I'm on VACATION. I'm not really going anywhere, but I'm not going to work, and I'm getting paid anyway. How freaking cool is that? I was self-employed my entire adult life before this job, so benefits are just weird to me. But that has nothing to do with the title of my post. I've decided that comparing beginning drivers to beginning nurses is appropriate. It's a good metaphor for me because now that I've been driving for, ah, a few years, it doesn't freak me out, but when I was 16, I trembled behind the wheel ("I'm in a giant machine that goes crazy fast and could kill me or someone else any time I drive it"). Now, I am able to look ahead and anticipate traffic changes and adjust my own driving accordingly before I come up on it and am surprised, whereas when I was a beginner I was so occupied with the physical operation of the car and with my immediate surroundings that I had near misses (near HITS) a lot.
Nursing is feeling like that to me. I am developing the ability to sense what is about to happen and adjust my approach accordingly. I'm less focused on the immediate pieces-parts of nursing (there are a lot of technical things to BE preoccupied with in nursing) because I've "learned to drive" IV start kits, the charting system, and so on.
This comparison is comforting to me because sometimes I get in situations at work that just freaking scare me. Scary things happen when people's lives are on the line just as you can suddenly have to slam on your brakes because the eejit in front of you suddenly decided to switch lanes to right where you are. My reaction time is good with driving. So it'll probably get better and better with nursing as well. Perhaps I will similarly cease to tremble with anxiety at work, too. We can hope.