Tag Archives: nurse

First week on the job.

I’ll be honest – this week when I walked into the hospital for the first time as an RN, I was terrified. It’s one of those things that doesn’t quite feel real, no matter how many times you repeat it over and over to yourself.  I have been in the hospital so many times in the role of the Student… and now I’m the Nurse. I have officially bridged the gap.

I had a great first night, though.  My fears were unfounded!  But, the first night on the job came with a few harsh realities:

1) I have a lot left to learn.  As a new nurse, I know a lot of theory and not a lot of real world FACT.  🙂 But it also became quickly apparent that I’ll get there. The more I work, the more comfortable I will be with my job.


2) Nursing = lots of paperwork.  I think that might be one of the most daunting aspects of the job. Everything has a form, a place to be documented, a line to sign.  It’s amazing to watch these nurses that have worked on the floor for years effortlessly fly thru it all.

At the end of my first shift though, one more thing became blazingly apparent:

I really love nursing. I really love pediatrics.  I’m so blessed to have gotten in to this role, in this hospital… to learn and grow from awesome pediatric nurses.



Filed under General Nursing Blather, Pediatrics

Why do pediatric nurses need to like kids?

This was actually a search term that someone typed in to land on my blog.  I think if you have to ask the question, this field is probably not the right one for you.

The one thing pediatric nursing has the most of? Kids. Lots and lots of kids.



Filed under General Nursing Blather, Random Stuff

Just call me… PEDIATRIC Nurse

If you read my blog from start to finish, you will notice one consistent theme. Pediatrics.  When I started on this journey, pediatrics was so far off my radar it’s not even funny.  If you talk to my classmates, many of them remember how much I dreaded my pediatric rotation.  But then I stepped foot into the children’s hospital for my very first pediatric clinical…. and that was that. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I was bitten with the bug.  When you are in school, you hear a lot about finding your “calling” – and you don’t really believe it until it happens to you.  🙂 After my pediatric rotation, I knew that it was what I wanted to do.

So I made it a goal.

Pediatrics was my second semester of nursing school.  I did a lot of rotations and worked on a lot of different units.  Nothing ever held a candle to pediatric nursing.

When the time came to make a decision about where I wanted to do my precepting, I didn’t hesitate.  Peds.  I wanted to work in peds.  I was told that they school I attended didn’t often get many pediatric slots, but I was in line for one if it became available.  I think around this time is where God really started to intervene in a powerful way. Things happened that I thought were mistakes, but in reality it was God paving the way for the career that I was called to do.  I ended up precepting 12 hours nights with a wonderful nurse at the Children’s Hospital.

And I loved it.

I had some amazing experiences, and while I did a lot of watching and learning – I learned a LOT.  It was the best time I have ever had WORKING.  That’s a great feeling, when you don’t dread coming in to work. 🙂

The bad thing about having such an amazing precepting experience though, is that it spoils you.  I couldn’t imagine going back to work with adults on the general med/surg floors.  It just wasn’t a possibility. But I had heard all the horror stories…. new grads don’t get hired into specialties.  New grads don’t get hired straight to units, they have to get in thru residency programs.  But again, God paved the way!

Long story short, I accepted my “official” job offer tonite. I will be working in that same awesome hospital.   I am blessed and humbled.

I am a pediatric nurse.




Filed under General Nursing Blather, Random Stuff

Just Call Me RN!

What a great feeling today, to be able to drop the … Eventually from my blog name. 😀 I am a NURSE!

I took my NCLEX exam last week, on January 12.

What a nerve wracking experience, and I’ll be honest – it’s nothing that I would want to repeat.  I am so glad and thankful that I passed that bad boy on my first try!

This blog will now become less about what life is like as a nursing STUDENT, and more about what life is like as a NEW GRADUATE NURSE! 🙂


Filed under General Nursing Blather

The Wall.

All nursing students get to this point eventually.  If you are a student nurse, and you aren’t there yet – don’t worry, it’s coming.  What is the inevitable plight of which I speak? The wall.  That proverbial wall that you hit full force because you never saw it coming, and it knocks you flat on your ass.  The last thing you want to do is stand up and run at it again.  I hit that wall this week.  I’m pretty sure I have permanent head injuries as a result….

Last week was our spring break.  Let me tell you, it was glorious.  I think that this has probably been the first break that we have had so far in my nursing career where I didn’t have something huge looming over me: a paper, a project, an exam.  We had NOTHING waiting for us the week that we got back to class… so for an entire week I was able to completely let go of school.  And let it go I did.  I actually joked with my friends that I was off the “nursing clock”.  For one week I walked away from medicine… and it was BRILLIANT.  I can’t tell you all the ways that I needed that one week to myself.  I caught up on all the TV shows that have been rotting away on my DVR, I went to the movies with my husband, I carted children to and from soccer and other activities with reckless abandon.  It was wonderful.

Then reality hit.  I had to go back.  Dammit.

This week has been a struggle for me, I’ll be honest.  I am over school.  Remember when you were getting ready to graduate from high school and you had a diagnosed case of “senioritis”?  Yeah, I’m there right now.  I’m tired of the busy writing of “clinical reflections”, I’m tired of waking up at 5am for no pay, I’m tired of stressing out.  We are far enough into the semester where we are actually starting to wrap up loose ends now.  My last week of clinical was this week.  We can see the end of the road.  The final exam is starting to rear it’s ugly head.

This time of the year is the PITS.  It’s so close to being over, but yet – it’s not.  Actually, the hardest stuff is still waiting in the wings.

The hardest thing of all is to know that we are so so close to being done with all of this.  I can SEE graduation…

There have even been a handful of moments this week where I have thought to myself: “WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF?”

There is only one possible solution to hitting the wall.  You get up, you dust yourself off, and you climb over it.  Dig your heels in and GET IT DONE.

I’ll be an RN soon, and then it will all be worth it. 🙂

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Filed under Clinicals, General Nursing Blather, Random Stuff


That is: “What would Florence Nightingale do?”

I’m a fourth semester nursing student now. It’s hard to believe it…. the time is flying by now, and I can see the end of the tunnel.  I can practically taste graduation!  There are times now where I feel like a nurse.  Where all the pieces fit together and the material makes sense.  There are still PLENTY of times where I sit down to chart in the hospital and think to myself: “Seriously, how will this ever feel like I know what the hell I am doing?!”   The good news, I guess, is those moments are starting to feel like they happen less.  🙂

Lately in the hospital, I have started to become discouraged. And it’s not because the material is hard, or because I’m not particularly fond of my floor this semester (I’m working on an endocrine/MedSurg floor).  It’s because more often than not, I find myself watching the floor nurses and thinking that this isn’t what I want to do.  Now, don’t go crazy when you read that and think that I don’t want to be a nurse anymore.  Believe me, I want it more than anything. But the hospital environment has become something of a stressor for me.  In my head, I have all of these iconic and probably unrealistic visions of what I want to be like in my own practice.  The way I want to take care of my patients.  The kind of NURSE that I want to be.  And the longer I work in the hospital. the more evident it becomes to me that that just isn’t going to happen.

This semester the goal is to take on more responsibilities and more patients.  Right now we are running with two patients every week.  It’s not a problem. I enjoy it.  I get to spend some time with each of my patients.  Take detailed assessments, document effectively, and then I have lots of time to plan some care for these patients.  My patients ambulate, they turn, cough, and deep breathe, they get educated about their disease.  They get harassed about their incentive spirometer.  They get on time meds and dressing changes.  I’m able to do teaching. I’m able to do lots of little interventions…. like bring a packet of crackers and a sprite into a patient’s son that has been bedside all day and hasn’t left to eat ANYTHING.  It’s little things like that that make me feel like I make a difference.

The nurses that are actually working (for money) in the hospital, it’s a different story.  They have six, maybe more,  patients at times.  And we (meaning anyone working in medicine these days) know that the patients that are in the hospitals now are no longer “easy” patients who are there to rest and  recover. Even on the “general” MedSurg floors, you have a vast majority of acutely ILL patients.  Acutely ill patients that need CARE, and lots of it.  So here we have a nurse taking care of six + complicated patients, and by they time they pull meds, do their morning assessments, hand out those 548765876387687633333 meds,  hang IV meds, and then finally sit down to document it all, they are back to square one for the next round of meds.  When they aren’t doing those things, they are answering call bells (which they should be), and from what I can see you have some basic nursing interventions that aren’t getting done because the nurses just CAN’T.  They don’t have the time.

They teach us in school how to get rapport going with patients, how to earn trust, how to connect with these people that we are taking care of.  It just can’t be done in the real hospital world of today. It’s hard to get that rapport going when you see a patient 20 minutes a day, and of those 20 minutes, 15 of them are spent shoving meds down their throats.

I didn’t get into nursing to be a glorified pill popper and professional “charter”. I want to take care of patients.  I just don’t see real “patient care” going down in the hospitals these days!

Please don’t get me wrong. This isn’t the nurses’ fault.  They are all wonderful nurses, and in my time spent in the hospitals under these remarkable women and men, I have learned a LOT.  There are so many great nurses there that are GREAT teachers.  But the hospitals have made it so that these wonderful nurses… well, their talent and compassion is snuffed because of the corporate business healthcare machine and their staffing ratios.

I really think that everyone in medicine should start DEMANDING safer staffing ratios.  You can’t tall me that if a nurse had three or four patients, that the quality of their care wouldn’t improve.  It absolutely would.

What would Florence do?

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Like This!


Filed under Clinicals, General Nursing Blather, Random Stuff

Being a Nurse is EASY!

Have you heard this?  This is a vicious rumor going around.  That nursing is easy.  Not only is NURSING easy, but nursing school is easy.  After all – what is nursing? It’s just tucking people into bed and wiping their noses.  Oh, occasionally you have to clean up some poop, maybe some vomit.  You know what being a nurse is? It’s a glorified housekeeper.

Did you know that?

I’m glad I’m paying for an education that is nearly killing me on some days to just be a glorified housekeeper.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the following:  “I’m practically a nurse anyway!”  Really? You are not a nurse.  Having kids, and bandaging knees, and pulling out splinters does not make you a nurse.  I truly think a lot of people are seriously misinformed about what nurses DO, and what they have to suffer thru to BECOME nurses.  My first taste of pharmacology nearly pushed me over the edge.  Nursing school is HARD. It is the hardest thing I have EVER done… and I say that with all honesty.  Not only does it effect your physical being (I’m TIRED), but it effects your home life (Hi kids, bye kids – Mom has to learn how tetracycline effects the liver now…).  On top of learning how to balance all these new demands on your life, you get released as fresh Student Nurses onto a hospital unit where you spend your days feeling clueless and trying not to kill anyone, and sucking up all the knowledge and skills from those experienced nurses around you.    My first day on a hospital unit… and I watched a bone marrow aspiration.  I sat with a man and listened to him talk about life with a chronic debilitating illness.  I circled the floor doing physical assessments on patients who were just happy to talk to someone with TIME (because our floor nurses are SO overworked and underpaid right now in hospitals) that they were happy about being poked and prodded.  Not once did I wait on someone, or wipe a snotty nose. I didn’t bandage anyone’s boo boo.

Don’t tell me nursing is easy.  I will call you a LIAR!

1 Comment

Filed under Clinicals, General Nursing Blather