Welcome to my life – Nurse Life!
It’s 6:48am and I am writing this whilst I sit and watch my patient sleep and wait patiently for the day staff to start filtering in. It is my second night shift out of three but I cannot complain as the next (and last for this group of shifts!) is a bank shift which despite meaning a couple of extra quid also means the tax man is gonna have a medieval banquet when it comes to my monthly wonga. You may be able to tell that I am in a bit of a sarcastic mood – how I hear you ask or roll your eyes at me! It is before 7am on a friggin’ Sunday! Nurse life is just riveting.
Well, as I mentioned above it is my second night shift out of a block of three and I am really bloody tired. I have been awake since 5pm last night and I am just about to hit the daydreaming side of reality where I can feel the soft, gentle caress of my pillow against the side of my head. BUT NO – There goes another patient alarm!
Some may say that due to the nature of Intensive Care we are the lucky few nurses that get our one nurse to one patient ratio and at times this can be very true. However, when the shit hits the fan it gets real and that shit happens real quick, most the time we are by the bedside on our own with our neighbour (another nurse) for assistance until doctors and a nurse in charge rush to the bed space in the event of any emergency. But when I say the shit hits the fan real quick picture the scene – you are riding out the night shift like a pro, your patient is comfortable and sleeping, their blood pressure is stable and all your meds are topped up so you can actually breath for five minutes or more.
THEN you hear the alarm and their blood pressure is through the floor and their heart rate is through the roof, you don’t have the one drug that you need right now and you have sent your neighbour to go and get it whilst you pull the crash bell and get those legs up in the air quicker than a can-can dancer at the Moulin Rouge. You are not panicking because you are in the zone. Meanwhile their blood pressure is still through the floor and your neighbour cannot find the drug cupboard keys. The crash bell is still sounding out as at the other end of the main part of your unit the surgeons have cracked open a chest and the nurse in charge is standing by as over watch for the junior nurse that has just shit their pants at the fact that it is their first open chest EVER.
A doctor is running towards you and another nurse is pushing the crash trolley but you are still not panicking. You see the doctor running but in true nurse style that crash trolley is coming in good time but not speeding. By the time the doctor gets to you and looks at all the monitors, the patient and their history to try and figure out what is causing this event your nurse colleague has helped you get some pads on the patient, connected them to the defib just in case and those legs are still up in the air.
Before you know it is 10 minutes later, the patient is now sedated, tubed and you are back at the end of the bed space in the intensive care bliss that is intensive care patient management. To those that say I am lucky to have one patient I agree, because if I had more than one and such an event happened they would probably die and I am so glad that I decided to leave the ward and go to intensive care to continue my training and come out the other side and be able to use the knowledge I have gained in my recent years here. Thankfully last night what not one of those shifts!
When I started writing this post I am not sure what direction I thought it would go but a good point to end on is – despite having to work some honestly quite shitty shifts and very long hours I can happily say that I get paid to do a job that I love and the majority of the time look forward to going to work. Of course, when I am a lot more coherent (awake!) I will probably write a post about many of the other aspects of my job, but for now… that is all!
Have a great Sunday lovelies!
p.s. I apologise for any bad grammar or spelling mistakes!