Sunday, December 16, 2018

Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours!




Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours







It’s that time of year again. I swear the older we get the faster the years seem to go by. 

Each year starts with Bella’s birthday. I cannot believe she turned 10 years old this year.  Aubre spent time in January at the Grand Canyon.  She hiked from the rim down into the floor and back out with a group of her running buddies.


In February, Tyler turned 27 and in March Aubre turned 30!  Where did the time go?



In May, Dale & I headed to Disney for a much-needed vacation for my birthday (we spent his birthday in Disney last October). We splurged with our Disney Vacation Club points and enjoyed the Club Level at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The photo at the top of this newsletter is from our day in Animal Kingdom, we finally got to ride Pandora!!!! Oh my, that was awesome!

Not much going on during the summer.  Started training walks for the Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure. I had registered to walk San Diego with a group of friends. If you want to walk 60 miles you need to train!

Dale & I renewed our passports for our upcoming trips. It was hard to believe we have had them ten years already. Just doesn’t seem possible. Not that we have done a lot of travel but we are confident in case of an emergency we would be able to get out of another country to get home (vs those who take the risk of traveling without one).

Cullen turned seven the beginning of September. A couple days later Dale & I celebrated our 35th anniversary with a nice dinner out.

Dale & I finally got a day trip to the shore (just to buy candy for our upcoming cruise). It’s still fun to walk the boardwalk when the weather isn’t great.


The end of September, I participated in the Philadelphia 3-Day for the Cure on the medical team again!  Dale was unable to join this year due to scheduling. It was odd to not have him on site the entire weekend since we have been doing this together since 2011. Because of survivors like these two, I will continue to fight!



In October, we celebrated our anniversary and Dale’s birthday on the Disney Magic with the Inaugural Cruise to Bermuda. We cruised with friends we met on previous cruises and new friends we had just met! We had a great time and actually got to relax some! We did kayaking the first day in Bermuda and spent the second day at Horseshoe Bay.



This cruise was also a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise, a first for us and so much fun to see the ship all the festivities.



McKenzie turned one while we were away on our cruise.  Thankfully, the kids held her party a little later in the month so we could participate!  I cannot believe she turned one already.  She has been released from the neurologist who was monitoring her from the complications associated with her birth. She has no permanent problems.  She is on target meeting every milestone.



In November, I traveled to San Diego to walk 60 miles for the SGK 3-Day. It was such an amazing experience, seeing some sights I have only dreamed about. I hope that Dale & I can return to vacation there.  There was so much to see in the few days I was there.  Thankfully the walk goes along some of the best views possible. 

We did make a quick trip to the San Diego Zoo as I was told it was “must do” when there. 


The next day we started the three- day walk. Each day there were spectacular sites to see. We walked through Del Mar


Torrey Pines State Reserve,



and La Jolla Cove.




We wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas. 

Love,
Patty & Dale
Aubre & Tyler

Friday, July 20, 2018

BEING A LABOR AND DELIVERY NURSE



When I tell people that I am Labor & Delivery Nurse, most say "Wow, that's an awesome job! You get to snuggle all those babies."  

Well, just a bit of education, being a L&D Nurse is not the nurse that gets a lot of time with babies. Those are our amazing Postpartum Nurses who spend all their time caring for the new mom and her new baby. Answering the tons of questions new moms have and helping them with their baby. They comfort the crying baby at times so mom can get some much-needed sleep. They do get some great baby snuggles at times. 

Being a L&D Nurse is more about the mom. We care for the soon to be mom during what most times is one of the most amazing days of their life. Sadly, we also care for the mom on what will be one of the saddest days of her life.  

We take mom from the moment she enters the hospital. She may be in labor, she may be an induction for one of many reasons, she may be a scheduled c-section and in some cases, she may be arriving by ambulance via an emergency and need to be delivered immediately. No matter what, we are there for mom. We are comforting her, helping her deal with her pain the way she wants to. We do educate them often on what labor entails since some are truly oblivious to the entire labor and delivery process. 

We start IV's, we will check mom's cervix (sometimes multiple times), straight cath or place a foley after they have decided to get an epidural, hold their hair while they are vomiting into a pan we will then clean out, 

When the time for delivery arrives, we help the mom each step of the way. Sometimes the doctor is at the bedside when the mom is pushing, sometimes it is just the nurse. We call the doctor when it is time. They rely on us to do that. Occasionally the doctor doesn't make it and the nurse delivers the baby. This is not the norm but can happen.

Some moms arrive at the hospital following an appointment with their doctor where they learned the awful news that their baby's heart has stopped beating. This is a very special mom. She has to do something no mother should ever have to do. She still has to go through labor and she has to deliver a baby that she will not be taking home with her.  We take turns on our unit to try to avoid burnout from dealing with these losses too frequently. 

Still, most days are amazing days. Even the saddest days are amazing in that we can be a help to a hurting family. We all dread getting 'that' room assignment, but we take it with pride and know that we are going to do the very best we can to help this family through one of the darkest days of their life.

So, being a labor and delivery nurse is pretty amazing! I still feel new some days, but many days, I feel more confident in my care and the decisions I make in caring for my mother and her baby.

I love being a Labor & Delivery Nurse!

While I continue with my nursing journey, I am still walking to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. I have been involved with Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure since 2009. I will continue this quest because 'EVERYONE DESERVES A LIFETIME"!! This year, I will be walking in San Diego with a group of friends. I have to raise $2300 to do this. If you can assist in any way, please visit my 3-Day page.  Please support me on this journey


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

 Merry Christmas
From Our Home
To Yours
What’s been going on. . .




Wow, once again two years for a newsletter.  That stinks, with todays technology and each year I say I’ll stay on top of this and work on it throughout the year so it won’t sneak up on me in December, but here it more than half way through the month and I’m just deciding I’ll send out a newsletter.  A lot has happened in the past two years so I’ll condense the best I can.

A few of the highlights from 2016 included both Aubre & Tyler graduated from Delaware Technical Community College. 


The Philadelphia 3Day for the Cure was held early October and once again I was on the medical team while Dale helped with the food service team.  We continue to devote our time and passion to this amazing cause.

So now to review 2017 and praying it was a good one for each of you.  We’ve lost loved ones and gained new family members this year.

In January, Dale-Ross married Samantha in a quiet courthouse ceremony where Aubre was a witness.


I started my dream job the end of 2016 and completed orientation early 2017. I then started working straight midnights.  This was a bit of a challenge to tackle to try and get some ‘real’ sleep. 

In March, I traveled to North Carolina for a women’s conference with the ‘Biker Babes’ group from Freedom Biker Church that Dale and I attend.  What a blessing of a weekend it was.




During the spring, we noticed that Jade, our bulldog was rapidly going downhill.  We watched as she developed a doggie version of dementia.  She was quickly losing weight and got to the point she could no longer get up.  Very sadly, we helped her cross the Rainbow Bridge in May.



May was a very busy month!  Early in May, Dale & Sam had a reveal party for the new baby who would be joining our family.  We waited in anticipation as they cut into the cake to see if it was pink or blue!  Bella wanted pink as did Cullen (he didn’t want to share his toys)!



Aubre started her dream job with CCHS (the same hospital I work for) in the Emergency Department.  She absolute LOVES her job and what she is doing!

Later in May, Dale and I journeyed to Seattle for another Alaskan Cruise on the Disney Wonder.  We were able to meet up with my friend Lynn and her family again.  Then took the Amtrak to Vancouver where we boarded the Wonder.  We met some great new friends, whom we are looking forward to cruising again with.



The main photo at the top of the newsletter was taken in Endicott Arms as we cruised real close to that beautiful glacier. This photo is also on deck that day, wrapped in the amazing blanket one of our new friends made for me!

In June, Dale’s father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He was given a glim prognosis so we made the best of making memories. He was hoping to live until the future great grandchild would be born.

In July, I bought a brand-new car! I had loved my Saturn but since they no longer made them I did my research and finally decided on a Toyota Rav4! I love my new car!

The Philadelphia 3-Day for the Cure moved to August. As someone on the medical crew this was a nightmare. The heat and humidity were not a good factor for walking 60 miles. Thankfully, the weather was beyond perfect and our walkers did well.

September 3rd, Dale & I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary with a baby shower for Sam & Dale-Ross.

Early in October, Dale, Aubre and I traveled to Disney to celebrate Dale’s birthday! What a great, but too short trip.



On our last day in Disney we got the call that Sam was in labor & Dale’s dad had taken for the worse. We traveled home that day, hoping and praying to make it home for everyone.




We welcomed McKenzie Rose at 3am on Sunday, October 8th. She joined the world with some complications and spent a week in the NICU. 

On October 10th, we said goodbye to Dale’s Dad.  He met his goal, heard his great granddaughter had been born and then new it was ok to go.  He was no longer in pain and we share our faith knowing we will see him again when we get to heaven.

So, this year, we have joy and sorry, but live knowing that the Lord is in control.

We wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas. 

Love,
Patty & Dale
Aubre & Tyler

pjstev222@yahoo.com
302-229-9519








Saturday, January 28, 2017

IT'S OFFICIAL, I AM A LABOR & DELIVERY NURSE

I really had plans to update my blog throughout orientation but as life typically goes, time flies by. Between a new job and going to school, working on my BSN, there is never enough time for a lot of things.  I wanted to post while I was on orientation about how much I was learning, but that just didn't happen.  After my last post, I finally was in L&D.  

Just to give you an idea, as a labor & delivery nurse, you have to be trained in several different areas.  The first area I learned about was the perioperative area. This section is typically for those patients having a c-section.  This area, you get the patient ready for surgery; then if necessary accompany the patient to the operating room to provide care for baby upon delivery; afterwards you recover the patient until they go to the post-partum floor. Oh, speaking of post-partum, I am no longer an LDRP nurse but a L&D nurse. I was able to swap positions with another nurse who was new to the unit. I am very thankful for that as I truly love being in L&D.

After the peri-op area I finally got to L&D and actually laboring moms! I was so excited (and still am)! Little by little I learned more and more. I spent most of the next five weeks in L&D, in addition to classes for the very many things that happen during the delivery, the possible complications that can happen and how to be prepared and best available to help the doctor or midwife provide the best chance for survival. I think one of the hardest things I've had to learn is interpreting the fetal heart monitoring strips.  

Following some time in L&D, I then spent a week in the high-risk area. This was my most troubling week as trying to keep teeny tiny babies on continuous monitoring was very difficult. I have gotten a bit better with that, thankfully. The following week I was on the slightly lesser high risk area where most of the moms will stay until they deliver their high risk pregnancy if needed.

My second to last week of orientation I spent learning to circulate in the operating room. This was quite stressful at first, making sure not to get to close to a sterile field, making sure not to touch something I shouldn't and keeping up with all the documentation from the moment the patient enters the operating room until they leave for the post op area. By the end of the week, I was getting in the grove and really enjoyed it. Working straight midnight though, I don't think I will get much opportunity to circulate as we don't schedule surgery for those hours. Any section called at that hour is typically a STAT or urgent c-section.

I finished up orientation with two days in L&D and one in high risk. Then I was done! Oh, in between all of this, I had to become NRP (neonatal resuscitation program) certified. This was nerve wrecking initially but the more I learned and thankful for our hands on certification I felt better qualified if and when the time comes that I need to use these skills.  

So, I am now off orientation. I just finished up my first week on my 'own'. Thankfully, it is not often that you are 'alone' as there is typically always someone close by if you need help. So this week, I worked two 12 hour shifts and two eight hour shifts, all midnight since that is my official schedule. My first night, was a 12 hour. I arrived, nervous, scared, worried what was going to come my way. Thankful for the amazing nurses I work with, when I had a slight issue in programming the IV pump after delivery, another nurse was by my side to give me a hand. Instantly as she was doing it, I realized what I was doing. That shift started with a delivery within a few minutes of starting. 

Then I was given my own first patient. All my own!!! Oh goodness, I quickly prepared the room as my patient was on their way up. Thankfully the nurse who accompanied my patient to me, helped me get my patient settled. Soon, I was on my own and my patient and I had a pretty quiet shift. Baby cooperated with staying on the monitor and my patient rested while possible. I always encourage my patients to rest while they can as labor is hard work and they will need their energy for that. I thought that I was home free as it was almost end of shift and my patient was still resting. When all of a sudden it was TIME! Healthy baby born! Oh my gosh, I am not sure I will ever get tired of watching this amazing experience.

Each night I've gone to work, I pray as the elevator takes me to my floor for God to please be with me, guide and direct my decisions and to offer my patients the best care possible. I also pray for those patients I will come in contact with.

It is the end of my first week on my own. I saw six babies born this week. Two of those were in the operating room where I was able to circulate. I was so excited to get the chance to do that so quickly after getting off orientation. Each night I am a little less nervous as I prepare to go to work. I am good once I start my shift, just nervous as I am driving in. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

I LOVE MY JOB

I finished up my orientation on the postpartum unit, for my friends not familiar with that term, it is what we called the maternity unit when our kids were born. I accomplished a lot in those few weeks. I've learned there is no 'down' time as moms give birth at all hours of the day and night so admissions to the unit are happening all the time. My old unit, we would complain when we had a discharge and admission in one day. My last week on the unit, I had three discharges in one day (at all various times) and an admission. I have learned how to assess a mom who has just given birth, a baby just a few hours old, given baths to those new babies, injections to both moms and babies and more things than I can remember at the moment. When staffing permits we even get to cuddle on those new babies.

Last week, I spent time with the 'baby nurse'. We have one nurse who does her best to be at as many deliveries as possible, especially ones when there may be problems. She is amazing! I learned so much from her in the three days we spent together. I would love to spend more time with her. I was in the delivery of so many babies those few days it was amazing! Some very tiny ones and some larger ones and a few times there were TWINS! Now that can be scary when you have two babies coming in a short time.

This week, I've moved to the Pre and Post Op area! This is where moms who are schedule for c-sections come before and immediately after their surgery. We also get those who have been unsuccessful delivering vaginally after they have had surgery. They stay in the post op area for some time before transferring to the postpartum unit. 

I saw my second version today. This is a procedure where the doctor or midwife attempts to turn the baby, externally, who is not in the proper position for delivery. Both versions I have witnessed were successful, but according to reports, they are often not. I started my first IV today! It was with quite a bit of assistance from my preceptor but I was so excited. Hopefully, I will get some more chances in the new few days.

Tomorrow, I will be attending an all day workshop on "Introduction to Maternity" for all recent hires and later this week, I have another all day workshop on Perinatal Loss. Christiana has an amazing support group for those who have suffered a loss. I hope that I will be able to use my own knowledge to one day help other families go through something no one should ever have to do.

This weekend, I will be moving to the L&D unit and I'm very excited for that! So much more information to learn but I am very eager to learn it all!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

LDRP - MY NEW JOURNEY

I haven't posted anything on social media since I started my new job. I thought it was time to update my friends. I showed up day one for orientation. As our SDS (Staff Development Specialist) was welcoming the five of us she passed out binders. Each binder was blue with Labor & Delivery on it. When she handed me my pink binder, she mentioned mine was different since I was the new LDRP person. THE WHAT?!?! Labor, Delivery, Recovery, Postpartum nurse!

I was a bit confused since I had no idea I was not just L&D. I had been selected for a new position (there were only five currently, so I would be the sixth). This position is the best of both worlds. I get to learn both labor & delivery and postpartum care. I'll tell you, I was initially a little disappointed. I wasn't sure I wanted to be in postpartum. I was bummed the next day when the other gals were starting in the pre or post ob area, the newborn assessment and the L&D unit and I was going to another unit all together. 

Well, as typical, God had this planned out! Why do I doubt him? I have taken very well to the postpartum unit but have dealt mostly with the moms. Today I was in L&D and the OR for quite a few births with the Baby Nurse doing newborn assessments! I had a blast! In addition to this, I was able to finally attend IV class! I am now permitted to start IV's (this is something I've wanted to know how to do for so long).

I met with my manager today to discuss my position as I was sure I should be in L&D and not postpartum. She assured me that this position was what she felt I would be best at with my "wonderful positive personality". Even though I was disappointed the other day when I was on the postpartum unit, I even told my nurse I was working with my faith is strong and I believe God has me where I am supposed to be. My manager gave me the decision; I could switch over to straight L&D or continue with the LDRP position. 

Well, God put me where I should be. I am actually looking forward to going back to the postpartum unit tomorrow feeling a bit more confident in my assessment of these tiny patients who can't tell me anything. As you can tell, I have decided to continue with the LDRP position.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

THE NEXT PATH IN THIS JOURNEY

A few updates since my last post ~ after Aubre passed her boards in June, she enjoyed her summer, went to Firefly, enjoyed time geocaching and lots of running with friends. She applied for positions here and there, but was not getting any real response. Mid August while working at Stonegates, where she's been employed for more than nine years, as a hostess, server, dietary aide and bartender, she was approached by the head of nursing. She was offered a part time position starting right away! During her short orientation, she was offered a full time position! Praise the Lord! Aubre is working full time as a registered nurse!!!  

As for me, earlier this summer, I noticed an opening on the labor and delivery unit. There are very few positions ever posted for this unit. I had talked myself out of applying before but since I had recently had to update my resume for my profile, for my promotion to RNII, I thought, why not? I might as well give it a shot, what can it hurt. So I submitted my resume for the position. Time went by and I assumed I didn't get a consideration. I was surprised when I did get an email for an online assessment. 109 questions!!!! Some were crazy questions. I completed the assessment and then again figured, nothing. I was SHOCKED when I got an email asking me to come in for an interview! Me, the gal with no real L&D experience, other than my clinical experience during nursing school. The day of my interview, I let my current manager know that I was interviewing for a position. I felt she deserved to know and I wasn't sure if or when they might contact her for a reference, IF, I even got that far along. I interviewed with the nurse manager and assistant manager. I was so nervous, praying so hard to keep it together. I was asked that day if I would like to shadow on the L&D unit. Of course, I said YES!

A week later, I shadowed an experienced L&D nurse and had the opportunity to see an actual birth! The true miracle! I was in awe and left that day truly feeling this is what I want to do! It was WAIT time again, and I waited and waited. Each friend who did  know about my application kept telling me no news was good news, but I just wanted to know.

On August 29th, I got the called I had been waiting for! I was offered a full time position in the Labor & Delivery unit!!!! I am so excited for this next journey and looking forward to learning so much more. I am nervous of course and a little sad to leave the only 'home' I have had since starting to work in the hospital. They are my family there. I will miss them, but am truly excited for this path. 

I will be starting in a couple of weeks and cannot wait! I am certain I will update this blog along the way!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A BRAND NEW NURSE

It's been so long since I've updated and wanted to share some things going on. Our daughter Aubre graduated nursing school last month and passed the NCLEX this week. She is now officially an RN!!!! So excited and happy for her. This was Aubre at her Pinning Ceremony.


Both Aubre and Tyler graduated from Delaware Technical Community College last month (Tyler, like myself finished in December and had to wait for the only ceremony). The two graduates!


In other news on my Nursing Journey, so much has happened but I've just not been keeping up with my blog. My manager asked me to represent our group on the hospital wide Nursing Technology Council. I attend monthly meetings about the upcoming changes to hospital computer programs and new programs being rolled out. It's been great to be on the front end of this. It has enabled me to now help others on our unit (and throughout my hospital) with MAJOR changes that occurred this past week. Some people do not like change. Our unit had been the pilot of electronic documentation for our hospital system. We have not used hardly any paper forms since I started working there. While other units throughout were using flow charts, we documented all assessments, rounding, meds, vitals, virtually everything electronically. Even through we've been doing this, the new system that rolled out this week affected everyone, including our unit.  So there is lots of learning going on. I love that I love computers and can help others.

In addition to this, I started back to school, working on my BSN at Wilmington University. I took Statistics my first semester. I thought since I liked math I would start with this; not really a good reason. I did fine, passing with an A but am glad that is over. While deciding to go back to school, I decided to also work on a Health Information Technology Certificate in addition to my Bachelors. 

Last week, I was promoted to an RNII position (not a 'real' promotion) but part of our clinical ladder. I am no longer a 'new' nurse but one with 'experience'. I know that I will always have more experienced nurses on our unit to go to if I have a question or something I'm unsure of. I went from my light green hang tag to this dark green one! I was so excited.



Once again, I am working to raise money in the fight against breast cancer. I would love to walk Philly this year but have struggled to raise the necessary funds. I will continue to train others to walk and if I am unable, I will crew on the medical team again.If you can help me, please go to www.the3day.org/goto/pjstevens




Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
From Our Home To Yours

DTCC Pinning Ceremony - December 2014

What’s been going on. . .

Since it’s been a couple years since I’ve actually gotten my Christmas letter out, thought I’d give you a few updates since then. The last letter I sent, I was getting ready to start the clinical part of my nursing degree. It was a difficult two years, but in December 2014, I completed my nursing program, was pinned in front of family and friends (photo above is from my Pinning Ceremony). While in nursing school, my employer closed his office and I was able to get my ‘foot in the door’ at THE major hospital in the area. This gave me wonderful experience while I completed nursing school.

In June 2014, Dale & I traveled on the Disney Wonder to Alaska. It was breath-taking, the sights were absolutely magnificent. We truly would love to do that itinerary again. (this is the actual color of the water, not a backdrop).

Endicott Arm, Alaska
I took the NCLEX in February and passed!!! I was finally an RN! I was offered a part time position on the unit I was currently working on, to start the end of March. 

I started working as a nurse on March 29th. In May, I graduated from Delaware Technical Community College with my ADN (Associate Degree Nursing). I truly never thought I would be a college graduate. I could not have done this without the support of Dale and our kids. I decorated my cap for the occasion!


Early in May, Aubre, her friend Megan and I participated in the Broad Street Run. It was a very difficult run for myself as training was nonexistence with working so much during my orientation period. Aubre & Megan did amazing of course!


In May, Dale was told that Mar-Stans (his employer of 30 years) would be closing. The building had been sold. We knew this could happen one day but we truly didn’t think about it as it sat for sale for years. He was told they’d be closing the end of August. As the summer went on, they sale was extended and they finally closed mid-September. 

In May, Dale & I participated in an Honor Ride escorting five busses of World War II Veterans from the Pennsylvania State line to a celebration in Springfield, PA. There were bikes as far as you could see.


In June when I finished orientation, Dale & I were able to take day trips to Ocean City, NJ. We love to walk the board walk, have lunch, do a little shopping and when time permits, visit with friends who are in the area.

In June, the kids attended Firefly Music Festival (for those not familiar, think of Woodstock); they had a blast. Tyler and his girlfriend, Alexa, made it into Paul McCartney’s official video of his Firefly appearance.

In August, Tyler drove a Ferrari F430; a race-car driving experience that Alexa gave him.


In August, Dale, Aubre & I traveled to Disney for a quick weekend trip before Dale & I continued onto the Disney Dream for a Disney Vacation Club Members Cruise. Tyler stayed home, caring for the fur-babies and house.



In September, Dale’s employer finally closed their doors and he found himself unemployed for the very first time. Thankfully, the Lord’s timing is always perfect as I was offered a full time position the exact same time! 

In October, Dale & I participated in the Philadelphia 3-Day for the Cure. Dale crewed on the food service team and I put my new nursing degree to use by working with the medical team. We had a great time but I certainly missed walking. I am working on raising the necessary funds to walk this coming year.

2015 Lunch Medical Crew
Later in October, Dale, Aubre & I took Bella & Cullen to the Great Pumpkin Carve (held annually in Chadds Ford PA). The kids love Aunt Aubre!



In November, Dale started a brand new career at the new Wegmans grocery store. He was hired as a ‘chef’; this is an entirely new field and he’s really enjoying learning so much. He is working in the ‘Wokery’ (Asian food prep area) and really loving it! 

So, here we are in December. Dale & I just spent a few busy days at Disney. We have missed getting to see Disney at Christmas time due to my school schedule. We truly enjoyed the few days and seeing all the sights.


Aubre just completed her third semester in the nursing program at the same college I attended. She will be graduating in May! Tyler just finished his last two classes for his Automotive Technician degree. He is now a college graduate also! He and Aubre will both walk in May for graduation.

I’ll be starting back to school next month, working on my BSN. I truly enjoyed no school for the past year, but now that I am full time, I need to continue on. I hope to keep this newsletter tradition going, now that life is ‘calming down’. 

We wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas. 

Love, 

Patty & Dale
Aubre & Tyler






Sunday, November 15, 2015

LIFE AS A NURSE

Well, it's been a long time since I updated my blog! I came off orientation the first weekend of June (after only 8 weeks, so I guess I was doing ok) and I've been working since then. I was only part time (1/2 time) due to availability on our unit, but during the summer was able to work almost full time most of the time. 

During the summer we got word that Dale's employer was going to be closing in a few months. We have known for years that this had been a possibility but never really thought it would happen. The building had been sold and an end date was set for late August. We had a vacation planned for late August that was booked 15 months in advance so we were NOT going to cancel that! The close date of his business was pushed into September so we made the most of our summer and enjoyed our vacation and cruise.

During the summer, I worked every shift that had openings, trying to get the hours I could while Dale was still working.  This gave me the opportunity to learn what is needed to be done on each shift. I personally like each shift for different reasons. 

On September 11th, I was called to my managers office and told what I had been praying for and hoping for. . . A FULL TIME POSITION!!!! This position was 'effective' in two days (that coming Sunday). God's timing is always perfect for that coming Sunday would be Dale's lasts 'sale' day (then just clean up for a few days). It amazes me that no matter how much I worry and was concerned, Dale was not worried in the least, he knew God was in control.

So I became a full time nurse on September 13th! I continue to work each shift (even though I have primarily a day/evening person), I like to fill in wherever I am needed. I often go in when called to fill a void. I do work every other weekend while most nurses on our unit work every third weekend but I am working and I love it! With the full time position came full time benefits! My portion paid for insurance went from more than $1000 a month to about $200 a month! Another blessing! Just as Dale was losing his job my job would be 'paying more' due to not having to pay out of pocket so much for insurance! 

Since working as a nurse I have gotten a lot of experience with all sorts of things! I still have days where I don't realize I am not familiar with something until it comes along and thankfully I work on a unit that helps each other out. There is always a charge nurse or another more experienced nurse I can ask for assistance if I am in doubt. I'm never made to feel stupid for not knowing something and am given the chance to continue to learn.

I have been blessed so often seeing patients recover and get better. Often we have patients who stop back and see us and it is great to see them walking on their own or with minimal assistance. I truly love that about our unit. 

I have been working 'on my own' for almost six months and feeling better each day and not so 'new'. I've been recognized a few times with 'Diamonds' (our hospital recognition system) and I was nominated by a patient for the Daisy Award over the summer. I truly love the care that we give to our patients.

As life goes on, Dale has started working at the new Wegman's in our area. This is entirely different from anything he has ever done but he is really enjoying it. Now the two of us take advantage of any time we both have off together (as we are often on opposite schedules). We are both looking forward to our upcoming trip to Disney to see all the Christmas decorations and partake in all the holiday things going on.