Monday, May 2, 2016

A Day in The Life of a Nurse

I have been blogging for little over two years now. Blogging is such a big part of my life and although it’s so much fun, at times it’s also a little hard. Not because I don’t like it all the time, but simply because I have a full time job next to being a book blogger. Yep.. I am a nurse. Here in the Netherlands, being a full-time nurse means I work 36 hours a week, 8 hours per shift. Sometimes I work 6 or 5 days a week and sometimes I only work 3. I work nights, evenings and days and I work weekends and holidays. And because being a nurse is such a big part of my life, today I’m going to tell you about a day at work for me.

My Day: 

It’s Monday morning and I’m working the dayshift. At 5.15 a.m. my alarm is going off. You should think waking up at this time should be getting easier since I have been doing it for ages.. but no, it’s still tough as hell. But around 5.30 a.m. I’m actually moving through the house and getting ready for work. This means forcing myself to eat some breakfast (blegh I hate eating so early in the morning), sharing my blog post of the day on Facebook and getting my lunch ready. At 6.30 a.m. my boyfriend and I leave the house and get to our cars. We say goodbye for the day and of I go.

I work in another city, which is usually a 25 minute drive if it’s not busy. So around 07.00 a.m. I park my car and walk inside the hospital. I work in a big hospital which means you definitely have to keep in mind that your walking 10 minutes to get your uniform and get to the department. At 07.15 I’m dressed in my uniform and walk on to the department.
A very old one.. But still.. :D

I work in the Traumatology department which means we have all kinds of patients. Young, old, people who are arrested etc. Not a day is the same and it’s a very busy department. Today I’m working with two other nurses, and one nursing student on 8 patients. Some of these patients only need help with their medication and wounds, but some patients need help with almost everything. After reading the patient charts we discuss what we are going to do and who is doing what. And around 08.00 a.m. I’m starting with getting medication to the patients. With every medication I give, I check the patients date of birth and explain what medication I’m giving them.

Around 8.30 a.m. the doctors arrive at the department and the morning meeting starts. We discuss every patient, check their medications, check their wounds and we talk about possible discharge dates. After discussing all the patients, we visit every  one of them and talk everything through.
After the doctors meeting my colleagues and I talk everything through again and we make sure every patient is ready before 10.30 a.m. Every patient is washed, has a clean bed, the wounds are dressed again and everyone is ready for the day.

At 10.30 a.m. we are supposed to have a coffee break, but one of our patients needs a special wound dressing that we really want to start with a.s.a.p. because this patient has a very busy day with other doctors’ appointments, lawyers, x-rays etc. So together with my colleague we dress the wound. Around 11 a.m. we’re done and quickly get some coffee. While we drink our coffee we discuss everything again. One of our patients is being discharged so we check that all the papers are ready and we explain everything to the patient so he is ready to go around 11.15 a.m.

After a quick coffee we have time to make sure every patient has mobilized, the rooms are clean and tight and what patients might need when they are being discharged (a wheelchair, an electric bed etc.) Between 12 a.m. and 2 p.m. we have our lunch breaks. Because there always have to stay some people behind, we go in shifts. During the lunch break, patients also have a little break. We only do the necessary things if they call, some patients need help with eating and we start writing the charts.
At lunch I have some time to check my phone and check my blog and FB. I try to answer some emails, like FB posts etc. The lunch break is 45 minutes, so time flies and before I now it, it’s time to get back to work.

From 2 p.m. till 4 p.m. we help patients mobilize again, we prepare discharge papers for patients who are discharged later in the week, we give pain medication if necessary, check every patients vitals and we make sure everything is ready for the evening shift. From 4 till 4.15 p.m. we discuss the patients with the evening shift and then the shift is over. Most days we make sure to evaluate the day, ask if everyone worked okay and has feedback for one another, but today I have an appointment after work so we agree on skipping the evaluation for a day. Especially since it was a slow day and we discussed everything we wanted during the day.

At 4.25 I walk back to my car and drive to Amersfoort ( a 25 minute drive) to where my movie buddy/ colleague is waiting for me in a Sushi restaurant. It’s a busy afternoon and there’s a traffic jam, but I still manage to get to the restaurant at 5 p.m.
We had a nice dinner, laughed and talked and at 7 p.m. we pay our bill and drive to the movie theater were we go see ‘The Boss’. What a funny movie. We really laughed a lot!! LOL!!

The movie was done around 9.30 p.m. We say goodnight and I drive home. At 10 p.m. I’m home, tired but happy. My boyfriend and I talk about our day and around 11 p.m. we go to bed.

This was one of my days as a Nurse!! Every day is different but you get a little idea now. ;)


  1. Loved reading this. Your job is so responsible and it must be tiring as you just can't switch off while there. Love that you all evaluate the day everyday, that sounds like it would be very constructive. And yikes your day starts very early so I'm impressed that you still get time to do blog stuff before you leave. And I hear you on the struggle to fit it all in. I work 39 hours a week and it seems to get harder and harder to find time to blog. But I love it so I do what I can when I can, just like you :)

    1. Being a nurse is definitely a responsible job.. but on the other hand I get a lot of energy from my work. Especially if I know I made someone’s day a little easier. And this sounds really weird I know.. I love the technical parts a lot.. the big wounds, taking blood, removing stitches etc.
      But my blog is definitely just as important to me.. So I keep on trying to find the perfect way to combine both. :D

  2. Thanks so much for sharing one of your workdays with us, Maureen! I have so much admiration and respect for nurses! You people make sure patients feel safe and secure, and you also make them comfortable and take good care of them - and you take the time to explain things doctors often just kind of say in doctor-speak. Thank you for being there for those who need you.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    1. Thank you Lexxie. It was a lot of fun to write!
      We definitely do spend a lot of time explaining after the doctors leave. LOL!!

  3. I have great respect for nurses, your life sounds so rewarding and full. I think that it is so good that you get energy from your work as a nurse.

    1. Thank you Cindy. It's definitely a good thing ;)

  4. This is such a fantastic post. My mother and sister-in-law are both nurses and your careers are demanding, important and appreciated :)


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