Thursday, October 21, 2010

I AM that nurse!

During my orientation to the ICU a year ago with one year already under my nursing belt, my preceptor, who I like to refer to as my "ICU Mom" today, told me, "In a year or two, you will not recognize yourself. You will be a completely different person." She usually said this to me when I was feeling scared, lacking confidence, or appearing meek and mild.

A year later, and I still feel all of those insecurities during my 12 hour shifts. But each day, I gain confidence and a new, better part of me grows.

Four years ago I started my nursing program. And I still remember that first day of clinicals.

The first time you witness an experienced RN in action, it is truly breathtaking. I distinctively remember watching her in awe; the way she moved about the room like it was second nature. Donning her gloves, drawing up a medication, assessing a patient. She could have been blindfolded and still have done the same tasks so effortlessly. I remember the way she spoke to her patients...she knew what to say and how to say it. She knew what to ask and why. She was fearless. 

I remember thinking, "Wow, someday this will be me..." Before I became a nurse, and even before I decided to pursue nursing, I would watch reality shows like, "Trauma: LIFE IN THE ER," and be completely floored by everything nurses did. They were so confident, cool, and nothing seemed to stump them. And if something did, they found ways around it and never showed if they were unsure. I used to think, I could never do what they do...

The other day while taking care of my two critical care patients, going from room to room, titrating IV medications, drawing labs from central lines, speaking with and comforting patients and families, answering the numerous interrupted phone calls from other departments, traveling with my vented patient,etc., it dawned on me...I AM that nurse. I AM that nurse who I used to look at in awe. I'm certainly no where near all of my amazing coworkers who have been working in nursing and critical care for years, even decades, but looking back, I have come a long way.

 It's funny how it just snuck up on me.

And I've realized something even more important: all nurses have fears and days when they don't feel all that confident. If any nurse told me they didn't, then I'd probably think they were lying.

Honestly, I have a long, long, long way to go  when it comes to the ICU and I don't think my preceptors words truly apply to me quite yet, but I'm getting there. Each day, I'm one step closer.

Can any nurses relate?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Coming out of hiding!

I'm alive!

I know, my posts have been so far and few between lately.

I'm not sure what's up, but I just haven't felt like posting, or perhaps, I feel like I haven't had much to post about.

 I'm worried because I literally haven't done any exercise in 2+weeks. I just wake up on my days off and have no motivation to move my body besides cleaning the house and playing with Max. Some days I even feel lethargic. Other days, lazy.

Planted catnip and flowers.

In general, this is okay, but I have a metric century ride in 2 months, so I need to find the motivation to get on the bike. Also, the temperature has dropped in the mornings and I'm disappointed in myself because I haven't gone out for a run. I looked forward to lower temperatures all summer so that I could finally run in comfortable conditions, but now? I feel like I never want to run again!!!

To me, this is sad because I had goals of wanting to get better at running, etc, but now? No motivation.
I honestly feel like this is just a phase and I will get back into it, but for now, I sit around and feel guilty for not wanting to run. I realize I should just let it be. I'm working on it! Also, I'm worried to post and say that I haven't been on the bike in 2 weeks because people donated to my Metric Century and I don't want to let anyone down:( I know I will do the ride, but I don't want to worry anyone.
Besides my lack of exercise guilt, I'm mostly doing well.
On Sunday, Mirza and I went to downtown Tarpon Springs to walk the sponge docks. This place has tons of Greek restaurants. I had no intentions of even eating, but Mirza was pretty set on it. Unfortunately, we picked the wrong Greek restaurant and the food was terrible. It was all we talked about for the rest of the day, that's how bad. So bad, that we both ate less than 25% of our meal, but took a box home anyway, but THREW IT IN THE DUMPSTER WHEN WE GOT HOME.
Bad Greek food hurts me. I don't think anyone can hold a candle to Athenian Gardens. BEST Greek food ever. Their menu is amazing because they have tons of vegetarian options. That, and all of the waiters are young, male, and Greek. They are adorable. And Portobello sandwich---if Mirza orders a vegetarian meal at a restaurant on more than one occasion, then you know it's good.

Here are some photos from Sunday...

As of this month, Mirza and I have been together for 7 years and 8 months. It does and doesn't feel that long. He's the best:) When I tell people who don't know us that we've been together nearly 8 years, they all ask how come he hasn't "popped the question." Besides the fact that deep down I find this question kind of rude, the answer for those who do not know us is that Mirza is still in school working on his degree to become a music educator. Once he graduates, we both have every intention of getting married. It isn't a question  for us, just a matter of timing. But he's in school, and he needs to graduate. First things first, people. I don't see what the rush is when we both know we're going to be together.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hey look! A post.

It's been over 2 weeks since my last post. To tell you all the truth, I just haven't been in the blogging mood lately. I'm still reading blogs, but mostly out of habit.

My time has been focused on applying for Graduate school. I got my application in for Spring 2011 and now I wait. Cross your fingers that I get in!! I'm anxious to get started on this next chapter in my career. It will take me 2-3 years, so I'll have plenty of time to get all of the critical care nursing out of my system and transition into a more primary care role, with helping people to PREVENT illnesses and manage the chronic diseases that bring them into the ICU.

Right now my focus is on working and making money. I have this new goal of working extra days at work and putting all the extra towards my car loan. I want to pay it off within a year. If I worked just one extra 12 hour shift, I could put over double the amount of my car loan each month and pay it off quick.

Also, I want to post about fun things that happen at work, but more and more I am concerned about HIPAA, especially since I am not posting anonymously.  Sometimes I have all these cool, fun stories to share and I want to tell everyone! Other times, my job can suck. But I have many more good days at work than bad. It's only difficult because of the tough scenarios. I have great coworkers and most patients are happy and thankful for the care you provide, but remember this--nurses work hard. We put up with a lot. We are physically and emotionally drained at times, yet we continue to give and help more. It's a lot of work. That's all I can say...

On Saturday, I did not run my 5k  because I've had some family problems that don't need discussing on the internet.

And finally....I would like to thank everyone who donated in my blog raffle for the bike ride to benefit ALS.

The people who donated were entered into a spreadsheet, and then Mirza and I drew numbers out of a bowl.

The winner of the $30 Gift Certificate to Amazon and Operation Beautiful book is...
Lindsey S.

Please email me to claim your prize:)

Thank you to those who donated. With your help, I over-met my goal and raised $175:)