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New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 8

IU Health Methodist Hospital

New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 8

As new IU Health Methodist Hospital nurse Rachel Ketelaar returns from vacation, her confidence increases in her eighth week.


  • Back from my vacation and also back in the PCU unit. Today didn’t seem as nerve-wracking. I took on the 3-patient load and things went quite smoothly. I definitely am feeling more comfortable giving medications through a G-tube, which has always been a daunting task for me. Also feeling more confidence I can get all my charting done without feeling frantic.


  • Another T2P class for new nurses (Transition to Practice). Just to explain: In our orientation process, they give new nurses about 8 weeks on our unit and then bring us back to see how we're doing and teach us about transitioning to work by ourselves. Today was the first of six sessions I’ll attend in the next few months.
  • Today's session was on mindfulness: being aware of our surroundings and turning our brains off to the thoughts running through our heads. It made me realize that even when doing an assessment or giving medications, I am constantly thinking of the next 10 things I need to do. Nurses must always look ahead but that’s not always the safest thing for the patient. It's better to be present in the moment and focused on the task at hand. So the instructor had us sit with eyes closed for 10 minutes and focus on our breathing. I realized how many times my mind wanders and how many times I had to refocus on breathing. It was crazy! With practice, I hope to start practicing mindfulness at work, in relationships with friends and family, and with myself too.
  • A second T2P lesson was on effective communication. We shared stories of where we hadn’t communicated effectively on our unit. The instructor gave us strategies on being comprehensive, yet clear, in what we communicate. These T2P sessions seem basic but are really helpful in interactions with patients and staff.


  • Back in the PCU again and a big moment for me. Ty had a health appointment in the morning, so for the first time, I was completely on my own for about an hour! I felt nervous about this, but also more confident in my abilities as a nurse. When Ty came back and I gave her an update on our patients, I realized: I can do this, I can be an independent nurse in a few weeks!
  • I have 3 more weeks until I'm on my own. That's crazy! In these next 3 weeks, I have things to work on, including doing admissions/discharges on my own and calling physicians.

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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