The differences between emergency rooms!

Holy smokes. I just worked my first shift as a travel nurse and let me just say, I LOVE MY OLD JOB (still currently my job, but it’s 17 hours away). We have a lot of ex travel nurses that are in my ER and I’ve been told by numerous people how good our ER actually is. We’ve had nurses leave and come back because ours is better. I know my job is stressful and I bitch about it, but it’s stressful because the expectation is high. Our care is expected to be good by management and we really do try to make our patients happy and comfortable with care that is as fast as possible (which is not always fast, but it’s still good care).

I see how good my job was now. I texted Jon at 7:45 “I haaate it.” The charting system here is absolutely horrific. One of the techs was telling me how their reimbursement is so low but it’s probably because they aren’t documenting properly to get reimbursed because to complete it, it would take forever to find it. The nurses are overworked and the ER was way understaffed. I left at 11:30 and gave report to a nurse of 3 weeks (at this facility- not ever) who was now taking 6 patients. Six. Not six sniffly patients. Six legit patients. ER patients. W.T.F. The patients there are all lined up in beds along the hallway. People have all kinds of visitors sitting in the hallway with them (the one time I worked in a hallway at my job, I said 0 visitors allowed, no exceptions. HIPAA?). What a clusterfuck. And while I did actually really like my preceptor, I jumped in at 3pm and we ended up with 5 patients and it wasn’t until around 8 that she started helping with nursing stuff. I get that she wanted to let me learn, but I’m not sure if letting somebody who knows nothing about the system just completely drown is the best.

I’m a bit weary of traveling again after this because it was just that bad. It made me miss my ER at home where we have our shit together. But at the same time, if I do go to grad school for management, this is all really useful. It’ll look good on my resume (traveling jobs show adaptability, but I’ve also already been employed at my “real job” for 4 years, so I’m also committed to my workplace) and I’ll also have a more well rounded perspective on how to improve a department. These 13 weeks should really fly by though and quite frankly, I’m just looking forward to working a few shifts in my hospital where I actually feel like the care I’m providing is really good because the care that I have time to give here felt almost negligent, and that is definitely not the type of nurse that I would ever want to be.

Working tonight actually made me realize how much I like taking care of my patients. I don’t just want to say hi, start an IV, and leave. I like creating a relationship with my patients and while I knew that I enjoyed some of my patients at home and quite frequently would get complimented on what a great and caring nurse I was, I had no idea how much I actually like doing it (but not for the rest of my life). Those sweet patients make my job worthwhile in a way that I never even noticed and I really hope that over the next 13 weeks, I have enough time to really make a difference in somebody’s time in the ER. I have never worked 8 hours without having some sort of relationship with a patient in the last 6 years that I’ve been in healthcare until tonight, and I really didn’t like having that missing piece.