Lately, I've been musing at work, between bed baths and butt bags and stat EKGS and IV starts and MRIs and chest compressions.
I've been realizing that there's a lot of shit that I need to work through at work -- a lot of head shit. I'm starting to realize that I can't just decide that I'm going to dislike my patient because they happen to be sick and needy and then be rude to them in their vulnerability. I can't just sit back and be bored when the situation permits. And today, I definitely learned that I can't compare myself, my patients, my practice or my work load to others to make an opportunity to bitch.
Because, even though, at times...when things seem unfair, at the end of the day, I have to face up with this simple fact: I asked for it. I signed the contract, put myself in the program, passed the test, and started my nursing career in the ICU.
So, when I ask for the first admission of the day, and it turns out to be a pretty damn sick guy with blood (controllable amounts, not obscene) coming out of everywhere, requiring a decent (not huge, but enough) load of pressors to support his blood pressure, who gets an order for 50 million units of blood (because he's got pretty near none in his body) and then has to go to bleeding scan (the longest test in the world), not to mention, I have to take care of the guy next door, who just hours ago was on pressors himself...I really can't complain.
Because, at the end of the day, after a little too much fuming, I realized that I'd asked for it. Just two days ago, on the other side of my day off, I was bored and ready to tear my already short hair out because I felt like I was babysitting two too-stable patients for 12 hours straight. I wanted some action -- I wanted to deserve my title "ICU RN."
And today I did, and I made the mistake of getting caught up in comparing myself to my co-workers, and lost site of my role, and instead complained about it.
My day and my patients and orders and tests were all challenging today. I had to be way-way-way ahead of myself and even the doctors. I had to plan for the worst, carry it with me and know what to do on my return. But it wasn't impossible, and after I got over myself and embraced my situation, I stretched my mind around it until it fit.
Which is a good feeling...to know you handled 12 hours of something that only a very small percentage of the world can handle. I think, perhaps, that it's the feeling of accomplishment.
And that, is what nursing is all about.