Work With Me People!

I'm A New Pediatric Nurse!

This week we welcome one of our newest employees, Marianna Broz, RN, to the blog. She is one of our RN Residents, and is going to provide a rare behind-the-scenes view of what it is like to be a new nurse in a complex pediatric hospital. Look for regular updates from Marianna in the weeks and months to come!

Congratulations, you've made it through nursing school! Something we all seriously doubted would happen at one point or another. And so now it's time to start your professional career… the moment we've all been waiting for. So here comes day 1 of my new life as a professional nurse. After all of the exams, clinical hours, and check-offs I now realize: I know nothing. But that's okay, it's actually expected. And thank God it is.

The first week was an overwhelming blur of trying to remember door codes, passwords, colleague names, and locations for everything ever created. Oh, and trying not to run into any more walls (the hallways are deceiving and set up in an oval shape, so walking in a straight line while not paying attention won't do you any favors). It took 3 hits for me to figure that one out.

A new nurse must dance along a very thin line of trying to be competent and knowing when to ask for help. Like the first couple times I received report, I was absolutely convinced it was in another language. I stood there and nodded along, making mental notes to google half of the abbreviations and crazy syndromes I've never heard of.

There are preceptors, floor managers, nurse educators, and residency directors all checking in with us constantly because they know how tough it can be to be so new in a top-notch facility. And though the meetings with all of them are great and helpful, the true support comes from the residency class itself. There are 9 of us; 3 of us will eventually be in Pediatric ICU (including myself), 2 eventually in Cardiovascular ICU, 2 are already in Neonatal ICU and 2 are on the Neurosurgical unit.
All of us are in the same boat, working side by side, experiencing the same events through brand new eyes.

Every Monday we have a 4 hour residency class, and faithfully after each one we all go out to lunch together to "debrief." For at least 2 hours, we all vent and tell stories about how our weeks are going. And if one of us can't make it to lunch or we have a story that just can't wait, there's the group chat: an ongoing conversation of "Oh my God you'll never guess what just happened" moments. Gotta love technology.

As any nurse will tell you, it's very hard to describe the things we deal with to someone who has no idea what it's like. Bad accidents happen to good people. There's touchy subjects like child abuse and neglect. The same kid that makes you laugh all day at work, you'll cry about on your drive home.

But with the support of the people around, it's not hard to see the impact we can make… even after a grueling 12 hour shift.

People always ask why I chose pediatric nursing… My response tends to change after each shift. Sometimes, it's because I get to play at work: Use toys, light up games, talk like Patrick from Spongebob, etc. Sometimes, it's the obvious: Who doesn't want to help a little kid feel better? But after my first couple weeks at All Children's, I found another reason I wasn't expecting: The people around me.

Everyone here has to have some form of a sense of humor to be able to get the job done. To me, there's no quicker way to make a child smile than to make an absolute fool of myself (like arguing with a kindergartner about why Toy Story 3 is better than both 1 and 2. Combined. Times infinity plus one).

So this blog will be dedicated to the good, bad, sad, and absolutely hilarious events that come with being a brand new pediatric nurse. I've been convinced for a while that nursing should be a reality show anyways, so really this is just the beginning.

Look for Marianna's next post in January!



Anonymous said...

Wow, what an inspiration! I just might switch to nursing

Anonymous said...

Wonderful writing! I loved reading this story and the one about the Tree of Life.