6 years ago, I started @ the hospital on the hill. I have a dear friend who works there and he made it clear that if I were to get a job, I better not screw it up. (There's actually the funniest story ever where he thought I had, turns out, they had the wrong Lindsey) So 6 years ago this past June, I started as a patient care assistant on a Medical Surgical floor. I worked part time while I was in nursing school. Let's be real, nursing isn't a glamorous job, nothing about it. I knew that starting as an assistant could only benefit my career and I couldn't respect my fellow nursing assistants any more. They go above and beyond with little incentives. I'm lucky enough to have to worked and trained with some great ones. Nursing school flew by, but not because it was so much fun, but because it was all a blur. You went to class, studied, slept, studied and went back to class. This all happened while trying to hold somewhat of a life together. Needless to say, nursing school won that battle. I probably flipped flash cards in my sleep at that point. We ran on fumes and RedBull. I remember taking the boards like it was yesterday. The hardest test ever. I tell people not to scare them, but to let them know that it is a pretty big deal. I am pretty sure I blacked out because after about 130 questions I blanked, my computer turned blue, or was it gray, and I was done. Everything I worked for, every tear, every RedBull, every flash card sat right there on a computer screen. It was gut wrenching. One day later I was able to add those two letters past my name and I couldn't be more thrilled. We worked our butts off to become RNs. The weight of the world was finally lifted. That's what we thought at least. In June 2011, I started my first nursing job on that same medical surgical floor. The weight grew heavier, more tears were shed, but the knowledge I gained is irreplaceable. I always knew Med Surge wasn't for me, but I suggest it for all new grads. Learning the basics, learning to multi task and learning time management will take you far in your nursing career. After a year on the med surge floor, I transferred to a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. (CICU) I knew that I wanted to continue my learning and everyday was different, and everyday an adventure. I've seen miracles, I've seen tragedies, and I've seen one of my most favorite patients take their first bite of mashed potatoes after months of being on a ventilator (and I cried). Ive seen patients walk out that doctors have counted out and I have said goodbye to some dear patients whose families still reach out. To make that impact on a complete strangers life is one of the best feelings in the world. Not many understand that. I know that I learn everyday how not to take it all for granted and it really puts life into perspective. I made some forever friends working in CI. It will always be like home to me. I never thought I'd leave but one early mid life crisis later and I moved again. I needed an escape from the reality I couldn't escape from and work was the only way I could do that. Life doesn't go as planned, and that had been thrown straight in my face. My two years in CI was over and I was now a part of the Cath lab. For the first few months, I thought I had made the biggest mistake ever. It wasn't for me. I stuck it out, and over a year later I am so grateful that I did. I never thought I could love anything more than CI, turns out I do. It's a different type of nursing, but I would say it's one of the best jobs to have if you were looking. I'm partial though. We work a little closer with our fellow nurses, radiology/scrub techs and our doctors, it's one big
dysfunctional family. They see us on our bad days and at our best because there's really no escaping them. No matter the mood though, they will cheer you up, and they will assure you daily that they have your back against the rest of the hospital. My cath lab crew is honestly some of the smartest people I have ever worked with and teach me daily how to be a better nurse. I'll miss them too though. See, after 6 years I think it's time to do a little something for me. I think it's time to follow a dream I've always talked about but never quite jumped on because something usually held me back. If I woke up tomorrow married with children, I'd have this constant linger of why I didn't take this giant leap. I have dreams, goals and I have plans that far exceed my little white house in the heart of Birmingham. I may hate it after a month and I may not, but at least I'll try. This fall I'm going to start travel nursing. I don't know what my future holds anymore, but traveling the country sounds like a good start. My first assignment will probably be Florida, then maybe California, maybe Tennessee and the list goes on and on. The opportunities are endless. For so long I've let what others think and do affect my choices and it's time to figure this life out on my own for a change. I'm scared, anxious and so excited for the possibilities. I'll keep my house, the pups will come with and I'll always call Alabama home. Now, is just the beginning!