Sunday, October 20, 2013

Last Pediatrics Shift Today

It was the best of times....yes, it truly was the best of times, these past two months.  Especially over this past weekend.  I had a day shift for both weekend days.  I had the same two patients.  They bonded with me and I could see an improvement in each of them.

One patient was at the end of his antibiotic treatment, and was a lot of fun today.  Yesterday, he was more distant and not really wanting to interact much with me.  Today, I pulled out my flashlight to get a better look at his IV site, (because he wasn't too keen to show it to me, and I didn't like the look of the colour, and didn't know if it was just a shadow or something more ominous), and that made all the difference in the world.  The flashlight had to examine each of his fingers, individually, and then his toes.  We had to count, to make sure he had all his fingers and toes, and we even checked to make sure he had his bellybutton.  My goodness, I love working in pediatrics sooooo much.  The kids are truly so much fun to be around and to work with. 

Even the sicker teenagers who are in pain, and their families present at their bedsides -- I just find a way to connect with them all.  Its such a heartfelt, sincere joy to be able to do so.  If any 'veteran' nurses are reading this, they may well be rolling their eyes.  But, I'm coming from a first career in the government that was definitely NOT based on human interaction and compassion -- being able to connect with people in this way, in the context of my work, truly means the world to me.

My other patient today was a little baby, whom I got some genuine smiles from today.  I got to sit in a rocking chair, give her her bottle, and softly sing to her.  My clinical instructor kept mentioning, yesterday and today, how much she seemed to like me and be so comfortable with me and not fussing too much.  It felt incredible.  I did something genuinely useful today (-- a feeling that I never had in my first career!)

A few years ago, I'd sit in my government office and watch a certain commercial on TV, from an American pharmaceutical company (I was in communications, so I always had a TV in my office).  It showed a male nurse giving an injection to a what looked like a pediatric cancer patient, and he sang a song with her as he gave her the injection, to distract her from the pain.  I would sit there in my office, with tears welling up in my eyes, as I so much wanted to be a nurse and to be in a position to do rewarding work like that.  Yes, I'm a realist, I know every day is not like that and that every shift will bring difficulties, challenges, stresses, and yes, even joys.  Well today -- I was that nurse in the commercial.  I practically had tears welling up in my eyes, to know that I'd had the courage to leave something financially secure yet that gave me zero career satisfaction and that didn't use a fraction of my personal talents that I have to offer, and go to nursing school.

Today totally validated any and every insecurity and worry that I had about my mid-life career transition.  It was scary as hell, yes.  But so incredibly rewarding in the long run. 

I love pediatrics, and was none too pleased when I had to turn in my badge today, at the end of my shift.  Next week, I start my maternity rotation.  I am very much looking forward to that too, yes, but I simply cannot wait until I can get back into my beloved children's hospital and continue my pediatrics specialization. 

Life. Is. Great.

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