I am officially a registered nurse! While I set out on this path close to 2 years ago back when I lived in San Diego, it’s still hard to believe.
This marks my third week as a nurse in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and I couldn’t be happier with my unit and preceptor (mentor). To say it’s been a whirlwind three weeks is an understatement. My main reasoning behind seeking an ICU was the challenge. The patients are usually unstable. You need to be proactive with your assessments and interventions otherwise your patient can quickly take a turn for the worse. This is exciting to me and I’ve already learned SO much in my first few shifts on the unit. Everyday I come home with a list of medications, procedures, and pathologies I want to review and understand inside and out.
I got what I wanted when it came to a challenge. There is this constant sense of drowning as I struggle to make my hands perform simple tasks I did numerous times in nursing school. Thank goodness I have a preceptor that patiently double checks my work and understands what it means to be a new nurse. In a few shifts, my confidence level is slowly growing that I’ll eventually be able to swim on my own but for the most part this voice in the back of my head questions my desire to head straight into the ICU. Every few hours, I’ll have an interaction with a patient or learn about the research being done on my unit with septic patients and early interventions and I feel reenergized and excited to be part of the critical care world. I LOVE that there are only two patients for me to manage so I can really dig into their history and illness so that I’m as prepared to provide the best care possible.
Hopefully, each shift I’ll keep learning different techniques in patient care, documentation, assessment, and most importantly time management. Hopefully, each shift will bring me closer to feeling like I am swimming rather than drowning. Most people say it takes about a year before you feel that way (yikes). My outlook is really positive though. And thank goodness for a preceptor that is continually teaching me small little tricks, as well as how to keep the larger picture in mind and put the patient first.
So how am I training with my new schedule? Blah. Right now I’m not happy with stacking so many workouts on my off days. That means I’m doing 2-3 workouts, 4 days week. It’s been really difficult trying to get a workout in before 6 AM knowing I have to work for 12 hours and then being too exhausted after my shift to do anything but go to bed. I’ll adjust and figure something out but for now I’m a little frustrated. Any nurses or other people out there with a similar schedule have any advice on training? I’ll actually be switching to nights in a few months once I’m done with orientation. Really interested in how my body will react since I’ve been known to fall asleep at 9 PM watching a movie.
I am really loving having off days to work on projects and take care of appointments or random things I was putting off during school and while studying for the NCLEX. Today I ran at 5:30 AM and then promptly took a quick shower and curled up with a book.
“Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals” by Dr. Peter Pronovost and Eric Vohr
Really liking this book so far because I’m fascinated by patient safety and quality improvement. Please recommend any other good reads since I finally have the time to read again!!!!
I’m off for a bike ride in a few minutes and working on a present for my brother and his fiancé. Ahhhh so great. Why do I want to go to graduate school again?