I've been working as a registered nurse for almost a year now. That doesn't mean I've been on my own for that long, just that I've been exposed to full 12-hour shifts and non-filtered work environments.
It is a scary thing to think about going into this field. You hear horror stories about lateral violence and how other, more experienced nurses will destroy a "baby" nurse, reducing her self-worth and pushing her out of a unit based on sheer nastiness and pettiness.
I was prepared to go into a wrestling ring; thinking there was no way that I had come to this point in my life only to allow some creepy woman or man with a grudge on their shoulder the chance to block my forward progress. This would be a challenge considering I have a tendency to stumble on flat surfaces and I openly admit when I'm being stupid. I believe it is far more dangerous to act like you know what you're doing when, in reality, you absolutely do not.
Then something amazing happened: NOTHING! That's right, nothing.
I went to work and people helped me. I asked questions and they answered. I thought it was an elaborate trap, but it wasn't. I was just one of those lucky people who landed a job in a place I didn't have to fight an uphill battle to learn and grow and it makes me feel like I'm in a dream.
Okay, working in an emergency room isn't always a dream. There is a spectrum of possibilities when you walk into that door every shift. There are a lot of kidney stones! Seriously, there are a lot of them! You poor people who have suffered from stones, kidney and gall bladder, I feel for you and I hope I never become one of you.
The worst days involve children and anything negative that happens with them or to them.
A friend of mine actually said that he was surprised I could work there because I was always such a cry baby. He said it nicer than that (thanks, Earl), but when bad things happen, we all cry. You can't help it. We all have families and it is hard to separate how we'd feel in the same situation. Believe me, we care.
The whole ER is like a family from our housekeeping department to the nurses to lab to the doctors. We laugh and joke because it relieves tension, but when things get serious, you can feel the gears shift. It's amazing, really.
Two of my classmates, Tonya and Candy, went to night shift right away. I only get to see them in passing, but at least I see them fairly often. Other classmates keep in touch on Facebook, but everyone has gone so many different directions. It seems like they are doing well. Still, I miss some of them horribly.
As for my new work family who has so graciously accepted me as one of them, I can't say enough how thankful I am: Patty, Tinna, Andrea, Reese, Daisy, Chelsea, Elizabeth, Susan, Brandon, Tony, Kelly D., Lori and several doctors. There were also two amazing nurses who have moved on, Shannon and Kelly A. These are just the people who work with me every day, but the other shift is also special.
Highlands County, try to stay safe out there. Also, drink plenty of water. You may be able to avoid kidney stones if you stay hydrated. You can thank me later.