I just realized today, that in only seven weeks I will be seeing actual victims, I mean patients.
This thought is exciting and scary. Will I have a chance to see the chart and presenting complaint before I get into the room, so as to formulate something approaching a plan? I visualize me entering a room with a flustered parent holding a screaming infant, and I just freeze. No clue as to what to do next. That would really, well, not be fun, let’s say. The parent is expecting me to do something useful, and I stand there, hopefully not looking like a blithering idiot. Does anyone know what blithering means? Whatever it is, I am afraid I will be doing it.
The idea of doing an exam and then telling the patient to dress, and I’ll be right back sounds very appealing. This gives me the opportunity to look stuff up to make sure I am doing it right. Of course, I expect there will be something I forgot to examine or do, I just know it. I hope there will be a way to kind of sneak that in when I go back into the room without them knowing I forgot it in the first place.
Being a beginner again at my age is something that I don’t look forward to. I will be entering “The Discomfort Zone”. Do not attempt to adjust the situation, we are in control of what happens to you, hahahaha. (evil laugh). I am in that place where I had my students (I taught LPN students for a while.) I knew they were scared, but I told them “Act as if you have been doing this procedure for a hundred years, pretend. The patient won’t know the difference, you actually know how to do this, so just do it.” So, I have to eat my words, because now I am in the same boat. “Just go in there and examine that patient, you know what to do, just do it. Pretend you are confident.” Deep down I know this is good advice, and after a while in clinicals, the nerves will pass, the labels on the boxes in my brain will mysteriously reappear, and I will actually start to feel useful again. I just have to open the red door and go through.
The syllabus states ” The student is expected to bring ALL books from previous classes with them to clinical.” I somehow think I can leave my APA manual, the nursing theory books, the evidence based practice and research books behind. This should save about 20 pounds, but it still leaves me with about 60 pounds of books to cart in. Thank goodness I have a wheeled suitcase. I will need to sew my “Student FNP” patch onto my white lab coat. I haven’t decided if that makes me feel more professional or not. I never liked wearing a lab coat. I always prefered scrubs. Scrubs are cool, comfortable, cheap and washable. They come in fun colors and patterns that express your personality. If a baby pukes on you, no big deal. A white lab coat is, well, white and clinical. Doctors don’t even wear them in their offices anymore, only in hospitals , to look doctorish and not be confused with lower chickens in the pecking order. It seems a lot of patients like the white coat. A survey once stated that the majority of patients feel that a medical person looks more professional and confidence-inspiring in one.
The good news is that in my first clinical, at a pediatric office, they do not want me to wear “the uniform” because it scares the kids. Cool. Bad news, I must wear “professional” clothes. (Ones that need to be dry-cleaned if a baby pukes on you). Up to now, scrubs were my professional clothes. I only have two outfits that could be remotely called “professional”. Crap. I have to go shopping. I HATE shopping for clothes. If I was twenty-something and skinny, this would not be a problem. I am fifty-something, not anywhere near a size 10, or 12, or … and I am also unfashionably tall, being a Viking and all. The fashionistas have decided that anyone over the size of 10 and height that can be called petite, has no taste and must wear a mumu printed with zebras and iguanas in loud colors. I had hoped to find a Lane Bryant or something, but no luck with that around here. Sigh. This is not going to be fun. Even that fashion model who was considered “plus size” at size 14, has gotten skinny again and forsaken all of us normal women who have some actual padding covering our pointy bones. Another wall to surmount. I will let you know how it goes.