Saturday, January 27, 2007

Small world

Not long ago I did a blog entry on the small world of the internet, but deleted it, thinking it was a little corny - I had mentioned finding old friends by means of Blogger, myspace, and entries in guestbooks. This evening, don't I stumble across a website of a young man that moved to Baudette, Minnesota, near where I grew up. There are articles and pictures of people and activities that I miss dearly, affecting me more so lately as I have surprisingly been a little homesick.

I was just going to shut my computer off, and decided to look at one more article, and OMG, there is a picture and article about my father!!!! Too funny!

If you'd like to read about my father and his invention, here is the article:

I think it is a beautifully written article about my father. Reminds me how proud I am to come from such a great family.

The internet sure does make the world seem smaller every day!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Life As A Government Employee

Lately my blog has been all about school, medicine, nursing, etc... finally here's a way of incorporating my other aspect of my life: Life as a government employee:


Sunday, January 21, 2007


A little medical humour...I love it!

I'm Still Here.....

I’ve received a few complaints from friends lately that I haven’t been keeping up my blog lately. Sorry, but in my defense, it was exactly this time last year that I burnt out, and I am desperately trying not to go through that again this year! I am already generally surviving on less than 4 hours of sleep most nights, but I think I have made up for it, cuz I didn’t get up until 5 pm today!!!!! Almost 15 hours of sleep (my poor dog!)

Work: Last night I was offered a 3 ½ year day shift contract in the change of name department. It was REALLY hard for me to turn that down! If only timing had been better – guarantee of being in the department I want to be in for at least 3 ½ years, under 2 of the best managers, doing work I enjoy doing. Stupid school – but as consoling friends have pointed out, school is helping me go on to bigger and better things, and maybe in 3 ½ years I won’t even be working in our office anymore! Yeah, right! To quote Sean last night at work, “Yeah we calculated out how old you will be when you finally become a Dr. At the rate you are going now, you will have just turned 53.” Ha Ha! Very funny!

Clinical is going surprisingly well. I went into it thinking I was going to totally hate it, especially once I met our clinical instructor who is the personality equivalent of “The Nazi” on Grey’s Anatomy. Very nice person, but DON’T SCREW UP, and DON’T PISS HER OFF! I actually really like her, but she’s pretty scary when she gets mad! Thankfully I’ve had no reason for her to get after me yet, well, ok once yesterday when it was obvious I hadn’t looked at my patient’s chart yet before starting her morning care. She happened to walk into the room just as I was standing there like an idiot trying to figure out how I was going to get my patient with MS into her wheelchair. She saw my weakness and starting drilling me with questions – just when I was about to open my mouth to say “Sorry, I really don’t know”, a feeble voice called out, “Excuse me, but I think I need the bedpan.” Saved by my patients’ weak bladder!

There are an odd number of us students on our floor of the nursing home, and from the beginning we were supposed to be paired up so we can learn from each other and help each other out. Ironically, from the beginning, I was the only student not paired up with a partner. So I basically had to go into the whole experience blindly, but it worked out well for me, as it forced me to just jump in and take charge, unlike last year where I pretty much sat back and watched and tried to participate as little as possible. As we were leaving for the day, the instructor apologized for not having me paired up with anyone, but she said she felt I was doing well enough on my own, and thought I was competent enough that I could be trusted on my own. Quite a few times when she would pass me on the floor during our shift she told me I was doing a great job, so that was nice.

When clinical is over, I am mentally and physically exhausted, but other than the stress of knowing I am being graded on my expertise, or lack thereof, I am enjoying myself and know I am headed in the right direction career-wise. The joy on the faces of the elderly that I am caring for when you take those few extra minutes with them warms your heart. And when I leave I feel real job satisfaction; that I am actually doing something beneficial.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Subscribe to My Blog!

For the past 6 months or so, I have been using the program newsgatoronline as my RSS feeder and subscribe to about 200 various blogs, mostly all medical blogs, and this is how I keep up with the various blogs without having to click on all 200 or so blogs every day to see if they have been updated yet.

The great thing about this program is how you can log into it on any computer to check out your own personal list of blog feeds. I highly recommend it, and once you have it, feel free to test it out by subscribing to my blog. You can either cut-and-paste my blog address under "site feeds", or you can just click on the icon below to automatically add me:

Subscribe in NewsGator Online

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's Going To Be a Good Year!

I went to the chiropractor today, more to prepare myself for the start of my clinical tomorrow, and one thing he pointed out is how less stressed I am and how well things seem to be going for me lately… I can’t believe I never clued in on that myself! I have to admit, things are really looking up for me.

For quite some time, I was actually hating going to work. It felt like it was pointless working so hard, that no one notices the effort I put in each day – makes you wonder why you bother, considering you get treated the same as the slackers. But it is amazing how a few positive words from management, and a change of duties can totally change your outlook.

At our last team meeting, our manager handed out thank you cards and gave us a little gift (a cute little Finnish doll and imported hand lotion). In my card she mentioned how she appreciates my good work ethic, positive attitude and how I am always smiling. I thought that was so nice :-) Too bad management doesn’t take the time to do things like that more often to help raise morale. This week, I worked a couple day shifts for some refresher training, and two of the day managers that I was working for mentioned that I was a “very bright young girl” who they “have complete confidence in” and that I am “very well trained.” Talk about making my day :)

For the next 4 months, with the possibility of extension, I am back working in the change of name department, which is my favourite department in the office. It is challenging, interesting, and the managers of the department treat their team well. So lately work has actually been fun again, and I don’t dread having to go to work each night.

Another positive aspect at work is the fact that my manager approved my modified work hours to accommodate my clinical on Fridays. Starting next week, I will be coming in a half an hour earlier (at 4:30 pm) so I can leave earlier on Thursdays (10:45 pm instead of 1:15 am) to allow me a few more hours sleep before my 7 am clinical.

More good news: I passed anatomy!!!!! (barely) But I still passed! 54% Worst final mark I have ever received in my life, and I hope to never do that badly again EVER! That class was such a major source of stress to me. 3 days a week (some weeks 4 times a week) of HELL! I loved it and hated it at the same time. In class, we had an AMAZING teacher. I would literally hang on every word she said. The body truly is fascinating! But the amount of information we had to absorb, memorize and understand was unfathomable, especially while working full-time, nights at that. And the method of testing in itself was stressful, brilliant in proving whether we knew our stuff, but stressful. It included 2 bell-ringer identification exams, each worth 20%, where there were stations of body parts all over the room, and we had 30 seconds to identify each part. Then our final written exam was worth 45%!!! So whether you had done really well, or were failing miserably (like I was) you HAD to give 100% on this exam or you could still fail the course! But I survived it, and never have to be tested in anatomy again (unless of course I get into medical school…)

Mom was just up visiting and helped stock the fridge and cupboards and helped take a small portion of my financial burden off my shoulders, which was a relief. She left yesterday. Then she had to leave today with my dad to Winnipeg to the cancer clinic to check on his progress while awaiting his radiation treatment which won’t be starting until April.

I am also thankful for my health lately! Other than making myself sick due to the stress of exams, I have been surprisingly healthy – I didn’t have a cold all last year (first time in my life as normally I have a cold every March and every September). There have been several viruses going around the office off and on all year, and I never caught them. So proves, despite all the stress I’ve been going through, I’ve still managed to stay healthy :-)

I have also recently learned to surround myself with true friends, whom you can trust and rely on, and that are a more positive influence in my life, and separating myself from those who just drag you down. That alone has made a world of difference in my life and has been keeping me more positive.

Ok, one more thing for me to be thankful for! Our beautiful weather here lately. We did finally get snow on New Years, several inches actually, but then it rained and pretty much settled down to less than an inch again. I used to tolerate winter, and loved snowmachining, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc, but since my car accident I hate driving in it, since buying my house hate shovelling it, and now that I work full-time and attend University, I have no time to enjoy it! So, each day that goes by with no snow brings me joy and reminds me that that is one more day we are closer to spring and summer! :-)

Well, tomorrow I resume my crazy work/school juggle again… let’s hope my positive attitude will prevail and I can successfully manage the stress and stay healthy :-)

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