I short-slept today after a good shift last night. It was one of those shifts where I did my job really well, I really felt like I helped someone in a lasting way, and the patient even told me I was a good nurse. Sometimes, things click. Not very often. But when they do I bank them away and remember "this is why I love being a nurse." External validation is rare and much appreciated, but I'm also starting feel not just competent but also really good at what I do sometimes. It's a good feeling that I've worked hard for.
The reason I short-slept is that I had some clerical stuff to do before a party tonight, and I'm on call tomorrow. Sadly, before I started the work I read my Twitter stream and found out about the shooting. I am an earthy crunchy granola hippy who loathes Sarah Palin with every fiber of my being, but I'm trying to separate all these political possibilities from the sheer horror of human injury, terror, and death. I'm thinking of the first responders, ER staff, OR staff, and ICU nurses; of the grieving family members; of the shocked community. Horrifying. These things affect me differently now than they did before I was a nurse. It's not as removed as it used to seem.