Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Irony of Hard Work - Last Days of Preceptorship

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  :)

Good night.
My Nursing School Diary


Oxana said...

What a wonderful post, Marie!
I am also almost done, and have the same feelings of joy and frustration, can totally relate!

That is why being perfectionist is bad: you burnout because you can't get over you not being perfect and leave. But if everyone who cares that much leaves, only those who don't care will stay in nursing. That's why we need to be kinder to ourselves and be proud of what we do. Yeah, you did not do everything you wanted to do today, but tomorrow you'll do more! That helps to sleep as well :)

Mytutorlist.com said...

Hi Oxana, thanks! It's good to know that I'm not alone in feeling like this.

I agree that we need to be kinder to ourselves and to be proud of what we do. I think we are doing a great job and I KNOW that YOU are doing a super duper job! I hope your week is going well.

After resting yesterday, I feel so much more energized today. (Thank you, Netflix! :P)