Friday, January 13, 2006


I'm writing 4 and a half months into my job as a pediatric nurse. I've conquered some steps of likely RN-ing: I passed the NCLEX in August (truly horrific, nasty exam but, apparently, passable), began work in September and finished my nursing orientation last week. I've also claimed some personal developments: Daniel and I are getting married in June and we got a dog, "Belly," the best dog in the world.

I'm still learning. I still make mistakes. Most of these mistakes would have been sort of cute in nursing school (Oh, look, I forgot to clamp my patient's PICC line, blood is oozing all over the sheets) are now just evidence of idiocy. Some patient's don't like me. I've only had one stuffed animal named after me (some nurses boast dozens of christenings). But things are mostly wonderful: I do truly love working with children and, better yet, sending them home. It's also immensely satisfying to see kids getting better (our patient's in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) can perk up over the course of a single shift). I like my co-workers, I like being autonomous, I like now knowing what my day will be like.

Nursing is a very strange profession: we're expected to teach families complicated home health care tasks and be able to pick up on the slightest changes in a child's condition but it's also my job to change my patient's sheets or to make sure my patient has the right size of diapers. Are there other professions like this? I honestly don't know.

The very good news is that I love my unit: endocrinology and neurology/neurosurgery are very clean, precise specialties with often certain outcomes (except the brain tumors, I hate the brain tumors). And I'm learning a ton. I definitely want to soak up as much nursing knowledge as I can and try my best to consider the nature of the profession so that I can begin to look at the bigger picture.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear more about your experiences in your first year of nursing. Keep those posts coming if you have time!

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! after waiting 6 months for a comment I finally get news of what you are up to. Congrats! Hope you continue to enjoy it. I chickened out of nursing for social work, but it sounds as if you made a great decision.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I hate brain tumors as well. I lost my Dad to several of them in 1991 when he was only 52. Nice to finally see you back to blogging!! I knew if I kept checking back!!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, yes, yes, keep postin. I love your blog and it's been really helpful to me in path to becoming a nurse. good luck!

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you obviously need a different profession, you should of done your research before entering nursing school. I hope I never have you as my nurse

1:29 PM  
Anonymous nursy face said...

to the previous poster, and i know it is probably not worth posting this, but what in the heck are you talking about??? she sounds like an awesome nurse.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Ilan Muskat said...

Oh, that previous comment was me, for sure. Also she shouldn't be trusted around animals! Or drummers! Booo!

...or something.

Good job and glad it's holding together.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Ilan Muskat said...

Okay, it wasn't really my comment.

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Blogger Nicole said...

I'm so glad you posted once again!

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Blogger Babs RN said...

Well good luck to you! After nearly 18 years in the profession I can assure you that there is absolutely *no* other profession like this. And don't let the blockhead who said your views makes you a bad nurse get to you. They don't, we all share them, and it's always an adjustment.

You never stop learning and you never stop growing as a nurse, as a professional, and as a person. Wish you the best.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlikely RN, I loved your blog and am still hoping you'll continue to post about your experiences now that you're a professional nurse. You definitely have an eager audience! Congrats on all your success.

6:32 PM  
Blogger MattInTO said...

Hi Emily -

Thanks so much for the comment you sent a couple weeks ago. Sorry it's taking so long to get back to you. I'd love to pick your brain about a couple TO-related things. How do I email you directly? You can reach me at "matt at this nurse dot ca".

Hope the Windy City's not to hot at the moment.


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Blogger Kevin & Sonya said...

Hi there,
I have loved your blog for a long time - it was the first blog I ever read. I just graduated from nursing school too in Canada. I am wondering if you are posting on a new blog now becuase I would love to follow you and read your new stories.


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I was wondering if you'd be interested in posting any articles from the website. There are lots of relevant articles for todays nurse. The great news is that using nursezone content on your site is no cost. We'd just like to have a link back to our site for those of your bloggers interested in finding a community of nurses, CE opportunities, travel nursing and other relevant nurse aids. A partial example of a nursing article is below:

Nurse Overcomes Cancer—Twice—to Provide Care to Others

By Nancy Deutsch, RN, contributor

Many people yearn to make nursing their career, but few have to battle the odds like Valerie Bush.

The Independence, Kentucky, woman, who was a medical technician for six years and a nurse’s aide “on and off forever,” waited until her children were raised to return to nursing school. When she finally entered the Gateway Community and Technical College, it was unbelievably stressful. Not only was the single mother dealing with her course work, but her father died, and her youngest daughter was dealing with medical problems, including bipolar disease.

Bush, now 42 years old, was “disgustingly healthy when I started” school in 2004, but quite overweight, and she started to lose a lot of the extra girth.

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“I lost everything in a week,” Bush said. The diagnosis sent her daughter off the deep end, upset her boyfriend, and meant she had to stop the classes she had waited so long to take.

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© 2007. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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