Sep 27 2009
I’m about to round the corner on year one as an acute care RN … and I like it … I’m pretty sure.
It sounds strange, but it’s not always easy for me to tell if I’m enjoying bedside nursing because of the many frustrations with the hospital system, the challenges with management and co-workers, and the aspects of the job that are physically taxing or routine. So, in an attempt to assess my level of enjoyment and fulfillment with bedside nursing, in the past few months I’ve been asking myself these questions:
How do you feel in the following situations?
– When you don’t feel like going to work, how do you feel once you get to work?
– How do you feel one hour after you get off a shift?
You see, once in a while we all dread going to work, but how often that happens and how you feel once you’re there can give insight into whether the job or place is a right fit. I have a friend who dreads every single shift. I’m sure she’s conscientious at work, but she admits she’s always thinking about the end of the shift and going home. After work, she’s always exhausted and relieved to be done. She has survived a year, but she doesn’t intend to make it two.
In contrast, I’ve noticed that even when I’m dragging my feet to work, as soon as I step on to the floor and start getting report, I feel a burst of energy and excitement (good ole’ adrenaline). As soon as I lay eyes on my patients and start talking to them, I become completely tuned in and forget about everything outside the hospital for the next eight hours. After work, once I’ve unwinded at home, I’m eager to look up information I didn’t understand during the shift.
These must be signs that I’m currently doing the right thing in the right place, right?
Does anyone else out there run mini-mentals on one’s self?