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New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 6

IU Health Methodist Hospital

New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 6

During her sixth week, new IU Health Methodist Hospital nurse Rachel Ketelaar is handed more responsibility caring for patients.


  • First day of the week and I had some tough patients. I took the tactic of "killing them with kindness" and listened to them even if it was just complaints about their care. I found that a lot of times patients just want some attention or want to be heard and feel like they are cared for. Medically, I'm not sure I did much for some of them, but emotionally, I made sure they felt important.
  • The nurses on A2N care for 4-5 patients when on the med-surge side of the floor and 3 patients when on the PCU side.


  • Well, I’m learning that nursing can be a taxing profession on your body. Not only does 12 hours on my feet tire out my legs and back by the end of the day, but lifting and rolling and moving patients in or out of bed can be a lot of work. Nurses are like athletes! The nurses on my unit tell me a pulled back or leg muscle is not uncommon. On the advice of other nurses, I have started wearing compression socks and they really help.


  • More simulations today. We worked through two scenarios. In the first, the patient and patient's family member were actors. The patient’s surgery got pushed back and he was experiencing alcohol withdrawal and hunger from not eating. The patient's brother was concerned about this and getting loud and aggressive with the nurses. In this case, the nurses had to de-escalate the situation, explain the plan of care, and make sure everyone stayed calm and safe. In the other simulation, a mannequin had a heart attack and we had to do CPR, get the crash cart, and call a code on her. After these simulations, we would debrief and discuss how the simulation could have gone better or what we would have done differently. I’m amazed how realistic these simulations are!
  • I can’t believe my sixth week is ending. I feel that so far, my favorite part of being a registered nurse is getting to know the patients. They make the job so worth it. I absolutely love sitting in the patients' rooms and hearing the patients' stories and backgrounds. It really helps me to better understand their situations and become a better nurse.

Being on my feet for 12-hour shifts takes getting used to. I enjoy the little breaks that I find while spending time with patients!

Read more:

New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 1
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 2
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 3

New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 4
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 5
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 6
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 7
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 8
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 9
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 10

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