I got a lot of really nice comments after I posted about struggling with writer block and some great ideas too! So I’m here to answer those questions, comments, and suggestions!
“What is going on with your job lately?” – Kimberly
So as of this week, I only worked Sunday night and I’m back to work for a 4 night stretch this weekend. That means I was home from Monday – Friday and I was BUSTING at the seams to get back to work! Love my boys, love being home more, but I’m not a stay at home mom.
Sometimes I have to take call which means I have to be ready to leave my house within 10 minutes and get to work ASAP. Even though I have a long commute, I can still take call from home which is another reason I chose to work at this hospital/unit. Most hospitals require you to be within a certain distance/time if you’re on call so I’m pretty fortunate.
I had mentioned in a previous blog post, (you can find that here) that I’m reducing my hours in the ICU to only 24 hours a week and I will be able to pick up hours in the ER at my new hospital. I’m so excited to cross train, I absolutely love ER but dang! I’m RUSTY! You talk to ER patients differently, focus on different things. It’s a short and sweet kind of interaction/rapport building than the ICU. It’s apples and oranges. People ask me if I like the ICU or the ER better and it’s just really hard to compare the two.
I went in for orientation in the ER for my new PRN position for a few hours recently and I really felt the difference between CCU and ER. It requires an entirely different skill set, different goals, nursing judgement, mindset, communication techniques etc. I haven’t been an ER nurse since April! It was an adjustment. I hadn’t flexed that muscle in awhile.
I simply cannot understate the amount of growth I’ve undertaken this year. I completely turned my life upside down. I took everything I knew about nursing, teaching, and threw it out the window, thrown into an entirely new environment, new positions, and now, in 2020, COVID has changed my entire nursing career forever. Ships are safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.
I can’t imagine walking into a patient’s room without a facemask. I don’t know if I ever will again. I can’t imagine a day where the risk is so low that precautions aren’t needed.
When the pandemic struck, I was watching videos of what was going on in Italy. It terrified me. I imagined what it would be like in my community, in my hospital, in my department and I got scared. I was terrified we wouldn’t have the resources, we wouldn’t have the skills, and that people would die. I was so scared that I wasn’t going to be able to help people when they needed it.
I knew I needed to get those skills. It was like this sudden urgency that I needed to be better to help people better. That had a huge impact on my decision to move on to the ICU. I needed to know I could help even the sickest people. I needed to build my confidence and learn how to manage vented patients on multiple drips. I didn’t know anything about ventilators and I hadn’t really looked at ABG results more than good or bad since nursing school. The fear of COVID was the kick in the pants that I needed to take the leap and work towards my full potential.
I’ve said before, someday I may want to become a flight nurse. Usually flight programs require 3 years (or at least some) critical care experience and for good reason. I also wanted to start working on those years. Honestly, I don’t know that is what I want to do but I never want that to hold me back.
People say if you can work in ICU, you can go anywhere and while in a technical/skill set sense, I can understand that, but if I’m being realistic, like they said in Gone with the Wind, “I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no babies Miss Scarlett.” None of my ER skills or ICU skills could help me in the mother/baby unit – it’s a whole ‘nother world. Or like NICU nurses? Or school nurses? Or like nurses who work for insurance companies? Or case managers? Or chief nursing officers? There is such a variety! No two nursing careers are the same.
That’s another thing I love about nursing. There are SO many different avenues and different options. It truly takes all kinds of kinds. Every nurse has a niche (and some will spend their entire careers trying to find it! HA!)
Those are just some of my thoughts for the day. I’m feeling so fulfilled in my career. Is it the honey moon phase of a new job? Possibly and probably. I’ll forever look back at the conversation with my mom that fundamentally changed my life (read more on that here) with such gratitude and proof that growth can come through very difficult times.
That’s all I have for today folks! Thanks for reading!