chorkle 6,376 Views
Joined: Sep 13, '10;
Posts: 233 (28% Liked)
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Perpetual Student; from
I guess I am an outsider. I don't celebrate most holidays or care about them. , I work them if I have to or need the money but because of that I am not too understanding of people who whine about having to work holidays etc( yes , it sucks to miss out on parties and get togethers but that is part of the working world ). I don't celebrate on alternate days either. Nor is that possible for most people .
I worked virtually every Christmas from my twenties on because I felt it was only fair. When I was single, I'd fly home when I had a weekend off and my mom and I would have our holiday then. That way, the people with little kids were able to be off.
After I married, I worked in a shelter for abused women and their children or as a psych nurse. I always offered to work Christmas day. We'd go to midnight Mass Christmas Eve and I'd go straight to work when I was at the shelter. We'd have our Christmas when I got home at about 5:00 pm and that was good.
When I worked at the state hospital, anyone who worked an actual holiday got double time plus an extra day off or triple time and no extra day. I'd do whatever our budget needed.
Both work environments were heart rending (or could be) at holiday time and we always felt needed.
I just had a really ****** night where I was mocked for going to school to be a nurse. I can't explain how frustrated and ******* ****** off I get when people mock me for my decision to be a nurse and make a positive difference in people's lives. I feel like so many people think nurses just put band aides on people's fingers. I hate this and just needed somewhere to vent, people are idiots, if there weren't nurses the healthcare system would collapse faster than a ******* popped balloon.
I am good at assessment, emergency interventions, and I would like to think I'm a competent Code Team Nurse.
I love the Code. It's not the "Adrenaline Rush" of it. It's the organized chaos of every instrument knowing their note, playing it beautifully, and keeping in time. It's the atmosphere of doing the best you can to save a soul. It's clarity. My brain sets up as an algorithm one with the cart, the EKG readout, and what each part of the patients body is trying to tell me. Watching cardioversion turn a Ventricular Anomaly into a gorgeous sinus rhythm, and feeling that bounding pulse once more.
That first breath you take after the rhythm stays normal for at least a minute, and O2 Sats start creating up again as pink replaces blue and gray shadows, and life fills the shell death was trying to leave. A limb moves, pupils shoot back left-right, then on you. "What happened?"
"You were trying to leave us." The muscles of the life saving machine rests, and the patient's second chance begins.
I was fortunate to have a very nice childhood. Not rich, but comfortable and hard working family. Unfortunately my children did not alwyas have that. There was a divorce -messy. There were injuries and illnesses that kept us very poor. My children have thrived. One is very good at saving so his children will have a good college education with minimal debt. Another is working on his doctorate in a field where he will never be rich but will do what he enjoys, and the other child had a terrible head injury and was diagnosed as being Bipolar. She has not laoowed to this rule her world. She makes adjustments in her life due to the brain injury.
Everyone can claim to be a victim if they choose. No one has to be.
Because of a HUGE infection risk, I would not probably use sterile water or saline to clean for a catheter insertion, no matter what the internet says......just sayin....
Thanks for your heartwarming graceful kind words!!!
I love the atmosphere of the ED during holidays! We had an MD on Christmas that loves to grill, so with Tornado Warning after Severe Thunderstorm Warning he was out in his raincoat flipping our steaks, ribs, and Chicken
Plus, the atmosphere of Christmas is just magical to me in the hospital even on the wards- more "lighthearted" if just for a day. I never minded the sacrifice- far more rewards than giving up something. I love my colleagues- and even if it is "cliche"- they are my family too!!
You spend more time with colleagues than your own family anyway
Steel cap boots with cushion inserts or air flex!!
I would just urge you to dig in on a code, and get in on the thick of it. Anyone doing compressions could use a break just 2-3 minutes in, and will rarely say "no." You'll find your stride, and every time I code, 10 years later, I still learn something.
As others have stated, you will never forget this moment. Just as you will never forget the first code you do when you actually perform compressions and feel the ribs give beneath your hands.
For right now, give yourself time to process it. It is very normal to feel overwhelmed and stunned. As another stated, it is nothing like what Hollywood does such dandy job of portraying.
People forget that it is not simple, or easy, or clean.
It is work.
Literally. Think about it. You are acting as both of the most overworked muscles of the body: heart and diaphragm. You are forcing blood through literal miles (aprox. 60,000) of vessels and doing so through layers of muscle, fat, bone with nothing but the heels of your hands sweat, adrenaline and drive. All while keeping the same beat as the song "Stayin' Alive".
It is back breaking, arm numbing, and taxing. And mentally, it can wear you down.
I don't know if it necessarily gets easier so much as you learn to filter, to file and to process later. Not so much numb as, perhaps, more detached? And some days it really does feel more like, oh for pity's sake, here we go again. And some days, it takes your breath away.
Give yourself time to process. Cry if you need to. Vent. Talk. Move forward.
As I have said to others, my door is always open, should you need to chat.
CPR is brutal, its hard on the 80 plus to 90 plus year old pts that are terminal but the family refuse to make a DNR. It is not what is seen on tv, and that is a huge misconception. I have felt horrible doing CPR on someone like you describe That will never get easy, doing CPR and intubating someone that has not cough, gag, corneal reflexes etc. I once had a 96 year old coded, intubated and watched her seize for 24 hours before she died again. No amount of meds stopped the seizures.
You will learn to become more confident but on the pts you stated as well as the ones mentioned above, no it doesn't get easier. It's tough, we are not designed to live forever but many fear letting their loved ones go not matter the age or complicating DX's.
On the flip side, I have seen some amazing things with CPR, and many have returned and walked out of the hospital. Of course they are all middle aged or younger from a trauma or resp distress that was easily repaired. I do not decide, so if they are a full code I do what I must even if I am only the recorder.
I was an EMT for four years, I had a bachelors degree when I started nursing pre reqs which I took at Georgia State ironically. (I was an EMT, then became a paralegal after college and then went and did an accelerated bachelors.) First, I can tell you what you already know (from what I glean from your post): the nursing way is the long way around to mid level provider.
You already know the EMT-A is quicker and it will give you the experience you need to gain a spot in the PA program at Emory. Since you already started down that path, my guess is that that you would prefer to be a provider and I would say that this path is the better of the two since you seem to be gravitating towards more independence rather than less. (EMT and PA vs. RN)
We have had a rash of "oh no! nurses venting a lot on here are scaring me away!" threads. I will disagree with other posters: its not just "venting" though I do come here to vent some. Nursing has long been a career with lots of job stress and turnover. Most nurses will not be staying at the RN level for long (google for statistics: turnover in the nursing field is dramatic). Georgia has some terrible working conditions on top of that.
Think about where you want to end up.
V O D K A
I'm not in my nursing program yet; I'm about to apply after completing 4 semesters of prerequisites. I'm definitely categorized as a non-traditional student -- I'm in my mid-40's and re-entering school 25 years after graduating high school. I actually embarked on this endeavor fully expecting to not make any friends. But my focus was not on friends; I merely wanted to get in, get my degree, and get a job.
Before I started, I envisioned a situation where I would be in classrooms filled with young 20-somethings who would shun me for being too old. In many of my core classes, I was in fact the oldest person in the room. Older, in some cases, than even the instructor. But I was far from shunned. Upon entering my science pre-reqs, I found a world with more older students -- a couple even older than I am! Initially, I gravitated toward people in situations similar to mine. They were older with families and looking to make themselves more attractive when re-entering a hostile job market. However, as we got deeper into each course, I found myself studying with a few much younger people as well. I was again teased for my "life experience," but that same life experience is what brought us together. Maybe having a child of my own near their age helped.
I guess the point of my rambling post is that making friends is often like that watched pot that won't boil until you look away. If you try too hard, friends are harder to come by. Make an effort without being too eager. Be yourself. At the same time, be strong and depend on yourself. Intense study in my A&P Open Lab actually brought me a few friends, because we knew we had something in common: we all wanted good grades, and by being in Open Lab we each knew the other was willing to work hard for those grades. We ended up gravitating toward each other and studying together. As a result, I have built foundations for mutually beneficial friendships that I believe will stand up to the stressors of an intense program. Mutually beneficial friendships take time, and those are the ones you want.
Very often, I think the difference lays in the mindset of the student going in. Generally speaking, to younger students, college isn't just about education. Like high school, it's a forum for learning and for socializing. Their friendships are just as important as the education. In contrast, older students re-entering school are there for the education. Friends are an extra, secondary to studies, and nowhere near as important. Mind you, this isn't always the case; I'm speaking very generally. Everybody wants friends. Everybody enjoys cameraderie. It's just more important to some people than it is to others.
I'm not sure i even completely follow the notion, if i am understanding this article correctly, that having a sense of self reduces one's need to have friends, or their tolerance for lonliness. I'm not sure i'd agree.
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