Saturday, April 28, 2007

Snipet of my life...

I decided to create an update entry for my “non-nursing” friends and family as I have been receiving email complaints again about my lack of keeping in touch. And things aren’t even as busy as they usually are for me!

Back to school on Tuesday! Was a nice break while it lasted! I had all these plans of things I was going to accomplish while I was off school, but spent so much time catching up on sleep, and actually going out with friends on the weekend (!), reintroducing myself to the wonderful world of alcohol, that time just snuck past me again. I actually didn’t do that badly in school this term. Microbiology was what I was most worried about! I started out in the 90’s in that class and kept dropping and dropping and was getting really frustrated!! Then our final exam was worth 50% and I failed it!!! It was SOOOOO hard! Even if I had studied for an extra week, I still would’ve failed it! But I just got my marks back yesterday and I ended up with a 73%. I should be ashamed of that mark, as it is not medical school worthy, but it is actually better than I expected! Going to try and work my butt off for my spring classes to get a good mark and raise my average again.

I can’t recall if I had blogged about it or not, but I am seriously considering taking a leave of absence from work this fall. I’m trying to figure out how to do this without losing my house! At minimum I would like to take September to December off, but ideally I would like to be off until April to put in a full year! I don’t think I will be able to do that though. I already checked into things and I don’t qualify for any bursaries or student loans. There is still a chance that I MAY have a room mate in September, but I won’t know until August. I know my friend Rob has been hinting as well that he would be willing to be my room mate, but I’m not sure about that….. we’ll see how desperate things are getting by September! I haven’t really advertised that I am looking for a room mate, cuz I’m not all that sure that I want one, but yet financially it would be a big help…… decisions, decisions….. If only they would be offering overtime at work, that would be a big help right about now!! I have almost 2 weeks in a row off in August and a week in July that I was planning on using for a road trip or camping, but even that is up in the air now as I have to consider whether I want to use that as "me time" to relax, or if I should apply it towards the time I will be off to have almost 3 more weeks of pay..... hhhmmmmmmmmm.

My parents are up here right now and staying at the cancer clinic. My dad started his radiation treatments a week ago Thursday. So he has now had 7 treatments with 29 to go. I think he may have a rough time, as they said it usually takes 15 treatments before you experience any side effects, and Friday he was starting to have a few issues. My mom is heading home on Monday, and will be back and forth off and on. She is currently teaching a class while another teacher is awaiting back surgery, and since Provincial Testing for the students is coming up, she can’t miss very many days, so I will take over helping out with my dad. The cancer clinic has a beautiful place for out-of-town cancer patients to stay, so it has been really convenient for them. My dad literally just has to walk across the driveway to have his treatments. Every few weekends he will fly home, but otherwise, stays at the cancer clinic.

At the advice of a few fellow blogger friends, I am slowly trying to transfer over to wordpress. So currently I have 2 blogs on the go, both with similar content, just different formatting. Until I can figure out how to set up wordpress the way I like it (having a little trouble formatting it), I will continue here on blogger and just upload to both sites. (To any wordpress experts, if you have any tips or suggests, please comment or email me! I’d appreciate any input!)

My two current blog sites are and This does not include my facebook account, one of my new addictions. How can something so simple, get so addicting!! Thankfully the initial excitement is over and I only check it maybe once or twice a day now, as opposed to when I first signed up….. take the dog outside…. Better check facebook….. drive to work…. Better check facebook…. Study for 20 minutes…. Better check facebook….. study for 10 more minutes…. Better check facebook……. Those of you on facebook understand…. Those of you who have never heard of facebook, or THINK they are not interested in joining… HA I DARE YOU to sign up! You’d be surprised!

The weather here has been so beautiful! Unfortunately right now I am sick with a cold so am unable to fully enjoy it! But I am so happy to see the sun and feel it’s warmth again! And the days are pleasantly longer which makes working the night shift a lot easier to bear, especially as my desk over looks the marina! All winter I drove to work in the dark so never had much of a view. Now I have a view of the marina and the mountain until almost 10:00!

Off to join my parents for supper! One great bonus of having my mom up here is experiencing her fabulous cooking again!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Scraps of nursing information...

I have technically only completed my first year of nursing (and part of second and part of third, but that’s irrelevant), and I have already learned many lessons about nursing school, and see many things I wish I had done differently. As technically I am out of school for the summer (other than a couple online classes), I thought I would blog here and there on topics of what I have learned this past year, as well as advice to new nursing students. I realize that I don’t exactly have years of experience behind me, but I do recall when I was about to start nursing classes, the fear of the unknown and how I would grasp at any scrap of information nursing students and nurses would throw at me.

I hope to toss out a few scraps to other future and potential nursing students, and to my current nurse readers who possibly could give advice on what got them through it all/what they would have done differently, etc...

To be continued shortly….

Fun times had by all? Well, maybe not all ;-)

Last Monday I joined aquabics and will be going every Monday and Friday until the end of June. I absolutely LOVE it! It's a great workout, and yet relaxing at the same time....if that makes any sense whatsoever!

The entire group is older, so I am the youngest in the group. Knowing that is the main reason I was willing to put on a bathing suit and exercise in public; only a small group would see me - a group whose body is now less than perfect due to advancing years in age, so I wasn't afraid of being too self-conscious.

Friday, my second day of aquabics, my mom decided to come along, as well as one of my closest friends (L.) from work. L. is my age, has a body that women starve themselves to try and look like, and she only had a bikini so was feeling a little nervous about going. I talked her into it, stating exactly what I had mentally said to myself, "Who's going to see you, other than this small group of people?"

(Can you feel the theme I'm building here? Can you guess what will happen next? Wait, there is NO WAY you could POSSIBLY guess what actually happens!!...)

So my mom, L. and I change into our bathing suits and head into the pool area. Most of the group is already sitting waiting for the class to start. Our instructor walks over to the group and starts handing out clown noses and says, "I have these left over, and thought it would make a cute picture, and it's for a good cause [names local charity nose purchase is for]" L. gives me a death look as she puts on her nose. I remind her that no one but the instructor will see this picture. Of course, that's when the instructor chooses to mention that the picture is being taken for [the charity]. {after thought: Great, now we'll be appearing in some newsletter!}

But wait, it gets better..... ok, worse.....

So we all jump in the pool, gather around, and many pictures are taken. Once again, I would like to remind you the scene - we are in our BATHING SUITS with CLOWN NOSES on! Sexy!

The class starts and I have a blast. I love to swim and just enjoy this class so much. The earlier traumatic picture event has left my mind. I'm unknowingly receiving death glares from my friend L., and she spends the whole class plotting her revenge against me, but I'm too busy having fun to notice.

Class ends, and as we are climbing out of the pool, I overhear the instructor saying to one of the ladies, "I'm sure no one has any objection to me putting this picture in the paper!" The expression on L.'s face was priceless!!

The only thing that has kept me from freaking out that my picture will be in the paper, in a BATHING SUIT, with a CLOWN NOSE on, is seeing how freaked out my friend L. is over the whole thing! I'm sure as soon as I see the hideous picture for myself, I too, shall freak out!

The only time I make the paper, has to be while in a bathing suit, with a clown nose on..... Nice!

Friday, April 06, 2007

My clinical homies

Left to right: Kayla, Angie, Nicole, Maggie, and up top, Me

Missing from photo: Matt & Christine
Update: Apr 13/07: I just noticed today, in the background, is my dog Molly, shooting lasers at us with her eyes ;-)

Monday, April 02, 2007

One tiny moment in time....

One thought from my final clinical day on Friday:

Just before clinical was over, I did my last round of cycling through the rooms to see if there were any last minute tasks that needed to be done, and I came across a fellow student who's elderly female patient had been throwing up for quite some time. The student had been by her side for awhile, not wanting to leave her, therefore, she was behind on her charting, and it was almost time to go! So I offered to stay with the patient so the student could go finish her charting.

It was so sad to see this bedridden elderly patient being sick - how every ounce of effort it took for her to hold her head up to allow her to be sick into the bowl. Other than ensuring she was propped up on her side, there wasn't a whole lot I could do. So I just kept getting clean faceclothes to wipe her face and mouth and gently rubbed her back. She spoke very little English, but had very little energy to speak, so the few words she would say, I really had to strain to hear her.

In between bouts of heaving, she would reach out and sqeeze my hand and whisper a few Finnish words. Finally, after about 15 minutes, a nurse showed up with a gravol injection for her, so I was able to leave and join my fellow students, as they were all waiting for me in the conference room to wrap things up. Just before I left, she reached up and stroked my face with her hand, and just kept repeating, "my Angel, my Angel!" One of those little moments that I know I will never forget! At the time, it felt like I wasn't able to do much for her, but it reminded me that making the effort to show compassion really does help to comfort the patient. I hope to remember this when I someday am a "real" nurse, in a "real" hectic setting so that I will still take the time to do the little things and not become "too busy" to truly care...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

It's OVER!!!!

Last week was CRAZY busy! I had 3 assigments due for my final clinical, I found out last minute I was going to be getting a roomate by the weekend, and I had a post-clinical party planned for the weekend, (and my house was a disaster)!

Survived my last clinical - things went amazingly smoothly. I think every student commented on that! We learned alot, and it was a great experience, but I am so happy it is over!

Roomate plans fell through, maybe in September, but well, my spare bedroom is still empty. All that extra stress for nothing... oh well... kept me on my toes.

My post-clincial party was a blast. It was a great group. I had a lot of fun, and I believe everyone else did too. (even Molly!)

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