Another Week Gone By

Yet another week gone by, more assignments turned in, more experiences on the floor in clinicals, etcetera.

School’s becoming a bear. A large, dark, gnashing bear. It haunts me in my sleep, and fills my sometimes coherent thoughts. I wonder what I may be doing wrong, since I only work part-time and have no family to take responsibility for like most of my classmates. They don’t seem to go as crazy, but I think that they may have quicker minds. :) And I say that with complete honesty and seriousness.

When I was in high school, Wednesday was the day that was the “hump” of the week. It brought the last assignments, tests, papers and quizzes. It brought the weekend. Now, Wednesday is the day that I feel like I’m taking a blind plunge into the dark depths of a beautifully stormy ocean. I know that good will come of clinicals, that each week I’ll feel more and more like a nurse.

This week, I worked more closely with the nurses on the floor. Though I think it’s more like they’re putting me in situations and talking me through it. It’s unpleasant and terrifying for a moment (or few), but when it’s all over, I know that I wouldn’t want to have missed it for the world. I dressed two wounds this week. One was relatively small (circular with a two centimeter diameter), and the other was smaller yet. But both were so deep that I had a few queasy moments cleaning them out and culturing them for MRSA. The circular one was right above a joint, and I could see the bone smack-dab in the middle once I was done irrigating it with saline. The other had so much to dig out in order to clean it, that I had to hold onto the bed for support. The kind nurses tell me that they all have moments like that, and that it gets better eventually. I sure hope so, because I don’t do my patient any good by becoming one myself.

Of course, the next day, we hadn’t received the results from the MRSA cultures, but it was decided that the patient be put on isolation precautions. I hate plastic isolation gowns. They give a whole new meaning to the phrase “sweat like a pig”. It’s humiliating and ugly, and every patient that has to see those come in says that we look ridiculous and that it makes them feel even sicker. I can’t blame them, and I hate that it makes them feel that way, but such is life. Joking about it with the patient seems to brighten the mood, like pointing out that, yes, you thought that once your grandkids grew out of that show with the tellietubbies (however in the daisies that’s spelled), you’d be done with them. Not so! Come to the hospital, and the nurses and doctors like to dress up like a blue one. It always gets a smile or a laugh, and at least they know that you don’t like that you have to do it for their sake either.

It’s all worth it though. I like to think that the changes I see in myself, in the way that others in the work place see me, are changes of good growth. I hope that I’m shining in a way that makes my Lord look really good. When I hear from others how different I am with patients, I know that it’s only because of Him.

Please pray that I might continue this well, and not forget my purpose.

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One thought on “Another Week Gone By

  1. Hey Jennifer,
    You rock! I haven’t started clinicals yet but I’ve gotten a taste of how hard it is to balance just what we have to do in lab with studying for tests and the rest of my life (taking care of family, working, and taking care of myself). I know it’ll just get harder and that there are tough moments ahead that you have described with such honesty and humility. It’s all going to be worth it in the end (at least I hope so.) How could we not get better at both doing everything we’ll need to do and coping with everything we’ll have to cope with. We are beginners, just learning the skills and the roles after all!
    –Jen

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