Monday, December 19, 2011

I never want to be that nurse.

You know, the one that sees it as a job and a paycheck, and not about what being a nurse really means.  Let me elaborate.

I was a "floor nurse" for almost 4 years.  Loved it.  Love it.  Will always love it.  There are so many amazing aspects to it, and the amount of learning is endless.  I can bet that every single shift I worked as a floor nurse, I learned something new.  Great, great opportunity.

But soon, I found myself getting burnt out.  I was changing.  It was changing from being my passion, to being a job.  I found that when I left after a 12+ hour shift, I felt as though all I did was pass pills, push narcotics, and listen to lung sounds.  Getting to KNOW my patients?  It wasn't happening so much anymore.  That's not how I ever, ever want to be.  I certainly don't blame my previous job for this.  This was all internal.  It all stemmed from me.  And I am so glad that I recognized it before I allowed it to become who I was as a nurse.

Today I got to job shadow the nurse practitioner at the clinic.  Let me just say....she is AMAZING.  Because I was shadowing her, I also more or less shadowed a physician that I will be working very closely with.  Again, amazing.  I watched them do their routine work:  physical assessments, etc.  But then both of them would sit down, eye-level with the patient, and ask at the end of the exam, "What else can I do for you?"  And when they asked this, they didn't necessarily mean medically...they meant it however the patient interpreted it (which opened some interesting conversations!) ...but the bottom line was, they never made the patient feel rushed, even though their schedules were packed.

It is a part of my personality to always want to go with the grain.  I don't want to stray outside what is considered normal.  I don't want to stand out, or make people upset with me.  I tend to follow the "in-crowd", so to speak.  When word started spreading that I was interested in this position, I was immediately questioned with "are you SURE this is what you want" or "this isn't nursing, this is social work" and my favorite "working Monday through Friday isn't all it's cracked up to be."  In typical Laura fashion, I heard this and shut down, deciding that THEY were right, and I was wrong, and this was a terrible decision.  It took me a mere few hours to realize that I will never know unless I try, and if I allow myself to be influenced by others, I'll never learn and grow.  What is working for one nurse, might not necessarily be working for another nurse. 

With that said:  Here is to new beginnings!  A fresh start and something new.  A clean slate, a fresh mind, and a very open heart.  Change is not always bad.

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