Was just thinking about you!
As you know I've been doing m/s since September, and it's been a rocky ride. On my very best nights, I have a reasonable patient load and feel like I gave adequate care. I can't honestly say I ever feel like I gave every patient great care, because there just isn't enough time for it even on the best of nights in the best of circumstances. At least, not the kind of care I'd LIKE to give. But that's different than not giving good care, so....I console myself with that. I read posts from people who seem to relish making newbies who barely manage the patient load feel bad about not giving backrubs to everyone (imagine!). But then I get a reality check and remember that my patients were better off having HAD me that night than NOT having had me, so....again, I put things into perspective.
Like I said, my best nights are pretty darned good. But my worst nights I have nine patients (have had ten, that's another story) where everyone was getting blood, CBIs, leaky chest tubes, turn and position, demented, incontinent, telemetry worries, fresh post-op, and on top of frequent IV atx and other meds had dilaudid or morphine ranging from q1 to q4, in quantities you think would kill a cow sometimes (but not our frequent flyers!). Dilaudid 2mg q2 is a common song here, as is morphine 4-6mg q4, with both being supplemented with percoset or vicodin. We just LOOOVEE our drugs!
You figure there are shifts you just manage to get by, and hope to heck you don't have serious complications arise before you go home.
I remember in school, thinking that balancing the needs of four patients was nearly impossible, but we had to pull it off. And that was doing less for them than we are (as RNs) now responsible for. Couldn't imagine surviving a 12 hour shift with that many. Now I do twice that!
I find with med-surg you will have some days you feel good about being a nurse. And some days you will wonder what the heck you let yourself in for. Days you think "hey, I think I'm pretty good at this". And days you wonder why they gave you a license. I think all of that's pretty normal, based on my "therapy sessions" at allnurses.com