From Peds to Prisoners

And thus concludes my first two weeks of a working Registered Nurse!

My first day on the job was mostly paper work… My second day was much more exciting! My mornings flew by during med passes! Before I knew it, it was almost 1pm and my stomach was growling! I sat down and heated up some chili and was treated to some Hershey Kisses!

Before my shift ended, we received a call that two men would be brought to medical to be examined. I jumped right in and felt invigorated! I ended up completing assessments, wound care, and all the appropriate documentation! I loved it!

Although I found myself snacking much more than usual, I felt like I was still okay. Maybe its because my days were so long, maybe its because my cookies are sooooo yummy! I don’t know, but I definitely went through some cookies and celery… not together, ha!

So far I have worked day and evening shifts and will begin training on night shift in a little over a week. I really lucked out with the holiday schedule and was able to celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my family!

I have found some major differences between working in a hospital and a prison. For instance, I used called my kiddos “hun.” I have to be really careful about that, now, but sometimes it still slips out. I have found that other workers do it, too, so I don’t feel too bad.

I have covered everything from med administration to diabetes checks to sick calls. I learned how to work an ECG machine, and I don’t think I have ever administered so much insulin in my life!

Each day is a learning experience. You would think that the hardest adjustment would be not having my cell phone with me, but one of the hardest adjustments I am having is not having a resident or doctor at my disposal. At the hospital, if I had a concern, I could just page the doc on that shift and they would come over. Now, I either have to refer them to the PA for the following business day, or call the on-call doc for verbal orders. I DO think it is pretty nifty that at this facility, it is in my scope of practice to order specific medication for a 5 day order! I feel bad sometimes, though, because I am limited to how much assistance I can provide them, since they ARE in lock up.

Another really difficult thing is to keep up a wall. People who enter the medical field, especially nurses, do it because they genuinely care, are compassionate, and want to help. Working in a prison, I can be courteous, but I need to keep up a wall to avoid developing a relationship in which I can be manipulated. Like a “friendly hard ass” demeanor, if you will. It is slightly worrisome because  I really DO NOT want to lose the part of me that I was able to display in pediatrics…

I still find it very difficult to not have my kids. I tear up about it every now and then, but I remember that this is only a temporary bypass until I get enough experience to venture back into pediatrics.

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