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  • An Ode to 4B: The Unit I Learned to be a Nurse

    Friends — Hello!!

    So, a couple days ago was a great first nursing shift orienting on a new floor at a new hospital! and I am just now able to write and reflect on my appreciation from my first nursing job!

    Changing jobs was such a bittersweet goodbye, because it was saying goodbye to my very first big girl job at the hospital and unit that made me a nurse!

    It’s a big and scary step as a nurse being fresh out of nursing school there is so much knowledge and NCLEX (nursing boards) practice questions consuming your mind — and now you are “hands on” learning how to put all of that into practice!

    As I take steps on changing hospitals and units, I can’t help but reflect on all that I have learned and gained and planted into the home unit I’ve had for the past 3 and a half years.

    The countless patients, loyal coworkers, excellent doctors, available-to-teach-me nurse practitioners — patient care and growing as a nurse was not (and never is) an individual feat.

    It takes a team to make a nurse, and I am thankful for a unit that helped me grow into the nurse I am today.

    I was on a cardiac unit with heart transplant and LVAD (left ventricular assist device) patients, and one of the best things was creating relationships with the patients as they would come back and visit or (on occasion) be re-admitted. Their excitement to see familiar nurses was such a treat and gave you the confidence in the care you were providing.

    The patients trust their 4B nurses. It’s beautiful. It’s rewarding. I will miss them dearly.

    I had so many “firsts” – some very challenging –my first code, my first code stroke, that first shift that drowned me but I made through it, the tears, the laughs, the smiles, the days you feel defeated, the days you know you did well. And, yes, unfortunately, my first experience of caring for a patient who later died.  Tears for sure!  (To any nurses reading— I know you can relate!)

    You hope to grow into a wiser, more effective, more efficient nurse, and every shift you hope you learn more and more about the job, yourself, others, and life.

    Looking back on what led me to that unit makes me so grateful that God’s plans are higher than my own!

    The way my whole nursing journey has unfolded until now has been such a God-driven path in that some of my first choices were doors the Lord closed. To think, I almost didn’t apply to Saint Thomas West hospital!

    It was because of those closed doors that so many more opened. I am so thankful for Saint Thomas West Hospital and for 4B!

    Now a new step prayed over and called to in my journey as I continue to learn how to adult, how to grow into an even better nurse (I hope), and hopefully one day growing into a wiser and better nurse practitioner!

    Some posts that reflect on specific nursing lessons found here and here! Also lots of posts on nursing found here!

    Nursing is hard, but I don’t think I could do anything else!


    Giving thanks to so many from Saint Thomas and here are pictures with just a small handful of those that have impacted my journey!

    Thank you Jesus for these people and SO many more!



    Pictures from the actual last day! 🙁



    And there are so many more that I didn’t get pictures with!

    There’s just not enough words to adequately describe my appreciation for the unit, people, and patients who have made it be such a hard unit to leave. And it is a special thing to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

    More to come on my new journey!

    Love always,

    Katie Girl


    Katie Garrett. Nashville Native. Cardiac Nurse. Belmont University Alum. Enneagram 2w3. Reader. Writer. Starbucks Lover. Jesus makes my heart happy. Daughter. Sister. Sister in Law. Cousin. Niece. Forever indebted to Jesus Christ.

    Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


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