the ICU is going to be stellar. So, I'm writing this post to encourage mediocrity and to let you all know, "they can't take away your birthday".

  • Sep 28 '14

    Disclaimer: I'm an RN student, not yet a practicing nurse. Pick apart the following thoughts as you will.

    I really love how well-respected the nursing profession is by the public. When strangers ask me what I'm studying, one of the most common responses is "That's such an honorable career!". I have never told a person I was going to be a nurse and got a negative response like "Oh, one time I was hospitalized and..." or "Oh, you're gonna have to clean up poop!"

    One of the main reasons I chose nursing as my career is because I didn't want to just be a number cruncher for some corporation. I didn't want my job to solely entail making someone else a profit. Will I be working for a corporation once I'm employed by a hospital? Yes. Will money be going into administration's pockets as a result of my work? Yes.

    However, what will I SEE through my work? Not cash flowing, or projected profits. I will see a mother of 3 cry when she's told she has terminal breast cancer. I will hear a child laugh after weeks of being on life support in intensive care. I will feel genuine touch when I hold the patient for whom I am their only source of comfort. I will laugh with relieved parents when they realize that bump on their first toddler's skin isn't cancer, it's just a mosquito bite. I will be someone's confidant for 12 hours, my ears being the first on which their secrets have landed. I will be trusted with the most personal information about a person. I will have the chance to watch the tear-jerking embrace of a husband to his wife, who he thought wasn't going to make it through the evening.

    Is real life a movie? No. I'll get vomited on. I'll probably get fecal matter on my shoes once.. or twice... or more than that. I'll get yelled at by someone physically dependent on narcotics because the doctor wouldn't believe their reported symptoms of pain. I'll be called incompetent by people who have never stepped foot inside a college. I'll have my hours cut because there aren't enough patients on the floor to care for. I'll have to care for drunk drivers, child abusers, rapists, drug addicts, pretentious people who think the world owes them something, and any type of personality the human brain can come up with.

    The most rewarding thing, though, will be going home after every shift and thinking, as I lie down exhausted from working 12+ hours straight, about how many lives I positively affected that day, and how many people will never forget the way I cared for them. And on days that I'm driving home wondering WHY I didn't go into an desk-and-chair profession, I hope that this side of me will surface and think about what a difference nurses make in peoples' lives every day.

  • Jul 6 '14

    Ohhhhh you are a fantastic gift giver!!!!

  • Jul 2 '14

    I just finished my nclex exam & came home & got the good popup. After reading so many blogs I was a nervous wreck going in but I have to say it really wasn't nearly as hard as I imagined. I had only 75 questions. Over half were SATA it seemed. SATA was an area of weakness for me but I pushed through. I was actually disappointed each time I didn't get a SATA question after a while. I honestly don't think nclex was as hard as everyone says. Yes - I studied & I studied hard from the day I graduated May 18 - July 2. I had a 3.97 GPA. I scored 937 on exit HESI. I took Kaplan course & scored 73.3 on readiness test. I was determined not to fail NCLEX. I already have a job that begins July 21. I had the extra pressure of passing since I already have a job lined up. There were 150 applicants for the job so I knew there were plenty of people waiting to snatch it from me if I failed nclex.

    My advice would be to study. I think I over studied by about 2 weeks. I did the entire Kaplan Qbank & all the question trainers. Maybe being prepared is what helped me & made the test seem reasonable & pretty basic. I wish I had done more SATA but it's a little too late to worry about that. I felt good walking out of the test. All I ever read was people feeling like they bombed so I want to let everyone know there is a different side to the story. If you put in the effort the results will show it.

    At the test, I wrote on my whiteboard to "go slow" and "go with what you know". That was the best advice I got & it works. Good luck & relax. The questions are not nearly as hard as Kaplan or Hesi. If you have any questions about preparing I'd love to help in any way that I can for you to pass. You got this!!

  • Jul 2 '14

    Personally I think the steth is a fantastic gift. Not many people fork out the money for a good steth while in school, for whatever reason. The difference between a cheap steth and a good one are quite noticeable. I spent the money on a Littmann prior to clinicals and am so happy I did. A couple of my classmates tried my steth on some difficult to auscultate patients and were amazed enough at the difference that they went ahead and bought a Littmann (our bookstore stocks cheapies and Littmanns).
    I think the steth, a good planner (I personally like Uncalendar), or a good nclex review book like Saunders make great gifts that will be put to good use.
    Congrats to your friend! And congrats to you as well since you just graduated!

  • Jul 2 '14

    A steth is a good gift, so is a bookstore gift card! I personally wanted to chose my own steth, so I am hoping to receive Amazon gift cards.

  • Jul 2 '14

    Gift card to her school's bookstore. Holy crap that first semester was expensive.

  • Jul 2 '14

    Just got into nursing school as well, and all I want now is EVERY NCLEX BOOK EVER KNOWN TO ANYONE ON THIS EARTH! I WANT IT ALL. lol Fundamental books, medsurg books. I want books. Penlight, planners, rolling backpack can be a great gift to me right now as well. For a stethoscope, I would prefer deciding for myself which one I would want. But books are pretty good gifts.

  • Jul 2 '14

    Totally agree about the steth, however...if you know her school colors and her measurements, you could also get her her first pair of scrubs. You could get her some super cute compression socks (they help with tired feet, not just veins). All the PPs suggestions are good. I know a cardio III is a great scope, but I am the kind of person who would also enjoy a gift basket (maybe a classic II, and some other goodies..plum paper student planner, clinical pocket guide, socks..). And this probably goes without saying, but I can see from your post how proud of her you are, so a card that says all that stuff should definitely accompany whatever you get.

  • Jul 2 '14

    My story is very similar to your friends, and I also start nursing school this Fall! Congrats to all of us who have stuck with our dreams! Thinking about wonderful gift ideas, I would go with a great stethoscope and a gift certificate for an Erin Condren Life Planner. You can personalize the planner online and they send it to you, I have a code for $10 off the planner pm me if you're interested- super cute :-) Your friend is blessed to have a friend like you, congrats to you both.

  • Jul 2 '14

    The stethoscope is great; what about adding a personalized tag for it? https://www.google.com/search?q=stet...w=1151&bih=658
    You could personalize it for her. I know Etsy has a bunch.

  • Jun 29 '14

    There will be lots of cases like appendectomies, bowel obstructions, and cholectomies. I'd say those are probably the most common surgical cases in a typical post-surgical unit. We are very much a "stomach nation" with lots of intestinal and gallbladder ailments, likely due to our unhealthy lifestyle.

    I love medical-surgical patients because most of the time you get fairly young ones who are mostly independent and resolute. They may have a tummy incision, but otherwise they are independent and their expectations are reasonable.

    The patient-controlled analgesia pump will be your best friend there because many patients will be self-administering Dilaudid/Morphine by clicking a button, which makes your life easier. Thank god for those pumps.

    By the time the patients get to you they are mostly recovered from anesthesia (PACU takes care of that) and they have good vitals, but you have to watch them carefully because now and then they have complications. You can get somebody who is unable to void (very common after surgery) and you have to call the surgeon to report no urine output.

    Or you can get somebody who looks fine for the first 2 days but then develops an abscess behind the incision. All kind of things happen.

    Good choice of a unit, for a new grad med-surg is optimal. Do it for a couple years and you will be a superior nurse, able to function just about anywhere.

  • Jun 29 '14

    It sounds like an inpatient surgical floor. Drains, blood transfusions, ambulation , education, and IV pain medication galore! Great place to learn! You will come out of that unit a strong nurse with great time management skills.

  • Apr 10 '12

    They teach at a higher level to make you reach for a higher level . Nursing will demand everything from you. Your family time, your free time, your life. The end of the oath says it best, "..and dedicate myself to those place within my charge." What does Nursing give you in return...nothing. Not even the time of day. You may get a Thank You from a patient once in a while.
    A doctor may call you everything but a Child of God. Brake downs every once in a while. A lot of tears. This is the life you have chosen. Why do I still do it after 40+ years because there were and are times that if I wasn't there, people would have died. People would have been injured. People would have taken their own life. Lighten up on yourself. I never had a patient yet
    ask me what I got on the A&P exam. Remember what my old friend Ben Franklin wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac, ' There is no gain without pain.' If you want to kill yourself for that straight A average that's your business, what I'm saying that your class rank means very little to that suffering patient in front of you.


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