Well, I've done it. Reached, no, survived another nursing anniversary. Hard to believe I've been at this thing for two whole years. Twenty-four months. Seven hundred and thirty days, give or take a few. It feels longer.
Family members still ask me how old I am. One, a patient, chronically on the ventilator, wrote a note to her husband that said, "That white girl looks like she's sixteen," while I was starting an IV in her tiny arm. It always surprises me to hear myself say, "No, I'm not sixteen, but thanks. I'm twenty five, and I'm going on my third year of nursing."
Just the other day, one of them was surprised, saying she thought I had been a nurse for much longer. That I had a lot of wisdom in my practice, from what she could tell.
Generally, things have slowed for me. Not many cases throw me for a loop anymore, leaving me feeling like I've just been freshly mugged at the end of the day. Shifts are usually filled with the routine of sepsis, neuro emergencies and the occasional person in DT's. I'm starting to think that I'm ready for the next thing.
Today, I looked for jobs in my hometown -- Buffalo. There were only two or three -- in the whole city -- that applied to me, ICU jobs, most of them night shifts. It occurred to me, for the first time, that I might try something new? ER? Psych nursing? Home health care? Daunting, but true, the opportunities are scarily endless. Hell, maybe I'll learn how to deliver babies and realize I've been missing my calling this whole time.
Doubtful, but something to think about. We'll see. For now, I'll keep plugging along with my renal failure-hypertension-rare overdose-ARDS-GI bleed folks. I'm sure they'll keep me on my toes.