I’M BACK! (and job update!)

Finally! I’m back! It has been a crazy weekend and past two days.

I didn’t get time to prep blog post for the week so I went three days without posting on the blog which is the longest I’ve gone since I started the blog in October. If you’re reading today, I am not dead and thank you for coming back. I appreciate your loyal readership and I promise to fill you in on all of the fun.

First of all I am officially working as a nurse on the floor in the critical care unit. There was a ton of orientation to the hospital, to the nursing department, and then on top of that I spent a week with my unit based educator going over general orientation to the actual critical care unit. I’ve spent the last few days of work actually working on the floor and actually taking care of patients which is so fun and it’s so good to be back with patients and not in a classroom. I have learned so much in the past month since I started my new job and grown exponentially. I’m super happy with the choice to take a leap of faith and try something new. You can read more on my switch from ER to CCU in this blog post.


One thing I want to note – the skills that I need to learn in my new role. A lot of people may think ER and CCU have similar skill sets but they don’t. Here are a few things that are new to me (this is not a whole list):

  • Endotracheal suctioning (clearing the gunk out of patient’s lungs when they have a tube down their throat)
  • Titrating IV drips (like 8+ IV drips) to control heart rate, blood pressure, pain and sedation. If you adjust one, it changes the other.
  • Feeding tubes and giving meds through PEG tubes and OG/NG tubes (putting medications directly into the stomach of people who are unconscious)
  • Managing ART lines (IVs go in veins, art lines go in arteries and you can get blood pressure readings by the second)
  • Drawing blood off of central lines
  • Providing care every two hours (this would look like repositioning, assessing, brushing teeth, deep suctioning, etc.) It’s not “new” to me or a foreign concept but just not really on an ER nurse’s radar. (and yes, if you have a tube down your throat you are getting your mouth cleaned out every two hours!)
  • Preventing sores of all kinds (this is HUGE!)
  • Tracheostomy cares
  • Ventilator management

Now keep in mind I came from a critical access hospital. These are all skills other ER nurses may be familiar with but I need some help with and that are new concepts for me!

I’ve worked three of the past four days and as you’re reading this I’m probably on my way to work right now. After today, I have the next six days off and I am so excited to get caught up on relaxing, sleep, hanging out with my boys, and now that Craig is out of the field there’s a chance I would see him before 9 PM!

Another exciting happening is that I turn 25 on Saturday! I don’t have any big plans but I really hope Craig and I can get some alone time together this weekend. I’m not sure exactly how that will look with all the Covid restrictions still in place for most of Iowa. We did lessen some of the restrictions in Northeast Iowa for certain counties but the county that we live in still has a lot of restrictions and some of the businesses are choosing not to open regardless of the governor’s orders for the protection and safety of their customers.

May is usually a fun month for me because of my birthday, nurses week, hospital appreciation week, and Mother’s Day. I didn’t expect a single gift for any of those days and I still likely won’t receive a gift for any of those days so I’m not getting my hopes up. One of the joys of having a joint checking account is that there are very few surprises. LOL!

Speaking of money, something really cool happened this week and our credit score hit 800. When we started our debt free journey we started out at a 646 credit score which isn’t terrible but definitely not where I wanted to be. Dave has mixed feelings about credit scores and he calls it a “I love debt score.” Ideally our debt score would be absolutely zero which would mean we have no debt and no accounts open which is the eventual goal but for now, I think the increase in over 150 points in just over a year is something to celebrate.

This week especially I’ve noticed how different my money habits have been. I’ve been to target several times this week just to get some housekeeping items while I’m in town and Craig needed a new belt for work. I’m not even tempted to look in any other section at target. Target was my kryptonite and I could easily spend 400+ dollars there before I had a budget, goals, and financial plans. Amazon is no longer an issue. I feel like I finally found content in the items I have and I believe in investing in quality items when I do make a purchase. It feels so much better to purge and get rid of clutter and extra items than it does to bring new items home.

This has been a huge transition over the past 12 months and I can feel the mindset shift when I am no longer tempted at my favorite stores. One thing I do plan on splurging on is a haircut and a hair color to get highlights back to blonde once the salons can open up again. My hair is in desperate need of TLC and the boys are outgrowing their quarantine haircuts.

I can’t wait to catch you up this week on some new goals I’m setting, cousin day at my moms house, the bathroom remodel, and this awesome new book that I found. For now I’m off to bed with my alarm set for 4:50 AM! I so appreciate all of my loyal readers, thanks for hanging in there the past few days, and I can’t wait to reconnect with you tomorrow morning at 5:30 AM! See you soon!

Don’t freak – not a real nose ring – just as needed when I’m feeling EXTRA cool


  1. Elle
    May 12, 2020 / 4:31 pm

    Yea for new skills! My entire 39y career I said, “if a RN isn’t learning something new everyday, they need to quit”. Congratulations on your journey.

    And OMG congrats on that credit score!!!!! AWESOME commitment to your family’s financial peace. I once had a friend say “now that I can afford broccoli, I’d rather grow it”. It is so true , your mindfulness on purchases will continue to grow and your peace will become deeper and deeper 🙂

    WIshing you a wonderful 25th birthday 🙂 🙂

  2. Ellie
    May 12, 2020 / 6:53 pm

    Congratulations! You sound very happy!

  3. Colleen
    May 12, 2020 / 6:54 pm

    Oh my has nursing changed. Spent my last years in nursing homes so nothing like that were needed for me! Proud of Nursing week to congrats all the nurses.

  4. Terri in BC
    May 12, 2020 / 7:41 pm

    Congrats on the new job! As much as I love Dave Ramsey’s philosophy on debt, as a mortgage provider I would caution against aiming for a 0 beacon score if you ever want to own a home and apply for a mortgage. Since most people can’t buy a house without a mortgage, it is important to be able to show a lender that you can repay debt. My advice to my clients is to retain one credit card with a limit of $2,500 for each of you, and only use it for purchases that you would pay off right away (groceries or gas) with money you already have, and for nothing else. If you plan to buy with saved cash, it may take a lot longer to own a home than if you got a mortgage for a portion of it.

  5. Carolyn Sullivan
    May 12, 2020 / 8:20 pm

    WO HOO I salute you mom, nurse, wife, daughter. you deserve a new hair cut and maybe a nice dinner….. together

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