I will always remember my first day as a nurse!
It was by far the most scary, yet most educational moment of my career.
I was in the military overseas in Korea assigned to the Labor and Delivery unit.
I was lucky enough to have my first day start on a Saturday, where the staff consisted of two RN’s and one other LPN.
My day started out pretty normal. They walked me through report, explained as much as they could, and took me on a tour of the unit.
I was paired with a RN who was Korean, and since I was still new to the country I had a difficult time understanding a lot of what she was saying.
During the morning, she tells me that I’m lucky because we have a patient in labor and I will get to assist her through the entire process since hands on learning is the quickest way to learn something.
I was absolutely terrified.
I had no idea what I was doing, or where anything was.
Hit the floor running
We walk into the room and start talking with the patient and her husband, and in a few hours she is pushing.
As she is pushing, I start to realize this labor isn’t going like the others I saw in school, the doctor is starting to get concerned about the size of the baby.
The mother manages to push the head out, but the shoulders are stuck, and between the doctor trying to rotate the shoulder, he turns to me and yells at me to get the crash C-Section kit.
I run out of the room and ask the other nurse where I can find the kit, and soon we are both running into the next room to grab it.
When I get back into the room, she tells me to stay put and watch, while she goes and calls for more help.
I watch as the doctor performs a hysterotomy there in the room, and has to manipulate the shoulder out.
He hands the baby off to the nurse who takes it to the warmer as the pediatrician is walking in.
The baby wasn’t breathing or responding so they start perform CPR.
I didn’t know what to do, so the nurse training me asked me to cover the floor with sheets since there was blood everywhere to help keep people from slipping.
She looked at me and said just focus on what you need to do and the fear will go away.
So that’s what I did, they got the baby intubated and by the time they were ready to transport him to a NICU he was sucking on the tube and doing much better.
The mother was taken to the OR where I had to scrub in the be the OR tech, because ours was no where to be found.
The best part of the day was when the team all met afterwards for a discussion of what happened, and the doctor said, “You did a great job today.”
For your first day you did what you could, asked for help when you needed it, and didn’t distract us from our jobs today.
You should really be proud of yourself.”
Later that afternoon, we were found out the baby was going to be fine, and the mom was recovering well.
That day I learned that just because you are new to the team, doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer, or that you can’t ask questions.
And to this day, no matter the situation, I just focus on the task I need to perform, especially when I’m nervous or doing it for the first time.
I have the best job in the world, and I wouldn’t trade anything I’ve had to go through for all the fun I’ve had.