Pros: many procedures learned, made me a stronger nurse, learned documentation
Cons: very hard floor to work on and everyday changes
I work on the medical/surgery floor. The day started receiving report from the off going nurse. Then I performed an assessment on the patients that I was assigned. We usually had six patients. Next I would chart the assessment on the computer system that we used called Cerner. Between assessments I would give pain medications, hang IV fluids, and hang IV antibiotics. Also I would have to discharge patients, directly admit patients from the ER, and I would have patients come back from surgery that I attended to. During my shift I gave medications as scheduled for the patient that they were prescribed and I would change dressings on incisions or pressure ulcers. I would have to check the patient's labs for PT/INR, vancomycin trough, and any other critical labs. I would run around helping CNA's to help people to get up and I would help fellow nurses if they needed me.
I learned how to use the computer system and how to write orders from doctors that I called during my shift if a patient had a need. I can start an IV, place a foley catheter, and insert a nasogastric tube. I learned how to change a wet to dry dressing and how to place a vacuum on a pressure ulcer. I called rapid responses on patients that had complications, emptied hemovac and JP drains, and I also discontinued the drains and removed them. I can remove sutures and staples from in incisions and learned to review hospital procedures if I was unsure or had questions. Also, I can hang blood products such as blood, albumin, and plasma. I know how to check doctors orders before performing a procedure and I sign off orders – more... before patient care is given.
Management was hard to deal with. Any nurse could be having a stressful day and the manager would confront you with negative feedback on none critical things such as the linen cart being on the wrong side of the hall or too many towels in a patient's room. I just arrived at work and wasn't clocked in because it was not time and the nurse manager confronted me on why there was a chair in the hall and not in the patient's room. I explained to her that I just arrived and had ten minutes until I could clock in. She then confronted the first employee that she saw that was clocked in and gave her the same lecture. I realized why the turn over rate was so high and after employee's had one year in they would leave or go to another floor. There is no opportunity to advance to management. September will be my second year on this floor and I seen 10 nurses leave and many CNA's leave.
I get along great with co-workers and the charge nurses. We all get along well with each other and joke around at work. I'm just sad to see so many great nurses leave because of the stress level and poor management.
The hardest part of the job is having to discharge people and then have patients being directly admitted with surgeries returning all at one time. Also, you have patient's who are confused and continue to try and get out of bed with their bed alarm going off.
The most enjoyable part of the job is helping the patient and teaching them and their family how to take care of themselves. – less