new grad check in

I know most of my posts are recaps of my life and things I do, but I figured I’d check in and update y’all on how being a new grad RN has been going so far.  Seeing the new nursing students starting their preceptorship made me realize how much time has already passed and I cannot believe it!  It seriously seems like yesterday I was just starting out with clinicals and now I’m on my fifth month of working, it’s nuts.

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Being a new grad has a lot of ups and downs, and I always feel like there’s something to learn.  Soooo I figured I’d share some of the things I’ve learn along the way (so far).

What’s worked 

  • Asking questions.  All day, err day.  Seriously, I ask questions about what to do and how some people would handle certain situations.  My job is great in that we’re not competing to get ahead so most of the time people are more than willing to help and throw some advice your way.
  • Asking for help.  When I first started, and I felt overwhelmed, I’d internalize it and feel scattered and rushed and OMG IT’S SO NUTS!  Having people at work I can rely on helps, especially when you’re drowning.
  • Help others when I can.  First of all, I’m not a fan of being lazy and just sitting around, so when I’m caught up/ahead, I’m usually looking for something to do.  Returning the favor of helping out coworkers not only eases stress for everyone, but helps you make a new friend you might being helping you in the future.  It’s a circle.  I have a friend at work that always helps me out and vice versa; it’s nice because I don’t think twice about asking her to help when she offers and I know it’s the same for her.  Yay for work friends!
  • Pack lunch.  It saves money and helps me make better decisions for food
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  • Be flexible.  When you first start out, it’s easy to say “I’ll do this at this time and this then and blah blah blah”.  In reality, when one of those things gets off schedule it’ll stress you out; trying to be as flexible as possible helps with the craziness.
  • Caffeine is pretty much necessary.  Waking up before it’s light and going home after it’s dark makes for a long day
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What hasn’t worked

  • Working out before work.  Getting up super early for work is a given, getting up even earlier than that is not only tough but near impossible for me.  I’ll still to my nighttime treadmill runs, thanks.
  • Not eating breakfast.  Obviously a “duh” comment, but sometimes I don’t get to eat lunch until late afternoon, and if I didn’t eat breakfast that morning I’d probably be on the floor
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  • Getting overwhelmed.  This is another obvious one, but I think it’s easy for nurses (new grads and experienced) to feel overwhelmed, but I’ve found it’s better to take the attitude that I’m just one person and everything will get done, it will just take some time.  When I first started, I was guilty of getting stressed looking at an assignment and realizing two needed blood, one needed an IV, and the other two had tons of IV antibiotics plus IV pain meds and only one point of access.  Now, I look at days like these (today happened to be one of them), and just took it one thing at a time.  Yes, antibiotics take time, but realizing that while that runs in, I can go start the other IV and hang fluids and assess before running to blood bank to get blood.  Breaking it down and taking it one task at a time helps me keep my sanity.
  • Taking things too personally.  Of course some things patients and coworkers say and do will hurt your feelings, but you have to move on.  One of my first weeks as a nurse, I called the attending of one of my patients rather than the resident because I was still learning.  I was chewed out, I was almost in tears.  One of the more experienced nurses looked at me and said “Quit apologizing, this is his job, it was a mistake.”  This made me realize that yes, I should have called a resident first, but if I had known who to call I would have.  I learned to develop a thick skin and realize (especially with oncology patients) emotions and reactions a lot of time aren’t a reflection of their feelings toward me, but toward their situation.

Wow, that was long, but I wanted to share!  I know I’ve come a long way but I still have a long way to go, and I’m relishing every opportunity that comes my way :)

my one day weekend

Hey y’all, hope your week is off to a great start!  I had Monday off so it was fabulous sleeping in past 6 am and being able to run outside in the daylight :) My sister and I joked that I’m more rest than she is because my weekends are on Mondays and other weekdays so I don’t stay up as late all the time.

After snoozing longer than usual, I headed out for a run with a goal of 9 miles.  I checked the weather and my phone said 57 which is absolutely perfect for a run.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t really map my runs out before hand, I just kind of go.  I know I wanted to begin and end with portions of my usual 5 mile loop and decided to alter it so I could add the run the Charlotte Running Company does on their Monday night runs.

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Since I was meshing the two together some portions got cut off but my loop plus most of the 4.4 loop from Monday runs ended up making a great 9 mile run.  I felt great for most of the run but I did have to stop off at the water fountain in Freedom Park both times I passed to rehydrate.

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Also, how gorgeous is it right now?  Fall is finally arriving in Charlotte!

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The worst/best part of this run were the hills, they were killers.  I definitely made sure to really stretch when I got home, especially since my calves were feeling a little tight.

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After my run (and stretching) I spent the rest of my “Saturday” running errands and doing random things like cleaning and baking this banana bread:

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We had some ripe bananas that were way too ripe to eat, so I adapted this recipe to make banana bread.  I added a third banana plus about a quarter cup of oats and used brown sugar (same amount) rather than white.  Plus I added chocolate chips :)  I didn’t think to take a picture until after I’d already cut out a huge hunk, but it was pretty tasty.  Hello breakfast the next few days!

My sister was sweet enough to cook dinner, so Serena came over (and brought her foam roller- my first experience using one!) and we chowed down on this delicious meal and caught up.  

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Now back to work tomorrow!

one week later….

Hi…remember me?  I had all the intentions in the world of posting more regularly  over the last few weeks then something happens…work, life, whatever.  Last week I worked Tuesday, then had Wednesday off, and then Thursday through Sunday.  To say I was tired is an understatement.  Lately our unit has had some staffing needs so I’m picking up extra to help out and let’s be honest, help my bank account out.  So a quick recap of what’s been going on-

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Friends at Scarowinds!  We went on Sunday night because it was cheaper and the weather was misty so a lot of people weren’t there.  The misty/foggy/chilly weather was awesome for the Halloween theme and made everything even spookier.  Selfies in line for roller coasters? We were hardly the only ones :)

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This awesome picture during NoDA run club last Wednesday.  Don’t be jealous of my blurry picture taking skills.  It was a great run, but remember how I said it gets sketchy during some parts?  It started getting dark so I obviously picked up my pace when I realized I was a little ways away from the runner up ahead of me plus there was some distance between me and the girl behind.  Luckily, she picked up the pace and we ended up running the last mile and a half together.  It made me feel a lot safer and I made a new running friend!

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Meal prep for four days at the hospital- if I bring food I’m more likely to not snack if I bring food to eat that I actually like.  Obviously still on my asparagus kick also (I’m going to be so sad when it goes out of season).

On top of work 48+ hours, I was so grateful for a day where I could wake up when the sun was actually up.  Surprisingly, my days flew by and each day was busy but pretty low stress.  I loved my patients and leaving last night I felt like I could work a fifth day in the row with them, but still appreciated the time off.  Also, this weekend the new students precepting started out on our unit and I CANNOT believe I was there in the spring, it seems like so long ago!  Seriously, so nuts to think I was just finishing up my last semester of nursing school and now I’ve been working on the floor for a couple of months already!  How was your weekend?

Charlotte cider fest

A couple of weeks ago I bought tickets on groupon for the Charlotte Cider Festival- having celiacs means beer festivals usually have extremely limited options for me, if anything at all. Last year Julie and I went to Oktoberfest in Charlotte and pretty much spent the whole day in the cider corner. So, I was really excited to see Charlotte was hosting it’s first cider festival.

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I bought the four pack of tickets so Julie, Serena, and our friend Meghan headed there friend evening (yay for friends who will drink cider for you!)

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The “festival” was at the Epicenter in Uptown so space was limited but the views were awesome!

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Compared to the Oktoberfest cider selection, this was a little lacking so we didn’t stay for too long, but it was a lot of fun. To be fair, it was the first year so maybe next year will be better, plus it was a groupon aka a deal. Also, I feel like I haven’t been out in Charlotte in so long and it was good to stick around for the weekend :)

Oktoberfest? Yay or nay?

another work filled week and I finally feel better!

Happy weekend guys! My week flew by because I worked most days and had my free days pretty packed too.
The weather in Charlotte has been unseasonably warm so, when I got back on Sunday, I went for a walk with Serena on the rail trail before dinner and loved catching up like that! I wish I had more hours in the day, especially work days for walks with friends :)
My work week was pretty good, I really enjoyed my patients and had some really funny ones- I love when my patients are snarky and sarcastic because they keep me laughing and mix up the shift. Other highlights from this week included this view on another walk with Serena to Uptown

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A newfound love of sweet potatoes (they started making their way into my lunch bowls), gluten free Chex oatmeal (so good!)

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Midday margs with my friend Sam who was in town for work,

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And lots of treadmill runs because it’s dark when I get off and I’m a huge wimp and also because I finally feel better, yay! I hate when colds hang on for weeks and weeks.
How was your week? Anything exciting happen?

i’ve been super lame…

and not just about blogging (because I’ve definitely NOT been the best blog mom).  Last week, I ended up nursing that cold all week, and quickly fell into a pattern- work, shower, eat, bed.  Repeat.  No working out, nothing fun outside of work, just work, eat, repeat.  Thankfully, I’m feeling A LOT better and cannot wait to get back into the swing of things where I actually participate in life :)  My hot peppermint tea helped a lot too.

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This weekend was spent in Clemson again, watching the tiger win (again :) ).  It was my mom’s birthday and she wanted to spend it at the Clemson vs. NC State game, and we were only too happy to oblige.

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The weather during the day was absolutely perfect, and we spent it hanging out and nomming on all the gluten free food my mom had made.

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Eventually we went in and watched the shutout that happened before tailgating a little more and calling it a night (by the way, it was absolutely freezing post game).

After brunch Sunday, my parents dropped Julie and I off in Charlotte, and I wrapped up the weekend watching the panthers get a win and going for a walk with Serena to catch up.  I definitely need to start walking more, I’m loving this weather right now and it’s so nice to chat and be moving.

I promise I’ll be a better blogger this week, but first, what was the best part of your weekend?

soby’s

For my friend Lauren’s birthday last week, we started off the celebrations with brunch at Soby’s in Greenville, South Carolina.

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They had a HUGE brunch buffet with everything from traditional breakfast fare (eggs and bacon) to thai pork and meatloaf.  Not to mention the big dessert spread as well.  They’re advertised as gluten free friendly, but I’m usually pretty safe with breakfast food so I was all good :)

We all started with mimosas and bloody mary’s- they had a make your own sheet at each place setting where you choose your alcohol, your juice, garnishes, and any add ons (like vodka for the mimosas…a little too aggressive for us Sunday morning ;) ).

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I started out with pretty typical choices- bacon, an omelet, and grits.  Honestly, I don’t know why I get omelets, I love the idea of them, but whenever I make them/get them, I make it through about half and then I’m like “Meh, that’s enough” and can’t finish it.  Is anyone else like that? Just me? This is also true for scrambled eggs.

The grits on the other hand, were to die for.  They were so so good, and I love me some good grits.  If you’re a fan, you should definitely check out Soby’s.

IMG_5010After the first plate, we all went back for dessert, and I hear the mini pumpkin pies were the best things ever.  I stuck to eating my weight in strawberries with chocolate fondue to dip them in :)  Brunch was definitely delicious, and I’d love to try their lunch and dinner menus out too, everyone who lived in Greenville (aka everyone but me) said the food there at dinner is delicious, plus gluten free options, sounds like a plan to me!