Updated: Aug 27
For a nurse, there is no such thing as a ‘just a typical day’ at work. Every single day/shift comes with different ups and downs. On any given day, from seeing people at their most vulnerable and weakest moment, perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) while remaining calm to be a part of the happiest moment of people’s recovery journey. At the end of the day, being a nurse is about trying to help others and it does come with many challenges. Here is a snapshot of how a day in life of a retirement village nurse during the day and business owner at night.
A nurse life starts at 6:15 Time to wake up, alarm sound
My alarm is usually set for 6:50 in the morning. I woke up early to prepare to be at work early as I have an early appointment. On rising, I brush my teeth, apply my morning wash off mask, wait for 10 minutes before washing it off. While waiting, I packed my lunch which I prepared last night from the fridge into my lunch box, not to forget my water bottle into my backpack. After 10 minutes, cleanse my face, do my morning skincare routine, sunscreen on, then change into my work clothes. After that, I sit down at the dining table to have my breakfast, which I also prepared last night, just need to heat it up in the microwave. After having breakfast, I head out the door for a drive to work. 7:15 Arrive at work I run a walk-in clinic for residents at the village, on a busy day I could see up to 20 residents. I normally arrive at 8:00 to prepare for the day, as my first resident would be around 8:30. However, for today I have an early booking so I arrive early to set up and prepare. Heading to my office, turning on the computer, checking all the emails and voice messages. Disinfectant my office, high touch areas like door, touchscreen on computer, equipment, etc. Begin to call the residents who would like appointments with me with specific time for the day. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stock takes and pre-estimate how long our current stock would last when using daily before re-ordering, especially the surgical mask. Check the accident/incident folder for any accident/incident events that require follow up or further investigation. 8:00 First resident of the day My first resident has been coming to see me for his weekly vitamin B12 injection. Today, he will give me a letter from his doctor confirming that his B12 injection frequency has now changed to monthly instead. I’m still waiting for the updated prescription form to arrive in fax, so happy that he gave me the doctor’s letter in person instead. This injection is given intramuscular (into muscles), prescribed for treatment of pernicious anaemia (a decrease in red blood cells when body couldn’t absorb enough vitamin B12) and prevention of B12 deficiency. My next resident is for wound dressings change. She is under Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) after the fall on the footpath a few weeks back. Her wounds weren’t doing so well in the beginning, and is on antibiotics. Thankfully, today her wounds have shown significant improvement, no more pain, decrease in wound exudate and she is very pleased with the improvement. She still has a few days until the antibiotic finishes. 10:00 New resident medical approval Today I had a meeting with one of the applicants to assess whether her health would be the right fit for the village's community.Her medical history is quite complex, so it took longer than I anticipated.
11:00 Back to my appointments for the day Back to my office to see my next resident, who is booked in for a consultation appointment. This is her first appointment with me, she has some hearing problems and the mask makes it very difficult for her to communicate. She showed me a skin lesion that has been there for years with no trouble, but now it started to open, bleeding, and she could not put any plaster on by herself. She has been to see her doctor for advice and waiting to hear back from him for the plan. She voiced her frustration that she could not understand people when they were wearing masks. The 30 minutes went by, I don’t have time to write up my clinical notes as my next resident is waiting, and has knocked on the door a few times.
11:30 Walk-in resident When I opened the door, my next resident was waiting patiently for me. However, there is another resident with no booking. Normally, she is very forgetful, plus anxious about the waiting and eager to see me immediately. I explained briefly to her that her appointment at the doctor has been cancelled, and she could see me tomorrow and I would get back to her with the exact time after I have seen the booked resident. Thankfully, she is happy to wait for me.
11:40 Regular resident I apologize for running late, my next resident is happy to wait as it is a quick check up appointment and wound dressing change. I quickly changed the dressing and schedule for her next visit with me. I quickly dropped down a few things for my notes, which I will get back to later. I welcome the walk-in resident, explain to her what is happening as her daughter just updated me over the phone this morning. Reminded the resident that her appointment with the doctor has been cancelled, and I could change the dressing on her skin graft site and surgical site tomorrow instead. At the end of it all, she is happy to know that her dressings will be changed tomorrow.
12:30 Quick break A quick bathroom break, and catch up on the clinical notes.
13:00 Home visits Today, I’m wrapping up the clinic 10 minutes early as the rest of my day is residents booking in their home. The reception transferred a phone call to me earlier that a family member would like me to check if a resident is still having enough medications for the month. I went up to her apartment to see her, go through her medications with her consent. Everything is under control, then I inform her family. My next resident is having trouble getting down to see me at the clinic due to her leg oedema (swollen legs), so I come to see her in the apartment instead. She is on diuretic medication prescribed by her doctor a few days ago. She has a slight cut on her leg and it has been leaking clear fluid everywhere, so I have been coming to see her daily to change her dressing. 13:30 Back to the office Finally, I’m back to my office, finish up all the clinical notes for today, lodge everything in company’s system, catch up on emails, answer voice messages on my phone, and then heading to lunch with my co-workers
13:50 Lunch time I brought my lunch with me, so I heated it up and finally got to eat something, starving after a long working day.
15:00 Home time When I got home, I changed into my work out clothes and started to exercise for about 60 mins. Head to shower. At last, sit down, listen to music and relax.
18:00 Dinner time My partner finishes his work for the day. We make dinner together. Tonight's menu is rice, soup and pan-fried prawns. After dinner, I started to pack all the online orders, prepared for courier shipping the next day, catching up on emails and preparing for more content, today is blog writing day.
23:00 Bedtime Time to unwind, get a good sleep and start a new day tomorrow. What I love about my job is that I’m in control of my day, I get to combine all my nursing experience and knowledge with many other skills. I love the feedback from our residents that they appreciate my work and that I make such a difference to their lives.
Finally, I'm living my dream of having my own dream brand, though many challenges with a new start up business, I'm loving every part of it, and always feel super grateful.