What is a Nurse-Extern you ask? Basically it is a nurse that does not give medications or fill out paperwork (for now, this is a good thing). I help the RN's with technical skills. I start IV's, draw blood, do EKG's, insert urinary catheters, provide wound care, and transport soon-to-be moms to Labor and Delivery. There are also the more mundane tasks, such as making beds, transporting patients, stocking linen and supplies, taking vital signs, walking someone to the bathroom, and making sure there are always enough IV pumps to be found. My absolute least favorite thing to do is the dreaded one-to-one observation, which I will tell you about in another post.
In the ER I experience life. I meet people from all walks, from all colors, and from all levels of income. I get to love them all. Sometimes I meet people on their worst day, and sometimes I make it a little better (or worse). I have seen grown men cry like babies when I stick them with a needle, and I have had a nine-year old girl watch me do the whole thing without flinching.
I have seen young women weep when they find out they are having a miscarriage, and I have seen the same weeping on those who have found out they are pregnant. I have seen people come to the hospital due to a culmination of their life-style choices, and I have seen people there due to simple misfortune.
Through school I have witnessed a newborn's first breath, and in the ER I have seen someone's last. I have done chest compressions on failing hearts, and I have pushed air into failing lungs.
Life is very real to me, and I will try to write about my man-nursing experiences here. Stay tuned...