This week marks the 10th anniversary of starting my first nursing job ever. Ten long, short years ago. I remember how nervous I was to take care of patients, even though I hadn't yet passed my NCLEX and thus was still considered a new nurse graduate not even allowed to chart or administer medications.
It's been a wild ride. I worked my way up from terrified brand new nurse, to mostly competent baby nurse, to proficient trauma/critical care nurse, to occasional charge nurse, and then decided to leave my confidence level in the dust to start travel nursing. I spent nearly five years doing that, where I met friends all around the county, worked in varying levels-of-shitshow hospitals, learned to adapt out of my comfort zone, and then met and married some dude I met halfway across the US. I'm now back to full time nursing at a single hospital. I bought a house and generally live a pretty cushy life full of caffeine, friends and family, and instagramming about my cats. I get cursed out pretty regularly at work but that's to be expected because I do work ER after all. I precept new grads occasionally, and have had the opportunity to change some of those new grads for the better. I mostly have my shit together at work, although sometimes the day does wear me down and defeat me.
I don't know if I can do ER forever, although I swore up and down when I started that I absolutely would. The changing environment of emergency medicine is probably the biggest obstacle, but the lack of respect from hospital administration, my aching feet after 3 long consecutive shifts, and need to challenge myself are also factors.
I do love my job though. I love the ER, and honestly can't see myself doing anything else for the forseeable future. I'm good at this job, and when I need a change or to challenge myself I take on a new grad orientee, or learn a new skill, or ask to be trained into a new role. When or if I do get tired of all this - perhaps hospice nursing? I think I'd enjoy that. We see so many people yanked out of this life violently, tearfully, unwillingly, that I imagine it would be a welcome change to be with people who know their time has come. I don't think I'm mature enough for that job just yet though, but maybe in a few more years.
It's also been a fun ride with this blog. I started it over eleven years ago! ELEVEN! I haven't even had my all time #1 comfy sweatpants for that long. Shit, I've had this blog for double the time I've known my husband - even weirder is that this thing is how I met him in the first place. Life is funny sometimes.
Here's to another ten years of nursing and blogging about it, although I ain't even gonna lie and say I'll post more frequently. Y'all know better than that. Cheers!