New Jobs vs. Old Jobs

It has been a rough two days at work! Apparently between the increase in heart rate that you have during pregnancy and probably just having too much on my mind, I haven’t been sleeping well at all! I also feel like I’m in a fog a lot of times (which I actually noticed the day before and the day I found out I was pregnant), so work has been really less than pleasant lately. Not to mention the fact that I’m just burnt out. I’m getting irritated much more easily and am just over it. So yesterday and today really just kicked my butt.

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One of my good work buds texted me this after work (after I let her know that I did not quit my job before 7pm and made it through my shift!). Definitely summed up my day! I don’t even know how I keep it together sometimes.

However, on the job front, I had my interview with the cardiac floor the other day. It went pretty well, aside from me answering a question totally wrong (I was thinking of the wrong letters), and I actually enjoyed the interview. It was weird being back on the floor I worked on years ago! It smelled the same and everything! The only downfall is that the pay is a big pay cut. In order to take this job, I will have to drop my hours at my current job, which will cost me $5 an hour just at that job. And the pay cut from what I make now to this other job? $13 an hour. I honestly don’t even want to think about that, because just that thought stresses me out.

Another big downfall is that even though I only had to work 4 shifts a month, I’m on a rotating every 3rd weekend schedule and I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I hate that. One of the best parts of my job is that I can pick and choose my weekends, even if I do have to work four weekend days per month.

I had to really think about this the other morning. Will I accept a job that I will be unhappy with my weekend schedule at, and that will end up costing me hundreds of dollars a month in income? But, sometimes I just have to focus on where this job will get me in the future, even though I may not love it now.

It’s a break from my current job. The ER is wearing me down and I honestly considered quitting today. I’m just so incredibly burnt out from that place! So it’ll change up my work schedule and I’ll go to another place to do part of my shifts, while still making somewhat decent pay (even if it does suck in comparison to what I make right now). I gain experience in another area, making me more marketable for future clinical nursing jobs and future management jobs. They sound like they have a lot of management opportunities from within, so it may be a good place to get my feet wet. And lastly, it’s a per diem job. I won’t find a job that will take me into a brand new field of nursing (for me) and only require me to work four days a month on day shift. I caught this floor at a desperate time.

So, sometimes you just have to do things you don’t want to do, in order to come out where you want to be. If I hate it, I quit. If I don’t hate it, well then, I’m really winning then, huh?

Life These Days: Gym, Sushi, Hangouts, Work, Volunteering, & Cooking

I’ve definitely been enjoying my time away from the computer lately! It’s been so busy being at home and when I’m not busy, I’m enjoying my own bed and my cats. As much as I love traveling, I’m really just loving being at home. It’s hard to imagine leaving here for months on end again. So here’s what I’ve been up to! I ended up working a bunch last week, which I suppose I should be really excited about since I’m getting paid better than I was expecting, but still- a break would be more welcome!

I also volunteered at the clinic that I mentioned in my last post on Tuesday night! Surprisingly, I enjoyed it. My role was super easy- I flowed patients from the different areas and then gave them their meds before they left the clinic. The clinic is a “free” ($20 donations suggested by patients, but apparently is rare) clinic for residents of certain areas in the county and they only take care of certain things (hypertension, diabetes treatment with oral meds, hypothyroidism…), but it was good! People were so grateful for the care and most of the people there have been working the clinic for awhile and the time really did go by fast! I plan on volunteering every Tuesday until I leave, and hopefully even when I get home from my final travels!

Last week, I finally broke out my Toasted Marshmallow coffee that I’ve been saving up! I think that light roasts just aren’t my favorite anymore! The flavor was good, but it’s just not bold enough for me. I prefer a little more oomph to my coffee. I’ll still be finishing the bag, but I’m looking forward to a darker roast next time. (Note my Death Valley cup!)

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Although I got to cook while I was traveling, I missed my own kitchen! I missed my food processor and my own pots and pans and all my spices. I would buy things I knew I’d use in a shorter amount of time, but at home, I can buy whatever I want! So I had a day of cooking for work and making my main man some dinner in my kitchen!

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The outcome of all that hard work:

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I had what felt like a really long day at work on Friday! I loved my assignment, but we had a ton of back to back traumas with a bunch of ambulances coming in as well, so we got slammed. And the person who was flowing our department is not my favorite and always makes for a long day! So… By the time I left work, I was starving and in need of a break! Sushi it was! I haven’t had sushi since I stopped at a Hy-Vee on my way to Colorado the first week in October! Love me some sushi!

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On Saturday, Jon and I went to the gym together. My hip has me even more limited these days and it was crowded as all get out with all these New Years Resolutioners, so we kept it to a fairly quick trip. We headed over to look at some shoes for work and then ended up meeting up with Crista and Billy for the evening! We had planned on ice skating but none of us were really feeling it, and since I have a cold, we decided against it! Instead we all just chilled inside and took down Christmas decorations!

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Today I stayed in bed till 11:30 watching my cats sleep and then ran a ton of errands! I had a good hour at the gym, although my leg workouts have been pretty much non weight bearing and that’s a bummer! But I’m back to walking inclines on the treadmill and I maintain my heart rate around 180 during the inclines, so I’m happy with it. It’s definitely more tiring than just running is for me right now since I still can’t run that fast comfortably with my hip. Tonight, I think I managed to finish up my resume, so I’ll be sending that out to grad school since all my application stuff is due by Feb 1st! I meant to work on taxes today, but oops, I forgot. Instead, I enjoyed this face and am now about to head to bed!

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Happenings of Home Life

We are FINALLY getting some beautiful weather in Georgia! A cold spell is on its way in, but I don’t even care! As long as it’s sunny, I’m happy!

Yesterday morning I lazed around and stayed in bed reading until 11:30! It felt so good. With all the traveling and working I’ve done in the last month, I really haven’t spent a ton of time relaxing (other than nightly Netflix documentaries with Jon). I really enjoyed just staying in my warm bed with my cats snoring next to me!

I ended up getting called into work as soon as I got up though, which was a bummer. I had planned on it happening but was still less than excited to get the call from my supervisor! So I headed into work for a few short hours and then as soon as I left work, I found out Jon was off early!

We decided to go try to enjoy the last bit of daylight and get in a Stone Mountain hike!

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I love the skyline from the top of Stone Mountain! And it was beautiful with the sun setting too! The skyline looks so small and far away in the picture, but it really is much bigger looking in person! My iPhone couldn’t capture Mt Hood either. Shame.

We ended up heading out to a new Whole Foods that I’ve heard good reviews about and had a quick dinner there. Then we hung out on the couch for the rest of the evening with the fireplace going! I can’t tell you all enough how much I love being home and relaxing on the couch with my husband and cats on a nightly basis!

Jon was off work today and I had my “intro” gym session since I just rejoined at LA Fitness, so we both headed out around 9am. I’m really trying to get him to be more active and thanks to all our Netflix documentaries about the food in the US, he’s on a much healthier eating kick too! (Side note: We have found that Costco actually has quite a bit of organic food for much cheaper, along with coconut oil and maple syrup for super cheap and it’s the good kind! Been cutting way down on our Whole Foods bill- although I still buy my meat from Whole Foods.)

My gym session was nice. I was surprised that I could still do 33 pushups in a row, especially after not working out for a full month. We did a lot of TRX type squats which took the weight off my hip and I could actually do! Unfortunately, you have to do the personal training there to be able to use the TRX stuff, but now I’m considering looking into TRX classes (I know it’s not cheap, but since I can’t do CrossFit right now, maybe it’s a good alternative). After being back in the gym finally, I see a huge regression in the healing of my hip after that road trip so that was a huge let down. I’m actually thinking I may need to go to rehab for it, but I’m obviously going to wait till I have a diagnosis from an MRI- which should hopefully happen in the beginning of February.

Jon and I decided to enjoy the beautiful day after the gym! We headed down to the Beltline  (a 10 mile paved trail) in Midtown and went for a walk and then headed out to get some coffee! Now we’re home and I’m about to shower and get ready.

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I’m volunteering tonight (one of the nurse practitioners at work told me I have to before grad school- she also does interviews for programs at Georgia State and is writing my recommendation letter- so I’ll do what she says) at a health clinic. I am less than excited about it and have no clue what my role will be there. Hopefully something simple like handing out clipboards and checking vital signs! It should last from about 5:30-8:30 and then I imagine I’ll be watching another documentary with Jon tonight or reading a book by the fire!

Have a great day, everybody!

Randoms!

1. I don’t think I’ve included this yet in my blog, but Jon is making the drive home with me! I have 19 days until he gets to Portland and I am way beyond excited! I was fine (missing him, of course, but nothing too crazy) until we booked his ticket to Portland and now that’s just about all I can think about! If you ever want to know how to make your first year of marriage work, just separate! Distance makes the heart grow fonder! Now I can enjoy my nightly hotel Forensic Files on the way home because I’ll have him to protect me and keep me safe!

2. My oldest sister is coming to an area close to Seattle next week with her fiancé! Hopefully the staffing coordinator at work will approve me to swap shifts with another girl so that I can actually go see her! It would be awesome to see Seattle (and I’m thinking I may spend the day beforehand up there too) and get to see my sister too!

3. My hip is finally getting better! I’ve been able to squat down at work without having any pain and I’ve noticed a decrease in the pain while I’m in bed (laying flat on my back and lifting my leg has been consistently very painful- finally improving!)! I may try to go to the gym this weekend and see how it feels there! I’ve noticed that every time it gets irritated, there’s a noticeable improvement in it when the irritation goes away. I won’t be going too crazy, but since I need to cancel my gym membership anyway, I might as well try to get a workout in! I’m really hoping to start squatting again by the first of the year, but I want to make sure I have a few weeks without pain first and I’ll most definitely be starting out at a very light weight (or no weight) and building back up.

4. While my hip is better, I’ve had a lot of left knee pain lately. I don’t know if I was somehow compensating for my hip on that side (thought my hip hasn’t bothered my while walking for awhile) or if my work shoes are screaming at my and telling me that they need to be replaced. Or maybe I just twisted it when I was getting out of the car and didn’t notice. Who knows! Not too concerned, but I’m tellin’ ya, I’m really feeling like my body is going downhill in my late 20s!

5. My roommate is making some Thanksgiving dinner in the crockpot and it smells amazing. I may have peeked in it (I know, you aren’t supposed to open a crockpot or it adds 30 minutes to the cooking time- or maybe that’s a lie- but I know she’s going to be cooking it plenty long enough tonight!) and saw turkey, stuffing, and green beans! What an awesome idea.

6. I got off work 1 1/2 hours early tonight. I normally wouldn’t have accepted an offer to leave early (I owe money if I’m short on hours), but I’m working Saturday night for a few hours for somebody and this allows me to give her another 1 1/2 hours off to spend with her husband! I’ll be heading down to bed in a few! It’s getting late.

7. I think my hormones have finally evened out after going off my birth control. I haven’t cried in awhile, so I’m hoping I’m back to normal! I can’t be crying regularly- that’s just not me!

8. BED TIME!

 

The last day, one more time!

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My last day (I know what you’re thinking- wasn’t this morning’s post already her last day post?!)! It was a beautiful day, as most days have been so far! I enjoyed an hour long walk along the canal and can’t believe that I haven’t been enjoying it all along! It’s only about 15 minutes from where I have been living!

Jess texted me while I was out walking around, so I went to meet up with her for breakfast. I enjoyed some french toast (one day I’ll get back to eating Paleo) with her. I’m sad she isn’t coming to Portland with me, but we’re set on meeting back up in January for our New Mexico adventure! Can’t wait to meet back up and keep traveling with her! She has made this assignment so much better! It’ll be hard to stay sane without my travel buddy!

After our lunch, I managed to talk myself into going to the gym despite really wanting to skip it! I’m glad I went because I actually had a really good workout!

I did sumo deadlifts, which I have found to be more effective for me than regular deadlifts when it comes to really strengthening my hamstrings. I did some more legs and then did an upper body workout! Felt great! There was a girl in there doing legs and the usual guys, and then there were 3 younger guys. They were so young that they were taking pictures of themselves at the gym. Probably to put on Facebook or Instagram with lots of hashtags. Anyway, while I was between sets of ring dips, the girl came up and said it was so funny to watch the younger guys follow me around. Then she went on to tell me what great legs (and what a great body in general!) I have! We chatted for a bit about CrossFit and she kept saying how I must be so young. I told her that I’m 28 and she was shocked! She thought 22. And then she said the guys should get on it and get my digits (sarcastically, I’m sure- they were babies) since I had mentioned it was my last day in town. Then I said I was married and really threw her off (I never wear rings to the gym). She was so sweet and it was nice to hear such positive words about all my hard work! And I felt like my legs had gotten so skinny when I quit working out with my thumb injury and I feel like it has taken so long to even start coming back! I have felt them getting somewhat bigger but Jon can never tell, so they really must be!

This evening I packed my whole room up! I brought SO much underwear! I didn’t even realize how many pairs I brought but I guess I thought I’d never do laundry! How many thongs can I need?! I also have tons of clothes since I was expecting to actually get dressed up more often and was expecting a bigger change in weather… Definitely could have left tons at home! I have no clue how Jon is going to fit his suitcase in my car! I also have my huge painting from Rhode Island to fit too! Ahh! Other than that, all that’s left is a backpack, my camera, and a computer! Not too shabby! I stopped by work to drop Jessie’s Keurig off and left some munchkins (all about the DD here) and a thank you note for my coworkers! Already miss them! They were great!

Time to head to bed! I plan on leaving around 6:15ish tomorrow! I thought about going to the gym at 5, but let’s be real… I need to sleep! And we’re going to be hiking for two days so it’s not that important!

Thursdays with Liz!

Well well well!!! These last few days have been pretty much filled with snot and exhaustion. Pleasant, I know. I actually never fell asleep on Monday night since I skipped the Benadryl and then spent all night in a snot filled misery. I called out of work Tuesday and felt pretty under the weather all day. I managed to make it in for a quick workout at 7:45 at night since I felt like I had restless limbs. I did a very easy mile run and some minimal lifting and felt 100x better when I left. The power of the gym.

Yesterday I ended up working 9-9 to make up my hours that I missed. I came home and worked on learning parabolas.I called Jon last night and we went over some basic exponent stuff that I never seem to keep straight. We were trying to figure out if normal people really do well on the math portion of the GRE. I mean, history majors take the GRE (and nurses, who clearly don’t need to know any of this math). I’m sure they never had to take very advanced math courses. I just don’t want to take it and completely bomb the math portion and then get a terrible score on the GRE.

Anyway, today I wanted to wake up early but that definitely didn’t happen! Life is exhausting when you’re sick. I slept till 10:30 and then headed out to the gym. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill (luckily, nobody else was in the cardio room while I blew snot bubbles into my shirt, #imsosexy) and then did some lighter squats with pauses at the bottom. I’m trying to continue working on my form (it has improved a ton over the last year) and the pause at the bottom helps stretch me out. I did some abs and then just some random stuff before stretching it out and calling it a day.

I made it home and showered and got ready in 15 minutes before heading out to meet Jessica and Baby Jonny (her boyfriend) for breakfast! It’s nice to enjoy time with other people since I feel a bit socially isolated here still (which is really okay for the most part!).

Anyway, now here I am, enjoying my Marylou’s, just dreading the days when Marylou’s is no longer close by.

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I can’t believe tomorrow marks my ONE WEEK left in Massachusetts! Ah! The time has flown by and I’ve grown accustomed to my coworkers! While I still get frustrated by this job at times, I am so thankful for the wonderful people I’ve met! I am really kind of sad that I will probably never see any of them again! But that’s the nature of travel nursing, I suppose! I’ll be on to new adventures with a new group of people, hopefully that are just as great as the ones here! I told them all that for each of the next 5 shifts I work, I expect going away surprises (mostly in the form of food)! We’ll see who remembers my demands!  In all seriousness though, it has been a great 13 weeks, although I haven’t forgotten how much I hated it when I first got here and am dreading learning a new charting system again in the very near future!

And in even more positive news, tomorrow marks ONE WEEK till I get to see my husband!

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Throwback to 2009 when we first got home from Iraq! This was at one of our post-deployment events in Chicago! (Side note: This was an unplanned throwback, I am not a #tbt kind of girl.)

Have a great day, everybody! I’m off to start cooking for the next 4 days of work!

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.

CrossFit, Travel Nursing, Wedding Dresses!

What a busy week! I’m on a roll with working lately (Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun, Tues, Wed), so I’m on my Thursday off in the middle there. I go into overtime this pay week which is really nice, especially since I don’t work much surrounding the wedding.

I just got home from CrossFit. We did:

21-15-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Strict handstand push-ups
195-lb. front squats
Burpees

I finished in 15:29 and did 75# for front squats. Rx for women was 135#. Uh, no. I did my first round without stopping and then felt like dying every 2 seconds after that. I still ended up with a pretty good time though. I almost didn’t go since I’m not a fan of burpees, but I convinced myself that it really wasn’t that many and decided to suck it up. It didn’t really feel like that many, but I’m not used to the heat yet so I’m getting super nauseous with working out lately.

Anywho, I’ve been having my final fittings for my wedding dress lately. I had a bit of a breakdown (that sound really dramatic- it was not) on Monday. Laura met me at David’s Bridal for a fitting and I thought the dress just didn’t look right. My boob fat was everywhere but if the top was let out, it would fall down. No hips to hold anything up. I said I’d go back and try it with a different bra on Tuesday night and hope that it looked better. But I was just really regretting my dress decision all together, wishing I had found one with straps like I had wanted. The wedding was planned with such short notice though that I felt rushed to get a dress and I was on a budget! I was really wishing I had spent the $1200 to get the dress I loved, so I was all disappointed on my way home from David’s Bridal. Tuesday we went back and the girl let out the top and tightened the waist to see how it fit. I was initially against this, but I sneezed while I had the dress on and popped the clasp in the back, so I knew I had to let it out! It does look better now, but the boob fat is still there a little. So I’m duct taping it in. I used to always duct tape strapless bras in place cause you can lift your boobs up and hold them there, so I know it works. Quick fix (by the way- I don’t wear strapless tops anymore so I don’t do that anymore). The waist now is insanely tight, but I moved around in it and it didn’t feel like it was about to rip so I’m going with it. I’d rather have to suffer breathing than have to pull up my dress repeatedly. And I’m sure when I sweat all in that expensive dress at the wedding, it’ll stretch out some too. So I feel better about how it looks, so I have it at home to do the final try on (should be fine) since I was in no mood to do it after work last night. Getting close!

I spoke with a recruiter today from RNNetwork, which is one of the travel companies I’m looking at. They have 4 ER spots open in June and some ICU (the girl I’m going with is doing ICU) so I’m hoping that this assignment will work out. They ranked #3 in Fortune 500 companies in one of the recent years and I read good reviews on them, so I’m hoping this works out. Otherwise, I have Cirrus to contact also since they have a lot of Boston contracts. I need to get online tonight and go through a bunch of paperwork for the company. It’s starting to hit me that I’ll be leaving next month! I used to be really independent of Jon, but since he’s been with me every night since we went to Italy in June and is going to be my husband, I kind of like my time with him.

I believe I made either a very high B or an A in my biology class. Had I known the curve was going to be so huge on the final, I would have actually looked over some stuff since I would have easily had an A in the whole class had I not made a 45% on the multiple choice portion of the final. If my calculations are correct though, I did end up with an A. Just waiting on the final calculations to come through since a few grades still aren’t posted.

I’m feeling overwhelmed with my to do list. I have tons of cleaning to do, paint touch ups, grocery shopping, studying for the GRE (I seriously forgot all simple, basic math- you should have seen me studying last night- thankfully Jon is a smart man and just finished calculus and is refreshed on all these silly math things), getting ready for the wedding, paperwork for travel assignments… It’s just insane. I wish I knew how it felt to wake up with hardly anything to get done in a day! But instead of getting those things done, I’m going to head to the pool for a bit (getting at least a little bit of a tan is also on my to do list before the wedding- especially since I managed to get horrible V-neck tan lines the other week), get my hair cut, and then stop by the store to pick up food to make tacos for dinner and then work on paperwork before having to work the next 3 days.

 

ER nursing and “saving lives”

I had to work 8 hours today. No biggie. I had a patient that I have had in the past. I don’t actually remember much about her from the past other than her name. It’s hard to forget. After coming in for increased pain in  her legs due to her neuropathy (for one year), she asked me for a meal immediately and then asked me for pain meds. She rudely asked me for a blanket. Then she rudely stood in the hallway to remind me that I forgot her blankets (no, I did not forget, I was just busy with my other patients with legitimate complaints).

It can be really hard to enjoy being a nurse at times. Really hard. Really really hard. You get it? It can be completely thankless. Patients can be rude. They can be demoralizing. They expect you to bend over backwards when they come in for absolutely nothing and are rude to you the entire time. I have been yelled at, cussed at, told that they want any nurse but me (luckily, only my psych patients have told me that)… I had a psych patient tell me I was provoking her. I was barely saying anything. I’ve had patients refuse to leave but they don’t actually want my help.

But I had a patient a few weeks ago who had coded in the field. EMS brought him in with a heart rate in the 30s and a BP that was 60/palp (so he was in bad shape). We paced him on our monitor until the cardiologist was able to put in a temporary pacemaker. We had him on drips and fluids and were doing our best. He was awake, though confused and 100% concerned with when he would get water to drink, and he looked me straight in the eyes while I was trying to get a manual blood pressure on him and he said, “Thank you for saving my life.”

I’ve said how I feel about ever claiming that my job is “saving lives.” I’m a nurse, just like all other nurses. I’ve been a part of many lives saved, but it’s my job. That’s what I do. Just like the teller at the bank hands me my money or the server at a restaurant brings me my food. I’m just doing my job. And even though I feel like 99% of the time my job includes running through a shitstorm and not even coming out of it with anybody having any gratitude for what I just did, it was really nice to hear that man thank me for saving his life.

(By the way, in my eyes, the EMTs who arrived on scene actually saved his life. They brought him back. Myself, along with two other nurses, an ER physician, a nurse practitioner and doctor with the cardiology group, just kept him alive once he was already saved.).

Nursing is really a difficult job. I dislike it half the time and like it half the time. I never love it. I never hate it. But I’m often very grateful that I’m able to fill these shoes and walk into the ER, alive and healthy, and work my shift helping others. After three years of having patients tell me what a wonderful nurse I am or that I’m the best nurse that they’ve ever hard or that I have the heart for this profession (you know, between the patients who yell at me), I’m starting to believe it.

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.