I have always wanted to be a nurse, since I was a child. Before I could read I would sit with the encyclopedia open to the pages with the transparencies of the anatomy of man. Turning one page would remove the skin and show all the muscles, under that the internal organs, and the last page was the bones. I had my little nurses bag with a plastic stethoscope, syringes, hammer for reflexes, etc when I was a kid. And when I was older I was a candy striper, CNA, LPN, now an RN. Nursing is all I have ever wanted to do.
I recently reflected on what my nursing career is compared to what I expected it to be. In nursing school my ICU rotation felt like coming home. I loved the atmosphere of the ICU, the monitors, ventilators, different meds and opportunities to learn. I started in med/surg. I think all nurses should start in med/surg or tele. There you really learn to prioritize, see a variety of things, hone your assessment skills, etc.
Working in the ICU was great. I became really interested in cardiology and imagined one day working in a cardiology unit with patients after bypass. I floated over to the ER a few times and was surprised to love that too. I think it was the variety of cases you could see. The almost instant gratification of helping someone who is critically hurt or ill. The nurses, medics, doctors and physician assistants were a team.
One time when I floated to the ER the medics brought in a patient that was in V-Tach. The ER staff worked like a machine. Everyone assuming a different task, few words passed but things were done very efficiently. It was like it was almost choreographed. When the patient was stabilized and moved to the ICU I was amazed at how they continued to care for all the other people that were in the ER that day. I wanted to be a part of that. And, eventually I got a job in the ER. I have worked there a few years now and it is the hardest and best job I have ever had. Many days are a challenge and almost every day is a reward.
This is my blog about my life in the ER.