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New Grad Nurse

As a new grad nurse, I was employed to work the overnight shift at an inpatient psychiatric hospital located on the west side of Chicago. It was chaos. One night, while admitting a chronically mentally ill patient, the procedure went so poorly that my coworkers were dripping sweat as they instructed me to administer the injection of Haldol and Ativan. “Through his jeans man!? C’mon, we’re better than this.” I felt so uncomfortable about the events that occurred that night, I requested to debrief with the administration team. I attended the Safety Huddle meeting the next day and presented the incident to the team. They responded with “Well, you are working on the west side of Chicago.” As if that justified what was happening in their hospital. I was surprised at the lack of concern, but not discouraged. I proposed the solution for me to develop a code team, select and train the individuals, and lead them in response to any code called in the building. I inserviced the unit staff on how to identify an escalating patient, and call for the team prior to the code. I reviewed the incident reports, identified trends, and used this information to develop the project. I utilized data analytics and reported my findings after 12 weeks to the administrative team to re-evaluate the necessity. I placed the counselors who appeared physically intimidating on my team, and then utilized my verbal de-escalation techniques to interact with patients and encourage them to work with me. This project earned me the nickname “The Negotiator” and a promotion to Nursing Supervisor. I described this experience to the therapist. She recommended to my employer I attend a substance abuse IOP. I’m currently on a mandated leave of absence and in jeopardy of losing my nursing license. My colleagues have turned their backs. I can recognize my self growth by the shortened amount of emotional down time this situation has cost me, turns out I’m resilient AF. I’m actively utilizing this experience and opportunity to better myself. I can’t predict what the outcome will be, but am confident a smarter, stronger woman I will become. 

The three core values of nursing I align with most are education, advocacy, and leadership. I choose to approach this situation by educating myself to best advocate for and represent myself as a positive example within the field of nursing. I have been transparent with my daughter and turned it into a life lesson, analyzing policies and preparing my defense on this same couch, “In the event you find yourself in trouble with authority, this is how you handle it.” It’s not expected of us to be perfect, but the expectation is to keep trying and keep fighting. I have been learning, and then implementing different forms of psychotherapy on myself under the influence of psilocybin, LSD, or MDMA. It has been an eye opening and life changing experience. It pains the ego my community of the last ten years cannot see. Regardless, I feel a paradigm shift as I find support within the psychedelic community. It appears at this time, the inpatient psychiatric community and I are no longer contributing to each other’s growth, and we must part ways. I am optimistic for what my future holds within the fields of holistic health and entrepreneurship. I feel humbled at the opportunity to walk beside others, holding space for their needs on the conscious altering journey to find peace.       

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