Welcome back! I’m sure you’ve been sitting at home just eagerly waiting for me to post again, and of course I wouldn’t want to disappoint. This week is a bittersweet week for me because tomorrow will be my last shift on the floor I call home. When I was a baby nurse this awesome floor [6 east the beast] took me in, challenged me, scared me, kicked my booty, educated me, gave me the best of friends, and provided me the stepping stones for my whole career. Walking through those double doors for the first time gave me all the feels. Remembering all those late nights spent studying, the endless hours consumed by writing papers and care plans, the tears shed here and there, and the prayers at night begging God to give me all the knowledge needed for that test [maybe even praying for the answers], was all worth it. This was the moment I thought about during all those sacrifices, the moment I finally have Registered Nurse on my badge.
Honestly when I accepted the title as telemetry nurse I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Over a course of a few months I become NIHSS stroke certified, attended a five week EKG class where I learned how to read and interpret cardiac strips, became ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) certified, attended a residency program every other week, and was a perceptee on the unit for 8 weeks. Looking back, there are things now that feel so natural to me, but I remember as a new grad thinking they were so challenging, or like I was never going to “get it”. There was so much to know, this medications vs. that medication, which doctor to call for the positive test result the lab just gave you, just to find out you really didn’t need to call the doctor about that [oops], how to place a tube in almost every hole in the body, and a big one, how to openly accept guidance and feedback from peers. If you’re a new grad nurse or hope to be soon, the best advice I can give is to ask the question that’s on your mind even if you think it will make you sound silly, look up the medications you are about to give, don’t just assume the patient knows what they are, and communicate with the doctors to understand why they ordered what they did and maybe you will even anticipate it come the next patient.
Yes, being a new grad is hard, but remember it gets better. Your preceptor didn’t wake up one day “knowing it all”, they too had to work hard and make mistakes. I have only been a preceptor for one new grad, however during that time I learned so much about myself as a nurse, the nurse I want to help others become, and it provided me with the opportunity to go back to the basics. Medicine is always changing and there is always more information to learn. In just a few weeks time I will once again carry the title of preceptee, and while I am nervous to make the change, I am so so ready and excited! Why not try the thing that scares you right? So readers [probs like 10 of you] I challenge you to pursue what’s on your heart, make the move, apply for that job, introduce yourself to that person, or just read the book you keep promising yourself you’ll read. Whatever that something is, just go for it. It may be challenging, terrifying, or simply bittersweet, but it may just be worth it.