Running Ragged

After a glorious week off, featuring a visit from my mom and unpacking our adorable house (photos coming soon!), I guess I had it coming.

My shifts over the weekend were R.O.U.G.H. Nothing in particular went terribly wrong, but it was one of those didn’t-get-lunch-didn’t-stop-moving-for-12-hours-no-way-did-I-pass-meds-on-time type of work stretches. The worst part was that all of us were running. Usually a couple of us have a busy but steady night and a couple of us get the short end of the stick and have a harder night. But we’re able to balance each other out and help pick up the slack. No such luck this time. We were all maxed out on our patient ratios and we were all feeling it. Ouch.

But then Sunday night rolled around and though it was still a busy shift, it was much more “normal” (whatever that means in nursing). Yes, we still had patients on psych holds and tons of people in isolation, and got three admissions in the first hour. But you roll with it. You have to.

I must have had a terrified/exhausted look on my face at the beginning of work on Sunday. One of my favorite nurses took one look at me and said “It’s going to be a better night. Say that out loud. Repeat it to yourself.” And it was.

What amazes and delights me is that I’m surviving. Even the nights that make me dread coming back aren’t keeping me away. Even the nights that make me question my skills or vent about the state of health care in this country, I keep moving forward. As miserable as I was working in a PCU, my job now isn’t any less stressful. In some ways, it’s moreso. And I still get occasional migraines, sometimes even at work.

So what’s the silver bullet this time around, that magical variable that keeps me resilient? I wish I knew. Part of it may be personal growth, part of it may be an appreciation that I got a second chance. A lot of it is knowing that I work with a team that has my back.

All is know is that I had a rough stretch of shifts. And I’m still ready for more.

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