I have been in nursing 34 years my entire adult working life..Started as LPN in 1981.. life got in the way and I went to RN school and graduated ADN in 1990..BSN in 2013..I work in a Level 1 Neuro trauma ICU..
1. We have continuing education every month called CBL’s required by the hospital. We have to fit time for these during work hours or do them on our own time..Not accessible from home..compact license from Virginia which now requires continuing education proof.
2. Our licenses are expensive and renewable every 2 years..we do not get reimbursed for this fee..over 125$.
3. We do not get paid extra to work holidays..We do get paid if we are working it, if not, we do not..
4. Every morning we do walking rounds with our interdisciplinary team where we inform the critical care doctor of the critical care overview for the past 24 hours. We are responsible for knowing lab values and anticipating sepsis or other detrimental occurrences that could affect our patient.
4. We are responsible for the total care of our patient from not only assessing their health and illness, but feeding, hygiene care, oral care, turning every two hours. Oftentimes were have no pct on our unit..We miss them when they aren’t there.
5. We are involved in doing patient education from a plan of care we design that includes teacHing the patient and family, significant others about their diagnoses, their daily plan of care, medications, diabetes, respiratory equipment, treatments, etc., we do a nursing care plan as well that incorporates everything. This changes all the time.
6. Physical therapy gets the patient up and oob with however many assistants and equipment it takes then leave us to get them back without the use of their equipment.
7. The doctor sees you usually once a day for about 5 minutes then trusts us to monitor the patient’s condition throughout the day and be able to paint a picture over the phone of any complications or changes that occur.
8. We have to gather the necessary supplies and equipment to do those emergent life saving procedures.
9. Nurses and pcts NOT THE PHYSICIAN’S ON TV , do CPR, defibrillate patient’s, push emergent meds, be time keeper, call out when it’s time to change treatment mode, etc.
9. Push 5oo# beds to and from wherever they need to go
10. Go without bathroom breaks, lunch, hydrating during work for hours on end..many times at the end of my 12 hour shift I realIze I haven’t peed.
10. We are the eyes and ears for our doctors that depend on us to care for our patients.
11. We wear MANY hats( but not a nursing cap, to germy). Nurse, mechanic, janitor, chef, social worker, counselor, housekeeper, Moving van, mother, sister, friend, minister, dietician, teacher and oftentimes security guard..
12.Nursing is a talent..it is a calling, a ministry. it’s not just a job. It’s what I love. I can’t imagine a life without being a nurse. We cry, we hurt, we fight for you, we are your biggest advocate.
We make cupcakes to celebrate your 50th day with us in the ICU and throw another celebration when you graduate from our unit to one of lesser acuity..
we hold your hand as you take your first breath and as you take your last breath.
We gently bathe your lifeless body and prepare you to be held one last time by your loved ones before we take you to the morgue..
We get angry because we can’t do anymore to help your dying body, but we also fight for you to be allowed to die with dignity..
We are nurses, so much more than you see from the outside..
- KR September 22, 2015