It’s been a quiet month on my unit. The respiratory bugs have all died down, school sports are over for a few months, and people are more preoccupied with planning their summer vacations than going into the hospital. It’s been very strange…. and very eerie. It’s like we all know something is just around the corner. And it is. Trauma Season. We got a taste of it last week during the Memorial Day Rush. We had a little influx of it during prom season as well…. lots of motor vehicle accidents involving teenagers.
Soon school will be out here in Carolinas, and the kids will be outside droves. It’s time for the car wrecks, the kid vs. car, the bicycle accidents, the (ugh) lawnmower injuries, the ATV rollovers. They will start pouring in in the following weeks…. and while it is somewhat exciting to be a nurse during Trauma season, it’s never easy to see all the kids come up to my floor with preventable injuries. It’s never easy to see the child who might lose his foot to a lawnmower, or a teenager who may never walk quite right again because she was on an ATV that slammed into a tree.
So parents, take some time this summer to educate your kids on summer safety… wear seatbelts, helmets, and be responsible. Look both ways when crossing the street, and don’t ride double on the John Deere.
I love being a new nurse. I am still fresh, and learning – and I do love to learn. I think that is one of the best things about my career… you can never top out on your knowledge.
Since I am a new grad, I am starting out one on one with a preceptor on my unit. It’s her job to train me up in the way I should go. 🙂 Give me all the inside scoops as to how to roll on the floor and keep my head above water. When you are orienting, you usually start out slow and gain more and more responsibilities as time goes on. Well, on my unit times are hard right now – and we find ourselves frequently understaffed in the evenings by no fault of our own. They have hired several newbies like me to help pick up the slack eventually, but the hiring process takes awhile – not to mention the training process! As a result, my orientation has started out on the crazy side. The good news is I am the kind of girl who can roll with the punches. It’s ok with me that things don’t always go as planned. And you know what? That is kind of how nursing rolls. Even the lowest patient census can provide you a crazy night – and you just have to be able to adapt and get on with it. Get the work done. I am learning on my feet and I am ok with that. 🙂
It’s amazing to me as a new nurse just how much I don’t know. You think you are really smart coming out of nursing school (hell, I was valedictorian!) but real life nursing creates entirely new sets of challenges and skills that I have never faced before. Last week I was finally able to get my hands on a central line to draw labs. Guess how many times in nursing school I was able to play with central lines? Zero. Guess how many times I was allowed to draw blood? Zero. Real world experience is where the real learning and teaching takes place for floor nursing and it’s been a blast for me to get up in it and meet the challenges head on.
I am really blessed with a great, patient, and funny preceptor who stands by me and points me in the right direction. That’s important.
The great news is that even on these crazy nights where I don’t get to sit down and my lunch consists of cheetos and a Dr. Pepper because the Cafeteria closes at 3am — I still love it. There is no doubt in my mind that this is where I belong. I really love nursing. I really love pediatrics.
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.
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.
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.
I have learned a lot in this short semester, and to be honest this has been my favorite clinical rotation of them all! I can really see myself being a peds nurse…. and I never in a million years thought I would say that. I really loved all the kids I worked with, even when the families were a bit off the wall. 🙂 Last week I was able to really impact a family for the better and learned the true meaning of “family centered care”. It was awesome ~ there are moments in nursing school where you actually *feel* like a real nurse, and I felt like a real nurse the entire time I was on the pediatric floor. Maybe this is my calling?
I have my last exam on Tuesday, and then on Thursday we have our cumulative final. Needless to say I have a lot of studying in front of me! I’m doing well, grade wise – but I need a miracle to keep my 4.0. I have no doubt that I will clear this course with an A… but I really want that 4.0 A. LOL! We had a 10+ page paper due last week, and I’m anxiously awaiting my grade on that. Hoping that it will kick my grade up a bit!!!!
As soon as my final is over, my next semester starts (we have a “split” summer semester – two short sessions). I will be in Obstetrics. I’m excited about it… it should be fun!
But I really don’t think I will like anything as much as I liked pediatrics!!!!
I never expected to go into pediatrics. Actually, anyone who knows me and has been with me thru this nursing school journey can tell you that from the time I started I was way AGAINST working with kids. I took pediatrics early this summer to “rip the bandaid off”, because I was dreading it…. but then clinicals came this week.
This week we were actually working inside the local Children’s Hospital. When I got off the elevator, I still had that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and I was dreading it. But then… I got started. I met my first patient. That first day really opened my eyes to pediatrics. I loved it!! I went home really wondering… should I consider pediatrics?
Then came yesterday’s clinical.
The thing with pediatrics… the nursing process is a bit different. Instead of “patient centered care”, you are practicing “Family Centered care”… and I have a feeling there are some families that you see as a pediatric nurse that you could care less about. That don’t deserve your care. People who can hurt a child… they have to be the lowest of the low. I think you see those people often on the peds floors. I saw one yesterday. As a mother, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around how anyone could ever do some of the things that I saw *just yesterday* to a child. 😦 It was heartbreaking.
But even with the sadness, I still feel like it might be a place I want to work. For every ornery kid, there was a fantastic kid. For every terrible family, there was a great family. I walked out of the unit yesterday with a picture that my first pediatric patient drew for me. It was a picture of me and her holding hands. ❤
So I don’t know – maybe I want to be a peds nurse. We’ll see.
I have two more pediatric clinicals – and then I move in to obstetrics!!