Last night/this morning marked the end of 3rd semester. I stumbled out of the hospital at midnight and drove myself the half hour home, done for the semester. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I still have that slightly guilty aura of the procrastinators, yet I have nothing to do. The past three weeks have been a minor form of hell. But I made it through. My impressions of the semester…
Community/Public Health: Not my bag, baby. Though I feel like it could have been. I feel as though the way it was approached was a huge turnoff. Our clinical and our lecture might as well have been two completely separate classes; the two never seemed to cross paths. In class we discussed public health. In clinical we did community health. They’re related, but not the same. The class was just tedious. We each had a topic assigned to discuss ad nauseum for the duration of the semester. When one does not like her topic to begin with, it gets eye-gougingly snooze-inducing by the end. When no one else in the class likes that topic, either, it’s even worse. And even interesting topics were boring by the end. Then on top of that we each had to prepare a 30-page community assessment. For a real world comparison, many community organizations will produce community assessments. Typically these are a collaboration of multiple organizations. For example a hospital, a senior living facility, and a community health organization might team up to investigate what’s going on in their area and see what gaps need to be filled. So a good assessment is conducted by multiple people coming from multiple perspectives with multiple contacts. A crappy assessment is completed by a groggy grad student with Google and a few pathetic e-mails from people who are far too busy actually caring for the community to spend exorbitant amounts of time helping out a random student whose paper will end up in the repository of “things I had to write for grad school and will never see the light of day again.” I’m not saying the project was useless, just that it might have produced better results if was approached in a more real-world manner. The clinical was okay. In no way do I ever, EVER want to do home health. But I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who do. Hospice was interesting to see. A tough job, but very valuable and I am glad they are there for people. Young family was the most interesting for me. Other students in my class did rotations in schools, hospice houses, and a prison. This week we went to a nuclear power plant to see how they deal with public health issues. I actually found it to be interesting, if a slight waste of time. But the political leanings of the instructors were VERY evident. Apparently these people have never actually studied chemistry to understand how nuclear power works. Now I’m not saying that nuclear power is the end-all be-all of power production. It’s got more than its fair share of associated risks and we need to find something that works better than that. But at the same time I’ve got to respect the fact that someone, somewhere, was trying to find an alternative to using fossil fuels. I was impressed with the amount of thought that goes into protecting the people who work at the plant and the surrounding community. I did not want to hear passive-aggressive, under-their-breath clucking from our instructors about how, when the plant needs to move their used fuel from its current wet storage to an on-site dry storage, they will be leaving the state. Or questioning about the fragility of concrete as a storage medium (um, yeah, that’s why people put buildings on concrete foundations… right?).
Pathophysiology ended up being a great course. The new group of students will have the same professor for their first semester pathophysiology/pharmacology course and I am so glad for them. This professor should offer seminars on how to teach online. She was so organized and effective. It was also nice to have a class that my fellow students didn’t bitch about 24-7. 😉
Research was okay. I really enjoyed my topic and I would be interested to carry the proposal out, which I may get to do in my capstone project. At the very least I went from fearing research to thinking that it might be okay. I can’t imagine ever doing research as my full-time job, but I can see integrating it. So that’s something. And I received some positive comments on my presentation of the proposal, so that felt good, too.
Maternity/peds, which I was so looking forward to this semester, was kind of a mixed bag. I really wanted more clinical time than we ended up getting. The class was okay. I felt as though the lecture was a bit superfluous at times. We probably could’ve done okay with just reading and taking tests. Although I did enjoy hearing my professor’s tales of her work as a midwife. I’m still grouchy about not having seen a vaginal birth, but I guess you can’t have it all, and the c-section I saw was still cool. Pediatrics was interesting. I think if I were to work in pediatrics I’d want to do it at a children’s hospital rather than a regional hospital. But it’s a possibility. I still think that babies are my thing. One of the more interesting discoveries, though, was that school nursing is pretty fun. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed that. I spent some time at the elementary school our instructor works at and also made up some hours for my community clinical at the high school in that district. I had a lot of fun with both experiences.
So now I’m on to relaxing. Perhaps finding a job. One of my classmates is in the LNA float pool of a local hospital and he said that he could put in a good word for me, so that would be nice. I’m also looking forward to reading and relaxing, cleaning up the papers that are now strewn about, and all that good stuff.
Still waiting to find out exactly what the plan is for next semester. This week I finally heard what hospital I will be at for my immersion experience. Definitely no NICU for me, which is disappointing, but at least they found me a hospital not too far away. South of the state line, but barely. Keeping my fingers crossed for something maternal-child related. They wanted a copy of my resume to help them decide where to place me. I don’t think that my history as a corporate finance professional will really help them with that process, but whatever. Now it’s just wait and see. Cue Jeopardy theme.
Until then… haul out the holly, put up the tree before my spirit falls again…