COVID, Nurse stuff

Nursing World: Funny Dreams and….COVID anxiety?

 I just have to share this funny dream (nightmare?) I had the other night. Any nursing friends reading this should especially appreciate it. 😉 

A photo from one of my last days as an inpatient nurse!! 
In my dream, I was back working on the inpatient unit I spent most of my career on. I could vividly see the unit, the layout, and the rooms. I was caring for a patient in Room 26, and at the time I was bent over her checking her blood pressure. All of a sudden, the patient’s eyes fluttered and she started passing out. I could see on the blood pressure monitor that her pressure was dropping. 

I ran out of the room to get help (never mind the fact that there are code buttons and call button lights right in the room for this purpose) and was running down the hall to apparently grab a doctor to come assist. On my way, I saw the pharmacy room on our unit, and I thought to myself, “Before I get help or any doctor’s orders, I think I’ll just go grab her noon meds first quick”. 

For anyone not familiar with hospital medication schedules, patients (at least on this unit) usually take their daily meds around 8 am, 12 pm, 6 pm and 10 pm. For this patient population, the noon meds are typically their supplements- many patients take a calcium pill, Vitamin D, their multivitamin. All this to say, in a crisis situation, I can assure you that getting the patient’s noon meds would be THE ABSOLUTE LAST THING A NURSE WOULD DO!! 

In the dream I remember standing in the pharmacy room with the little scanner that we used to document the medication administration. I was having some trouble with one of the packages and kept having to scan it over and over, taking up more time. (Meanwhile, in the other room, my patient is apparently lying in bed alone with a low blood pressure or who knows what by this point….) 

Finally, I started walking back down the hallway, meds in hand (I guess I forgot about getting help or a fluid bolus or anything else I might actually need?) By the time I reached her room, it was empty. Someone else had found the patient and in the time I scanned out all of these vitamins, the patient had already been transferred to the ICU. Then I woke up. 

What the what??!? 

I literally laughed out loud when I woke up, while also feeling a little uneasy about the dream. 

I mentioned in a previous post that I recently got word that as a result of the high demand for nurses during this COVID emergency, it is possible that I might be called or re-deployed out of my current role (non-clinical, work from home role as a data analyst) and back into a front line position either in an inpatient unit, an emergency setting, etc. I had to fill out a survey outlining all of my current credentials, past experience, and skills. 

When I heard about this possibility, I had very mixed feelings.

 On the one hand, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for what the nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists and nursing assistants and pharmacists and hospital housekeepers and just EVERYONE working in healthcare are doing right now across the world. Seriously, I know first hand how extremely demanding a job it is on a normal day, and with the addition of the pressure, volume, fear, and stress of this virus, it just takes it all to a whole new never-seen-before level. 

Throw in the fact that many nurses have young families and are trying to do online schooling with them while also working overtime. They are working strange shifts, dealing with constant policy changes and new things to learn everyday, AND are faced with the reality that many regular nurses are being called to “upgrade” suddenly to being ICU nurses (SCARY!!). The whole thing is just mind boggling. 

There is a part of me that feels called to do whatever I could do to help. If me returning to inpatient nursing would mean that a colleague wouldn’t have to work overtime, I would want to help. If nurses were getting sick and patients didn’t have adequate numbers of staff to care for them, I would want to help!!

But, if I’m perfectly honest, I would really just prefer that this all went away and they didn’t need me. I haven’t worked as an inpatient nurse for 4 years now. I am sure I would be capable and it would all come back to me, but at the same time, I think I would kind of feel like a fish out of water at this point. The whole idea makes me really nervous, especially during a time I likely wouldn’t really have much chance to be re-oriented to changes that occurred since I left. 

Also, I have been so blessed to be working from home during this time. Ivan is still working everyday (outside the home), so I have been here with the boys and am able to oversee their schooling and everything. If I had to go start working 12 hour shifts, I really don’t know how exactly things would go here at home! I’m sure we would figure it out, but the idea stresses me out. 

For now, it sounds like I haven’t been chosen to be part of the first round of re-deployed nurses. Based on an email the other day, they first picked nurses with ICU or ER experience (which I don’t have), followed by nurses with inpatient nursing experience within the past 3 years. (Since I left FOUR years ago, I guess I sort of dodged a bullet, at least temporarily). Things are still changing everyday, so I really don’t know exactly what will happen. 

I am pretty sure this crazy dream is related to some underlying anxiety about the whole thing. Specifically, feelings of inadequacy or worry that I would be put in a situation where I would feel incompetent. I am just taking it day by day for now, trying to keep an open mind about it all and waiting to hear if I’m needed to serve! 

I will end for today with a little nursing humor. (Nursing memes are THE BEST!! There are so many hilarious ones).

Haha! I think that’s a good one. And now, flipping back to a serious note for my daily gratitude, since this is what is on my heart today. 🙂 

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for a husband who is genuinely involved with our kids in ALL ways. Last night, Ethan was upset about something before bed and was having some anxiety about it. Ivan went in to sit by him for a while. I was in bed already, and could hear the murmurs down the hall of Ivan calmly and patiently talking through the issue with him for almost 10 minutes. I’m so grateful to have a partner in parenting who handles the tough times just as well as the fun times. 

2 thoughts on “Nursing World: Funny Dreams and….COVID anxiety?”

  1. My mom has been deployed to a floor…after 20 years or so as a pre-op clinic nurse! I don't understand what they are doing. They had her on orientation for about 3 days, and it sounds like they will send her somewhere else next week. Makes no sense!


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