(Today’s post is different because I’ve decided to write in a journal format. I realized how much I miss writing a diary so I wrote one and will probably continue to do so. It has always been an effective outlet for me, expressing my feelings and thoughts through words. This is an update on my new nursing career. =) )

Dear Diary,

I’m writing this at 1:50 am on my night shift (10 pm-6 am). I know what you’ll think, why do I have the time to write? Well, let me explain, we don’t have any more things to do- admissions, medications, cleaning, etc- all done! I’ve already given all the medications for midnight so I’m only waiting for another hour or so to give the next one, for 3 am timing. In the meantime, it’s pretty quiet around here and other nurses are taking their naps too. I’ve tried napping, closing my eyes but I couldn’t sleep so I have all the time for now.

You should be proud of me because, believe it or not, I have survived four months as a nurse! I am honestly impressed with myself too. I’ve learned tons and refreshed my previous learnings to the point that my brain felt like it’s going to explode sometimes. But I did it, heck yeah!

Don’t get the wrong idea that the process was easy for me though because it wasn’t. If I compare my first months with other nurses I know, mine doesn’t compare to theirs. It wasn’t as horrifying as their experiences. I can’t imagine how it will be if those “scary”, “terror” CIs I had before would be my coworkers. I think they’ll eat me alive.

My cousin, also a nurse, for instance, shared the story of her awful first months/years of working as a nurse. Her senior nurses at that time (when there are still many) were rude and unhelpful. Some nurses told me they were even insulted with comments such as, “How the heck did you pass the board exam/course?” and left alone to do their tasks!

I am lucky because my colleagues are nothing like that. They fully understand how it is to work as a nurse for the first time which is equivalent to being a lost puppy in a field of tigers. Okay, maybe not tigers but it felt like that.

With all the positive aside, I’m going, to be honest, that there were many times that I thought of quitting or questioning why I entered the job. I was almost in tears in a couple of shifts because of the pressure and stress I was feeling. Times when I still had hundreds of things to do in a very limited time- new doctors’ orders, discharging patients and paper works! I didn’t quit though, on the contrary, I persevered, which lead me to this moment. We shouldn’t quit when the times get tough, should we?

I want to be a nurse but I’m not perfect, far from it actually because I still have hundreds of things to learn. Every day is a day of learning and discovery for me. I think it’ll never stop in the field of nursing with its new procedures, medications, policies which will always come out. I could say that I have adjusted a little, enough to be confident with my job. My coworkers and I in the hospital have formed some sort of connection that makes it easier for us all to work together which is very important in all professions, by the way.

As much as I would like to share everything I’ve learned so far, It’s hard to enumerate them but for one thing, I am happy I’m familiar with important medications such as antibiotics, omeprazole, mucolytics for cough and many more. I have done countless skin tests, although I’ve heard they don’t do it anymore in other countries. To get to the successful procedures, I made a lot of mistakes too. Insulin injections SC is very common because apparently, many of our fellowmen are diabetic so I’ve done that many times as well.

The first time I’ve taken a patient’s vital signs (T, PR, RR, BP, Oxygen Sat) felt marvelous. But now, if I think of taking 20 or so patients wasn’t so exciting anymore. =) First times are always exciting and fun, aren’t they?

When I first inserted an IV line on a patient, I was shaking inside (never show your nervousness to your patient). Afterward, I was ecstatic that I wanted to jump with joy. My first attempts at NGT feeding weren’t always good- crushed meds stuck in the feeding tube. (Lesson for me is to make sure I crushed and dissolved it well to avoid that problem).

Finally, let me share what I thought of death. I had two elderly patients who passed away. Both of them were unconscious, with oxygen support, had NGT to get the nourishment they needed, with catheters and demanded constant monitoring. In the medical world, they are considered “toxic” patients.

Whether I like it or not, the only way for them to go is toward death and they did sadly. I was affected by their death. It saddened me to think that these people I cared for, thought about, I saw breathing the day before had died the next day or next shift. I know this is a part of the profession I chose, being a nurse but you can never get yourself prepared for when it happens. Some say it’ll get better, will deal it better in time, maybe they’re right.

I still has so much to share, so much to talk about! Next time, I’ll get back to you with more experiences at work.



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