A Baby Shower Tea

Thursday

It was a group effort. 
 Thanks to all co-hostesses!

A Baby Shower Tea for our friend and fellow nurse, Amy and her daughter, Danielle.
A clothesline fashioned from IV Poles was decorated to provide
a great way to check out Danielle's cute baby clothes. 
Each item was tagged with the name of the gift-giver.

The venue was at the hospital and had to have windows. Lots of them.
You just can't have a 'Tea' in a windowless room. 

Color-scheme: 
Pink, White and Green.
Food: 
 Finger sandwiches (tomato basil/tuna salad/chicken salad) - mini quiche - mini cupcakes - tortilla roll ups - cookies
 Beverages: 
 Hot Tea, Iced Tea, Punch
 
Games: Pin the Sperm on the Egg (only nurses would be into this one), Guess the size of mommy's tummy and Guess the number of candies in a baby's bottle.
 
It was a lot of fun honoring a lovely person...
...and welcoming her daughter into the world

A Career in Nursing: The End

Tuesday

 I'm feeling pretty good about the past 38 years as an R.N. and on reflection of my life of service, it was my honour and privilege to have had the opportunity to be the first person to touch a human life at birth and the last to hold the hand of someone as they took their last breath.

How awesome is that?  
\
I've worked with the best of the best and shared experiences in life that few can fathom.

To the nurses, techs, paramedics, EMT's, docs, therapists, chaplains, pharmacists and secretaries that I have had the opportunity to work with throughout my career...Thank You. 

I have been one lucky nurse,

And now, I'm getting on with my life.
I'll keep you posted.

A Career in Nursing: The Middle

Sunday


 
It took me a while to get my groove on in nursing but when I finally caught on, I learned that working in healthcare can be extreme, aggravating, thought-provoking and heart-breaking - all in the same shift.

I learned to differentiate the sounds of a cry of mourning, the cry of pain and the cry of attention.

I learned to have fun at work.
One night, while having a smoke (yup) in the medication room of the Telemetry unit where I worked, one of the docs suggested I work in the ER.

Me? An ER Nurse? Why not? 
ER Nursing was my life for about 20 years. I loved it and I loved my fellow 'Adrenalin Junkies', 'Trauma Mamas' and  the like. Ours was a club like no other. The ER requires physical stamina, quick reaction times and integrity.

In anticipation of the changes that were bound to occur in ER Nursing - I chose to participate in an ICU Training Program and when the time came, I left ER Nursing behind me. It was a painful decision but I felt it was important to step away from the ER while I was still on top of my game and had a decent attitude. As I've always said, "ER Nursing can suck the life out of you...if you let it."

And then I became an ICU Nurse.

A Career in Nursing: The Beginning

Saturday

The cap one wore identified your school of nursing.
Decked out in my cap and graduation uniform, my vacant gaze speaks the truth. At nineteen, I was not ready for the tremendous responsibilities inherent to nursing.

My first real job was as a staff nurse on a Metabolic Medicine and Dialysis unit. I hated it.
Our shift would begin by our "Head Nurse", an angry, unpleasant, narrow-minded narcissist who would literally inspect each nurse from head to toe. Should our shoelaces appear dingy or our skirt length be deemed too short, we were subjected to her wrath. Publicly.

To be responsible for 8 to 10 patients each, it was our responsibility to review all medications to be administered, prepare them, identify any outstanding procedures or tests that needed to be done, manage wounds and change dressings, create a plan of care for each patient, administer medications, change linens, feed, bathe and turn our assigned patients and document all nursing assessments, interventions, vital signs etc. If we were really lucky, a Nurse's Aide would help us out. This was a rarity.

Have I already said I hated this job?  

OK - now I'm on a roll... there was no air conditioning. A hospital with sick people in it and no air conditioning? This would be cause for a militant uprising today but back then you just sucked it up.

A memory from 38 years ago comes flooding back to me...

I was seated at the nurse's station, charting. A doctor entered. Everyone stood up - except for me. Suddenly I heard the familiar bellow of my Head Nurse ..."Miss Young!" Her cackle was akin to the sound of fingernails scraping a chalkboard... "Stand when a physician enters this area!" I didn't get it. Then made the mistake of asking, "Why?" One look and I could tell she was about to implode. "Good Nurses stand to offer their seat to a doctor!" she said.
As much as a really hated that job, I was given an opportunity to learn ...
  • To hold those in positions of authority accountable. 
  • To respect your aides or techs - many times they will have your back when you need it most.
  • That your physical discomfort does not even compare to that of your patient.
  • Belittling someone doesn't make you look good. It does quite the opposite.
So I forced myself to do my best, be my best and stayed in a job that I despised for one year. A character-building experience, for sure - and (thankfully) not indicative of my future in nursing.

Paranoid in South America

Anticipating travel to South America was both exciting and scary. Admittedly, reports of muggings, kidnappings and police corruption go...