Orientation is moving along very quickly. I must admit that I am scared of the day that I am “on my own” regardless of the fact that I know I have all of my fellow nurses to answer any questions I have or assist me in any way that I need. I know I can go to them. My fear still remains…and I think this is normal. I am sure we all have this fear. I dont think you feel ready, even though you are technically “off” orientation. I guess my point is…as my orientation time continues to get closer to the end date, I am scared of being “on my own”. I know my friends who are going through the same thing feel this way as well. The only thing that eases my mind is knowing that I do have the knowledge and guidance of the nurses on my floor to assist me whenever I need.
Okay, more about my expereinces now…
So, the other week I did my first rotation of nights. I had never worked a night shift before…not even as a nurse tech. I think the latest I’ve stayed at work has been 11pm. So I was excited to see how my body and mind would react to working all night. The first day before the shift was odd though. I tried to stay up the night before but could not…I just wasn’t in that groove. So trying to sleep that day before the shift was impossible. I think all together I got about 3-4 hours sleep during that day. I’ve since been told a lot of folks just nap during the day when they first start.
During the shift I felt pretty good…not as bad as I thought it would be. But…by around 3 or 4 am…I could tell that my body was not sure what was going on. Luckily, around 5 am I began to get really busy and forget that I was even tired! There were medications to pass out, blood sugars to check, dressings to remove for the doctors in the morning, etc.
The rest of the week was not too bad. It was more “weird” than bad. That is the word I have been using to describe nights…”weird”. It is just something that I think takes some getting used to. But it is another great way to learn. I still get admissions, just of a different kind. You may have to pre-op patients. There are a lot of ways to learn still. Prior to working a night shift, I thought nights might be almost boring. I thought…well, what are you really going to do?…the patients are sleeping for most of the shift…..SO not true!
There may be nights like that…they may be very quiet at times….but there are also nights that are incredibly busy! For example, one of the nights I worked during the night, we had five direct admissions. They just seemed to come back to back. So, needless to say, there was not much “sitting around” that night! But, it was a great learning experience and I enjoyed the different aspects of nursing care that I was able to see and experience.
I am still working on my ECCO classes every Monday as well. My goal is to finish them by the end of the month. I have learned alot from doing them. Each module goes into great detail about each system of the human body. It has really answered alot of questions I have about different aspects of nursing care. The great thing about the modules is that as I have new experiences with my preceptor on the floor, I can go back to a specific module, even if I have already passed the test for it, and read/review to relate my expereinces to the information provided.
I have learned that repitition is the key. The more I see it, the more I know how to handle it. There is no reason to feel bad for not knowing something…we can only learn by experience…like everyone else has!
So…that is what is going on with me. It is still new experiences every day…still days where I feel like I know NOTHING!…still days where I am proud of the way I handled something…I am still learning every single day!