It's been 8 months since I was hired into the ER, and four months since I've come off orientation. I was thinking about this because today is the first day of college classes, and it's pretty crazy that such a short time ago I was wondering how in the world I would make it though nursing school.
I find it amazing how much I've learned in a small amount of time, but the even more amazing thing is that the more I learn the more I realize just how much I don't know.
I have gotten to the point where I don't want to vomit every time I show up for work, although I do experience the feeling of my stomach wanting to drop out of my butt more times than I care to admit.
I've had good days and bad days. On my best day so far, I handled two priority 1 vented patients back to back for multiple hours by myself. On my worst days, I've made errors, missed things I shouldn't have, and made small blatant mistakes that make me feel three inches tall.
I have days where I feel on top of things, able to anticipate and answer the docs' questions before they ask, anticipating the next orders, what the patient needs, and what to do first. Then I have days where I feel constantly behind, have no idea what to do next, and don't know what the heck the doctor is asking me to do.
I have found which staff I can ask questions of, and which ones won't laugh at me when I ask something stupid. I've found that even if the staff member might laugh at me for asking a stupid questions, it's a good idea to ask it anyway.
I have discovered which nurses are lazy, and I groan inwardly when I work with them. I feel bad for the great nurses that I work with, because I bet they groan inwardly when they see me on the assignment sheet next to them. I mean come on, I'd groan too if I had to work with me in Traumas.
Overall, I still have to calm myself down a bit when I see I'm in traumas but I feel more and more confident every day that I'm not going to kill anyone. Of course, not killing anyone and superbly treating them through a life-threatening issue are two different beasts.
I'm still in slight disbelief that this is my job, but every day I love it more and am so thankful to be working where I love.
I can't imagine myself doing anything else.
Let's just hope that I can continue to grow past the point of simply not killing someone, and one day be a great nurse.