My how time flies! I can't believe it's already been a year since I started working in the NICU! I started orientation on July 11th, 2011 and started in the NICU on July 20th, 2011. Policies have changed, doctors and nurses have left, and most important: new nurses have come, meaning: I'm not the newbie anymore! :) I love meeting the new nurses I'm going to be working with, they all seem awesome!
So, without further ado, here are some of the things I've learned from working in the NICU for one year. (Please be advised that these are my thoughts and no one else's. We all know how opinionated I am ;)...)
My first day of work, July 11, 2011!
1. I can now sleep in the middle of the day without waking up! (I love sleeping in complete darkness and used to have the hardest time if any light was visible!)
7. Who you work with determines what kind of night you will have. ie. Hardworking nurses = efficient shift, even if its busy. Lazy nurses (and they do exist) = leave work crying.
8. There is no such thing as self-scheduling. You can try, but the scheduling gods will laugh at you ;)
9. A sense of humor is a must. A huge must. (Real life example: Dr.- "This baby has a yeast infection." Mother of Baby- "Yes, I figured....I ate a lot of bread while I was pregnant."No lie- that really happened.)
10. The NICU is an intensive care unit. There is death. But most babies are extremely resilient and it makes my heart happy to see them go home!
11. I feel like I have been there forever and like I just started. And I still have so much to learn. But I do know I am capable.
I've been pooped on, peed on, puked on, and bled on. I've changed thousands of diapers, described poop in hundreds of different ways (seedy, mustard yellow? banana milkshake anyone?), given plenty of baby baths, comforted grieving parents,and missed lunch breaks. I've fed thousands of bottles, NG/OG feeds, and G-tube feeds, changed many baby outfits (color coordinated!), and bedding. I've been in code situations and said "goodbye" to many patients as they felt fresh air for the first time. I've hung plenty of fluids, untangled IVtubing (multiple times a night...), and become a strong advocate for my patients. I've laughed until my cheeks hurt (I love some of the people I work with!), I've cried over sad things and things that have made me angry. And I love these babies. They aren't "mine" but I care for them like they are and I can't wait to see what the next year holds!
I can't believe my baby cousin is turning 21!! Amy has such a big heart and is currently in Kenya on a missions trip so she won't be able to read this post until she comes home, but I had to write it/post it on her actual birthday because I want to celebrate her, even though she's halfway around the world!
So, happy birthday to my childhood mini- me,
my always smiling baby cousin,
the one who never got to be the "person" but played right along anyway,
christmas tree partner and best sister a brother could ask for,
who has grown to be a beautiful, intelligent, and i.n.d.e.p.e.n.d.e.n.t. woman,
with a kind,compassionate heart,
one of my best friends, and most importantly, sister.
I love you with every fiber of my being and I am so proud of the woman you have become! I look up to the kind, loving heart you have and can't wait to see where life takes you! Happy Birthday, Amy!!
This weekend, David and I headed to my hometown to get some good, quality family time in! I had planned on going home for July 4th, but it turns out I have to work that day! So we left Friday after David got home from work. I was so excited because my cousin Scott was going to be coming home and Amy was going to be in town! The cousins reunited again. :) The only part that stunk about the weekend was that my mom wasn't there! She's visiting friends in Florida and having a grand ole time!
On our way down, the thermometer on our car reached 120 degrees...what?! Yep, we were right in the middle of a heat wave!
We got in to town right about the same time Scott did, so we went to dinner with him, Amy, and my Aunt Diane and Uncle Mike. We had so much fun catching up over dinner! I spent quite a lot of time growing up at my Aunt Diane's house so I always enjoy getting together with them. :)
Saturday, we headed over to my grandparents house to lay out. We didn't do much laying out though...it ended up being about 104 degrees so we spend most of the time actually in the pool! It was so much fun to have everyone all together again.
Me and Amy!
Whenever the boys get together, they always make up weird games and make up rules as they go along...I'd try to explain this game, but I don't know the rules!
Tyler and David throwing pitches to Scott....
Scott hitting with the paddle...
The extent of my athletic ability right here....
Picking daisies... haha :)
Scott's reaction to playing any game with me, haha!
Marley even took a turn in the pool! We're still trying to figure out if he liked it or was terrified, haha!
Trying it out..
Out to Amy!
Save me, Amy!
Back to mommy!
We had a yummy cookout for dinner! My granddad makes the best hamburgers in the world so he grilled some of those for us!
Me and my hubby :)
Me and Amy :)
Amy and Tyler, cuties!!
My grandmom had some great appetizers, including some kind of bean and mozerella salad that I'm going to have to get the recipe for! And for desert- we had homemade peach ice cream and homemade blueberry ice cream! My favorite was the peach ice cream :) It had these huge, frozen chunks of peach--heaven!
I'm going to need the recipe for that, too!
David with his awesome goggles on :)
Me and my granddaddy:)
Of course I had a Starbucks date with my granddaddy Sunday morning and David and I spent a little more time at the pool before we headed back to our home. It was such a wonderful weekend and I was totally not ready for it to end! But we've got a few more celebrations this summer so I think we'll have more fun sooner rather than later!