"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The patients are the exact same type as my old hospital, I'm just in a newer nicer setting. The patients have the same diagnoses, same problems, same families, and same funny things to say- which makes for good stories for you!
So I get in report that my patient is confused at times, but it's questionable. Sometimes patients just don't feel like answering the question or don't understand. So I go in to see this patient, and it turns out she answers all her questions correctly. She knows who she is, where she is, and what day it is. So I'm just about ready to leave the room after I finish my assessment, and im taking off my gloves- literally stepping out of the room when I hear- from my patient- "what's that giraffe doing outside?"
And I froze. What? Giraffe?
So I wasn't sure what to say, really. I kindly looked out the window from where I was standing, and due to the fact that my hospital is not in Africa and its not next to a zoo, I did not see a giraffe.
So I'm all like, "I don't see a giraffe."
And I'm thinking, should I recheck her orientation? Is she hallucinating?
And she's all like, "it's right there! It's a giraffe! Its right outside my window and I'm scared at how close it is."
So I'm like, shit. Shes hallucinating...giraffes. Like, why giraffes? Why not turtles? Or koala bears?
So then I'm like, "I still don't see a giraffe....but you let me know if it comes in the room."
So then she's like, "come to the window and see it!"
So to amuse her and I guess myself too, I go over to the window....
....And low and behold.....
...there wasn't a giraffe. There was a crane. My hospital is under construction, just so happens a construction crane was right outside her window.
I couldn't contain my giggles as I explained to her the differences in our construction vehicle naming misunderstanding.
It was a nursing giggle funny, my patient was not hallucinating after all, and we both giggled about it all day.
Nursing funny #2!!
Okay so I'm admitting this elderly male last night with heart failure. I figured out pretty quickly into the admission that he was *extremely* hard of hearing, and oh- he left his hearing aids at home, of course.
So I couldn't get much out of him from his admission, because he couldn't hear me. But I'm all like, I can't not try. I have to at least try and communicate, that's my job. So I struggle through all the questions, one by one.
Well I get to this one, what religion is the patient? And at first I'm all like- is this really an important question to ask when I'm struggling with all the rest? No. But then I remembered that I'm a bit biased one the religion side of things, and what if this guy is like an ex- priest or something and he's actually super religious and it means a lot to him that someone come to see him when he's here (even if he couldn't hear them- that's beside the point).
So I ask my patient, "do you have a religious preference?"
"do you have a religion?"
"a religion? Like catholic, or presbyterian or something?"
"oh..a religion...a religion.....hmmm..."
So he literally took a moment to think, and I was just about to give up, when he shouts out, "yes! I'm American!"
I had to try so hard to not laugh. I smiled and I thanked him and clicked "no preference/other" on the religion choice.
Well that's It for the funnies this week! It's been an adventure so far, that's for sure. But I'm slowly starting to fit in and learn the ropes. :)
Thanks for reading everyone!
Hope I made ya giggle :)
Thursday, November 22, 2012
It's been a rocky couple of weeks, and the months ahead will be up and down! Welcome to the adult world, I guess.
But regardless, my favorite holiday of the entire year and I get to spend it with some of my favorite people. Like I did last year, I'd like to dedicate a post to what I am most thankful this year. I don't mean to sound cliche, but I think everyone (including me!) forgets what blessings we truly do have and we tend to focus on the negatives in our lives. I've had a lot of negatives lately and today I am making it a point to focus on the positive, not just today but for the months to come.
I am most thankful for the following, in no particular order:
- My health. I have all four limbs, I can walk, talk, hear, see and smell. I have all my organs. Nothing hurts every day. I can breathe. I am blessed.
- My family. My parents have supported me so much and are always there when I need to fall back on them. I couldn't ask for a better set of parents, ever.
- My sister, she's growing up to be a pretty cool grown-up :)
- The most amazing, loving, nurturing and caring boyfriend I could have ever asked for. I definitely don't deserve him and yet he sticks around anyway. He is always there when I need him and he can read my mind and always knows when I need a hug. His smile brings a smile to my face every day and I am grateful for that.
- My grandma and grandpa. I am with them both this holiday today and they are both able to walk, talk, hear, see, remember everything, and laugh. I am thankful they are still present in my life and I will cherish that.
- I'm thankful for a nursing job that recently changed into one of the most amazing deals I can think of, working less and getting paid more. I am grateful that this leads me to have more time to finally finish my book.
- I'm thankful for my gym, its one of the most amazing gyms and has introduced me to racquetball, one of the hardest and fastest sports I've ever played and I love it.
- I'm still thankful for my car. It's still, so so so awesome.
- I'm thankful for the United States troops- Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and all the reserves that are away from their families today, fighting for their families, fighting for our freedom so that we can enjoy our day today in peace. Thank you.
- I'm thankful for all my fellow nurses out there, we are our own breed and we can communicate with each other so well, also thankful for all the police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, mechanics, grocery store workers, and everyone else that is stuck working today instead of with their family.
- ARTSQUEST!! I'm thankful for Artsquest, my escape, my place to smile in.
- And Barnes & Noble. ^^
- I'm thankful for a roof over my head and a warm place to live in. I have the most amazing apartment in the BEST little city and I couldn't ask for anything better.
- I am thankful for the BEST friends a girl could ever ask for. My friends this year, new and old, have taught me that its okay to open up to them and not keep everything inside. They truly care about me and I will love them forever in return. They know who they are.
I guess thats about it.
It's 2012 and this country is in a severe economic crisis, and by all means not every 24 year old in America has their own apartment, car, and an income to support themselves. Not every person, regardless of age, has what I have said above, and every single human deserves it all. THe human race amazes me every day, despite all of our flaws. I know I am very blessed and I have so many people to thank for that. I truly do.
So, I'm settling into my new job and its going somewhat well, I'll dedicate a new post soon all about that. Anyway, I hope whoever is reading this enjoys the holiday today with their loved ones, friends and family and takes a moment to think about what they are most thankful for this season. It's okay if its what you've been thankful for last year, because all that matters is that you remind yourself of your blessings.
Friday, November 9, 2012
But thats not the point of this blog.
The day of voting, I went after a long day in class/work/orientation. I stood in line like many across the country did that day, and in front of me was an elderly gentleman. I noticed this man was on supplemental oxygen and was alone. He managed to either drive or get dropped off, but regardless made the effort to participate in the election. He then walked all the way into the polling center, and waited in line like the rest of us. What I was pleased to see was that other people in line in front of him, all let him go before them. They also went and got a chair for him to sit in not only while he waited but during the process of actually casting his vote. Other people helped him carry his oxygen machine. The poll director helped him back down the stairs and to his car.
Now I was pleased to see that not only people in my country but people in my community, still have human souls and would go out of their way to make this gentleman comfortable. But what really made me so happy was that this gentleman bothered to come out and vote.
It made me angry to think of how many young and able people don't vote because they're lazy, think their vote won't count, or they don't "believe in politics"....and yet this 90+ gentleman citizen believed enough to make it out to vote.
I don't even care a single ounce if he voted different than me. I don't care whose side he is on. He is on my side because he lives in America, and that is the point. To just participate. To make your voice matter, no matter what you believe in. Thats what election day is all about.
Thats all, simple post today. :)
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
FIRST OFF, I got the job! Woot! I officially start there on Monday, it is a med/surg position still, which is great because I need my two years and I like the constant variety... However it will be a weekend night position. What's that? You basically strike a deal with the devil and agree you will be there 2 nights, every single weekend except TWO per the entire year...but that's it. You get off 5 days per week, work the weekends and get paid more. I see it as a win!
But anyway, at this new hospital I will be responsible for my own EKG readings. For my non-medical readers, an EKG is a test involving 12 little stickers or "leads" that are placed on your chest, legs and arms to monitor the amount of electricity through your body conducted by your heart, which is displayed on a strip piece of paper and we can see the type of rhythm your heart is making. By knowing this rhythm, we know what's wrong with your heart and what part of your heart isn't working.
So! Here I am, a one-year RN going from a med/surg unit where I never had to worry (much) about heart rhythms to a unit where I will be responsible for my own. Yikes! I skip completely over the unit where they have techs to watch the monitors and tell you what they mean. *sigh*
The first time I floated down to that unit, my cardiology unit in my hospital here, I first asked my old preceptor, "do you have any really important advice to give that I should know about cardiology?"
She looked at me very seriously as she nodded, got a piece of paper out and drew this:
As she drew that line she said, "if you see this, it's not good."
Of course she was kidding. Well, sort of kidding. Partially kidding. Only in the aspect where every nurse (or really anyone every that's watched a medical show on tv in general) knows that a flat line is never good. So that pro founding bit of advice wasn't exactly that helpful.
But I learned quickly. And whatever you don't know in nursing, you quickly get someone that does know.
But being that I have the type of brain that loves to do math, figure out mysteries, do busiwork, etc., I found that I fell in love with trying to figure out each rhythm. It was like a puzzle.
I finally finished the class and all of the sudden I feel 200% more competent as an RN. No more constant dread that I can't competently take care of cardiac patients. I can look at the tele monitor now and understand who is in critical condition, when to call the doctor, what to do about certain rhythms. It feels amazing to connect those synapses in your brain when things coming together, applying knowledge you gathered in nursing school to knowledge you learned on the field to knowledge you regain after like this, on top of the clinical knowledge.
For example when I came on shift recently, I looked at my patient on the monitor. I had asked the nurse taking care of him prior what rhythm was his normal, and they had trouble reading it so they had to move his room to better wireless area. So I was the first to read his rhythm. I looked at it and right away thought, "that's a.fib". My heart threw a PVC (haha), and I thought "shit! My patients in a. Fib!" but then I remembered the basics. 1) assess my patient. 2) assess the heart rate (is the heart able to accommodate or control the a fib? 3) does the patient have a known history of the a.fib? 4) does be doctor know about the a.fib happening on this hospital stay?
Luckily, they were all in my favor. My patient was not symptomatic. His heart rate was under control. He had a history of the a.fib, and the doctor already knew because they saw it during surgery earlier that hospital stay. So all I had to do was continue to monitor my patient, monitor the heart rate, make sure it doesn't enter an uncontrolled rhythm. The reason I bore you with this story is to show you (or myself ) that before this class, I would have freaked out if my patient was in a. Fib because that's a scary term and I wouldn't know the difference of good or bad a.fib....but now, I am competent enough to understand the heart enough to see that rhythm on the monitor and not have to 1) initially freak out 2) enter a bout of colitis because I would be stressed all shift about it until my patient went normal sinus (the normal heart rhythm).
With every bout of learning I learn, I love nursing more and more. The days I hate nursing are the days I feel incompetent. Those are the days I feel stressed. I don't mind having a completely shitty, busy as all hell day, whatever bring it on. But the minute I feel like I aren't good enough to care for my patient, that's when I feel that I hate nursing and can't wait for my shift to end. But when I feel like I can take care of my patients no matter what and can help other nurses even, I love my job. I love being able to feel confident. It's empowering and it makes me want to learn more, more, more. Soon I will be taking an ACLS class, which would further my certification to enable me to take care of more critical patients. During code-blue situations I would be able to push life-saving drugs into patients. I can work in the ICU or the ER with this certification. So, that's pretty cool and up and coming.
I finally have fully functioning power back and at least 134,342,114 posts ready to write, so look forward to that! Hopefully I still have readers =)
Love you all, thanks for reading.
Friday, November 2, 2012