Thursday, May 1, 2008


I love being a nurse. Knowing what I know now about my career... If I had to go back 6 years and choose a major in college all over again... I would still choose nursing. I just would've worked harder in school! haha.... As most of you know I've been at Duke working in the Medical Intensive Care Unit for almost 2 years now. I love medicine... but I've also worked in almost all of the other ICUs here at Duke for overtime (cardiothoracic surgery ICU, neurosurgery ICU, surgical/trauma ICU) somefrequently and others not as much. Although they're all different... I like where I work the best of all of them, but Ilike ICUs in general. After being approached by the head of the ED about coming to work down there (this doesn't make me special btw... they're in desperate need of experienced nurses and I met this man through Matthew.... he'll take anyone he can get almost...) I have decided to start working down there one shift a week to see how I like it.

I've been sloooooooowly continuing my orientation in the Emergency Dep't. Working 1 shift a week makes this drag on. Towards the end of the day I'm feeling good, getting into a groove, and then it's another week until I'm back in and I feel like I kind of have to start all over each time. It will continue to improve I'm sure... but right now it's slow going. The staff down there has been great to me so far. I'm sure the fact that Matthew is already down there and has become quite popular with the staff helps a lot. I will look forward to the time when people start associating my name with my clinical abilities and not "that new nurse from the MICU, you know, Matt's wife..." I'll be honest though... I'm not sold on the possibility of being cut out to be an ED nurse. Maybe it takes a nurse to understand what drives nurses into the fields they go into..... but try to stay with me for a minute.
There are a few major reasons I went into ICU nursing. 1) I'm extremely detail oriented.... I don't mind having 800 things to do for one really super sick patient. 2) I'm a bit of a control freak (this is new news to me btw... maybe some of you have known it for a while. ..) I've been told by ED nurses that this it's not just me though.... it's a hallmark of ICU nurses. In an extremely unstructured environment like the ED... this can be difficult. 3) I'm a science nerd... AKA I like patients with complicated disease processes and lots of meds and interventions. 4) I like really really really sick patients. ICU nurses live for this. This is what we hope to get every time we come to work. Granted, they do get sick patients in the ED.... but they also get a lot of the "not-sick-they-should've-gone-to-a-Primary Care Practitioner-but-they-either-don't-have-one-or-don't-have-insurance-people"
All these things said.... I'm not sure just how well this is all going to work out. I'm not worried about my skill set or knowledge base.... I'm worried about whether my personality will be a fit. A lot of the ED leadership has been talking to me about coming down full time. There would be a lot of benefits to this.... 1) they pay more.... I work overtime every week and if you're a full time employee of theirs they pay you an extra $10/hr for any overtime you work. This adds up quickly. 2) the scheduling is better. I would be guaranteed all day shifts instead of flip-flopping like I do now. And they have self scheduling which they stick to about 95% of the time..... However, my pros for staying where I am is I love where I work... I like my coworkers, my management, my patient population... I HATE our scheduling (flip-flopping from days to nights) and of course I wish I could make more money. BUT, depending on what I want to do in grad school.... ICU experience is much prefered over that of the ED.
Now that all that's been said, and I've bored most of you to tears.... please be praying for me as I make these decisions. The bottom line is... I need to be where God wants me to be and where I can make the most difference for Him and equip myself for what He has for my future.

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