Nearing the End

I’ve had this blog quite awhile. And I obviously haven’t posted since forever ago. To catch up:

  • RN year classes = passed
  • Kaplan review course in Box Office building over University Field (what an odd location . . . ) = done
  • Boards = scheduled
  • Wedding = 18 days away

Needless to say, planning a wedding while trying to pass nursing classes can be a death sentence if pressure isn’t your thing. Though – pressure isn’t particularly my thing, and I managed. (Trust me when I say that there’s hope for anyone because of that.)

QUALIFIER! I only managed with the help of my wonderful fiance, family, friends, and teachers. They helped me remember why I was doing this (Soli Deo gloria, of course), and that, in the words of our Kaplan instructor, “I am more than minimally competent”.

Speaking of “minimally competent” . . . really, nursing board? I know that’s a perfectly good (and reasonable) goal for the nurses you want to license and set loose upon the floors of many a facility, but way to make us feel terrified and potentially stupid. Maybe next time just keep that to yourselves. Tell us that . . the test determines if we learned what we ought to have learned in school. I suppose that’s the same, but it’s all in how you say it. If I want to tell a mother that she shouldn’t let her child have quite so many unhealthy foods, I’m not going to patronizingly tell her that, “When you bring Johnny here for a checkup, you’re letting me see if you’re capable of feeding him like a nurturing mother should.” Noooo way. Maybe something more like, “When you bring Johnny in for a checkup, we’re just making sure that he is healthy. Would you like to talk about appropriate nutrition for a five-year-old?”

That makes perfect sense to me, but it might seem far-fetched for everyone else. Excuse the wild mind of a boards-studying bride-to-be.

But here’s something that I was chuckling at: Wiki teaches us how to pass the NCLEX-RN.

I like the first step. “Pay attention in nursing school.” Oh! Right! Of course. What a good idea. If you’re wiki-ing how to pass this test, chances are you didn’t pay attention in class or when your teachers taught you how to apply and the requirements. I’ve gathered that it’s pretty common to see boards requiring a boards-prep class before becoming eligible to test at all.

Step three is, “If you are unclear on a concept, be dogged about learning it.” Now, as I understand the word “dogged”, it is akin to words like, “obstinate”, “stubborn”, “pertinacious”. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I start getting “dogged”, I start getting “mad”. And yes, I mean that in the true sense of the word. At least at this point, I really would rather not get dogged about anything. Determined, yes, because I’m more level-headed at that stage.

The last step – Thank you, Wiki. That sounds like a good idea. And then I’ll hit refresh every two minutes after midnight on the state board site. Maybe a Red Bull would be a good treat.

But enough of that.

I don’t plan to keep this blog up. I haven’t decided whether or not to delete it, but I’m certainly leaning towards that. We’ll have to see what the next couple of weeks bring.

Happy test taking – You are more than minimally competent!

Ouch!

It’s no secret that I work with the long-term facility geriatric patients. Therefore, of course, I don’t do anything impressive like insert (or, in our cases as nurses, assist with) chest tubes, remove teeth, wipe off gsw’s or anything crazy like that or possible in an acute care (I’m thinking mainly trauma, here) arena.

But I still do plenty of things that could be considered painful. I flush my patient’s PICC (yes, LPN’s are allowed to do such in Minnesota) lines, insert catheters both of the indwelling and straight kind, blood glucose checks (nearly everyone flinches and whines when I dig out the little finger puncher), jab a syringe full of 80 units of Lantus into thighs and arms and abdomens, change dressings of various sizes and strange wounds, remove stitches and staples, and other things that I can’t think of right now.  Due to facility protocol, we have to dig out the EZ hoyer lift when someone’s on the floor – no matter the situation. I’m in there with other staff, grabbing vitals and stuffing the sheet under them and popping them out like a shoe horn from under the bed.

Of course, there are other things that I’d like to think matter. I’m there when the family needs someone to talk to. I warm up that blanket in the fancy microwave so I can keep my patient warm. I nod and bend over so I can listen to the patient convinced that someone’s poisoning her. I laugh and sing along with the patient singing every song in her book while she waits for her pills. I’m there when others aren’t – whether they can or cannot, whether they’re afraid of everything involved in caring for someone or they just don’t have the space to.

All the same, this image?

While I never actually say it, I’m afraid to admit that it makes me chuckle a bit.

When I dig out that catheter, when I wipe a patient’s finger vigorously with an alcohol swab in preparation for a stick, I won’t tell them it doesn’t hurt. Pain perception is in the mind. My mind is different from my patient’s. It may not hurt me so much as it irritates me, but it may seem excruciating to them. I don’t say, “little poke!”. I say, “Quick poke here.” right as I click. I ask the patient to take a deep breath and explain that the pressure will be gone soon as I put the tubing in for a catheter.

I’m not perfect. But I’ve been a patient that’s heard, “Oh, it doesn’t hurt, you’ll be fine.” Maybe my pain perception is horrible. Maybe I’m a wimp, and I can’t take too much. These are entirely possible, but I won’t tell my patient something that I don’t know.

So, nurses:

Keep it real! You don’t know if it’ll hurt.

School’s Alive . . . and Probably about to Kick.

Well. It’s been forever and a thousand years since I’ve posted. Yikes . . . It’s not for lack of things to say, but for lack of mind to say it.

But here we are again. School’s up and running, and while the class was open online last week, I light-heartedly went about writing up my own notes. But with today here . . .

* insert cannon boom from Hunger Games *

Yup. I can’t decide whether that boom’s to alert me that things are serious, that my daydreaming career has died, or that I just need to wake up and smell the coffee. Before it burns.

Eh, take your pick. Perhaps it’s E (as in all of the above).

All that being said, I’m actually having fun writing everything down. It gets a little tedious at times due to my having just read it in my book and notes from the professor and then writing it again, but there’s no way I’m going out without a hard-fought fight.

The first two weeks are mental health (joy!), and this week’s assignment’s the first nine chapters of the mental health book. I’ve really come to appreciate the notes provided to us by the instructor. They’re not only the sort that highlight the important things that one’s read, but she encourages us to think about how various things are applicable. Mental health isn’t my forte, and that’s for various reasons, but I want to learn what I can well.

I’m still planning on working throughout the semester as a part-time LPN at the nursing home. Things could change, but I’m hoping not too much.

(Any and all people who love the English Language can collect a garbage can to pick up the litter that I’ve strewn about here. It’s pretty wild.)

I know there are plenty that read this little corner here, and I’m hoping to keep it up. But, alas, it shall mainly be about school – and that because of the fellow students that visit. I’ll try to keep up, and even post some things that I’ve learned or have been confused over. We’ll see where things go.

Of Pinterest and Socks

As I’ve said before, I’ve spent more time this semester doing . . . well, crafts. I probably should be better spending time doing organizing activities and such, but I tell myself that half my crafts are for organizing. They say that the first step in fixing a problem is admitting that you have one.

So, here goes:

I have a problem with crafts.

Know what else I have a problem with?

Socks.

Yeah. I match socks all the time. And, more often than I’d like, I match socks to socks that don’t match. And really, it’s usually a grey and white sock with a white sock – or a ribbed sock with a non-ribbed. And then, of course, is the cutsie non-pair of MissMatched socks (yes, a real, honest brand of socks) that I “match” three for. Anyways, it drives me up the wall. I know it shouldn’t, I know it’s a silly thing to get worked up over.  But it still happens. I need to do something about it, but I really haven’t.

Back to the crafts (don’t worry, this still applies) – I recently got on Pinterest. It’s kinda one of my new favorite things. Among the wanderings I’ve done there, I found something fabulous. Maybe I’m the only one that finds this great, but that’s okay.

It’s a great idea, right? I think that I’m going to do this someday. However, I’ll probably do some form of chalkboard to write all that on, just because I really don’t like the idea of a huge stencil like that. But still. It’s great. Then again, hopefully I’ll have so few socks like this to make it impossible to have something like this.

Then again . . . . no, I’ll probably need it eventually.

:)

Happy April.

:)

It’s no secret that I’ve had some more time for various things this semester. I miss the rush of nursing school, and I know that I would have laughed to hear that just five months ago. But you know what they say: Be careful what you wish for. ;)

Part of my “various things” that I’ve had time for involves crafty stuff. I’ve always liked to do artsy things, but I’ve never really done much. A few weeks ago, I traveled with my family to our great cosmos in MN, and found a great old suitcase at a thrift store.

A few years ago, I would’ve gagged at the sight of such a piece of luggage. You can either say that my taste has grown to appreciate some vintage, or you can say that my taste has sagged. Either way, it’s a great suitcase.

Especially covered!

Thanks, A Beautiful Mess!

Dear . . .

. . . Winter – It’s about time you showed up. While I’m not entirely sure how to be appropriately grateful, I know the farmers are, so thank you.

. . . Semi with too many vehicles on it – Thank you for driving in front of me on the unplowed highway. You kinda were right on the yellow line, and I nearly got smashed by other semis a couple of times, but you made the drive much easier. I was only mad at you once: When you decided to go downtown and left me all alone to brave the curve into the non-downtown (uptown?).

. . . PM shift – Yesterday went really well. That was kind. We should try for those types of shifts more often.

. . .CNA’s – You all are fabulous. Thanks for working as well as you do.

. . . Night nurse – I’m so glad you showed up. Even more so that you live right in town.

. . . Snow Plowers – You’ve had a pretty light season so far. When you do go on the road, what do you do to keep occupied? Well, besides figuring out how to deal with us little annoying cars? Listen to music? Like . . . The whole St. Matthew’s Passion? (Wouldn’t that be nice.)

. . . Vancomycin – Why. Why, why, why. Why! Troughs and whatnot are really not all that fun, you know.

. . . Schnick – Ouch.

. . . Algebra – So. The grades this semester are nice. What was with the bad ones in high school, huh?

. . . Scrubs – It’s time to find material that doesn’t wrinkle so badly in the wash. That’s all.

. . . Computer battery – Do me a favor and give me a hint when you’re about to die. I thought 13% was when you’d alert me, but you don’t anymore. Was it something I said?

. . . BonLook - Some people might think they look weird, but I’m grateful for the glasses you sent me. And such a good price!

. . . Sappy movie moments- Stop making me cry. I’ve run out of kleenex. Besides the fact I don’t have much on my med and treatment carts.

. . . People – Thank you for making this profession so wonderful. Really.