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My life as a travel nurse!

As a bit of an introduction, I have been a nurse for almost 5 years now and the stories are endless. After working for a few years in Fort Worth, Texas in an ICU I decided to start travel nursing. I was ready to see the world, have a little bit of an adventure and maybe make a dent in my student loans. Other than a 7 month stent in the Cath Lab most of my time as a nurse has been spent on the night shift in busy ICU's. I have taken a few travel contracts including one in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Reno, Nevada, and my correct contract is in San Jose, California. As a travel nurse it is nice to hear about other nurses experiences, the culture of the unit, the location and housing etc. So I look forward to documenting those details for the many other travel nurses that might read this and as a way of reminding myself about all the little details. I also LOVE to let the world in on the happenings during my shift in my posts from 'The Diary of a Nightshift Nurse'. I have so many funny, hard, ugly stories from my time as a nurse that I think will impact your life as much as it has mine. I can't wait to bring you along with me on this journey. I will leave you with a story from this week....

I spent some time this week with a lady who's brother was critically ill. I was busy attempting to titrate 4 high dose IV medications into her brother in an attempt to keep his blood pressure in a range that would adequately perfuse his organs.... it doesn't look promising. In fact all the signs that we as ICU nurses can tell indicate brain death are present, yet I am attempting to do everything I can to ensure he makes it through the night. The weight of that responsibility only really sets in when I sit here and think about it. In the moment, I know what needs to be done and I get to work. After some time, things seem to be calming down and I look at this 60 something year old lady and ask her how she is doing. Is that even a question that should be asked at a time such as this? I know from report that she hasn't seen her brother in many years and that he had chosen a life of drugs and alcohol. The man lying in the bed appeared dirty as if he had been walking without shoes and had been without a shower in days, while his sister was well kept, soft-spoken and visibly hurting. She responded that she was doing ok, that she had been waiting for this call for some time now. She said, "He chose this life, over us", yet she sat by his side the entire night to be there for him. She knew the next day would likely bring the removal of machines and her brothers last breath, yet she was there. So many times we look at those people on the streets as if they are bothersome to our eyes, yet there is a story, a family, and someone out there that loves them. There is likely more to the story than I will ever know, but to hear this woman speak of her brother proudly and with such love even though he had visibly hurt her was eye opening to me.

This is only one of the many stories that I hope to share with you!

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