Since I am up before the alarm, I have a few minutes to add a note. Yesterday proved to be a test, yet again. I have been a nurse for many years, in a variety of settings. I started out in 1977 taking care of patients and that is what I migrated back to after some experiences in education and management. For the past ~10 years I have been in a Trauma/Neuro ICU. I have shifted from full-time to part-time and now 'casual part time' which means I am not regularly scheduled but can choose from open shifts of which there are always plenty. This has been working pretty well, since I was at the point of needing a change but didn't really want to change to another unit. I was resenting the every-other-weekend imposition on my life. Now I do still work mostly on weekends, since that is when the most open daytime shifts occur, but I only have to work twice a month minimum. I can schedule my other job and committments around it.
So yesterday I walked into a situation that had my nerves on edge for 8 hours. Now you see, we routinely deal with tragic situations, so that is expected. But some are worse than others from the perspective of the nurse. To the patient and loved ones, there probably is little distinction. Tragic is tragic when you are in the midst of it. Without breaking any patient confidentiality rules, of which there are many, I can describe the situation as end-of-life-decision-making for a young person as a result of someone's irresponsible and illegal behavior. Managing the care of the patient is my bread-and-butter, what interests me and keeps me coming back. Interacting with the family and friends is the challenge. While not being trained in crisis intervention nor greif counseling, my on-the-job-training has taught me a lot. Still, there are times of feeling very inadequate, and yesterday was an example of that. I was physically and emotionally drained after just 8 hours, and took full advantage of the recliner when I got home finally! After that, I was able to refocus and find some positive things to do for the rest of the day.
Cooked up a big pot of chili, cast on a mitten, and finished a purse project that involves clothesline, fabric, and zigzag! Once the handles get on I will see about posting a picture.
Now it really is time to sign off, I can hear my alarm in the other room. Have a good day!