I know with the holidays work seems to drag even worse for most people, but I love being at work around the holidays. I don't know why but in my experience the holidays mean more to people in the hospital. Perhaps it's because whatever landed them there is severe enough to make them think about what is important to them, and some may be faced with the reality that they may not see another Christmas, or whatever they celebrate at this time of the year.
I think the staff tends to sense it as well, I rarely see the doctors and the nurses who get "stuck" working the Christmas shifts complaining, instead they smile try to give what comfort they can to their patients.
So to all of the nurses, doctors, techs and staff who have sacrificed their Christmas so that someone may have one more.
Sorry for the layoff folks, things have been a little crazy between trying to get a four day orientation done, enrolling into an ICU "bridge' course which is designed to teach me all I need to know about being an ICU nurse in 4 weeks and getting time on the floor. Today I had a great day on the floor, I managed a patient who would walk out of her room to the nurses station and announce loudly that she was going to,
"Yank out this F@*&ing catheter right here and now if you don't take it out now!"
I assured her that was the lasting thing she wanted to do, luckily the doc was there and gave me the ok to take it out. It did take some talking to get her back in the room to do that though. By the end of the day though we were BFF's, just in time to transfer her up to the floor.
I also had the opportunity to assist with a bedside placement of a hemodialysis catheter. The doc who did the proceedure apparently had a sense of humor.
"Nurse, are there any PVC's?"
The doc gestures towards the table. The newbie begins scanning the table for a PVC (what the hell is that anyway?)
"Uhh I mean on the monitor, y'know PVC...in the heart?"
Duh, and cardio was my best subject in nursing school!
Thank you for all your support! I survived my first day in the ICU with an awesome preceptor. It was a crazy day, we didn't get our charting started until the day was nearly half done. We spent an hour in CT scan with a 300 + lb patient. The CT tech looked at us like we were nuts when we brought her in, and wasn't sure if she would fit in the scanner. After calling in some muscle (we have the best security guys!) to help move her on to the the scanner, we hop into the control room and begin scanning. The patient begins hollering at us from the machine,
"Let me out! I'm hungry, I want to eat!"
"Ma'am that's what landed you here" mutters the tech.
Ever get that gnawing feeling in the back of the mind, the one that screams
"What the heck are you doing?!"
Yeah, got that right now. Doubts are creeping in, I'm wondering if this was a big mistake, if they're going to realize it was a big mistake. Am I really cut out for this? What was I thinking, thinking that I could do this?
First shift in the ICU this morning, time to prove myself wrong and shut up the little voices.
Oh my gosh how time flies when you are having fun! Or something like that. If you are wondering what the heck happened to me here is the abbreviated version, if you don't care and want to look at more funny pictures I'm fresh out so find someone to send them in to me!
Well kiddo's here's the scoop. Local hospital called me back just when I had given up all hope of hearing from them and offered this newbie a position in the ICU. Yep, never worked actue care in my life but I somehow landed an ICU position. Boy I can see some classmates faces turning green, hee hee! Sorry had to gloat abit there!
Now comes the fun part, I am Canadian, now you ask why is that significant? Because it meant that I now needed a Visa to work in the USA. Not a problem, Canadians are eligible to a TN Visathat allows them to work temporarily in the US for a maximum of 3 years before needing to renew. Meaning I had to head home for a quick visit and then cross back and would be issued my visa at the border. Sounds easy right? Wrong!
Long story short, I got turned back on my first attempt due to the lack of something called a Visascreenthat is now required for all foreign nurses coming to work in the US. Now I will go into details on the Visascreen in a later post, because it really needs that much space to get into it. But it did hold me up by 4 weeks! That "short trip" home ended up being a 5 week stay, thank god my dear friend who originally volunteered to let me crash at her place didn't get sick of me being there all that extra time. Thankfully the lovely people at Local Hospital were amazingly understanding and did everything they could do to help. I arrived home late last week to a very lonely Mr. who was tearing out his hair over final exams.
The last week has been spent getting ready for my big debut in the ICU. The very next day after arrival I headed in for my physical, where I was cleared for duty and then told I would need to be stabbed with a needle 4 times. Here's a little secret, while I have no problems giving the injection, I HATE needles! Although this gal was awesome and the Tdap shot barely hurt. This was then followed by 4 days of orientation, teaching and then on the last day a surprise test!
Anyone ever taken theB-Kat? It's a national exam that lets the folks looking at your file know exactly how much you know in your area of nursing. Yep they gave me a 100 question exam to test what I knew about critical care nursing. I could have helped them out with that answer...nothing! The Nurse Educator came over after she had marked my test with a concerned look on her face.
"So, how long have you worked in the ICU?" "Uhh, well never." "OH!" "Infact I'm a new grad and this is my first job ever" "OH! Well in that case you did great!"
If you are feeling nosy, I'll tell you that I scored a 69% on the Critical Care B-Kat