The other day, I had one of “those” shifts. I’ve mentioned before that I’m married to a nurse; this was one of those days when it’s a blessing. I didn’t have to explain my day. I didn’t have to break down what happened, who was there, what was the big deal, etc. I simply said, “One of THOSE shifts.” She nodded and hugged me. Nothing more. And that’s all I needed.
It got me thinking: How do you explain these types of days to the “non-nurse” or the “non-health care” person? I mean, these types of days are what define our careers. The makings of a good nurse are created during these shifts–you either sink or swim. And when I say sink, I mean something goes wrong. Something bad happens because you couldn’t “keep up.”
Now, I’m not saying I’m something great. Not at all. I’m simply pointing out, if I had been the type of nurse who is okay with just getting by, one of my patients would have been hurt.
I thought I’d try to break down what 15 minutes of my day was like:
Enter room 1 to begin assessment:
- Realize the room is a mess–layover from the chaos the previous shift endured
- Empty garbage cans since garbage is overflowing onto floor
-Interruption- PHONE RINGING *have to answer phone since all other staff members are busy and have their hands full*
Re-enter room 1: