I graduated with a BSN from Illinois Wesleyan University. If you know the school, yay! If not, that’s ok. Most people have never heard of it. Anyway, through my four years at IWU, I learned a lot from books, classroom, and clinicals. Most of what I learned was the basic knowledge set of nursing, perhaps a little more since it was IWU. I would like to think my $34,000 a year education stretched a little farther than the basic knowledge set. /shrug
By the end of my senior year, I felt accomplished and eager to seek out the shiny new world of nursing, like most new graduates. I accepted a position at a community hospital in the intensive care. The 18 bed unit welcomed open heart, ventilated, and septic patients, just to name a few. For my first year, everything was a learning experience. I feel like I soaked it all up like a sponge, eager to learn and frightened to make a mistake, as I demand perfection from myself. The first year in the ICU was challenging and interesting.
As I look back at the two years, I have learned a lot, and I don’t regret any of it. Now, however, maybe the reality of the “real world” has set in. At times, I find it difficult to find that motivation to get out of bed (at 4pm) and go to work, only to meet the ETOH-er in 4-pt restraints with 12mg/hr of Ativan going, telling me I’m the worst human being in the world. Ok, maybe that is the worst case scenario but you get my drift. I’ve realized the shiny and new will fade, but I am still determined to do no harm and to care for patients as I would my own family.