Its 2019, and I have come back to these posts multiple times, remembering where I was versus where I am now…Wondering what I can put here to help new neurotypical nurses, new aspie nurses, and maybe myself someday when I need to remember why I chose this path. (It happens) I can see the mountain I have climbed up, and the bigger ones in front of me. These pages , and the care I give my patients, the way I interact with everyone, and the kids I support via Childfund International (three kids in 3 different countries) may be my only legacy to the world. I am single,..A few close friends, a dog… It will have to be enough.
Sometimes the way backward is the way forward. When I lose my way, and struggle with compassion, tiredness, and yes, even anger and frustration, I step back, and remember why I loved being a CNA, what I loved about nursing, and what I wanted to accomplish by becoming each of these at different times in my life, more than anything in the world. That is my touchstone. That will put me back where I am supposed to be. Recognizing when you are exhausted and not following your path helps, realizing you need to ask for time off is important, and looking back at your ideals and goals are essential to not burning out before you bloom.
Knowing what you can handle and can’t comes with time. My first Code was an experience every nurse goes through…I was ok during, but was crying after. I did chest compressions, and when you feel the mushy yet resistant and sometimes momentary crunchiness of the person underneath your hands, it is shocking, and feels wrong on so many levels. It feels violent and that you are doing harm to try to save that life….But you do it, because it CAN save a life. The training and adrenaline will get you through. When its all over, and the person lives or dies…That is when the emotions hit. It gets easier to take part in, and easier to control the emotions afterwards, but it affects everyone involved. Do not feel bad if you cry. Feel bad if you feel nothing. That is when you should worry. I will help in codes, but if I am not needed, I will take care of call lights and patient care while this is going on.
I am really good at keeping the other patients calm when they hear a code called overhead…or helping them through something they fear. I am really good at keeping everyone safe so the rest of my team can do what they need to do. I am ready to take part in codes, and to take on new roles. It is a process of growth. As you grow, you will find your place as a team member…And that place and role will change as time goes on.