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Jun
16

Marathon

Hello, day off. It’s good to see you! 🙂

It’s been a brutal week, to say the least. I worked 6 out of the last 8 days. 3 night shifts, 2 days to recover (which is really more like 1, by the time you sleep away day 1) – during which I wrote a literature review for school – and then did 3 straight day shifts.

And the day shifts were.a.bitch. The flow is COMPLETELY different from nights and I struggled mightily with the transition.

My first day was actually somewhat manageable – I handled two patients and my preceptor was supportive and encouraging and stepped in when I needed her, but otherwise let me do my thing. Overall, I felt overwhelmed but affirmed that I was headed in the right direction.

Then came days 2 and 3. I don’t know if I was exhausted, or my preceptor (a different one) and I just didn’t click, or if she just wasn’t as effective at teaching, but it was a nightmare. For two straight shifts I felt like I made one mistake after another and was constantly reminded about how slowly I was moving, how much I was forgetting and how much I hadn’t grasped yet. I was told I was too timid. I was told I don’t ask enough questions, but then when I admitted I didn’t know something yet, my preceptor got a look on her face like she couldn’t believe I didn’t know that. It wasn’t humbling, it was an enormous blow. And considering how hard I am on myself already, by last night I was ready to burst into tears.

And I couldn’t hold back the floodgates. I haven’t cried about work until this week. But this was just too much. I felt beaten up, incompetent and just plain stupid.

There was one bright spot in the otherwise nightmarish 48 hours. A Code Blue was called on the floor above us. My preceptor grabbed me and told me we needed to go upstairs so I could get more exposure to code situations. The patient coding was on the floor and the critical care charge nurse was doing chest compressions – she asked me to take over. So I did.

Up until that point I had only done CPR on a mannequin. It is SO DIFFERENT on a human. I sang the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” in my head to keep my rate correct, ignored the pain in my knees from being on the floor, and just remembered everything I’d learned in ACLS class. For the first minute the patient stayed in asytole. But then we got a pulse.

We saved a life. What a rush…

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