Monday, March 30, 2009

Catching Up...School and Vacations!

So as promised an update from me about life... 5 months without writing on this thing, you'd think there would be some updates to do!

School has been going well, I'm in my second semester and definitely looking forward to December's graduation date. I started the first part of my semester on a pre/post surgical unit and it was really interesting to learn about drains, and multiple IV ports and really seeing a patient before and after surgery. I was also amazed at seeing the same people week after week. It made me realize that as I go about my day week to week, that there are people in the same hospital room, day after day. It sounds funny to say, "realize", because I work in a hospital...I know people stay here days and weeks at a time, but it was a nice reminder to be thankful for my life and health and for the lives and health of the people I love. I've been realizing a lot lately that I can sure complain about really insignificant things (getting up early, being busy, studying and projects), so I'm working on trying to be better about that. My life is so good, a wedding to plan to an amazing man, a stable job now and one to look forward to next year, doing well in school, my wonderful family and my wonderful fiance's family and amazing friends who are there for me. Life is good.

Anyway, I digress! For the second part of the semester, I am on a cardiac medical floor which has been nice. I had my first day last week and it's a huge jump because the patient's seem more stable, but I also know that they can be just as sick, and emergencies can just happen quicker.

Exams have been going well, and for that I am thankful too. I study often, but the rewards are so sweet when the test is over. Ask Zach, so far the nights of the days I have a test are the sweetest- I don't study and I feel like I have a true break. It's also wonderful to have a fiance that helps me study and makes sure that I'm rested and focused. It's the little things:)

Just last week I learned how to start an IV. This is by far the scariest thing about nursing far anyways! Even though I was successful- it was on a fake arm! Hardly something to be compare to a real, sick, wiggling patient! I'm trying to take it in stride and realize that most students in my position must feel this way and that I've got to learn somehow. Yikes! On a positive note though, it's nice to feel more confident when I'm doing direct patient care each week. It reminds me of why I'm doing this in the first place!

Now on to the fun stuff...Vacation!

Zach and I had the opportunity to be off at the same time during my spring break a week ago (because he is wonderful and put PTO time in!). We had a busy week planned but it was fun nonetheless. We started our expedition on Tuesday and drove to Henderson, NV to visit my grandma and my aunt (who drove in from CO). Zach hadn't met my grandma before so it was a fun time to finally have him put all fond memories I was telling him to an actual face. We had a few days of some much needed relaxation, trips to the Strip to peruse around (with a fun ride on the New York, New York rollercoaster and a trip to the M&M store-4 floors of M&M related gifts, crazy!). We were also lucky to go to a show on the strip! My grandma bought us all tickets to go see "O," a show put on by Cirque de Soliel performers, complete with acrobatics and water! It was really neat, and also fun to get dressed up for a night on the town! My grandma also made us an authentic Japanese dinner and it was delicious!

After we left Las Vegas we drove to LA to visit my mom and stepdad. We were only there for a day and a half but it was so fun. We were able to spend quality time with them, eat good food, and go up and down the storefronts at Venice Beach. All of the different kinds of people there never cease to amaze me! Another highlight of the trip was the fact that my parents gave us their 65" TV that they weren't using anymore. What a treat! It looks awesome and it's so huge! Such an awesome gift- and a neat way for them to make room in their garage too. Sweet!

On Sunday we drove home, U-Haul trailer and TV in tow. We were exhausted and had such a good time but glad to be home also!

I think that's it for now- I have pictures to post but will do that a little later this week. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Overhaul anyone?

So I'm not even going to begin to explain why I've sucked at updating, or say it won't take me 5 (!!) more months to make a new post, but I'm going to try. I'm going to expand my blog to my life (nursing school and beyond) in hopes that it will help me post more.

So yay! Here comes more regularity from can only hope at least.

A real update on said life to come very soon :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Seriously? October Already?

Wow. So apparently 4 weeks goes by pretty quickly because I blinked and it's the middle of October. Sorry, I distinctly remember saying I was going to get better about posting more often, and well...oops!

Let's see, let's play catch up shall we? Last Saturday I just finished my last ever clinical in long term care at Manor Care, oh that's right folks, I'm a hospital nursing student now. 750's watch out, I'm coming for you and I have no idea what I'm doing. Unit 750 is a medical-surgical unit at TMC, so I'm guessing I'm going to be getting a lot of people post-surgical and delirious from anesthesia. I'm actually really looking forward to the change, and excited to be in the hospital for my clinicals...makes me feel like I'm one step closer. I have to tell you though- as much as I WON'T miss the physicality of the nursing home, there were a few patients who touched my heart, and I really felt like I gave it my all to be fully present for them during the time I was there. Oh but the smells? I won't be missing thoses. Whew.

School is ridiculous, and I'm only in my first semester. I long for the end of the semester. Long for it, dream about it. But in the meantime I'm just trying to take one day at a time and breathing in and out, because really what else can you do?

I passed my first exam (without having to go to remediation, yay!) and already can't believe I have my next one on Monday. I have no idea what I'm doing and feel just as scared for this one, as I did the last one, and I'm pretty sure that I thought I would feel differently after I got the first one knocked out. I guess a little bit of fear isn't a bad thing- keeps me on my toes.

I also have a pharmacy quiz (which really doesn't even try to explain the importance of doing well on the quizzes-they are hard and worth many a point!) on Friday and a Drug Calculations midterm the following Monday. Have I mentioned yet that if you don't get a 90 or higher in that class you fail THE ENTIRE NURSING PROGRAM. And then TMC sucks the 14,000 dollars that I don't have out of my lifeless body. If I could get a grade for worrying I'd be on the honor roll. Sometimes I even worry about worrying (Shocker, I know.) :)

I just have to believe that I am where I am for a reason and that I'm gonna get through, and that there are plenty of people who've done this before me, and there will be plenty of people after. And that gives me comfort. And it's fall, and the weather is nice, and Starbucks has pumpkin spice lattes and so really all is well with the world. :)

Another update soon...I promise.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Oh gosh, this has been a long time coming...hope you like!  I'm a sea of hunter green! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nursing School Week 1

Wow. I tell ya what, you start nursing school and this whole blog thing gets a little neglected! First, I should start by issuing an apology to the (small) following of friends and family that are/have been reading this...I really hope to get more regular with this as things settle in a bit.

I guess you could say I'm a 5 day old nursing student, and man, they don't waste any time! I think the hardest part so far as been adjusting to the chaos of a new schedule/life. A dear friend of mine told me that I'm the busiest person she knows, and the sad thing is, it's not the first time I've heard that! Mainly, I just feel kind of like I'm trying to figure out when the best time to do things are and trying to place an importance on things that were at one point mandatory in my life (like when do I sleep? and maybe it's more important to do that for an hour,and then eat in the car on the way to class?). I remember being in my pre-nursing boot camp this summer, and one of the instructors had us fill out this sheet. It was basically a big excel table for a one week time period, with every hour of the day listed. She made us write down how long it takes to do everything we would normally do in a day--even down to brushing our teeth!! I'm not gonna lie, I thought it was ridiculous at the time, but now, now I think she may have known what she was doing to us. Good thing those things don't sink in at the time, I may have run for the door!

I have a feeling my new activity for the year will be the study group. It's slowly becoming one of the words I use and hear roughly 50 times a day. Things like, "where is the study group going to be this week?, and "what time is the study group to review the crazy insane pharmacolgy lecture from last friday?" Ok, so maybe I made the "crazy insane" part of the last one up, but you get my point :)

As far as big things for actual class go, I've got two skills labs under my belt, and am now fully capable and trained to brush teeth, change occupied beds, and cut people's meat. Who knew you had to learn to do such things! This week one of the things we'll be learning how to apply restraints...hopefully I won't have to use that technique a lot.

I think I'll end this entry with my my first clinical experience in nursing school. All first semester students have to start in long term care (read: nursing home) their first 5 or 6 weeks, I'm pretty sure so we don't mess up too bad or inflict serious harm. Either way it's not too much fun, and I'm already counting the days and weeks until it's over. I'm actually thankful because I'm at one of the more decent one's in town, and while any nursing home kind of creeps me out, this one is decent. Of course, once inside you run the whole gauntlet of needs and have people who are fairly independent all the way to people who have complete dementia and think you're their long lost cousin Mindy.

The patient I was assigned to for the day was being discharged (an exciting thing!) and so I ended up teaming up with my other classmates for skill(s) practice. This is how I had the unique pleasure of meeting my favorite Manor Care resident. She was this sweet-looking(that should have been my first warning) little old lady, who was mostly confined to a wheelchair. It was about noon and we were passing meal trays to all the rooms. Well, my patient needed to be wheeled to the nurses station so someone could have an eye on her (hello second clue!) and it was mine and another nursing students job to make that happen. Well my little old lady decided that she was not going to let go of her food tray for anything. It didn't matter how many times I told her we weren't going to take her food, nor did it matter how many times I sweetly and gently tried to explain to her what the plan was, and that she could have her eyes on her food tray while we moved. So since she wouldn't let go of the tray and we had to move her, I pushed her wheelchair while my friend scooted her food tray on it's little wheeled table, while our patient had a death grip on the table (white knuckle death grip). Did I mention that whole time this was happening she was screaming "you dirty filthy people, you're turning God away from me, and turning God's youth into slum!" at the top of her lungs. Really, I'm pretty sure you can't pay for an experience like that, nor do I know what any of that even means. Oh and to top it all off at the end she looks at me and sneered slowly "you need to read your checkbook!" I really thought she would have gone for Bible, given the earlier tirade, but she apparently likes to keep us on our toes!
Other things to note: I got to watch a colostomy bag (a bag that connects to the bowel) being changed (disgusting!) and I got to assist in showering someone. All in a day's work.

Hang in there with me, I promise I'll try to get more regular with these...and I promise the scrub pics are coming....they're on my mom's camera and I can't seem to get the email with the link attached.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Signed, Sealed and Delivered...I'm Theirs!

So yesterday was kind of a monumental day for me in terms of the whole nursing experience.  I signed my contract!  It didn't really hit me fully yesterday when I signed it but today I feel kind of different, kind of like when you have a birthday and you don't feel another year older until a few days after.  I sat there as the program coordinator went through the contract and it kind of felt like a blur, except I made sure to turn in for key words like "pay back TMC in full immediately if leaving the program," and "14, 275K 'and some change', will be owed."  Yikes.  I felt like I should have cut my finger to give her some blood when it was all said and done.  I also signed to be theirs for 3 years afterwards.  That part I'm totally cool with, I like TMC and will need a job for sure, so no qualms there.  And I got a huge pile of books to go along with my signing, wow.  Have I mentioned they're heavy?  And thick?  

I've really been having a lot of internal conversations lately, and talks with good friends and family and it's still amazing to me how long this has all been in process.  I was talking to my friend Lauren, and telling her about the news, and she was so excited for me and said "you've wanted this since you were 14!"  I thought about that, and she is right, I've wanted this for so long, and now it's happening. Why one week before classes start am I going to doubt myself?  I've just began to realize that by doing that I'm short changing myself and the other very important people in my life who believe in me; asserting in a way that their opinions are incorrect. 

Sometimes when I get nervous I think about my grandfather.  He wanted this so badly for me as well, and part of me is so incredibly sad not to have him here to share this with; an ache that comes from somewhere inside of me on a daily basis.  I know he knows, and I know he's happy for me, and I fully believe he will get me through.  It's just he's always been my cheerleader through every milestone and this is the first one I haven't been able to share with him in the flesh, haven't been able to hear his voice on and that still feels hard.

In spite of all of this I've got to have an "I can do this" attitude, and though I'm nervous, it seems that things are unfolding just as they are supposed to, and who am I to argue about that? It's not like their wasn't adversity or the chance for the door to close in this situation too.  So welcome to the new attitude that I choose to have, this is such a wonderful time in my life and it's time I started living in it:)

Scrub pics in a few days I hope! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

On my way!

So I've decided to make this thing "a go" now since it looks like I'm actually going to go to nursing school! I've just finished my summer classes and finally feel like I have a few weeks to catch my breath. It's crazy though, when your life is so consumed by studying and going to work, you kind of forget what to do when you don't have to study anymore. It's strange (but refreshing) to not have to start studying when I get home at midnight after a 12 hour shift. I know my respite is short lived, but I'm thankful for it. :) I managed to get 3 A's and a B (dang the psychology!) so I guess it's going to happen...nursing school starting 8/27. It's amazing, ya know, because I've spent so many years dreaming about this, and almost as many trying (it seems!) to get into school and now that it's upon me, I think I'm a little in shock.

Anyway the next few weeks will bring me a vacation, time with friends and of course buying scrubs and my most exciting purchase? A stethoscope. Wow.

Pictures to come when I make the purchases. I hope you'll continue to read along:)