Time Flies When You Are Learning New Things
It is hard to believe that I have been in practice for 6 months already. It only seems like yesterday that I sat in front of that ominous computer awaiting my fate. I consider myself very fortunate to have found a position that allowed me to ease into my new role and learn new skills at my own pace. I have been off of orientation since January and continue to love what I do.
Having been an ER nurse for my entire nursing career, I have had to get used to the amount of patients I see who are for the most part healthy. This is especially true for the elderly population that I encounter. I guess my view has been a bit skewed, since I had seen so many elderly patients so sick. Now I have patients over the age of 90 walking in on their own, taking minimal medications and enjoying their lives.
I really enjoy the patient interactions and the variety of my daily schedule. Now that the seasons are changing, so are the common presentations. As the weather has warmed up we are beginning to see the tick bites and poison ivy dermatitises erupt. We continue to see positive influenza results and are beginning to see more orthopedic injuries as children begin jumping on their trampolines and riding their bikes. My favorite procedures still remain suturing, incision and drainage and, funny enough, ear irrigations. Patients are often perplexed as to why I would like to do those things, and I tell them that it has to do with instant satisfaction! There are many times that I send a patient on his or her way with medications that may take days to truly allow them to feel better, but with these procedures we have a resolution right away. Procedures also give me the opportunity to talk to patients for a longer period of time, which is often a nice change to the quick in-an-out mentality.
I also spend 5 hours per week in primary care. This has been a challenge on its own, mainly because a schedule is preset for you. I have had to learn to pinpoint my conversations with patients, preplan my day and delegate in order to stay on point. I do enjoy the ability to follow through with patients when I start them on new medications and build relationships with them over time. My primary care preceptor was instrumental in showing me how I can impact a patient's life in a short amount of time.
I would not change where I am at for anything. I am glad that I made the career choice that I did. Over the next few months I will continue to build my skill sets and hope to gain more knowledge in the areas of x-ray and EKG interpretation. I am continuing with my DNP classes, which has also allowed me to gain new perspectives on what else is going on around the country.
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to all of the people in New York state who worked diligently for passage of legislation that will allow APRNs to practice independently after 3 years of practice. This new law will open the doors for many NPs in the state. I look forward to what this may bring for my own future.