Travel RN, FNP, and Going My Own Way

I’ve settled on travel nursing and reapplying for graduate school to become an FNP. I’m hoping that with the new experiences that I’ve had that I’ll be better able to market myself and demonstrate an understanding of the FNP role. This isn’t about getting out of the hospital anymore or about hating bedside nursing. I actually have a new found appreciation for my role as an RN. I think it’s just the realization that I want to be all that I can be. One day, I’m going to want a change and if I have the opportunity to go to graduate school, then I think I should give my best into going. I shouldn’t be flippant about it, which I was before, because at the time I wasn’t even sure if being an FNP was what I wanted and I felt I was chasing the degree for status purposes.

Recently, I’ve gotten addicted to allnurses.com. I’m not exactly thrilled about this. While it can provide me with good information, I feel that many times it’s best to make decisions about my life and career using my own intuition and instincts. Many times I feel as though other people’s experiences on that site and many others differs quite a bit from my own so I’ve been trying to shy away from asking others for their input. I would like to try and figure stuff like this out a bit more on my own or with 1 to 1 help. I just need to go my own way and close off a bit from the world. I feel the need to be more self-reliant.

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It’s Sunday: Giving It A Rest

After work, I’ve been going to bed later and later. It’s a testament to how comfortable I’ve gotten with my job that I don’t stroll into work until 4 minutes before it’s time to clock in. I’m not worried about my job performance anymore. I get it. Even if I don’t always know where things are, at least I feel comfortable enough to say that my patients won’t die from my lack of competence.

I’ve been writing here less and less because it’s kind of the same ol’, same ol’ I’ve been writing about before. It’s a good kind of redundance though. I’m starting to realize what it is I’ve been seeking at this stage in my life and why certain circumstances make me feel caged. I’m happier now because I have the opportunity to move on, I just have to choose a direction to move in.

Anyways, this is me giving it a rest and allowing the process to unfold.

Revealing Options

I struggle now to recall what it is that made me feel like I was old last year or why I thought settling down was a good idea for me. And yet, I do wonder how that would’ve turned out. The girl I am now thinks that I would’ve been miserable. But I can never know for sure. I remember he always felt so sad and insecure. And I use to internalize that and began to feel so off myself. Many times I felt exhausted because I spent a lot of time trying to help nurture him and make him feel “good enough”. But I don’t think there was anything I could’ve done that would’ve done that. I couldn’t understand what it was that made him feel the need to withdraw from me and run from me so frequently. And I felt bad because I wanted to understand. I tried to understand. But I don’t think I could. I don’t think we had good communication along those lines. Sometimes I think when you’re in love, you feel as though this is “the one” for you. And maybe they are. Or maybe they aren’t. But you never know what a blessing a heartbreak is until Opportunity crosses your path and you realize that you’re free to take it up on its offer.

A coworker was describing to me her delivery and as she was describing the process to me, I began to get fatigued. I use to have the same reaction every time I went to Maternity clinicals in nursing school. It often felt like I was the one having the baby. I could feel every pain, every push, every exhausting feeling, that when the baby finally did arrive, I felt like I needed a cot right next to the mother so that I could rest as well. The process was so exhausting to me that after a 4 hour clinical I’d feel so exhausted that I’d fall asleep on myself on the way home. In the years since then, I had often attributed it to my feelings of nervousness about taking on the Nurse role. But after listening to my coworker describe her birthing experience, I feel as though those old fears have nothing to do with my feelings of fatigue and empath ability related to the birthing experience. I relayed this information to my mom who said that she also experiences the same thing surrounding delivery and so does an aunt of mine. I have observed many surgeries and I’m comfortable with the experience. But vaginal deliveries and caesareans often leave me gasping for air, nauseous, and on the verge of passing out. This isn’t fear related to the experience. There is no fear reaction associated with it. It’s this strong feeling of identification with the mother that makes it hard for me to detach from the experience in a way that I can enjoy the experience and be truly effective. For this reason, I’m leaning more towards travel nursing.

Mother baby will always be there. I have the benefit of youth, being single, and very very little debt on my side at this time. I’m completely free to be whoever I want to be. And after a few months or years of travel, I can decide to work in Mother/Baby again (at a hospital closer to home). I have the freedom of having 2 years of experience. There’s many other doors open for me now as a result. It’s just a matter of looking at my options and choosing the ones I want to try.

Decisions, Decisions…On A Sunday

I have to decide whether to do travel nursing or continue to apply for a position as a OB/GYN nurse. What do I do? Having a specialty under my belt would make it much easier for me to find jobs as a travel nurse, that’s for sure. And I know that I’m getting a little sick of taking care of the sick and want a change. Maybe I could take care of the healthy who only visited the hospital to pop out a baby?  That’s been my logic. But the truth is that I’m actually open to every aspect of nursing at this point with the exception of the ICU. And even then, I seem to be opening up to it simply because I don’t like limiting myself. In the same breath, I can’t find any real inclination or drive to do it.

I’ve been receiving a lot of letters of recommendation for various reasons. I’ve been hopping from one idea to the next as I try to figure out what it is I want to do. I’m so confused. It’s like whenever I set my heart on one thing, something else comes along and I change my mind. I hate nursing, then I love nursing. I want to do postpartum then I hate that. I want to travel but I’m not ready to travel. I want to go to graduate school but maybe in 2-3 years. This is kind of why I want to shut everyone out, pick one thing, and just do it for as long as I can tolerate it. The travel nursing door is already slightly ajar for me. I’ve got the travel nursing agencies on lock. But why not specialize in something…else? And then go on the road? I’m thinking about doing mother/baby again. Maybe I’ll have an easier time finding a job as a travel nurse. I don’t know, I don’t know! I’m seriously confused and trying to figure this all out is kind of stressing me out or giving me a headache! Wooooosahhhh……

Maybe I’ll have a clearer picture of what I want to do next week. We’ll see. I’m hopeful. I just need to take my time.

A Busy Sunday

I had a very busy Sunday. I kind of wish it wasn’t because I would’ve liked more time to read up on my future career path. But I liked it because I got to test my skills and knowledge base with certain clinical issues. Three out of five of my patients’ blood pressures were out of whack (either too high or really low) and the MDs wanted me to give furosemide IV to the patient whose blood pressure was 85/45. Yeah…I was nervous. In fact, so were the doctors. But I waited until the blood pressure was about 90/60 before administering it. My understanding was that the benefits of this drug outweighed the risks. In addition, I agreed with the physician that if need be it would be better to call a rapid response in the day time than during night shift. Fortunately, the blood pressure did not plummet (in fact it went up to 100/83) and the worst thing that happened was that the patient kept peeing on themselves and I had to keep changing bedsheets.

Lord knows I hate rapid responses. It’s part of the reason why I’m so proactive with patient care. Rapid responses to me are a last resort. They’re something you do when you’ve done everything else in your power in a timely manner. Some people are so eager and willing to call a rapid response so they can continue on their day. I’d rather miss 3 meals to provide care and prevent a rapid, than go on a lunch break, come back, and call a rapid response. That’s not the adrenaline rush for me. I already work at a level 1 trauma hospital. Our medical-surgical unit functions more like an IMC unit to be honest. So whenever I can, I prefer a nice, fairly slower pace at work. That doesn’t always happen so when it does, I embrace it. It reminds me of what I want to accomplish and the place I’m trying to get to in life.

Like I’ve said in many of my previous blogs, I’m on a journey of self-discovery. I’m just glad I feel that connection to myself again.

Life Beyond The Fear

A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.

I kind of wish I had started working out last year. But I think I was so focused on other things that I just didn’t have the energy. I felt so old back then. It’s funny looking back at where I came from. I feel like back then I clung very tightly to the concept of “growing up”. I’m not exactly sure why. I think I just felt like hitting 30 would’ve make everything in life so much more manageable. But really, turning 30 isn’t any different than turning 18, 19, or 23. It’s what you learned and how you applied it that really matters.

I’m still trying to learn more about travel nursing and figure out a decent benefits package plan for myself. I’m also trying to use this time to learn more of the skills that I didn’t really get an opportunity to learn in Med/Surg. Yesterday, I was able to insert two foley catheters into two obese sized women with only one try. Honestly, the only other skill I want to perfect before I leave is inserting an IV catheter into a person. When I volunteered in the ED as a student nurse, they would always try to teach me how to start one. I was able to start a few, but I was such a scared nurse in training back then that I kind of made things harder for myself than it needed to be. I want to try again now as the confident RN that I am. Honestly, the fact that I wasn’t afraid made inserting those foley catheters that much easier. The fact that I wasn’t afraid also made drawing blood that much easier as well. Life is better beyond the fear.

I’m not trying to recapture what was lost anymore. I know that sounds really vague. But for a moment in time, I couldn’t let go of the bad that happened to me, my experiences with racism and religiosity while in college being one of them. I really took that into myself, blamed myself, and allowed it to cripple me. But I survived it. And I learned that liking others and treating everyone with respect and with dignity does not mean that others will do the same. Some people, because of biases of their own, do not see you as their equal. Some people do not want to see you at all. And that’s kind of mind boggling but it does happen and I think it served to make me more aware. I’m not the naive girl I use to be. I’m looking forward now.

Happy New Year!

I’m a little late but happy New Year’s! I wanted to write yesterday…no I didn’t. I didn’t want to write yesterday. I was so focused on watching “The Walking Dead” and researching travel nursing that I completely forgot to blog. I think I’m just excited to start a new journey in my life. That being said, I didn’t make any New Year resolutions.

This New Year’s day didn’t feel all that special to me. And yet in a way it was. I actually did quite a few things differently this time around. Usually for New Year’s Day, I wake up early and reflect on my year prior. Then I write out my resolutions for the upcoming year, stay up, spend time with family, and watch the ball drop in Time Square on television. But this year? This year I woke up at 10am after staying up late the night before watching The Walking Dead. I then proceeded to continue watching this “Walker” marathon well into 10pm and then by 11pm I was in bed, dreaming about my life as a survivor of a post apocalyptic world. I kept waking up every 2 hours after the question of, “Why am I still trying to survive in a world like this again?” entered my head.

I think all of this made my New Year’s special. I appreciated how normal seeming it all was because that’s different for me. It was nice to not have to try and make the New Year’s special or different and to just have it be. I think allowing it all to go however it was going to go made it feel nice. I griped the entire night about having to go to work in the morning. And then I went to work and told them about how much I longed to have stayed at home. I told my manager about my intent to be a travel nurse as well as the fact that I wasn’t being paid for being Charge Nurse though I was suppose to. And then my coworker told me that I always seem so happy. I told her that I think this is my “baseline”. And then it occurred to me that what I’m experiencing is something deeper than this ever fleeting “happiness”. I’m joyful. And that made my day.