Monday, April 13, 2015

Life in General

I’m taking a break this post from writing about my weight-loss journey to share a little about life in general. I’m in my last two weeks in my current position at the hospital as a charge nurse. I have been given the job on the Family Birthing Center at the hospital and will be transferring positions in two weeks. It will be a 14-16 week orientation, classes, and night shift. I wrote this a couple nights ago while reflecting on all that I’ve seen and done since becoming a nurse. It was my goal to become a great IV starter…and that has happened (thanks to all my patients for your graciousness in the beginning when I wasn’t quite so great at poking). It was my goal to be engaged and involved on my unit and I have been the chairman of our shared governance council for the past year, I also have been a clinical practice leader and helped teach skills labs to newer nurses. It was not my goal to become a charge nurse…but God had other plans for me and for the past year I have had the privilege of being a charge nurse on my floor on the day shift. I have learned so much about leadership and what it means to be a good leader and I pray the nurses I leave behind feel as if I have been a leader and not a manager.

My heart is breaking slightly when I think of leaving my current position as charge nurse on GMU2. My home. This is where I learned to fly…this is where I learned to swim when I thought I was going to drown. This is where I learned that kindness goes a long ways. This is where I learned that practice really does make for a great IV master. This is where I learned there’s no such thing as a dumb question. This is where I learned people are broken, lost, and longing for someone to care for them without judgment and without assumptions. This is where I learned that C. Diff smells…awful…and looks just as terrible. This is where I learned people need help dying graciously. This is where I learned a smile never hurt anyone. This is where I learned to double check, triple check, and quadruple check my orders. This is where I learned that mistakes happen. This is where I learned you can get up and keep moving after a mistake has happened. This is where I learned falls suck. This is where I learned nurses, techs, doctors, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapist, house supervisors, and even managers are some of the most amazing people you’ll meet and befriend. This is where I learned to never assume your patient has pooped, peed, or eaten. This is where I learned you can never communicate too much. This is where I learned people get extremely angry when you say they’re “NPO”. This is where I learned the importance of shared governance. This is where I learned my heart is capable of more love than I ever imagined. This is where I learned never to assume a patient is difficult just because they’ve been labeled that way. This is where I learned taking the time to actually sit down in a chair and listen is one of the best things you can do. This is where I learned you really do have enough time to sit down. This is where I learned I love my patients above my own needs…my bladder can vouch for this one. This is where I learned that even though I love my patients…I still need to take time to eat…for everyone’s safety. This is where I learned that given enough time, enough show of kindness, and enough love anyone will come out of their shell. This is where I learned to believe in myself.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Nursing is not just a job. Nursing is not just a paycheck. Nursing is not just a career. Nursing is a way of life. Nursing is who I am. Nursing is engraved in my heart, my soul, and my bones. Nursing hurts. Nursing is underappreciated. Yet, nursing is so rewarding. When you get to discharge your patient home and see them completely opposite of what they were when they came in...Or in some cases realizing there’s nothing else we can do medically…but keeping them comfortable and helping them transition in the last stage of their life is our goal. I love people. I love handling conflict. I love implementing change. I love teaching. I love learning. I love nursing.

Now it’s time for me to start a new chapter in my nursing career. I’ve spent almost 3 years on a medical-surgical floor and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The last year I have spent as a charge nurse and I’m so blessed to have had that opportunity. I absolutely recommend to every new nurse to start out on med-surg. The experience, knowledge, and practice you gain from this kind of nursing are irreplaceable. I’ve always known I wanted to go into midwifery and now is the time for me to start making the transition. I’m in the process of determining where I will go for my Master’s to become a Nurse-Midwife. In looking at schools it has become clear that all the programs require experience in labor and delivery…and so that is where I’m headed. I’m so blessed to be starting in a couple weeks at the Family Birthing Center. I can’t wait to meet more amazing nurses, be a small part in someone’s story, and hopefully make changes for the better. My brain is beyond excited when it thinks of the challenges ahead of me…of all the learning that will occur and all the growth that will come from it. I pray God will use me, guide me, lead me, and allow me to be a light as I continue on in this field. I pray to be the hands and feet of God in patient’s joy…and in their sorrow. I’m reminded of Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Oh Lord, that you would establish my steps. That you would lead me where you want me to go. That I would follow when I hear your call. Psalm 37:23 “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.” Thus far Lord you have clearly made each step clear to me and planted me where I am. Thank you for leading me…and thank you for for continuing to lead me each step of my journey!

Prayers are appreciated as I make this transition. I’ll be going back to working night shift…so learning to adjust my workouts and eating habits again will be difficult but worth the struggle. That’s where I’m at and what has been laying heavy on my heart so thank you for allowing me to hijack my weight-loss blog with a nursing blog post!! J

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