I have a hard time believing that my 436 hour internship at the small-town Emerg is almost complete. I have 52 hours left, and will be complete by the 2nd of April.
I must admit I've learned a lot about nursing and about myself in this rotation. Here is a small list:
1) I enjoy emergency nursing
2) I've learned about assessment, more then I ever thought I would
3) There are many ways to go about nursing, and many factors to consider before notifying the physician... and I still have not developed an instinct as to what is important and what isn't, although I am learning.
4) Most people who come to the emergency department do not have emergencies
5) I'm still having a hard time determining when to hook someone up to telemetry, and when I don't need to. ABC emergencies of course, but sometimes there are other reasons, and that's why it's confusing.
6) A lot of things I have applied to the emergency room I DID NOT learn in nursing school. I have learned most of my "emergency" component through the pre-hospital first responder and first aid courses.
7) I can size up a cervical collar and place it on a person better then some of the seasoned nurses.
8) I can get in most IV's that I have tried. There have been a few (that I can count on 1 hand) that I have tried twice and have not succeeded. It was when I learned how to do IVs that I felt like a real nurse.
9) I'm scared to be looking after a seriously ill patient by myself. I'm glad there is a team of nurses around, and I'm glad I'm going into a job where I have backup for at least the first couple months until I feel more comfortable.
10) Although non-rebreather masks are used a LOT in prehospital care, they are not used much in the ED.
11) There are some patients whom I will like, some whom I will dislike. Either way, I will treat them professionally and with respect for their person.
12) There will be sometimes where I will disagree with the treatment plan of the physician. For this I have advocated for my patient. Sometimes I will not win, that doesn't mean I don't try to get my point across.
This is a short list, and I'm sure I have forgotten something. I'm still not 100% sure of my place in nursing, and continue with my internal struggle learning to accept that this is my career path. However, I have found a way to provide help to people in need. That was a goal I endeavored to do with any profession I entered. For this, I am proud.