Can you tell this is a busy semester? I hardly have any time to keep up on this blog. But as of this week we’ll have another 3 credits done and over with and that will be a big weight off our shoulders. I’m in remarkably good spirits at the moment, though. So what’s making me happy right now?
1) I just checked my grades for two papers I wrote for the policy class (the online class that’s ending this week) and found out that I got an A and an A- on them, which was a huge relief. It’s not like there was much I could do to bring up the grade at this point if I managed to totally bomb those, so it’s a relief to know that I don’t need to worry about damage control.
2) I had a good day in the med-surg clinical today… and last week. I can’t stop raving about this clinical. The patients have been great and the nurses are generally really nice and willing to help us and our instructor is amazing. My patient last Tuesday was getting an EEG done and I accompanied her to that. When I was talking to the technician we found out that the technician’s husband is good friends with my academic advisor from undergrad. That was pretty cool. On Wednesday I was the CNL (clinical nurse leader) for our group, so I didn’t take my own patient, but instead worked with my instructor and helped out other students. I did get to change one gentleman’s amputation dressing, though. I have a disturbing fascination with wounds. They’re gross, but intriguing at the same time… Anyway, I think I did a pretty good job that day of working with my fellow students, critiquing their documentation and nursing diagnoses, and helping them out with tasks. Then today I got to see a thoracentesis, where they withdraw fluid from the pleural cavity (the space between the chest wall and lung). They had done one on this patient a couple days ago and withdrew over a liter of fluid from that lung space! Today they were doing the other side, but it was only about half the amount of fluid. There’s another disturbingly fascinating process. They use ultrasound to determine where the fluid is collected and then puncture the space and insert a small plastic catheter, the other end of which is put into an evacuated chamber which essentially sucks out the fluid. They collected a little over half a liter this time. Then after that they do a chest x-ray to ensure that no air has gotten into the pleural space (which would cause a pneumothorax, AKA a collapsed lung). My patient tolerated the whole thing quite well. She was such a nice lady to talk with. We have to do a full assessment of a patient this semester so I asked if I could sit with her to do that and she was very willing. When I asked her how her heath was aside from the issue(s) that brought her in to the hospital she told me it was “damned good.” She had such a positive attitude about everything and just a little bit of sass. When I asked if she had hearing problems she told me, “when I don’t want to hear what someone’s saying, I do!” What a hoot. The nurse I was working with today was awesome, too. She’s actually starting her master’s at our school in the fall to become an educator. I told her that she will be a great instructor… she took a lot of time with us to explain things and was really encouraging. She told me that she thought I was going to be a good nurse, too… which is always good to hear! I like positive reinforcement. I love the fact that I never feel ready to leave when our time on the floor is over… even though I really liked my last clinical rotation, I was usually watching the clock a lot more, whereas now I’m wishing I could slow it down! There’s so much to see and do and not enough time to get it all in!
3) I also found out this weekend that I am officially licensed by the state as a nursing assistant. I’m hoping I can leverage that to get myself a job! I applied for one per diem position I found in the ICU/CCU of the hospital I was at last semester. We’ll see if that goes anywhere. I’ll continue to keep my eyes open. If nothing else at least I feel a sense of accomplishment having attained some level of licensure.
4) In non-school stuff I met my new kitty a couple weeks ago. She’s still too little to leave her mom, but she’s a cute little fluff ball. The kids where she is now named her Lily, and I think it’s going to stick… I like it and I didn’t have any better names in mind. She’s black and white and fuzzy. I’ll have to borrow a digital camera so I can get pictures of her whenever I finally bring her home.
5) I have a yummy potato salad in the fridge for dinner… yay for mom’s leftovers. And I checked out what the other mystery Tupperware container she sent me home with contained and it had pie. That counts as fruit, right?
I’m sure there’s more good stuff going on, but that’s all I have time to write about for now. I need to type up a couple more things for the online class for tomorrow before I can wash my hands of that. Then it’s up early again and back to the hospital to see what awaits me there!