What You’ll Learn As A New Nurse

What You’ll Learn As A New Nurse

I’m a Pediatric Cardiovascular ICU Nurse.

That sounds cool, but what it really means is that I’m scared to death, trying to learn the ropes, and not hurt anyone in the process. Working on my unit has been the most humbling experience of my life.

When you start as a new nurse you realize how thoroughly nursing school did NOT prepare you. You don’t know how to prime a line or set a pump. You try to sneak a pen and paper into the med room to do medication calculations because you suddenly can’t do math. You can’t feel those little baby pulses to save your life and you definitely don’t know how to change a diaper.

You don’t know how you’ll feel when you have your first code: Compressions?…Bag?…Give Epi?…Where’s the code cart? You basically have no clue what you’re doing. You don’t realize how hard it will be to stay calm and collected and do your job while that baby’s momma is sitting on the couch in the middle of the night looking to you-with pleading, broken hearted, terrified eyes.

You don’t realize those 12 hour shifts you thought you signed up for are actually more like 13, 14, 15 hour shifts. You’ll for sure get puked on and pooped on a whole lot more than you ever thought you would. But it’s worth it, for the hugs and the cuddles.

You don’t know why that ventilator is alarming, but it can’t be good.

You don’t yet know the rush of helping a surgeon do open heart surgery on a baby at 1 o’ clock in the morning. Watching as he compresses her little heart between his fingers as he tells you which meds to push.

You’ve never experienced the humbling, horrible feeling of having a parent ask for a different nurse because you made a mistake.

When you start, you don’t know what it will be like to watch a heart transplant. To watch a heart pink up and beat on its own.

As a new grad you think you’ll never make a medication error. I mean, how dumb can you be? You have your 6 rights of med administration.

You don’t understand how special it is to stay up all night keeping a child alive while everyone else sleeps.

You don’t know what the heck that medication is for, but you’ll look it up for the fifth time. And you definitely can’t start that IV. Does that kid even have veins?

You don’t know what it’s like to come alongside parents and hurt with them, struggle with them- watch them cry out to God and ask why? You don’t know the amazing opportunity and responsibility God has placed on you.

You’ll drop a bedpan or two, and probably get urine in you’re hair.

There is such a thing as stupid questions, and you will ask it.

You don’t realize you’re going to meet the most amazing, selfless parents, who stay up all night and day fighting alongside their children, willing them to live.

You have no idea how incredible the team of people you’ll work with will be.

You don’t know so much when you first start. And then you slowly start learning, and what seemed impossible at first, is doable. And as you learn, you realize you don’t know even more. It’s going to take an eternity to know everything there is to know. And you realize how amazing and beautiful that is. How it’s proof that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God with an imagination greater than you can even begin to grasp. And over and over and over again, He shows you how much you need Him. How nothing makes sense apart from Him and how broken and hopeless life is without Christ.

If you want to be humbled, challenged, humiliated, have once in a lifetime opportunities, and experience God in a way you wouldn’t otherwise- you will love being a nurse. The lessons God will teach you will bless you infinitely more than you will ever be able to bless others.

This post is linked to Live Randomly Simple, Purposeful Faith, A Fresh Start on a Budget, What Joy is Mine The Beauty in His Grip, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, Soul Survival, Me, Coffee, and Jesus, Holley Gerth, Waltzing in Beauty, AKA Designs, A Little R & R, Whole Hearted Home, The Life of Jennifer Dawn, The Melrose Family

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