I'm halfway through four shifts in a row, and after that I'm off nightshift and moving to a midshift. It hasn't sunk in yet that my life is about to dramatically change, because I'm superstitious and refuse to get excited about things in case they're taken away and then I'm disappointed. I love stuff about nightshift and I've been working that shift a long time, but it's time for a change!
Meanwhile, I've been precepting one of the new night nurses, and it's my first foray into organized precepting (vs "the other preceptor is home sick so you get this person for one night"). Just a few nights of it have convinced me that all nurses should precept because it makes you think hard about the stuff you do and makes you look stuff up that you probably should know even if you hardly ever do it. My orientee is a sharp cookie who's been a nurse for a long time, just not long in ER nursing and brand new to our hospital, so I'm not charged with teaching critical thinking or anything other than where stuff is and what all of our 1,462 policies say about everything we do. Which is complicated enough. I go through my job with a total lack of appreciation for all the involved technical stuff we "just know" and do pretty quickly. Seriously. I look at her stack of stuff to be checked off on and am vaguely impressed that we all do that stuff daily and with finesse.
Now that I'm forced to think about it, ER nursing is challenging BECAUSE of the variety of technical skills we need. All nursing is challenging for some core reasons, like time management, critical thinking, and so on, but in the ER you have to be about to bounce from using your mad skillz to trick a toddler into opening her teeth so you can grab a strep swab to dodging blows from a coked-out violent mental health patient to starting multiple lines in a septic 99-year-old with a GI bleed who's been taking prednisone every day for 50 years to.... You get my drift. And we hope those three aren't next door to each other, right.
My point so far with this post is, I frakking love what I do. Also, I think precepting keeps the mind working. I'm the type who likes questions I don't know the answers to. "Don't know. Let's find out."
Now I'll complain. I'm not too keen on four shifts in a row, but it was kind of a lesser of alternative evils situation and I'll drag ass through it. But also, I have an IBS flareup, a cold sore the size of Texas, and an extremely sore ear. The first two are attributable to mind-blowing stress from a sick parent and the third to possible stupidity on my part, but the overall result is that I feel sick and sore from head to toe. And I don't like going to work with giant cold sores. I wouldn't want my nurse to have giant sores. But you can't call in for having cold sores. Perhaps I'll precept from behind the desk all night, like a remote Mr. Wizard.