Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Breath You Take - George Strait

Juggling Act

Sometimes I feel like I am the grand ringmaster for the traveling circus. I know that there are a lot of people that feel this way and this blog post is to let you know that you are not alone. Everyday, I feel like there is more that I need to accomplish than is physically possible to do. Yet, everyday, I wake with the goal of actually accomplishing...well, most of it. Today was actually a good day and I got my list of school assignments done. Two papers, two discussion board posts and read the rest of a chapter in Anatomy I needed to catch up on. But, it isn't just school. Then there is the housework, the groceries, the quality time with the kids, the attempt at a conversation with your spouse that is about something other than daily tasks...I still try to be philosophical. Then there are your friends and relatives...when are we supposed to fit them in? Thank goodness I don't have a pet...poor thing would never get walked or have a clean litter box. Then there is church...I need to get involved in a church. Oh, and I need to exercise. Yes, definitely exercise. Oh and don't forget there are less than 85 shopping days until Christmas.

Breath in. Breath out.

Something has to give. Though with my personality, I still try to do it all and am successful to some degree. Prioritizing is key. In the evening before I go to bed, I plan out the absolute must do's for the next day and try with all my might to get those done. I try to do fun or less stressful tasks when I am most tired at the end of my day or with my 2 year old at my side and the worst, most dreaded and difficult tasks in the morning. If by lunch, I have the dreaded put to rest, I am much more confident about the rest of my day. I have heard that nursing is a juggling act. Patient needs, reports to write, patient needs, labs to send, patient needs, learning new procedures, patient needs...and on and on. Sounds like my cup of tea. I actually thrive with a full plate and stressful deadlines. It makes the day go faster and you have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. One day, I will wake up, my son will be grown and they will be asking me to retire already. Retire? If I retire, what will I do all day?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life-out of my hands

I believe in fate...destiny...a plan that is out of my hands...and all that good stuff. I believe in it for myself and for everyone on the whole planet. It is unfathomable for me to image that we are all here by chance and are bumping into each other at random. I find it comforting to know that there is a reason behind each union, every smile, every tear, and every break up.

There are a couple reasons I am thinking about this today. I am thinking about how my own personal relationships have been changing. I believe that it isn't good or is just part of life. That I may close the door on one relationship, but that allows me to hear that someone is knocking at another. It is hard not to reminisce and feel loss, but if the relationship is over, it is over. (By the way-this has nothing to do with my husband!! Just wanted to make that clear...we are just fine.) In my husband's life, he is struggling with finding a new path for his career. He isn't happy or satisfied where he is and has been searching and praying for where he should be heading. I keep reassuring him to keep searching and praying and continue to be patient, but I know it is hard. I kind of got hit by a bus with the idea that I should become a nurse. It was like lightening striking me. One minute it wasn't there and the next, I was certain..with out a doubt that that was what I was supposed to be working towards. It is the exact same feeling I had when I met my husband. I had known him about 24 hours when I told a very close friend that I could marry him the very next day without any problem. That I was sure-with every part of my being-that he was "the one." Isn't it funny how that happens?

Now, I talk to some people about this and they say that it has never happened to them and I always wonder if they are not paying attention or are not listening or if it is really true. I have always believed that what ever you believe in is what will happen to you. If you think that you are unworthy of finding true love, you never will. If you think that you are going to succeed, you will. When I enter nursing, I know that some of my optimism will be jaded by sickness and hopelessness. How am I going to encourage my patients to go on? How will I be able to encourage them to be at peace with the path that they are on...even if it appears it is going to end with death? How will I be able to talk to families and give them comfort? How will I find the right words for the right person at the right moment? I doubt they teach this in nursing school...I am going to have to do some research on the compassionate heart of a nurse and how it is cultured and developed. I guess, I think I have my heart in the right place, but I worry that I might not have the right words. I am sure it all begins with thinking before speaking.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Test number the grade books

Today, I had my first Anatomy test of the semester for my Anatomy class....and I got an A!
I am taking Anatomy and Physiology 102 which is the last 600 pages of my anatomy text or the last 15 chapters.

I am so happy. I don't know how everyone else is as a test taker, but the minute I open my test, my heart starts racing and I draw a total the words on the exam are in a different language or something. One weird thing that I have always done on tests and it seems to help me is that I always start at the end and work backwards. That way, when I get to the top, I am done with the test and then I work down and review everything before I turn it in. Also, I think it gives me some confidence, because I am on question 50 instead of question number 1. (personal mind games!) I spend about the first 5 minutes looking over the test and I always determine I know nothing and that I am going to fail. I then regain my composure and get down to business. I skip questions that make no sense and move on. Normally, the 2nd or 3rd time I read it, the answer becomes obvious, so the 1st time I look at the test, I just skip around a lot and try and get the easiest stuff done and out of the way.

An example of one of the questions is:

Which of the following arteries branches to form the common hepatic artery, left gastric artery and the splenic arter? Answer: Celiac trunk

I am so midterm is October 20th. It will cover 8 chapters: Endocrine System, Blood, Cardiovascular System (Heart and Blood Vessels), Lymphatic System, Respiratory System and the Digestive System. I honestly have not been studying as much as I should be. I have been so distracted by my son lately, the last few warm days of the year (ok, so we have a few weeks), mulching my yard...basically, I have not been wanting to study. I know the midterm will show no mercy, so I will have to begin...tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010 had to be done

Goodbye, Facebook and all my "dear" friends. It had to be done. Last night, in a moment of insanity - or sanity - I deactivated my Facebook account. Oddly, I felt a sense of peace and calm knowing I had shut the door on a lot of noise in my life.

I joined Facebook about 2 years ago under the urging of friends and family that it was "so great" and you can keep up with everyone so easily. So, I thought I would check out what all the fuss was about. It took me a few weeks of Facebook consumption to be hooked and loving to find and reconnect with old friends from my near and distant past. How cool, right? For awhile.

It was fun to chat and share pictures with people I hadn't seen in 20 years...few I had much in common with anymore and most...well, I could tell why we weren't friends anymore. The few gems I did find, made it worthwhile to continue to visit the site and keep the conversations going.

The problem with Facebook for a person like me, is that I could not easily disconnect from people and ignore people. I felt obligated to comment on pictures, posts, and birthdays. It became part of the things I needed to do for the day...check and see who I needed to wish "Happy Birthday" etc.

I had an enlightening talk with my husband last night that lead to the deactivation of both of our accounts and the subsequent celebration and liberation from Facebook. I was talking about all the people that I was worrying about and thinking about and how much I cared for them - and here is where the honesty hits - I felt like people weren't caring about me back. It was my sense of internet social network etiquette that I felt was not being followed properly and it was honestly causing me heartache. Isn't that so middle school. My husband - praise the Lord! - lead me to the realization that I could eliminate some of my stress if I just closed my account and said "Good-Bye" to 200 of my "closest" friends. After all, he pointed out, the ones that matter and that are PRESENT in my life will remain and the rest will fall back into the storage closet of my mind where they really belong. I need to focus on the PRESENT and the people that are PRESENT in my life only. That is the only thing I have the energy for. I cannot effectively help and care for all the people that I have ever known as well as be actively PRESENT in the lives of those closest to me.

I find it humorous that an Epiphany of sorts had to happen in my heart for me to realize that Facebook was poison to me. While I have enjoyed rekindling friendships with people of my past and organizing social functions with my current friends, from now on, email me or call me....I have logged off for good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nursing Shoes...what is a girl to do?

I confess...I am kind of a shoe girl and nursing shoes are not...well...very exciting or stylish. There are 4 major reasons:

1. Anti-slip - you don't want to slip and fall EVER! Imagine falling while transferring a patient or inserting an IV or carrying some urine to the dump in the get the picture. You want to stay planted on your it is really important to get shoes that are designed and advertised as anti-slip.

2. Plain Jane - You want to minimize the exposed ties, crevices and creases. It is more hygienic to have a really plain solid piece of leather exposed because during the course of your day, "stuff" will get on them and at the end of the day, you are going to want to rub them down with some rubbing alcohol or something to disinfect them. If you have ties and other layers of cloth or leather, they will not get as clean and that is well...gross.

3. White - I know for the nursing schools that I am trying to get into, the shoes must be ALL white. No other colors at all. This is limiting, and honestly...I have not worn all white shoes since I had Keds in grade school. It is part of the uniform and it is important, so I have been on the lookout for some good looking white shoes.

4. Comfort - This probably should be Number 1!! As a nurse or nursing student, you are on your feet all day long. Running here and there to get things and checking on your patients and reporting back to the nursing station and then moving here and there - patients, supplies, name it. Comfort is very important and one reason why I will be going to shoe stores to pick out my shoes...I want to try them on!

Here are some that I have found on the internet that look kind of good...but I would have to try them on first to know for sure! Have you seen any good shoes you can recommend?

Shoe One
Shoe Two
Shoe Three

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

National Nursing News | A New Era in Nursing: Community Health and Aging Population Shift RN Employment

National Nursing News | A New Era in Nursing: Community Health and Aging Population Shift RN Employment

I am really excited about the future of nursing and everything that I read reinforces where I think I should be heading in nursing. I visited my great uncle a few weeks ago...need to go again!!...and I loved it. He loved my visit and I loved being there. Maybe geriatrics is my calling because I really feel like the elderly in our society are pushed aside a lot and are just closed up in these nursing homes to wait for death, and I try to see them not as aged and decrepit and needy. Instead, I love to learn about their lives, their loves, their dreams and their wishes for their lives and I love to hear the wisdom that they hold in their hearts and the advice they are just dying to give. Yes, some are grumpy. But wouldn't you be if you were locked up in a nursing home. You remember the freedom you used to have and now it is all gone. You have lost the feeling that you have anything to contribute to this world. Who knows in what direction I will go...but this article does state that it is very important for nursing students and young graduates to become experts in geriatric care. It is complicated and it is growing as the population ages.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Norah Jones Shoot the Moon

The seasons change, the days move quickly, the moments last in our memories...enjoy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Male Nurses - A growing trend

Men in Uniform

When you close your eyes and imagine a nurse, what do you see? You probably imagine a young woman, maybe dressed in white, maybe in funny looking scrubs, but you probably didn't imagine a man. Today, women outnumber men 15 to 1 in the nursing profession. This article talks about how that is changing and more and more men are entering nursing school programs and more men are becoming registered nurses. I remember overhearing a conversation between friends a few years back when a friend of mine (male) told another male friend that he was thinking about becoming a nurse and instead of being supportive, he said, "Dude, chicks are nurses." I am sure through the years many men have steered away from nursing because of the fear of being perceived as less masculine. Maybe they became doctors or maybe they shied away from the medical profession all together. My friend never ended up going to nursing school.

This article said something interesting about the men of the 21st century. There was one point where it described the roles of men and women in the home. The younger generations have embraced a more cooperative partnership with child-rearing and maintenance of the home. To cooperatively care for children, men have had to learn greater patience, learn to be more caring, have more forethought, multitask, and have more empathy. All of these characteristics are also important to have when you are a nurse. I am sure that men have more confidence in their abilities to care for others since they have more first hand experience and training at home.

I think that nursing is experiencing a very exciting period that can only enhance and move the profession to a new level. Not only are men entering the profession, but there are many people, like me, that are entering nursing as their second career. We bring experience from other fields and this can only improve the quality of nursing. I have an administrative and business background and years of training in customer service and employee training. I know that this previous experience will be a benefit to me in my future nursing position.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

it still makes me sad...

This is the 9/11 Teardrop Memorial by Zurab Tsereteli and it is in Bayonne, NJ facing New York Harbor and the site of the Twin Towers. It was dedicated in 2006 and was a gift from the Russian people. I don't know if it is because I don't watch enough TV or if this was simply not covered by the news media, but I had never seen or heard about this memorial before today. Either way, it is a breath-taking sculpture that speaks so much to the emotions of the American people.

I will never forget 9/11/01. I don't know anyone that died that day, but listening to the stories of others, I can feel their loss and can easily tear up. I sometimes wonder how this emotional connection I can make with people is going to affect my nursing. I worry that I am going to become too emotionally involved with patients and their families and be crying all the time. I know that there are many areas of nursing that are less emotionally trying, but then I wonder if the empathy is a good thing and will be appreciated by the patients and their families.

Life is so short, but the days can be so long-especially if you are sick or missing someone you have lost. Hug your family and friends today and everyday and keep loving each other.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fetal Pig Heart Dissection

So, it is Labor Day and it is my birthday, so what would be a perfect activity for such a nice cut out the heart of a pig. And that is just what I did. This isn't the first time I have dissected a pig...I do vaguely remember doing it in high school along with the worm and the frog. In college, my favorite dissection was of a bird and coolest part was that the professor said that the minute we cut into the bird (pigeons) we would know immediately if we had a boy or a girl...mine was full of eggs...a GIRL. Now, with this pig, I am not sure if I have a boy or a girl yet. I think the reproductive dissection is in a few weeks.

Today, I had to make a T incision on belly of the pig from the throat to the umbilical cord and then right under both forearms. From there, I had to cut away the epithelium and other tissue-fat and muscle to get down to the thoracic cage. I cut to the right of the breastbone hoping to miss the heart which lies more to the left of the body. I was successful and cut away the parietal tissue layer and I saw the lungs that hugged the sides of the heart and peeled those back and cut away the pericardium tough connective tissue to free the heart and finally, I cut away the arteries that connected it to the body. After successfully removing it in one piece, I cut it open to view the atrial and ventricle cavities and identified each of the arteries and veins.

Unfortunately, when I went to take my quiz, I only got a 16 out of 20 which kills me! It is so important to get an A in this class and that is 4 more little points lost. I won't know what I missed until later this week. I love the visual and hands-on aspect of the labs and even enjoy doing them at home, but it would be nice to work together with others sometimes. Oh, well. I will keep working away and studying. Happy Labor Day!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 near fight with a preschooler and his mother

I had a run in with a 3 year old little boy today at the Splash Pad near my house. He was picking on my 2.5 year old by calling him "Stupid Poopy Diaper Butt" and "Stupid Baby" (he did not have a poopy diaper, by the way) and at one point this kid cocked his arm back like he was about to slug my unsuspecting, innocent son. I ran to rescue my son and let the little boy know I was watching him and then glared around the park to locate the mother of this little monster. And there she was, hands on the hips and said, "Oh, boys will be boys." Oh really, lady. I felt like cocking my arm back, but instead decided to retreat with my son to the other jungle gym. I was pretty bothered by the whole incident for some time after and throughout the evening, wondering how a mother could let her kid be such a bully.

And then this evening, thinking about what my blog post should be about, I came to peace with the mother and her sweet child.

I am not going to be able to protect my son from bullies his whole life. He will learn about them sooner or later when so-and-so doesn't want to play, hits, or calls him "Stupid Poppy Diaper Butt." I am just going to teach him that people aren't always in a good mood and sometimes are having a bad day and say the wrong things. There is some saying about making your own sunshine...Irish maybe? And to always try and help them be less grumpy. If they won't let you, that's ok and just move on. I know for a fact that I am going to meet a lot of grumpy people when I am a nurse that have no desire to be at the doctor's, the hospital, or to hear they are diagnosed with something that they never thought could ever happen to them. Those are going to be hard days where I will have to bring my own sunshine and an umbrella for everyone else who feels it is pouring down on them.