I quit my job the other week.
(This was on purpose because we're moving 8 hours away).
My last day was filled with well-wishing, a surprisingly easy set of patients, and chocolate in several forms.
I am nearly certain that I am ready to leave hospital nursing. I am ready to be done with nights, holidays, and weekends. Nursing has many options, and as we move I'm considering options that include working M-F and getting Christmas off.
And yet I felt pangs of nostalgia hanging IV fluids, getting morning report for the last time, starting a new IV (actually, missing it and having another nurse try. Bah.), and checking the cardiac monitors. I wandered from task to task, wondering if each was my last. Some aspects of being a hospital nurse are really fun. I also felt sadness leaving some wonderful coworkers, knowing I'd never ask x about her wedding or see pictures of y's new baby.
But lest the nostalgia overtake me, I got a new patient right at the end of the shift, who not only pushed me behind schedule but also frustrated me by acting utterly confused and trying to crawl out of bed, chest tubes and fresh surgical wounds notwithstanding.
I didn't use my "I'm being patient" voice as I ordered him back in bed.
Then in the neighboring room I found another patient also trying to get up for a walk. She needed large amounts of oxygen supplementation to keep her alive, but decided to just walk without it. Maybe she likes living on the edge.
I can't remember if I used my "I'm being patient" voice with her.
Shift change report went late for me, and as I left the floor 30 minutes late and well after all my coworkers had finished, listening to IV alarms and ringing call lights in my wake, I tried hard not to run.
Farewell, cardiothoracic nursing. And to my crazy patients, thanks for easing the pangs of separation.