Thursday, December 18, 2014

Huge Sigh of Relief...

The moment has finally arrived: PINNING CEREMONY!!

I took my last final on Tuesday and tonight I will be officially welcomed into the ranks of nurses. (We won't go into the whole "officially-graduated-but-no-commencement-ceremony-until-May" thing, that's why we're doing the pinning ceremony in the first place. Yes, despite having my BSN now [w00t], I still plan on coming back in five months for the cap and gown. I earned it.)

I'm so thankful and grateful for my friends and family, without whom I never would have made it to this point. I could never have succeeded in a vacuum, and I'm going to make sure that they know *I* know this and appreciate all they've done.

The lovely Phlegm Fatale has been staying with us since Saturday, and we've had a blast (including going to see The Buttcracker in Boston last night, totally worth losing sleep and something I want to go to next year, too. It was a hilarious and fun show!) I'm so happy she could make it out here, not just for the pinning ceremony, but to spend time with all of us. We've missed her sparkling presence!

Tonight (and tomorrow night, and Saturday night) is for celebrating!

Thanks to all of you readers, too, for coming along for the ride all these years. I appreciate you!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Yesterday...

was my last clinical. I bade a fond farewell to Ginormous City Hospital but hope to see her again in the not-too-distant future...hopefully as an employee earning a salary, dammit!

My preceptor (HAIL, PRECEPTOR!) was amazing, I couldn't have asked for better. She's been an RN for 28 years and she wrote me a letter of recommendation...the first time she's ever done so!
I'm so lucky and blessed.

I had my (hopefully!) last presentation today during clinical conference, and now all I have left is one group paper to finish and submit, then my finals. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I sure hope it's not an oncoming train!

My pinning ceremony will be awesome! My daughters are going to all be present, and my oldest brother, whom I haven't seen since 2008, is flying in for a few days to be there, too. He's the one who got me into healthcare in the first place, way back in 2002, by encouraging me to look for a CNA position with a company that paid for training. I did and never looked back. It's funny, because I never wanted to have ANYTHING to do with healthcare, thanks to my dysfunctional relationship with my mother, who pushed and nagged me to become a doctor all throughout my childhood and adolescence.

Strange how these things work out, innit?

Of course the stalwart SCI-FIs will be there. After putting up with me, my crazy dogs, and my even crazier children (off and on) over the past three-and-a-half years, they will be cheering the loudest, no doubt. ;)

Phlegmmy will bring her ineffable style and class to the event, showing these New Englanders what a REAL Texas lady is like. 

Hopefully I'll have some pictures from my pinning that are postable, and also some pics from or posts about all the get-togethers in the time before and after the pinning, when we squire Phlegmmy around to meet folks who are on tenterhooks to get the chance to be graced by her presence!

Oodles of fun will be had by all! I'll keep y'all up-to-date, I promise... :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

So close, I can almost taste it!

Five weeks from today is my official pinning ceremony. I can't believe it. I have two more clinical sessions (20 hours altogether), and four weeks of lectures, followed by final exams. I have my capstone paper to correct and turn back in and a group project/paper to finish, then I'm done with assignments, hallelujah!

Then, of course, comes the dreaded NCLEX. Fuck. I already signed up for a five-week, online test prep (my university requires that students sign up for an outside NCLEX prep in order for us to graduate), and I'll do that on my own time right after graduation up until I take the exam, whenever that may be. I've already paid for it and registered, but I can't schedule my exam date/time until the state board of nursing gets proof of my having met all requirements from my university. I'm aiming for end of January. During the prep time I'll be applying to every fucking hospital in a 30-mile radius of Boston, of which there are many (I'm planning on maintaining a spreadsheet to aid in organization!).

So, we'll see how everything goes. I'm so glad my daughters, my oldest brother, the wonderful SCI-FIs, and my dear Phlegmmy will be at my pinning. My dad, who had enthusiastically agreed to come, bowed out last week, mumbling something about going to Germany for Christmas with his wife. Thanks, Dad. Ach, who needs you anyway?

Anyway, I know you three readers have been with me on this incredibly long journey, and I appreciate it. I've been taking classes towards my degree since January of 2008, so this is a long time coming.

CRAP...I just realized I missed my blogiversary, AGAIN. It was last month. I've been blogging here since October of 2006! Holy crap, that's EIGHT YEARS. Might as well be a century in internet years!

Don't worry, though. I'm sure being a fledgling nurse will provide plenty of (HIPAA-compliant) blogfodder! Don't touch that dial...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Don't Bother.

If your idea of being helpful is to loudly berate our agitated and delirious patient while my preceptor and I are attempting to bargain with him to take his medications, merely because he's dropping the F-bomb in our oh-so-delicate, female presence, STOP.

You're not being helpful in the slightest, you're adding to the problem. Not to mention that not only have my virgin ears been sullied by profanity before, I've actually been known to cuss myself!

THE HORROR.

After spending most of the day with him as a one-on-one patient observer, you should know that being confrontational (and LOUD) with this particular patient is completely and utterly counter-productive.

I like you better when you're surfing on your smart phone or watching TV. Keep that in mind for the next time, or I'll have to have words with you. I'll even refrain from cursing. Barely.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Midnight Elevator Encounter, or I Know How Stupid it Was...

My clinical schedule sometimes necessitates my parking in a garage near the subway station. The other night, I left the hospital late and didn't get to the garage until midnight.

All I wanted was to get to my car, drive home, and go to sleep. I was beat. So when the elevator doors opened, I only hesitated a moment before entering, despite the guy already on the elevator.

The guy who was standing in the corner, WITH HIS BACK TO THE DOOR, WEARING A DARK BLUE HOODIE WITH THE HOOD COVERING HIS HEAD, RUMMAGING IN HIS BACKPACK.

Yes, I know. I was stupid. I should have backed up and taken the stairs or waited for the next elevator. If life had a soundtrack, I'd have heard ominous music as the elevator doors opened, warning me that Something Bad might be about to occur.

As it happened, I didn't give a fuck in that moment. Maybe subconsciously I was thinking, "I refuse to let fear guide my actions." Maybe I didn't want to offend the guy. Maybe I took his slender build in with a glance and realized I could probably take him in a fight (because I'm fucking MEAN when I have to be, and I fight dirty). Of course, if he had a knife or gun, I'd be screwed. Most likely it was just fatigue clouding my judgment.

So, instead of being smart, I stepped into the elevator,  hit the button for my floor, and addressed him loudly, "Where are you going?" I wanted him to turn around so that I could see what he was up to.

Here's where it really gets surreal. The dude turned around and faced me, and he was drooling like a mastiff. I'm not even kidding, it was like a waterfall running out of his mouth, down his chin, and dripping onto his clothes. Incessant. Copious. Disgusting. I don't know if he had some kind of handicap, or if he was high as a fucking kite (though from looking at his eyes, I vote for "high"). Either way, I maintained eye contact as he mumbled something about wanting to get on the train. I cheerfully pointed out that he'd "missed [his] stop," since he needed to get off on the previous floor, and as the doors opened on my floor, I hit the proper button for him and hightailed it towards my car, while glancing over my shoulder to make sure he stayed ON the elevator.

My adrenaline was through the roof at this point and I was darting glances all over the deserted parking structure (which I naturally do anyway, I'm not completely stupid, all appearances to the contrary!) Without further incident I got into my vehicle, the trusty Blue Zephyr, and drove home.

Of course, thanks to the adrenaline rush, I ended up not getting to sleep until 3AM...

Let this be a cautionary tale for all of you, especially my daughters. Don't be dumb. This could have ended tragically and only luck was on my side.
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*edited to change "adrenalin" to "adrenaline", because otherwise my daughter was going to stroke out.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

No. Just...no.

"Red Apple Bakery" air freshener.

In the bathroom at work.

This means that when I run in to pee between clients, I start gagging because it smells like someone took a dump on a freshly-baked apple pie.

This is even worse than pine-scented air freshener. Because sometimes you do poop in the woods, but I hope to God nobody shits on apple pie...it would be un-American!

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*note all the bullet points in the description at the link...much like adding "in bed" to every fortune you find in a cookie, I just add "with shit" to these descriptions.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Post-Blogorado Blues

Thank you to the FarmFamily for again making Blogorado a wonderful experience!

A true respite from the daily grind and an opportunity to spend time with my tribe. For me, the shooting is completely secondary. Don't get me wrong, it's fun, but definitely not as important to me as being with my Peeps! It didn't help that I couldn't seem to hit the broadside of a barn this year...I'll blame it on the wind! It was windy as fuck most of the time we were there, and we won't get into the rain that turned the dirt roads into slick nightmares to navigate in our rental minivan (next year def an SUV!).

Much fun was had eating delicious food, talking smack, and sharing tales of derring-do and Items Removed from Rectums (you had to have been there.)

Quote of the week for me: "My husband will eat my biscuit," which sent even the waitress into spasms of hilarity.

Now I'm back to the grind of school, but already looking forward to next year...

Friday, October 03, 2014

I fucking LOVE living in the future!

I spent 7 hours in the OR today, watching a robot do surgery. So. Cool.

One thing about Ginormous City Hospital (GCH): everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is nice. The head surgeon took off his glove when introduced to me just to shake my hand. He then proceeded to tell me how important the whole team is in the OR, that he couldn't do his job without every single person in there. Very impressive, with none of the arrogance one is led by TV and movies to expect.

I had a truly great experience, but it again reinforced my opinion of OR nursing: incredibly boring and definitely not up my alley at all, as interesting and enjoyable watching the procedure was.

I do hope I get hired at GCH. I have loved that hospital from the first moment I stepped through the doors.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Moar! Clinical! Fun!

I had a much better day at clinical today (*whew*)!

I FINALLY DID A STRAIGHT CATH!!! YAY, I MADE PEE!!!

Of course, I cracked my preceptor up by saying, "I have PENIS," before correcting myself quickly and saying, "I have URINE!"

In addition, I did a wound dressing change, observed both a JP drain and a chest tube removal, used a ceiling lift, and wrote a nursing progress note. Among many other things, of course. 12 hours sometimes doesn't seem like enough time.

I also suggested to the doctor removing the chest tube that we raise the patient's bed higher, he was almost bent in half doing his work! These youngsters, gotta look out for 'em.

So, all in all, a very good day. Let's see if I can keep it up! As my clinical instructor said at the beginning of the semester, I should consider this semester one long job interview.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fun at Clinicals

I just got home from my second hospital clinical session of the semester, and this happened:

1. I dodged flying poo, successfully.

2. My scrubs pocket received a lovely infusion of 5000 units of heparin. Luckily the needle stayed capped.

3. My patient, towards the end of the shift, told me I looked exhausted. That can't be good.

4. I got my period. With a VENGEANCE.

5. Related to 4., one-ply toilet paper in the staff restroom? No bueno!

And I go back this weekend for 24 more hours of fun! But first, I have the introduction and annotated bibliography for my Senior Capstone paper to write...