Clinicals this past week have been just amazing.
The 12 hour shift in OB on Thursday and the 4 hour rotation in the NICU on Friday.
The day started with a bit of a shock. The first neonate I saw when I walked into the unit was premature at 24 weeks. That is really early. Like, really freaking early. So early that if the babe had been born just a few days before, the doctors would have had no options at all. It is called the age of viability and she just made the cut. She weighed less than 2 pounds and, honestly, didn't even look real. She was just so tiny. I will never be able to forget her hands. Those tiny, tiny fingers and little nails.
One of the babies (an 8 month old who had been there from the day he was born) fell into respiratory distress while we were there. His oxygen saturation level dropped all the way to 35% (average for the NICU is 85%-95%...anything over 95% can cause oxygen toxicity and damage the eyes). His respirations fell to 13 breaths per minute (average for neonates is 40-60). The doctor and nurses were still working on him when we left so I don't know exactly what happened but I think they were getting him stabilized. I overheard someone say that he is going to need a trach tube placed.
But it wasn't all scary/sad.
The nurses were awesome. Again. Maybe it is just that hospital? I love it.
I held a baby and spoke to her about presurgical antibiotic prophylaxis and its pharmacological and nursing implications. I don't think the baby understood any of it but it helped me review for my exam next week and her heart rate went from tachycardia to normal while I was talking so I must have been doing something right.
I needed this. I needed a reminder about why I am working so hard for this nursing degree.
It isn't for the money (God knows nurses aren't paid what they are worth).
It isn't for the job security (the market is bad everywhere).
It isn't for the doctors or cute male nurses (Well......okay....that is just an added perk).
It is because I love it. The hospital. The knowledge. The adrenaline rush when I get something right or help someone when they are at one of the lowest points of their life.
I just needed to be reminded of how much I love it.
So, my darlings, as of right this very moment, I am happy and I feel like for once I am doing exactly what I am suppose to be doing.