"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?"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Anxious Annie

In order to really make goals and objectives for myself during this medical/ surgical rotation, I have to identify my underlying fears. I have worked on a med/surg floor for three years, so I do not understand why I am afraid, because I should not be. I have already met my patient I will be having tomorrow, and if I had her at my own job, I wouldn't be scared at all. It would be just another patient to take care of, and that's that. So what makes me so terribly anxious to start tomorrow? By the end of my maternity rotation, I had calmed down a lot about clinicals. And Upperclassmen had eased our fears and said that by the time you get to Med/Surg, you won't be afraid anymore. Is it just a first week/first patient sort of thing? Am I scared of failing? Am I scared of doing something wrong? I think the latter option takes the cake. I have an intense fear of doing things wrong. At my job as an aide, I know my job in and out and I am never afraid because I have total confidence that I know 95% of what I'm doing (there is always more to learn!). And tomorrow should be no different. I met my patient, I like her, so again, what is there to be afraid of? The unexpected? Not knowing what the day format will be? So to narrow it down, here are my thought out goals and objectives to have completed this semester:

  1. Have more confidence in myself by the end of this rotation and not be so scared. Take my confidence and not be afraid to do the skills asked of me, and not be afraid to ask questions (despite how stupid they may be).
  2. By the end of this semester I want to have a better hold on all of this knowledge. Right now it is difficult because we are learning in lecture as we start in clinical. For instance tomorrow, I have a patient with a condition we have not yet learned about. Hopefully by the end of this semester I will feel a lot better in seeing the whole picture and understanding tinier clues.

It will be a lot to struggle with, this I know. It has always been an internal struggle, my lack of confidence. It's an anxiety thing I suppose. When I don't give myself time to think about it and just do it, I usually do great and I feel great afterwards. I guess I'm just afraid of trying something and having it be a horrible disaster and the patient is harmed or is suffering because of it. I don't like to get things wrong and I struggle with it when I do. I guess that will only help me learn that faster, right? A little part of me is looking forward to this rest of the semester, hopefully it goes well. J

~ A Writer in a (anxious) Nurse's Body <3

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Ok so my dreams...I usually don't and won't talk about them. I very much so believe in the power dreams have, the power unique to every individual. For some, they have the power to show clips of the future. For others, dreams bring people back to certain memories, so rich and real that they wake up and wish they could go back again. Other dreams bring an opportunity to talk to someone you miss, whether they still roam on this planet or not. Others let you try an experience that maybe you always wanted to try or were too scared to try, and boy does it feel real. Others let you have a conversation with a celebrity, or someone you've been wanting (or avoiding) to talk to. Others just recreate an image of what your underlying subconscious is trying to say, just in a sometimes funny or scary fashion.

Well last night I had this dream that I was at work. (If you don't already know, I am currently employed working as a nurse aide in a hospital). It was busy on the floor, I had been seeing a lot of patients. I started not to feel well, and I realized that Matthew was on the floor too...as some type of employee (aide, security, transfer..etc.). Whatever he was, he was working with the same patient I had to see. Matthew asked me to bring him something, across the room. Except when I tried to walk, I felt so, so drunk. Now mind you, I've never been drunk so I can't actually say that thats what it felt like in the dream, but If i had to guess what it felt like, I'd say that. Everything was spinning, and I couldn't seem to put one foot in front of the other, it was surreal. Everything was so funny...I remember laughing a lot at the fact I couldn't manage to walk across the room. In my dream however, I knew that I wasn't drunk. I was at work, I hadn't had anything to drink. To me, It felt like a medical condition, that something was terribly wrong with my body (neurological). That's when I asked Matt to carry me away. To my surprise, he did. He brought me into an empty hospital bed and let me lay down. I wanted him to lie with me, but before I could remember anything else, I guess I fell asleep because the next thing I know, I wake up (Still in the dream!) and Matthew is lying on the floor. I am still in the hospital, but my bed had moved to this crammed space where all these back up supplies were kept. I slowly got up, since I had felt a lot better. Then Matt disappeared, and the door to the room opened, with a stretcher coming through with a patient on it. I immediately got up and went to help transfer admit this patient...I did my assessment, did the usual, got him comfortable. It was an older man AAOX3, so I wasn't too alarmed. THen i realized his bed didn't have a fitted sheet, so I asked Matt to grab me one from our supplies cart. But they were gone, so i ran to our closet and they were gone too. Then I realized the bed I had been sleeping on hadn't had one either. Then this nurse came running to me and told me patients weren't allowed to help with admissions or roam the halls without permission, and that I was supposed to be in bed. We were on a psych ward. There was no matt, it was an aide that had carried me to my own bed, everything was a hallucination...The "drunk" was a side effect to a knock-out medication. Then I woke up. For real.

I know...This is why I usually don't share my dreams because people think I'm on drugs. I always have had the gift(I think its a gift anyway) of having magnificently vivid dreams. They mean a lot to me. This one...well, you can see why they give me a lot to think about when I wake up. My rationale for it is that it is a reflection of my underlying fear of going to the psych ward this semester for clinical rotation. I know I shouldn't be afraid. Out of all people in my class even, I should be the least afraid, right? I have had multiple nurses, patients, co-aides tell me that I am so great with psych patients. I have this natural ability to calm them down, when they aren't too far gone. I can calm anxiety attacks down very well. I can help dementia patients come back to reality even for just five minutes. It comes natural to me...the psych ward this semester shouldnt be anything I'm not used to one bit...but that doesn't mean I'm not scared. I've mentioned this in another blog before, I hate patients being unpredictable...One minute they can be completely calm and the next they lash out and grab you. Some of our nurses and aides have been sent to the ER from this. Scratches, bites...they come easy and all of us have our scars. Its not that I'm scared of being hurt...thats not it. I guess I don't know what my true primary fear is. Something I have to think about. Maybe that will help my anxiety in terms of this coming semester (for Med Surg and psych).

Well, I have to go read for my Psych class now actually. Corny introduction stuff (yay).

For now, with love,

~A Writer in a Nurse's Body


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Superman Tonight

"Superman Tonight"

There's something about you
I want to rescue
I don't even know you
So what does that mean

Maybe I'm cynical
I'm painfully logical
You're tragic and beautiful
And that's good enough for me

You're looking for a hero, but it's just my old tattoo
Tonight I swear I'd sell my soul to be a hero for you

Who's going to save you
When the stars fall from your sky
And who's going to pull you in
When the tide gets too high
Who's going to hold you
When you turn out the lights
I won't lie I wish that I
Could be your superman tonight

If somebody sent you
An angel to save you
What would you tell him to turn him away

That your heart don't break
That your lips don't kiss
That life is just a lie
That heaven don't exist?

Who's going to save you
When the stars fall from your sky
And who's going to pull you in
When the tide gets too high
Who's going to hold you
When you turn out the lights
I won't lie I wish that I
Could be your superman tonight

Who's going to fix you
The next time you break down
Stranded alone by the side of the road
It's your baggage that's dragging you down
Don't look back
Let it go

Who's going to save you
When the stars fall from your sky
And who's going to pull you in
When the tide gets too high
Who's going to hold you
When you turn out the lights
I won't lie I wish that I
Could be your superman tonight

-Bon Jovi from his new album "The Circle"

Best. Song. Ever. My new favorite. I have been listening to it round the clock, nonstop, I love it. It made me cry the first time…and only a few songs (I can think of about three) have EVER been able to make me cry ("Take me There" and "Thank you for Loving me"…and its usually because of an underlying reason about my life why the song has so much significance at the time.

But seriously…this is any girl's ultimate dream. To have a guy that loves her that can say these lyrics and *mean* them. So many guys can recite them and know how to say them…but mean them? I need this so bad. Who doesn't need this?

I recently had a very long conversation about this topic. It really got me thinking. I'm all for women being all independent and whatever…out in the work force, kicking a$$, buying things for guys, chipping in for dinner…whatever. But who doesn't want their man to open the door for them every time? Who doesn't want their guy to protect them from everything in the world? To save them from anything and everything, to be there for them no matter what? No matter what it is, to do everything they can to make it better, to make you smile again. Who doesn't want a hero to sweep them off their feet? Isn't that what we are all looking for in this journey? There has been so many times that I needed someone to pick me up, to save me from falling down a deep black hole of everything, just someone to be there and take my hand. It would mean so much. I love being there for other people, I am a very generous person. If I have the resources and the power necessary, I will do almost anything for the ones I love to help them, to fix them. I hate seeing people unhappy, especially if there is something I could do about it. But sometimes…it's nice to be helped too. Its nice to have that hand to hold on too to save you when you need saving. Even if it's just a scrape on your knee after falling down, it's nice for someone to lend the hand to pick you up, give it a kiss and treat you like a princes for the rest of the day. It's nice. Yes, it would get exhausting being treated like this all the time. I think that's why some guys get upset sometimes because the "Nice guys finish last". They spend ALL their energy into treating their girlfriend like a total princess, paying for every single thing, acting like some shining knight in armor to save the day, all day, every day, nonstop…and they think, oh, hey, this is what girls want, right? If I do this then who would ever be unhappy with me? Well…not really. It needs to be a balance too. If you are treated like royalty by your guy all the time, it gets smothering…The girl wouldn't know any different and would begin to take it for granted…(trust me, I speak from experience). I don't think the guy should pay for every single thing every single day. I don't expect to be shopping in the mall and say I like something and next day Its magically mine. I like to chip in, makes me feel happy and productive and helpful. Girls need that too, hence why we began to ever work in the first place. I like making my own money and spending it (on books mostly ). I just…I don't know...

There are soooo many songs out there that I hear and I'm like man, If only guys meant this stuff. Is the artist really like this or did someone write this for him/her? Are people out there really like this? Where are they! He continuously mentions in the song, "I wish I could be your superman tonight". There are so many guys out there that meet you and just want the one thing. Or they do want a relationship but don't want to put the effort in…Where's the guy (besides Bon Jovi) that wants to be the superman? I guess its just a fantasy…

Oh and all you feminists out there that may happen to read this whenever, don't read too much into this. Like I said, I'm all for women independence. Women do not need to be paid for or "saved" by a guy in order to survive. I'm not stuck in some fantasy waiting for superman to sweep me off my feet when I'm randomly walking down the street. Women can survive just find on their own financially, emotionally, whatever. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to have Superman saving your day every once in a while. :)

Til later, with love,

~A Writer in a Nurse's Body.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stereotyping and “Cultural Awareness”

Classes started today. Well, yesterday really, but today I have seen all my classes (I have two). They seem to be pretty much what I expected. My Psychiatric mental health class Lecture seems to be a lot more interesting than I would have expected, but still hard. She told us she was the "APA Paper grading queen". Needless to say that's not good. But everything she taught today I agreed with wholly so I think I will like her, in terms of nursing and being a good nurse.

"Culturally Competent", "Practice good, cultural awareness", "Know your patients culture, their beliefs and practices".

These are all phrases I've been hearing the past…three courses in my Nursing program. Except today. All this time we have been taught to professionally accept each and every culture, each patient for who they are. Which is all good and well, however, the way we've been taught is to read their chart, see they are of a certain culture/ethnicity (sometimes it doesn't list their culture per say) and we have to reference a book, or a chart of some kind, to plan how we are going to act or what we might say when with our patients. All this time I've done what I was told, whatever, I need to get the grade, right? In my recent experience, my last clinicals (Peds and OB), I had a patient of my own each week. First things first, people naturally look at names and make assumptions. I try not to, I really do, but everyone does. Second, it lists their primary language. I can't help but groan when it says something other than English. But I consider that understandable…it will be hard to communicate with my patient for the entire day. OK so then we have to make a plan for them based on their culture. But sometimes (more than not), I consider their culture to be….American! Is that such a thing? I meet them and they practice nothing out of the ordinary…no specific religious beliefs or practices, no specific foods they eat or health practices specific to them, no anything. Another time I had a patient that was from the Congo and moved here when she was 16, now she is mid-twenties. I thought, while reading her chart that boy, I am going to have an interesting day. But I met her and low and behold, perfect English, was just as "American" as you or me.

The point I'm trying to make here ( I promise there is one) is what my teacher pointed out…Exactly what I've been thinking all this time. That patients cannot be categorized by culture! I can't look at a chart and see "Asian" and plan my whole day based on if they think it's rude or not to make eye contact, be in personal space, eat certain foods, etc. She made the point that yes, keep it in mind, all those lovely things, but never act on them until you get verification from the patient. Meaning, meet your patient, make your assessment, ASK THEM if you haven't already figured it out, what they eat, if they have any specific cultural practices, if they need certain special needs met. Nurses can't be mind readers. Yes, we are naturally good at picking things up in our assessments but we can't automatically know. Thing is, if we see someone is Indian let's say, even if I know everything about the specific Indian culture (which I don't, trust me), I can't be positive that he/she even agrees with his own culture! You have to ask not assume.

I guess I consider myself American, as much as I squirm when I say that. No, I'm not unpatriotic; I love my country, most of the time. However the term "American" in other countries generally brings about a bad name, bad reputation. Yes, I have eaten McDonalds in my life, yes, I have a cell phone, an ipod, a laptop, whatever. I guess it depends who you ask, but Americans are usually portrayed as "Lazy, fat, want things done without having to do them, etc.". If I travelled to another country and needed healthcare, and they saw I was American, how would they treat me? I certainly wouldn't want them to base anything after any stereotype they might have, before they met me and then made their plan of care.

That's another point. I hate Western Medicine. Western is generally deemed what we practice here in America. Doctors are very different here, things are different in general. How we do things, how we come to diagnoses, how we do procedures, how doctors dish out drugs first thing without solving the initial and primary problem ( I really hate that). Eastern medicine (Europe, Asia, etc.) does things very differently and I can only pray America can learn, or so help me I'm moving across seas. They solve problems holistically, they approach things differently. They treat the body as a whole, not systemically. They turn to alternative methods before procedures, unnecessary tests, drugs…And as for the medical portion, I consider them to be far ahead in terms of research.

Well I need to research this topic before I say anything else. It bothers me a lot and is very important to me. I have to go switch my laundry now, but I might go back and edit this and add more later on…Til then, toodaloo!

~A Writer in A Nurse's Body

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Writing from the Twilight Zone

That's exactly how I feel. Things lately have been...very strange. I don't think I could explain it if I tried. Everything I come upon seems to have connections...I am having a very difficult time finding myself in time. I seem to be having difficulty separating dream from reality. For instance, I will have a flash of a memory of someone doing something, someone I have never met. And yet it will be very vivid. Or I'll have a memory of me doing something that I either don't remember doing or can't tell if I dreamt it or really did it. You can imagine how this might get frustrating. . . Yesterday, I had a very interesting dream that I cannot talk about it. But it meant a lot to me and had me thinking the entire day. It's dreams like this that keep me going and hold me back (very much so) at the very same time. But after that dream, every single song I heard on the radio, or that came up on my iPod during shuffle, or wherever I heard music, had a connection to that dream. Even I would switch channels on the radio and the next song would have a connection/meaning. So needless to say I stopped trying to escape it and just laughed at it.

Also, I had spent the later part of 2009 (especially December) being depressed. I had at first tried to climb out of it but no one was there to pull me out. I had too much on my shoulders, I was trying to help too many people at once. I can't save the world...and yet somehow, I keep trying. I get depressed when I fail at anything, and well..you know. Anyone will fail if they try and save everyone at once. I guess I just can't grasp the concept that you can't save everyone and you have to just let it go. I still don't grasp it. Maybe in time. I'll have to grasp it soon if I ever can be a good nurse. Meaning, some of my patients won't make it. If I am ever going to save myself from Major Burnout, I have to learn to let it go, that I did all I could, and that is all. Mostly the problem has been multiple friends coming to me with their problems all at once. Now don't me wrong, I love to hear my friend's problems and do my best to help. But when their problem is out of my hands, there is nothing i can do but listen, and that isn't enough for me. I would do anything for my friends, but I can't do everything. Especially when they are all coming to me at once. Everyone has had a shitty entire 2009 it seems. My boyfriend, my best friends...all with problems that I simply just don't know how to handle and yet they expect me too. What do you do then? But anyway...

So like I said, 2009 (the end) was not good. At first I blamed the entire 2009 , but came to my senses when I saw some pictures I had taken throughout the year and realized I did have a lot of nice moments, regardless of how short lived they may have been. But the beginning of 2010...Something has definitely changed. I don't know how to describe it. It sort of all started Monday at work. Sunday at work, by the end of the day, I was feeling like I did in 09. But Monday, (with the same exact problems I had Sunday), something had changed. I was looking on the bright side of things for once. I was solving my problems left and right. I was power-nursing....so to speak. I felt on top of the world...I was being pro-active for my patients, I was doing everything I could for them and felt awesome about it. Its days like those that make me want to go back to work. Especially when I see in my patients eyes that I had made a difference for them. In particular, I will discuss this one patient. I have been working 4 day rotations this whole break. This particular patient came in on the first day of this rotation, I was there with her right from the very start of her admission. She was a nice patient, never caused any trouble for me. Through out the days, I would come and chat with her when I could, but she usually had company. However on Monday, when I went in to do her blood sugar testing, I noticed as soon as I walked into the room that something was wrong with her. I didn't say anything at first and just tried talking with her. She immediately let on further that she was feeling very sad (I didn't know why). I did the usual, tried to make her feel better, tried to ask what was wrong, etc., as I continued to do her blood sugar. But I didnt get much out of her. When I was done, she had asked me for a drink of water, which I gave her, but I noticed it was warm and empty from before. I asked her if she would like some nice ice water, to which she brightly lit up and said yes, that would be wonderful. I told her as soon as I finished the other patient's blood sugars (Prioritizing) I promised I would bring her some ice water. Another patient down the hall also wanted some water, to which I promised the same thing. So after I was done, I brought both waters, to the first patient first. But she was sleeping (this was 30 mins later). So I quietly put the water down, I decided it best to just let her sleep since she was upset earlier. I gave the water to the second patient and on my way back, I noticed patient one was awake. I went in and offered her the water I had brought in. She looked surprised. She told me, "You came back. I didn't think you'd come back. You're the first one to have actually come back." It was then. I left the room and I was astounded. I knew, then, that I could definitely be the nurse that I knew I had to be.

Well thats it for now. I have places to be, people to see...:)

I have a lot more to say, so tune in later....

~A Writer In A Nurse's Body