Resurgence of Anxiety

Hello All,

So this is kind of both a life post and a nursing post, but i have been having a lot more anxiety lately. I think there are several factors that play into this, but I definitely noticed an increase.

I thought maybe it was (those who don’t appreciate lady talk avert your eyes) where I was in my cycle, but after several days of feeling melancholy, I felt like I needed to something more. After having now settled in somewhat to my new surroundings, I have come to the conclusion that I need to do some more self care.

One of the first things that my supervisor told me when I started working on my new unit was to take my time to settle into the unit before taking on anything extra. She said to find a mentor or a coworker that you connect with that you can ask questions or feel comfortable talking to. So now that I feel I have been able to do this, I felt like it was time to put some effort back into me, so what better day than Valentine’s Day.

As I lay in bed after a lovely dinner cooked by Ethan (salmon and veggies yum!) and some beautiful gifts (hello Tiffany bracelet…

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and some lovely smelling candles)

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we watched some TV. As we were laying in bed, Ethan snoozing away, and myself awake watching TV, I found that I was feeling amped up and starting to feel that edgy feeling coming on of just wanting to jump out of my skin.

SOOOO being 1:30am I decided naturally that it was time to hop on the treadmill. It had been WAY too long since I had done that, so I only lasted about 15 minutes, but those 15 minutes really helped take the edge off and help me get over that hump of wanting to jump out of my skin.

I now remember the importance of self care, especially in nursing. I need to make sure to take time to care for myself so I can care for others. What is your favorite form of self care? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Until next time

~Niki

Leaving My First Job

Hey All!

I am writing this post more directed to nursing, but I think that a lot of the ideas that I will be sharing in this post apply to all areas of work. I am going to write about how quitting my first job went for me.

I will be the first to admit I DREADED this. I was afraid of the reaction I would receive, I was nervous I would say something wrong, and I was anxious about leaving the warm, loving, supportive environment I had grown so familiar to for something different. But this is how we grow, by throwing ourselves into the scary abyss and seeing what results.

I remember feeling OK walking into the building, I remember feeling fine in the elevator, but one I stepped of that elevator, my whole body felt a sense of dread wash over. I am definitely one of those people that doesn’t like confrontation or uncomfortable conversations (Yes yes, I know I am a nurse and I have these with patients everyday, but this just felt different). So I took a moment and composed myself, and did what I do best, walked into my managers office and just did what I needed to do. I was polite and direct and kept it brief, I didn’t ramble on and talk about all of the reasons etc, I just said I was leaving for personal reasons and that I appreciated the opportunity and left it at that. We had a very brief conversation, and that was the end of it.

I had built it up so much in my head that it was almost embarrassing. Definitely sounds like something I would do though.

Telling my coworkers was my next step, this was less daunting to me, but I still felt bad as they had become like family to me as any good nursing unit is. People were of course sad to see me go, but wished me luck and totally understood my need/want to move and progress and explore my options now while I was not as tied down.

I hope this didn’t sound too ranty, but hey it was more of a feelings post. Anyone have a scenario they would like to share, or a topic they would like to hear about? Just leave a comment 🙂

~Niki

Long Overdue

Sooooo Hello everyone,

I have been in a lot of transition, so I apologize for not having posted anything for a couple of months. (Shame on me), but now that things have settled down some, hopefully I am going to get back on track. I’ve been moving around in my job, and taking on new hobbies, which I will address in the lifestyle section of this blog since I know some of you readers are just interested in the nursing part of this.

First things first, I am no longer a new graduate nurse. YAY! I graduated into being in the scary position to do things on my own. I was moved to an NOST (Neuro/Ortho/Surgical/Truama) unit on day shift and stayed there just over a month. We saw all kinds of people, but a lot of them were traumatic falls, voluntary joint replacements, or car accidents. Then I was offered the opportunity to go to PCU (Progressive Care) on night shift, and after about 20 minutes of deliberation decided the night shift was worth that jump, and let me tell you its only been about a week, but I am so much happier and love the unit and people that I am working with! As it has been one of my goals all along to go to higher acuity care, this was definitely the right  move, and the people are amazing.

Part 2, My 1 and only sister and her fiancee are moving to wait for it… JAPAN. Not like up the coast or anything, but half way across the world to Okinawa, Japan. I am excited for her to get to move to a cool new place (and for the excuse of a vacation to Japan 😉 ) I know selfish, but gonna take advantage while shes there. I’m both sad and excited to see her go, but I know it will be good for them and they’re going to have so much fun. She has been thinking about maybe starting a blog for her adventures so if she ever  does get on top of that I will post her link in one of my future posts 🙂

Back to the nursing part of things. I have quite a bit of further education to complete before I am to be on my own in the PCU, drips, medication titration, and EKG classes to name a few. It feels good to feel like I am learning more again and like I am feeling challenged.

Until next time, post what you would like to hear more about in the comments!

 

~Niki

Crazy Days

Oh man!

So the other day I had one of the craziest days I have ever had. I even stayed behind for an extra hour because I had to finish my charting (something I’ve never done before). I must admit that despite being such a ridiculous day and feeling like i just fell behind on everything I actually kind of liked being able to deliver more patient care. We as nurses and healthcare members are so bogged down by all of the charting that we need to do, that I think our patient care suffers unfortunately. I would love to spend a half hour just chatting with my patients and getting to know them better.

I feel like there is so much that is lost by having the ability taken from us to talk to patients. There is something therapeutic to have someone devote their full attention to what you have to say, even if it is only for a few minutes.

If we could find an efficient electronic medical record that would allow us to quickly chart an assessment, wouldn’t that allow us to get back to whats really important? Our patients and their care.

 

Thoughts? This post took a bit of a different turn than I was expecting…

Niki

Flip Flopping

No I don’t mean like the shoe… 🙂

Hey all!

So as you may know, I’m a nurse (duh) but I recently switched back to a day shift. Some of you are probably thinking HOORAY! that must be awesome for you, and while I mostly would have to agree with you, there were some initial bumps in the road for me.

The first day of switching back was met with some initial anxiety because I remember how helpless and frazzled I felt those initial 10 weeks I was working day shift as a brand new nurse. However, my first day back I felt it went a lot more smoothly, and I seemed to have a much better grasp of what was going on as a whole with patient care and how the hospital works as a system.

One of the issues I feel that I ran into was after that first day I was completely wiped out. Despite being on a “real people schedule” I was so tired I slept most of the next day and then slept that night! Talk about feeling like a crazy person. After that I seem to have pretty effectively switched back to a day shift cycle. I however have also noticed that I am having more of a constant low grade headache. This I think has more to do with my decreased caffeine intake (1 Fizz stick vs 2, Thank you Arbonne for the awesome caffeine) The caffeine source is great, but my personal choice to have less of an intake I think resulted in a little bit of withdrawal headaches. Oops… my bad.

As with anything that changes in your life, there needs to be a grace period for adjustment, and sometimes that adjustment is just a little more difficult than you anticipated.

Anyone had difficulty with transitioning? I know there are some of you out there that are on a constant rotation. How do you deal? Any tips and tricks for the rest of us?

Please feel free to leave them in the comments 🙂

~Niki

 

PS here is a cup of coffee that I enjoyed in the midmorning 🙂

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Psych Unit?

Recently my Medical/Oncology unit has felt more like a psychiatric unit. This past week we have had patients screaming, throwing things at nurses and other people, threatening anyone that comes in the room, being verbally abusive not only to their nurses, but to the people that need to be constantly sitting with them. In the past week I can’t even tell you how many times we have had to call security in order to keep not only the patients safe from themselves, but the staff safe as well from the abuse they might take. Part of our jobs as nurses are to protect our patients, but it becomes a difficult task to protect them from themselves when they try to abuse us.

As nurses we are trained to deal with escalation to an extent, but when there are several of this type of patient on the unit at the same time, it makes it extremely difficult for us as nurses to deliver effective care to all of the patients equally. We do our best, but of course those that are more stable and less acute patients are sometimes left more to their own devices than we as nurses would like. It frustrates us as nurses to no end, and shows how lacking our healthcare system is in dealing with the psychiatric patient. One of the most acutely psych patients was realistically just on our unit awaiting placement. Which means there was no where for him to go because either the places for him to go are completely full, or they are not accepting that type of patient.

Has anyone had to deal with a patient that was just absolutely crazy? How did you deal? Do you have any recommendations or comments to share with us? Good or bad are always welcomed, we can learn from others bad experiences.

 

~Niki

Difficult Questions

The other night I had an interesting question come from a patient, I had no idea how to answer that question, so I said I would ask someone and get back to the family member.

A little background on what happened. A patient came up from the ED, who had recently been diagnosed with something that would kill her. So she and her family members came up to my floor as we are the oncology unit and deal with a lot of comfort care patients. The patient seemed to be doing quite fine considering her diagnosis, but what one of her family members asked me was what threw me off guard. She looked me square in the eye and asked me how do I make this kind of phone call. I had never been asked that question and I had no response for it. I excused myself and said I would ask some people and get back to her. So I left the room with my head spinning and asked both my clinical coach that night and the charge nurse. They were both seasoned oncology nurses, and both gave me looks that they didn’t know how to answer that question. The charge nurse said that it was probably best to just relay the information, not sugar coat it, and make sure that the sense of urgency was understood should the patient pass quickly as she very well may have.

I was at a bit of a loss for words, and when someone was looking to me for guidance, I was unsure how to proceed. Has anyone had this experience before? Does anyone have some advice on how to proceed in this type of situation?

 

~Niki