Monday, February 13, 2012

Nice to meet you

By way of introduction...I'm married (almost 30 years), mother of two grown sons and grandmother. I've worked as an entertainer, bartender, store clerk, substitute teacher, TV control and as a Registered Nurse. I returned to school when my sons were in Jr High and High school. I was 39 years old and had a BA from years before. Two years later, upon completion of the associates degree, I began work at an ER nurse. Never having worked in patient care, and with few hours of clinicals under my belt, I was unprepareed for an ER with no orientaton or precepter program in place. I asked lots of questions and watched the habits of the best nurses. I looked up every medication, time-and-time again, until I knew the how, when and why. 6 months in, I was Charge nurse. As the good nurses told me, it took one year before I started to believe I might be able to actually "be" a nurse. At the same time, I realized that, at that age, I was behind the 8-ball and the pressure was on to learn as much as I could. This was not going to be easy in the same ER. I needed more exposure. I worked as a traveling ER RN both with contracts and prn. I learned so much from each experience. And there was so much to learn. 4 years later, I wanted more regular hours, so I switched to Dialysis nursing, and again, my learning curve took a steep climb. Again, I learned so much. 90 days into that job, I was approached to be a clinic manager for the company. One year later...burned out, I needed a change without a pay cut, so I traveled as a Dialysis nurse on a lovely tropical Island! While there, I also worked as a med/surg nurse. Back on the continent, I changed to Hospice nursing, again, learning so much. Not just about pain management, but from my patients, about love, hopes, dreams, spirit, grace, dignity, sacrifice and strength. I am now in, yet, another specialty. OR Circulating RN in a 24 room OR and, again, my learning curve has been like scaling the Alps. I'm 20 months into this and learn something every day. I am...54 yrs old. I've had a hip replacement, have what may be arthritis in my thumbs and, now, I have custom orthopedic inserts! Because I was late to the nursing party and haven't stayed in one place, I have no retirement waiting for me. I have to maximize my earning potential and keep working. Toward that end... I'm in the process of leaping in to bridge from RR-BSN the, probably, to MSN. Because I come from a family heavily populated with MDs,RNs and lawyers and, because I tend to be opinionated anyway...I'll be posting observations, opinions, advise and admonitions