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Things would have been very different had you not chosen the path that you’re on.
For so many others, minor professional blunders are just that—minor professional blunders. Didn’t make a deadline? It’s not the end of the world. Forgot to send out an important email? There’s always tomorrow. As for nurses? A slight miscalculation could prove fatal. And when a patient codes, there is no tomorrow—there’s only right now.
The pressure is enough to make even the most qualified new nurse panic…but no nurse is “new” forever.
Below, in an article published by The Huffington Post, Scrubs contributor Sonja Mitrevska-Schwartzbach sorts through the unease she too felt upon first entering the field, delivering a powerful message to all those still struggling with self-doubt:
Right now, there is a baby nurse who is searching online and deep inside for an answer. There is a brand-new member of the profession who is questioning her calling. There is a newly minted graduate who wonders how school seemed to teach her everything and nothing all at the same time. There is a greener-than-grass new hire who is praying that she doesn’t kill somebody at work tomorrow, and wonders if she already did yesterday.
Dearest baby nurse, don’t let this scary new world drag you down. You’re going to have moments when you are sitting on a toilet seat for far too long, probably for the first time in your entire shift, and question why you even decided to become a nurse in the first place. That’s okay.
You’re going to have days—many of them—when you plop down in your car after leaving work two hours later than anticipated; and you’re going to turn off the radio; and you’re going to roll down the windows; and you’re going to cry the most painful and ugly cry. That’s okay.
You’re going to have shifts where your head is spinning and your hands are shaking and your brain is thinking faster than your fingers can type. That’s okay.
You’re going to have moments when you clean more bodily fluids in one 12-hour day than an average person might in a lifetime. You’re going to feel that—sometimes—you’re the only person on the entire unit, because everyone around you is just as busy as you are. That’s okay.
You’re going to have times when patients yell at you for something you didn’t know (that perhaps you should have). They will complain about you to anyone [who] might listen. They may even become so frustrated with their care that they threaten to leave. And this is going to bother the hell out of you. That’s okay.
You’re gonna listen for 20 minutes and still not hear a damn murmur. That’s okay.
You’re going to have moments when you feel like something “just isn’t right” with the patient in your care. You won’t have enough experience as a frame of reference for what may be happening, or why. You’re probably going to feel helpless in these moments—it’s a “tip of the tongue” phenomenon to the highest degree. That’s okay.
You’re going to feel devastated the first time a veteran nurse yells at you—even more so when their reaction is for something nit-picky and nonessential. You’re going to mumble something unsavory about them under your breath. That’s okay.
You’re going to call a doctor to clarify an order, and she’s going to complain. She’s going to want answers, details, vital signs and a picture of what is happening with your patient, and you’re going to word-vomit something that probably makes very little sense to an angry cardiologist at 3 a.m. That’s okay.
You’re going to walk into a room expecting to pass your morning medications and come to find your patient unresponsive. Maybe she’s stopped breathing. Perhaps she’s lost a pulse….
Want to read the full article? You can find it in its entirety here—just be sure to share your own thoughts in the comments section below!