god-is-love, when you start out as a new nurse it's like being on mars, kind of. My story is this...I am from the philly burbs. I went to the University of Scranton in 98-2002 and graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. When I graduated I couldn't find a job, I wanted to be a police officer or go back and get y masters in criminology. But the job market was horrible in 2002, I had taken numerous law enforcement exams, federal, state and local. But nothing....
So I ended up working at my parents hair salon, being the salon manager. I hated the fact I was working for my parents but was grateful to have a job. I looked day and night for a job, any job. I found a job in T.V. production. It was for a traffic coordinator for Infomercials. I went for the interview and got the job on the spot. OK, I had a love hate relationship with this job. It was a family owned business, ok I know what that's like from my parents hair salon. It's a family atmosphere....
I began working and realized I was making NO money but I was getting awesome exp. in broadcast and marketing, which I knew nothing about, other than the fact I used to watch infomercials all the time in college when we would be up late or all night...drinking and 4am infomercials...hahaha..anyway.
The company that hired me was well known and respected, but the owner was a cheap shister. He drove a porshe, blew money on the most rid. stuff and payed his employees terrible. He was around about 20% of the time, and a total train wreck, he would make us start projects that were the most pointless things I have ever seen, like making me reprogram all of his cell phone numbers from his old phone into his new phone...YEA...theycan do that at the cell store..
But the only good thing was the people who worked there. It was a family owned business. The owners wife was actually co-owner and like a 2nd mom to me. There were 2 daughters, around my age at the time, which was 22, and their brother, who actually ran our west coast company untill they made the decision to shut it down. The brother, after he came back from Cali., became my boss, and he used to say I was like their adopted sister. He was also the big brother I never had. I was the one who told him to marry his, now wife, who is a cardiac nurse, after their 2nd date.
Anyway I worked there for 2 years. I learned alot, I mean alot, how to deal with pushy clients and media buyers. I learned the business of TV and broadcast and became traffic manager, which I should have been paid 3 times what I was being paid according to some of our clients.
After being WAY WAY underpaid for about 2 years, I found a job through one of our clients. In the meantime my boyfriend, who is now my fiance, became a police officer for the NYPD.
My turning point to becomming a nurse was this, if anything happed to my fiance while he was on the job I would want to be the one to take care of him, and then there was this...my fiance and I were in Atlantic City for a weekend. We went to one of the clubs, and after drinking and dancinbg all night we sat down on a couch and there was this girl passed out next to me, but had noticed her earlier in the night with some friends and the friends left her b/c she was taking to some guys and she was drinking water. Now some shady dudes were trying to get her to leave with them. I just turned my head, asked her name, she told me, although she was semi-conscious. I asked the shady guys what her name was, they had no clue. I acted like she was my friend, and they eventually left. But in the mean time, she was getting worse by the minuite. It wasn't like a drunk semi-conscious but like a drugged semi-conscious..I know know but that instinct kicked in..I began counting her respirations, and this was in dark club. I just put my hand on her back and began counting her respirations, it was b/t 6-8 a min. I was asking her simple questions like do you know where you are? ect...I took her pulse, it was 40...now I wsn't even thinking about nursing school yet, but knew enough to see some one in trouble. I made my fiance grab a security guard and he came over and I told himand he ignoed us. I finally grabbed the head of security and told him what was going on and also told him her pulse and respirations. I said this was the water bottle she was drinking out of. He took it gave it to the ACPD that was standing out side the club. I said how the first security guard ignored us, and said she's probably just drunk. The head of security and the ACPD called the paramedics. She was unresponsive at this point. I had a pen light my aunt, who is an er nurse manager, gave me to have in my purse for when it is dark outside. The security guards and cops only had those big MAG flash lights, no good for pupil response unless you want to blind the person and yourself. While te medics were in their way I checked for pupil reaction, with my pen light, they were sluggish. The medics arrived and took her.
We went back to the club the nxt night just to talk to someone to know what happened. And the cops who were there the night before were outside. I asked them what happened, they said she was roofied and ghb was put in her water. She didn't have an ounce of ETOH in her blood. They asked if I was a nurse or a paramedic. I said no I wasn't. They said if it wasn't for me they don;t know what would have happened to her.
OK here's the kicker...after that night, I knew I had a calling and I began the rapid research on nursing schools in my area. I picked my local community college, which is one of the best nursing programs on the east coast. I barely made the deadlines. I had to take the NET test, most people have months to study for it, I had 2 days to study for it. The nursing recruiter said can you do this in 2 days? I said yes..2 days later I took the test.
Now in the mean time I was preparingfor a job interview for one of the broadcast clients I worked with.
My life was split, and it was I swear to god, or who or what ever, that fate or destiny stepped in...
I got the letter 2 days after I took the NET test that I passed with a scorein the high 80's. I was given the option to choose day program or night and weekend program. I chose night and weekend so I could still keep my job.
About 1 week later I had a job interview with a huge media company. It was a hughe position. It was a 3 hour interview. After the interview I got home and saw this letter from the community college. I opened it and it said I was waitlisted to the night and weekend program, it even ranked where I was waitlisted, I was #18. I was a total lunatic. Also right after I opened the letter I had a call back from the interview I just left asking me to com bcak in the next night for a 2nd interview.
NOW MY FATE...the next day I was on my way to the second interview and in the car I got this chill down my spine and a little voice in my head said call the college and ask if there are any seats open for the day nursing program. I made the phone call. The nursing recruiter said, "Ang I was just going to call you, you read my mind, there is one seat opn in the day nursing program, do you want it?" I just blurted out YES YES YES...now this is as I was oulling into the parking lot of the compant I had the follow up interview for.
I went in to the interview, the woman who interviewd me just grabbed me as I walked in and said, "ang you are perfect for this position, I have interviewed 100's of job applicants but you are it, here's what you will be makin a year, it is about $60000 or more. We want you to start immediatly, you will have your own team and be DRTV broadcast manager."
I jut stood there and had to make the most important decision of my life. Do I go back to school, get a job that pays crap just to get me through school and that's if i make it through school and end up doing something I was meant to do, or do I take this job, and if i take this job I won't see my boyfriend, now fiance, ever b/c we live in different states, but have my first REAL job.....
I said to her, "I am so sorry to tell you this but on my way here I was just accepted to nursing school. I was offered the last seat in the program. This is probably the hardest decision Ihave ever had to make, and I hope I don't regret making this decision, but I decided to go back to school and accept the nursing school seat. I am so sorry."
She just stood there and said, "but you were the ONE, I called all the regional offices and told them about you. But you know what, my mom was a nurse, so I know you must be excited. So listen if nursing school dosen't work out, you just call me and tell me. Here is my card, and keep in touch. remember you have have a job waiting here for you no matter what." She gave me a hug, and said congrats and that she just lost the bes potential DRTV broadcast manager.
I still keep in touch with her. She always tells me that if I want to leave nursing I still have a job waiting.
I went back to school, and I worked my tail off. got a job in the library at school, making like next to nothing but it was a job, and I worked through school.
When I passed my final exam I cried. cried at pinning in may of 2007. When Ipassed my boards in july of 2007, and became an R.N I cried. And when I had my hosp. job interview,after I cried. I impressed the unit director so muc with my answers, eventhough I thought i blew the interview b/c I had an asthma attack in the middle of it, I recievd a phone call an hour after the interviw was over to tell me I got the job, Interventional Cardiac R.N. and started a month later.
In that month I moved from Philly to NYC to live with my fiance. We found a great townhouse to live in. I started my new job in NJ, I didn't know a soul.
I met a girl in orientation that had moved fom indinana to statan island, and we both worked in NJ at the hosp. bvut on different units. Well, she is one of my best friends. She left the hosp. last year though and moved VA. b/c she hated our hosp, as did I at the time.
But I can say, like I have said a million times before on this site. It was awful at first. I was a TOTAL outsider when I started, I was from Philly, I was a new RN starting on an Interventional Cardiac/CCU step down/ pre and post heart transplant floor. I was abused with awful, pt. assignments, didn't know how to stand up for my self as a nurse yet. MD were intimidating, my co-workers were down right rude and ignored me. Also I didn't have a great orientation at all. I learned ALOT, and I MEAN ALOT on my own. I was pulled to the ER my 2nd week off of orientation, which has never happened ever, to any new grad off orientation at the hosp, you are not susposed to be pulled untill you are 6 weeks off orientation.. I even got an award for that one, literally. I was verbally threatened by a Doctor like my 2 or 3rd night off orientation, who wanted to "have my license", b/c I called him 20 min. after he evaluated the pt. to tell him the pt. was having chest pain. It was like 2140 or 2220 at night, and was right after he did the H&P, like 30 min. after the MD had left the pt. began to have crushing chest pain. YEA that MD went to the HEAD of the HOSP and tried to have my license taken, the head of the hosp. said, "Hey doc, it's your pt. and your responsibility. She is the nurse and she did her job, and she did it well, you are the primary physician."
I always say karma is a bit@#. I ended up having that MD, who "wanted my license" as a patient a few months ago. He was admitted to my floor and of all the blastin nurses, they picked me to take cae of him b/c they all said, "it's payback time, ang, it's been a year since he did that to you" I just said ,"he's just another pt. to me, and he's sick so that's why I am here I am his nurse, yea karma def. bit him in the butt and took a huge chuck out, but I am his nurse an he needs me." When I walked into his room for the first time, and said "hi dr.XYZ, I am going to be your nurse tonight" He just looked up and had this blank expression. HAHAHA..I took care of him a few nights in a row.
But in the end he ended up sharing some wired fruit from his country with me and now every time he sees me he always says what a great nurse I am...
I mean you grow into your own, you find a voice and develop your style of nursing. I started out timid, yea I was NEW, what new nurse isn't intimidated by the 3 ring circus at the hosp.
I developed my style of nursing and my nursing persona. I am the go getter, the one every one comes to for advice or pt. evaluation, but when I frist started I was always told I was over reacting untill they began to notice that my over reacting was for a reason, it's called being a nurse.
I have delt with my fair share of rude and piehole MD's, that try and intimidate me. At first I was, but now I just say, "hey I am the nurse I report s/s and objective observation, you are the MD, you diagnose." I had one MD bark in my face abou how I didn't see the pt. was in pulmonary edema. I said, "yes I did KNOW, b/c the pt. sounded like he was drowning. I calld the RESIDENT to eval the pt. And I suggested differnt meds and tx to YOUR resident, but was ignored. and I am sorry, a CXR was done as per my idea, but ordered by the redident only after I suggested it. The resident read the CXR and said the pt. ws fine. I am a NURSE, i know Pul. edema looks like a butterfly on a CXR, I said that, but your resident didn't agree. I do my job and I do it well. It's not my fault that the night MD's and DO's don't know what they are doing, but it's all we have to work with at night for objective eval."
I mean I have had MD's rant and yell on the phone, I said to one who went on a 5 min tiraide, "OK are you done yet? did you get it all out? b/c I need this order now"...everyone just looked at me like i can't believe you just said that to him...I say, "he/she is not god, they are human, people like you and me, they just like to yell at the nurse. They have that MD or DO after their name for a reason they chose to be a doctor, and if they don't like 3am phone calls for orders then that's tehir problem, and as nurses we are only doing our job... TAKING CARE OF THE PT., so when that pt. wants tylenol or mayloxx at 3am and house staff dosen't cover their servce, then you better believe I am going to call and wake their butt up. I am here for the pt., hence the reason I am a nurse and as an pt. advocate I want what's best for the pt."
Nursing is stressful, but very rewarding. It seems like you ma have more bad days then good days, but there is always one pt. who thnks you for everything you have done. An even on the bad days or nights, always do you job to the best of your ability. It will only make you stronger.
Ok enough typing...but if could make it through my first year and survive, so can you. I am comming up on 2 years. I am a good nurse, and as long as you remeber why you became a nurse, you can make it. Smiles, hugs, handshakes or een jut a look from a pt. can make all the difference.