The Book of Nurses will soon be closed. Send me your page now in celebration of International Nurses Week this year (May 6-12).
OK then, to start off tell us what country/area you live in, how long you have been nursing for, what areas you have worked in and the specialty you currently work in.
I live in central Kentucky, and I have been a registered nurse for 22 years (as of May). I have always done adult cardiac/medical critical care. I started my career as an officer in the United States Army Nurse Corps. After we moved back to KY, I worked in the Coronary Care Unit at a large hospital. My husband was (retired this year) an officer in the Army Reserves and was called to active duty for a second time for an extended tour of 3 years. So… I left my job to stay at home full time with my then 6 year old son. I couldn’t just sit around the house, so I started working on my Master’s online. Online is definitely the way to go if you have little ones at home, BUT it was a huge learning curve for this not so computer literate nurse!
I currently work as a nursing instructor at a private college where I am an instructor in the nursing skills lab, a clinical instructor and the clinical coordinator for the first 2 semesters. Oh, and I occasionally fill in in the classroom. (No wonder I’m tired….).
What made you decide to become a nurse?
I have always known I was going to be in the healthcare field, but I knew it was going to be nursing by the time I was a sophomore in high school.
How have you seen the profession change over the course of your career? Do you see a positive future for the nurses that are graduating now?
Oh my, where to start! I have seen so many things change over the last 2 decades! When I started, coronary angioplasty was just getting started; there were no stents or implantable defibrillators; Outpatient surgery was not even thought of, let alone laparoscopic surgery. We have gone from open bay, multi-patient wards to all private rooms, seen the emergence of multidrug resistant bacteria, and a new artificial heart, just to mention a few. The profession of nursing has evolved with all of these changes, but I see many challenges ahead.
Nursing and nurses have some decisions to make soon, in order for our profession to continue to grow. We can either embrace the future and make sure we have a say in it, or we can just let the future happen to us. As the largest group of healthcare providers IN THE WORLD, we must band together to become leaders in the future of healthcare!!! (okay, getting down off the soapbox now…)
Tell us a story: an amazing, funny, moving or memorable moment from your book of shifts.
I have so many stories, most of which cannot be repeated in polite (or impolite) company.:D big grin
But, I can tell you about a special patient. He was my age at the time, and had been born with congenital heart defects. He wasn’t supposed to live past age 5, but he proved everyone wrong, going on to graduate from college, marry and have children. He lived a full and happy life, but his poor heart finally started giving out. He came to our unit several times with worsening heart failure, and finally, we knew the next time would be the last. The doctor found me as I was getting ready to go home one evening to tell me he was coming back in. The family told the night shift they would like me to be his nurse the next day. The next morning, I came in and went to his room, embracing his wife and mom and him. As he lay there struggling to breathe, the doctor came in and asked him what he wanted. He told the doctor he was ready to go. As I sat there holding his wife’s hand, I started crying right along with the doctor and family. About 20 minutes later, I hung a Morphine drip and started titrating it up. I reached down to give him a hug and tell him good bye. He kissed my cheek and thanked me for taking such good care of him. He drifted off to sleep and passed away a few hours later, surrounded by his loved ones. He gave me such a gift to allow me to be present at such an intimate moment, and I will never forget him. His family came back a few months later and brought me a little angel pin that I have to this day.
Not just a nurse: what about when you are not at work? What do you get up to in the rest of your life?
I am a wife, and the mom of a loving, funny son –named Ian, by the way- with mild Asperger’s and ADHD. He is in the throws of puberty at the moment, but life is never dull!
I am taking karate classes and hold the rank of blue belt, working on my green belt. I love to garden, and I read just about anything that will stand still. I love trashy romance! I also love to bake and cook.
Piss and Vinegar: name 3 things that really get under your skin, push your buttons, or generally irritate you at work or outside of work.
Only 3?! Well..
#1 would have to be LAZY NURSES. I cannot stand a lazy nurse!!! Get off your behind and do your job, and take care of your patients, and do not ever ask someone to do something you won’t do.
#2-Parents who are irresponsible or who think their child is perfect and not subject to the rules. Be a grown up and parent your child, quit trying to be their best friend!
#3- The general sense of entitlement that people have nowadays. Life is not fair, but we all have to play by the rules.
The nurses desk: What is the one thing you would like to say to the rest of the nurses or general public out there.
To the rest of the nurses out there-BE NICE TO EACH OTHER!! We are the only ones who know what another nurse is dealing with, so be nice, be a mentor, and respect one another. As long as we are a house divided, we cannot be strong, and that is the way the politicians and other interest groups like it.
To the general public-
First, I want to apologize for the crappy nursing care you may have gotten somewhere. Not all nurses hate their jobs and most of us are good at what we do. If you don’t get quality care, speak up. Those of us that are good at our jobs won’t mind.:) happy
Second, you have to take ownership of your health and well being, do what you can to get healthy or stay healthy.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let each man march to his own rhythm, however measured, or far away.
H. D. Thoreau