ANDREA--Nursing at Mayo represents the highest standard of nursing excellence in the world. There is always an opportunity to further your education and Mayo funds that with education assistance.
I am in charge of coordinating all the disciplines involved in patient care and making sure there is continuity of care between all of these groups. We are with the patient 24 hours a day. We are their number one advocate. While in the Intensive Care unit, we are in one room and are continuously assessing one to two patients for our entire 8- to 12-hour shift. The basic tasks that I perform in the intensive care unit each day are comprehensive assessments, which are approximately every four hours. We constantly manage medication drips and monitor vital signs, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and temperature. We also use various invasive catheters to measure the pressure and performance of different areas of the heart.
What I like most about my job is the intimate contact that I have with my patients. I have vivid memories of almost all of my patients. In some personal way, they all touch me and I touch them. When they come to where I work, they are usually at their most vulnerable. It gives me the opportunity to support them, educate them and help them through this difficult time. Most of the patients never anticipate being in this position and they don't know how to deal with it. I believe that nurses need to bring a true sense of caring to their profession. In order to empathize with patients in situations that are difficult, you have to come to work knowing that you are going to be challenged yet rewarded every single day.
I've had patients pull me down to their face and just start crying. One patient said, "You're my angel; you are the best thing that has happened to me here. Thank you so much for just being here and explaining things to me." This just makes your day.