ER nursing

I’m having motivational issues, as always. I have 3 hours till the gym closes and I should go, but I’m getting tired. I’m working six days in a row with all different shifts (4 hour, 8 hour, 12 hour), but despite some shorter shifts, it’s still six days at the hospital. And my shifts were approved for January up until when I go back to school and all of them were approved (this hasn’t happened in six months and is the only reason I put in for a shift every single day). So much for relaxing.

Yesterday morning was extremely slow, which I knew meant a busy afternoon. I ended up with a patient that I was actively titrating drips on for close to four hours. First the pressure was too high (think 260s/140s) and then it was too low (80s/50s). May I just say, if you have high blood pressure, get on meds and take them until you are healthy enough to go off of them. A man in his early 40s had a massive hemorrhagic stroke and will probably not make it because he didn’t take care of his blood pressure. It’s exhausting.

Then, a trauma came in last night. One of the hardest parts of my job is when a person makes an honest mistake in a car accident. Unfortunately, they may either kill somebody in their car or another car. And then they are arrested for vehicular manslaughter. They may kill their mother, their wife, their baby, their entire family… And they live with that for the rest of their lives. Then they go to jail for the accident and in some cases, their face makes the news. It’s sad. I can’t imagine causing an accident that would kill Jon and then going to jail and being on the news for it. How absolutely horrific. As if you weren’t already suffering enough… And then, today I received a man who was hit in a car accident and the man who hit him was a few rooms down. The family made a big deal of it and my patient kept asking me why that guy would possibly swerve to avoid rear ending somebody and hit him head on? All I could say was, “Well, you should feel lucky you’re alive, because we get a lot of traumas from car accidents who don’t make it out alive.”

If anybody ever hits you and you both are able to get out of your car to speak with that person, you better never be rude. Accidents happen. Every single person makes mistakes. Who cares if they hit your new car? At least you’re both alive.

Anyway, I’m just tired. Although I remain pretty detached emotionally from work and am used to seeing people dying (like yesterday), I’m not affected much by it. But having to return to work six days in a row is draining. Wondering if you’ll be able to eat and having to run to the bathroom because you don’t know what will happen in the next minute is exhausting. Working in a job that makes you grateful every day for life is tiring. I get so upset with Jon when he asks why I want to travel so much now and he tells me I have my whole life to do it. I don’t take my ability to walk for granted (if I die, at least I won’t know what I’m missing). In a split second, I could become a paraplegic. I could never walk again. Do you know how hard it would be to go to the Great Wall of China in a wheel chair? (It would be very hard, if you haven’t been.) I worry constantly if Jon doesn’t answer his phone when he’s on the road. I know what can happen to people and unlike those who think that it won’t happen to them, I know anything can happen to anybody at any time.

I don’t love nursing. I don’t think that I ever will. But I am thankful for the job I have so that I am able to be as appreciative of life as I am. I’m thankful to make a difference in people’s lives and although I honestly don’t ever feel like this, I do save people’s lives (as a team, of course). I just never say it because I feel like saying, “I save lives,” makes you sound heroic. I’m not a hero. I’m the same as everybody else. This is just my job.


6 thoughts on “ER nursing

  1. Nursing is so intensive, from school to the actual job. I couldn’t do what you do, I would probably throw up at the sight of an accident. I admire anyone that works in a hospital with a hectic schedule, all the deaths, and all the trauma. Try not to burn yourself out! Whenever I have to work a lot, I just think of the money to get me through.

    • I am ALWAYS thinking about the money! But it doesn’t always make it worth it! I think you just get used to seeing accidents! It’s not like I grew up loving bloody stuff and I still hate it when my friends show me something gross on their body. If you’re not my patient, I don’t want to see it!

  2. I think it would be hard to do a job like nursing and NOT occasionally get emotional. As far as dying goes, I know you see it on a daily basis but I don’t think you could become so numb to it that it wouldn’t affect you somewhat. Even if you’re not emotional as in crying or upset, you see just what can happen and what we all take for granted. It is interesting to read about the patients you see, it seems like you get a big variety at the hospital.

    I’d hate to be in the situation of vehicular manslaughter. I actually have some friends who almost were, as a friend almost killed another friend in an accident (same car, they were playing some crazy game in the car, they were high schoolers at the time). Fortunately both of them lived and neither went to jail, but I couldn’t imagine the guilt that L would’ve had if N passed away due to the car and then having to live with it while in jail :(. You are so right- cars can be replaced… even insurance costs and sky high insurance, you can deal with. Driving isn’t a basic human need. Sometimes you really just have to be thankful to make it out.

    • Wow, I’m glad neither person went to jail. What an awful situation to be in! I can’t even imagine. We do get a huge variety of patients! We’re a really busy level 2 trauma center so it can be fun! And it can be tiring, haha!

  3. That is the one thing that makes me hesitant about nursing…. being surrounded by sick & death. But like you said, it’s your job.
    I actually am applying for sheriff dept jobs so I too will have to see things that no one wants to IF I get selected. It’s the life we live in.

    Get some rest and relax whenever you have time! =)

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