Nursing: Peace in the Chaos.

Do you ever have an endless stream of thoughts that you want to share but are not sure where to even begin?

That’s me right now.

In my last post I mentioned that I wanted to divulge about the past couple months, my journey with nursing, about how I’ve both regressed and then grown in my faith, and how I have learned more in just a couple months than I do in a typical year…

I have a lot to unravel, it may take the full seven hours of traveling honestly. I’m treating this like a diary post, and I know it will be long. I will not hold it against any of you, even my loyal readers if you skip it.

But today I just need to write.

I need to write and record the transformative period that is my existence right now, and share the tremendous ways God has been moving in what seems impossibly bleak circumstances. I also know some friends and family that are going through this similar transition, so I hope to offer some encouragement to those individuals as well.

So, nursing. Nursing, nursing, nursing. I always compare this to an emotional rollercoaster, and all I can say is what. a. ride. While I may start off kind of explaining the gargantuan obstacles, it’s amazing what I have learned through it! This is not a venting session, but rather the most raw, honest insight into the life of a new nurse, and how I am slowly, but surely, learning to cope with the hardest year of my life.

Neurosurgical nursing is notoriously difficult, and our floor is no exception. I deal with a number of critically ill patients. For example, a patient’s nausea can be a simple side effect of their pain medication, or it can mean they are developing increased intracranial pressure; if I don’t assess it correctly, they truly could die on my watch. We have patients that have drains coming out of their brain’s ventricles and spinal cords. If they sit up without letting me know they are repositioning, they could drain out their own cerebral spinal fluid, and have dire consequences. I’ve had patients that seize, and I watch as the oxygen saturation plummets, while I hold them on their side. They sometimes go still and for a second, I panic- thinking for they are dying right there in my arms before their oxygen creeps back up. Fear gnaws at me, an unwanted tumor that relentlessly impedes on my emotional well-being and my life. I give so many medications constantly, so even when I triple check before giving anything, I am always afraid of making an error. In nursing, there is infinite room for error, countless scenarios that could potentially go wrong. It leaves me, a brand new nurse, perpetually terrified.

Every day I wake up to go to work I know I will make a mistake or have some type of failure. I was not prepared for this when graduating nursing school. I knew that I would have a massive learning curve, but I didn’t realize that making mistakes was part of the job. No worries- nothing that has compromised my patients’ well-being, but I always fail in some way. This isn’t some pessimistic self-fulfilling prophecy, but the reality of being a new nurse.

Do you ever have those dreams where you can’t run or talk or scream and feel stuck in quicksand? That’s how I feel majority of days on my shift. I know exactly what I need to do but one thing after another impedes me from moving at the pace I would like. Say I have my morning meds to give to four different patients. I have a one hour window to give those meds. A realistic, typical day goes like this- I step into my first patient’s room to do assessments and give medications. My phone rings, another patient wants their blood glucose checked and their insulin because their meal tray has arrived. I glance down wide-eyed at the twenty pills sitting on my workstation on wheels and can’t leave until I give these meds. Hence, my patient down the hall will have to wait at least fifteen minutes before they can start to eat. Overwhelmed. I go down to see the patient and give them their insulin, and then they ask for their food to be microwaved (understandably so). They also want to use the toilet, but it takes twenty minutes to get them out of bed, to the bathroom, and back. I wasn’t assigned a nurse assistant to said patient because they are technically mobile. They also want a bed-bath, their teeth brushed, and me to fill them in on the “plan” for the day- which is all totally understandable, but at this point I have to explain that I will come back as soon as I finish up with the other patients. Frustration. As I leave they ask for their pain med, so I have to go back out down the hall to the Pyxis, grab their pain med, and come back. I get a page from the front desk, “your patient in room#__ is de-sating” (an emergent situation). Panic. I explain I must leave although I have their pain med in hand and run down the hall to make sure my other patient is getting oxygen. I look at the watch. It’s 0830. I still haven’t seen my last patient and rounds with the doctors are at 0845. I dive into my last patient’s room and quickly grab a set of vitals because our sepsis screens are due by 0900. Overwhelmed. As I hand my patient their med, I get a call from a patient’s family member wanting an update on how their loved one did overnight, but I can’t remember all the facts pertained to which patient in report. Confused. By the time I get back to the other patient to give them their pain med their pain has spiked from a 5 to a 9 on that 0 to 10 scale. Incompetent. It’s one big game of whack-a-mole, and I feel like the weak little four-year-old that keeps fumbling with the hammer in an arcade. Except I have ten hours left in this arcade.

I have so many moments like this that I freeze like a deer in the headlights. I start to go into a panic, I can’t see straight, I can’t breathe, I wait for my knees to buckle out from under me. I can’t stop the tears from coming. I duck into the break room and let the attack pass. I suck it up and step back outside. I’m supposed to smile and act like I have it all together in front of my patients. Nothing is supposed to rattle me, but everything does. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, so this is quite difficult for me. A colleague asks if I am ok. I wish they hadn’t asked because that question gets me. I can’t respond because if I do the tears will start again. I failed. I let my emotions show. The rest of the shift is one thing after another. I don’t sit down until 2 pm for a 30-minute lunch.

At 1730 the float offers me a break. We aren’t allowed to chart off the clock, but my charting isn’t done. I use my last fifteen-minute break to frantically chart. Exhaustion.

At 1830 I still have a list of things to get done, but change of shift is at 1845. I’m in my patient’s room in a hot sweat trying to get their antibiotics hung, their last meds given, and their lumbar drain checked as the night shift nurse anxiously waits for me to give them report. The family members asks, “rough day”? I failed again. I failed miserably. I let my feelings show in front of a patient. No one told me how much acting is involved in nursing.

I go home filled with guilt that I was so busy I didn’t connect with one of my patients. I replay the things I did wrong over and over. I can’t turn my mind off. Guilt. Fear. I wake up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat. Panic. I think I’m supposed to be charting, DJ reassures me I’m at home and not at work. I get texts from friends asking to hang out on my day off and feel guilt saying no because all I want to do is sleep. Guilt. Failure. I’m drowning. Exhaustion. I slip into a dark place, the depression that I experienced in high school is creeping back, suffocating me. Darkness.

This is the reality. I am not able to handle this on my own. And about two weeks ago, I realized it. I came to the conclusion that I would not be able to make it through the rest of this year unless something changed. I gave myself a hard look in the mirror and realized what was starkly missing- time with the Lord.

Since I’ve started this program I haven’t opened the Bible or prayed much at all. I don’t know what it is about stressful periods of life that I just stop actively seeking God.. it’s weird. I think it’s possibly this selfish defense mechanism, or maybe I just want to be numb and engaging with the Creator of the universe kind of doesn’t allow that. I think I also feel as though I don’t have the energy to invest or something, but it’s so ironic because all God does is renew and refresh when you devote that time to Him. I decided that I would recommit my mornings to Him, and it has transformed everything for me.

I decided to read 1 Peter. I have no idea why. I never spend much time there. I don’t even remember consciously choosing it. I read it once, then read it again, and again. God knew exactly what I needed right when I needed it. There were certain verses that blew me away; the Holy Spirit undeniably was directly speaking into my circumstance. This happens every time I spend time in the Word, but it nevertheless continues to amaze me each time. It is the living Word for a reason.

The first verse that jumped out was verse 5, “This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power”. The idea that I am shielded, guarded, and protected by God’s power each day I step foot onto that nursing floor gave me a great sense of peace. I felt like I could take a deep breath. I actually had a conversation with my sister Andrea (who always brings the wisdom) and when telling her my fears she said, “Kenz they aren’t just your patients”. At first I thought she meant they have a team of doctors and other nurses on the other shifts that care for them. I quickly went to the defense “but they are my sole responsibility in that moment”, but she jumped in saying, “No- you are not alone, they are in God’s hands too.” Woah. So true, but why hadn’t I thought of that? I’m not alone. It really hit home for me when I read this verse. I am shielded by God’s power. He has called me to this place. I can’t do this in my strength, but I can in His strength (Philippians 4:13). And what a relief that I don’t have to live in intense fear. (2 Timothy 1:7). That fear is not in line with walking with the Lord.

Then verse 6 and 7 continued speaking into my circumstance.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” 

Um, hi. This is the greatest trial of my life! Grief has become quite the familiar acquaintance. So naturally this verse grabbed my attention. Why does God have me here going through this painfully difficult time? Why did he call me to this profession? Why does it have to be so hard? I could have chose from plenty of other directions or majors, why this?

Those questions were answered by the second part of the verse.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

This verse woke me up. These trials that I’m experiencing will only strengthen my faith- which I can say, without a doubt, is true. If I wasn’t going through this time, I wouldn’t see how much I need Christ daily. I wouldn’t feel that I was hitting rock bottom with only Him to lean on. But then there is a responsibility attached to this- we are to bring praise, glory, and honor to Christ through it. The whole reason I went into nursing was because I believed it was my place of calling and ministry. In the two and a half months of working, I haven’t been ministering in any type of way. I haven’t been looking for ways to have conversations with patients about Christ, I haven’t been offering to pray over them, and I haven’t been praying myself asking the Lord to give me His eyes and heart and courage to offer to make a difference for Him. But when I read this verse, I realized my perspective has been all wrong. I haven’t surrendered this career to Him, and I haven’t surrendered this blessing to Him that He brought me, that I begged Him for. This career is not about me, but I was making it about me for the first couple months. That changed with reading this scripture.

The last couple verses in the first chapter that I underlined many times was verse 22 “… so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” And then verse 24, “For all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

This last verse might sound a bit off-putting in our human nature. But I found such great relief in it. The fact that this life is not about me, about my accomplishments, about my success relieved such a great weight. All I am called to do is love fiercely in Jesus’ name and bring Him glory through sharing this love with others.

The last verse I want to share (although there are countless others that really spoke to me) is 1 Peter 3: 13, “Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?”. Since beginning this job I have had this strange mindset of waiting for the next shoe to drop (my irrational fear of getting sued or fired). I may not be perfect, but I can say I am tremendously eager to do good. This brought me peace- God knows my heart, He is my strength, and He will protect me with His shield of power. Wow. My perspective shifted. I felt like I could breathe.

On the way into work that morning after reading these chapters, I was ready and even eager to get to get started so that I could approach the day with courage be this love to my patients and my coworkers.

Here’s what happened…

I arrived at work and glanced at my assignment. I did a double take, convinced they made a mistake. I was assigned to the NCOR room (neuro close observation room). This room is where the patients require eyes on them literally 24-7, the most unstable patients on our floor. The nurse is isn’t allowed to leave the room, and if she/he does, then she must be replaced by another nurse, even to use the restroom. I didn’t think we would be placed there until further along with more experience, although we technically oriented for a couple weeks in the room.

A week prior, or even a day prior, I would have seen that assignment and immediately been thrown into a full blown panic attack. Rather, I looked at it and felt excited because I knew this was just an opportunity to rely on Christ, to love people in a scary point in their lives, and to grow my faith.

It ended up being one of my favorite shifts. I grew close to nearly all the patients and families, I took initiative, I kept a smile on my face, but I wasn’t faking it, even in the midst of the craziness.

Every shift since I have grown deeper with my patients. The best moments are the moments I get to pray with my patients. I had one patient who was not exactly kind toward me and wearing me down a bit emotionally. At one point at the height of my frustration I just offered to pray for him. He seemed stunned and allowed me to. This opened up the door to a great conversation about church and faith.

Another patient expressed to me her doubts about God’s existence. I shared with her how just a year ago I was in her shoes. I assured her that God would make himself known to her, and I would be praying for her. Tears rolled down her face and began welling in mine as we shared this moment together. That shift ended up being one of the most chaotic, one where I didn’t get my meds done on time, one where I felt like I was drowning, possibly the worst shift I’ve had yet. But even if I did many things wrong, I know I loved right.

The opportunity to love deeper had been there, I just hadn’t seen it in my selfishness, my distorted perspective. The shift loads are the same, maybe even worse, but I see each challenge as an opportunity, not an obstacle. My purpose for being where I am is clear now. My purpose in this life, this career, is simple, but I was blind it. It is simply to love. Not to be perfect, not to start flawless IVs, and especially not to be comfortable- because God very clearly calls us out of our comfort zones, and nursing is the furthest thing from comfortable. Additionally, no one has changed the world or a life while being in their comfort zone. So, I don’t wish for that. I will embrace the exhaustion, I will learn to forgive myself and look at each mistake as an opportunity to learn, I will be eager for constructive criticism and invest in a heart of humility. I will see this year through, even when I want to quit, I will not. I know I can make it because I have someone omnipotent holding me through those twelve-hour days, I have someone omniscient that can help me think clearly, I have someone omnipresent who will continually wrap me with peace in the chaos. I will fail at times, but I am following the One who never does.

Thank you all for your prayers and support through this time. I am thankful beyond words, truly beyond what I can express, for all of you. All Glory to God.

59 thoughts on “Nursing: Peace in the Chaos.

  1. Sigh! Love your blogs, and this one takes the cake! There was a time when I wanted to be a nurse. Reading the first part I was glad I didn’t become one. Actually, we all have our callings. God knows what’s best for us. But having a super crazy life and wondering if one is doing the right thing for now. Yes, we need His guidance all the way. It reminded me of a person asking another “why haven’t I seen you in the mosque lately?” When the guy answered “I was too busy…” So He said “if you are more busy, then you just can’t afford not to pray!” One needs His guidance even more as we can’t afford to make a mistake and re-do things. In short loved how you gave us a glimpse of your new life. Your patients are lucky. Stay blessed lovely one. Do take great care of your own self all the way. You are one helluva great person.

    1. Oh my, your comment means so much to me. I can’t even explain how much it means. I agree 100%- God definitely knows our callings, and I also am learning that God can use us wherever we are. Thank you for your sweet words and yesss- that anecdote is spot on- I have learned so much in this season that the more I try to take control without seeking God, the more I fall short. If I just pray and surrender it to Him, this is where I find freedom and strength. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your love and encouragement. <3 I hope you are having a beautiful week.

      1. Thanks for your reply (knowing your busy schedule!) Yes, I’m having a lovely week. It’s as busy and full of action as I love. Take care. God bless you. 😊

      2. Thank you tons, Shireen. I feel your warmth and love through the computer. Thank you tons! God Bless You as well <3

  2. I will begin by saying how proud I am of you and thankful at your raw, amazing post! It’s helpful and refreshing when other young professionals share their successes and struggles because we’re all just trying to figure it out day-by-day. While I certainly have not experienced this level of intensity at work, being in the medical field gives me the utmost appreciation for you and empathy. My dad reminds me a lot of how we’re human beings, not human doings. I have perfectionist tendencies and hold myelf at some high standard, so often times I feel I have failed. He’s there to bring me back to reality. Working in dialysis has been really hard for me just because I internalize these diseases, become fearful of the human body rather than seeing it as the resilient being that it is. I haven’t turned to God, but I did seek out therapy last year. I knew I needed some help in processing what I see daily. Just know you aren’t alone, we’re here for you, and after each day, you have done some amazing things. You have helped your patients through another difficult trial in their lives. You are so spot on when you say that just praying with a patient, sharing a smile is sometimes the most important thing you can do! You are young, smart, and capable. Know that. Take care, Mackenzie.

    1. Kori, wow- I don’t even know where to begin! Thank you first for reading. I wasn’t even sure where this was going to go when I first began typing. It’s good to hear that I’m not alone in the “just trying to figure it out” stage too… SO accurate. I love love love love love LOVE what your dad said about how we are human beings, not human doings. I need that reminder big time. I am definitely going to tuck that away in my mind for those hard days. I can imagine that working in dialysis would have that effect! I bet the majority of the patients you see are chronically sick and in pretty dire physical states. Therapy is great too and if you can find someone you really trust and can confide in it can make ALL the difference. Thank you for opening up about that with me. And
      again, wow, thank you sooo much for your encouragement. I really am going to come back to this comment and re-read it on some tough days. I can’t even put into words what this means to me. Thank you, thank you <3

      1. You are so welcome! I love that you have started a dialogue. I believe the more we can open up to others about both our successes and areas where we struggle, the more we will all be able to make improvements. I’m grateful my words have helped, and your post has helped me too! As always, I wish you nothing but the best. You will be just fine, and I know you’ll look back and be glad you went through this steep learning curve. We readers have your back. XO

      2. Amen!!! I could not agree more. You know what’s crazy? I used to be such an open book growing up and through high school years, then some things happened in college that caused me to be super guarded. I think blogging has been a great way for me to realize it’s ok to be vulnerable, actually it can be really good especially realizing you are not alone in any situation. So thank YOU for having this dialogue with me, Kori! <3 <3 That last sentence actually made me tear up. Have the best week ahead, lady! XOXO

      3. I, too became guarded after I experienced a loss of trust from a supposed friend years ago, but I agree that our blogs have really taught that vulnerability can be a great thing! 🙂 It’s been a great week so far! XO

  3. My 18 year old daughter begins college in the fall and she has chosen nursing as her profession. Reading the first part of this post made me worry at what lies in her future, but you received the direction and guidance you needed and I know she will too. You may not have the experience yet, but your kindness and your faith are a great foundation from which to grow in your nursing career. I know you will be just fine. God bless you.

    1. Yes, please don’t be apprehensive for her! Nursing is TRULY a calling, and God will guide her too. While it’s hard, it is rewarding. Even when I have doubts about it, I don’t think I would go back and change this direction. Please let your daughter know if she ever needs to talk I would LOVE to chat with her about ANYTHING! I have a contact link, and would love to just be someone she could talk through the emotions with when she starts her career if she ever needs anyone that’s been through it! Thank you sooo much for your sweet words and encouragement. I appreciate it tons, Susie! <3

  4. Great post, Mack! Whenever I’m having a hard time, I pray to God and St. Jude. St. Jude is the patron saint of desperate and hopeless cases. They both have really come through for me, especially in the last few months. Nursing is tough but you’re doing great, even if you don’t feel like you are! My boyfriend is still in nursing school but finishes in November. I hear all of these horror stories from him. He’s required to go to a nursing home twice a week. It’s rough but at the same time, he’s told me some good stories. I could never be a nurse but I admire those who are, especially the good ones. There are some really nasty ones out there but I know you aren’t one of those. Keep doing what you’re doing! God bless! <3

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this with me, Lisa!!! I have heard of St. Jude, but didn’t know what he was the saint of! That is super informative. I’m so glad to hear that you feel your prayers have been answered too <3 And WOW- how is he already finishing school in November?!? That is so crazy. I feel like he just started!!!! I would love to hear more about his journey too as he goes along and what type of unit he ends up on! Thank you for your sweet encouragement always. It means the absolute world.

  5. I’m sorry you had to go through this but I’m really happy that things have turned out the way they did spiritually. I admire how much you care about people and how hard you work. Hopefully this really is the hardest year and relief will come. You’re in my prayers and I’m happy to offer them at any moment! thanks for being so open with us and ministering through your blog. 😊

    1. There is noo way for me to say thank you for your sweet comment. And your prayers mean the world! And for you to say that this blog is a ministry brought tears to my eyes. <3

      1. Awww yay! Yes I loved it and I sent over my nursing friend who started when you did and she loved it too! You’re still in my prayers friend!

      2. Awww, no way! I hope she found some encouragement in it too (although she may be passed that scary beginning stage by now?!). Your prayers mean the world. How is your job going ?! Also I screen-shotted your e-mail before deleting it in the comments(not sure if I told you that! But thank you for sharing! I’ll be reaching out soon 🙂 ).

  6. I loved reading all of your thoughts on nursing. I’ve been thinking about you and praying as you’ve been adjusting, learning, and working hard. Keep it up, Mack! You are making a difference! <3

    1. Awww, ALLIE!!!!! <3 Thank you, thank you, thank you, love. This just encouraged me more than you know! I so appreciate your support and prayers. They mean everything <3

  7. MacKenzie I have missed reading your blogs. I am so happy that I sat down and read this particular one. ( I know the Lord directed me here this morning) I am so thankful that you choose to blog and share your struggles, your challenging and growing seasons, your lessons learned and WHERE your help comes from. These posts when you share your deepest thoughts are so helpful and encouraging!! I LOVE this particular post. I have to say reading about your “typical day” made me tear and really feel for you…a young nurse with so MUCH responsibility and with a heart of gold and care and concern that only wants the best for her patients. A nurse who wants to be able to minister to these sweet people she comes in contact with… I can relate a bit, I remember when I was 18 ( a long time ago) and my first week of nursing and trying to keep it together because if anyone asked me if I was ok, tears would stream. I wanted to do more than just nurse. Waking up in the middle of the night in a sweat…I remember days like that. One day you will look back on this blog post and you will be in a different season, maybe with different challenges, and be happy you took the time to write these thoughts down. Thanks so much for sharing your heart. Don’t ever change that. You are a blessing sweet MacKenzie…in the the hospital, in your church, with your friends, in your home and in your blog world. I’m praying for you…Have a good week sweetie! xo

    1. Anna! I have so missed my blog mom and keeping up on your blog too! Wow, I do not even know where to start. Your comment is leaving me speechless. It is one of those times where I really think God knew what I needed to hear at this very moment and your comment is exactly that. First, just hearing that I’m not alone in these feelings and emotions makes it better. I feel so weak and powerless over my emotions in a way I never have been before. So thank you for sharing with me that you also experienced that too at the beginning, as I see you as such a tremendously strong individual. Also, thank you for affirming that it is good to sit down and record these times. Sometimes I feel hesitant highlighting any of the trials, but I feel like in order to see God’s hand at work it’s important to see where you came from and what He helps us through. Lastly, thank you beyond words for your prayers. The power of prayer has taken on a whole new meaning for me this past year, and there is nothing more powerful or encouraging than knowing someone is praying. I send you big big hugs and I can’t wait for life to settle a bit so I can see what your are up to! XOX

  8. Well this is really sweet. I’m glad that you are better now. 😊 I’m sorry I can’t comment on regards to religion because I frankly don’t really believe in it, but I do believe there’s a higher power, something bigger than us, and whatever that may, God or something else, chaos will always get sent our way because there’s something to be learned from it. And as you said, they’re opportunities. 😊 I tend to look at stressful situations like that. I started doing yoga and more meditation and being more present and it’s amazing what little things can change your perspective. Of course, different things work for different people and I’m glad you have something (or someone) to rely on. 😊

    1. Rossy, thank you so so so much dear for taking the time to read and leave such a sweet, thoughtful comment. I love hearing about how people perceive the world differently and opening up conversations about the different walks of life we are taking. It really is all about that perspective shift, isn’t it?! Our Pastor at church talks about that all the time- and for me it is through the Bible that I have my perspective shifted. I know Yoga is tremendous for relaxation and helping with calming the mind. My mom actually has been prodding me lately to do it more because I used to do it all the time, but haven’t in a while. It really does help me calm down! So thanks for that reminder, and I think I’ll give it a go tomorrow 🙂 I hope you had a beautiful fourth of July! XO

      1. You’re very welcome lovely! 🙂 and yeah, I think people can learn from one another just by having a simple conversation 🙂
        And I hope you start doing yoga again! I feel like you need more relaxation 🙂 and thanks I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday as well! 🙂

      2. Absolutely! I look forward to more conversations in the future with you 🙂 Ahh, yes! I just got off three 12s in a row, in some serious need of sun salutations 😉

  9. Wow, this is so powerful. Thank you for sharing – what an excellent testimony of His grace and power! I have a soft spot for doctors and nurses. There can be so little grace shown to you guys when it comes to just natural human error.

    1. Thank you tons, Heather for reading and sharing your thoughts <3 It is so so nice to hear from you. Isn't God SO good? It's one of those situations that I just would not have made it through without Him. Thank you for your sweet words toward the medical team too. Whenever I have a gracious patient, even on the really rough days, it makes ALL the difference in the world!

      1. He really, truly is so very good. I’ve had trouble keeping up with other blogs lately – just so busy! But I’m sure glad I stopped to read this one. 🙂 May our Father continue to bring you peace, joy, and strength in the days ahead!

      2. I TOTALLY understand.. And the fact that in all that busyness you took a second to read this means the WORLD to me <3 Thank you for your beautiful wishes <3

  10. You are a great nurse !! You can love and pray for a person who hates you. Now I just want to tell something about the situation of nurses in India who are working in private hospitals. Their salary is too low that they are protesting against the private hospital management in Kerala. It’s such a worse situation. The job of a nurse is really risky and a minor error can end up in huge problems. They can’t just sit and work calmly. I hope they get the salary they deserve.

    1. Wow- Really? This breaks my heart, but also thank you so much for sharing this with me…. it helps put things into perspective big time. When you say it’s risky- what does that mean exactly? I am going to look into this… I SO so appreciate you bringing this to my attention. It’s easy to forget that there are sisters and brothers out there that are serving in the same way but in much different and hard conditions.

      1. Their work time here is more than 10 hours. And they only get one off day weekly. Most of the nurses here are trying to migrate to other countries. You can see many Indian nurses in US too.

      2. Wow- I cannot imagine working everyday for more than 10 hours. It doesn’t seem physically possible 🙁 How does it work with choosing a nursing career in India? Once again, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am going to look into this and pray for the nurse’s situation too.

      3. Their salary when converting into US dollars is just 92-140 USD !! But Government hospitals provide a good salary for their employees. But most of the nurses are working in private hospitals with a low salary.

      4. 🙁 That makes me SO sad. I also have wanted to go back on a medical trip at some point, so I’ll definitely want to be more educated on everything going on before then. Once again, thank you for bringing this transparent reality to my awareness!

  11. When Mr. C was in the hospital again after chemo and was in kidney failure and had to have a second blood transfusion I was ready to verbally flog everyone I didn’t think was treating him as I thought he should be treated. If he pressed the button for the nurse and she didn’t instantly appear at his bedside I was prowling the halls looking for her. I hated everyone who was healthy and had a healthy spouse and I hated everyone who was sick because they needed attention, too. I was constantly angry because I couldn’t trade places with him. And I felt no one gave a damn about how sick he was.
    Then one day his nurse walked in and said something to him. I don’t remember exactly what it was but she called him Sweetheart. This little girl, younger than our kids touched his hand and called him Sweetheart. And I suddenly remembered all the other people she had to take care of and other family members she had to reassure. I recalled the doctors she had to put up with and the reports, charts, and other paperwork she had to complete while taking care of her patients and their crazed, fear-stricken families. She called him Sweetheart and touched his hand and suddenly I was back in the land of the not-so-crazy.
    The tiniest thing you do, Mackenzie, means more than you’ll ever know to your patients and their families. And, yes, you’ll make mistakes. And they’ll ignore them because they’ll know you’re not only “only human” but you’re a human who cares deeply for them.
    You are the nurse I would want for myself or any of my family. You’re so devoted that you let yourself panic over every little thing. You take responsibility for things you can’t possibly control or change. And, while that makes you really special, it’s not good for you. Relax and realize that God is going to take you by the hand every day and guide you. The Holy Spirit will direct the things you do. Just listen. And never forget that you HAVE been called to this and God won’t just desert you now that you’ve accepted the calling.
    And if anyone gives you too much trouble just call me and I’ll come and spank them for you!

    1. Oh wow, Elizabeth I cannot tell you how much this means to me. I read this right before I started my three in a row shifts this weekend, and I have replayed it in my mind many times. And it has made SUCH a difference in my perspective. I’ve just slowed down in even moments of frustration and let the patients know I was there for them, holding their hand and looking them in the eye. I don’t know if I would have taken some of those moments and time if you hadn’t shared this with me. So thank you big time. And thank you for so vulnerably sharing this experience, and I’m sure difficult time, with me <3 <3 You're the best!

      1. I’m so glad it helped you! You’re going to be a fantastic nurse for many years. I’m delighted that something I said made you feel better!

  12. Oh man Mack, this post just sucked me right in, I felt like I was hanging on every last word. I love when you write like this though with your raw, true, genuine feelings and emotions it’s just very insightful. Especially about a world that I’m so unfamiliar with, heck, I don’t know the first thing about being a nurse and I still felt the uneasiness in my breathing just by reading about your day. Well, I know you always mention “all in God’s timing” so I can’t help but to think that he knew (at his perfect timing) when to tug on those strings to rejuvenate himself within you again to pick you right back up in the nick of time. Sometimes all we have to do is change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change! As hard as the job is, you’re doing so much good for your patients and although they may not be able to praise you, you’re biggest fan is always watching over and shielding you! That goes for me too 🙂 Also, I hear sushi is a quick fixer-upper too! <3 <3 Stay strong chica, you can do this- you were meant for it!!!!

    xo, JJ

    1. Oh, JJ, you are truly one of the most beautiful, genuine souls I know. Thank you for taking time to read this VERY long post and leaving this amazingly encouraging comment that brought tears to my eyes! I actually said “yesssss” out loud when I read what you said about God’s timing. SO TRUE. And perspective is EVERYTHING. Since I had that switch things have been sooo much better. thank you for your looove always and HECKKK YESSS! SUSHI always is the ultimate cure all. NO TRUER WORDS! Love you, girl! XO

  13. It’s so wonderful that you were able to find exactly what you needed to hear in God’s word. To realize that ultimately he is in control and he’s got this! 🙂 I’m sure your patients are beyond blessed in the love that you show them, even when the day gets chaotic.

    1. Awwwww, Amy! Thank you so so so much. Exactly what you said and how you said it was perfect!!! He does have this. I just need to remind myself over and over. So thank YOU tons for your reminder and encouragement <3

  14. Wow Mackenzie – keeping it real! The first year is nothing you can teach – you just have to live it. I read 5 things in your post that show your growing despite this adversity – your optimistic, your engaged in your job, you’ve got solid support in your husband and God (you need a mentor at work as well), you’re finding meaning in nursing and you’re recognizing your accomplishments. Promise you’ll seek help if depression takes root. Depression doesn’t mix well with critical care nursing and bad things happen. There is no shame in asking for help!!! Praying for you and proud of you! Keep the faith, God is shining through your life!

    1. Ahhhh I cannot tell you how much your comment means to me. I read this pretty shortly after you posted it, but am just sitting down now to reply (sorry for the longg delay!). But I’ve replayed these words in my head so many times. This is such tremendous advice and coming from you, whom I respect as an established, experience nurse, I gripped onto every word! Thank you for encouraging me and helping speak positivity into this situation. I’ll definitely seek help if depression rears it’s ugly head, I think I’m getting over the hump within this last two weeks, but I have never been opposed to seeking out therapy when life gets rough! Thank you for your kind words and prayers too. I so appreciate you taking the time to comment here more than I can say!

  15. Mackenzie, I can relate, I’m a nurse practitioner (retired). Remembering my beginning nursing years though! It’s a high learning curve and a lot of anxiety along the way. It settles down to a doable pace as you’re finding out. Faith in God to help is the key. Peaceful thoughts! Christine

    1. Oh my goodness- this comment means so much to me. Thank you SO much, Christine, for taking the time to share this with me. My original tract when I got into nursing was to go the NP route (my MD said it was the better way to go than Med school), so I’m particularly excited that you are an NP as well! But yes- the anxiety is tremendous. I don’t know how I would survive without my faith, family, and dear husband. I am so thankful for your sweet words and encouragement. It’s wonderful to hear that it gets better. God bless!!<3

  16. Makenzie– what an encouragement to read your post. Thank you for being so open and beautifully sharing the responsibilities and stresses of all the nurses in your position. And thankful for your open reliance on God’s merciful help. All so well expressed. I’m off to reread the verses from 1 Peter. We have found ourselves in a frightening circumstance that we never anticipated. The thought of being shielded by God’s power, of being refined by this fire, of God word’s that endure forever are an enormous comfort. You are an amazing person– thank you for being a light in your work and here for all who read… God Bless, xox

    1. Oh my goodness. First off- I will be praying for you and your family each day for whatever you are going through. <3 I send big hugs your way. Isn't it crazy how God knows when we need to hear a verse or a word of encouragement? I am so thankful he used this post to encourage you. I hope you continued to find comfort and peace in 1 Peter. <3 It's amazing how powerful His love is to get through even the most impossible circumstances! YOU are an incredible individual and I am honored to know you here, Rhonda. Thank you for your sweet love and kind words.

      1. These times of hardship and difficult days are gifts when they let us see God and his care so much more clearly. We are resting in that. And– want to say love your posts– so bright and full of appreciation for the life you’ve been given. xox

      2. Thank you Mackenzie– I’m keeping a journal of all God is teaching me in these days– am adding the first Peter passage– with thoughts and thanks for it all written down. It’s amazing how God speaks in all kinds of ways and all kinds of places (like your post). I am thankful. xox

      3. I used to journal a ton and definitely need to get back to it! I agree- God speaks in the most unexpected and beautiful ways- He is SO good . ❤️

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