Tuesday, November 27, 2007

weeeee are the champions

Today was the last day of clinicals for me. I will have a community health clinical next semester, but one very important thing stands out about the end of this one: I will never have to wear these green scrubs again!!! I threw them out. I'm so done with that color.

Monday, November 26, 2007

taking out my frustrations

I suppose I have been sounding quite negative in my recent posts. Besides the fact that I do use this blog for my share of ranting and raving, I am just frustrated by the fact that my 100 hour preceptorship was not the learning opportunity I envisioned it to be. It has been a frustrating experience, but also eye-opening. Truth be told, I do have a firmer grasp on what it's like to be a NICU nurse, and what kind of nurse I do NOT want to be in the future.

I am so happy and excited to be finishing this semester. It's been tough, because as my confidence in my nursing abilities take hold, my patience with those above me slowly dissolves. But I know they are trying to give me the best guidance they know how, and it's impossible to meet the individual needs of every single nursing student.

When I graduate in April, and pass my NCLEX, I know it will only be a starting off point in my career. Another beginning. Because I know I am fated for grad school and big work and big ideas after that. I still cling to my desire to be a midwife, but I also hope to be a geriatric clinical nurse specialist. I know it's a lot, but hey, I've got a lifetime. And there's so much to do! I want to work in Nepal, too, improving healthcare on a global level as well.

I have really big dreams and I know that this BSN is the first step down a long road. I take the nursing profession very seriously, as it has the potential to improve healthcare and re-define quality of care in every community. I want to be a part of that. I want to live my professional life boldly, never ceasing to learn or grow, always striving to better myself and the way in which I affect those around me for the better.

My last boss, and one of my nursing mentors, gave me a quote for a gift last christmas. The last line of it says "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded!"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

keeping my mouth shut

I really, really try to get along with my NICU preceptor. And when that fails, I try to try. But honestly, she makes me nuts!!! She putters around and gets excited about things like stocking and little 'extra' projects for the unit. I mean, she's giddy about them. We were there for 12 hours and never had a patient. What the? I mean, does the unit seriously want to pay her to be there for 12 hours checking the crash cart and shit? And then, get this, she tells me that she doesn't like to let me do a lot because she'll get in trouble if I make a mistake. I'm like... "but... um... that's why we're students, right? So we can make mistakes with someone knowledgeable to guide us through it?" She was like "oh... I guess so". Geez. Great teacher here.

She does stuff, like education and family communication, without ever giving me the chance to do it. She's treating me like I'm a freshman or sophomore. Hello, I'm going to be a nurse in 5 months! And I can do it! But she doesn't even let me try. I wish I even thought she was a good nurse, but there's been times when I wanted to take something out of her hands myself and just do it. I just... grrrr. I will have to consider this a lesson in working under someone I deem totally not worthy. Teaching is an important responsibility, not something you do in order to have a little assistant to type your files and stock your carts.

Oh yes, one more thing. She told me she talks fast to people because in nursing school she would do that so that the teachers wouldn't understand her, and think she was just smart. This, apparently, worked for her at one time but now she does it with everyone, including the parents of the babies, and doesn't bother to explain what she's saying. And it's so obvious she's using it to cover up!

But I did see another vag delivery today. It is amazing, utterly amazing, how a woman's body, her genitals, stretch and open for the child. You would never guess it could do that just by looking at it. The mother was amazing, and her body was amazing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the light at the end

Yesterday during my medsurg clinical I felt like I was walking on eggshells. And, amazingly, none of them broke. I wasn't criticized for anything and even told "good job" by the instructor. Hallelujia! And the best part is, next week we are leaving early, and the week after is the last day. Thank you god.

It's like the end is almost in sight. Almost. But I've got to really lean into the wind and get through the month. It's hard, I'm exhausted, I want to slit my wrists, but hey... I'm going to survive. I'm halfway through!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

work, sleep, work, sleep

My med-surg instructor and I continue to have 'conflicts'. Tuesday, once again, she found a way to criticize me for something NOT MY FAULT. The RN checked a blood glucose result before I did, and now suddenly I'm the nurse slacker who doesn't realize the importance of insulin coverage. Hello! It's not as if I can walk around stalking the tech, or hover over the flowsheet every minute waiting for the number. The nurse happened to get it before me. But she doesn't see it that way- and she went off on a rant to our whole group about the importance of getting the blood glucose result before our nurse. I was flippin' mad, let me tell you.

Then she followed me around all day watching me hang IVs and criticizing me for not having the right stuff in my pockets. She makes me so nervous, I'm bound to screw something up. And after every clinical, I feel like I'm not going to be a good nurse. But the nurses and patients tell me I'm wonderful, and that's my only saving grace.

And my Essentials prof told me I'm smart like her, and since I think she is incredibly intelligent and a nurse who really stands up for her profession, I took that as a very high compliment.

In NICU news, my preceptor put me with another nurse for the day, thank god! She still made me stock carts, although I did a half-ass job at it because I get so mad. The staff nurse who took me was an excellent, thorough teacher and I learned more from her in 8 hours than I do from my official preceptor in 36. I could try to talk to this preceptor about our 'differences', but unfortunately I don't feel like she's the type to have a reality-based discussion with. It seems like she's on some other planet and I'm trying to work through this with her long-distance.

I have a crazy week ahead of me, with my grandma's surgery and some Nepali holidays going on this weekend. I have a care map due and a big exam for my crazy med-surg instructor, and then there's the usual NCLEX quiz and clinical write-up to complete. No rest for the weary, that's for sure.

Interesting patients this week: A 28-year-old male gun shot wound victim with a fractured tibia. According to the social work eval, he has 7 children by 4 women. Nice as could be though. A baby born at 23 weeks gestation on bipap who desats and brady's every five minutes. For this I learned how to use the bag and mask, just in case. I have never seen such a little person (1 and a half pounds) with such a big personality! Her miniature little hands always flailing when you do something she doesn't like... so cute, so tiny, so sad. And finally, a 70-year-old male below-the-knee amputee back to have an above-the-knee amputation on the same leg, all because he didn't follow his diabetic regimen. Huge wound that totally dehisced on the stump, with a wound vac.

Monday, November 5, 2007

ready to NOT be a student

I'm really tired of being a student nurse. I don't want people following me, criticizing my every move, making me nervous, giving me extra work. I want to take good care of my patients. I will ask questions when I need to, seek out help when I need to. Nowadays my preceptors and instructors are just screwing things up for me and making it impossible to do my job.

By the way, my med-surg instructor is, as we speak, READING powerpoint slides to us. This is her way of lecturing? What a boring, stupid waste of my time. I can read. Powerpoint should be BANNED from the curriculum.

And my last complaint for the week, is that my preceptor in the NICU makes me crazy! She has me stocking and organizing drawers for hours. On top of that, when I asked her if I could do a heel stick, she said 'no'. Then when I asked if I could have my own patient next time, with supervision, she said 'no' again. No??? This is supposedly my shot at being a real nurse with supervision! And she's making me stock carts! I was so mad, I can't even tell you. When she would ask me to do something, she never explained what she meant. She would document vitals and do all kinds of things without even telling me she'd done them, so I'd go to do it and it would already be done. So frustrating. I just want to quit that clinical, even though I love NICU nursing. A different, younger nurse helped me with some paperwork, and she was so good at helping me, and explaining things.

Ugh, I'm so ready to be done with all of this. Only my essentials class seems like an actual contribution to my education.