I've had 3 shifts in the big city ED so far. It's a very different place than my small town ED that I did my final student placement. One, this emergency department is set up in Pods. What that means is that there are clusters of beds in certain areas, and as a nurse we are assigned certain beds for the shift. In the rural ED, it was a free for all. You would have a mix of patients, some very sick and others were walkie-talkies who would leave within the hour.
At the big city hospital, you get those few beds, and that's it. You could have 4 admitted patients there the WHOLE SHIFT, because there is no room upstairs for them. I have spent a day in Resus, and have spent 2 days in the "A" pod, which is supposed to be the step down from resus, and have quite sick patients. It's not exactly what I expected, but I think the days I have been working have not been the "norm", as that is what the other nurses are saying. I have found myself counting down the hours to when I can go home. Nothing really interesting has come in yet, and I have been looking after 90+ year olds with dementia (thankfully DNR), former strokes, UTI symptoms, and resolved chest pain yet admitted.
Well as a new grad, i feel like an idiot most of the time. I have had some doozy days where I swear the nurses are rolling their eyes at me. I don't feel confident with my skills, and I'm forgetting simple drugs and procedures. Luckily I'm paired with a preceptor so they are showing me where things are and helping me maintain some form of organization. But I still don't feel ready to be out there on my own, and I'm realizing how much more I will have to learn in order to feel comfortable. I'm also still not sure of me being part of the nursing process in general. I don't' know when I'll feel completely comfortable calling myself a nurse.
I also don't really know anyone yet, so I'm bombarded with new people, and I don't' know where everything is. It's frustrating, and I'm hesitant and slow with tasks I have mastered during nursing school. I'm not dreading my next shift, but I'm not thrilled for it either.
I guess there is one consolation...... I'm getting paid.
I'm at the lowest end of the nursing-salary spectrum, but I can't believe how much entry-level nurses make. We work our butts off for the money we make, but wow! My bf has been working for two years and he's making 15k less a year then what I will be making. Yikes. (I am, however, highly aware that in about 4 years I'll be complaining about the money. Please remind me of this post later.)
Downside: student loans. They suck. So much for the extra $$, it's going to the bank and the government.