"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?"
Monday, January 31, 2011
(can you tell its 11:12 and I should be writing a paper right now? Due tomorrow? Yeah.)
-photography (my own) (even though this isn't even in my blog title. oh well.)
- writing novels, short stories (I should really include more of that...hmm.)
- NURSING (I write a lot about that. I think. I think I am honest with that).
- stories about nursing school or my job as a nurse aide.
- Random thoughts I have
- random pleas of love/frustration/anger
- commenting on current media going on in the world, or articles I find, usually about nursing or something medical
- Snow. I seem to write a lot about snow.
- How retarded and stupid my life can be. I write a lot about that.
hmm. So. Is this really "Health"? I suppose...not....but it was my best choice. If they don't like my blog, then oh well. Life goes on. Who cares if it is a random collection of all those things? I want to have a blog that is about ONE thing, but also, that would be boring. I like mixing it up. I like talking about unsurpassable amounts of snow, making up words, and then talking about a serious nursing case I have the next day. So, thats my rationale I came up while trying to write my paper. Good times.
I have Pictures of the week! Yay! A little late, but if it makes you feel any better, I STILL haven't read Postsecret yet, and being that it is 5pm on a MONDAY, and it comes out late saturday night, this is a big deal. I will have to make time for it tonight because I cannot bear it any longer. And thanks to my extreme ADHD and memory of a gold fish, I go online to look at it but by the time I type postsecret.com into the web address, I have already found either something else to do online first, or something else to catch my attention in my room before I get to postsecret. So, you can see how a lot of work does NOT get done in my life, at times.
Anyway, pictures of the week:
|Adorable Tree I found on a walk :)|
|This was cute. It *was* a fully built snowman that had sunglasses and a scarf but by the time I got to him at the end of the day to take a picture, he had melted a little and his accessories were over :( But it was still cute.|
|I thought this was interesting because these are all chairs, and it looks like the snow is "sitting" in the chair and slumped over because its lazy and tired of snowing so much. I would be tired after snowing 5 storms worth, too!|
|Standing in the walkway on my campus. My primary learning-good-things-in-nursing- building is all the way at the end, in the center. :)|
|All I have to say here, is...good thing I didn't want to sit at those tables....|
Something awesome happened at work this weekend, and it was totally out of the blue....I was running behind on my work because 1/2 our staff called out sick and we were swamped...so It took me a long time to do vitals, blood sugars, etc. well, I was just about to go into my last room to do her vital signs, and one of my nurses comes up to me and is like, "Julie, You're a really good worker." And I was like...."I am? Well, thank you. I'm really slow though, I'm still on Vital signs." And she responded, "Thats because you're very detail oriented. You don't leave the room until you know everyone is happy and content, and that's a good thing."
So even though I was having a bad
Sometimes I can't wait to be a nurse. :-)
Sunday, January 30, 2011
- Heidelberg, Germany
- Munich, Germany
- Innsbruck, Austria
- Venice, Italy
- Verona, Italy
- Lucerne, Switzerland
Get ready to see lots of pictures and stories about your city/ country!!!!
Because I'm GOING TO EUROPE !! TO ALL THOSE CITIES! WoooOOooOT! I'm going in May, so i have a ways to wait. but its going to be epic. I can't wait.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
But I really don't care. Because I can't be responsible for what I dream, it's just what I dream. Whether or not they should be taken seriously....Who knows. But goodness knows, I certainly can't think of *anything* else to write about today.
Two nights ago I had a dream that I was in some sort of house. Someone else's house. Someone else I did not know. I knew in my mind that I was there to save this woman. She was in an abusive relationship, that I knew. I saw her standing outside her bedroom door. Then her abusive (husband? boyfriend?) stood outside of another door, asking her to come in, and she had to choose between the safety of her own bedroom or the room with the man in it. I tried screaming out to her to choose the safe room, to not go with him. But she chose him. They went in the room. They shut the door. Someone locked it. I ran to the door, knocking on it to come back out. I heard screaming inside. Suddenly I was aware of the fact that a lot more people knew about this other than just me, and there were policemen and firemen (I don't know why- she wasn't on fire), waiting outside to save her. But it was up to me, I felt, in the dream. Up to me to get her out. I pried on the door, using anything I could to get the door open despite the lock. I had to save her.
Being that it was two nights ago and my memory is not great, and being the fact that dreams tend to "skip around", I am not entirely sure how I got her out. But I'm pretty sure she came out on her own, but she was badly beaten and could not stand on her own. So (somehow) I picked her up. I can remember her vividly. She was wearing a long white dress and had long red-blondish hair, kind of wavy. Pretty. I felt bad for her. But I had her in my arms (I still don't know how-I'm not strong, but I guess in dreams you can do anything). So I carried her out of the house and suddenly there was this massive pile of rocks, and on the other side of the rocks were the policemen, the rest of the community, etc. They told me to take it easy, to not overwhelm her or scare her by bringing her around too many people after this traumatic experience. So I let her sit down on "my side" of the pile of rocks and somehow pulled a bottle of water out of nowhere to give to her to drink. And then the dream was over....
All of yesterday, I had no clue what any of this meant. But brainstorming now, I realize it is probably an emphasization (new word) on my readiness and anxiety (at the same time) to begin my student public health nursing clinical...I will be visiting people's homes. So you can see how that appeared in the dream, being in a person's house that I do not know. I don't expect to be actually saving someone from an abusive relationship in my real clinical, but I will be there to get them out of other types of problems, health care related. I am nervous to start next week. But, I'm also eager to start after learning a lot more (in lecture) about what community health is, and what it could be....I'm starting to think that maybe I could really like being a public health nurse. But I plan to talk about that in another blog. Perhaps tomorrow.
Anyway, my second dream is freaky and I have no idea where it came from other than stress. As you can infer from my last blog update, I was up late finishing my poster presentation (OH BY THE WAY THAT WENT WELL! Only 3 more times to go!), and I had been working on that in my common area. Well, in my dream, I was still working on my presentation, and suddenly I owned an Ipad (thats beside the point) and the iPad was recording, white noise. Even though you can't technically record white noise while you, a human being, alive, is in the room. Because on playback you'll just hear yourself. But hey, it was a dream, remember? So while recording this white noise, I was somehow convinced that what I was hearing could be nothing but a ghost in the room with me. And I got the eerie feeling that it was not a friendly ghost. I started screaming out "Who's There?" and woke myself up by doing so. Needless to say, when I had to pee in the middle of the night I was very scared. I'm still scared actually. And, my room has been freezing all day today despite my heat at 100%.
And no I have no idea where that dream came from. Dreams. Sometimes they come out of nowhere.
But seriously....someone comment on this and enlighten me. Does anyone else dream about other people, that they have never met or seen? Is this a common occurence? I have these explicit and detailed dreams about people I've never met but in the dream they mean so much to me. I don't understand it. So does this happen to you? I'd really like to know.
Sorry for the incessant amount of rambling that happened in this post. I was really, really, in a blog-writing post mood and I wracked my brain and this was the only thing I found even remotely interesting to
So, thank you for sticking with me and reading. I promise sometime soon I will have a meaningful and profound post. Or maybe a funny one. Or any type of post that is worth reading. Look forward to it....
A Dream-Writer in a Nurse's Body
Readers Beware: This May be A Long Post
Does Anyone Else Do This?
A Nice Message
Monday, January 24, 2011
SO. I'm sitting there. In my chair. 5 feet away from this poster. Staring at it. Thinking. How can I possibly fix this? Where do I start? So I sat there for about 7 more minutes and then I remembered that we were supposed to educate about hygiene throughout the body from head to toe. So I figured I could make some sort of figurine, that could illustrate the entire body and I could do it that way.
Well, I can't do anything half ass. So I took a major trip to Michael's, spent $30 (and that was being conservative), and found what I was gonna do. I decided to buy a whole new poster board and start completely over. *sigh*.
|The beginning stages. Organized Chaos. And my laptop there, allowing me to watch Modern Family from my common area. Yay for long internet cables!!|
BUT, I think It turned out pretty OK, Yes? It is a little overwhelming, yes. But that is ok. As long as its fun to look at! It has information on cramps, tampons, pads, sex and cleanliness, hair care, lice or dandruff, mouth care, nail care, gyno care, feet care, pretty pictures, how to shave, how to put on makeup the right way, how to tell if you have a UTI or a yeast infection....its pretty good stuff! I'm pretty happy with it.
Community Health Knowledge
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I'm the kind of person that doesn't want to win if it means you losing by a landslide. I'll throw the game and let you win.
I'm the kind of person that would give you $10,000 dollars if it meant you could do something to make you extremely or even remotely happy. (if I had $10,000, that is).
I'm the kind of person that will always put your happiness first because I'm pretty excellent at fixing my own heartbreak- but I worry about you.
Sometimes I wish I knew how to be mean. I wish I knew how to just explode and put people in their place that really deserve it. To yell and scream and say really powerful words and walk away forever.
Sometimes I wish I knew how to call someone out on something they are doing or saying wrong. If it is to protect someone else, I will speak up. But if it's to protect me, I let it go. I don't speak up for myself.
I know how to make it on my own- how to bury...or... Drop the pain and move on. Because I'll be okay. I just worry about everyone else.
I wish I could re-wire myself and fix my genetic code. I like caring for everyone- even the immature, ignorant and inconsiderate people. I want everyone o be happy. To be okay. To be loved. To believe in their self. I guess that's why I'm going to be a nurse. Nurses take oaths to care for everyone, regardless of their race, values, beliefs, or previous actions. Regardless of their choices. Regardless if they are a prisoner, a rapist, pro-abortion, pro-life, a molester, or simply someone that eats at mcdonalds. Nurses care for everyone equally the same. I know I can do that. I've already demonstrated in life that I can put my own values and beliefs aside and care for anyone.
But it can be exhausting.
I don't think I've ever been seriously confronted. I don't think anyone has ever been that mad at me. I've gotten in small fights with people (outside of family and relationships) and when someone is mad at me I do everything I can to fix it. Unless I really, really, really believe that I am right and should not budge. In that case I'll let you be mad but I won't confront you. I won't call you out on your absurd behavior but I will avoid you. When I see you, I will be polite, considerate and nice to you.
I just wish...that I could sway in the other direction, at times, and other people could sway in my direction sometimes and be a little more thoughtful and considerate.
Maybe writing this blog is my way of being confrontational? Who the hell knows. I don't.
Refreshing Change of Scenery
I Just Wish
Sometimes It's Not Enough
Friday, January 21, 2011
|This picture was taken a couple of nights ago, when I was walking home from watching the movie on campus. This font is really small so I will continue in non-caption format.|
|This was funny. I was in a rush to leave my townhouse one morning, but I happened to look down at the bench outside my house and found this seashell.|
|Adorable lovebug and her doggie.|
|Another sepia-version of the girl and her sled.|
This past summer, when I started watching these kids, it was more of a "I need money so I guess I'll do it even though I'm always tired/busy and I don't really know how to interact with kids" kind of thing. But now, I really look forward to everytime I get to see them. They are growing so fast every time I see them. They trust me now. They give me kisses and hugs when I see them. They ask me questions and like my answers. They eat food I give them! So weird! I know I am just babysitting, but It makes me feel like a mom and I love it. When I first started babysitting, the little girl did not speak at all (she was 17 months). Now she is speaking in full sentences! Short sentences, but meaningful and with purpose. So amazing!!
And I felt really special when the mom came home and I helped her put the kids in her car after we had been playing in the snow for about 30 minutes, and I picked them both up, put them in the car seats, and then noticed the girl's gloves were wet so I asked her for them and I told her I needed to dry them off because they were so wet and I didn't want her hands to be cold. And then the mom asked her son, (who is 3 1/2) , "Aww, Julie is going to be such a good mommy, isn't she?" And the boy was like, "Yeah!" It was so cute. I can't wait to be a mommy, one day.
So for special/funny moment of the day:
I had just gotten the kids all suited up in their snow suits but since I got them ready first I told them they needed to wait for me to get ready to go (go pee, get my coat on, boots on, etc.) So I'm in the bathroom peeing with the door slightly open so I can hear what they are doing, and I hear the boy say "No! You can NOT make snow angels in the house! There is NO snow!" And I leaned forward and found the little girl lying on the wood floor making (well, trying) to make snow angels and her brother leaning over her trying to tell her not too. It made me giggle :)
YAY for good days :)
~A Writer in a Nurse's Body
Unsurpassable Amounts of Snow
Babysitting and Lego Lessons
Picture of the Week-Parenting
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Instead, it is time to apply all of that knowledge--From the past four years of being here, from Anatomy 1 to Med/Surg 11. Everything is up-for-grabs and needs to be ready to be taught to our patients now.
This semester my clinical rotation is Community/Public Health. This means I will be making home visits to see patients, and could be asked anything. And it will be strange, because its not like it is my teacher asking me a question about whatever and I'm graded on it-- But instead, it is a patient, asking me a question because he/she is genuinely interested, and needs to know for his/her own health or their child. Its time now to teach my patients and hope and pray that I have enough information up there in my head to give good answers these patients will be looking for.
My first two assignments this semester (starting in two weeks) will be making a home visit. I am under the current belief that we will be visiting newborn babies and the mothers...and our job is to assess the newborns development, making sure the house is clean, the mother is taking good care, making sure the baby is not sick, answering any questions, etc. I am excited because I get to see babies, YAY!, but also scared because Maternity was Fall 2009 and that is a long time ago....I feel like I've forgotten everything about infant care/assessment/development. But luckily I still have my textbook and I can review..
After my two home visits, I will spend the rest of the semester rotating into different agencies around the community here. Although I am scared because I fear I know nothing- I am also excited because we are visiting a center for teenage mothers and their newborns, and many other similar agencies.
I feel borderline about community health....I'm not for it or against it, as of now. I know for sure I don't think I will ever want to be a nurse that makes routine home visits...but who knows, maybe after doing it this semester I will change my mind. However, I am interested in being a school nurse maybe somewhere down the line, or perhaps being a nurse for Planned Parenthood or for an agency that helps teenage moms. I think I like working with teenagers (we'll see about that) and I definitely like working with babies! So we'll see how this semester goes. Hopefully well!
- Why I Chose Nursing
- How the Knowledge-Quest Started
So my wordly pursuit-quest-resolution-thing is definitely failing miserably. Here's another example of how it failed. Miserably.
So after dinner tonight, on my campus, I had some time to kill before going to see a movie playing on campus but didn't know where to go. I don't know how else to describe what goes through my head other than using stream-of-consciousness...(And some dialogue-when I actually talk to people).
I guess I'll get a tea. Because its cold outside and tea is warm. And it's warm in the library(where they sell tea). Whats that, the library actually came to their senses and are letting people upstairs with water bottles and library cafe mugs? But not tea? What if I promised not to spill my tea? Why does it have to be a library cafe mug? What is this madness? Fine. I don't want tea then. I'll just go upstairs and go walk around, and OH! Look-magazines, and journals. I forgot about magazines and journals. We have them here. That would help me on my wordly pursuit of knowledge. Maybe people will think I'm smart if they see me browsing through scholarly journals? Probably not. Oh, look...I'll stand in the nursing section and pick up this magazine-Holistic Nursing Practice Journal- Perfect...My kind of nursing...oh, what are all these numbers? Why is this a quantitative study? Way too complicated. Lets try another magazine. Psychology Nursing....Actually no, I don't feel like learning about PTSD and how it's changing in modern soldiers...normally this would be very interesting, but when I'm pretending to be smart, I have the attention span of a goldfish. Maybe I'll try Newsweek.Oh, crap. Someone's already looking at it. I can't stand behind him and wait for it, right? THat would be weird? I Guess. Moving on. OH. They have the New York Times here. I shall go read that, because that was in my resolution and that has all the information about all of the world in there and will make me smart. Oh, crap, a person is looking at the papers. Oh wait, do I know that person? Yes, I do know that person. THey just saw me. I should say hi.
"Oh, hey, How are you doing?"- me
"Hey! How was your Christmas break?"-friend.
"It was good...same old. I'm glad to be back."
"Yeah, me too."
"I'm just bored really. I figured I'd walk around the library looking at cool things." I'm an idiot.
"Yeah I really don't know why I am walking around the library on a Tuesday night either. I was just browsing through some of these papers.." He is not an idiot. THis is a smart person and he will somehow find out I am not smart if I keep talking. I should stop talking.
"REally? I was just browsing through some magazines! Over there." I am really an idiot.
"Oh, that's awesome. Some really good magazines, here."
"Yes. Now I was going to browse a paper or two myself...."
"Awesome. I'll let you do that."
Needless to say, In order to not look like a TOTAL idiot, I picked up the NYT (do smart people abbreviate the Times like that?) like I said I would, and scanned the headlines and attempted to read the columns but within 20 seconds decided it was way above my level of attention span and commitment. I then decided to pretend to flip through important looking stuff and put the paper back nicely and wondered why the NYT WAS SO BIG. Do people actually read all of that, *everyday*?
So my wordly pursuit of knowledge is failing, and now one more person on this Earth is aware of the fact that I am an idiot and has witnessed it. Fabulous. But that does not mean I am not done trying! It just means I am done talking to smart people.
How the Knowledge-Quest Began..
Another Post about Facing Life
Monday, January 17, 2011
A couple of days ago, weeks ago? Maybe...something ago, I wrote a post about time management in nursing and how all you have to do is prioritize and everything will be okay and you are only one person, and can only do so much, and to just do your best.....
Well, that works 98% of the time.
The other 2%, were days like today. When "time management" and "prioritization" goes out the window. When you hold your tongue from spitting out "F**K" and a lot of other words and when you accidentally did say it once in front of a patient but then remembered the patient was deaf and you were probably ok....Days like today when top prioritization doesn't work because everything is top priority. There are literally five emergencies going on at once. Choose which one to attend to.
Underneath all the emergencies, that are continually happening repeatedly over and over, you have your normal work to do, vitals, blood sugars, etc. Then, mini-emergencies come about when you finally get to blood sugars an hour and a half late, and a patient is 64 or 499 (I had both. Today).
I don't know what else to say. Today was one of those days. It was my last "Normal" day of working I guess I was delusional thinking that it would be a good day.
It was just one of those days. Nothing you do is enough and there are people that still need help at the end of the day. No one else can help you because everyone else is in over their heads too and the best we can do is try and help each other when we can.
The best thing you can do, on days like today, is to screw the top prioritization (only on the 2% days) and just....make shortcuts, do the best you can, make sure people are safe above all else, even if that means you have to cut the "therapeutic communication" short, and run out of the room to go be with another patient. Sometimes you have to fall short in the caring department if it means you are busy keeping 30 other patients safe and happy enough that they don't call the cops, or the nursing supervisor or something fun like that. And then, when things calm down, make up for the caring-lack of.
There will always be days like this. I like the adrenaline, I do. But, I don't like knowing that when I'm busy with one patient, that I can hear other bed alarms going off and other people are unsafe and sometimes no matter how hard you try, it won't be enough.
A rubber band only stretches so far until it breaks.
I really have to work on my patience, and my temper. Luckily (I dont think) I made this noticeable to anyone today but it boils up inside me and that is not good. I have to work on my cool-factor when things get really hot.
I think most of it stems from my ADHD, not the emergencies. Those I can handle, those I like. However, I get boiled up when a person calls for the fourteenth time ( I actually counted, I kid you not) for the bedpan. I hate repetition. I can't stand doing things more than twice, especially doing it the exact same way. Who needs to pee 14 times in 8 hours? And that was only one patient. I repeated a lot of other things with other patients and it irks me. Maybe I need to think about this. Maybe I need to go into a type of nursing where it is all emergencies, and not so much bedpans...Or maybe I should target a younger population (I like that idea). Or maybe its because I put all my caring and compassion into everything I do for the patient the first time they use the bedpan, and by the 4th or 5th time, I am tired of putting every ounce of compassion and caring into every bedpan trip. I don't know. I don't like to say that. But it's true, I guess.
Community Health. Blech.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I took this a couple of weeks ago when I went to a tea-party lunch with my mom and sister. This tea party was in an old fashioned Victorian house turned into a restaurant, and the silverware was ancient- or at least made to look that way- and you can see in the picture that the plates and teacup were so beautiful. Every table had their own design but I was so glad we got this one, It was just gorgeous to look at. And the best part was the ADORABLE little sugar cube, which you can see was molded to be a heart! So I placed it there for the picture. Now It kind of looks symbolic to me, like a faded and jaded beautiful heart in the realm of beauty, a lost angel...
I love it. :)
And consider this my late picture of the week!
The Sunday comics, of course!!
I guess my wordly pursuit of knowledge isn't going so well? Oh well. I try. Kind of.
Postsecret today yay!
On the upside, here is a lovely Snapple fact of the day:
An average strawberry has 200 seeds on it.
That is fascinating, and very relating to my day as I just packed about 11 strawberries to eat for dinner. So thats a lot of seeds to think about.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
- A race car driver
-a pilot, perhaps?
I definitely plan to add to this list as I think of more. Which happens. A lot. Look forward to it.
But the most prominent thing I can say that I was, is a goldfish. I was definitely a goldfish.
Why else would I have a severe, gnawing, throbbing headache for the past seven days?????
Also, It feels like my head is full of water.
Along with the throbbing and the gnawing.
Its a brain tumor.
And I am a hypochondriac.
If I die, oh well. At least Its documented on my blog that I SO CALLED IT, even though the MRI's don't show it.
Maybe its a miniature fatal brain tumor on my pituitary.
No that doesnt make sense. Scratch that.
I don't know.
All I know, Is that it hurts. Very bad(ly?). And I have to go to do an 8 hour shift now and calling out is not an option and once again, i have to get a boatload of caffeine in me fast, to help alleviate the headache pain.
And no, caffeine addiction is not the cause of the headaches. I can assure you of that.
Don't even get me started on the stomachaches too.
Yes, they are back.
~A Writer in a very Sick Nurse's Body
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Patient: suffers from schizophrenia/manic/bipolar/notsurewhatelse. Gets extremely, extremely agitated and hyper when anyone new comes into the room to do anything. Does not like to be touched. When he is in hyperactive mode, he has to touch everything, has to see everything, has to touch you in order to feel safe around you.Tries to communicate but it does not make sense.
So keep that in mind.
2 nursing students get assigned to him for the day because the instructor is intrigued by the feeding tube in him and wants the opportunity to teach her students.
There is one aide with the patient already, as he is a 1:1 and needs constant attention and supervision.
Setting: Patient is sleeping (rare occasion). Employee sees this as an opportunity to play cards.
Nursing Student (NS): Introduces herself to the aide. Approaches patient. "Mr. Smith" (not real name!). Patient does not respond. He is still sleeping. "Mr. Smith- I have to give you a bath." Patient does not respond...he is still sleeping. "Mr. Smith" NS rustles patients gown and shoulder. "Its time for your bath." Speaking louder.
Patient Aide (PA): "Um..He is actually sleeping. Do we have to do this now? He doesn't sleep often, I think its best if we let him sleep."
NS: "Okay. I'll come back later."
Nursing Student comes back later. With bucket of water, supplies and....her nursing instructor.
Yes, the Patient is still sleeping.
NS: "I'm back."
PA: "I see that. He is still sleeping."
NS: "Well, our day is almost done and I haven't done anything for my patient. He needs a bath and I need to do oral care, at least."
PA: "Well I'm sorry. Today is not a good day. He is sleeping and I do not want him to be woken up for a bed bath. He needs his sleep right now. When he is awake he refuses to keep his BiPap Machine on and his sats drop very low and it is a constant struggle to get it back on."
Nursing Instructor (NI): "Mr. Soandso, my student has been assigned this patient and has responsibilities to attend to his care, like all my other students do for their patients. She needs experience giving bed baths and oral care and working with the feeding tube."
PA: "Mr. Smith (not real name) won't let anyone except the nurses attend to the feeding tube."
NI: "Good. I'm a nurse."
PA: "This is really not a good idea. I do not want him woken up. I will be here for the next 8 hours with him, fighting with him because you and your student got him agitated over a bed bath. He doesn't like to see new faces, it is too much excitement for him."
NI: "Well I'm very sorry that we disturbed your card playing and I hope you can now enjoy a restful 8 hours of card playing because you are not diligent enough to do your actual job and take care of your patient. Goodbye." Nursing Instructor and student march out of the room.
Later, they see me, an "Alliance", in the hallway.
NI: "Can you believe that aide? I am going to report him. He should be fired. He is awful."
I happen to know this aide based on him coming to do many psychiatric 1:1's on our floor and therefore am very grateful to his services. I also am VERY familiar with the patient.
Me: (playing dumb): "Oh, was Mr. Smith assigned to one of your girls?"
NI: "Yes, I thought it would be a great learning experience because of the feeding tube. I don't see what the big fuss is in waking him up, he is just sleeping peacefully, I'm sure he would fall right back asleep.."
Me: "Actually, this is the first time I have seen Mr. Smith sleeping in the last five days he has been here. If you had seen his behavior prior to today, you would not have handed him to a student as quickly, I don't think. He is a lot for us to handle and a lot for that aide to handle, especially because he is responsible for two psychiatric patients in that room (long story). Maybe next time you will get a feeding tube on a patient that will be more conducive to letting him or herself be a teaching example? I'll keep an eye out for you."
So that was that. I've been in both places, many many too many times. I have been that student. I have been that employee. Most likely, that very aide was probably on his fourth or fifth double shift and was gladly welcoming the opportunity to play cards while his patient slept. But that aide was 17-24 (Im very bad at guessing ages) and was assigned a job to do. Its not her call yet on whether or not its appropriate to go forth with nursing tasks. She is at the "Novice" stage in Benner's model, and is trying to do what she thinks is ultimately the right thing to do: Wake up a sleeping psychiatric hyperactive patient do give him oral care and a bed bath. Someone he has never met before.
I see where both sides are coming from and it was a tricky situation. Glad it didn't escalate into anything further.
The good news is, and strange news, is that Mr. Smith slept through it all.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
|This is me. Under my blanket. Now you are really intrigued on what this post is about, eh?|
Working with a countless number of psychiatric patients in my line of work, I have noticed a fairly common trait In many patients suffering from a mental illness. They enjoy spending time underneath their covers. I have some that sleep under their covers. Some that talk to me while under their covers, even as they eat dinner under there. I have some that hide under the covers when something new or different is happening, or they meet someone new and don't know how to deal with it....
So i sat there one day, at work, wondering why some people did this. I came to the possible conclusion that they were maybe just scared of us. Some patients with psychiatric disorders are very paranoid and it is instinct for them to be afraid of anyone they don't know...and even some they know well. So then I laughed to myself. I laughed at the thought of them being scared of us, because I am scared of them. It reminds me of my extreme fear of SPIDERS. I am deathly afraid of spiders. Deathly. But if I had a nickel for every time someone (usually my dad or mom) say "They are more afraid of you.", I would be a millionaire. So its a lot like that. We're afraid of each other.
I have very good skills in working with psychiatric patients, but I do not like doing it. I find them too unpredictable and despite me doing every trick in the book I know of to calm them down or to keep them calm, I've had too many experiences where they turn on you in a minute and someone gets hurt. I shouldn't be afraid, I know this. I am trained well for the specific experience of self defense in the appropriate medical situation, whether it be a psychiatric patient or not. We all know a couple tricks on how to get out of a tricky hold or how to talk our way out of it. Most of the time. I've been in a couple tricky holds but have gotten out of them very quickly but usually I never get close enough to put myself in that vulnerable position or I take the necessary precautions first, so that I won't get hurt. We've had a couple nurses get sent to the ER because of injuries from patients. But despite me being confident I can get myself out of a tricky grasp/hold or whatever, I still don't like being there.
There is a fine line, a very fine line, on the verge of caring, earning and having trust, and still protecting yourself. For example...This week I have had a very interesting patient. He is in his 40s and was a previous alcoholic and got himself into a MVA and therefore landed himself into a bed for the rest of his life with seizures, and post-stroke behavior. He rarely talks, and if he does, he is really pissed at us. He won't eat. He is occasionally combative. His eyes are always glazed over, and I'm pretty sure he is having seizure's a lot more often (is that grammatically correct?) than people think. But it's hard to say. I'm not a doctor. I just spend a lot more time with patients than the doctors. But whatever.
Anyway, there have been many instances where during report, the previous aides are like, "Mr. Smith (not real name) has been extremely combative. He is trying to hit us and it is very hard to change his diaper. So, good luck with that." At first I was afraid and I was a ball of nervousness fire and my stomach churned because I hate reports like that. I've had him for four days now and have never had a problem.
I don't necessarily like going in there regardless, but it's my job and I do it. I remain calm at all times because we are trained to do that. (Side note- I don't think I was ever actually trained or taught how to "remain calm" but I think I sort of just picked it up naturally and it sounds a lot better on everyone's behalf if I just say we were trained to do it)...anyway, I remain calm even if he threatens us or hits us, I explain everything we are about to do, i speak in a soft, gentle voice, I morph my eyes into very gentle, caring eyes that wouldn't hurt a fly (that is a very important skill!) and we move forward. I have never had a problem. This works with 89.4% of my psychiatric patients. (That is a statistic I just made up in my head but it seems accurate to me). Some are just crazy no matter what and that is just that and thats when you have to bring in the big guns. But with "Mr.Smith", the point I was trying to make is this: I sometimes let down my self-defense precautions in the trust that he will not harm me, because in order to properly show compassion and care to him and earn his trust, how can I be posed in the position of personal self defense? Sometimes, you can't do both. Its a fine line. And every patient is different. Its a fine balance between trust and judgement with everyone.
I have been told many times during the past four years that I should go into psychiatric nursing because I am so good working with them. They are calm with me. People seem to dig my morphed caring, gentle, soft voice and my morphed caring, gentle, soft eyes. It's like a tool. The best part is, I can do gentle, soft, caring eyes & voice one minute in one room for one person, then go see my 20 year old patient in another and be "cool & hip but nursy-professional at the same time" for that person, and then go see my 45 year old patient and be just plain old "realistic and nurse-professional" or I can put on my serious face for the grieving family that is losing a family member and I can sit down and answer all their questions and do everything I can for them, or I can put on my comedy routine for someone that needs a laugh. Its a lot of work! But I love it, I like being able to "morph" into a different person whenever I want. I think It would be tiring being the same person all the time.
But even though I have been told I am good with psychiatric, and I do see why they may think that, I simply do not enjoy the unpredictability. I get too nervous. No one can see that. But it's true.
On an ending note, (I have to share this because it made me so happy to hear). I walked past a room, when I was doing my usual rounds making sure everyone was comfortable, happy, warm, cold, not-dying, etc., when I noticed my friend-male-aide talking to one of my patients. I also noticed that the patients foley had about 2,000cc in it, which is nothing new because the foley fills up approximately every 4 hours. So I snap on some gloves and get the cylinder and empty it. So male-aide and male-patient finished their conversation and I joined in for some of it, with my gentle-soft-caring mannerisms with a slight touch of comedy (it was an appropriate time to use them) and we all laughed and then we tucked him in and went on our way. As we left the room and applied the usual dose of alcohol to cleanse our hands, he said to me (the aide):
"You've probably already heard this many times by now, but you are going to be a very good nurse."
And that's why I keep fighting, why I keep fighting through this impossible nursing program. Why I keep fighting through all this stress to be that type of nurse that everyone seems to think I can be. Thats why. I just need to have the same confidence in myself that everyone else can already see....
Thanks for reading everyone. I have one more psychiatric-nursing type post coming tonight or tomorrow(more likely) so look forward to that...or don't, if you prefer my non-nursing posts....which will start coming when my semester starts and funny things start happening at school that are post-worthy. :-)
~A Writer in a Soft-Gentle-Caring- Nurse's Body
Monday, January 10, 2011
Now, as I contemplate all the problems I would run into, and how I could combat them and be OK....It's seeming a little more realistic.
I think I could be happy in Colorado.
I really do.
And, If I am not...It's only one move away to come back home.
I have to try and be happy there, right?
It's going to be the scariest thing I've ever, ever, ever done. Moving, being alone, getting a brand new nursing job, meeting new people....but if I don't do it now, will I ever?
So far I'm looking at Winter Park, Estes Park, and Colorado Springs....I think this June/ July I might convince a family member or two to go to CO with me and starts looking at some locations.
I really want to do this .
Sunday, January 9, 2011
So, that all over and done with, we tuck her in for the night and tell her to get some rest. We turn off the lights and say "Goodnight" as we leave the room, and she shouts something I didn't understand. My co-worker starts cracking up, and I ask her why? She turns to me and says, "Well, She remembers the Italian word for "Fu** off!"
We learned later from a family member over the phone that she speaks only Italian.
Oh, what funny things the brain so conveniently remembers....
She Speaks Greek. Not Italian. Not that it matters. I guess. But apparantly she knows curse words in Italian. I really don't know. Or maybe she's an ex-international-translator? Interesting thought.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
It is a life expectancy calculator and no, it is not one of those eerie kind that tells you the exact date and time of your death and how you're going to die. It is merely a calculator based on statistics based off of what you answer on the survey about your lifestyle. Be honest! Whats the point in lying? No one will see your answers. Be honest with yourself, answer the honest way and it will give you advice on how to improve your life expectancy! Easy peasy lemon squeasy. :-)
I am apparantly going to be 91! Woot! But thats most likely because I chose "working 40 hours or less" because thats my current situation. I'm sure If i retook this next year my life expectancy would be....70? Lol. So go take it, it takes 5 minutes and is interesting and helpful!
Friday, January 7, 2011
OK scratch that most of them are copyrighted and I do not want to get into any legal trouble! However, here is the wonderful link:
So take some time to browse through them! My favorite ones include "Vitamin D", and "Budget Cuts" and definitely "Hospital Time". Good ones!! Thanks Ken! Thanks for reading!
The last couple days at work have been.....busy. We have literally been 1 or 2 away from a full house the entire time, and I think we even hit full momentarily at the beginning of the week. The acuity has also been very high, we had and have a lot of patients that need a lot of attention. So, to the say the least, it's been busy. When I first started my job, days like this used to put me into a complete frenzy. You have 6,231 things on your mind constantly, and you remember you forgot to give someone a gingerale when you wake up at 3 am after your shift, and everyone wants you to help them and you really have to pee and OH someone just fell on the floor and you have to help them but you hear more emergency bells go off and then another nurse needs your help and before you leave could you put so-and-so on the bedpan? oh and soandso needs some more ice water and did you do accuchecks yet? why arent the accuchecks done?
But now, I have gained a very important skill over the years and I am very excited to carry it into nursing: Prioritization. And, remember that you are only one person.
I first prioritize everything that is in my head. What takes most importance? I start with that. I give that all of my attention, and do a good job. I move on. I do a good job with that. And yes, I do hear emergency bells going off in the distance and vitals are halfway done and I still have to do accuchecks, but I am helping a patient get washed or hobble into the bathroom or whatever I am doing. We, human beings, are just one person. Its good to know when to ask for help. You can only be so many places at one time and sometimes you just have to pray that someone else is there to take care of it before you can get somewhere else.
But anyway, what I had in mind before I started writing this post and got sidetracked...Today we had a lot of extra help (aide wise) and we had a couple moments to really spend some time with patients, since we had extra aides. When getting report, the aide told me she hadn't had a chance to get "Jane Smith" (not real name!) washed up because she didn't want to before lunch and after lunch she was off the floor. Now, my shift (3-11) rarely does bed baths or gets anyone washed up because its not normally a night time activity. But that doesnt mean we don't know how. It just means we don't do it often. However, around 6 or 7, after dinner, I asked "Jane" if now would be a good time to get washed up. I had noticed that her hair had a lot of knots in it, the same knots that I had noticed many days prior. She is in her 90s and has been very sick with COPD and pneumonia and has been too exhausted to get washed up on her own. So it took a little convincing to get her to want to wash, but eventually I coaxed her into the bathroom and did it. I spent an hour with her total, between getting her completely washed, brushing her teeth, changing her clothes, and then at the end I sat down and brushed out all her knots. And during all that, we had some lovely conversation. It is truly fascinating to have conversations with the elderly in the 80s and 90s, because at this point in time, they have lived through so much of the history that we study today in textbooks. THis lady lived through the Great Depression, WW1, WW11, and everything else...She's been there first hand. The 50s, 60s, 70s...I hope something exciting happens in my lifetime because when I'm 90 I want something interesting to talk about. So far all I am "living through" is the Iraq war. And I honestly couldn't tell you much about it. Is that how they felt too? Who knows. And cell phones....ipods, stuff like that. But that makes no difference, because in 2080 they will have robots and flying cars.
Anyway, the point is, I normally would have never that much time to spend with one patient, and it felt really nice to be able to do those real "nursing" type activities, the type of nursing activities you hear about in "Chicken Soup for the Soul", lol.
Good Day. =)
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
This is what I imagine my version of Hell to be like. Locked in your own body. Bored. Stuck. What kind of a life is that? It isn't. I don't think I would be able to do it. I don't know what I would do. Its a progressive disease that could happen to anyone. It's terrible.
I try and be the best I can be when I go in to see him. I offer conversation, to help alleviate the boredom. But I often find I don't know what to say. I want to know more about him, I want to know the progression of his MS and how fast it degenerated. I want to know the story behind his many tattoos on his arms. I want to know what he was like before the MS. Like many MS patients, the MS began in his 20s. Thats all I know. I would love to just spit out these questions, any maybe he would answer. But can you do that? Maybe. I don't know. That borders impolite. So instead I answer questions about me that he asks...where do I go to school, will I be an RN soon? How do you like school? Do you like working here? I don't mind answering questions. Besides conversation, I try and do anything else I can for him. I offer him a warm or cold face wash rag and I wash his face for him. I come in often and ask whats on TV and offer to change the channel or volume if he would like. I explain everything that the nurses are doing and that we, the aides are doing, or both.
It just kills me to see his face, he looks so unhappy and bored. We turn him every two hours, we change his linens from urine and feces as he stares at the bed rail. He virtually has no privacy, everything is gone. I try and always remember patient privacy and cover things up when they are not needed. I think sometimes nurses (and aides) forget to cover up private areas because we have seen them a million too many times, they are nothing new to us, so we don't feel awkward around it anymore, and therefore don't feel the incessant need to cover anything up while were working there or elsewhere. But we forget that this is new for the patient and they are probably screaming in their head, HELLO? I'm exposed :(
Not much else to say. I just wanted to express how sorry I felt for him. Not that feeling sorry would accomplish anything. I'm sure he doesn't even want people to feel sorry for him. I certainly would not want that. I would just want people to come in my room and be normal and talk to me normally. Which is what I try really, really hard to do.
~A Writer in a Nurse's Body
Monday, January 3, 2011
Just so you know.
And they taste great, too!
In case you are wondering why this post is so random and short, I'll tell you.
I had this longggg post all written out about the hardships and humor found in nursing and poked fun about the elderly type patients that I have and that really test my patience...but when reading it over, I realized that it made me sound like a nurse bitch bimbo that was making fun of the elderly because she needed to vent. And thats not what this blog is about. So, I deleted it all and decided to write a post about how fantastic fiber gummies are. No, really. They are. Work like a charm. Try them! Yumm.
PS- I really am sorry for such a pointless post.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Moving on to a less-awesome topic, today is my first day back to work....in approximately 3 hours. I'm a nervous little bean. Which makes no sense because I have been at this job for 4 years and by golly why the heck do I get so nervous on my "first day back's"? (This happens every time I return for the summer, and when I return for christmas break...which is, now.) I am only nervous for like the first ten minutes once I get there...and then I remember that I do know how to do my job and I relax and do my job.
I guess I just get nervous that I will cause someone harm because I haven't been at my job since August. Like I won't know how to do something and a patient or nurse will suffer because of it. Also, every time I come back to work, there are new rules and new equipment, or new homes for things, and worst of all (sometimes), new staff. This is deemed worst because all the other aides are like, "Oh hey [insert new staff's name here], you are awesome!" and I am all like...."I don't know who you are. Please tell me your name." ANd it is awkward. OR, they (usually nurses) are all like....who are you, this new random aide that I have never met? Are you new? And I am like.......well, No, I am not new. In fact, I have been here for four years, but I go to school so I only show myself during breaks. You must have been hired while I was at school and therefore you only think I'm new because you have never seen my face in your first four months of working here. I am sorry for this. You will have to get accustomed to my face for the next two weeks and then forget it because I will probably not be back here til summer. Sorry for that.
Thats all I have to say today. I'm just a pile of nervous jittery beans.
Maybe If I'm not too tired tonight I will update on how it went. Or maybe, the night will be really uneventful and writing an update will be extremely ineffective and a boring post and then none of you would ever read my blog again but instead join Farmer's Anonymous and sit in circles and talk about your Flink's of cows ( I'm not sure why I capitalized that).
UPDATE: Spell check does not think Flink is a word. Therefore I am beginning to wonder the true-ness of this fact.