After working a 12 hour shift and feeling so tired that I could barely keep my head up, I find that I cannot sleep at night. My mind is filled with all the things I could have done or should have done, but what I could not do because I didn't have the time or skill yet.
One client praised me as the "shining light" in his hospital stay and said such wonderful things about what I have done for him and what I might be in the future, but I am left feeling empty because of all the things I wished I could have done better for him. I suppose such is the lot of a nurse at times. I want to do good, and I have done good... but there is always more good to be done.
As I count down the last days of my preceptorship, I find that I have come far from when I first started this semester. I struggled every step of this placement. Some days I hated going to work or dreaded it. I was always surprised when special moments made the day worthwhile, or when I learned new skills I had never dreamed of.
I got better at doing things I wasn't good at at first too. I improved.
Some days I was doing nursing tasks so absurdly horrid that I could not believe that I used to sit in an office in front of a computer as my daily job. But someone had to do the job, and I had volunteered to do it.
I think it's cliche, but I still find nursing to be meaningful and worthwhile. I have to clean poop, help people pee, change diapers, and deal with a lot of yucky stuff, but it's my job. My job is to help people feel dignified as they go through some of the most embarrassing moments of their life. What I do does not go unnoticed. The clients have so much to say about what I do for them and what a difference I make and it's a funny feeling. I guess it feels pretty good.
But when I'm home, and I think about my day, there is so much more I want to do. It makes it hard to sleep. Is it ambition? I don't think so. I don't know what it is. Worry? Fear? Guilt?
I think I want to do an A+ job, but it's really not achievable. I had 5 patients to care for. There was too much to do. I really could not do everything everyone wanted or even needed at times. I try though. I really do.
And so the night passes...
Perhaps I need to remember this?
Or maybe this?
Uh huh... time to go to sleep :)