Saturday, December 1, 2012

what does a nurse do all day?

it's so hard to describe what a nurse does in the span of a 12-hour shift.  sure, i take care of four patients and their families, coordinate their care, get them what they need, document everything, administer medications, empty urinals/hats, answer call lights, talk to doctors, and bring cranberry juice or jello when people want it.  but it's more than that, and this is one of the ways i know how to explain it...

here are snapshots into my first week as an RN:

-as i was taking vital signs, this little guy was singing Katy Perry's "Firework" song to himself as he watched TV.  i couldn't help but smile.

-a girl in rehab had a full-on conversation with me, to the surprise of her therapist.  people with improving conditions make my eyes tear up.

-there was this little toddler who said some of the cutest things, and i couldn't help laughing because she was so adorable.  she said, "stop laughing!" with the cutest, serious pout.  that only led to more laughter.  sorry, sweetie.

-i put the movie "Brave" in the DVD player multiple times for a teenage guy.  who knew guys were so into Disney movies?

-i met the nicest most loving mom who had a child with a chronic condition that required continuous care.  she said that the way their life was now was normal to them, and they wouldn't trade him for anything...they love him to death.  such family loyalty makes me want to cry.  she gave me a hug at the end of the shift.  i love hugs from patients and their families!

-sometimes you take care of patients whose parents are nurses and that can be intimidating.  but this one family was so nice.  the mom told me, "thanks for taking care of us. you're the best!"  things like this make my day.

-there are certain things that we don't normally carry on the floor.  but when a mom with a super active infant wants some syrup and applesauce, it's totally my pleasure to scour the unit to find some for her.  mission successful.  also, holding the baby so she can get some rest cannot be called work!  i love chubby babies.

-i love being able to teach things, like how IV pumps work, what certain conditions entail, information people need to know to be discharged, how the doctors' rounds work...

and i have a job that lets me love people and serve them and i pretty much get to wear pajamas (aka scrubs) all day.  what's not to love?