Happy Last Day Of Nurses Week!
Nurses week ends May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Enjoy my first day as a full time employee and thank a nurse because after this is, you may want to but even better, you may just want to become one.
Happy Last Day of Nurses Week!
Today is Florence Nightingale’s birthday and rightfully so, the last day in nurses week. For nurses week this year, which also happened to be my first day as a full time employee, I wrote up how my first day went and was reminded again just how much I love my career despite all the craziness that comes with it. I hope it provides laughs and for nurses, something we can all relate to. Although a bit long, if you take the time to read it not only will you probably laugh at my terrible luck but also remember to thank a nurse for all they do! Happy nurses week!! 💉💊🏥❤️
Nurses week. It comes every year and for those of us that are nurses, it’s a time of free food, the occasional water bottle or hat, and recognition from our hospital and management for being nurses. This year, it happened to fall on my first day as an official employee. The following is a recollection of my first day, in light of nurses week. I walk in, grab my things and make it to huddle as I am punching in. Huddle completes and I realize I need to pee. I’ll do it after report, can’t keep night shift waiting. I try to pull some meds and then find out the medication machine no longer has my account so I can’t access any meds. Fantastic. I tell the charge nurse and she says she’s on it. A bell rings. It’s my first patient who needs pain meds right at shift change. Awesome, I can’t get them and plus I don’t even know them yet, I’m still getting report. Luckily, someone does it for me. I finish report. Someone’s IV is beeping. I fix it and maneuver the tiny bubble out. I take two steps out the door and it starts beeping again. I go back in and unbend the patients arm and reset the pump again. Hopefully it stays quiet. I check on my next patient and monitor his heart rhythm since he had prolonged symptomatic vtach the night before and his pacer wasn’t pacing right but thankfully now it is. Better keep an eye on that. I hear a bed alarm. I run into the room to make sure the patient isn’t getting out of bed. Someone comes rushing in seconds after as I get the patient back in bed. My third patient has 47 medications due before 9am. Can I get any of them? Nope, of course not. Thanks technology. Then I enter his room. His tube feed is empty. Excellent. I get a new bag and replace it, priming the tubing and resetting the pump. Then, I notice a smell. His rectal tube is kinked. There is poop everywhere. Yessss - happy first day to me. Time for a full bath and bed change. While attempting to get started cleaning him up, I get interrupted with a critical lab call, take the call while also typing a gown and realize now he needs blood. I page the doctor for orders. I try to flush his IV. Naturally, his IV is blown so now I need a new one. I call another nurse to come assess since he is such a hard stick. I fix the rectal tube and finish the bath and bed change. I leave the room to try to get all the meds again. Still no luck. I spend ten minutes on the phone with pharmacy trying to fix this problem. In between, I’m spiking blood tubing, getting supplies for his room and attempting to do my telemetry strips. My other patient calls. I spent 10 minutes repositioning her because no position is comfortable. We end up in the same position we started in. I hang her antibiotic someone got for me. I replace her fluid bag. I put her oxygen back on her face because she keeps knocking it off. She wants ice so I grab some. Then she remembers she also wants a warm blanket. I come back and she also wants a new pair of socks. I return from my third trip and she’s finally settled. I tell her I’ll be back soon to see her. While I was doing all that, another nurse spent 482649275 minutes pulling all my meds - yay for teamwork. Of course one is missing from the bin so now I have to hunt down pharmacy to get it. I check back in on my patient. Surprise surprise - his rectal tube leaked this time and now we have a lake of poop to clean up again. Looks like I need to do some rectal tube maneuvering to get it working again, doesn’t that sound fun?! I grab the meds and start crushing/mixing to get them administered through his feeding tube. We do a full cleanup again while the meds dissolve and it appears now the rectal tube is situated. We reposition the Foley catheter and empty the bag, charting I&Os. Another nurse gets an IV. I send for the blood and grab vitals. I get three calls while in the room asking me various questions on my patients, attempting to set up an SLP and physical therapy timing. I finally get the meds dissolved and administer them all via feeding tube. It’s now been almost 3 hours since I’ve been at work. I remember I had to pee when I got here and never did. Oh well, maybe later. I also remember I had a tea in the kitchen. I’ll have to reheat it, it’s definitely cold. I still need to give my other patient his cardiac meds. Another bell rings. My other patient needs to go to the bathroom. She says hurry. I rush in there and barely get her to the bathroom in time. She finishes, I help clean her up and step back into the hallway trying to remember what I was doing. I’m sweating from running back and forth, turning and boosting patients and trying to be in ten places at once. I’m already tired and it’s only 945. I continue to get vitals and do my assessments on my patients. I make notes of the things I find/notice and plan to chart them later when I’m finished giving meds. Then management comes around to say happy nurses week. They ask “Have you been down to the nurses brunch? You should go, there isn’t much food left.” I laugh, my hands full of supplies, my WOW piled high with meds and my telemetry alarm ringing because my patients leads are off. I don’t even have time to pee, grab a drink of water or take a minute to take a deep breath let alone leave the unit to go get free brunch. I laugh and smile, “Maybe I’ll go down in a bit. But thanks, happy nurses week as well.” I recognize the irony in the nurse brunch and finding time to go, but I appreciate management taking time to say happy nurses week to us. I snap back to reality and continue hustling around completing my daily duties. The minutes keep passing and the day keeps flying by. Before I know it, it’s time for lunch and I’m barely caught up. This is nursing. This is what nursing is like. This is just another day in the life of this career. This is how this career is. And despite all the mess, chaos and stress that it can bring, we still come into work everyday ready to make a difference and save a life. We put on a smile when we are having a hard time personally. We look bright eyes and bushy tailed masking our lack of sleep with a hearty helping of caffeine. This is nurses week. It’s just another week of busy days and healing. It’s another day of putting off our own needs for those of others. It’s another day of blood, sweat and tears. It’s another day of what feels like never ending chest compressions, holding the hand of someone who is dying, consoling a grieving loved one, administering meds, mediating difficult family relations, being a therapist, being a waitress, being a physical therapist and trainer, cleaning up messes, educating on diet, getting splashed with bodily fluids and still powering through it all. It’s also a day of laughter, finding the humor in the little things, getting a hug from a grateful patient, making a difference in someone’s day, helping each other out, working as a team and hearing a “thank you for being my nurse.” Regardless of what type of day it is, it’s a great day to be a nurse. Everyday is truly a great day to be a nurse. Nursing isn’t ever going to be easy but it is and always will be, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding, inspiring and meaningful careers out there. Some days you laugh, some days you cry. Some days you save someone, some days you don’t, no matter how hard you try. Some days you have time for coffee and bathroom breaks, some days you work through those needs and pee 12 hours later. But everyday you leave knowing you cared for someone, made a difference and healed. Everyday you survive and everyday you leave for the day you know you’re coming back to do it all again soon. So here’s to all the nurses who find this day beyond relatable. Heres to the nurses who have days like this more often than we wish we did. Here’s to the nurses I’ve never met and the nurses I get to call my friends. To the nurses who have taught me so much and inspired me to be my best everyday. To the nurses who help find the humor in difficult times and to the nurses who help each other out. To the nurses who come in everyday ready to change lives and to the nurses who persevere through stressful and overwhelming times with a smile. Thank you for being nurses. Thank you for doing all that you do. Thank you for helping others, working together and saving lives. I’m so proud to be a nurse and proud to have such incredible people working beside me each and everyday. Happy nurses week to all of us!