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SICUshortCait specializes in SICU / NSICU.

SICUshortCait's Latest Activity

  1. SICUshortCait

    Secondhand Trauma

    This is something that’s been on my mind for a little while now. I’ve been hearing recently how what nurses are being exposed to is just part of the job. Death is part of the job that’s true, but that doesn’t change the toll it takes. Seven years later I remember the first patient I lost. I remember her name. I remember that she was an EMT who wanted to become a nurse. I remember that her squad was going to pick her up from the hospital when she was discharged. I remember how we braided her hair that day. I remember how she was transferred to the floor, but threw a fat embolism and came down coding. I still remember the chills I got when one of the nurses I respected most, came to give me a hug, but I had to stop her so the tears didn’t start pouring down my face. I remember that same nurse meeting me at my house with a bottle of wine that night. We spent hours talking it all through. When I think of grief and loss, I can picture the fluorescent lighting of the unit against the dark windows and the cries of the moms who lost their babies. Now as a mother myself, I have moments where these losses invade. I go to pump and I think of the mom who needed a hospital grade pump to donate milk after the loss of her daughter from a traumatic birth. I hold my son and I have to close my eyes and will away the memory of that same weight on my arms as I gently lay someone else’s child on the table of the morgue. I remember their names. I remember their funerals. I remember their families. Sometimes at weddings I remember the husband that came in to say “that’s my sweet wife you have there… we talked about when this day would come” and the look of love and sadness on his face. The thing is I don’t even work at the bedside anymore. I left in 2019 before masks became reusable. I felt the loss, the stress and the under appreciation back then and I left. We had time to process back then. Each loss was an event. It wasn’t the norm. We came together, we mourned and we’re still haunted by them. What HCWs are going through now is not just the job. It’s the trauma of trauma. It’s real, and it matters and we need to do better.
  2. SICUshortCait

    Win $100! June 2015 Caption Contest

    So he said hold my beer.. .And then he did what?!
  3. SICUshortCait

    What's the meanest thing a patient has said to you?

    I had a charming "seasoned" woman who said "You're just like your father and make your mother cry" ( I am but she doesn't know him, nor does he make my mother cry); that I was a Big dumb A-hole; and that I was running around like a little cockroach haha she instantly became one of my favorites. I had a gentleman however who attempted to "compliment" me by saying "you have the magic touch" when I put on a condom cath....That in turn made me want throw up in my mouth. You win some ya lose some I guess..
  4. SICUshortCait

    What Happens When We Leave Our Dream Job?

    Go for it! We only get one chance to live our lives to the fullest :) I also love the idea of doing palliative care one day. Such a gift to give to people!
  5. SICUshortCait

    What Happens When We Leave Our Dream Job?

    Don't give up! You will find your way! Keep an open mind you may surprise yourself I certainly did. We never know what the future has in store!
  6. SICUshortCait

    What Happens When We Leave Our Dream Job?

    You're awesome! Hope that things get better soon! No matter what capacity you work in you're still a nurse!!
  7. SICUshortCait

    Help, help, help, please

    To use the study materials? Didn't know! Will certainly delete the above haha thanks!
  8. SICUshortCait

    Help, help, help, please

    Borrow some study books from friends and focus on the chapter tests and your weaker category of test questions
  9. SICUshortCait

    What Happens When We Leave Our Dream Job?

    What happens when we have to find a new dream? When we came to a fork in the road; chose our path; ran towards our destiny and hit a dead end? Nursing is career of passion and a commitment not only to ourselves but to those future faces waiting with a name and date of birth. We sample different floors and hospitals throughout our education and excitedly tell each other stories of what we saw that day. We may have started school with a specialty we're sure of, but then it happens. We have that day; our day; our epiphany moment where we choose our path. Maybe it happens during clinical, maybe it happens long after we've been at the first job we're offered. There is that moment where those are OUR patients and that is OUR specialty. For me I was on a trauma unit for school; a far cry from the pediatric oncology unit I thought I would be on when I applied to school. My patient had crashed his motorcycle, had an MI, and a K+ of 6.8. We were bandaging his road rash while ortho discussed his broken bones and then we whisked him off to dialysis. I walked out of this step down and with wide eyes asked my instructor where these patients went when they were sicker. From that moment on I was on the fast track to SICU. Those were my patients. That was my unit. Fast forward 8 months to multiple knee surgeries and a fleeting return to work where I couldn't lift "My patients". I couldn't handle "My unit". Obviously I could have been in far worse shape, but that wasn't the issue at hand. Where do we go from there? How do we start over when we were so sure of what we loved? I talked to a friend recently who was leaving her dream unit and felt an enormous sense of fear and dread. There is a guilt we feel when we switch our path. That sense that we're giving up; abandoning the patients we once called "ours". In the days that followed leaving behind my dream I talked to friends and coworkers and scoured the internet looking for my new passion. Repeatedly I was told to go to the NICU. " The patients are lighter and the cribs are higher" I was told time and again. I dug in my heels, because as trauma nurses we don't do cute and cuddly. There was a sense that I was turning my back on my people by even seeming interested in the idea. I spent weeks toying with jobs that I had no passion for, but would allow me to sit. Something I didn't enjoy, but would provide me the time to go to school while I figured it out; anything but working with babies. Out of loyalty to my hospital I finally went upstairs to tour the NICU. I walked around arms crossed looking on respectfully. The first baby I saw was only 23 weeks old. As we continued to make the loop I saw hopeful parents sitting, waiting for news of an ounce gained. By the time I walked to the last decorated door, I was filled with questions for the nurse and a secret I was keeping from myself. A secret, that I may just be fully confessing now. I loved it. My head was spinning when I left. How could I love this unit? This was the unit I had shy'd away from since I started school. Babies? Babies. I thought it would never be me. I was afraid to even hold them and yet there I was. And that's when it hit me. I am a nurse. We are not our units. We are not our specialties. We may love them dearly, and we may thrive in one environment over another, but we are nurses first and foremost. We see people in distress, no matter how small, and we want to help. We want to fix the situation, and we want to learn. We accept the challenge and charge ahead. Our abilities are not limited to what we already know, because we were work in a field with an endless number of possibilities that we should start taking advantage of. While this story may be a bit autobiographical, it is meant to give hope to the other die hard specialty nurses out there whose circumstances may have changed. Whether you have to leave because of family, a big move, injury, or burnout, you are not alone and there is hope. This is not the end of the road, but an opportunity. The scariest dog is always guarding the door to the biggest prize. You will still find your way, because you my friend, are a nurse.
  10. SICUshortCait

    Help, help, help, please

    Kaplan has online options that are more affordable. If possible just purchase their question bank. Keep taking mini practice tests of 20 questions from the bank so you can get through them fast and really read the explanations. Look at the categories you're weak in and take a bunch of mini tests only in that category. Then start again and attack your next weak area. Two days before the test take a full length set of questions. Read the explanation but don't panic at the score the questions are all above the passing line. The day before the test do something fun and don't study. Then eat a good breakfast take a deep breath and go get your RN!
  11. SICUshortCait

    Uncensored Thoughts of a Nurse Interviewer

    Thank you! Of course you can!
  12. SICUshortCait

    Uncensored Thoughts of a Nurse Interviewer

    I was a new grad hired to the SICU/NSICU last year! I love this article because it shows how important the impression you make as a person is as opposed to always focusing on just the paper. My manager said "You're all smart; you're nurses. We can teach you trauma nursing and critical care; we can't teach you how to connect with people. That's what I'm looking for"