Saturday, May 19, 2007


boom! I'm ready to collapse or explode from the stress this quarter. Only three more weeks -I have to say it again - only three more weeks. The only thing I'm enjoying this quarter is the clinicals and actually working with patients. The class that used to be fun -Skills Lab - is a grim combo plate of petrified students, confusing military instructor who doesn't like me (No, I'm not paranoid. People have been asking me, "So, why doesn't MilitaryNurseTeacher like you?"), and check off after check off. Wound dressing, IM injections, cleansing enemas, giving meds. It's all blending together. Oh, yeah. I like my yoga class.

And then there's the group paper. I am in the group best described as The Island og Misfit Toys. There are a few borderline personality disorders in there and maybe I'm one of 'em. Every time I give my opinion I'm accused of "insulting" everyone in the group. And there's that sinking feeling that my group members don't care about each other (um, there was the email from one member that actually said, after I relayed my personal struggles with having minimal time to get things done, "We don't care about your personal business."), and don't care about getting a good grade. Zeep. Who was it that said it's the BS that justifies the BS (N).

The patients..I think the hardest ones are the confused ones. There's just something deeply sad and often frustrating about people who are not in their right mind. Watching my last patient struggle to make a phone call to his family - to operate the phone, to try to remember and fail to remember the number, to look at the phone like it was a foreign device - was hard. I did what I could to organize his things. I did what I could to tidy him up. I parted his hair on the side when I combed it. I wondered- has he always been slightly confused? Is some of it the drugs? When I came back someone has cut his hair badly. Someone had attempted to remove his hospital-grown facial hair. He seemed to recognize me, but maybe he just recognized the theme of me: person there to help. I don't know.


Kitt said...

You have to be empathetic to be a good nurse, I think. But the empathy's also what makes it really really hard. I couldn't do it, so I'm impressed by anyone who can.

Strength and patience to you. Three more weeks!

Anonymous said...

yea, there is attitude by some students, eh? those are the ones who don't want to touch the icky pt's!
doesn't sound like you're one of them.
hang in there.

Molly said...

Thanks Kitt. I think the emotional aspect of nursing is what burns people out really early on. One instructor said you have to get rid of your "Oh, you poor suffering thing" attitude and go with a "I understand you're hurting and here's what I can do to help" attitude.

Yeah, anon, there does seem to be a correlation there: the person who made that comment to me is one of the queasiest and most squeamish in our program.