Nurse Life: Memorable Moments

Here are my top 5 memorable moments from my first month as an official registered nurse on my own:

1. Serving as an advocate for my patient who had not had anything to eat or drink for 4 days because his case was overlooked by the doctors during his transition from the ICU to our med-surg oncology unit. Staying after my shift to hand-feed him jello, applesauce, juice, and ice cream and seeing his face come back to life was just an added bonus.

2. Relieved pain and constipation for my patient by using natural methods. I encouraged her to walk around the hallways and drink plenty of fluids during our wait for the doctor to prescribe additional medication, but by the end of the day she had gone from a pain level of 10 all the way down to a 2.

3. While waiting in the lobby after my shift was over, I saw a woman stumble in through the main entrance with a giant red luggage bag, torn clothing, and the smell of alcohol and marijuana nearly falling over before reaching a chair. There was no one around except the secretary and a security guard, and I realized they were all turning to me since I was the nurse. I went over to her, asked her a few questions she was barely able to answer, and carried her belongings as we walked across the hospital to together to safety get her to the ER.

4. A patient I had worked with on and off for the entire 3 months of my orientation passed away on a day I was not assigned to him. When I heard he was coding, I went over to his room and, amidst the chaos of 14-15 people trying to save him, went over to the corner where his wife was helplessly staring in shock, took her into the family room, and sat with her and held her hand as she mourned the loss of her husband. 

5. Most of the time, my patients tell me I am a wonderful nurse and at the very least, understand and appreciate what I attempt to do for them. But for the first time, someone who I had given the highest level of care to and gone above and beyond for two 12-hour shifts in a row for rudely told me to take my hands of her and looked at me with a look of near-hate that I had never come across before. When I left the room, I had tears of anger and hurt in my eyes, and my charge nurse and co-workers saw me and told me she has made nearly every nurse working with her cry, but that they know I am an amazing nurse and reminded me that as long as I am doing my best, I have to remember that their opinion is not a reflection of me, but of themselves. 

If this was only the first month, I can’t wait to see what the coming months and years ahead will be like!

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