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Nostalgia

Where did the time go??? Four and a half years happened so fast!! I remember the agony of studying for my boards and the joy of receiving my license to practice.

I hear an accent! You have a unique name! How did you come to the United States? These questions and much more are occasionally asked (mostly by families), as I introduce myself as the nurse for the night.

Guess what ?? Four and half years later, the questions are still the same! Lol!

My first few shifts after my orientation, hmm! Let me tell you! I’ll be fine until I get to the parking lot then, my self induced anxiety kicks in! I’m just anxious about everything including my assignment for the day.

Peradventure, it’s a new admit or my patient’s IV access malfunctions, literally it’s over! Kill meeee !!!

If you met me in those moments, I looked like I was having a good night shift but in my head, it’s fireworks baby !! I’m trying so hard to keep my cool. Literally, faking it till I make it!!! I know for sure that I’m not the only who prayed this prayer as a rookie:

Dear Lord, please help me not to kill someone tonight-knock on wood!

After my first year, everything started making sense. More like I can see clearly now the rain is gone!

I fell in love with every opportunity to make a difference. I maximized every opportunity to handle complicated situations aka train wrecks.

Four and a half years, enough to make me vulnerable, confront my fears, turn my potential abilities to kinetics, set boundaries, gain friendships, and be more compassionate. Four and a half years, enough to satisfy the evidence base requirements of

what doesn’t kill you, makes you a better version of yourself !! That’s my synopsis about Critical care and I’m sticking to it.

Four and a half years enough to conquer the terror of every new critical care nurse, CRRT!

Oh! The joys of working the right shift! Incase you are wondering-it’s the nightshift! I know some traitors are going to be provoked! May I remind you that we break the rules of circadian rythmn, to save lives! Go figure!

Quick question! Why does the time seem to stand still at 0200 am ??!?? Accompanied by frequent trips to the vending machine?!?! My brain is craving for salt and sugar. All I want is the comfort of my mattress. #nightshiftproblems

How can I forget our frequent trips to Kaldi’s ? The joys of potlucks and occasional sweet treats are incomparable. Everyone knows that night shift does it better! These memories bring on pure nostalgia!

I call our night shift emergencies “organized chaos”. Adrenaline is pumping but we are focused and running the show with class because our midlevels are the best!!! They absolutely rock!!!

Then Covid happened! The first surge and the second surge! I saw critical care transition to a whole new level. We fought Rona with constantly evolving protocols. We had victories and casualties too! And the battle is still not over, but the experience gained, I’ll cherish forever!!

I’m so glad I took my chance on critical care! You rocked my world !! You will always be part of the anchor to my next career path. Love you to the moon and back !

To my preceptors (Dinali DeSilva and Joy Chung), thanks for believing in me. Thank you for not taking away my opportunity to become a critical care nurse.

In Igbo, my native tongue, I’ll say to my younger self, Daluu o o o !!! Nwanyi eji eje mba!! I bu nwafor! You did it!! You didn’t quit ! You didn’t give up! You fought a good fight! You finished your course!!! You inspired many!!

To every nurse that I’ve had the opportunity to precept, thank you for allowing me torture you with countless unnecessary questions. On a serious note-you have a special place in my heart!

To my work baes, thanks for making every shift fun! I’m going to miss you!!

It takes a village!

Four and half years will not be possible without the team effort of our nursing management, coworkers, work buddies, family, friends and loved ones, including our patient population.

To God be the glory!!!!

Stay tuned!!

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