"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?"
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Getting to work with it all weekend after that moment has been fantastic and very eye-opening. I remember having had "play time" on one of my last days of my own training where we were allowed to just play around and practice anything so that we felt completely ready to help once we went-live. I practiced and practiced and I thought surely, I know everything know- What other situation could arise that I don't know how to do?
Well, I should have slapped myself right there because the rest of the weekend I was "go-Live support" which entailed me running around the hospital ( I literally ran up and down some stairs a few occasions) in order to help all three of our units and the ICU, and handle any problems that were arising. Needless to say, my "to-do" list was about 20 items long and it kept me busy all 12 hours of my shift. I would cross one thing off and be on my way to handle another and then on that route another problem would occur. So, point of the story is I thought I knew how to handle everything but then when real patients are in with unique individual situations and the patients aren't fake, certain charting queries come up and there needs to be a firm solution on how to handle that. I was put on the spot many times and had to rack my brain at 3 am in order to get a solution.
It is interesting watching people learn. Like I said before, I had the opportunity all fall to teach fellow nurses, PCAs, and Nurse managers on how to use the system. We faced a lot of kickback, frustration, tears, confusion, etc. And although I saw a lot of frustration with the Go-Live as well, overall these nurses knew that frustration was not going to help their patient and that if they just sit back and let us teach them how to handle the problem, they would go a lot further. Therefore a lot more health care personnel were a lot more open to learning this time around since we were working with real patients, real time, real problems. It was also delightful getting a lot more "Ah-ha!" moments from our users.
It is a known fact that users always learn faster when emerged inside of a real situation. We can only teach these users so much and get them to remember when we are working with "John Playdough" instead of a real patient, and when we are teaching 2-3 months away from the Go-Live day. And yet when these users are using it every second of their shift because they have to for their real patients, they pick it up much faster. Just like learning a language- You learn French much better stuck in the middle of France than you do in a classroom.
Overall this whole experience so far has reinforced within my own self that I love informatics, I love teaching people and I still love healthcare. I can't wait to grow inside this field and to accomplish more tasks. I love being in charge of projects around the hospital and reporting to and talking directly to high-up administration (literally had multiple conversations with the vice president of my hospital over the weekend!) not because of a power trip- but because I like being trusted and knowing that people believe I can accomplish difficult tasks.
Well, another weekend of work ahead-stay tuned! In other news, I get to go to my orientation for my masters program tonight! Super awesome! And next Tuesday I start my class! So exciting! Nerdddddddd. :-)
Thursday, January 7, 2016
"If theres any body out there listening to me, all I have is a story and a dream. Here I am, and thats all that I can be." -Tori Kelly
Hi. It's me. I'm writing again. I'm here.
I've been thinking about this blog for a very long time. It started in 2009 and around 2013 I lost my drive, my writing mojo. All together. I tried so hard to keep it all together and as my nursing career was starting and going strong I began to lose the writers part of my brain. I began to feel burnt out as a nurse after my 3rd year and it started to consume my entire life, my entire brain. It made me not want to write anymore. I didn't feel like I had anything to say. For awhile I tried making 1-2 posts a year but that just made me feel even worse. Even more guilty.
I guess part of me didn't know what to say and the other part of me didn't want to let my audience down. I worked so hard bringing this blog to where it was, gained so many followers and internet attention as It was being born- and then during my block- sometimes I would think of a post and instead of just going with it like I used to- Who cared what people thought?- I would filter it and ask myself, is this good enough for my blog? And usually I'd talk myself out of it or then find myself too busy to log on and try so the thought wouldn't come to fruition. The evil cycle continued.
However lately, my life has taken many strange and exciting turns. It has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. Like I said, I've been thinking about this blog and have desired to start it back up for quite some time now. But again thought to myself, do I have anything to say? But now I have realized within myself- the same self that started this back in 2009 that who cares what people think? This is my blog, my writing, my self. Lately I've really started paying attention to myself and reacting and standing up for myself and whats right. So from now on I will write what comes to mind and if it bores you then great, find a list to the right hand side of my page with other fantastic blogs you should go read. I need this. I need this blog now to be an open space for me.
So where is my life now? Where is my career? In recent exciting news, I have gotten married! Yeah! Crazy. I married a wonderful gentleman back in October. To say the least, it's been an incredible but very busy fall! I thank fates and heaven every day for my husband and this wonderful man, even though i'm pretty sure he doesn't even know how thankful I am for him every day. I try so hard to be a "good wife" but its not in my genetic code to be very wifely. Once in awhile I pull through for him though. ;) He's so patient with me, takes care of me, encourages me, inspires me, questions me in a good way, watches out for me, protects me, and loves me so much. Just the other day I was explaining to someone else that found them self in a rather new relationship- the friend asked me how I knew this man was the one- I said because we can read each other's minds. Although that sounds telepathic and futuristic- Its true! We can't actually, but we almost always know what the other is thinking.
We haven't been able to take a honeymoon however, much to our dismay. Why? That leads me to my next exciting news. My career took an exciting change for the better in August. The Hospital Network I work for has recently decided to adapt a new electronic health record system. For privacy purposes, I won't outwardly say which one, but if you know anything about health informatics and what system is currently sweeping the entire nation- you can probably guess which one. In August I was selected to come on to a team of trainers to teach all the nurses and care assistants in my entire network on how to use this system before it goes-live. So even though I had spent the last four years on the nursing unit at the patients bedside, I decided it was time for a "break" from the bedside and to follow my heart into healthcare informatics. Although I had never really been a trainer or teacher of any kind before August, I dove right in and for the last few months have been teaching nurses!
My mom is a sixth grade teacher. Growing up watching what she did every day, I didn't think I had it in me-the strength to do what she did. I admired her but didn't think I ever could do it. But, it was what I faced at the time so I jumped right in and started teaching! I soon found out after a few bumps and practice runs that I actually loved to teach! Sure I had a ton of challenges and challenging people (turns out teaching adults is very hard!), but that feeling of sharing your own wealth of knowledge and seeing other people "get it", is very rewarding. I even had a student tell me I was the best teacher he has ever had, including nursing school, and grad school. Go figure!
I knew I was good at it and ran with it. I was good because I was a nurse, teaching nurses. I understood what they go through on a daily basis, because I went through it all too. I understood what I needed to teach them in order for them to be successful. I was able to relate to them, tell stories about my own nursing care, give examples and scenarios on how this new system will make *our* lives easier as nurses. It was the perfect recipe.
So that whole process of going-live with the software? Yeah, that starts tomorrow. I know I am prepared because being a trainer, I know the system inside and out. However I start my journey back on the patients bedside during this whole process, my trainer/teaching time opportunity is thus far all done. So the next couple weeks/months will be stressful at best as we all cope with this very big change in my network. I am personally excited, even though I know it will be stressful. I am excited for the end result because I know the system will eventually better our patient care, give us more time with our patients instead of unnecessary charting. Just, in time. Everything good happens in time, right ? Something like that?
All that time all fall in the classroom has also inspired me to *finally* begin my Masters of Nursing program at a local university, in Clinical Nurse Leadership. I start in a week and a half and I am sooooooooo excited, but also nervous! I LOVE school, and I LOVE to be a student, and I am such a nerd because I honestly seriously do LOVE to learn new things. I want to soak up all the knowledge in the world, the only trick is remembering it all! And paying for all that knowledge. -__-
So upcoming between my return to the unit and starting school, I will have a ton to write about! I will also need this venting space now more than ever. I don't know how I will find the time, but somehow I found the time during my Bachelors program so I can find it now too.
Also in recent months, my beloved 85 year old grandma and best friend, has moved into my state! I tried for it to be the same town, but two towns over isn't too shabby either. She used to live in Long Island, New York, and on a good day it was 3 hours to go see her. On a bad day, up to 6 hours. With her increasing age and frailty, that was too long to travel on a moments notice. So the past couple months has been lots of realty and picking things out and spending time with lawyers, but best of all spending more time with my Grandma. She moved December 10th and I have been able to spend so much more time with her since. I already considered her my best friend prior, I have since I was a child- but even more so now. I am able to get to know so much more about her, and her I. The best part is with all this time spent with her, I felt inspired of all her tales about her life that I wanted to write about it all. So I'm writing a brand new, fresh start, new book. I know I've said that before, but this one feels different... It just does.
Well, this has been a long enough first blog back. I work all weekend as we "go-live", but I assure you after this weekend, I will post again to tell you all about how that all went down. Probably with a glass of wine. ;)
For the followers that still follow, thank you from the bottom of my heart for still having interest. For any newcomers, welcome!
A Writer in a Nurse's Body
P.S. That quote up top and the title of my post. There's a (small) story to that. As I tried to muster up the courage to come on here and write again, as I loaded the webpage, a song by Tori Kelly called "Where I belong" came on and I heard these lyrics and it was exactly what I needed to hear. Because thats exactly what I think, what I am, where I belong. I am just a girl with a story and a dream.