Friday, December 29, 2006

All work and no play

I now work at SFGH on the fourth floor. My unit specializes in Traumatic Brain Injury, ICU step-down and acute alcohol withdrawal. All I can say is that if the Nursing School learning curve was a Sunday drive in the park, the curve I am on now is a demolition derby.

Several factors make this nursing very daunting: The sheer volume of documentation, the constant manual keeping up with ever changing Doctor’s orders; the clarification of said orders; the delivery of medications and procedures in a timely and accurate manner; the pressure to know what each of these meds do and whether or not the Doctor is wrong. All the while, since this is ICU step-down, knowing that my patient may head south and I may need to call a MERT (Medical Evaluation Response Team) or a CODE. In addition, because General hired me as a Per-Diem Nurse, I only get 14-days training and I am on day eleven. I have already challenged the logic of this with my manager and nurse educator however.

Presently I am handling three patients with my preceptor (the maximum for my unit) and I am learning team nursing, where I work with an LVN who has three patients also. This means though that I am ultimately responsible for all six patients and for the delivery of IV medication to my LVN’s patients. I also need to sign off on all my LVN’s massive documentation.

My brain is literally being rewired. I have the ‘overwhelm’ dreams typical of any new intense job; during my days off, my mind is constantly gravitating back to work.

Don’t get me wrong, I am okay with this. At this point in my life, perhaps because I realize there are fewer days ahead than there are behind, I don’t care about the stress. I have absolutely no interest any longer in finding what will ultimately make me ‘fulfilled’. I don’t care if I have mean coworkers or bosses. I obsessed about this ad nauseum in the past and no longer have any patience for it. Miraculously, I have learned to completely ignore insults, slights, and even outright aggression. There is even time to crack an inappropriate joke now and then.

I have found a good career; it will likely be my last, albeit with variation along the way. I will get through this learning curve. Four of the charge nurses on my unit are City College graduates who came to 4B between two and four years ago; they make it look easy. Eventually, so will I.


Blogger Margaret said...

Wow, so much for moving towards being a paperless society. I think in our effort to do so, we're creating more than we did before. :-) Anyways... good luck in your new job Mike! Like you said, before you know it, you'll be making it look easy too!

12/26/2011 9:19 PM  

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