New Post for Off The Charts; The Adventures of Nurse Niki

I’ve written and illustrated a new post for Off The Charts, the blog of the American Journal of Nursing, Thoughts on The Fly: Thoughts on Birding and Nursing During a Pandemic.

Pages from my nature journal, ink and watercolor

I remember my first six months as a new grad nurse, fresh out of school. I was fortunate to get a job right away, on a pediatric floor.

I graduated mid-year, in January, during one of the worst respiratory seasons in years. Our floor had 35 beds, each one filled by a child with pulmonary and respiratory infections bordering on the severe.

Additionally, the floor used a team-led staffing model at the time, meaning that usually three RN’s managed several CNA’s doing patient care. The idea was the RN’s assessed each patient, and managed IV’s, including hanging the IV medications, while the CNA’s did everything else. Unless an RN or two called in sick, because nurses get sick during bad years for respiratory infections too. Occasionally, I was the only RN on the shift; it was dangerous for the patients, and my license. I’m grateful for the help I received from the most experienced CNA’s, alerting me to where my attention was needed most.

It was so overwhelming, I thought I’d made a serious mistake in my career choice. I almost quit after the first six months.

I think about this during the pandemic; what it must be like to be a new grad nurse during the first pandemic in 100 years. I share my thoughts in the new post. Click on the link above to read it.

I’ve also written a new post for The Adventures of Nurse Niki, Betting Frank Doesn’t Know. If you’ve been reading along, you know Niki is being held at gunpoint by the father of her patient, with nefarious purpose. Niki thinks of a plan that may help her get out of this situation, but you’ll have to wait to find that out next week.

The Adventures of Nurse Niki