I survived my first two days as a Nurse Extern! And I LOVE the ED! I've participated in a code, gotten to go to the cath lab, performed every skill (successfully, I might add) that I wanted to do all year in clinical, and been welcomed in by the staff. It's going to be a great summer.
Here are some things I've learned so far:
1. Night shift sort of sucks. But night shift staff is beyond awesome. It's hard to be on an opposite schedule as the rest of the world, especially when I have things to do and can't sleep, or have to sleep and can't do things. The 3:30-4:30 hour is the hardest. With that said, the staff has been awesome. I have been able to learn from all of them, and one nurse promptly told me that "you're here to learn, and whatever we can have you do to help you learn, we'll do it." He then threw me into the middle of a code and let me follow the guy up to the cath lab a few hours later. He wasn't kidding about that whole learning experience.
2. Skills aren't that scary, once you've done them. I haven't gotten the chance to do any skills all through a year of clinical. That changed in two nights. IVs aren't bad at all, NG tubes aren't scary, and foleys are a piece of cake. I vote for never having clinicals...just let the students hang in the ED for a day or two.
3. Time management is still key. I'm getting better at it, but it will still take some time. No pun intended.
4. I love this externship.
More to come later!