Thursday, December 19, 2013

Old PICU Friend, New PICU Role

For the last week I've been taking care of a 4 year old, who I was his primary nurse from the time he was 6 months old!  He was in and out of the hospital (more in than out) from the time he was 6 months until he was 3 years old.  And I absolutely loved taking care of him, watching him grow, and helping him get better each time.

So I was really excited to see him last week when he was admitted to the PICU (although sad he had to be there for health reasons).

And let me tell you, while I have been very aware of the differences between my role as a Nurse Practitioner, and my role as it was as a nurse, this week made those differences even more obvious.

When my boy came in I was able to spend 12 hours at a time with him.  We read a lot of books. We watched a lot of Sponge Bob.  We took walks in the halls.  We just spent a lot of time together.

But now my role is so different.  Even though I may be in the unit for 10 or 12 hours each day that I work, I don't get to spend it exclusively with him.  And some days when other kids are much more sick and need much more of my time, I may spend 20 minutes with him at most!

What a difference!!  While nurse practitioner may share the word "nurse" it truly is a different world than bedside nursing.  And while I do love my job as an APN, there are some things, certain things, just like spending time with this sweet boy, that make me miss being at the bedside.

So on the days that it seems like I'm not able to impact this one boy in the same way that I once was, being able to make him smile and laugh when nobody else could, I have to remind myself that with this new role comes new ways to make impacts. 

And while I'm still trying to figure out what that exactly means, I will continue to enjoy my role as an APN...and squeeze in any extra minute I can to read Dr Suess books with my precious little boy!

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas! I do think I would miss the one-on-one time if I make the switch to an APN... I guess there are pros and cons to both. Maybe when my kids are older I'll do a specialty clinic like oncology or something. (Not primary care though! Too boring!)