Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the end of an era!

I will never sign another chart or note with SN - I am done with clinicals!

It's crazy - I feel such relief, and not as much nervousness as I thought that I might. I guess because I still don't have a job or even an application for a license...

so, today, instead of going to work as an NA, which I desparately need to do because I have approximately $80 to my name, I will:

  • go to the DMV and update my drivers license to reflect my new address for $10
  • then take that shiny new license and go to the courthouse basement and get a set of fingerprints for $10
  • then take those shiny new fingerprints and stuff them into a card with a form and a check for $38 and mail them to the state board of nursing
  • and then desparately rustle around in my bookbags and files for the checklist of what to do when in order to get the privilege to sit for hours clicking nervously through questions to receive a nursing license. I know it involves another check for $70 and another check for $200, but I don't know when, nor to whom those checks need to be paid. And since the $10, $10 and $38 will pretty much tap out my cash on hand (and I have no reserves, I've already rolled up the spare change and cashed it in this month), I'm not sure when that will happen.
Maybe when I go for my interview this afternoon (to-do list: shower, blowdry hair, sew button on suit, find pumps under trash in backseat, find file folder with resumes and transcripts), the nurse manager will just give me my first weeks' pay! That would be super!

In other news, I confessed a crush (my first on a boy in YEARS!) and learned that he, in turn, has an unrequited crush on someone else. Let the emotional roller coaster of the holiday season begin!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

wait, what?

So, seriously, I'm going to be taking the boards when? And I'll be passing my own meds when?! Because wow oh wow, I do NOT feel ready.

I feel like I do an EXCELLENT job of watching my preceptor work. I think I'm an OUTSTANDING nursing assistant. I can write a paper and blow your literary socks right off.

Nurse?! Like, Hi, I'll be your nurse today?!

oh my.

can I just work as an NA for a couple more months or something?

Oh boy. I'm at the point in the time management cycle where I have enough awareness of what I've committed to do to be pretty upset and hopeless about getting it all done - which is perfect motivation for pruning the schedule and prioritizing. Unfortunately, I usually want to assess before I prune, and when I say assess, I mean "Make a list of everything I have going on, with lots of notes about how time-consuming and essential each activity is". I come from the "squeeze a small scratch to make it bleed so there's visual evidence that it really hurts" camp. This is otherwise known as melodrama.

So, with limited annotation this time (because it's the parenthetical phrases that are the most annoying!), here's the current list:

96 60 hours with preceptor before Dec. 3 for senior clinical rotation

Article review re: tele monitoring policies - 1 page paper

Discussion Board postings on Blackboard re: the older adult in the ICU, collective bargaining and the nursing profession, and spinal cord injury - post and respond (without mocking) to a classmate

ATI Pharmacology Online Exam before finals for points on Capstone final

Write Honors paper

Write agenda for November ANS board meeting

Pack for Reno!

Dig through the box of stuff from ANS predecessor before meeting other state presidents in Reno, so that I don't look like a dolt.

Work 12 hours per pay period to pay for trip to Reno, and groceries

Prepare for interviews on floors that I'm not super interested in

Set up interviews for units that I really want to work on

Take boxes of stuff to thrift store

Study for Capstone Final on Neuro, Renal, and Ortho

Go to PTA meeting

Pick kid up from school on my nights (more difficult than it sounds, since my nights have become increasingly erratic this semester)

that's not so bad, actually. I was feeling like I hadn't done much this weekend, because I didn't do the two things on my schedule - spend 4 hours on Honors paper, and send out November board mtg agenda. I did manage to get the kid to his soccer game where he won and had a great time, and go trick or treating with him where he was Harry Potter and had a great time, and make him carve a pumpkin with me, where I managed to not snatch the little knife out of his hand more than once and I think he had a great time! I also am surrounded with clean dishes drying on towels all over the counter, and clean laundry piled all over the dryer and desk. I spent four hours studying for the exam this week (and at least an hour debriefing from clinical with my study partner, which is a post in and of itself).

I didn't call my mom or my grandma. I also have not sent thank you notes for my August birthday presents and I think that I may have missed the window - to do so now smacks a bit of angling for good holiday gifts, somehow.

hmmm. spinach, feta and onion and then bed? agenda and spinach and then bed? bed? It's so bizarre to go off to clinical without doing a lick of preparation, compared to the first rotation when I would have been up this late just looking up drugs!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

the bastards!

Thanks to the presence of No Impact Man on my google reader (who apparently shares a love of Pablo Neruda), I saw this quote today:

from Edward Abbey, who has been described as a "cranky environmentalist/mystic of the desert southwest":

"One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.

"So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.

"Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."

the sweet and lucid air, huh? reluctant enthusiast? half-hearted fanatic!

I'm all about it.

the crying phase of a paper

The writing process:
Gather information on the assignment/audience
Wail and Cry (repeating as needed)
Complete assignment.

At lunch yesterday, I asked for advice on the level of overwhelming-ness I'm experiencing right now. One option is to ditch the Honors project - and I teared up just asking the registrar how I would go about doing that because I'm so attached to the idea of completing it. One option is to stop checking out Nevada Barr books from the library and staying up until 3am reading. Another option is to resume my preescribed dose of wellbutrin bid, rather than continuing the sub-therapeutic one pill per day.

Still another option is to fashion a yurt from all the cloth grocery bags I've accumulated, insulate it with shredded notecards and move into my mother's back yard, where she would raise my son in the warm, dry house and toss hunks of casserole out to me each evening.

I described what I had done so far on the paper. I wailed that I had at least another 40 hours of work yet to go and how could I ever possibly fit that in, with ANS and NSNA and Honors and papers and 96 hours of clinical, blah blah blah!

My friends blinked, and said, no, actually, you don't HAVE to put in 40 hours of work on this. Write what you have and turn it in.

Blink, blink. What I have, I repeated incredulously. But. What if my advisor isn't impressed? What if she doesn't say that I could just turn this right into a master's thesis and do the graduate coursework later?

Oh. I see. Not realistic, you say. Hmmph.

This re-thinking of priorities and scaling back expectations to realistic levels is some sort of a life lesson, isn't it? I'm slowly catching on.

In other news, the beta fish has a wart on his (it?) (hir?) nose. I asked my fish friend if she thought I should kill it. She was a bit shocked, I think.

Not because it's ugly, I quickly assured her, but just because it might be suffering.

You have been spending too much time in the medical ICU, she said.