Keep Calm, I’m…

Going to be a Cardiac Nurse!!!!!

After my PCU and CSU interviews a couple of weeks ago, I was called back for final interviews for both, as well as an interview on my floor and an interview at a CVICU. The interview on the CSU (cardiac step-down unit) was first, and I went to that not expecting much more than to get some great practice with a panel interview and practice with the type of questions that I would be asked.

As it turned out, I met several of the staff and charge nurses on the unit and got great vibes from them, was asked if I wanted to tour the unit after my interview  (which I did, and LOVED), and left the interview feeling like I REALLY wanted to stay on the unit as a new grad nurse. That night found me tossing and turning in bed wanting to be chosen for that job and yet feeling conflicted as to the fact that if I chose that job I’d be leaving a great unit and people that I love at my current job.

I got a call from the manager of the CSU the next day offering me a night position on that unit…a call that I missed and had to listen to on voicemail because I was getting ready for my interview that day, the interview on my floor with my boss!

I wanted to call her back right away and accept the position – in my gut, I had a great feeling about the job and  I just KNEW that I wanted to start my career as a nurse on that floor. But I called my mother-in-law and then best friend first to get some advice on what to do, especially since I was about to go interview for the position on my floor, and they both told me to at least interview with my boss first and see what she had to say about the position on my floor.

So I went to that “interview”, which really was more of a Q&A session with my boss (she wasn’t interested in a formal interview since she already knew me) and I ended up telling her about my job offer and the war going on in my heart and mind as whether or not to accept the position I was offered at a different hospital or stay where I knew the unit, the managers, and the coworkers I’d be with as a new nurse. The biggest reason I told her that I was even considering the other job is because the new hospital is 15-20 min away from my house whereas my current hospital is about an hour and 15 min away from my house. I didn’t tell her that I was also considering the other position because the acuity of the floor is higher than the floor I currently work on, and I’m somewhat nervous about staying on my floor and transitioning from a PCT to a nurse; how would the other PCTs react to that?

After I left my interview with my boss, I just knew that I had to call the other manager back. I knew what my decision was and I’d known even before my interview with my boss. I wanted to take the other position.

So I called her back and I accepted her offer to be a new grad nurse in the CSU!!!

The residency starts in February of next year, so that gives me plenty of time to study for and pass the NCLEX once I’ve graduated. And then my life as a real nurse will begin!!

Here are some of the criteria that the CSU deals with:

  • Patients with a primary cardiac diagnosis, or patients with a medical/surgical diagnosis that develop cardiac issues during their stay requiring high acuity cardiac monitoring and/or care.
  • Acute MI (heart attack) patients with or without cardiac cath lab interventions – including post intervention with/without arterial sheaths in place.
  • Patients requiring inotropic pharmacological support.
  • Patients requiring blood pressure support – either for hypertension or hypotension.
  • Post-op cardiovascular surgical patients.

I’m so freaking excited!!! I just want to graduate already and start my job as a cardiac nurse!!!

First Interview Thoughts

Well I thought I’d update y’all on how my very first GN nursing interview went! It’s been SUCH a long week but it’s behind me now and I’m about to start the 4th week of my last semester. HOLY COW!

My interview was last Tuesday for an ER position. I interviewed with two other candidates – which was WEIRD but I actually ended up loving the chance to hear their answers for my future interviews. They were both very smooth and confident with their responses to the questions. I, on the other hand, felt like a bumbling idiot trying to scramble for the words to express what my mind was thinking. It wasn’t pretty. AND, to top it off, before the interview I put on the outfit I was originally going to wear and although the pants fit and the jacket (sort of) fit, the shirt I was thinking of was HUGE on me. It was a tunic! I didn’t really have anything else I liked better but I found a cotton shirt and told myself at least I’d be wearing a jacket over it. Which my hubby told me later looked awful. 😦

So I don’t think I did that well. We were told when we entered the interview room that to make the interview a smooth process we would each take turns answering the questions that were asked of us, with us rotating through who would answer first each time. We were only asked 4 questions before our half-hour was over: “Tell us about yourself”; “What made you choose the nursing profession?”; “Tell us about a clinical mistake you’ve made that has impacted you”; “Why should we pick YOU for this position?”. I feel like if they were to choose out of the three of us, the other two candidates would DEFINITELY be at the top of the list. But hey, I feel like it was a great practice interview…a great one to get the nerves out of my system. AND I learned that I did NOT like my interview outfit, so I fixed that today by buying a new one! And it’s HOT! 😉 We were told that we’d know in about 3 weeks if we were chosen for a 2nd interview. I don’t think I will be, but hey who knows.

But that evening after coming home everything was made better by the fact that I checked my work email and got an email from my boss telling me that the position had been posted for my floor and she was asking me to go apply! If that didn’t make me feel loved at work I’m pretty sure nothing would. I applied right away, of course, and when I checked my application status a couple of days ago I noticed that it said “Interview to be Scheduled.” Sweet!!! I know now that I will SO take that position if offered to me. Crossing my fingers!

I have two interviews scheduled for next week, one for the PCU and the other for a Cardiac Step-Down unit. I really am using these as practice as well since I know that I want to remain on my floor now…but for some reason I’m still nervous about the interviews? Eek. This whole “trying to find a big girl job” thing is nerve-wracking.

I’ll post more later about my first school nursing clinical and my first shifts in the ED at the VA! 🙂

 

2 Down, 14 To Go

Well my S2 semester has begun and I’m slowly starting to wrap my head around the fact that I am, in fact, in school AGAIN and that this is, in fact, my LAST semester.

The first thing that has been hard for me, right off the bat, is of course the early morning wake up calls again and the fact that I know I can’t just come home at night after school and sit and watch TV. Man how I wish I could.

The second thing that’s been hard has been the fact that I’m still continuing to try and exercise and eat right everyday but all I want right now is CHOCOLATE. Hello, stress. Nice of you to show up again. (I will not let this semester de-rail my weight-loss progress!!)

The first couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of information overload and assignments and orientations. We even had a simulation already! Our LAST simulation of nursing school!! It was actually super helpful – more so than any other simulation I’ve completed – and I feel like I REALLY learned a lot from it. We covered topics like IV therapy, oxygen therapy (which masks to use and when/why), as well as giving insulin. Then our simulations covered DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and PE (pulmonary embolism).

I met my preceptor last week for my CCI clinical at the VA Emergency Department. She’s awesome and also a former TWU nursing student! I am going to love having clinicals with her…we start next Friday.

I also met my school nurse at the school that I will be attending community clinicals in this semester and she seems super amazing as well. I’m blessed by having great leaders this semester! I start those clinicals next week on Thursdays. My weeks are going to go by SOOOOO fast!

I started applying to hospitals last week and have so far applied to 20 different positions at different hospitals. And then yesterday when I checked my email after finishing up at school I saw that I had an email to schedule an INTERVIEW for this upcoming TUESDAY!!! Already?! I’m so not prepared for this…I’m so not prepared for this…I’m so not prepared for this…

But ready or not I have an interview on Tuesday! It’s for the Emergency Department. I have to put together my portfolios today to have them all ready to go…good thing I already have my references and my letters of recommendation all prepared already! I’ll upload a blog post with my portfolio details a bit later next week.

AND I have a test on Monday in CCI. It’s hard to believe we have a test already and we’ve only completed two weeks of school. 😦 Our instructor assured us that we know the material and that it’s all review for us but it’s still nerve-wracking since the test is worth 25% and I really haven’t even begun to study.

Well that’s all I’ve got for now! Time to go study for my test (with Stars-Wars on in the background…this is serious stuff y’all). Happy weekend!