I had a wonderful weekend, slept great, and was refreshed all day Sunday. I was ready to start the week.
Well, last night I could not fall asleep for hours. My parents keep the house way too hot to be sleeping upstairs, and yet for some reason I didn’t think to go down and lower the thermostat. Therefore I tossed and turned, kicked covers and twisted sheets. Cleo was restless too; someone somewhere was setting off remnants of Independence Day firecrackers, and that got her trembling and needy for my attention.
I think that today wouldn’t have seemed so bad if I weren’t so tired the whole time. But I was and it did. It was the first day at this job when I actually felt inadequate, and thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”
First, I made a mistake by not flushing a patient’s PEG tube when I unhooked it for him to take a shower, because then it got quite clogged and my preceptor had to work long and hard to fix it. (Sorry for the jargon, I’m too tired to explain.)
Later I was helping transfer a patient to a stretcher and the Patient Care Assistant (PCA – like a nurse’s assistant) told me that she had better take my place because I wouldn’t do a good job. Now, I know I’m small and don’t look strong, and no I haven’t had years of experience like she has, but that doesn’t automatically mean that I don’t know what I’m doing or I won’t do a good job. I don’t enjoy being looked down on.
Then, about an hour before the end of the shift, one of my patients had a period of unresponsiveness, change in vital signs, and copious amounts of bloody stool. I am leaving out many other details that I’m sure you don’t want to hear about. We were in a frenzy taking care of him, so I didn’t have time to get my thoughts together before giving report to the next shift. On our unit, we tape record our reports. I hate doing it in the first place, because I picture all the nurses sitting around listening to my voice and whatever stupid thing comes out of my mouth. But giving report isn’t something you’re really trained to do in nursing school, and I always feel like I’m just bumbling through. If I have time, I like to write down everything I’m going to say. But a crashing patient equals no time, which equals a really embarrassing report.
After the long bus ride home, I finally had a few hours to myself. I wanted to get some things done, but I couldn’t move myself from the couch. David stopped by to see me on his way home from playing golf, and we hung out for a total of 15 minutes. Then I told him he had to leave because I need to go to sleep (hopefully) in order to do this all over again.
My days aren’t all like this, and I hope that tomorrow is better. Sometimes I do wonder why I didn’t choose something easier. I think I have a pretty good idea, though. It’s going to be worth it.