Working as a nurse has its ups and downs, as with every job, but one thing is for certain, this is no position for the faint hearted. It often requires working three shifts in a week, working on holidays and feeling exhausted for most part. However, this all comes wrapped up with a big bow of feeling as if you have done something good, you have helped someone in need, and ultimately you have made a massive impact on someone else’s life. So how does my day go? Let us see.
I work as a registered nurse in the post-operative unit being in charge of 10 patients at least a day. The first thing I do is check the charts of each patient, studying patients’ medication that they’ll need to take, their possible allergies, as well as any other monitoring that needs to be done. Prior to my round, I make sure that all medications are in place from the pharmacy. In the case that there are not enough medicines, or the ones that I need, I call the pharmacy to order an additional supply.
I make a round, checking patients one by one, ensuring that they have taken their medications as well as measuring their blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, respiratory rate and removing patients’ drainage tubes, stitches, and much more. Furthermore, as this is the post-operative unit, you always have to be on the lookout for any excess bleeding, discharge, swelling, redness or haematoma. A simple sign of redness can have serious consequences. More often than not there will be a code blue, where I need to help doctors resuscitate patients whose condition has become life threatening. The feeling that you have after a successful resuscitation is beyond any words that I can use.
With patients that are ready to be discharged, I go over all the follow-up procedures, new prescriptions and the warning signs of problems that they should pay attention to.
In addition to all of these duties, I am also mentoring two student nurses. I am responsible for their work, hence why I often spend time checking what they have done. At the end of a day, there is usually a meeting with them, discussing their patients’ progress and what they had learnt from that day.
As you can see, the work is quite demanding. It requires someone who is highly responsible, as the patients’ lives depend on you, and who loves it. The crucial thing in working as a nurse is to know how to balance and appreciate the positive things with the negative ones. Sure, there are times when I had that extra uncooperative patient that looked at me as if I were the one guilty for him being there, and there were times that I did everything that I could have and yet the outcomes were not what I had expected them to be. However, if I have helped at least one person to ease their recovery then it is still worth it. After all, being a nurse is my calling, not a job.
About the Author
Kate Aldridge is a nurse and blogger from England, her interests include skiing and reading. Kate recommends Nursing 2000 as a quality provider of health care assistant training.