Marissa has been a nurse since 2008, always specializing in Labor and Delivery. She is a former traveling nurse that has unpacked her bags in San Francisco.
My biggest pet peeves in nursing are, the lack of support in upper management for nurses, occasional lack of teamwork between nurses, and the documentation needed which takes away from patient care.
What I love most about nursing is meeting different people from all walks of life, caring for patients and their families, and making a difference every day to someone new. I also love working and socializing with my nurse colleagues. I think that despite the differences in personalities and backgrounds, we all have something in common, which is the desire to nurture and take care of others.
Lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress, and overindulging in bad foods all throw me off balance. I know I'm out of balance if I'm lacking the energy to do the best I can at work.
Doing yoga, meditation and hanging out with friends bring me back into balance. I also like getting massages and hiking. Just being active, socializing and spending time with myself is helpful.
My craziest story as a nurse was starting my first travel assignment at Cedars-Sinai Med Center in Los Angeles. I came from a small hospital in San Diego with only 3.5 yrs of experience and walked into chaos where there was at least 2 deliveries a shift per nurse and I worked with at least 25 nurses a day. On top of that, the pt population was extremely high maintenance and demanding. I was there for 4 months and can't tell you I remember one patient from there =(; It was like I was swept away by a tornado for 4 months of my life. This however, made me a much stronger nurse and quickly figured out what my priorities were as a Labor/Delivery nurse when it is a very busy day on the unit.
So far, my favorite nursing job is in my current position at CPMC in San Francisco as an L/D nurse and I love it. This is the first time I'm doing 8hr shifts, the hours are 330-1130pm, I don't wake up to an alarm and I feel very rested and healthy with this schedule. On top of that, my patients and my co workers are for the most part all very sweet, caring and lovely people. I have found the nicest, most caring and giving nurses on this unit, despite the chaos with converting to electronic health records recently. I also enjoy the busy pace and workflow of this unit.
The best advice I can give a new grad is that it will take at LEAST 2 yrs to feel comfortable as a nurse and to be able to REALLY say I get it! I think doing very relaxing things on days off is also SUPER important to stay focused in your new career.