To make a long story short: Yes. Yes. Yes.
But I'm not really one to make a story short when I could go on and on, so if you're interested in The Long Story...read on.
3 months ago my answers would have been "Prooobably." "I'm not sure I'm lovin' it, but I'm interested in working in OB." and "Nights sure beat Days!" Now I'm feeling much more settled, and a little bit more competent (just a little!), and I'm extremely grateful (most of the time) that God chose to make me a nurse . Since nothing is ever 100% perfect, and there's always bad with the good (and good with the bad), let's break it down a little. Here are 5 things I don't like, and 5 things I do like.
5 things I don't like:
- Working and having a job. I know that these are both good things, but having that obligation really cramps my style, ya know? Not to mention it takes a lot of time. It would be so much nicer to have every day, evening, and weekend off! But this is what God has called me to do, so here I am.
- The rest of the world does not operate on a night shift schedule. Packages are delivered (causing the dogs to bark like crazy) about an hour after I get to sleep. Important phone calls come in the middle of the day (middle of the night, for me), and I am sometimes forced to choose between sleeping and missing out, or showing up and being a zombie. If I worked days, these things would be a little more clean-cut: I can be there, or I can't be there. I'm working or its my day off. The lines are a little fuzzier on nights. Also, trainings and meetings are never scheduled at convenient times for night people. But is there every really a convenient time?
- Dealing with anxious, confused, agitated, or otherwise very needy patients. Like the ones that have a hefty dose of Lasix ordered for 2100 (why?!) and need assistance to transfer to the commode. Every. 10. minutes. I think I find this especially draining (no pun intended) because at home I have a very mommy-dependent toddler that wants to be with me all of the time, and even if she doesn't want to be with me, she requires CONSTANT VIGILANCE (in the words of Mad-Eye Moody). Its just a lot of being needed, and not much of a break.
- Calling the doctor. Because I hate calling people in general (does anybody actually like it?), and because I know I sound like I'm 12 when I'm on the phone (and probably in person, too), and because I'm always afraid they'll ask me something I don't know but I should, and because it usually means the doctor forgot something or I forgot something or the patient has had a change of status. Not good things. Thankfully, we have some really great docs (especially on nights) and after working with them for awhile you can have an idea of what to expect from them, and what they expect from you.
- I don't like not being perfect. I hate it that I'm not super-nurse. I can never get everything done, and if I can, it's not done on time. I can never give my patients the level of care that I want to. This is mostly due to the fact that I can only be in one place at one time, and I only have 2 hands and not 4. And they forgot to give me my magic wand at our pinning ceremony (I really need to follow up on that). I'm slowly learning to become more efficient and sort out what really does and doesn't matter. And occasionally I have come home after a shift and thought "maybe I kind of did ok."
5 things I do like:
- Working and having a job. Yes, the "I want to stay home/I want to work" debate is never. ending. in my head (seriously, it never stops). But I'm glad I have a reason to get out of the house. I'm glad to have a break from The Peanut that I love so much, and I'm glad she gets time with her dad without me. It really helps that the work I do is extremely meaningful and pretty fulfilling. And I'm not complaining about the money that gets deposited into our checking account due to the fact that I work. The money that allows me to PAY SOMEONE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE. Yes, you read that right. I pay someone to clean my house, and it is WORTH IT!!
- What I love about nights is that there are way less people around. On days you can walk into the nurses' station at any given moment and there could be 5-15 people in there. On nights you walk in and chances are good there will be NO ONE in there. We don't deal with physical therapy, or doctors rounding, there are a lot fewer visitors (don't get be wrong, they are still very much there), and there are no administrators- just a House Supervisor. The vibe is much more chill on nights. The lights are out. Even when it gets busy (which it does!) it is a quiet busy. I love the night-shift vibe. And the people that work nights tend to be much more laid-back and easygoing as well.
- Being there for patients who are anxious, confused, agitated, very sick, or otherwise need a nurse. I love bedside nursing! I love taking care of people. I love explaining things to them as much as I am able. I love helping them when they really need help. I love talking to them and joking with them, and hearing their stories (they have some GREAT stories, guys), and making them comfortable and fluffing their pillows and getting them pain meds and fresh ice water. And I LOVE giving them warm blankets. Nursing is the best, guys! I LOVE it! What a relief...nursing school was quite a hell to go through, and how awful would it be if I didn't like nursing?
- The team of people that I work with is fantastic. Since I clearly am not perfect, I rely on others so much. First of all, the grace of my All-Powerful God has carried me (and my patients) through more that I will ever know. Secondly, the aides, nurses, supervisors, monitor techs, lab techs, respiratory therapists (love them!) and yes...even the doctors that I work with are all in it together to do what's best for the patients we care for. We help each other and we support each other. And we have fun, too!
- I love that the work I do is meaningful and life-giving. When the world around me seems to be filled with darkness and dismay, and there is so much that I feel helpless about, I feel like there are maybe some things I can help with. I can't save the world (but God can!), I can't heal anybody (but God can!), but at least I now have more skills to use to serve the Lord and help hurting people.
So, yes, I like nursing. Yes, I like my job (I think I'll hold off on moving to OB for now). And night shift is definitely my jam.
As always, thanks for hanging in there with me. I know my posting isn't very consistent, but you all read and support me anyway, and I am so thankful!