Nursing Bucket List

Day 19 of the #NurseBlogger challenge! What are things that I want to do/see/accomplish throughout my nursing career?

I have worked in a hospital 17 months and I swear I have a new story for every single day. I love my job. I love the people, doctors, nurses and staff that I work with and get the pleasure to learn from. I’ve seen so much death, sickness, craziness, and just plain drama over the course of my career already. But, there are also things I want to see and do before my career is over. There are also things I don’t necessarily want to see but that I should see before my career is over because it makes for a good story and a good life lesson.

What is on my nursing bucket list?

1. Be a part of a trauma that actually survives. 

I have seen three traumas so far throughout my career and all three we were unable to revive. Traumas are difficult to see and difficult to be involved in. Brains are being sprayed across the hospital floors, bones are deformed and stuck out of the body, blood is literally everywhere. It’s scary, intense, nauseating (for some people), emotional, heartbreaking, and it’s super chaotic. In a trauma there is SO much staff working to stabilize and work on the patient, that it gets almost overwhelming. Unfortunately I have never been involved in a trauma that all of the hard work we put in as nurses, techs, doctors, and pharmacists actually pays off. I have never actually seen a trauma patient become stable enough to be transferred out to another unit to be fixed. It’s sad. I don’t necessarily like traumas. They aren’t something I would want to see every single day of my nursing career. They are a good learning experience and can even be a good life lesson. I want to be a part of a trauma that I can actually leave at the end of the day happy because my work was successful in stabilizing the patient to the point of survival.

2. Get certified as a emergency nurse. 

I don’t just want to be an average ER nurse. I want to be good at what I do. I want to know exactly what I need to do for my patients in every circumstance. To be certified as a emergency nurse you have to study almost all aspects of critical care, outside of the normal, everyday stuff, in order to care for an abnormally critical patient.

3. Work towards becoming a nurse practitioner. 

Not exactly sure what I would want my specialty to be when it comes to being a nurse practitioner. I know that I want to study for my masters degree and work as a nurse practitioner for a while before I move onto education as a nurse. As of right now I can’t really imagine myself becoming a nurse practitioner for awhile because I truly love bed-side nursing. I love being completely involved in my patients care and being an advocate for them when they cannot speak for themselves. When I grow out of that new love of beside nursing, then we can consider becoming a nurse practitioner.

4. Learn new clinical skills.

I never want to stop learning. I always want to be available to learn new skills and practice different ways to ensure better, along with safer, patient care. I don’t want to be one of those nurses that get too comfortable in their job and cannot perform other tasks. Essentially, I want to be able to function as an independent nurse, because the reality is that you never know when someone will not actually be there to assist you!

5. Travel nursing. 

I know I have written a lot about this lately. I have no obligations in my life at the moment so I plan on travel nursing as soon as I can. I want to feel comfortable and independent in my career before I begin traveling, but it will happen so stay tuned! 

6. See an emergency delivery in the ER. 

My coworkers might kill me for even putting this in here because it is an ER nurses worst nightmare to have to deliver a baby in the emergency room! ER nurses work in the emergency room for a reason, and it is not to deliver babies! But, I have yet to see a baby actually be born emergently (if that’s a word) in the ER (probably a good thing) and it’s one thing I’d like to see before my career is over! With that being said, I want it to be a healthy delivery where each patient (mom and baby) is well and can transported rather quickly to be under the correct care! 🙂

I’m sure this list will grow as I think of things over time and experience more in the nursing life but that is my list so far. There are things that I have already seen/ done that would have been on my list had I not already accomplished them like:

1. Perform CPR. 

This is kind of a big deal for nursing students and for new people working in the hospital. Honestly I have done CPR so much that I can’t even remember my first time ever doing it. I’m sure I was scared because I didn’t want to screw it up, and I know I was sore the next day because I still get sore after working many cycles of CPR.

2. Scrub in on an actual surgery.

Yes, I actually did this one! This was probably one of the best experiences I had during nursing school. I got to changed into the legitimate scrubs nurses wear in surgery, scrub in, and watch an entire open heart surgery. And when I say watch it, I got to stand at the head of the bed and look inside the man’s chest to see the procedure being performed literally under my nose. I got to smell the skin being burnt, I got to hear the bone crack as it was being sawed open, I got to see an actual heart and set of lungs beat without anything in the way. The entire experience was so cool. My feet were hurting by the end, I was hungry, and I had to pee, but it wasn’t worth leaving the OR for. This is me..all scrubbed up!👇

3. Watch a vaginal birth. 

This was also one of my favorite nursing school experiences! It was beautiful and as disgusting as it sounds to be this close to a vagina with a human coming out, it’s an amazing experience that literally changed me.

I am sure there are more cool things I have done over the course of my career. Like I said, everyday is different and every day I come home with a new story and a new experience. I love my job, I love the career path that I chose, and I’m so excited to continue sharing my journey with everyone! Thank you for reading! 🙂 I’d love to know what is on your nursing bucket list!

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