Sunday, March 28, 2010

Anxiety r/t unknown career path following graduation

I don't want to be a nurse, at least, not the typical hospital-type one that most people think of. I'm finishing up my third semester of nursing school and was hoping by now that I would have found my niche. Most of the students I'm in class with either know what they want to go into or have discovered an area they really enjoy while in school. I'm sitting at neither. Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoy working with patients, and most of them have really liked me too (shocker, right?). It's just that none of the areas have hit any kind of cord with me.

I thought I'd like OB until I had to take care of women in labor and that changed my mind right there. I found myself trying to get the newborns out of the nursery as quickly as possible so I wouldn't have to rock anymore to sleep. I dreaded going in my pediatrics patients' rooms because they couldn't talk back to me and their parents were nuts. I thought I may like med-surg since I've worked hard to learn the classroom material only to discover that nurses are supposed to be do-ers, not thinkers, so most of that knowledge never gets used. It's mainly catheter care, wound vac's, and hanging IV medications...and calling the "doctor" for every little obvious question.

Currently my best bet is psych and I half like it/half hate it. I hate that most of the patients are hopeless; if you have schizophrenia, the best you can hope for is that the doctors find medications that get rid of the voices or paranoia's without making your body fall apart and attack itself. If you have an addiction, in the end it's only you that can stop the process and fix the problem; rehab can only do so much especially since most facilities can only take a patient for 7-10 days. If depression runs in your family and you get it, the cycle doesn't stop. Doctors can mask the pain with medications but it's in your genes. Long story short, I feel like most psych patients I can never really help. I worked with an actively psychotic paranoid schizophrenic the other week and although I got her calmed down (after several hours), she went right back to how she was when I got there by the time I left, medications and all. It's depressing for me.

On the flip side, I've found it to be fascinating. When I originally went into college I was a psych major, and one of my favorite classes ever was abnormal psychology. The brain fascinates me. Personality disorders, schizophrenia, and disassociative identity disorder fascinate me. It's all fascinating. Unfortunately, as a nurse, I can't treat those problems, I can only try and talk to the patient and help them through their current crisis. If I work with those kinds of things, I want to talk AND treat! It's frustrating. Even then, I still don't feel a "calling" towards psych. Sigh.

I really need to feeling a calling towards some type of area in the next 9 months or I fear I'll end up somewhere that I can't stand (granted, that's if new RN's get a break by then and even have the chance to get hired).

For those that know me though, don't worry, I will continue to treat my patients as if they were my own family and I'll keep studying and trying to get the good grades. Now I just have to add in "Anxiety r/t unknown career path following graduation" to my list of concerns.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm a dork (raise hand high)

I'm absolutely enthralled with being able to watch my Netflix queue on my Wii now. I know, that makes me a huge nerd but since I don't pay for cable (nor have time to keep up with any current shows), Netflix is the closest I get to seeing anything. And now, I can watch half of my items on the TV instead of on my computer screen. It's great. I'm halfway through the 4th season of "Desperate Housewives" and I can actually see everyone's faces. On the down side, this is not contributing to my ability to study and tomorrow the Wii will have to be turned off also. I have a med-surg exam this week and I'm barely hanging on to my A, so this will either make it or break it (and personally, I'd prefer to make it...b/c this class is worth 6 credit hours). For now though, I'm being kept entertained by the nutty women on Wisteria Lane.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Getting old...

...scares me to death. I'll be honest, I never thought that growing old was a good thing. Not to say I don't think my parents and grandparents aren't beautiful people as they've aged, but what the body goes through as it gets older, to me, absolutely sucks. I've been taking a gerontology course this semester and although my instructor is an incredibly sweet and intelligent person I just don't find myself agreeing with her opinion that being old is wonderful. Since she told us that the first day of class she has proceeded to inform us of all the things that change as one ages, especially after the age of 65. Just to list a few: age spots, skin cancers, bad teeth, poor circulation, less muscle/more fat, curved spine, shrinking brain, stiffer heart muscles, bone density decreasing, bone fractures, hip replacements, prolonged recovery times, progressively poorer vision, eye diseases, skin diseases, medication side effects, decreased balance, falling down more, increased sensitivity to light, poorer hearing, needing more time to process things, delirium & dementia, Alzheimer's, other cancers...and the list goes on and on.

Now, instead of being in awe of people surviving for so long, I am now scared out of my mind about getting old. Quite frankly, I don't really want to live as long as most people in my family seem to (late 80's, early 90's). Unless I start running marathons and am still running marathons when I'm 75 (see: Jack Lallane) with clear vision, thick bones, and perfect hearing, I don't know if I still want to be around. Honestly. That also brings me to the fact that I continue to think researchers should spend more time figuring out how to improve the quality of life before they continue increasing the span of life. It's nice to say your grandma lived to be 95, but if she had dementia, osteoporosis, several counts of melanoma, was legally blind, and couldn't hear...well, wasn't that a skippy thing for her to endure. Just saying. Point still being though, I don't want to get that old. I've already developed 2 sun spots on my face and it has absolutely traumatized me; I'm already buying anti-aging creams to try and fade them. It's definitely SPF 30 from now on not to mention chugging milk despite my kidney stones and running even though I hate doing it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

RNIA

eating: absolutely nothing. every time i eat i get a stomach ache and cramping. i think nursing school has given me an ulcer

feeling: tired. i haven't had good sleep in weeks. and relieved that the weekend is almost here again

listening: to the humidifier, the tv, and the dogs snoring

watching: sadly, the vampire diaries. i don't usually watch anything but lost but it's what's on

reading: soon-to-be the endocrine chapter in med-surg

loving: that there are only 4 weeks left in the semester

disliking: that there are still 4 weeks left in the semester

thinking: i need to study. but i don't really want to study. so i'm not going to quite yet

hoping: that the next 4 weeks pass quickly (what else???). that my grandparents are doing okay

wishing: that i had less debt. that i'd win the lottery (i need to play first). that the dog would quit destroying my back yard

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vent

Since being in nursing school I have had the opportunity to experience clinical rotations at a variety of hospitals. The hospitals have all had their share of issues but for the most part been okay to work at. However, one of the ones I'm at this semester is turning me off more and more. The hiring department is heinous- they don't even read applications before they delete you off and not look twice. The nurses are like middle school cheerleaders with their constant bickering and gossip. The "care partners" ie certified nurse aids have an inferiority complex with the nurses AND nursing students so they go out of their way to be rude, unhelpful, and disrespectful. The surgeons think their God's gift to low-income North Carolinians and treat them and other staff as such.

The list goes on and on. What gets to me is that this hospital is supposedly a great hospital that is building a stellar reputation and I would NEVER in my life let anyone I love be a patient there. Having seen the dangerous "short-cuts" the nurses take to save time on top of everything mentioned above makes me scared to death to let a single person there ever touch someone I care about. And that to me is a shame. It makes me concerned to have family and friends at any hospital, because the power plays and gossiping do seem to be the same everywhere to varying degrees. The country is in an uproar because everyone "deserves healthcare"; personally I would like to think that most people (yes, I said most and not all) deserve better than the healthcare that I've seen provided to patients so far in this end of the state. It's like saying everyone deserves a free house but providing them with one full of asbestos. Pointless. And scary.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Break

Over Spring Break
I went on a cruise
My sister convinced me
I couldn’t refuse.
The price of the trip
Seemed to be pretty low
It all was a big front
My bank account took a blow.

The ship was enormous
2 pools, 6 hot tubs
A theater, art gallery
A spa for back rubs.
Also a library
For dorks like me
Who still have to study
While drifting at sea.
A casino, 10 bars
A huge fitness center
Stocked full of equipment
I never did enter.
Numerous restaurants
All served damn good food
And also swirled ice cream
That brightened my mood.

Our first day of cruising
We spent all day at sea
Eating and sunning
From nursing school I was free.

We stopped in Honduras
Snorkeled and saw rays
Then baked in the sun
For much of the day.

Our snorkel guide was great
I don’t remember his name
But he showed us neat stuff
It was fun all the same.
In Belize we went tubing
Through dark and damp caves
Then drifted down river
On a wet, twisted maze.
Our tour guide Peter
Was a funny guy
He told us all about
The cheap land we could buy.

Next stop was in Mexico
To Mayan ruins we went
The scorching hot sun
Made us feel really spent.
The city was crowded
With little to do
We skimped on the shopping
And got out of that zoo.

The next day again
Was spent on the boat
We had time to recover
And see some good shows.

Great Stirrup Cay
Was to be the last port
But the waves were too big
The tender boats were too short.

Instead we anchored
And hung out on the ship
Despite the missed stop
It was still a great trip.

The End.

Sick

Made it home from the cruise...with a nice case of bronchitis. I started writing a poem about the trip (big surprise) so I will post that and pictures as soon as it's done.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Apologies...

...to my readers, but I have nothing to write about right now other than I'M GOING ON A CRUISE! Can you tell I'm excited? We're headed to Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Grand Cayman so needless to say, I'm thrilled. No nursing school and no crappy city for a week makes for a happy person.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Med-Surg Test

I realize I am avoiding studying to the max, so no need to remind me that poetry is not accomplishing an A in my class!

Med-Surg Test

I dread you so
There's so much stuff
I need to know.

All the different
Types of shock
Heart dysrhythmias
AV blocks.

So many anemias
One can get
All the signs
I’ll soon forget.

And if that isn’t
Quite enough
Spinal cord injuries
Are also tough.

Keep them stable
Check their heart
Their broken back
Is just the start.

So many problems
So many tests
When all I want
Is just to rest.