Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Flu Shot Fun
My community health class got to do flu shots today at a local senior center and, I have to admit, it was really fun. We got there and huddled around under the fluorescents in the early AM while the retired nurses drew up the vaccine. At first the person in charge was going to set all ten of us up at one small table at the outskirts and then suggested that a couple of us could move to the back of a second table in the middle "if we weren't nervous". Excuse me? Even the queasiest of us, the folks who fainted and looked pale at every turn in our first year (and, for whatever reason two of the most fainty and nervous students in our year are in this group) are hardened veteran (students) by this time. By the time things really got rolling we had taken over all of the tables and the retired nurses were in the back sipping coffee and chatting. I had a retired nurse buddy, actually. I'd shoot 'em (if you will) and she'd bandaid 'em (perhaps a less controversial term, except, well, the trademark issue and all).
Half of the folks came in tight long sleeved shirts and sweatshirts with at least one if not three other layers they had to wriggle out of. For the big guys I congratulated them for not crying. I apologized for not having lollipops to give out. It was funny to watch the folks sitting in chairs waiting for their turns. You could see them eyeing us to pick who would give them their shot. I wonder what their criteria was. One person said I looked like I'd do a good job, but lots of folks went over to D. who was the only one not dressed in scrubs. She was in her community health home visitin' clothes (you know, kinda business-y and button up). Maybe she looked like she was in charge.
So, I was in the nursing office at Nursing School U yesterday and one of my old instructors said, "I was looking for you!" And I thought, oh crap, what did I do this time? And, apparently, the social worker of one of my clients called Nursing School U to tell them that I had "saved [the client's] life" by helping her to change her diet and overcome the intractable diarrhea. That I was the only one the client would listen to and that my "good communication skills" saved my client's life. Wow. Aw, shucks. It was nice to hear and I felt all choked up and like, hm, maybe I don't suck and maybe I can make a difference. I'm sure we've all made a difference and "saved lives" (you know, she was so dehydrated, though, it's not an exaggeration), it's just that someone picked up a phone to follow up on it. Still, it is nice to hear and this quarter has been so hard I'll take all the good I can get: flu shot giving and saving lives and all.