Trauma Junkie

trauma junkie

January and February were very busy months.  On a whim, I applied to the Emergency Department of my local County hospital.  I had applied after graduation for their new grad residency, but while they said they were impressed with me the available slots went to people who were already working there as techs and paramedics.  I honestly didn’t think I had gained enough experience to get hired, and if I did I expected the process to take a couple of months.  Little did I know that 8 days later I’d have an official offer in hand.  Apparently I’d made more of an impression than I’d thought, as one of the nurses interviewing me not only remembered me, but has repeatedly expressed how happy she is that I returned.

I had intended to stay at my first job longer, but once I got into the work there I found that I am just not happy with a patient population where I’ll have the same patients for weeks and months on end.  Many nurses are happiest there, where they can build rapport with the patients and their families and be there as the progress is made back toward home, or to mourn with them when it’s not going to work out that way.  I’m glad there are nurses that love that environment.  I joke that I’m a “treat ‘em and street ‘em” kinda girl.  But ultimately it’s true.  I really love the faster (and many times crazy) pace of the ER with a different 20+ patients a shift.  I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity my first hospital gave me, and I’ll be staying on to work a few shifts a month there so I can help out when they have staffing issues.

I am very fortunate that my new hospital has an extensive training program for nurses new to ER.  I regretted missing out on the new grad residency, but I think this program with its extended preceptor-ship is also excellent.  I’ve been there a little over a month now, and won’t be “on my own” until mid May.  It’s thrilling and scary and I’m loving it.  I don’t feel as though I truly have a “handle” on things yet, so I’m really glad I have several more weeks with a preceptor.  I get to switch to nights next week, which will be wonderful.  Though I like having a “normal” schedule so I can more easily do things with my kid and new guy, it’s like swimming against the current for me.  I’m absolutely a night shift nurse, and I can’t wait to get back to it.

In related news, I am one research paper away from completing my Bachelors’ program.  I will get to add more letters behind my name.  RN-BSN is the designation for registered nurses with a BSN.  It also means that I get to take a few years away from school and focus on becoming the best ER nurse I can before I take that experience and head off for my Doctorate in Nursing Practice so I can become a Nurse Practitioner.  I decided to go ahead and drive to Lubbock in May for the commencement, after a friend on Facebook reminded me that it was the only place I’d be able to ever get the picture of walking the stage and getting my diploma.  My parents have waited a long time to get to see me walk for a bachelors’ degree, so it will be worth the trek.

It’s amazing to look back at my posts over the last several years and see where my life has led.  I’ve spent so many years following paths that weren’t the best for me, and it’s so completely different when I stopped and followed my heart.  I am truly happy for the first time in a very long time.  I am in my dream job.  While my kiddo will always have some chronic health issues, they aren’t keeping her from being an athlete, musician, and honors student.  I have met an awesome guy who thinks I’m fantastic.  I have an incredible group of friends and family who I love dearly and have been a support network for me like none other.  All the other little complaints I have are truly minor and most are being resolved.  Life is good, and I am blessed.

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On Expectations


So after my last post, someone asked me what expectations I had dropped that resulted in the Universe smiling on me.  I hadn’t realized that the way I wrote that sentence had made it sound like I had lowered my standards.  Far from it.

I have a dear friend who constantly reminds me that expectations decrease joy.  Not only am I setting myself up for disappointment if I create expectations (most especially if they remain unvoiced) of life and the people in it, I am limiting my experience by those expectations.  When I let go of the expectations, it allows the Universe to surprise me and give me exactly what I needed, even if it isn’t exactly what I thought I wanted.  It’s a lesson that bears repeating, because I frequently forget.

Dropping expectations is not the same as lowering standards.  Lowering standards usually means accepting behaviour or treatment that is unhealthy.  I’ve had enough lessons in my life about the pain of lowering standards.  I truly hope I’ve learned that one for good.  Dropping the expectations just allows more happiness, and more wonderful surprises, in life.

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How Time Flies…

London time - canon t2iWell, I looked up and it’s December.  I couldn’t believe the last post I made was in May.  So here’s a post to close out the year, since I have plans for New Year’s Eve, and probably won’t be writing again until after the new year.

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Loving the outside



As my friends will tell you, I have always had a disdain for yard work.  My frequent quote was “I hate Outside” from Logan’s Run.  Between allergies and an intolerance for heat I’ve avoided yard work as much as humanly possible.  While I was working and going to school full time, I was able to justify hiring my yard work done.  Now that I have more free time than extra money, I’ve decided that it’s just time for me to learn to like it, and maybe even learn to love it.  So this morning I went out with the goal of getting my front yard at least presentable and non-citation-able. Continue reading

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It’s the little things


My first year as a nurse is starting off pretty well.  I have management and preceptors that are doing a lot to help me succeed at my first job out of school.  No place is perfect, but I think I ended up in a good place for me to start out.  My patients are a challenge for me, and being in an ICU setting, I get to focus on 2 or 3 patients as opposed to some of the staffing ratios I’ve seen for other settings.

So here are my first entries in the “Things I’ve Learned as a First Year Nurse.” Continue reading

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Work Update


I hadn’t realized it had been so long since I posted anything about what has been going on in my life.  So here’s the update. Continue reading

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Just add to the chaos…

New puppy

As if my life weren’t chaotic enough… we added a new family member this week.  Say hello to Kaylee (formerly named Tinkerbelle.) Continue reading

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