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A Role to Live Up To

February 28, 2012

by xcorex/via flickr

By Kinsey Morgan, RN. Kinsey is a nurse who lives in Texas and currently works in the ICU in which she formerly spent three years as a CNA. Her previous posts on working as a new nurse can be found here.

Now in my sixth month as a new nurse, I find every day that there is something new to learn, figure out, or adjust to. The constant stimulation and challenge is part of what makes me love being an ICU nurse.

Recently I was exposed to the simple yet powerful fact that being a “unit nurse” carries more weight than I’d thought. During a code blue on the medical–surgical floor a few weeks ago, I was performing CPR when it became necessary to initiate a dopamine drip to support a failing blood pressure.

One of the medical–surgical nurses spiked the bag and connected the tubing and proceeded to tap me on the shoulder and ask me if he had correctly entered the dosage of dopamine into the IV pump. Time stood still for a split-second while I contemplated the weight of this question. Though my mind and body quickly returned to the task at hand, the implications of that question haven’t left me yet.

The nurse who asked has been an RN for several years and has a lot more experience than I have. In reflection, I am honored and humbled by his trust. Not having encountered vasoactive drugs very often in his practice, this nurse saw me a source he could rely on for accurate information. And it was all because he knows I work in “the unit.”

This experience drives me to want to keep current and knowledgeable, so that I can be relied on in the future if I’m called on to speak for what my role—if unknowingly to me—represents to my coworkers.

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One comment

  1. Strong work, Kinsey. It is an amazing moment in this profession when you not only realize you know something but that your colleagues respect your knowledge. I remember when I started my nurse residency in the operating room the instructor said it would be two years before we would be comfortable in our new jobs. I thought she was nuts, I mean I’m not the brightest bulb in the box but two years seemed like a long time. It was one year and 11 months later when one of my colleagues asked for my help and my opinion on an upcoming procedure. I knew the answers. As she walked off I realized I knew something useful but even more importantly I was useful to my colleagues and my patients. It was that recognition that keeps me learning, keeps me reading and keeps me listening to the nurses around me.

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