no longer a new grad
So hey, yesterday marked my 1 year anniversary of being hired in the ER, my first job out of nursing school. Does this means I am no longer a new grad? I am not sure. The learning curve has been steep this past year, with lots of scary moments when I felt like patients lives were truly in my hands. I have survived that first year and have emerged with more confidence at being able to handle any patient that comes through the door. Now I can get IV’s in most patients, even the long time drug abusers that have no veins left. I can rely on my gut feeling about a patient’s condition enough to confidently bug the doctor to take another look. My biggest thrill is to have an experienced nurse ask me for my thoughts on a patient or try for an IV that they have missed.
The other day I had a stroke patient that met the criteria for tPA. I was shaking in my Danskos as I pushed the loading dose into her IV and turned on the pump for the tPA drip. She didn’t bleed, and began to show slight neuro improvement. It wasn’t the miraculous recovery we all hoped for, but we didn’t cause harm.
Do no harm. I have managed this year not to make any of my patients conditions worse, mostly I am able to help them and send them on their way feeling better than when they came in. I never realized how much teaching goes on in the nursing role and I am getting much more comfortable at it.
I still feel new at the job, but much more confident now. Many things come naturally now that felt awkward a year ago, and I don’t have to look up infusion rates on every single antibiotic anymore, I know them.
I will continue raise my eyebrows at what patients decide to insert into various orifices.