October 17th, 2014
Two months in, four to go and im desperately counting down. This rotation is pushing me to the limits in exuding gratitude and patience, and in general, looking as if it isn’t a personal torture to be there.
Medical nursing is not my cup of tea. In fact, if it was a tea… it’d be that chunky blend of grass clippings and flower petals that no one wants to have first thing in the morning – or any time of day for that instance. And it makes me mad, because this experience is turning something I really love into something that feels just as much a chore as cleaning the mould off the curtains.
And I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because the reality is that I am more than thankful to even have a job as a nurse when I know so many who missed out after graduation. But when I walked across the stage and was handed my degree with a solid handshake and nod, I didn’t envision myself as a glorified assistant in nursing only deemed capable of changing pads and feeding patients. Yes, that is a part of nursing, and im not opposed to it. But when I studied tirelessly for three years and made numerous sacrifices to do so, I did it to be a Registered Nurse, not an assistant.
After having such a wonderful six months prior on my surgical ward where there was faith in my ability and confidence in me as a nurse to exceed expectations, I have found it immensely difficult to be shoved back into the beginners box where there is no opportunity to gain skills, because that would actually mean allowing the poor little graduate nurse to do anything remotely clinical.
I want to stop grumbling about it, trust me, I do. I don’t like being the whinger, and in most circumstances I would be able to change the situation. But I feel like it doesn’t matter how hard I may try to validate myself as worthy to pack a wound, or administer antibiotics (which im plenty capable of doing), I never seem to make a difference in their eyes.
I know that it comes down to their regulations put in place due to previous nurses who have made mistakes, but its as if they have made the decision that I am not good enough to be my own nurse even before they met me. And it frustrates me, because without being given the opportunity to do more and learn more, I find myself becoming increasingly bored. On a surgical ward, it’s a blessing to finish all tasks and have everyone bundled up in bed by 8pm. On a medical ward, it can be described as excruciating to watch the clock strike 20 minutes to 8pm…..for 20 minutes. Time does not move, and you can only clean the nurses station so many times before you start scrubbing the enamel off the benches entirely.
In all honesty, I have really tried to embrace the change from Surgical to Medical. But it’s a continuing struggle. Some days are better than others, some days I am just happy to finally watch the clock strike 9.30pm so I can race to the car and blast the “Feel Good” playlist all the way home.
I guess the bottom line is that I know what I do not want to be, and where I do not want to work. And most importantly, I know how differently I want to treat people if I ever make it to the big league of nurse managers, and I will consider that a blessing in disguise.