Father’s Day bliss

As Father’s day comes to an end, I can’t help but think of so many people. I’ve thought about my own kids and how I never wanted them to be raised in a broken home. I struggled with this for many years but then I let it go. It’s better that they have two homes then two parents living in the same home that don’t love each other. I’ve thought about all the step dads and how being a step parent must be a hard job but truly driven by love. I’ve thought about the ones that have lost their dads. My best-friend recently lost her husband and father to her children. I typed out 3 different text to send her but none seemed like the right thing to say. I ended up just sending her a heart emoji tonight hoping she got it at the right time. I’ve thought about the men that are father figures and set the example because it’s the right thing to do. Being a father isn’t an easy job in this day and age. I’m not a father but I see the devil working hard on the men that are trying to do the right thing.

Now that I’m in my mid 30’s, I see how life seems to come full circle. I hung out with my dad and his amazing wife Vicky. They organized an entire cookout on the beach with all the family. If you know me you know this is my love language. Food, beach, and everyone together just makes me so happy. I watched my dad make his way around and make sure everyone had something to drink and was taken care of. He and Vicky were joking and laughing. I’m so thankful to see him so happy. He deserves it. You see my dad haven’t always been close. Just life happens sometimes but everything happens for a reason. He was really put through the ringer by his 2nd wife. God totally shielded me from her in so many ways and for that I’m thankful. Its ok that I say that because he would probably say the same. We’ve misunderstood each other 1000 times but it’s the 1000 times that we have chosen love. Every last time love always always wins. Instead of giving up, we both keep reaching for better. Better ways to communicate and become closer. Relationships are messy. People aren’t always going to be what you want, say what you want, or do what you want. Just like you aren’t going to be everything you need to be to them. It’s a two way street. Choosing to love each other pushes your relationship in the right direction. We have shown each other grace, love, and mercy. The most precious of these is that I know that my dad loves me. Regardless of anything that has happened. We are here. We are happy. We are family. We chose each other.

img_2126Dad, I love you SO much. I’m so thankful for all ways you love me. I’m truly blessed to call you dad. Thank you for all the times you put up with me and for that one time you let me borrow your truck and crashed it. I look forward to many more sunny days!

Mommy Meltdown

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My daughter said it best when she said that “sometimes we have bad moments but that doesn’t mean we are bad”. This past week was a doozy! The end of the school year pressure got to me and I’m not even enrolled in school! My less than motivated pre-teen son attempted….wait…..He did in fact write a book report about a book he obviously did not read and turned it into his teacher. I mean he literally read the introduction, the first page, and the last three pages. There was so much that led up to this moment. Like chores that needed to be done that the kids didn’t do, getting ready for my 4th overnight at work, feeling overwhelmed about so much to do in such little time, but of course in usual fashion it was something seemingly ridiculous that was the straw that broke the camel’s back…… the match in the powder barrel….last lick…down for the count…… turning into The not-so-incredible HULK moment.

I had worked the night before and was preparing to go back to work when I had enough. When I read his book report that made absolutely no sense and realized he had literally made up something just to get me off his back. I began to do the normal mom thing and ask him questions I already knew the answers to. However, when he told me to “chill” mid speech I literally threw my hands in the air and began screaming. I screamed the entire rest of my speech while I angrily put on my scrubs and bushed my teeth. I’m surprised I didn’t aspirate from the amount of yelling I was doing while having a mouth full of toothpaste suds. I’m sure at that point my kids weren’t sure if I was brushing my teeth or foaming at the mouth. With my uniform on I stomped around the house gathering everything I needed for work like I was 9-1-1 leaving the station for a fire however I was the fire. Then I announced to the kids, that had all taken cover by now, that I was leaving for work and that nobody cares anyway. Grabbed my stuff, stormed out, and slammed the front door and off to work I went. I drove away not even caring if I locked the front door behind me.

I had the music blaring my mind was racing. How can he write such a horrible book report and lie as if he read the book? What was going to happen next? Was this going to lead up to him becoming a criminal and selling drugs? About halfway to work the tears started pouring. I broke out into the ugliest of ugly Oprah cries. Which is like reason #56 why I need to get my windows tinted. At one point I looked over and saw this guy steady looking over at me, trying to Im sure guess what tragedy I was crying over. What his didn’t know is that I was crying over my tragic self.

You see Logan is a boy for starters and secondly a pre-teen that doesn’t really know what he is supposed to take seriously. He was pretty proud of himself for coming up with such an intelligent plan to complete the book report and not actually having to read the book. Im the parent. The adult. I had failed in more ways than one. Mommy had a complete meltdown when in his own pre-teen boy way was trying to tell me to calm down. I’m so not making exceptions or excuses for the disrespect in telling me to chill. Instead of using that moment to talk to him or send him to his room. I had a temper tantrum. I wanted to turn the car around and go home and hug and kiss him. Hug all my kids and tell them how much they mean to me. I’m sure I made every one of them feel like they weren’t enough. BUT… I had to keep driving to work because they like to eat and if mommy doesn’t get paid then they can’t eat!

Work felt like the shift that was never going to end. When I got home in the morning I was very quick to apologize to the kids. Hugging each of them and apologizing for my anger and how I should’ve handled it and that I love them very much. I was greeted with an apology from my pre-teen for not reading the book and upsetting me. The other kids apologized for contributing to the stress. There is something so absolutely beautiful about giving yourself some grace, mercy, and forgiveness. There is something even more beautiful about teaching your kids to show grace, mercy, and forgiveness in a situation that was hurtful. When you don’t just talk about it but you show them what grace, mercy, and forgiveness looks like it will never leave them. Do we knock it out of the park all the time? No. Will I probably have another meltdown? Yes. We were given the emotion of anger by our Creator. It is what we do with that anger that counts. So as the story goes, mommy had a meltdown but sometimes we have bad moments but that doesn’t mean we are bad.

Now pass the wine!

Dear Nurse Preceptor……. #ihateyou #iloveyou

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By definition a nurse preceptor is an experienced nurse that is enthusiastic and wants to teach others. According to a majority of the preceptor stories I have heard, there was not one preceptor described as an enthusiastic nurse angel that wanted to sprinkle her fairy dust of knowledge on the yellow brick road of orientation that leads you to Kansas. Hospitals spend lots of money to find, hire, orient, and try to keep staff. Its really a lot like dating. Trying to find a match to meet your staffing needs and do work with long term. Except its more like swiping right, meeting once, and saying your vows, then introducing them to the family. Talk about sink or swim and nerve racking!!! No pressure…….

So here is the thing about precepting. Ohhhh you’re not going to like this at all. I already know. However, here it is…… precepting is our responsibility as a team member of our unit. Response + ability= responsibility. So you know how we always seem to complain about being short staffed,  or weekends and holidays never being fully staffed adequately, or about the nurse that you always have to pull their weight……. Well unless you’re respond-ing to the call of building up your team then you really don’t have a valid reason to complain about something you have the ability to change. So let’s take RESPONSIBLITY for precepting our new staff so that they want a long term relationship with us. So that we don’t have to complain about not having staff or pulling someone else’s weight. See how that works?!

Here are the Do’s and Dont’s of being a nurse preceptor that you could probably apply to your dating life:

Don’t

  • Don’t be a hag. Many nurses I talked to inserted an explicit word but you get the drift.
  • Don’t eat your young. There is no need to haz or throw your orientee out to sink or swim and then throw them a life vest like you’re some amazing nurse. You’re just a jerk.
  • Don’t act inconvenienced. When your orientee sees you actually roll your eyes to the fact they’re going to be following you around, you shouldn’t get your feelings hurt when they ask for a new preceptor.
  • Don’t belittle them or try to make them feel stupid. Openly criticizing your orientee or being snarky to them to get a giggle from your co-workers or some nursing unit hallway credit only shows everyone about your own small mindedness.
  • Don’t use the time to talk negatively about management or another nurse. They will learn it on their own. Not your place.
  • Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something.  A good orientee  will ask a lot of questions and if you don’t know the answer tell them you don’t and help them find the right answer. We are all always learning.
  • Don’t assume your orientee knows. It’s ok to preface your time together by saying,  “I will probably cover many things that you already know but I want to cover everything just in case you have questions.”. Then cover even those little things that don’t seem like a big deal.

 

DO’s

  • Do be kind and friendly. Kindness goes a long way.
  • Do introduce your orientee to everyone. Other nurses, doctors, house keeping, radiology, lab, EVERYONE. Your introduction will help them be connected.
  • Do be approachable. You want to be a resource not just for your orientee but your co-workers as well.
  • Do take ownership in the success of your orientee.
  • Do have a plan and be organized. Setting a learning goal for every shift together helps you to stay on track and for them to feel like they’re gaining knowledge about their work area.
  • Be positive. Good vibes always make everything better. Being positive in a negative situation is leadership.
  • Be yourself and do what you do best. Precepting helps you and your orientee grow. There is a reason why you are where you are. Own it.

Remember that leaders are people that help you to believe in  yourself. When you encourage and believe in others, their accomplishments become yours as well. I hope this helps you think about things the next time you are asked to precept the new orientee. You never ever know what will become of your experience together. I usually always start out by telling mine the reason they are with me is to show them what NOT to do! I always know how to approach them by if they get my jokes or not:)

 

 

Give yourself some grace…

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Let’s just be honest…… I need a week to catch up on sleep. I haven’t been “well rested” in 15 years since my son was born. Seeing as my youngest is going on 9 years old, I only have 9 years to go until I can get some sleep! Last week I was given the job of picking up my aunt flying in from Oregon from the airport. I got up early, got coffee, arrived 45 minutes before her flight landed. When it came time to circle through the arrivals to pick her up, we very quickly realized I was at the wrong airport two hours away from the airport she was waiting at. She was so nice and told me she would just rent a car. As for myself, I had a complete meltdown. AKA adult pity party. I’ve been going nonstop. The kids ball games, school, work, and the occasional hair appt. (My hair dresser no longer takes it personal if I sit in her chair and say nothing.) So what did I do? I cried and cried. My tears were bigger than just being at the wrong the airport. They were tears of feeling like a failure.

I learned a long time ago that the devil isn’t in the family business. He wants me to feel defeated, burned out, and like a failure. See there is this thing called grace. Grace changes EVERYTHING! It is vital to our existence. I often repeat a quote I learned while doing some soul searching. “I will hold myself to a standard of grace not perfection” by Life Coach Jaclyn Costello. If you’re from the south you have heard women say you need both grit and grace. Grit= determines that life challenges will never defeat or define us. Grace=gives kindness to ourselves and others even when its hard. Ladies….. we do not have enough grit or give ourselves enough grace.

I have some of the most amazing friends. I know at any given time I could call on them for help and they can call me. Helping with kids, cleaning house, moving, needing meals, picking up something, it doesn’t matter we know we cant do it all without each other. We know that we all have crazy lives and getting a happy birthday text 3 days late would never in 1000 years upset any of us. Ladies…. if you’re finding yourself having frequent cry sessions of feeling like a failure, it is time to take a step back. Get on pinterest and read some grace quotes. If you don’t have a group of lady friends that you can call on and do life with then you need to work on making friends! My mom always taught me you have to be a friend to have a friend. Its not all about you and what you need. I saw someone totally disregard a neighbor once because the neighbor didn’t say hi to her, the neighbor said hi to the person she was standing with. Really? Get over yourself. Throw your hand up and say “Hey neighbor!”. Be friendly. Be kind. You reap what you sow. Do I knock the friend thing out of the park? No. I have to apologize for breaking plans, saying something I shouldn’t have, hurting feelings, etc. This is what relationships are about. I recently went through a friend break up because she thought I somehow got her kicked off a team. This pains me that she would think that at all. There is nothing I can say or do she will just have to find out herself one day that I had no part in it. Relationships are messy. We have to love each other through the messiness and give each other grace otherwise we will end up bitter. Bitter isn’t cute.

Love and be loved ladies. We are tired moms. We need each other!

#keepyourmouthshut #work #conflict #highstress #nightshift #professional

Well well well……… There are some of us nurses that chose to work in chaotic areas known to the nursing world as “critical care areas”. This means that you can go from 0-100 in seconds at any given time and stay that way even after dayshift arrives. Because I work in this area there are things that I just know.

#1 Marriage

I view my job as a marriage. Although in real life I have really sucked at marriage and have two failed ones under my belt. I am committed to my job. I want my job to like me and to keep me around. How they show their love to me is by paying me every two weeks and once a year in May they treat me to an ice cream sundae. There are things I don’t necessarily like about my job but if I have to reassess a patients pain level then that’s what I do. There are things I’m sure they don’t necessarily like about me, like when I ask to take 3 weeks in a row off in summer. I just do it every summer because I know one day I will get a yes:) Back to my original point. My co-workers aren’t going to always like me and I’m not always going to like them but for the sake of staying married I just do what I need to keep the peace. They know I’m committed.

#2 People who eat together stay together

Unfortunately this motto has contributed to my weight gain…. but I always try to bring in food or organize potlucks. People connected on a personal level when they share a meal together. I’ve had annoying co-workers and after a few potlucks my feelings towards them turned to nothing but likes.

#3 Sorry for what I said during a stressful moment

Sometimes when you are working in a critical care area and you have a patient that is very sick or you get multiple patients in, there is no time for please and thank you. You start just yelling out what you need. “Ambu bag! pressure bag! fluids! A-line set up!”. Your team will recognize this voice and start coming together and getting what is needed to resuscitate your patient. Many times after a stressful situation I’ve gone to every person on my team or openly said at the nurses station “Thank you so much team for helping me. I’m sorry if I seemed bossy.”. When you work with people over time and you kind of bond over the chaos you and you never take personal what they say in their time of stress.

#4 What to do when someone writes and email about you

First of all let me preface by saying,  if you have an attitude or are normally ratchet or if your coworkers never know what mood you will be coming to work in. You need a refresher in professionalism and how to act. For the majority of us that always try to act appropriately and professionally at work, when someone takes what you said during a stressful moment as being a b#$%@ and they send your boss an email. I wanted to go up to them and apologize but I’m just not that good with words. I look at what I could’ve said or done differently. Then I make it a point to be very nice to them. I don’t need to confront them. I don’t need to post something and then everyone ask me about it. I just take it as a teaching moment to better myself and move along.

 

There will always be that person at your job that you don’t like or doesn’t like you. Moving jobs doesn’t make it go away. You learn how to work with them. Showing love rights wrong every time. Sometimes you love them by not provoking them and always being professional. Now get back to work!

 

 

 

 

 

ex-Nurse Ratchet

Im not even sure where the past few months have gone. Im sort of living my own version of Ground Hogs Day….. I haven’t been on facebook nearly as much as I once was. I haven’t really spent any time out for girls night. The kids have been busy with baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and something they call school. Watching someone I love lose the love of their life/father to their children/best friend/lover/provider/rock has hands down rocked me to my core. I find myself thinking about death a lot more. The “what if” scenarios.

It has changed me as a nurse. I have taken care of many patients that have had traumatic things happen to them. I’ve greeted friends and families of these patients in the hallway and escorted them to the bedside of their loved one. There is nothing that could’ve prepared me for the day my co-worker escorted me to the bedside of someone I loved. We both knew his outcome. We both knew it would be my last time seeing him on this side of Heaven. She held my hand. She had no words only her presence. Since that day I have been a different nurse.

Different in my perspective. I make it a point to make contact with the family as soon as I can and tell them what I can. I keep reminding my busy physicians that they need to update the family until the family is updated. I HUG PEOPLE! Yep. I actually reach out and bring in a family member close. Let them cry on my shoulder if they need to. Im kind of ashamed to admit it but before I would just run and page the chaplain to handle crying family members. Like “Are those tears? Ok wait right here the chaplain will be here to help you with those.”! Taking care of a patient means so much more than just that patients physical body.

Recently I had this sweet mother stop me in the cafeteria to tell me how her daughter was doing and how thankful she was for me. She said, “I was freaking out and you just talked me through it.”. I just put myself in her shoes. Im a mother of 5 kids. I cant imagine being woken up to a phone call that you need to go the hospital because your child has been injured. Some how being able to be apart of these peoples lives during the time of tragedy helps me heal. The woman that stopped me in the cafeteria most certainly made up for the other patient that just cussed me out……

To all my nurses out there. I encourage you to try and connect with your patients and their families. You may never know the impact you may have on someone’s life during a very tragic time for them….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#byefriend

For the first time in three and a half weeks, it feels like I’m slowly getting blood flow back to my heart. NOTHING in this life can prepare you for the loss of a friend. A friend that you loved more than just a friend but like a sibling that has the same Father. It doesn’t seem real. “Grief” is this word that we slap on an emotional rollercoaster that we didn’t buy a ticket for. You feel like crying/yelling/sleeping/running/vomiting all at the same time. The week leading up to his funeral everyone said all the right things, brought all the right food, signed all the right cards, but why is nobody wanting to talk about him? Today I unpacked the candle holders that I snagged the day of he and my best friends wedding reception. I’ve always loved these candle holders but today I just buried them in my chest and sob as they were a sweet reminder of a true love story. I wanted to drive to my best friends house and when she opened the door, I wanted to hug her and not let go until it was awkward. I know that he is with our Father and one day I will see him again. My heart literally is in my throat when I look at my best friend and see something I’ve never seen before……. broken, uneasy eyes. She is beyond grief-stricken and devastated but God and the love for her husband has given her exactly what she’s needed to get through this day. The sadness has been overwhelming and people have been down right insensitive. The truth is life does go on but its just never the same as it once was. Bye my sweet friend. Say hello to everyone for me and hold my baby I never had the opportunity to meet. I look forward to seeing you again and tasting Heaven’s hottest chicken wings:) img_0377