Full Duty

Thursday I worked my first day on the floor in forever.

I was really excited and nervous to be back.  It turned out very well in the end, mostly becuase we were so well staffed.

We have gone to assigning rooms, which is not really a good thing, but it did help me form being overloaded.

I only had 3 rooms all day long.  This is bizarre.  In the old ED I usually carried 5-8 patients. 

My first patient was actually a really sick guy going to the Medicine ICU.  So in my first few minutes back to the Department, I was thrown into serious monitoring, blood transfusions and the like.  It was more interesting than I would have preferred.  luckily he did get to go upstairs eventually…

Interestingly, the next patient I got was a very cranky man who had been hospitalized recently and had an unusually large amount of bruising on his arms from IV sticks and the like.  He kept telling me it was careless nurses who caused the bruising.  I did not argue with him, but bruising like that generally comes from taking blood thinners and being poked a lot for lab work.  Lucky me got the opportunity to start my first IV on HIM!!!!!  I got it in one stick, which thrilled me and the patient.  I was very very tempted to tell him I had not started an IV since February, but I held back.  It's like bicycle riding, except that some bicycles are harder to ride than others….

After that the rest of the day was pretty easy.  The man with the bruising filled out a "customer compliment form" thanking me…which means nothing, but its nicer than the alternative.

I managed to do pretty much everything I needed to do.  Unfortunately there is an internal medicine Physician doing an ED rotation who is clueless.  He is addicted to Orthostatic Vital signs, which take an incredibly long time to do (BP's laying down, sitting and standing with 2 mins inbetween, and however long the pt dickers about.  They are not that incredibly useful…The last straw came form him asking for them on a man who could not stand, so that was a bust. 

All in all, having only 3 rooms made life pretty manageable.  The only problem is as always, when all 3 get admitted, discharged all at once and suddenly 3 new people arrive and all need assessment and attention at the same time.

In the Old system, you picked up as you went along…this worked well for those people with a work ethic.  For those without a work ethic it also worked well, if you know what I mean.  Often someone whould have 6 and another person 2…it was clearly unfair.  But if you were working with good people, things stayed balanced and everyone helped everyone.  I miss that. 

My hand pretty much functioned properly all day, though it did eventualy start to really hurt.

The waitin room was still horribly crowded.  I hate to say it but it was a relief to see that and know that those weren't my concern…though on another day they will be.

I really had a nice day yesterday, orthostatics aside. 

I'm almost looking forward to Sunday.  Almost.

Inbetween now and then, I have a few outings with P….which are far more interesting than work… 

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9 thoughts on “Full Duty

  1. I'm so glad you had a good first full day back!
    Yay!! on getting a compliment card from the cranky old man!
    Nursing….something that part of me thinks I'd be good at….except I'd get emotionally involved and that wouldn't be good.

  2. It's a great career, and most people get that "over involved emotionally" thing handled before they graduate. I know when to turn it on, and off….
    I encourage everyone to think about it, such a stable career with a huge variety of opportunitites, and its so portable!

  3. So, could a 42 y/o with limited income become a nurse? Do you know, in general, what a starting salary would average? How long does it take, provided a person goes to school full time? Do you think it would be fairly easy to obtain school loans at this stage of my life??
    Just wondering….don't worry if I'm asking near impossible questions for you to answer….

  4. You could defintiely do it. I had a very limited income when I started nursing school. Some hospitals and states have loans which you don't have to pay off. i got my entier education paid for by the state of NC, just for agreeing to work anywhere full time within the state for 3 years.
    Starting hourly depends hugely on the part of the country. IN California its like 45 an hour….here in NC its about 20.00 an hour. you can google rates by state i think.
    Usually it takes about 3-4 years. there are "2 year associates degree" pograms, but you have totakepre-requesites first which take at least one year.For Nursing, I think loans are easy to come by. because of the shortage, they know you'll be able to pay them back.
    Those aren't near impossible questions. If you already have a college degree, you can qualify (maybe) for an accelerated BSN program and be done in 18 months…

  5. Thanks! This would take a LOT of discussion with my husband and a total upheaval of our lives and financial situation.
    Definately something to think about.
    Thanks again!

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