Sunday, March 11, 2007

Another one down, three to go...

Well, I survived another clinical on Friday – I stressed all week – gained 5 lbs from stress eating all week – had nightmares – researched switching degrees for next year (was seriously considering a biology degree) – was just one hell of a week! A couple friends gave me some good pep talks a few days prior which did help a lot. Lindsay with her tough approach: “Tell me you didn’t let a PATIENT make you cry, oh come on!” And Jackie with her focused compassion: “You know Jen, you have so many options in nursing; you don’t HAVE to work in geriatrics. This is your way of realizing that this aspect of nursing isn’t for you. Don’t give up on nursing becuz of this experience.” So between Jackie & Lindsay straightening me out, I went in with a totally different attitude! I decided I wasn’t going to take my patients’ crap (literally!) – I was there to do my job, to HELP HER, and I was just going to do it. I still barely slept…got about 2 hours sleep prior to clinical this time (it is amazing what a difference that extra hour of sleep makes though!) I was kind of excited knowing this was the last week I would have to deal with her, and it would only be one more hour out of my life.

First my fellow students gave me a quick little motivating pep talk, then I jumped right in. I told her firmly how things were going to be. I took control of the situation and didn’t let her boss me around (quite as much), and in the end, instead of yelling at me, she just muttered at me, “I wish you would do this….I wish you would do that…” rather than “DO THIS… DO THAT…” So at least my confidence wasn’t crushed the first 2 minutes I walked in the door this time, so I was able to get things done competently….pretty much. Once again, I started struggling with her depends. I just couldn’t figure out why I was having trouble. Finally I had to swallow my pride and I went and asked my clinical instructor for help. Would you believe all this time I have been putting them on backwards!!!! I had memorized “stickers to the front, stickers to the front”, and really, it was stickers to the back!!!!!! I had been lucky with previous patients; their depends were always a bit too big for them, and I struggled a bit, thinking I just needed the extra practice, but this time, my patient fits in her depends perfectly, so there was no slack room to force fit them! Only me! Then the outfit she picked out was the most bizarre thing I had ever seen – there were flaps and holes and buttons and straps everywhere! Between my clinical instructor and I, we finally pieced it all together, but next time, I’M picking out the outfit ;-)

We had a 30 min time-limit, and well, I took an hour and 10 mins :-( At coffee break time, our clinical instructor asked us how we think we did… I said, “Shamefully, I know I am the worst…is there a prize for last place?” Apparently I wasn’t the slowest, I was actually one of the fastest! Shocking! Then I was told I have my patient for yet ANOTHER week, sigh…. Oh well – since things went a lot smoother this week, I won’t need to stress as badly for next week.

I always prefer the after-coffee shift. We are basically little gophers running around helping out where we are needed. Every little thing we do is appreciated by the staff and the patients. Seeing how excited the patients get when we walk into the room to help them with whatever little request they are asking makes you feel good, and reminds me why I really do like working with the elderly. Their faces just light up with joy! Later, I assisted with a tub bath for the same elderly man that I had helped a couple of weeks ago. It went so much better this week – it really has showed me that experience does toughen you up.

I also realized what a great group of students I am with. My clinical instructor may think we are a bunch of incompetent morons, but I think we are a great group. We work well together and help each other out when we can. I think these students are going to be great nurses and build a great rapport with their patients. I actually think I am learning more from them than the support workers who trained us! I just wish I could continue on with this same group – at least I will be with them for part of next year, but then I fall behind again as I continue on part-time.

So, only 3 more weeks of clinical! YAY!

And, spring is on it’s way – this evening it was +10!!!! I’m sure it was even higher during the day! I am so excited for the warmer weather and the coming bright sunny days :-) The little snow we had is almost gone and just giant mud puddles everywhere. And the smell of spring is in the air (FYI – the smell of spring here is the smell of melting dog poo)

Oh, and one more thing... amazing Leafs/Senators game last night!!! Toronto still may make the playoffs!!!!!

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