Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome To The Rest of My Life

***Forwarning...I tend to ramble when I type, so my feelings won't be hurt if you just skim the blog and read the interesting parts. Happy reading!***

To make a long story marked the beginning of the rest of my life...the rest of my life that I've been waiting the last 22 years for. I guess I'm officially still on "orientation" until the end of tomorrow, but today was my first shift on the floor as an official NURSE! Not just a nurse, but a Labor & Delivery nurse...on the same floor of the same hospital where I was born. That's kinda a cool feeling. The nurses that have been there since before I was born don't like it when I mention to them that they could have been my mom's labor nurse, and now I'm coming back to work with them, but they let me hang around anyways :)

I just graduated from nursing school this past May, and this has truly been the longest summer of my life. I didn't pass my state boards the first time I took them in June, so then I had to wait a torturous 45 days (and really, it was torturous) to re-take them. After another test that included all 265 questions, I was postitive I failed, but God still works miracles, and I found out last Friday that I passed...and all I got for it was a piece of paper to put in my wallet...haha!!

I've been in orientation all week, and I'm not really sure that I learned a blessed thing, but I got paid for it so I guess it could have been a lot worse. Since I've been an employee at the hospital for the last 6 years in various positions (Child Care, Nurses Aid, Internship, etc...) I got to skip all the 'general' orientation, but I've been there and re-learned how to work the computer system, how to run an IV pump, I've gotten yet another tour of the hospital (I've given those same tours, but I guess this was just a refresher course), and I've listened to lots of information that I probably will never use on L&D, but at least I'll have it for reference in the future!

Today was the first day that we were allowed to "try out" the unit that we're going to be working on. I think the other new RN's in my orientation group were going to learn where the time clocks were, where the bathrooms were on the floor, maybe how to work the beds, all that fun general stuff that you get when you're doing good when you've figured out how to get from your car to your assigned unit. I got to jump right the the fun stuff---delivering babies! I did a 3-month internship on L&D last summer, and I did my senior preceptorship on the unit for a month in April, so this was just another play day. I love what I do, so to me it really is like a play day, I look forward to it! 12-hour shifts are long, but when you love what your'e doing, it's not really work...right?

The same nurse is preceptoring me for the next 3 months that I worked with last summer and in April...and what would you know, my first shift as an RN and she wasn't there today :( But there are so many amazing nurses up there that one of them said it was totally fine if I was her shadow today. I only worked an 8-hour day (heaven forbid I get over 40 hours this week!) and I still got my first baby as an RN!

Amazing couple, even if they hadn't been my first family as a new nurse they would have gone on my list of favorites. This was their 2nd baby, they were totally relaxed and laid back. I spent most of the day today in the room just chattin' it up with them. Totally cool. She was great about everything and she had a great delivery. I told her she needed to have him by 1600 because that's when I left. She came through! 1556, 9#3, 20.5in long. That boy had a head full of hair! He was so cute as a 1minute old baby can be I guess. We had about a 45sec shoulder dystocia...boy when those happen they seem longer than a few seconds...I wouldn't mind having patients like them every time, but I know that's not the case more often than not. But my first day, my 1st baby as a "Real Nurse" I can't complain!

Babies Today: 1M
Total Babies: 1M
Vag: 1


  1. Hi....I don't want to sound weird but I am going to read you from the very beginning of your blog- I am a 25 year old paramedic in Ohio and I do have a great job working in pediatric critical care (which is a pretty hard job to come by as a paramedic) but my dream for almost all of my 25 years has been to be a nurse. I should (hopefully) be starting nursing school in January, and as I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted to be a L&D nurse, I'm hoping to use you (yes, you! congrats! LOL) for inspiration- over the next 6 months when I'm apprehensive and want to back out, and the next 2 years beyond that when I'm in the treachery of school and think I can't go on- I'm smart (yeah way to toot my own horn, I know!) but also work nights full time and have a small child- it's going to be rough, and a challenge to say the least so I'll need all the inspiration I can get. Hope you don't mind! (any advice or friendly hints are also welcome....not that I'm fishing for that sort of thing or anything :-)

  2. Kristen! Glad you found my blog!! I hope it reminds you why you want to be a L&D nurse and why you're going to nursing school! I hope you find my blogs encouraging and exciting and overlook any complaining I do :) It sounds like you have a lot of adventures ahead of you as you tackle the wonderful world of nursing school, but I know you can do it! Dont lose sight of your end goal, and take time to enjoy yourself along the way! My main suggestions/tips (with a focus on getting into L&D when you're done...) are:
    1) look at some local hospitals and see what kind of internships/preceptorships they have available, espeially duing the summer. L&D isn't an easy area to get into right out of school. The turn-over rate isn't usually very high, and it's a very specialized area. Internships, or being an aid on the unit can teach you alot about how the unit works and a lot of the behnd the scenes and goings on. The management will also be familiar with you when you go back to apply as an RN!
    2) Keep your eyes open duing school might find something else you enjoy just as much, if not more than L&D! Take time to experience it all! And remember...there's lots that you won't learn in school. Take advantage of EVERY clinical experience!
    3) Take time for yourself (and your family). Nursing school is NOT easy! But...don't let it totally consume you. Take time every semester, every month, every week, every day to step back and look at the big picture. It's super easy to get overwhelmed at EVERYTHING that's going on at the same time, but the big picture is what you need to focus on.
    4) Hand on to your's going to be a wild ride!!

    Good luck...and enjoy my baby stories!