Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Post-Thanksgiving Blues

I try my best not to write doom and gloom, doom and gloom. It is very difficult to accomplish this as a new nurse. The old adage "Nurses eat their young" is true. Some more than others, but they all eat their young. As always I share the good and the bad, it just happens that right now all I have is bad. Sorry!

I felt like I had become the office gossip, ya know, regarding my mistakes and all so I was proactive and called a meeting with my big bosses and the nurse specialist over our area. Perhaps it seems a bit extreme, but I felt that if my actions were reckless and had a potential to harm patients that I should be the first to acknowledge a learning deficit. Before all that I spoke to the wonderful nurse who oriented me. She was insightful, but it is obvious that she feels no responsibility for any of my "problems" post-orientation. And so she shouldn't. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes the same mistake, just different scenarios. I swear these oversights are not intentional.

Speaking to the big bosses was very interesting. Based on the complaints, I knew exactly who came forward about me. I always had a sneaking suspicion about a few of my co-workers. I am mostly disappointed that instead of guiding me in the right direction, that they would automatically go the manager and report me, but not before discussing my actions among themselves and casting strange looks in my direction. In listening to my errors, none of them caused any serious harm. It was the "But what if?" In their defense, I take offense to criticism about my performance, especially if someone is questioning my skills as a nurse. Even though I feel that the intervention is supposed to be helpful, I can't help but feel that it is somewhat punitive. Whatever...

So now what do I do? Pretend like I enjoy going to work when clearly, I hate going in because now I have everyone, (even the other new nurses who were in orientation the same time as me), watching me? The last time that I went to work, I was so freaked out I performed my post surgical count so many times I scared the doctors. (That was not my intention, but God forbid another bad report come back on me or worse yet a sponge...I won't even go there.) I have a promise from a very senior nurse that she will help me get through this, I hope that she can, because right now I don't feel very confident.

Thanksgiving was great. I probably gained back a few of those pounds that I lost. We had plenty of turkey. I did alot of baking this holiday and everything came out perfect. I made this chocolate cake with vanilla icing that everyone ate before my brother had a chance to get any. And my little niece loved my macaroni and cheese. I realized that this whole problem with work doesn't mean I can't do anything right. And it was very nice to have the support of my family. It made me feel alot better.

We have a new puppy. He is a Yorkshire terrier. We are still trying to name our little guy. We were thinking on maybe Baxter, or Santana or maybe even Mosley. I kind of liked Diesel, but what do I know? He is adorable. And so smart. Right now our big challenge is potty training the little guy. I am realizing that this whole puppy business is just like having a new baby in the house. My cat doesn't appreciate the little guy, but he is slowly warming up. He has his days and nights mixed up. Right now, he is on my night shift schedule. And that kind of works! For me anyway.

The children are fine, the house is still a mess. And I feel like I am missing out on everything. Working nights has me sleeping all day and working all night. I think I like working 8 hour nights shifts as opposed to 12 hours night shifts. And then with all the added stress of work, I have no patience for my children. I really need to work on that. Alright, time to pay bills and wash uniforms for another night of birthin' babies!

DiVa...In the valley of her nursing inexperience but will emerge a NurseDiVa before giving up!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How do they know...?

A few of my colleagues at the job seem to know that I am having a bit of a struggle with my new role as a OB/L&D nurse. Have they found my blog? I imagine not. Cyberspace is a huge place, right? Or maybe I shouldn't talk to my other newbie nurses about my insecurities and feeling just overwhelmed. They are just awesome, they never make any mistakes or forget anything. They always leave on time. They are just so organized. Or are they? I cracked the code on how everyone else manages to leave on time. Wow, I feel alone. I am not part of the clique. It is possible that those particular nurses have an understanding. Or maybe, everyone is in the same proverbial boat as I am in the role of the new grad. I am hoping that the latter is the case.

I must be the only person willing to acknowledge my feelings of inadequacy. Is it such a bad thing? Should I put on the poker face and just go about as though I know everything? I was taught that behaving that way is the most unsafe way to practice. Or maybe I should be bitchy all the time like some of my other peers. Nah, not me. I will need more time to figure out the relationship between myself and other nurses. I am becoming more comfortable with the whole nurse-doctor relationship. They are regular people. I guess I knew that, I just felt intimidated. I have a raging headache, and I don't even have to work tonight. Sigh...

DiVa...Is it really going to take a year for me to feel like I know what I am doing? I can't wait that long!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Inside the mind of this adorable cat...

Lurks a vicious killer!
The other morning, my daughter was waiting for the bus and she happened to see the cat carrying something in his mouth. It was a mouse, still alive trying its best to wriggle its way out of trouble. My daughter said she asked the cat what he was doing and before she could finish her sentence the cat snapped the mouse into three pieces. I heard my daughter scream and I opened the front door. She was standing there and the cat with sitting next to her looking as if he was expecting to be praised. I patted him on the head and he proceeding to bat the pieces of dead mouse around as if he was playing soccer.

For some reason, I expected him to eat it but obviously I watch too many cartoons. I feed this cat as if he were a member of the family, why on earth would he need to eat a mouse?

Monday, November 06, 2006

I'm not giving up dammit!

I wished that I could tell you that I am in love with my job or glowing stories of how nursing has changed my life. I will say that nursing has changed my life, but the in love with my job part is a "work in progress." I liken this whole experience to when I had my son, who was my first baby and is now 12 years old. When they handed me my baby in the delivery room I expected this immediate, glowing maternal moment like on television. That happened, but not right away.

As the oldest of five children, I figured that this motherhood thing was a piece of cake because I had been taking care of babies since I was eight years old. I was happy about being pregnant and the thought of labor terrified me because I had no idea what to expect. As soon as the doctors said "Mother see your son...?" I had this realization that this tiny little baby I held in my hands relied upon me to protect him and nourish him. I was all he had in this world. It was a bit frightening. I took him home from the hospital after one postpartum day and on the third day his father was holding him. I was thinking, "Ah, now I can go take a shower." I was gathering my things and I happened to notice that his father was wacking my baby on the back. HARD. I asked what was going on and he said the baby was choking on something. I snatched my baby from his fathers arms and the baby was purple. He was not breathing.

I don't remember how I had the calm to do this but I took the bulb syringe that was conveniently sitting on my night stand, plugged one of the babies nostrils with my finger, pushed the plunger and placed syringe into the unplugged nostril and released the plunger. Nothing happened. So I did it again and felt resistance. When I withdrew the syringe, there was a huge green booger stuck to the end of it. Almost as soon as that happened, my baby turned pink again and was crying. Then I freaked out and called the doctors office. I was crying and rocking my baby in my arms. Even though I started out my motherhood experience indifferent, if my baby had died that day I probably would have died with him.

Nursing is the same way. I had this expectation that I would have this Florence Nightengale experience. Nursing is so much more than that. It is a huge responsibility, like my newborn son. And at any time a situation can happen. I only hope I remember to do CPR!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Men are Stupid...

Lately, I have been having troubles with my FOB, (father of baby). My ex-husband is fantastic, but my ex-fiance leaves much to be desired. When I graduated from nursing school he became very jealous of my achievements, so he tried to make my life difficult. Long story short he left, I asked him back because I thought that we could work things out and now he has reverted to jack-ass mode yet again. Why won't I ever learn not to trust him when he says he has changed?

The most dishonorable thing about this man is that he uses God and his "spirituality" to make himself seem like this really great guy. To his family, I am the cunning little bitch who tricked him into supporting me as I went to school and better myself only to leave him with nothing. He does nothing to change that perception. As matter of fact, it is this perception that enables him to play me and then play his mother into letting him move back home and save his money instead of being responsible. I am so glad that I never discontinued my order of support because then I wouldn't receive anything at all to supplement my income. One would think that I wouldn't need child support monies, but I have these student loans to pay and it gives me extra money to save for a rainy day.

Anywho, I have devised a plan to get him out of my house for good. It isn't anything crazy, I would just have to try to work a little overtime and set up a strict visitation schedule so that he isn't able to trick me into letting him back into my life. I would also have to amend my work schedule which I am almost positive would take about a year. In a way I feel angry with myself for letting my guard down. I will be fine, but somehow I feel that he should have to suffer and struggle the same way that I have had to for so many years. In a way I was left with no choice because I didn't have anyone to watch my kids while I work. My mother, (who was recently declared cancer-free after her breast biopsy a few weeks ago), has health issues and I wouldn't think of giving her the added stress and responsibility of my children.

Speaking of my mother, we had a huge celebration the two of us on Friday. I am so glad that she doesn't have cancer. I thought we were going to be in trouble. But when her doctor turned the corner and gave us the news we couldn't get out of that doctor's office fast enough. My Dad was supposed to go with her to the doctor's office but when I called and invited myself to go, he dropped out. He is yet another man who is acting particularly stupid right now. Of all of the people in our family, he would suffer the most if we lost our mother. But at the same time he is the same ole jerk who refuses to provide her with financial assistance when she needs it the most. I wonder if there is any connection between the relationship between my parents and the problems I am having with my FOB. I don't think I will ever get married. At least not to my FOB.

The job is okay. I have my moments where I would rather fall into a hole, but then there are those rewarding moments that make it all worthwhile. Just when I thought that I couldn't speak Spanish, I got a Spanish-speaking patient. My general feeling about speaking Spanish is that I don't want my co-workers to know that I can because once they know it will become a requirement. Anyway, I coached this lady throughout her delivery in Spanish and I did okay. I can really speak Spanish after all. Last night I had another Spanish speaker and I made it through okay. Ha-ha! All those Spanish course paid off!

DiVa...Puedo hablar Espanol, muy bien!