On the floor (surgical)... laughing

Time flew by me. I find it so hard to believe that the summer is inching towards us and apparently mother nature feels the same way too, because it's 56 degrees outside. The past few months have been full of unexpected events. Having begun to settle into my role as nurse, I feel both grateful for my experiences in the hospital, and also somewhat perplexed by them. I certainly haven't digested it all, I'm still chewing. I love the staff I work with, and the diverse patient load I've been assigned. Along with thoughts of "how in the hell am I going to get all my work done" or "when will I ever get to pee!?" or "god save me from the varicose veins that are forming along the back of my thighs" -- are thoughts of "how can someone so sick be so gracious and kind." Sometimes the patients exhaust me, but sometimes they amaze me. In my own opinion, people working on a hospital floor quickly learn about the strength of the human spirit and about the sanctity of life. As different as we all are in our perspectives and backgrounds, as much as we may get on one another's nerves, working in this setting is a bonding experience. We tend to be frank, crude and have an off kilter sense of humor with virtually no discretion in topics covered at the lunch table, but this is the culture of a hospital floor and the reason I love my nurse friends. My favorite part of my job is laughing, sometimes it's at the events that unfold which leave me scratching my head and snorting with laughter. Other times its laughing at each other, but mostly I can't help but laugh at myself. I still feel like I'm playing dress up and that someone will ask for the scrubs back because halloween is over, kid.

Walking the fine line between child and adult, between keeping my tale between my legs or opening my mouth, between saying what I believe or keeping quiet, has been my dilemma. There is the way people perceive you and the way you perceive yourself, and I find that the disparity between the two can be wide. You feel strong but they see weak. "Deep breath, deep breath" is what I find myself repeating in tense and ambiguous work situations. When I work, I don't always know what is right or what is wrong, but I can say with confidence that often times I can feel it. So, again is the back and forth of how to handle something I feel is wrong when I don't feel brave enough to stand up for what is right.

I don't just have a hunch about right and wrong, I can also feel energy from people. Not in a weird psychic "I see auras" way but I can sense their emotional state just by being near them, and it helps to direct the way that I interact with them. This proves helpful in the clinical setting when gaging how cooperative and open my patients will be with me can help navigate my schedule and anticipate their needs. Some patients don't want a nurse cracking jokes and laughing with them, and in all fairness, I completely understand. But some good humored individuals need that ice breaking laughter to feel comfortable in the uncomfortable state of finding oneself in the hospital with what maybe a serious diagnosis. Some people hate being touched, period. Some people absolutely need it. The variety of people, of illnesses, of psychological states, of emotional states, of needs, and of expectations varies from day to day, shift to shift. As a new young and inquisitive nurse, to take on the challenges that accompany working with the public in an acute hospital setting can be mind boggling. At the very same time, entertaining, and all you can do is tilt your head back & laugh at the sky.

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