Sunday, August 23, 2009

Super freak. (Composed Saturday night; posted Sunday morning.)

Oh God, oh God, oh God.

I start the CC internship in a month. A month. What was I thinking? What the hell am I doing, leaving what I'm used to? What happens if I hate it?

What happens if I can't do EKGs? I've never been good at EKGs. And all that other CV stuff; I haven't done that in years. I can't remember what Vfib looks like. Blocks...blocks...I can't remember blocks. What's the normal for mag? I can't remember. I've been off work for too long. I'm only back for a few weeks, and then I start the internship.

Holy crap. What if I hate it? What if they hate me? I'm going to have to work nights. I've never worked a night in my life. What if I can't stay awake? What if I can't sleep the day before my first night? Oh, God, oh, God. Nights. What am I going to do about feeding the dog? How long will I have to work nights? When will I start? What if I hate it?

Seven years. I've worked on the same unit for seven years. Why did I have to go and make a change now? I wonder if it's too late to back out. It probably is. What if I hate it? I'm going to feel like a complete idiot for at least a month, and pretty stupid for at least six months after that. Ventrics. I haven't dealt with a ventric in...what? Four years? Five? I've forgotten how to level them. I mean, I know this is what an internship is for, but they'll expect me to remember this stuff.

Oh, geez, and ventilators. I wonder how much ventilator stuff we'll have to do. RT is right there, but will I have to troubleshoot? What about extubation? What about intubation? What about code team? When do you use bicarb, again? Isn't bicarb, like, your last resort? Shit. And open bellies. Open. Bellies. Covered with plastic wrap. That's insane. What am I doing, changing units?

We're gonna see a lot of flu cases this year. Probably some of 'em'll be on vents. I hope I don't get the flu. What'll I do about vents? What if I have to go to Holy Kamole and work on vents there? And what about all that damn CV stuff? Geez, I hate counting out rhythms. I need to get a better stethoscope. I need a set of calipers. My feet hurt. It's the last night of my vacation, and my fucking feet hurt. I can't sleep. What about EKGs? I wonder when they'll have flu shots for us. I wonder *if* they'll have flu shots for us. Maybe I can tell 'em I'm pregnant, and get a flu shot that way. But then I'd have to produce a baby.

Which would probably be easier than starting this damn internship.




Beth Young said...

I can tell you're a bright, intelligent nurse, by reading your posts, so I'm sure you'll have no problem with vents and EKGs and whantot. As for nights, I went from evenings to nights, several years ago when I started doing twelve hour shifts. You're very unlikely to sleep before your first night shift and you'll drink a lot of coffee, and yawn,and wish you were in bed, but you'll make it through. My first few months on nights, I was hardly ever awake during daylight, but eventually I adjusted. Some people never do, they just get used to a lot less sleep. Either way, you'll do fine. I respect you for going for it. Good luck.

Kimberly said...

Dude. You've so totally got this. These are normal nerves, but you are going. to. be. fine. Hang in there.

rosebuttons said...

I'm an ICU nurse, and I freaked out like this when I started the internship, and again when I signed up to do the dialysis internship. And then someone said to me, "You already know how to be a nurse, and you're a good nurse. That's 90% of it, now you're just learning another machine (the vent, the monitors, etc) and some new knobs and dials." That pretty much calmed me down. And if that doesn't help, here's my Advice for Life that's gotten me through a lot of scary, hard stuff: "Whatever you're doing, stupider people than you have done it, and succeeded." Good luck, you're going to be awesome!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rose. My boss once told me (while I was worrying about an upcoming meeting with a client) that worrying is a good sign. Means you're thinking things through and are getting prepared. Much better than not!

New challenges are good for the soul and the brain.

Have fun!

Rat said...

YOU will be FINE. Yes, I understand that FINE stands for Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional....But, YOU will be. I know. Trust me on this one. As for the Flu thing. Wash your hands, wear your PPE, and COUGH BACK!!!!

mommynurse said...

I went to the same classes after about 4 years of nursing. Found myself feeling like a new grad all over again. But, that lasted just through orientation. Then I got my feet under me.
Bicarb: doctor dependent
vents: know where the 100% O2 and alarm buttons are. Intubation, extubation... step back and watch twice then you'll know. Cake
Ekg stuff: I taught it for a while. I can help if you need it :)
ventrics, invasive monitoring lines, etc etc etc: it's all about repeated exposure.
Nobody will expect you to know it all on day 1 or day 100 even. But you're smart, you want to know why as well as what, and you've got a solid foundation to build on.
You're totally gonna fly!!

Unknown said...

Deeep breathe.
By the mere fact that you're that nervous about this new adventure.. shows how well you want to do.
And shows how well you're going to do.

danielle said...

Deep breath in....let it out...deep breath are an experienced nurse and that is a HUGE plus. You do not need to learn all the just need to learn the specialty stuff. And that is what an internship is all about. And you will be surprised at how much of the basic CC stuff comes back to you once you start!

Penny Mitchell said...

Just pretend that you are me, and I am you, and I am telling you all the things you tell me to calm me down.

If that's too complicated, just check yer email.

YOU WILL BE FINE. You are easily (EASILY) one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Ever. And I know a hellishly large amount of hellishly intelligent people. Change is always weird, and changing jobs is at the very top of the list of things that stress us right out of our brains. You will do great, and they will love you.

Working nights will be fine. You may find you really like it. You may find that you really don't like it at all. However, it will probably be a better environment in which to learn this initial stuff, and you may find that even if you don't particularly LOVE it, you might be very thankful for it.

I once saw a PBS show on ED docs. One worked nights his entire career and LOVED IT. He had a pair of special glasses made; they were made of welding glass and wrapped around. He put them on before he left the building, and thus fooled his brain into thinking it was night. He left them on until he got into bed. Even the light from the refrigerator could "wake up" his brain, in his opinion, so the dark glasses fooled his brain into thinking it was time to go home and go to bed. Maybe putting dark shades on before you even get to the door of the hospital would help?

You are going to rock. I have no doubt in my mind. And while I'm not as smart as you, I'm pretty fucking smart, and I know I am right about this. And I don't cuss unless I really, really need to.

(((((((Brilliant Nurse Jo!!))))))

Shannon said...

You will do great! It is all actually a lot less complicated than it seems. It all boils down the the ABC's! And, if you are in a teaching institution, there will always be more people than you care to have around to answer questions.

As for the night shift and the dog - biggest issue was getting him used to sleeping during the day when I was at home. He eats before I leave for work and then after I get home, no matter what shift I work. The first shift stinks because you likely did not sleep that day. Last shift sucks because you are tired! I do find that I mostly eat/sleep/work when I'm on nights. Best benefit - no silly management hanging around! Some of my best times were on the night shift when everyone pitched in and made an impossible task happen.

Good luck, you will appreciate this experience!

woolywoman said...

Remain calm. Protect the airway. Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. You'll be fine. Your not supposed to know everything- that's why they train you.

Sara said...

breath, relax, stay calm ... you are going to do great. you are already a great nurse, and it is normal (and even good) to be nervous. you will learn a lot, you will see a lot. leveling ventrics is easy. the vents aren't too bad, i agree with mommynurse on that. extubation/intubation ... well, just hope the extubation is by a doctor and not the patient :)

i can't wait to hear about how your journey goes!

Anonymous said...

I think you should go back and read the awesome post wherein you announced you'd decided to make this switch. If I remember right, that post detailed the reasons for this life change; maybe you could remind yourself why you're doing it, to help nudge those other scary, doubting thoughts out of your head. I mean, the scary doubts are prolly healthy and necessary and all that, but sometimes they need to move along, already.

Kim said...

Wasn't it Eleanor Roosevelt who said "do one thing every day that scares you"?

You will go through this anxiety and you will start your internship and you will come out the other end a stronger nurse for having gone through it.

Change scares the hell out of us. I don't know if I could function outside of an ER after so many years and the thought scares the hell out of me.

You. Will. Do. Great.

Because you are you. Period.

shrimplate said...

If you really fuck things up and bomb out of nursing, you can always go to Med School.