It’s not JUST Three Days a Week: The Schedule of a Nurse

Aloha, and my apologies for being MIA from the blogging and social media world. I have just finished a stretch of working 84 hours in 8 days.  I realize that it doesn’t sound like a lot. And for some, it’s not. But for a nurse, it’s a nightmare.

Often people say to me “Oh that’s such a nice schedule only working three days a week!” And in my head I’m going “only?!” and then imagining myself hitting the person who said that with a frying pan.

I frequently have to remind myself that most people do not know what I know, see what I see or do what I do for a living. They don’t realize that for the upwards of 13 hours I am on my toes, literally and figuratively. That when the clock strikes 7pm I may not sit back down again until 1am. I may not get the chance to pee or eat for 8 hours, until I literally beg an equally busy nurse to watch my patients so I can use the restroom.

We don’t rest because for 13 hours our patients, your families, are in our hands. Nurses minds are constantly thinking, analyzing and problem solving. With every medication we administer we stop and think of the outcome, is this the correct dose ect. We are on the front lines and in the trenches with our patients.

When a patient loses their pulse and goes into cardiac arrest we are the ones pounding on their chest, breaking their bones to save them. We’re holding their hands while painful procedures are being performed. We hold loved ones as they say goodbye to their wife/husband/mother/father. We help patients keep their dignity by shielding them from their families while they vomit, cry and appear weak.

We also do the amazing things; we help you learn to walk again. We wean patients from life saving drugs and ventilators. We get you up for the first time after open heart surgery. We can help give people a second chance at life.

And after these 12 hour shifts I drop my vomit/pee/blood covered scrubs to the bathroom floor after being away for 14+ hours, slip my throbbing feet out of my clogs and take a scalding hot shower to wash away any microbes I came into contact with. If I am lucky I will have 6 hours to sleep before getting up, putting new scrubs on and doing it again.

Would I change my career? Never. It’s the patients who thank me for holding their hand and not their doctor who performed the procedure. It’s the patients who have breathing tubes and write on a piece of paper “hold my hand please.” It’s the patients who wake up from sedation and thank you for visiting them in the ICU, they could hear your voice when they were under. They are all worth it.

It’s not just three days of work a week.

With that I say Good Afternoon and may you have a wonderful day filled with Coffee, Cats and Cusswords

Instagram: coffeecatsandcusswords

Why Self-Love is Not Only Important, but Necessary

The other night I was scrolling through Instagram, as I too often do, and a stranger had left a comment on a recent selfie I posted. The comment read:

“I aspire to your level of shameless self love” With a laughing emoji.

When I read this comment my first instinct was to feel embarrassment. Had I posted one too many selfies? Did people think I was full of myself? I debated about deleting the comment for over 20 minutes, I wouldn’t want anyone else to read it and think negatively of me like he did!

But, then I thought about it. What is so wrong about loving yourself? What is wrong with looking in the mirror and thinking  to yourself “You’re killing it today.“? You know what is wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. 

I have fought long and hard battles for years to even reach a place where when I looked in the mirror, and I wasn’t disgusted. I built myself from the ground up, from a lonely 17yr old girl to the confident, beautiful and successful woman I am today.

We all need to get into this mentality that we are enough.

I have lived a life full of self hate and discouragement, I have hurt myself and others because I thought I wasn’t worth anything.  I have let peers negative thoughts of me cloud my view of myself. Many times people think of it as selfish to put yourself first, but if you don’t care for yourself, how can you care for others?

Think of the longest, most stressful shift you have ever worked in your life. The feeling of exhaustion and defeat. Your head is heavy as you realize you have to do it again the next day. In that moment, how well do you think you could care for others? After those days we all just need some TLC and that is not only okay but necessary. 

There is nothing bad about self-love and about celebrating the skin you’re in. We only have this one life, we might as well all strive to be the best people that we can be and live it to the best of our abilities. As corny as that is, its true. Say sorry when you’re wrong, and stand by yourself when you’re right. Tell those that you care about that you love them, but most of all, never forget to tell yourself.

With that I say Goodnight and may you have a wonderful day filled with Coffee, Cats and Cusswords

Instagram: coffeecatsandcusswords