I wandered over to home health for three years, and, lured by money, I traveled further from endoscopy to the world of insurance case management. I did that for eight years. But then, a medical relief trip out of the country made me realize I’d been gone too long from patient care. CVs went out and I soon turned in my notice. This change was exciting, but my initial excitement was quickly replaced by fear. I mean, I hadn’t started an IV in almost a dozen years. And, this time around, I would have to learn so much more about the technical aspect of endoscopy.
The remedy to my anxiety was my new colleagues. The staff is an experienced group of nurses that combined had more than 125 years experience. Not bad for a full-time staff of five!
Their focus was for me to get my hands on the equipment as soon as reasonable. They also pulled me in as an observer whenever an interesting case popped up at the last minute, and took the time to teach me valuable trouble-shooting skills when equipment wasn’t working “as efficiently" as it should. Since direct patient care was so far in my past, they also worked with me in critical thinking skills with the inpatients brought down for procedures.
After my comprehensive three-month orientation, they took my training wheels off and put me in the procedure room a couple times a week. Things went smoothly at first. But then one day, I noticed an ERCP added for late afternoon. We had a busy schedule and I was too proud to seek my preceptor to voice my distress. As time for the case got closer, I learned she had already spoken to the physician about the need for me to be involved in the case. My blood pressure was normal until halfway through the case when the stone refused to descend through the cut papilla.