Rachel Ketelaar, a new nurse starting her career at IU Health Methodist Hospital, begins her first week on the floor after two weeks of training.
- It feels so good to finally be on my floor with the nurses I will be working with! What was my first day like on A2N? Well, I thought that 12 hours would feel like forever (yes, hospital nurses work 12-hour shifts), but the hours flew by. It was go, go, go. I pretty much was following my preceptor around wherever she went, caring for her five patients. We ended up not taking lunch until 3 o’clock! When the day ended, I was a little discouraged because I honestly had to learn everything — like where to find a Band-Aid or a urinal or a new blanket. I wanted to be a help to Ty, my preceptor, and lighten her load, but instead I felt like I added work for her because I didn’t know where anything was. Ty is great, though, and very willing to show me where things are and explain what she is doing.
- My second day working on my floor (with my preceptor). The learning curve is enormous, but I feel comfortable in charting patient assessments and with pumps. I can run an IV line through, and I am learning many of the nurses’ names and who to go to for questions. One thing I’m learning is to grab everything I need before I go in a patient’s room, because every time you enter a room you have to rewash your hands and re-glove. That’s why hand sanitizer stations are outside every room. My Day 2 assessment? There are minutes this week where I feel overwhelmed. But I am never bored. Not one minute.
- I’m getting into a routine. I wake up at 6, which is not too bad since I like mornings and I like to get 8 hours of sleep at night. I’m usually out the door by 6:30, at work at 6:45, and ready for huddle by 6:55. After huddle, the day is running at full-speed-ahead.
- I absolutely love the patient population on A2N. It is a cardiovascular unit and most of the patients are easy-going, easy to talk to, and very welcoming to a new nurse like me. There was one patient in particular who I loved just chatting with, learning from him, and keeping him company. I also love the floor community. The other nurses and techs are very willing to help each other when someone is swamped or just needs an extra set of hands in a patient’s room. There’s always someone around to answer my questions or to ask for assistance.
- Also, today my preceptor, Ty, was given the Daisy Award, given to nurses for great patient care. This is a huge deal and she didn’t know about it! I’m so proud of her and from the 2 days that I have worked with her, I can already see that this award is well-deserved!
- When I get home after a 12-hour shift, I shower immediately, eat some dinner, pack my lunch, lay out scrubs for the next day if I’m working, and go right to sleep.
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 1
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 2
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 3