Northport Medical Center
my first job as a nurse.... so many memories. from the plain and simply nasty to the indescribably funny to the utterly life-changing to the scared to death to the infuriatingly angry. i have felt every emotion known to man in the walls of that hospital. not only have i learned about congestive heart failure, lung sounds, and total knee replacements, but a lot about organization, time management, kindness, life, myself, and lots lots more. sometimes i loved it. sometimes i hated it. it always pushed me. here are the kinds of things i did:
- administered lots of medication
protonix, synthroid, zofran, phenergan, dilaudid, demerol, morphine, ancef, zosyn
- assessed lots of bodies
hearts, lungs, bowels, skin, movement, sensation, pulses, heart rhythms
- asks lots of questions
hey mr. ____, how are you feeling? are you in any pain? what would you rate your pain on a scale of one to ten? when was your last bowel movement? do you drink alcohol?
- explained lots of things
procedures, tests, disease processes, vital signs, normal, abnormal, medications, some things i knew, some things i made up
- put in catheters
the intravenous kind and the urethral kind
- helped people to/use the bathroom
by bathroom i mean not only the actual bathroom but the bedside commode, the bedpan, their catheters (yes, people need help with that), urinals (even a "female urinal" once. that was interesting), some people can't even wipe for themselves. nice.
- got my fair share of bodily functions
every and any kind you can imagine. i was there witnessing it, stopping it, facilitating it, listening to it, smelling it, or any other verb you can think of) see this post.
walked up the halls, ran up the halls, jogged up the halls, skipped up the halls, mosied up the halls, to the blood bank and back, etc. my most common transportation of choice would be a brisk walk- to the medication room, to the patient's room, back to the medication room ("is my nausea medicine in there?"), to the lab, to the nurse's station, to the snack room, to the nurse's station, to a patient's room, to another patient's room, and then six more)
- forgot what a circadian rhythm is
have you ever stayed up all night? it's just not natural. you were probably really tired. so was i. then i came home and slept in the brightest light of day. we did not do the black out shade thing. i met a whole new side of rachael mulder since this all began. delusional, cooky, ridiculously emotional rachael. my husband didn't know he married a whiney seven-year old. surprise! i worked eight nights in a row and had six off. on my last day i would try to stay up "all day" so i could sleep that night. i never made it. not once. by seven i was all the above things and i would finally give in and fall asleep on the couch. then dan would coax me into bed and i would so kindly say things like "LEAVE ME ALONE!!" and "I JUST WANNA GO TO BAAEEDD!!" and "AAUUHGGHH!!!"
- got realllllly tired
remember that one time i was on my way home from work and as i approached the bridge i noticed a long line of traffic so i so shrewdly thought, "i'll just around all these suckers..." so i took a quick left so i could bypass the traffic and go under the bridge... it wasn't long before i realized my mode of transportation would not safely get me under the bridge and across the river.
in the bathroom (this story), in patient rooms, in the break room, walking out those sliding glass doors when i can finally cry, and at home, plenty.
night shift was so hard. i'll never do it again (after this summer). it's just not natural. 10:30 pm. everyone else in the world is getting ready for bed. i'm leaving my husband and sweet baby child for a hospital full of looney geriatrics and other sickies. it's just not right. i'm not interested in being that kind of working woman for life. it's not the life for me.
i made some of the greatest friends i have ever had there. anywho, that chapter of my life is over. i look back on it fondly but i sure don't miss it!