Getting a Handle on Things

I worked all weekend and actually felt like I might just survive both shifts. In fact, I admit it, I actually caught myself enjoying some moments. Perish the thought! 😉

It was the weekend, so it wasn’t quite the chaotic mess that day shift usually offers. But I took two patients and did fine on both days.*

I even survived the wrath of one of our infamous cardiothoracic surgeons, who is known for eating nurses for lunch. He was not altogether pleased when he called for an update about his patient, whom I was helping back into bed at the time and therefore it took me a few minutes to get to the phone. Nor was he my best friend when it took me a few minutes to figure out the patient’s 24-hour chest tube output on the damned flow sheet. But I took a deep breath, took his orders down calmly and cared for his patient without incident. And I got to take out an epidural!

I left my shift on Sunday marveling at how much better I felt and realizing how much of a difference your preceptor can make to your experience. I was reduced to a blubbering mess because of two 12-hour days with one person, and my confidence was shattered for over a week. After two shifts with two much more supportive preceptors, I feel like a different nurse! I’m still struggling with a lot of the same questions I was before, but I feel more confident in my abilities to handle this job.

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