My life is...
It was Breast Cancer Awareness Day at my hospital. Two of my awesome coworkers are posing with me. 
I’m impressed we had a minute to take a picture!

It was Breast Cancer Awareness Day at my hospital. Two of my awesome coworkers are posing with me.
I’m impressed we had a minute to take a picture!

I have come to my own conclusion…

that when you learn how to be a nurse at one hospital….you’re pretty much set for any other hospital.

I had to sit through nursing orientation for my second job today and we discussed the following:

  1. Blood transfusions-how to, verification, reactions, tubing changes…
  2. Insulin pens-self explanatory
  3. Heparin infusion protocol
  4. Medication range orders-this one I actually didn’t know because we don’t do range orders at my full time hospital

So it was very boring.

First of all I work in a surgical intensive care unit. We pass out blood, albumin, FFP’s and platelets like candy. I know when and how to change the tubing, what to look for side effects and of course that I can only run it with normal saline.

And insulin pens are easy, you just have to take your time when checking you blood sugar result with the order. Always slow down when you are passing meds. That’s what I do anyway. Unless there is som raething short of nuclear warfare happening…I never stop to do anything in the middle of passing any meds.

And the heparin protocol was easy too. If you read the order set and follow it, in theory, it should be fool proof. We are all human and we do make mistakes but have another RN always double check your work with high alert meds. It takes 2 seconds and there should always be the standing rule that no question is a dumb question.

Medication range orders are new for me I must admit….but I’m going to the ER so I probably won’t have to deal too much with that.

So….that makes me ready to work anywhere I’ve decided.

I’m being sarcastic of course.

But I am going to start studying for CCRN!

Yes I’m a glutton for punishment…I know.

Where is time going?

I have been on orientation now in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit since the beginning of October. They told me up front that my orientation would be longer than a usual floor given the acuity of care give to patients and the amount of skills we are required to possess. So we were looking at anywhere from 4-6 months.

That time is drawing very near.

My manager and educator were having a conversation in front of me, about me, that I would be coming off orientation at the beginning of March.

March!

That means I only have the month of February to get better with ICU stuff.

I have been through class, class and more class. Open Heart surgery, valve replacement surgery, cardiovascular drugs and how to titrate them, hemodynamic monitoring, induced hypothermia, vents and ABG’s, ECG and rhythm strip interpretation, mock codes and trauma, diabetic ketoacidosis management, chest tubes, intra aortic balloon pump, CRRT/CVVH, stroke, cardiac arrest, head injuries and any other ICU-ish care you can think of.

I even had my own patient yesterday.

All by myself…….mostly. And the only reason I took the patient by myself is because EVERYONE else was busy with like a code and 2 fresh open hearts. So I took care of the DKA.

I felt like such a big girl. I organized my time well with assessments and I&O’s and meds, I monitored his labs, checked and titrated his insulin accordingly, monitored his labs and called the doctor when something needed replaced. I took all his drips and lines down from his central line and hung all new ones in his PICC line. I gave him his PRN meds accordingly and within the right timeframes. I gave report, I did rounds……hell……I was the nurse!

So now it’s getting close to being on my own. Just a little over a month.

Excited but scared.