I just completed my 12 week orientation, and survived the first day on my own.
*Note, I purposefully do not write about work here, you know privacy and ethics and all that, this is my one exception. Jen, I promise it's nothing gross, you may proceed with confidence...
I started my day discussing a situation with one of our awesome senior nurses. (I truly never feel "alone" everyone has been so supportive, and I feel comfortable asking questions, even silly one's) I was trying to decide whether or not to give an ordered diuretic. (yes we do question orders, I would never give a med simply because it was ordered! And yes, Mr. Grumpy patient, I do know what I'm am listening for when I auscultate your lung and heart sounds, It's not "just for show," but I digress...) Anyway, we agreed it was safe to give it, and while walking away she called "besides we can always resuscitate with fluids if we need to." Great, this was going to be an interesting day...
I'm happy to report my day was uneventful, no resuscitation necessary, everyone survived.
When I started this journey of becoming a nurse 6 years ago, the only thing I knew for sure was that along with being a mother and a wife, a nurse was truly what I was meant to be.
I had no way of knowing how hard it would be to get through school or the sacrifices my family would make. I had no idea that in the middle of everything, we would decide to homeschool our kids. Adoption was definitely not our the radar screen, 6 yeas ago. So much has changed for our little family.
I had no idea how much I would have to know, to be a good nurse. I had no idea I would need to learn about gravity, pharmacokinetics, and hallucinations. Mine was a pretty sheltered world. I had no idea my innocence would be taken away at such a young age. ;) Really, I have seen and heard things that most people never will.
I'm sure I still have no idea how much I still have to learn.
I had no idea how hard it would be to stay up all night, many nights in a row, be expected to function, and then come home and be "Mom" again.
I had no idea that I would want to quit, like, every other day. This is too hard, I'm too tired, I miss my family, it's not worth it, blah, blah, blah. It's a strange thing to love something and dread it at the same time.
I also had no idea what a privilege it would be to be present at the final moments of a life, or help a family navigate a sometimes confusing new diagnosis.
I've been racking my brain to think of a way to still be a nurse, but not take any time away from my family. I got nothin'. Besides, it's good for them right? A little struggle builds character, strength, and independence. How many kids do their own laundry and know their way around the kitchen like my kids do? I'm thinking some day they will thank me.
I'm not sure where this will all lead, and I'm sure things will change when Ben comes home, but for now we a just taking things one day at a time. It's crazy, possibly all wrong, but more often than not, it feels right. At least for today...