A word to the new, the inexperienced, the overwhelmed and the mystified

by CheesePotato 31,976 Views | 66 Comments

I remember when I was new, bright eyed, bushy tailed, rampantly sarcastic (look, some things never change, alright?) and I used to look about and wonder why in the world it never seemed like the most awesome of the awesome never had a bad day? It is in the spirit of leveling, of "dipping my hand" so to speak, that I have written the following article.

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    A word to the new, the inexperienced, the overwhelmed and the mystified

    We all have bad days.

    I remember when I was new, bright eyed, bushy tailed, rampantly sarcastic (look, some things never change, alright?) and I used to look about and wonder why in the world it never seemed like the most awesome of the awesome never had a bad day, a hair out of place, a drop of sweat on their brow, or their teeth set so hard they were gritted down to nubs.

    I used to pray to be so unflappable. I used to dream of the time when I would be viewed through that blushing lens of being labeled the go-to, the machine, the reference, the "strong" nurse.

    And then one afternoon, I'm roosting in the lounge with a pack of saltines and a glass of ginger ale (be sure to take care of your stomachs, my friends. Ulcers are no laughing matter), and this new nurse marches up to me and steals one of my saltines.

    Okay, fair enough. That is one way to get my undivided attention.

    Yet before I can question what spurred this random theft of my stomach appeasing snack, there is gesturing, crumbs speckling through the air like confetti and the firm demand, "Tell me what makes you so special?!" christened on the end of a pointing index finger.

    The beauty of the OR? We let our eyes talk for us. And as I had a mouth full of saltine, I allowed for therapeutic silence and some good old fashioned eye contact.

    She nibbled her cracker with a defeated sigh. "Nothing seems to faze you. You...you're just awesome."

    So let me tell you what I told her: No, I'm not awesome. I just do what I do the same way every day. I still have a lot to learn. And yes, a lot fazes me. The rest? What you see? Well that's just acting.

    I pretend, therefore I am.

    It is in this spirit of leveling, of "dipping my hand" so to speak, that I will now tell you about my day of epicness so astounding, so thrilling, so riddled with KaBAM power, that you may have to avert your eyes or at the very least wear sunglasses:

    My day began as any other, sans hair conditioner. Now, to some this doesn't sound like a big deal, but with my hair which hangs down to my rump, no conditioner generally equals doing battle with the equivalent of a premenstrual yeti suffering from a septic hang nail and a case of mange.

    Hair finally subdued, dressed, etc etc, I attempt to leave only to lock my keys....all of my keys... securely in my house. Thank goodness this time I was actually dressed when it happened so I could go to my neighbor and fetch my emergency key.

    Key fiasco squared away, off to work I go. Now at work, in fact, I'm still at work (yay for call), my journey (which the bards shall sing of for ages to come) continued thusly:

    Coffee maker remains broken. I remain sad. Surgeons having screaming matches with anesthesia in the hall for reasons equaling something along the lines of: He won't give me my Slinky! A frisky patient attempted to goose my ta-ta <--yes that is a technical term. My favorite pen fell out of my pocket during a patient transfer and was discovered over in PACU when the patient kept complaining of "something poking my thigh".

    A kidlet, who was supposedly NPO, spewing <--again with the technical terms, Spaghettio's all over and more importantly down my scrub top which lead to a demise of a well loved undergarment (huzzah for ace wraps) and a need for change of scrubs #1. And cue surgeon yelling at anesthesia. ::sigh::

    My favorite trauma shears snapped in half while cutting through a patient's pants and, of course, the surgeon looks at me like I'm some nit-wit that had nothing better to do than set him up with a sure to implode pair of scissors. Later in that same case, while flipping the foley up in order to shift the patient over to the inpatient bed, the foley bag exploded, yes, that's right, exploded. You guessed it: demise of lower region undergarment and change of scrubs #2. By the way, if any of you are interested, the mesh pants commonly given to patients as dressing or in L&D are actually quite comfortable. Make a note of it. Moving along.

    Blah blah blah, a case and a half later, I'm in the middle of a lap chole turned open, when I'm scuttling across the room, trip over the kick bucket (how in the world do you miss a bucket?! A bucket that you put there?!), and catch myself from falling by deploying my forehead against the wall as a make shift kick stand. Dragging my wounded pride with me, I managed to get everything for the field and things seem settled until I'm answering the surgeon's pager and he's giving me the eye. I'm annoyed and in no mood so after a hissed, "What!?" He gives a little jabbing motion with his chin and answers, "How are you liking the breeze?" The scrub tech is snickering, anesthesia is about a split second away from aspirating his mask and I am dumbfounded.

    My friends, apparently under the strain of fighting gravity, my pants had exploded. I'm not talking ripped a little or split a seam or even became threadbare. I'm talking shredded like a pair curtains shut in with eighteen cats on a catnip bender. How in the world I didn't feel anything...I will never know.

    But thank heaven for mesh pants.

    And so here I sit, nibbling saltines and nursing a ginger ale and wanting you all to know: We all have days where we doubt, where we question, where we wonder why in the world do I do what I do.

    We all have bad days.

    But in the end we have to hang on, learn what we can, hike up our mesh pants, move forward and keep in mind that, if nothing else, it makes for an interesting story.

    Keep the faith,

    ~~CP~~
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jan 24, '13
    liebling5, OneDuckyRN, Lev <3, and 84 others like this.
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  3. About CheesePotato

    I pretend, therefore I am.

    CheesePotato joined Jan '12 - from 'Down the Rabbit Hole'. CheesePotato has 'Enough.' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Sleep medicine,Floor nursing, OR, Trauma'. Posts: 241 Likes: 2,313; Learn more about CheesePotato by visiting their allnursesPage Twitter Website


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    66 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    Wow! Your post should required reading for every working adult, not just nurses. Well done, and keep on keeping on!
    silverbat, texasmum, and CheesePotato like this.
  5. 1
    Thanks for this very nice post!My inspiration for the day=)!
    CheesePotato likes this.
  6. 6
    LOL! Enjoyed that very much, but could have used some pictures.....................
    liebling5, silverbat, nrsang97, and 3 others like this.
  7. 1
    Awesome!
    CheesePotato likes this.
  8. 1
    Great post!
    CheesePotato likes this.
  9. 1
    Epically awesome!! I can't stop laughing while reading your post! Thank you for sharing and for inspiring!!
    CheesePotato likes this.
  10. 1
    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Sometimes I often feel I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off. It is nice to know that those I look up to have really bad days as well.
    CheesePotato likes this.
  11. 1
    Thank you for your story. I think we can all relate on some level. The OR does make for interesting experiences. WELL DONE!
    CheesePotato likes this.
  12. 1
    Such a great read! Thank you
    CheesePotato likes this.


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