5 years RN


Back in February I celebrated (to myself in the elevator at work) 5 years of being a Registered Nurse. 

I was headed down to the ground floor from the 7th floor to the cafeteria at 3am for my lunch break. 

There are terrible choices at 3am to eat in the hospital - as if it could get any worse than the regular choices. I usually pack leftovers from home, but occasionally I like to gamble a bit. This often ends up in fries and salad bar because I cannot, for the life of me, hack cafeteria meatloaf at 3am. 

Anyway. 5 years. 

5 years ago I passed my NCLEX and got my AZ license to practice nursing. I had 3 little girls at home - one of which I birthed half way through my program. The next month we moved to Arkansas where I started my career working full-time on a post-op med-surg floor. 

It was busy. I often left work feeling defeated. I missed my kids and found out I was pregnant right when I started. Needless to say it was a long year, but we plugged through it. Eric would survive my work days by taking the girls exploring, they attended day-care when we both worked and I spent the year completely exhausted. I often wondered if I would ever make it as a nurse. 

After we had Rosie I tried to just work part-time. She was colicky and we had 4 children under the age of 6. I worked weekends then so really I never got a break and neither did Eric. Finally after I had a year of experience it became very imperative for me to just step away for a bit. I quit my job and focused on the girls for 2 solid years. 

When we moved to Colorado I knew that I needed to go back. And I wanted to. Right before Rosie turned 3 and was potty trained we found a great sitter in our ward and I began my job search which ended with me finding a great position at Avista. PRN Weekends was in the job description. Just what I wanted. Little obligation, but lots of hours if I wanted them. I took care of patients that were recovering from joint replacement surgery or spine surgery and I also worked the med-surg floor. It was a great job and I miss the quaintness of Avista. 

Here, I am working on the telemetry unit at a large hospital. My nights are crazy busy, but I really like my co-workers and I (mostly) adore my patients. Many of them are older and often very sick. A few of them are confused or delirious. Some are sweet, patient, and very gracious. Every so often there is one that makes me want to rip my hair out. 

I have had to fine-tune my skills with this job and rely on my assessments and critical thinking to tell me more about what is going on with my patients because their diagnosis are often multi-system and very complex. 

I come home dead tired, but usually grateful for the opportunities that I had that night to help someone feel better. Sometimes I come home shaken from events that occurred on my shift and I almost always have learned something new. Healthcare is always growing/changing and I'm happy to grow and change with it. 

I wish I could see what the future will hold for me and my career. I'd love to do relief work as well as  end up in an emergency department in a few years. My first love will always be at home with my husband and girls, but being a nurse is a close second. 

Happy Anniversary to Me! 

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