Nurses tend to recall with sharp intensity the roller coaster of support they received during their first year, after graduation; Memories of the nurses who threw them to the wolves, and reflections of the nurses who unfailingly came to their rescue without question. These images remain consistent, and set the bar for mentoring new graduates, in addition to cultivating how we work as a team - and a powerful reminder of how imperative it is to not only be supported, but to also be a steadfast supporter.— Nurse X (via dancingnurse-ed)
If you had a bad experience with a nurse mentor—change the cycle don’t repeat it!!
The EKG changes associated with pulmonary embolism are:
- S1Q3T3 (the classic test answer)
- a prominent S wave in lead I
- a Q wave and inverted T wave in lead III
- sinus tachycardia (MOST COMMON)
- T wave inversion in leads V1 - V3
- Right Bundle Branch Block
I’ve recently spent quite a significant amount of time reflecting on my experience thus far as a nurse. Sequestered to the couch due to injury the last few months, I’m left spending hours thinking about favorite moments, connecting with patients, bonding with coworkers, feeling like I was living my dream.
As I exited my first year on the floor and eased into my sophmore year, I had better nights brought on by a heightened confidence, increased knowledge, and better relationships with my physicians and nurses. I began to realize though, that I had a harder time connecting with those who mattered the most — my patients.
My loyal followers will remember this crisis of connection I experienced earlier this year. Without the bonds with my patients, it was harder to endure the long hours and feel a sense of purpose in my work. I noticed that I started to get more cynical, get grumpier with the needy patients, roll my eyes with those frequent flyers refusing all meds but the dilaudid. The little old lady who wanted nothing more than to tell me all about her grandchildren was felt as a time suck and inconvenience rather than a blessing and opportunity to build rapport.
I didn’t realize until this time off that I was becoming one of those jaded nurses I had vowed not to turn into. But why?
I have thought about it quite a bit. It took me some time to figure it all out, but I think I have it nailed down.
In the first year, as I’ve discussed many times, exists a transition period from a world of protected academia to the realm of nursing and all the responsibilities that come with it. I was afraid to come to work, afraid to get off the elevator. I constantly worried about screwing up medications, missing the signs of a deteriorating patient, charting late, leaving too many things for the next shift, getting in trouble with the higher ups, etc. I was afraid and I didn’t want to be there. This in many ways bound me to my patients who also were afraid and didn’t particularly want to be there either. We were struggling together. They taught me and I taught them. We each breathed a sigh of relief when I went home and they were discharged—we had both made it.
Once the struggle diminished, I was less empathetic. Maybe this is where jaded and cynicism begins. Regardless of that, it won’t continue. Everything that happens to us is for a reason, to teach us something, an opportunity to learn. While I’m miserable being at home and feeling out of touch with the career I’m in love with, I know that it’s for a reason.
When I return I won’t forget my struggle or theirs, and remember to stay present with each of my patients. Hopefully it won’t take another injury for me to remember the heart of my job as a nurse.