Friday, September 25, 2015

Hi I am Carissa, I'll be your student nurse...

Entering the doors at 5:30am of my first day on the floor as a Student Nurse. Ready to work magic. Be a superstar. Heal everyone. In all honestly I put my scrubs on like I had done it a million and one times and I was ready.

I thought.

I was assigned a few patients. Duties were to overlook, assess, and aid for the next 6 hours. I gathered names, chart info, anddddd then my nerves kicked in...
                     I was just about to enter my very first patients room. Without someone holding my hand.. this was my time to shine.

Shinning was far from what I did.


No response...entering slowly, grabbing gloves

I froze.

There laid my first patient.


frail, elderly, unconscious, nonverbal, catheter, oxygen tubes,cold.....and her husband near overlooking her with tears flooding his face.


 I'm Carissa......

my eyes filled up, my heart was racing much faster than my own patients....

I was standing before the most dreaded day of this man's life. The nearing death of his wife.

I couldn't find words.... I knew all I was in there to do, is to check in, and "move/rotate"  my patient every 2 hours.

After what seemed like days, I finally told the husband what I needed to do. He stepped out of the room before I could say anymore, he couldn't. I couldn't. Another student and I began to rotate her, to avoid bed sores. In reality this was the last task that I wished to do, for all I wanted to do was to crawl into her bed, hold her tight, rip out my own heart and give it to her.

I had this wave of something flash before me. As I am holding her head. Dead weight. Keeping her oxygen tube and catheter tube stable as my classmate slowly rotates the rest of her body, dozens of pillows around her. She has no idea. I fought tears, her head in my palm. I was having the hardest time.

This energy filled the room slowly...assuring me I was there for all the right reasons. This rush that felt so important slowly allowed me to breathe.
She was repositioned. She was delicate, beautiful,  she was dying.

Taking off my gloves backing out of the room one baby step at a single tear streamed down my face, glancing at my watch...whispering I would be back in less than 2 hours to do as assigned again.....

I knew her husband would be behind me as I exited the room. He was. I hugged him. Firmly. Attempted to tell him what I did.

I couldn't.

He knew. I knew.

There was nothing much more.

I allowed him to enter her room closing the door behind him. Helplessly I stood, blankly stared at my classmate.

Welcome to day one on the floor.

Nursing has a whole new meaning.

Day 1.

She passed an hour and a half later....just minutes before I was due back.

It was the heaviest my heart has felt in quite some time as she flatlined. Slow motion we all did our parts.

A death right before my eyes, of a stranger that I felt I knew a lifetime.

Taking my scrubs off after my first shift was much hard to do. I felt like the job wasn't over, the story wasn't finished. I wanted to take the husband out for some coffee. 2439 questions unanswered.


What a small, 5 lettered word, that completes everyone's lifelong story.

I don't think I've done much since then. Thursday was a long, rewarding, yet unsettling day.

I cant get Thursday off my mind.


Indiana is growing on me.

Becoming a nurse is absorbing me.

Day 1 will always be with me.