Today marked the beginning of my 2nd week working in the hospital’s Urgent Care, my new permanent home (till we move). Before I started on the floor, I spoke with the NM about making sure that I would have some orientation to it and not just be thrown out there. Well, that hasn’t really happened. My first day on the unit I was told “OK, you’re doing Triage” and that was that. Every day since then I’ve just sort of been left to figure things out, and while I have no problem asking questions, I hate being a pest and sounding like a know-nothing.
I already knew that today was going to be crazy. We were short staffed (only 3 RNs, including me, 1 NA, and 1 Nursing Student who was assigned to 1 of the RNs). Now if this was an inpatient floor, that may not be such a problem, but in UC you never know what’s going to walk through the door. And today, I got put in charge of “The Treatment Room”. Gulp.
The T-room is where all of the really unstable patients go – anyone with acute MIs, shortness of breath, internal bleeding, non-stop N/V/D (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea for you non-medical professionals out there), chest pain, seriously scary looking cuts, infections, or other injuries… they go to the T-room. And they put me in charge of it. After 1 week of not-really-orientation. For about 2 seconds I thought I was going to throw up. I’m not scared to take care of unstable patients, but it’s a huge responsibility, and the majority of my experience is inpatient with more chronic, less acute stuff.
Everything went fine, nobody died, but I could not start an IV to save my life (or anyone else’s, come to think of it). I kept having to grab another RN to do it for me. I felt so stupid and useless over this little thing, and I really let it get to me. By the end of the day, even the thought of putting in an IV made me freeze up. I could do anything else but that. I don’t know why, but not being able to start an IV today made me feel like such a failure, and the more I thought about it, the more upset I got, the more anxious I got, and the more nervous I got… all of which combined to make me feel miserable.
So I get home, work out, go to the library, go to the grocery, make taco soup, and still feel miserable. I was watching a movie with Chris and I still kept thinking about it. Halfway through the movie my phone rings. I thought it was my mom, but it was one of the RNs from UC. She called to tell me that she thought I’d done an awesome job today, and that she knew my orientation to the floor had been really shabby, so that made it even more impressive. In her words, I did better than some RNs who’d been there a year already. All in all, I only spoke with her for 3 minutes, but it made me feel so much better and gave me a huge confidence boost. Thank you, Lord, for those wonderful people who take 3 minutes to give someone an encouraging word. I really appreciated it tonight 🙂