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Archive for December, 2010


So, Christmas is done, the presents opened, Christmas dinner consumed, friends and family visited and partied with. Only New Year is left and then back to clinicals. My dogs have enjoyed the extra treats, opened their presents, removed squeekers from the stuffed ferret, though the hedgehog still has its grunter intact. They still look longingly at the tree, hoping for more goodies.

There is more....isn't there?

 

I am quietly sitting in my favorite chair, working on an appliqued quilt block. The Fitzgerald study book is laying on the table, causing little rushes of guilt about not studying. I am going to be seeing a whole new type of patient (adults) and am getting the usual feeling of “oh crap, I don’t know anything” again.  After the last rotation in pediatrics, though, it is a little less. It is nice to realize that there is still some room in the old brain to acquire knowledge and experience, and that after an initial period of insecurity, things will look up. I am told that my new preceptor loves to teach, so I am looking forward to a rewarding experience.

There are only eight months left until I graduate. I am hoping to get a couple of trips in after graduation and before I start a new job. My family is in Europe, and one of my best friends, so a trip to Denmark and Holland is planned, and I would also like to see some friends in Pennsylvania and a friend in New England who has a puppy from one of my dogs.

I can actually believe I will be getting a life again. And a career that isn’t a disease (hopefully). Being an RN has been a wonderful thing, but health care going the way it is, the jobs were getting tough to do. Too much paperwork, not enough respect or time to be with patients and actually do nursing. When I graduated nursing school, RNs still made beds, bathed and fed patients. There was an enormous amount of clinical information you could gather from those simple tasks, which I felt were vital to doing a good assessment on your patients. I feel sorry for RNs now, who are responsible to assess their patients with information obtained from “patient care technicians” with a few weeks training, or a quick run in and out of a room to pass meds. That is scary to me. I hope that this trend reverses, for the sake of the patients and the overstressed nurses trying to care for them. I hope that hospitals and nursing homes realize that the heart of their service is nursing, and treat the nurses with the respect they are due and allow them to do their jobs by giving them reasonable workloads and time to do their jobs properly.

Hopefully, being an NP will be different, with some of the same paperwork headaches, but with more responsibility, challenge and patient care focus. I am looking forward to a happy and rewarding career with the opportunity to use my nursing skills to the fullest. I don’t plan to retire until I physically can’t do the job anymore, and hopefully that will be at 99 years old.

Now, I just need to get through the next eight months, and pass my certification exam…

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I just posted my last case study and realized that, other than the final exam, I am done with this term. I also realized it was December. Wow, where did the time go? It’s practically Christmas and I had no idea. I guess that is what it means to have no life while in school.

The last week of clinicals is over, I am recovering from the cold/sore throat the little…tots gave me as a parting gift, the site evaluations are done, all my papers are done. I have FREE time. I have studied for the exam and am waiting for it to open on Monday. Once that is finished, I have four whole weeks of no school work.

Of course, I will be boning up on adult stuff like hypertension, and diabetes, and STD’s and heart disease in preparation for the next clinical: Adult Practicum. But that feels different than a paper with a deadline. More relaxed you know.

The other thing I noticed, the whole thing seems more attainable now, in 29 days I can say “I graduate this year”. Two terms doesn’t sound like a long time. OMG, I think I am going to make it!

Sigma Theta Tau sent me an invitation to join. That is pretty special. The National Nursing Honor Society. Wow. It is all falling together. The light is visible at the end of the tunnel.

My next rotation will be at the local health department primary care clinic, then to my own physician’s office, as he has agreed to be my preceptor for the second half of adult, and the family practice portion. I am looking forward to that. The funny thing is, that I was nervous about going to pediatrics, having had almost no experience with peds in my nursing career. Now, the anxiety is about doing the women’s health, what with speculums and birth control and STDs, and the complexities of multiple health problems encountered in the elder population. A strep throat or ear infection is a piece of cake compared to a diabetic with heart disease who needs to control his blood pressure.

The health department will be interesting with the population of patients they serve. I am sure there will be a lot of patients who will have more advanced conditions, like I saw when I was working at the local county jail. It will be a big learning oportunity. There is a local free clinic staffed entirely by volunteers, and I think I will give them some of my time after I graduate. Be a part of the solution.

Well, my muse seems to have wandered elsewhere, and so this will end my post for today. There is time to plan a nice dinner (Cooking is one of those things that slipped away for a while), read a novel, go to the craft store for some yarn for a knitting project I have in mind (I need a shawl for when we eat out. Florida is perverse for having air conditioners and fans blowing directly on restaurant patrons even in the dead of winter), maybe I will even do a small quilting project.

A temporary life. The stone is airborne again.

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