I have mostly no idea what I am doing
If you have met me in person then there are a few things that you already know about me. I never shut up, I think I am witty as hell, I am a sarcastic twit, and for some inexplicable reason even unknown to the most brilliant minds in human behavior, I am often described as the most lovable asshole you'll ever meet.
Now I hate 'About Me' sections. I think they are all self indulging and narcissistic biographies that serve to explain your life to a bunch of people who frankly don't give a damn....soo that is totally what I am going to do.
Nursing was never the goal *gasp*, I was never an 8 year old boy in grade school telling my teachers "I want to be a nurse when I grow up". And before you jump all over my ass with your 'whats wrong with little boys wanting to be nurses and stop your gender role assuming" crap. Nothing is wrong with it. But its not exactly a career many male children, especially in the 1990's were aspiring to be. In fact I don't remember too many girls aspiring to it either, but hey my memory sucks.
Throughout my awkward and late blooming four year stent at an all boys college prepatory high school (which didn't live up to the preparation part of its name) I had no clue what I wanted to do, and my senior year, after my dad talked me into it, I decided, being a doctor would be pretty sweet! My guidance counselor thought differently, and told me that I needed to be realistic, which at the time made me think he was being a total asshole, but I guess he was actually right (hes still an ass though).
I went off to the University of Oregon the following year and majored in Human Physiology. Unfortunately...just kidding, fortunately college apparently is filled with some AWESOME distractions, one of which I didn't get to explore for the previous four years...women!
Fast forward through my academic probationary periods of freshman year and my many cameo appearances at parties as the late John Belushi from Animal House, my GPA my senior year was....less then stellar. After purchasing a MCAT prep book my senior year, and cracking the first few pages....I finally had to face facts and admit to myself that medical school was just not in the cards. Don't worry I got a refund for the book [insert winning meme here]!
Following college, I moved to Portland, OR to be close to my then girlfriend. I floundered for about a year, applying to hundreds of random jobs and I attended a nearby community college where I obtained my EMT certificate. While working at a local pizza shop and as a Medical Assistant at an endocrinologists, I then also worked as a volunteer firefighter/EMT in a small nearby town. It was soon after I stumbled upon a CRNA in the hospital and decided on the basis of their income, that was what I wanted to do.
After some research I found that with a Bachelors in a related field already, I could attend an Accelerated BSN program in which I could have my nursing degree in less than 18 months! The down side was, they were expensive, and competitive. The two local nursing schools in Portland had an average acceptance GPA of 3.8 and wanted me to retake almost a quarter of my classes before they would even consider my application!
Soooo...I began working on my pre-requisites at the community college while also working the three jobs, still not really having a large grasp on what I was planning. I only had one pre-req left when I found two schools that were starting soon and were only 12-month program. One was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the other was in Louisville, Kentucky.
I was accepted at Bellarmine University in Louisville, and the program began in a month. My world was tuned upside down. I had to complete a CNA program prior to starting, quit all of my jobs, pack up everything I owned and move it down to my parents in Southern California and then drive to a part of the country I thought would be filled with overall wearing country hillbillies (I was partially right).
The program was a bachelors degree in nursing in 12-months (11 if you took out breaks) and was intense. In fact we lost about half of the starting class by the end. My social life was non-existent but Kentucky was amazing. My now long-distance relationship fell apart, I was lumped into some cheating scandal on campus, my friend and next-door neighbor overdosed and passed, and I found myself in new relationships that I had no clue how to navigate. Despite the insane amounts of drama and new experiences, I made it!
It came time to look for my first nursing job, and the idea was to go back home to California. After applying to over 100 nursing jobs and receiving the same reply from each..."we are sorry but we have decided to move forward with candidates that possess more experience in the nursing field, please reapply when you have one year of acute care experience".....nursing shortage my ass, I decided to remain in Louisville where I knew I could get a job.
I applied to two positions. One in the CVICU at one of the most reputable and highest acuity cardiac hospitals in the region, and the other in the ER at the only level I trauma center in the region. I had my interview with the CVICU first. This was the job I wanted. I needed this exact job to get where I wanted to go, CRNA school and so It all rode on this. I shadowed a nurse in the department for 8 hours and then interviewed.
I got a call two days later. I didn't get the job. The manager told me "I don't think you will do well in ICU, at least not at the start of your career. You don't have to personality for it and I sincerely do not think it is a good fit for you". I lost it. I actually fought with her over the phone, telling her how wrong she was. I hung up, threw my phone against a wall and called my best friend in school at the time. To add insult to injury, she had applied to the same job and got it.
The ER job was next and I went in already feeling defeated and thinking that this wasn't even the job I wanted. I was very relaxed and almost nonchalant about the whole thing. I walked out and received a call hours later. I got the job.
Good thing too because I freaking loved it! The hospital served an enormous and very diverse population. Penetrating traumas and severe MVAs daily, dozens of overdoses a shift, incoming life-flights every hour,...just the sickest of the sick. I found myself thrown right into the fray and it was the best way for me to learn.
I worked at the hospital for almost a year and a half, I learned and saw more than some nurses can only hope to over the span of their careers, I made some amazing friends and mentors, and I drank a large amount of bourbon. But I was homesick, and was dealing with a lot of personal challenges in the love life sector (don't shit where you eat kids) so I decided to come home.
I got a job in LA at a very prestigious medical center but I hated it. It was slow, it was modern, it was micromanaged, and it was boujee as all hell. I quit within 3 months and decided to pursue travel nursing!
For the next two years I worked at various trauma centers around Southern California. Some of the experiences proved amazing, others. not so much. But despite it all I learned a ton about emergency nursing and even more about myself.
I also decided during this time to take a per-diem position as a critical care transport nurse so I could once again work alongside pre-hospital personnel and have more autonomy.
In September of 2019 I decided to finally take the plunge and move to the ICU in order to further my critical care experience and make myself more eligible for an advanced practice degree.
I now work at a Level II Trauma center in Southern California within the Surgical-Trauma ICU and I am learning everyday!
And if by some ungodly reason your clearly bored ass made it this far, this is where I am today! I still work as a critical care transport nurse, teach ACLS and PALS and try to help mentor new and current critical care nurses!
And to this day I still have mostly no idea what I am doing.