Saturday, May 29, 2010

God, I am bad at this blogging thing!

Work has been bad. Scatch that. It's been horrible. So horrible, I now dread going in, and I question my decision to become a nurse in the first place.

Let me tell you about what I do love about nursing. I love caring for people, but on a really simple level. I love making sure their beds are neat, their bodies are clean, their arms and legs are positioned using clean pillows. I like to tidy up their room and make sure any item they may need is easily within reach. If they are confused, I put their TV on the calming station, which shows calming pictures and soft music. I make sure their heels, backs, and bottoms stay free of redness. I get so much fulfillment out of this, as silly as it sounds. I like to take GOOD care of my patients, and when I have time to do that, I leave there feeling like I made a difference. And it was making a difference doing something really small.

However, the ER at the hospital has been so over-run. We have levels indicating how much of a crisis we are in. There have been several times we have been at a level 3, which basically means there are people down there waiting for over 24 hours. By the time they get a room, they are understandably upset, so we do a lot of...what's the word...butt-kissing, to try to make them happy. Also, staffing seems to be down, so we are frequently on patient overload, taking care of 6-7 patients when realistically 5 should be the maximum. On my floor, hospice and oncology, I have either critically ill patients or patients that are so close to death, to just ignore them because you are too busy is just horrible.

I need balance. I need to figure out a way to be able to really CARE for my patients without being overwhelmed. I need to prioritize my workload and save stuff for the next shift, if I have to. Because by the time I leave at the end of my shift, I am ready to cry, run, and not look back. I need to get my gameplan back before I become burnt out like we learned about in nursing school.

I am confident I will get to where I need to be so I can start enjoying my job again. I just read an AWESOME article in the Reader's Digest about EXACTLY what I have been feeling. It's crazy, because it is so parallel to my life, it's like it was put there for me to see. Even the reason the woman in the article went into nursing is the exact reason I did. It really showed me that it's not just me feeling this way, it's just the job as a whole. But in the big picture, I do a lot for my patients, even if it doesn't feel like it.

I'm off tomorrow, but I'll be back Monday. Fingers crossed!

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