The 15 Hour Shift

5am to 8:30pm


Such is the life of a new nurse, well, nursing student.


I woke up at early to give myself time for breakfast and time to shower, luxuries I most certainly don’t afford myself on test mornings, but I was nervous.  I wanted to be on time and prepared and ready to go for my preceptor.


As I stood in my uniform at 6:00am at the Hopkins shuttle stop I thought, “Wow. Full-circle…”  I remember very distinctly one year ago, standing at the very same stop, at the very same time, headed to the very same unit, expecting so little and so much at the same time.


Halsted 8, as it had last summer, did not disappoint.


This is a Medical/Surgical Telemetry floor and, to me, it is the heart of bedside nursing.  It is a busy, controlled chaos that is just right for me.  My preceptor is finishing her residency program at Hopkins, so she is a fairly new nurse, which makes us a pretty spirited, unstoppable team (well, I think anyway).


Whitney is the kind of nurse I hope to be- compassionate, professional, intelligent, and most importantly ORGANIZED.  Even though she’ll tell you she’s still learning the ropes, she worlds ahead of me in terms of knowing what’s important and what’s not. I know I am going to learn so much from her.


Today we had between 3 and 5 patients as people came and went.  We did vitals, hung bags, gave meds at 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 6pm, paged doctors, changed and re-changed sheets AND patients, talked to families, comforted patients, sent patients to procedures, assessed, charted, assessed, charted, assessed, charted, got patients back from procedures, and somewhere in there we ate lunch.


5am to 8:30pm


My back is sore, my feet are aching, but I am loving every second of this.


12 hours closer to finishing this program and being a real nurse.


I cannot wait.


Stay Up-To-Date

Get updates on the latest stories, from hot topics, to faculty research, alumni profiles, and more.

Ways to subscribe