It's been so long. Five months. That's a long time not to update a blog. A lot has happened. This last semester was a struggle. It wasn't just a struggle for me, but for everyone. We are all burnt out, and feel as though our heads are as full as possible. I will tell you though, the profession that I have chosen for myself makes me so happy. I truly look forward to graduation. Some of it's the money, but a lot of it is because I just want to be able to touch a person's life just for five minutes. Honest medical information is hard to come by, and I want to know that each day when I go to work I have been as genuine as possible. I see nurses at clinicals that are great examples and some that are very poor examples. I take what I can from both and then move on. One day I hope to be a great example. I have had some stuff going on in my personal life also. I have rekindled an old aquiantance that I am very excited about. I have started trying to help and support everyone I meet, instead of tearing down. There is a lot of "I" in this blog entry, and I'm trying to work on that too. The door is opening on a lot of new stuff right now, and it'll be interesting to see it play out
This got cheesy really fast.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone (with no spellcheck)
Goodness- this has been an adventure. I started this blog to record the funny things that have happened in nursing school, but it seems as though it has been pretty serious this last semester. Everyone is tired, there are only 2 semesters left, and we have all been at our wit's end. Also, I have been worried. There has been a hiring freeze at both of our local hospitals with lay offs at the hospital in the next city over- it makes me scared. I know that eventually it has to fix itself, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about how I am going to work after school. I can barely afford to eat right now, and I might have to move at graduation. Goodness.
Sorry everyone for slacking on the blog homefront. Clinicals and school has resumed for the summer semester, and let me express my enthusiasm for being in class three days every week for the entire summer. Granted, the teachers did give us a four day break for the 4th of July. Thank God.
I began this blog to document my way through nursing school, but things have become more and more mundane. However, I did get to an ER rotation last week that peaked my interest. ER is really what I want to do after I graduate. As it was during the day, it was slow in the ED, but I did get to see an OD patient come in. I got there just in time to do his catheter. YAY! This was interesting experience, cathing this IV drug user while the RN's are pushing narcan and watching his O2 sat. This man was 34 years old, but you couldn't tell he was that young. He looked 40+ easily. What kind of sad things happen to people that they end up like this? I am not one to pass judgement, and I believe that if you are, you need to get the hell out of nursing. Intellectually I know that that man couldn't hear what any of us were saying, but one of the RNs says in front of everyone, "What a waste of resources, this is just someone with drug habit that is probably going to end up dying anyway." My face did this: D:
I am an optimist. I believe that people can be pulled from a very deep pit of addiction if that person is willing to work. No one gets better with peope saying shit like that. It is okay to think those things as long as your standard of care isn't effected, but its hard to say whether or not you can think those things and still provide the best care that you can possibly give. It makes me sad that a nurse, especially in the ED, could say that out loud. I am almost positive that the family could hear her. I mean, come on lady, go work on a med surg floor with a bunch of old people if you can't do anything but judge someone during a drug overdose. That's a major part of ER work, is dealing with all sorts of people.
Well, my fellow students and I passed our finals (40% of our total grade and comprehensive!!!) I've packed up my books for the semester, and taken my two B's back home to let my mind rest for three weeks of break. I am so excited to be a senior nursing student, and very happy with my career choice. 12 more months, and I have insurance, a job and peace of mind! :) :) :)
Sorry I haven't been writing much guys. As the semester comes to a close, everyone is just going through the motions to get done. Not much smiling. Lots of bitchiness. Put a bunch of girls in one room together for 8 hours a day, and see what you get. Hell. However, today did make a few of us smile. We began Day 1 of a 2 day rotation through the OB floor. Now, you have to understand, I am not, and I emphasize NOT, a baby person. Yes, I am a woman, yes, I am of child-bearing age. NO I do not want children. I also do not coo, cry, or baby talk over the little buggers either. However, I did watch a live vaginal birth today, and it was amazing. I have never seen a vagina get that big before. I wasn't that thrilled after the kid came out, but the process was amazing. On another note, while I was in the room, I had to bite my tongue. The doctor swooped in, went sterile, and looked at us three students. He noticed our "ADN" initials on our uniforms. Do you know what he said?
"What does that stand for? 'Another Dumb Nurse'?"
I didn't even know how to respond other than to glare at him. I know I should expect that out of doctors, but I have never experienced this first hand until now. Now, that said. If I had been a registered nurse in that moment, instead of a student nurse who can get in trouble, I would have said one of the numerous, scathing things that I had in mind after that. God gave me two things that I treasure dearly, intelligence and a sharp wit. The sharp wit only works when I get really pissed though. Common sense, on the other hand....I guess that's what nursing school is for....
It was great! Not much to tell, other than if you ever get the opportunity to do a clinical rotation through one, take it! You will learn valuable clinical skills that you will use on any med-surg floor. I observed a dressing change on a multi-tubed Wound Vac, a couple of amputation ulcers, and a debridement that even made my stomach of steel not feel so good. It is definitely worth the time!
Last week at clinicals, we were a little slow. I had an easy patient that was up with assist with no AMS or anything. I assumed that that meant it was going to be an easy day. Nope. She had COPD with an O2 sat of 75%, which isn't that bad, but if she would comply with the nasal cannula, it would have been a lot higher....also, everything I asked her to do, she was pissy about. Just general nastiness in my general direction. Not a big deal, but she softened me during our head to toe assessment together. I had just completed the physical part of it, and I was asking how her general health status was, how she felt, if anything new had come up since yesterday, etc:
Me: Do you have any pain anywhere Mrs. X?
Mrs. X: Counting the pain in my ass that you are causing me, one.
Me: Well, on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the worst pain you have ever felt, how would you rate that pain in your rear?
Mrs. X: Fifteen. Now get out of my room.
Deadpan. No smile. It was hilarious. I had to step out of the room after that.
Well, it's been a while folks. Sorry about that. I've got a few things to share though. This semester, we have been doing various rotations. We started out with pediatrics (not my cup of tea thank you very much), we did med surg, surgery, and I go to the wound center soon. Surgery was....interesting. The surgery that I went to was a knee replacement. That was....interesting. The minute I stepped onto the surgical floor I was swept away, made to change clothes (MUCH more comfortable than our school uniforms), put into a gown and a surgical mask, and put into a room. I got there just in time to....PUT IN MY FIRST MALE CATHETER. It was great. When you do a catheter, it has to be sterile, or you can give someone a urinary tract infection. I wasn't nervous, but breathing my own air in that face mask was fogging up my glasses. I opened the catheter kit, donned my sterile gloves, and went ahead. Now, this is where it gets interesting. You see, you use one hand too....hold the....you know. Okay. Penis. There, I said it. Ha! My understanding that was as long as it was firmly...held...that all was fine. No. Apparently not. The circulating nurse that was helping get the man positioned on the table informed me very loudly that, "Girl, you got a man handle that thing! It'll get away from you and you have to start all over it, really grab it in your fist like a snake!" Suddenly, I felt as though I was at a rodeo and we were discussing pigs, not male genitals. Same thing I guess when you really think about it. Anyhoo, after I had properly grasped the pig snake penis thing, everything went fine after that and the nurses and surgeons clapped like I was at show and tell. The actual knee replacement was interesting to watch also. It was very brutal and bloody, which I liked. They chiseled, hammered, sawed, hammered some more, drilled scraped and nailed all sorts of pieces in. It was a lot like wood shop, except bloodier. And more sterile. It gave me a better idea of what kind of pain I am treating when I take care of post-op patients. I don't think I want to be a surgical nurse, but it was fun.
HIPPA induced statement: The above x-ray was courtesy of google and in no way had any relation to the patient that I am talking about in the above entry.
Yay! Thursday at clinicals, I got to do my first IV stick! This was the one nursing skill that I was nervous about and now I know I can do it. Put it right in, no problems whats-so-ever. The guy was slightly senile, so I am not sure if I caused excess discomfort or anything, but my instructor said that I did an excellent job. A+ and a cookie for me!
This is just a quick note, much to my embarrassment, about myself this time. I was doing a quick head to toe assessment on my patient Thursday, before I really had time to look at her chart (mistake #1). I checked her hearing, a few facial nerves, and then moved on to her eyes. I got my pen light out (that makes me feel like a real nurse...) and went to check her eyes. Right eye first. No reaction. No pupil moving, no blinking, no accommodation, I internally started thinking, "What the hell??" It was the same color as the other eye and everything. Then, my patient says to me, "You know, you don't have shine that flash light at that false eye of mine, I can take it out so you can see better."
So, our class has survived the first test of the semester! I came away with a smooth 94, and everyone else seemed to come away seemingly well. It seemingly was an effortless test. Seemingly.
Our clinical class was discussing various clinical skills that we have learned since the beginning of nursing school last year. Someone brought up the subject of enemas. That someone is someone in our class that is older and they wear glasses. When we "check off" on things, or basically prove to the instructor that we can do the task, we use dummies and models. We wouldn't want to descend upon the unsuspecting public without practicing on a fake arm, leg, chest or throat first. I digress though, back to the enemas. This woman that is old enough to be my mother, looking particularly thoughtful, carefully raised her hand. She slowly slid those glasses down her nose, looked over the frames at our instructor (Who was doing a very good job at keeping her composure considering she was talking about putting a liter of water in someone's butt), and with the most serious face asked, "Are we going to have a practice hole?"
Soooooo....NOT relevant to the new year, I have been working out again and going to the gym. My friend has been helping me with weights, and I have been doing cardio on my own time. Let me tell you something: A fat ass on a diet is NOT someone to piss off. I have cut out anything fried, everything liquid except lots of water and some skim milk and I have cut down on my bread consumption. What does this mean? Living in the south? I can't eat anything. Everyone I know cooks beans, but they put a hunk of pork fat and a pound of butter. Chicken? Fried. Collard Greens? Butter. Pork fat. Pinto Beans? salt. fat. butter. You get the idea. In my humble opinion, if I am going to be a nurse, I have to be somewhat healthy. How am I going to tell someone that is 300 pounds with a heart problem that they have to control their eating, salt consumption, and exercise, if my fat tail is waddling in their room like a Thanksgiving turkey?
Also another thing that I really don't understand is nurses and doctors that smoke. I know your job is stressful, I know you have a lot going on, but you certainly aren't going to get any of it done while you are outside smoking. When my boyfriend's mother was in the hospital recently, she had a nurse that smelled like an ashtray. It was so gross. One week into nursing school, I laid cigarette smoking down after two years and never picked it back up again. I can't even be around smoke anymore. ugh.
Okay. This post has turned into a health/rant seminar. I think I am done for now. I just have to keep telling myself: Step away from the fries, put down the hamburger. Step away from the fries, put down the hamburger.
One last note: For visual reference, this is what smoking does to your lungs. I think you can tell the difference between the two. Think about it, and take a deep breath.
Nursing School is a wondrous thing. These are my classmates and I's adventures. Some days, my cats are the only reason I am still upright. Come join me. Please note however, that some creative license has been taken to make the story read correctly.