And it kind of sucked. Actually, it really sucked- but I know there are going to be plenty of weeks like this, so I’m trying not to dwell on it too much. I also go back for my third night on Saturday so hopefully it goes better.
On Sunday, one of my patients expired (politically correct term for died) on my shift. He was really sick and his family decided to stop treating his illnesses and just make him comfortable. As sad as it sounds, he was surrounded by his loved ones and is now in a better place. To add to all the emotions I was feeling, this was my first experience dealing with one of my own patients passing away. I had helped out other nurses when it was their patient who passed, but one of my own had never expired on my shift. I was really lucky to have a great, helpful team of nurses by my side to help me get through the process.
After that depressing shift, I went back to work the next night thinking, “It can’t be as bad as last night!” and boy was I wrong. The shift started smoothly and all my patients were stable. The night came and went, and I gave report to the nurse taking over my group. As I was getting ready to leave, I heard the dreaded intercom come on and announce a Code Rescue in one of the rooms I had been assigned to that night. Shit. The patient wasn’t looking too good, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I went to the code and gave as much information as I could to help the situation, but I still couldn’t help but wonder if something I did (or didn’t catch) caused this. Everyone reassured me that they would have done exactly what I did, but it was still bugging me in the back of my head.
I had to come to terms with the fact that days like this will happen again.
I am a new nurse, and I am still learning and growing my critical thinking skills with each shift. I’m never going to know everything, but I can take each rough experience and learn something. I didn’t want to brush this feeling off and move on without a care in the world, but I also didn’t want to beat myself up about it. I was later informed that that same patient coded twice more that day, and that it definitely wasn’t anything of my doing. While that made me feel a hundred times better, I’m glad I experienced this- I feel like it’ll make me a better nurse from this point forward. One small bump in the road now encourages me to use my critical thinking skills just that much more.
Alrighty ladies and gentlemen, thank you for reading about my shitty week and how I’m trying to just be better from it. It’s hard, but I need to keep reminding myself that these experiences will just make me a stronger, better, and overall extraordinary nurse.
P.S. Make sure you follow me on Instagram (@nickiguerra) to see all my mirror selfies of me inside my work bathroom