Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My pal, J., made my vision reality.. Last week I mentioned that pleurovac should be Pleur-O-Vac in gold fifties letters and - voila! - here it is!

So, my next rotation is Labor and Delivery: woo hoo! I'm so excited. Now I need to find some time this week to relax and enjoy my spring break. We just got back from a trip to the snow w/ the kids which was lovely, but now I'm sitting in this House O' Disaster (I'm afraid to put that into a font/ decade imagining!). Books from studying still open, notes scattered around, suitcases and backpacks strewn here and there creating an obstacle course from the front of the house to the back of the house. Every surface = sticky. Every bookshelf = books stacked this way and now that way interspersed w/ broken toy parts, dust, bottles of sunscreen, hair ties and paper clips (and I'm just describing one shelf here people).

So, when I was in labor w/ my kids I had to remember to try to relax and be calm in the moments between contractions. Those moments, for me, were pain free and (if I blurred my eyes a little) I didn't notice the chaos of the people in the room and the monitors and the fluorescent lights and tile floors. And, for me, those moments only lasted a very small amount of time because both my labors were super-fast. Spring break is short here. Just a few days left. I need to blur my eyes and find a way to relax amidst the chaos and between the test of my strength/will/ spirit that these quarters this second year of nursing school have turned out to be.

A baking project perhaps.....

Friday, March 21, 2008

All The Dummies Are Tamika

It was Tamika's 28th birthday recently so we combined her birthday w/ the end of the quarter and had a little party. Tamika is the mannequins in our skills lab. She's not just the one shown here, she's ALL of the mannequins (a class favorite is the clean cut fellow w/ the removable vagina). They all have the same name and birthday on their hospital id's. All of the doctors' orders are for Tamika. We've inserted Foley catheters on Tamika, changed her chest tube drainage unit (The Pleurovac which - hello - should be spelled Pleur-O-Vac in a gold fifties-style font), put in an NG (nasogastric) tube, cleaned her trach. We've also made fun of Tamika's hair, been a little too rough w/ her, talked about Tamika right in front of her (or him, Tamikas are both genders and sometimes at the same time), so it was time to throw the gal/fella a party.

Ah. Is it time for my nap? I need some bonbons and fiction STAT!

Oh, wait, I have to clean the house and run some errands. Somehow I don't get spring break from my, um, real life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Quarter Must End

This is my last week of the quarter, not counting finals week, which for me will be brief with a final on Monday and one on Tuesday and then = helloooooo large stack of fiction books, netflix movies and housecleaning projects combined w/ a trip to the snow w/ my little ones. I have some ambitious plans to get some stuff done combined w/ unambitious plans to do nothing. With less than two weeks for spring break (woohoo) I've got to get pretty busy not being busy so that I can get back to being way too busy.

I've been working my way backwards in my clinicals here. This past quarter I went from geriatrics (over 65) to pediatrics (18 and under - so I skipped a few decades...shrug...) and then next quarter I'll be doing maternity (followed by medical where I'll pick up those missed decades). I've loved working w/ kids and their parents. I can see myself working as a pediatric nurse. I had a patient who had her entire extended family in the room with her at one point. They were eating noodles and doing work on laptops and they all gathered around when a new IV needed to be started (nope, I learn that skill next quarter so I just assisted). It was almost festive and it certainly chaotic and that's what family is all about. You really get a sense of treating the whole family when you're dealing w/ kids and that's fabulous. I'll never be able to take care of a patient again without thinking about how their health and wellness is affected by the (usually not physically present) people gathered around and eating noodles.

Tomorrow is my last peds clinical day and I'm not on the floor w/The Bad Instructor. I'll be doing my observation day in oncology and hematological disorders: hemonc (pronounced "heem-onk"). I'll get back to you on that.

Every Easter when I was a kid, my mom would haul out the egg molds and we'd make sugar eggs topped by royal icing roses. Us kids would put little scenes inside. My brother would do some post-apocalyptic easter (probably) w/ pink-eyed bunnies being attacked by giant spiders under a steel grey sky (all topped, of course, by pastel royal icing roses). Then came the Easter where mom decided she'd make a few extra dollars by selling the sugar eggs. There's a picture of my mom somewhere looking sticky and exhausted piping roses out w/ a bunch of blurry eggs in the background. That was the last year we made eggs, though my sister reminded me that one year my sister and I made and sold eggs for some cheap wine/ comic book money. Somehow I don't remember that. Anyways, grandkids inspired my mom to bust out the dusty plastic molds and, well, that's my egg above.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Unprofessional Enthusiasm

Nursing school has driven me so crazy I chopped off all of my hair w/ a dull knife. Um, I'm kidding, of course. I had my hair cut by a professional w/ sharp scissors. And, though nursing school *is* driving me crazy I have been planning to cut my hair for a while. And now I look like every other Woman Of A Certain Age in my town except that my clothes aren't as nice and I wear a backpack more often. But I love my hair short and I probably wont go back to long hair even though I think it looks rock 'n' roll when women w/ white or gray hair have long, tidy braids. Why haven't you short-haired people mentioned how comfortable and easy short hair is? I guess I always associated short hair w/ lots of gummy, gooey, stinky hair products and blow dryers and those creepy circular combs that would = painful and tedious extraction for a long-haired person. So, there's my before and after pics.

I'm so flustered and fed up w/ school right now I don't even want to talk about it w/ you. My peds instructor (you know, the mean and confused one) pulled me into her office during my own time and told me that I approach her too enthusiastically. Um, ok. I said, "Uh, I'll work on that. I'll try to approach you more...[ and here I sought the word that would express the opposite of enthusiastically and came up w/ boringly, disinterestedly, dully, cautiously, but settled on] calmly." And that wasn't good enough for her. She had to tell me that my enthusiasm is "unprofessional".

OK, I don't know what profession you're in, but tell me: How is enthusiasm unprofessional? And my profession, currently (in case I need to remind you) is Student. Enthusiasm is in my job description. So, my sister (do you have one of those - a sister? I *highly* recommend one for occasions such as these.) says to me: "Maybe she meant that you're rude and bossy." And then my sister (she's a teacher) got upset and demanded that I seek justice. So after I cried and questioned my chosen Student profession (been doing a lot of that lately) I did speak w/ the authorities and, it turns out, that was the right thing to do. And, let me say, I'm not telling you the whole story here because it's worse than the enthusiasm comment and I'm counting down the days until the end of this rotation which is sad as anything that is sad because I love peds if I blur my eyes and imagine the dream instructor who is not confused and mean.

I haven't been baking much. Finals week is coming up and that must mean that one of my kids' birthdays is coming up (because that's such a convenient time to bake a gigantic cake, find some good gifts and throw a party!) and when you combine birthdays and finals around the Student Nurse home the baking fun never ends!