Getting My Bearings

I have now made it through three shifts on the PCU. I am slowly starting to feel more like a nurse and less like a student.

Slowly. 😉

Right now, I am working 1-2 shifts a week and spending the rest of my residency time in education…a combination of lectures and online critical care modules. It all adds up to 72 hours per pay period, between my work on the floor and my education time. It’s a good way to transition into life as a full-time nurse and a GREAT way to review all that A&P and path from school, this time from the perspective of a Critical Care RN. I highly recommend starting your career in an RN Residency if at all possible.

Yesterday my preceptor decided it was time I carried a patient completely on my own. Granted the patient was pretty much the most stable one on the unit, but hey, it was a step!

It felt good to be the go-to person. I was the one asking the doctor to clarify orders (we had to page the man FIVE TIMES before he called us back and it only took 6 hours…grumble). I was the one drawing labs (out of a PICC line – haven’t ventured into peripheral draws yet but I’ll get there). I was the one educating my patient about her meds and encouraging her when she got discouraged.

And I was the one navigating the wonderful world of paper charting. Yes, my hospital is still in the Dark Ages. Apparently they’ve procured the electronic system they want to use but are still a couple years away from “going live”.

I hate, loathe, and DESPISE paper charting. But I’ll learn it begrudgingly and then when my employers decide to join the rest of the universe, I will thank the universe. 🙂

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