Lessons from a Year as Just a Nurse


Beautifully written blog about lessons learned as a first year nurse. Worth the read for all levels of nursing!!!

“Learning to go with the flow has been a valuable lesson …..watching the nurses who have burnt out early versus those with impressive staying power seems to be highly correlated with their ability to let things go without getting bent out of shape over it”

“I have learned that I am never, ever alone.”

“Teamwork works, and it is often so natural in this environment that it goes unnoticed.”

“if you focus on the glory of what you do going to someone else you won’t miss it if it isn’t there”

“There’s a big difference between wanting recognition for the nursing profession and recognition for your self, as a nurse. Don’t mess with the latter, its risky business and can lead you down a slippery slope…… What matters instead, is that you learn to not find your worth in what you do based on the praise you receive for it.”

Originally posted on According to Kateri; a Blog:

I learned a lot in Kindergarten, but unfortunately, and contrary to popular belief, I didn’t learn everything. It felt like I learned a lot in nursing school, but it still wasn’t enough. I have learned a lot in nursing, in my years thus far of being a nurse at the bedside. But most of all, I have learned exponentially more than I would have imagined in a year of open dialogue with nurses; from nursing students to seasoned nurses. Burnt-out nurses to those still full of naïve passion. These are some of the most valuable lessons I learned and applied in the past year.

Don’t cry over spilled…

Poop. They say don’t cry over spilled milk, but I have worked in NICUs and PICUs and I can tell you that a drop, an ounce, a whole frozen milksicle of hard earned maternal breast milk is certainly worth crying over…

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Wishing my wife a very Happy Anniversary. Thank you for saying yes, angel.

It all started over 10 years ago. This beautiful red head I met while taking pre-req courses for nursing school. We went on to attend the same nursing school, and ironically sat next to each other in class. (I thought she was quite the looker)

We ‘danced’ a while during nursing school. We played the on-again-off-again dating game for quite some time before we both figured out how to live in the present. Late night phone conversations lasting til three in the morning. Instant messaging conversations that distracted me from studying. And text messaging conversations that grabbed my attention.

10 years later, with now 9 years of marriage under our belt, and I still love her madly.

The crystal poem in our glass cabinet at home

The crystal poem in our glass cabinet at home

She is the air I breathe, and is THE reason for all my happiness. During our diploma nursing program graduation ceremony, we all got to thank those that helped us get through school. I of course thanked her, and said, “Jill, you are my everything

The day of our wedding, I surprised her with a gift in her dressing room with a crystal, that had a poem etched into it. At the end of the poem it read, “you are my everything“. I told her a long, long time ago that she is my everything.

And she still is.

She is everything good in my life. She is the rock. She is my sounding board. She is my sage listener. She leads by example. She never gives up, ever. She’s quite the problem solver. She always finds a way. She is tough as nails. She lifts up others. She is self-less. She is passionate. She is funny. She loves to laugh. She has a mesmerizing smile. She has the biggest heart. She has the kindest soul. She gets more beautiful each day I am with her (yep… she’s a hottie). She’s one hell of a dresser. Not to mention a talented jewelry-maker. While not the most graceful, she is full of grace and poise. She has a glow about her, that infects all those who come near her. You can’t help but have a better day when you are in her presence.

I am a better person, a better husband, a better man  because of her.

Thank you Angel for saying yes.

It’s the aftermath…


I can ‘survive’ the actual worked shift. I can pry my eyes to stay open after midnight. Especially when I’m busy at work.

I can even make a valiant attempt at ignoring the ‘low lights’ on the nursing units once the visiting hours are over.

What I have trouble is the aftermath. I finish my NOC shift (or my pseudo-NOC shift called the twilight shift) and I head home in the middle of night. I make a horrid attempt at catching some shut eye, but I toss and turn for hours on end.

I crawl out of bed and do my best to stay vertical. Try to be productive and ‘normal’. But by the end of the afternoon the fog creeps back in. That fog in my brain just starts to make things ‘fuzzy’ and slow. My skin sort of tingles and I start acting like a darn zombie.

I ache like I have the flu, my eyes start to itch, burn and get completely out of focus. And at some point the synapses in my brain start to fizzle.


I now have to make another pitiful attempt at sleeping. My body and it’s regimented schedule are already way off kilter. Now I spend a couple days finding some sense of balance.

Insomnia really does suck.



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CropFit anyone??


TV Spot – Subway Club – Tried Crop Fit? – Eat Fresh – Fall 2014 – YouTube.

For all my fellow crazzee CrossFit mavens. This was hilarious.

My ‘Ah-hah’ moment becoming a nurse..

Everyone has it. Whether we know it or not. As nurses we have that ‘light bulb’ moment when it clicks. If we’re lucky it happens while we are still in school. For some it happens while we’re out there in the work force. And for some it happens when we stop looking for that ‘perfect job’.

It’s that moment when it’s no longer a ‘job’. When you can picture yourself doing whatever it is you’re doing for the rest of your career (or close to it).

For me it was critical care. It was my ICU clinical rotation in my diploma-nursing program. I remember vividly how cool, how comfortable, and how right it felt when I was sitting at my patient’s bedside, chatting with them while I was watching their ECG monitor, assessing their vital signs as I administered an IV push medication. (I was making sure they didn’t become hypotensive and/or become bradycardic)

I was baffled, amazed and completely engaged in the idea that what I was doing was so impactful to their well-being and their care. What I did mattered. What I did made a difference, in real time. It was measurable and titratable. The cause and effect of my actions was tangible on so many levels. (not to mention I got to use and utilize some pretty cool machines and gadgets)

This ‘Ah-hah’ moment was one of the two ‘things’ that I think can help you decide on a career path. Check out my thoughts over at Scrubs Beat this past week:

How to choose your specialty – Episode 10 – The Sean Dent Show – YouTube.

…. me working a NOC shift…

I’m not even working a REAL NOC shift… but a pseudo-midnight type shift.. and I’m already stressed about it. I don’t do well staying up late. Period.The last time I stayed up past midnight… whew.. it was not pretty.
Wish me luck this weekend. I’m trying another twilight shift at work.
I may end up trying the whole coffee IV thing…
image source: by caffeineandkilos http://ift.tt/1lMrRCe


Being brave means letting go of your heart and trusting it in the hands of the Savior

In my line of work, I’ve seen many different forms of courage. The strongest of them all is the courage to let go. I always feel blessed to witness this rare form of courage. Its silence speaks volumes.






image source: http://hopebreathes.com/category/finding-courage/