I LOVED my job as a pediatric nurse. I think nursing in general is a pretty rewarding career to pick, but with kids, it’s just totally different. I always knew I would be doing something with either kids or animals, but I guess I didn’t necessarily know what. I was supposed to go to college for Large Animal Science, with hopes of becoming a veterinarian. But that didn’t pan out. I met C the summer before, and sort of decided it was a REALLY LONG time to be in school. There are days I regret that decision. But there are also days that I think about how much it would suck that I would STILL be in school.
Either path I would’ve chosen would most certainly had taught me life lessons. But I think nursing, especially working with tiny humans has taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined.
Trust your gut. In so many different ways. In the way that you know something is wrong, even if you don’t know what it is. And, in the way that if you have a rumbly tummy…. get to the bathroom. STAT.
Laugh. Frequently. Tiny humans are funny. They make you laugh, seriously, all day long. I have so many stories I could pull out of my back pocket about funny things kids (even teenagers) have said to me throughout the years. They teach you to look at the world so differently. Even though their question might be hysterical to us, it makes you take a step back and think, “Well, gosh darn. If I hadn’t seen that before, I’d think it was tootin’ funny, too!”
Learn something new everyday. Medicine in general is an ever evolving career. Things are always changing. Just when you think you know everything, something new comes out. It keeps your brain functioning. And it’s fun!
Be flexible. As I said, things are constantly changing, so you have to be ready to go with the flow. And even more so with kids. You need to check their weight right now? Well, turns out they have to pee. Like. RIGHT NOW. Maybe you think you know the best way to take a blood pressure? Wait til you have an autistic kid sitting on the table. I’d be willing to bet that mom, although she doesn’t know HOW to take a blood pressure, she surely can tell you the best way to do it with HER kid. Bottom line? You don’t know everything. And you never will. So listen to others who are more experienced.
Sh*t happens. And I mean that in the nicest way. Both figuratively and physically. Working with the tiniest humans is tough. When you need to take their temperature (rectally) they end up pooping everywhere. But, you go with it. Life’s too short to worry about spilt milk…. er….poop.
Yeah, I miss my job. My life has changed a lot. But not really. Instead of getting up early, getting dressed in scrubs and driving to work, now I get up early, get dressed in sweats and ‘walk’ to work (aka A’s bedroom). Before, I ran around answering to a doctor, taking care of other peoples kids, micro managing the doc’s schedule all day. Now, I run around all day answering to a 12 month old, cleaning up toys, and micro manage not only MY schedule, but hers and C’s. In a lot of ways, it is still working. Just a different kind of work. And everything I learned from working those 5 years before A? Made me a much better parent. Because not only do I have a strong enough medical background that I can pretty much diagnose and treat anything at home, but I also have the life lessons and skills to maturely handle it.