So. All here understand that I am new nurse jane. The other day whilst busy at work, I see our charge nurse asking all the nurses who would be willing to stay late that night….an extra 4.5 hours that night. Said charge nurse comes to me and asks me the same..Most experienced floor nurse is standing behind charge nurse shaking her head “no”, say “no”.
My face turns red and feeling flustered because I know I have to come back in the morning….say, ” Maybe if you can make calls and ask everyone else first.”
Charge nurse says, “I have called 25 people already.”
I was having a busy day but I was not unusually overwhelmed.
I was capped at 5 patients due to my one patient with an amiodarone gtt. This patient also had a TEE in the morning with cardioversion. When I recieved her back to our floor she was no longer in a-fib–but she was sinus brady with 2 second pauses, and I, new nurse jane was a nervous wreck and felt the need to assess her, and her blood pressure very frequently while not making her or her 10 family members in the room nervous. With numerous reassurances from the cardiologists caring for her as well as assurances from the nurse practioner–her blood pressure was stable–and every manual pulse taken was over 49beats per minute–I calmed my mind.
So I thought about it.
I being me, that is new nurse jane…..said yes.
The nice thing was at the time the other nurses were giving report to the night nurses, I was already starting 8pm vitals and assessments. I thought I was doing great!
Till I realized that 9pm medications is almost like trying to get out 9am medications and I felt that I was starting all over again! And of course those hs blood sugars with insulin coverage….again. Then no R insulin in the fridge!(and the pharmicist was sounding grumpy. he must of been called already by the 8 other nurses on the floor for the regular insulin.) All the while thinking these patients have to go to sleep….I do not want to wake them up for their coverage.
I was doing great right? Same patients all day except one new admission from the ED around 8 pm with c/o chest pain….normal ECG, cardiac enzymes negative so far times 2, and not in active chest pain. Still at 5 patients.
Around 10pm–I am tired and hungry–but nearly caught up! Charts were checked 16 hour chart check that is….
I stand in the nurses station and say, “Where’s the food? You eat all the time at night right?”
Ooops…it came out the wrong way and everyone stared at me like I had 4 heads.
Male nurse gets defensive and says, “What do you mean by that?”
I was really innocent. I really did not mean it that way, (like you sit around and eat all night and do nothing.) It just Sounded like that. I am not one of those day nurses with a chip on her little white nursing cap. I know that night nurses have plenty of work to do…I ventured in 5 hours into night shift and know first hand. It really is 24 hour nursing care.
Oh but it was not over for me yet! I still had to give report to the night nurse who was coming in extra too….at 11pm.
She strolls in blonde and fresh and energized!
I sit down and realize….I am having a hard time getting the words out and my face is numb!
This can not be good…….
I go and get some orange juice and feel better…coffee would be a no no. The first thing I tell her is that I am back at 7am…please make sure you give me my group back.
Oh she is gentle and kind to me…and she was back the next night at 7pm so it made the 36 hours easier.
I got lucky. The next day shift I kept the same group. I was last on the list of nurses to get admits or transfers. It could of been messy. It could of been one of those head spinning days with discharges. transfers. new admissions. transfers from the ICU etc….
It was an experience…how many blood pressures, how many sets of vitals signs, how many sticks of insulin coverage, how many pills, how many doses of IV antibiotics, how many orders taken off, how many assessments, (thank god no neuro problems.) how many back rubs, how many calls to the RT for my nervous nellie copd’er for prn nebs q 2, how many beds changed, how many cups of coffee, how many things fixed?
I will never do that again. Ever. Not when I am back the next day. I have a feeling that this first year I just might learn some things the hard way, unfortunately.
Art work by: http://aj07.deviantart.com/art/Vintage-Eyes-49087665