Cath lab observation

For whatever reason, I was sent to do a cath lab observation today rather than the floor/ECCO routine. This is nice thing to do, but it wouldn't have been my first choice for the day.

Although the "main event" in the cath lab was an ablation, the most interesting was an ICD interrogation which afforded the first opportunities to see an actual defibrillation and real, live use of conscious sedation.

Isoproterenol: I had a frustrating experience of not being familiar with this med today. I've been reviewing meds every day trying to relearn (a) things I've forgotten and (b) things I learned in a warped, half-assed fashion in school. I had skipped isoproterenol because I never remembered hearing of its use in school or while working as a ward clerk. Today, I couldn't remember what class of drug it was. Sure, go ahead and yell it out: β1,2-agonist. Embarassing to have to look it up.

All day observation was a real downer. I felt like I was being punished by not being allowed to really participate. Like I had been sent back to school. It didn't help that one of the techs was ribbing me about it.

At the end of the day, I helped pick up a patient from ICU for a procedure and got to see excellent Lori (right), who I haven't seen but fleetingly since she left PCU and not at all since I graduated. I got a graduation fist pound. Cool.

The rest of this week is the cardiac arrhythmia class, which I feel pretty good about. But I'm anxious about being back on the floor after that. There's still a lot to learn, not just cardiac-specific but basic nursing. I don't know what I'm supposed to know. They kept telling us in school not to worry about things because we would pick up skills on the job, but when I'm getting ribbed by the cath lab techs about shit it makes me wonder...

Floor Orientation: 1st day

I was fairly anxious all weekend about my first day on the floor, today. My clinical immersion in April, at the end of school, didn't exactly go textbook. From managing 2 patients to managing 5-6 over night was not easy for me. I was worried that today might also be getting thrown into a 5-6 patient assignment.

Actually, it went fairly well, or I should say easily. Patients were not complex, and there weren't that many of them. At 11:00, I left for the computer room to do computerized education and orientation. My unit has purchased AACN's Essential's of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) program for new nurse orientees. I guess orientation will generally involve a few hours on the floor and then a few hours of ECCO each day until orientation is over. ECCO looks like it'll be a good review for the NCLEX, too.

Re-living Bush vs. Gore

At 13:15, I filmed a TV spot for public relations. A cameraman/producer came from the local NBC affiliate and taped me describing how I came to be a nurse at the hospital. The spot features new grads who have previously worked at the hospital in other jobs. I had tried to plan a statement that'd make all parties look good, but I had trouble remembering it in the blazing lights of the camera. I thought it sort of stumbled out rather than coming out velvety smooth. However, the pro said I was a "one-take kind of guy," which I think is praise in TV speak.

I'm eager to see how it turns out as I have a complex about appearing on TV. During Bush vs. Gore in 2000, I was living in DC and stayed up all night outside the Supreme Court so I could get a chance to watch the proceedings. It was quite an experience. After I came out, I was pulled aside by television crews and asked about what I saw and what was going on. I gave some lame answers that never aired on TV. I blew my 15 minutes! Can you believe it! I realized later that they must have pulled me aside because I was a wearing a nice suit, and they probably assumed I was a lawyer rather than a jobless undergrad. In the grand theme, it doesn't matter, but I can see still the disappointed look on the face of the pretty reporter who was expecting not to waste her time on me.