Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

My new favourite TV show - and my favourite clip so far from the show:

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Clinical Rotation - Obstetrics

Well, once again I am late posting my adventures in clinical. This last round of clinical was in obstetrics and it was very interesting. I know it is not for me, but is was an amazing experience! We spent 4 weeks in obstetrics, and we got to spend 2 of those days in labour and delivery. My first day in labour and delivery was amazing. I got to witness and assist with TWO vaginal deliveries! It was literally breathtaking! I've now sat here for almost 10 minutes trying to figure out how to describe it, and I still can' I will just leave it at that. It was such an amazing experience, and something I will never forget. (The second day in labour and delivery there were NO births that day!)

The rest of our clinical was spent caring for mother and baby post delivery. I got to give a baby an IM injection, removed a couple IV's, and did numerous newborn assessments. I also did assessments on the moms post-delivery. I was fortunate to get all fabulous moms that were so patient with me as a student. Thankfully this clinical was a lot more laid back where we weren't so rushed, so we got to take our time in learning our skills.

Overall, it was another great clinical rotation. So far this year, clinical has been a positive experience :) I have one more clinical rotation this winter - a 6 week medical rotation again, but I am still waiting to hear when and where...

Practicum Exam Time

I HATE practicum wait, maybe I hate my overly-emotional personality and hate that I do not know how to properly deal with stress...that is probably more accurate...

This year in nursing school we have had a LOT of information thrown at us - to the point that everyone is majorly overwhelmed. In addition to all the information thrown at us, we had labs 2 times a week to learn new skills. This is probably the BEST part of nursing school - practicing skills on each other, on fake equipment and on mannequins. We also had to buy ($80 worth!) of equipment to bring to lab so we can practice in lab and then take the equipment home and practice on our own. This included a catheter kit, dressing kit, IV supplies, etc.).

Now we are drawing close to the end of the first semester (Wednesday is our last day of school before written exams begin!). During the last 3 weeks of school, every week we had a different practicum exam. Last week was neurological and we did a neurological exam on our partner. It was super easy, and I could do it in my sleep! But of course, when under stress of the fact that you are being tested on it, it doesn't seem quite so easy. I managed to get through it disaster free, and in fact got 100% on it - wahoo!

This week, our practicum exam was on IV's, IM injections, catheters, and dressing changes. My mom was up visiting for a few days, so on the weekend I practiced with her. I practiced until I wore out the equipment and until I had no voice left from talking so much describing what I was doing. I had IV equipment hanging all around my living room, catheter equipment set up in the kitchen, and balled up socks made into fake gaping wounds full of packing. My poor dog didn't know what was going on! I knew my stuff! Then exam time came. I was REALLY hoping for a cathether or an IM injection...... well, I got IV's :( I was so nervous my mind went blank - I couldn't even figure out the basic math to do my drug calculation. I just started writing down numbers and moved on to the next step - gathering up the required equipment. When it came time to doing the actual task, everything that could possibly go wrong, WENT wrong :( I kept dropping things... twice the instructor pointed out wrong equipment I had grabbed (wrong sized needle, wrong IV tubing) and she had to go and get the right things for me while I kept on going. That just made me more and more nervous and stressed out, and by the time she went to fetch the new tubing I just felt so incompetent and started to cry.... yep.... cuz that's the appropriate response in such a situation! I hate being such an emotional person :( I was just so frustrated that I knew what I was doing going in, but yet when it came time to demonstrate it, I couldn't prove it cuz I allowed my stress to take over :( I did manage to stumble my way through and finish up, but I was so embarassed. If nothing else, maybe the instructor took pity on me.

I have one more practicum exam to do next week (cardiac, respiratory and abdominal assessments) and I am stressing already. This time I have TWO reasons to stress. First, we are practicing on each other, so when it is my partner's turn, I have to strip down in front of the instructor as the patient, and then second, once again going through the stress of having my assessment techniques scrutinized. At least I have 4 days off so am going to study and practice like crazy and hope I can handle myself better this time...........

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Clinical Rotation

Time is sure flying by! My first clinical rotation has already come and gone and I start my next one this week. I had my clinical evaluation last week, and I got a glowing verbal and written evaluation. My instructor had so many positive things to say, she almost made me cry! To summarize, she mostly commented on my care and compassion, and how my patients are obviously well cared for and seem happy to have me helping them. So that made me feel good. I know I am headed in the right direction.

This past clinical I learned a few new skills – I have given my first sub-Q injection (low molecular weight heparin). The very first one didn’t go quite as smoothly as I was hoping cuz I was SOOOO nervous, but the patient and I survived! Administering the second one was a piece of cake (same injection, same patient, just on a different day). I have also given G-tube feedings and flushes (to my nursing readers, I know that it isn’t that complicated, but to me it was fascinating). We finally got to administer oral medications (once again, not that complicated – follow the orders, do your double checks, etc, but it was another step in the right direction). Plus we did the usual morning care and feedings. I can’t believe how nerve wracking it is to feed patients who are a high choking risk. I was a nervous wreck the whole time!

My highlight was assisting with a patient on a ventilator!!!! I was just so fascinated by the whole thing (I now know I never want to be on one, but it was fascinating nonetheless!) The technology behind it is amazing! That whole experience of assisting the patient on the ventilator made me now seriously consider looking into working in the ICU….

This week I start obstetrics – that shall be interesting! We have completed our 5 weeks of theory, and have practiced in the lab setting one week. There is a mannequin that gives birth that we got to practice on (technology is amazing!) Plus there were several practice stations for assessments that we got to practice – nothing compared to the real thing, I am sure! I am looking forward to this placement, although a little nervous about seeing my first placenta!! Not looking forward to that…… At least my back should have a bit of a break, as I will be going from 100-300 lb patients, to patients that are only a few lbs :)

All in all, I am LOVING school so far this year :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"........oh where, oh where can she be?"

Now that school has begun again, unfortunately blogging has dropped down to a low priority in my life :-( Not only have I not been able to write in my own blog, I also haven't had the opportunity to peruse my favourite blogs as well :( Thank goodness for feedreaders that are stockpiling what I am missing out on.

A quick summary of the past few weeks:

I am no longer working nights - wahoooo! I am on a leave of absence from my government job until August 10th (unsure whether I will be returning, but as of now, I am scheduled to go back to work in late summer 2009.) Surprisingly, it didn't take me long to adjust to a daytime schedule again. Probably becuz I am so exhausted from my school schedule! Whatever the reason, my body is very thankful for the change!

School - well full-time school turned out to be a little more hectic than I expected! I still haven't figured out how other students manage to have a social life! I can barely plan in homework/studying - I am already 2 weeks behind on my readings (and we've only been in school for 2 weeks LOL)

Clinical - I am enjoying clinical so far - we are still limited in what we can do, but now we can administer medications, and we have a clinical instructor who encourages us to work ahead on skills, rather than only do the bare minimal we are allowed. My clinical instructor this year is fabulous! She is very laid back and easy going which makes the experience much less stressful :-)

This time I am in a complex care ward, and the things I have seen so far are pretty amazing - I will try and blog about it when I have more time. Last time I was in clinical we had one 4 hour shift a week. This year, we have two 8 hour shifts a week. BIG difference!! So many more opportunities to learn! I have 4 more weeks at the complex care site, and then I move on to obstetrics which I am really looking forward to. I have a friend who is expecting in November and I am one of her support people so I am anxious to have a few skills under my belt before helping her.

Time is ticking away as usual and I have procrastinated long enough, so I guess I better get back to studying :(

Friday, August 29, 2008

Advice from a dog....

I wish I had my dog's view of exercise. No matter how long it's been since the last "workout" (ie. wak), the enthusiasm that she displays always amazes me. She's ready to head out that door at full speed. Just hearing the word "walk" can stir her from a deep sleep. It is the highlight of her day!

Sure, once I'm in the routine of exercising, it's not as difficult to keep it up. But miss a couple days, and I literally have to DRAG my butt out the door and force myself. I envy my dog's attitude!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Guy clip - "Over"

Here is another one of my favourite family guy clips... let's see how long this one stays up!!

Scene from Family Guy Season 6 Episode 7.

Stewie and Brian talking over walkie talkies at a construction site.

Transcript for when they pull the video:

Stewie: Alright Brian, I'm gonna go up to the upper level and run this wire down through the wall. Grab your walkie, I'll call you when I get up there.
Brian: Okay.
(Stewie walks away, is heard over the walkie-talkie)
Stewie: Brian, pick up. Over.
Brian: What?
Stewie: Brian, please say "over" when you are finished talking. Over.
Brian: (sighs) What? Over.
Stewie: Do you see the wire yet? Over.
Brian: No.
Stewie: Nooooo what? Over.
Brian: No. Over.
Stewie: Okay, I'm gonna start feeding it through. Over.
Brian: Wait, If you haven't started feeding it, why'd ya ask me if I could see it?
Stewie: Didn't copy that. Over.
Brian: I said why did ya ask me if I could see it if you haven't started feeding it. Over.
Stewie: Oh that's better, I can hear you now. Over. Do you see it yet? Over.
Brian: You know, you're a jackass. For the record, I don't wanna hang out with you anymore when this is over.
Stewie: When this is what Brian? Over.
Brian: I said, I don't wanna hang out with you anymore when this is over.
Stewie: When this is what? You've got to finish your sentence. Over.
Brian: That's it, my sentence is over.
Stewie: Your sentence is what, Brian? Over.
Brian: My sentence is- wait a minute. I have to say over, even if the sentence ends with the word over?
Stewie: Ends with the word what, Brian? Over.
(the wire descends through the wall)
Brian: Oh, I see the wire.
Stewie: You see the wire what? Over.
Brian: Over! (yanks on the wire, pulling Stewie down with it)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!!!!

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of going to Vegas. What an experience! I had such an amazing time! The things I saw and did. I was there for 8 days and I still never got to see everything!

My biggest highlight was going to see Elton John in concert at Caesar’s Palace. What an amazing show! “Elton John & the Red Piano.” Nobody else in my group was interested in going, so I went by myself, and I am glad I did. It was so worth it. He played for an hour and 45 minutes with no breaks. And he had great audience interaction. For one song, the orchestra seating got to go up on stage and dance with Elton. If you ever get the opportunity to see Elton John, I highly recommend you go! And the theatre at Caesar’s Palace is BEAUTIFUL!

Another highlight for me was the controversial “Bodies” exhibit at the Tropicana; the anatomy museum. I found it so fascinating! The things I had the opportunity to see. You can easily spend a lot of money in Vegas, but yet at the same time, it is amazing how many free things there are to do there! I will definitely be back!

Literally hours before I was leaving for vacation we had a bad rainstorm and flooding! My basement flooded (which had never happened in the 60+ years it’s been in existence) and shingles were flying off my garage. My poor friend Sari who was house sitting for me was left with quite a mess! I still don’t know how I am going to make this all up to her!

Unfortunately now that I have been back for a while, my vacation mindset is slowly drifting away as realities of life set back in! Anxious for another vacation some time soon!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm Back

Well, it has been awhile since I have last entered anything in my blog. Partly because my life has been pretty uneventful, and partly because my blog is supposed to be half personal (for the people that check it to keep up with the latest developments in my life) and half medical (focused on nursing/medicine/health stuff, etc), and I have been out of school for a few weeks now so have been taking a break from medical "stuff" to rest my brain. So today's entry will be a catch up on the latest developments of my life, as uneventful as they are.

The most exciting news: I am going to Vegas :-) I leave in approximately, okay EXACTLY 16 days. There are 60 of us going, and we will be there for 8 days (7 nights). I am more or less tagging along, as most are going to participate in a pool tournament, and I am going with a friend who is playing in the tournament as an excuse to visit Vegas. I am SO looking forward to it. I'm not really a gambler or anything, so it is isn't the casinos that is drawing me - just the thrill of Vegas - the shows, the sights, the glamour. There is supposed to be a film festival going on when we are down there, so I am sure there will be lots of famous people milling around. What I am most looking forward to is going to see Elton John - everyone I talked to has said that any concert they have gone to of his has been the best concert they have ever been to. Our tickets aren't booked yet cuz people don't know what night they are playing in the tournament yet, so my fingers are crossed that he won't be sold out! So in preparation for my vacation, I am working out insanely.

Who would have thought I would ever see the day that I would become addicted to exercise. It just amazes me. I am now planning my day around how I can fit in workout time. I am now walking, swimming, playing tennis, and, in spurts, running! I never thought I would see my "fat ass" running - ha ha. But I am truly addicted! And when you put in that much effort into working out, suddenly you don't feel like eating junk food becuz it makes you feel gross after, and you realize how hard you have to workout afterwards to work it off. So even my eating has improved. I have started "clean eating."

The frustrating thing is that I am working out at least 2 hours a day and yet not losing a pound :-( It gets a little discouraging. But I am seeing big improvements each day in my strength, confidence, and moods. And for the first time in a LONG time, I feel great! Let's hope I can keep it up. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tagged - 8 Random Facts About Me

Well, for the first time, I have officially been “tagged.” (Technically a couple weeks ago, but, as usual, I am a little behind.) So here goes…..


In 8 facts about yourself, share 8 things that your readers don’t know about you. Then at the end you tag at least 8 other bloggers to keep the fun going. Here are the rules:

RULES:* Each blogger must post these rules first.* Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.* Bloggers that are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.* At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.* Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

  1. I am afraid of elevators – I can usually hide it pretty well – until the elevator starts to lurch or bounce; then I start losing it ;-)
  2. When I was born I had one blue eye and one brown eye. Thankfully I grew out of it after a couple months.
  3. I speed read. (Sometimes this can be a bad thing – especially when studying for an exam!)
  4. I am an only child. (I've been told it's pretty obvious!)
  5. My father was the maintenance foreman at a Provincial park, so I spent my summers growing up practically “living” at Caliper Lake.
  6. As a child, we used to have many pet rabbits (most at one time was 13 – usually around 5 or 6). I used to walk them on leashes, take them swimming (at Caliper Lake), and “Snoopy” was even litter box trained.
  7. I used to play the piano and clarinet. I hope to own a piano some day. Playing the piano was always a great de-stressor for me. Unfortunately I have not touched a piano in almost 10 years.
  8. I’ve always wanted to live on an island.

    I made it! That was tougher than I thought! The tagging of fellow bloggers will soon follow…

    Thanks for thinking of me, Andre :-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Change of Shift

It has arrived! Another fabulous edition of Change of Shift. Check it out here.

My "Definition of a Hero" entry was even accepted this week (I am honoured!)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Definition of a Hero...

Copied with permission from a MySpace friend who is a fire figher and EMT in the US. I think it is beautifully written and gives you something to think about:

I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for trapped children at three am, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen below you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a wifes horror at six in the morning as I check her husband of forty years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late, but wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try to save his life.

I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke, sensations that I've become too familiar with.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire: Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped? Or to a call: What is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?

I wish you could be in the emergency room as the doctor pronounces dead the beautiful five-year oldgirl that Ive been trying to save during the past twenty five minutes, who will never go on her first date or say the words, I love you Mommy again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine, squad or my personal vehicle, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us, however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "it took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could know my thoughts as I extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. What if this was my daughter, sister, girlfriend, or a friend? What is her parents reaction going to be when they open the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.

I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and EMTs out, and when we call for them our heart drops because no one answers back. Or to hear a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance.

I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically abuse us or belittle what we do, or as the express their attitudes of "It will never happen to me."

I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someones property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, Is Mommy okay? Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as they take him away in the Medic unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, who we are, or what our job really means to us. I wish you could though.

(Author Unknown)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Big 3-0

I didn't realize how much time has passed since my last blog entry; in fact I have even missed a few Change of Shift entries! Time has just been flying by!

Speaking of time flying by: Today I turned 30. I have been dreading this day for almost a year. It would make me angry, sad, scared... But last night that all changed.

I had a wonderful night out last night on my "Last night of my 20's B-day Bash." I normally don't do birthdays, but this year I cut loose. A group of us went out for supper to Boston Pizza, and then a few from the group brached off to a local bar for drinks, dancing and laughs. I had a fabulous time (I'm sure all the drinks people were buying me really helped!) Besides all the fun that I had, it was nice that so many people were willing to spend the evening with me. It really meant a lot to me. There were others that I really wish could've spent this important milestone evening with me, but, oh well.

One thing that changed my perspective about fearing being 30 was the fact that I had a mixed age group with me; some early 20's, some early 30's, some 40's, and even some 50's. And yet everyone was having a great time and knew how to party. It just made me realize that life does not end at 30, and I still have many years of fun ahead of me :-)

(From left to right: Patti, ME, Akita, Angie (in the back), Sari)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Change of Shift

As usual, I am late in my updating, but a new Change of Shift is up.

Check it out here.

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