Survival of the Fittest

I made it.

I did it.

I survived orientation in my new Postpartum job.

Whew.

All that anxiety. All those feelings of inadequacy snuffed out with a single kick-ass shift this past Tuesday night. All the thanks go to my final preceptor. She kept it real, no-nonsense, common sense, and put things in a way that made things logical to me. Her bedside manner is one I will do my best to emulate. I took lots of notes, made crib sheets, and put mental notes in my head to best prepare me for my first solo shift on Monday night.

Truth be told, I was basically flying solo last Tuesday, as well. My preceptor was in the background as a resource, but I did all the assessments, care, meds, teaching, follow up, rounding, and charting for four couplets/eight patients. For those who think Postpartum is ‘boring’, I challenge you to take care of two distinct different type of patients. One is adult, newly-postpartum, and the other is a brand new human being. There are different ranges of normal for each, and it’s YOUR job to remember that. The charting, care plans, and teaching is different for each type of patient, too. Your boring is my world, and I love it this way. Take your adrenaline-soaked self back to the unit from whence you came. I’m happy to stay here with my moms and babies and the occasional urgent issue.

So, after a short meeting with the assistant manager (how ironic that I used to sit in that seat just a short time ago), I have been released from orientation. I was told that the current staff is very happy to have me on the team. I don’t know if that’s the truth or a fluffy nugget of bullshit, but I’ll take it just the same.

Now, I just need to channel those positive feelings and vibes from my last shift, remember that I CAN DO THIS, and continue down the road. Bottom line: I will always do my best and hope that it’s good enough. If everyone makes it through the night intact, then I’ve done my job. I’m a nurse, not a magician.

I have to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and I am brand new to the world of Postpartum. Slap a telemetry monitor on any one of these moms or babies, and I’m your girl. I can still interpret a cardiac rhythm with the best of ’em. These eight weeks of orientation have taught me humility, gratitude, and respect. I had the distinct pleasure of working in a labor and delivery/postpartum unit back in Michigan as a unit clerk for seven years. Those seven years likely taught me much more than I ever realized. It taught me that indeed my true love in nursing and the field of medicine in general is women’s health, moms, babies, and new families. Those nurses and OB doctors are with me every single day now. I am happy that some of them are still good friends and have followed me on this new journey. If you’re reading this, please know that you helped shape me into the nurse I am becoming today. Thank you. You’ll never know how much I appreciate you.

So, I begin my next nursing adventure with my first solo shift on Labor Day. How appropriate. Labor Day in a Postpartum unit.

Stay tuned.

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