Hey look! A patient…

… and here I thought they were extinct after not seeing any this semester.

This week I’ve been floating to some units since my preceptor is away on vacation. I love field trips, even thought it’s entailed me busting out the dippy polo shirts. Tuesday I was with the clinical leader of a telemetry unit, which was moderately interesting. I really liked the people on that floor, but it was different from my prior telemetry experience. This summer I had been on a telemetry floor of a hospital known for its cardiac care during part of my med-surg rotation and things seemed far more rigorous there. Here… I dunno, I don’t think it’d be the first place I’d want to work if my calling was cardiac care. But it was nice to see what the clinical leader does on the floor. I also got a chance to talk to the unit manager who comes from a maternity background. She gave me some uplifting advice, telling me that if what I wanted to do was work with sick babies, then I should go straight for it, that nothing else would prepare me for that. It was nice to hear after getting the old saw from the veteran nurses that “you really have to do at least a year of med-surg when you get out.”

I spent last evening with the clinical leader of the emergency department. It was funny to find out that she had started out as an accountant prior to getting into nursing. I found the ER to be okay, but a little too disorganized for me (at least this one was), plus way too much psych for my interests. I think I’d like it if it was all traumas. I can deal with blood and gore just fine. It’s the “I think I’m having a heart attack, can I have some jello?” that bugs me. If you’re having so much chest pain that you think you’re having a heart attack you’re not going to give a hoot about jello or anything else aside from getting your ticker taken care of. Argh.

At the very least it’s been interesting to see how this hospital is utilizing nurse leaders. It’s a new role here, as in most places, and people are still trying to sort it out. The ED leader has only been there a couple months and she gave me some great advice as to how she’s handled stepping into a role that didn’t exist on the evening shift prior to her arrival and doesn’t really have a set job description. She suggested that if I’m ever in that position to ask the staff what they would like from a nurse leader as it’s really opened her eyes about what’s needed and helped her to figure out how to tailor her role. Throughout the past couple days I’ve found myself becoming more vested in this whole clinical nurse leader thing. It’s nice when all the pieces of the puzzle start to sort themselves out and create a bigger picture. I’m finally getting away from the feeling of “I’m getting a master’s degree in nursing, and no, I have no idea what that will qualify me to do.”

Tomorrow I get to spend my day in the birthing center which I am very excited about. I’ll be working with a woman who is both an NP and a clinical instructor for another area nursing school, but who works as a staff nurse at the hospital. She was surprised to find out that I never saw a vaginal birth in my maternity rotation, so I’m hoping that means that she’ll try to get me in to see one. I’m also hoping they have some babies in the special care nursery, just so I can see it in action (I went in there once before but they didn’t have any patients that day).

We had our first two tests of the semester this week. I just got my grade back on one and did fine on that. Still waiting to hear on the 2nd, but it was open-book, so I hope I managed to do okay. Other than that, spring break is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to having a week off and getting some things done. I need to work on my resume and start the job search in earnest. It seems like most places aren’t advertising for new grad positions yet, but I have a feeling that I need to try to do some networking and maybe get some informational interviews to get my foot in the door. I can’t wait to be employed once more!


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