February 3, 2007

Not Bald Yet

I wrote a big, long post a couple of days ago and went to preview it and when I was finished I hit the back button instead of closing the preview window and lost the post. Arg...don't you hate when that happens? It frustrated me so much that I haven't been on here since. So, now I'm over it and back to post again. I'm glad it's the weekend, but today and tomorrow will be spent studying for my next test on Wednesday (Immune and Integument). I'd rather be cleaning or shopping or just watching the tube. I'd really rather be doing anything but looking at any more nursing crap. I'm so burned out and unmotivated right now. Plus one of my instructors is really p*ssing me off with all this extra work she's been giving us. She has no idea just how busy we are. I think they forget what it was like.

We had clinical on Thusday. I didn't have a normal clinical day like the others, but another girl and I went to CCU and observed. Every semester we go to specialty units for one day and just watch basically. 1st semester we got to follow a wound care nurse around. Lots of ulcers, gangrenous toes etc... Not my thang! 2nd semester we went to the OR and I wrote about that in a previous post. I got to see a breast reduction and an above the knee amputation. Sometimes the nurses will let us do some things, sometimes not. Thursday I got to watch a DR remove a lady's balloon pump and that was kinda cool....and gross. SHe let out a loud grunt when it came out. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a balloon apparatus that's inserted through an artery in the groin area and threaded into the aorta of the heart. Everytime the heart pumps it inflates to push more blood through the heart. It assists the heart and decreases the work load. She had CHF and had a huge blockage that was inoperable. We all know what that means... She's 61 years old. Sad. When the DR removed it blood squirted across the room...good thing I had sense of mind to move out of the way...quick!!! It went everywhere. Shot straight out towards where I was standing previously. It was crazy. I got to remove her arterial line....it was also inserted through the groin. The nurse told me that once I removed it I had to use gauze and apply all of my body weight on her to stop the bleeding and I had to hold it there for 20 minutes. I removed it and out squirted the blood. She was a large woman and I had to dig in pretty far down to hold pressure. I was basically laying on her to stop the bleeding and the harder I pushed down the more the blood was pooling all around my hands. I was wrist deep in blood and I have to admit I was a little wigged out by it. I couldn't hold pressure anymore, I was tiring out so the nurse took over and I ripped off those gloves and surveyed my hands. My classmate was smiling and laughing at me. Thank God for latex. :-) She is going to be bruised and sore for weeks after that. They removed all of this because the prognosis was bad, so why not let her be without all of the appliances ya know? She seemed to be in ok spirits. We bathed her afterwards because she was made to lay flat on her back for 5 days without so much as a bed bath. She was thankful and kept telling us so. Sometimes all it takes is a warm wash cloth on the face to make one feel better and if that was the most I could do for her then I would.

After our observation we met the rest of our group who'd had clinical in the cafeteria for post conference. Our instructor (not the one I'm pissed at) kept myself and the classmate M who was with me all day behind afterward to "talk" to us. She told us that she knows how hard of a time we're having taking the extra class and if there was anything she could do she would. She told us that compared to a lot of others we were doing great. She seemed to really care for our well beings. I opened my heart to her and vented about everything. I told her how my hair was starting to fall out and how my anxiety level has been raised 10 fold this semester and she understood and comforted us. I tld her how hard it was to raise 4 kids and have a husband and so all of this at the same time. She was really understanding and offered us some good advice. She even told us that her and the other instructors don't always meet eye to eye and she thinks that some of the questions that the 'other' chooses for our tests are more designed for 5 year nurses rather than 3rd semester students. All in all it was a great conversation and it made me and M feel so much better. Atleast now we know that perhaps they, or atleast she, really does know what we're going through. I have a new found respect for her. She was really nurturing.
(I hope all of that made sense) lol

This is the hardest semester of my life. Here it is 3 weeks in and I'm already saying this, but it's so true. I spoke with my sister yesterday about it. She's a surgical tech on the labor and delivery unit. I was telling her how busy we are and how mentally draining it is and about all the pressure I'm under and she said..." I know how hard it is, I've been there." I'm sorry y'all, I hope I don't p*ss off any surgical techs because they do are hard workers and have a tiring job. BUT NO.....SHE DOESN"T KNOW!!!!!! It isn't the same in any capacity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nursing & surgical techs are not the same thing. They didn't have to learn anything near to what we do. They are there to assist the nurses and doctors in surgery. They learn equipment and sterile technique, CPR and basic anatomy. They do not have to know 5000 + medications with their trade name, generic name, what the drug does and the side effects. They do not have to know how to assess a patient's entire body within a conversation. They do not have to know how to insert IV's, suction someones tracheostomy, give injections, put in NG tubes, intubate a pt who's stopped breathing, and ON AND ON AND ON!!! Sorry...I went off a litte there. He he. It just gets my goat (yes I said that) when someone says to me...I know I've been there if they aren't a nurse. Or when an accounting student proceeds to tell me that their job is harder than mine. Of course I just said..."uh huh"...."mmm hmm" to my sister. I didn't go off like a raging lunatic, but it is disheartening ya know? I mean, there are peoples lives in our hands and they are dependant on us to know what we're doing so we don't kill them. SO yes, I know that this is supposed to be hard and it should be. I wouldn't want a nurse caring for me who failed fundamentals...would you? LOL But the pressure is so monumentous it's sometimes hard to go on. I want to quit every day I walk though those doors. I use to love walking through them, stressed or not, but now I dread it. The end is drawing nearer and with it comes great responsability. The pressure isn't just about passing anymore, it's about ...can I really do this? Do I have the balls for this job? It's more of a reality now than ever. We're being viewed as the next generation of new nurses. Recruiters are throwing themselves at us like blood thirsty vampires with all the free goodies...fully paid tution, sign on bonuses, pens, lunch, fun little bags. lol The shortage is such a big deal and what's going to happen once all the baby boomers are all old? There won't be anyone to care for them...it's scary. If you don't believe me then read this: http://archives.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/05/07/nursing.shortage/index.html

That's some scary stuff folks. Crisis. The most I had to worry about before all of this was..dr's appointments, grocery shopping, looking cute and being a housewife. LOL Now I'm go home thinking, did I check that pt's distal pulses? Did I forget to give him his medication? Did I do the assessment right? Etc... So, yea my hair is starting to fall out and I'm always feeling like I'm the thin line of sanity and just plain crazy. No, I'm not bald yet. LOL No I'm not really crazy yet, just a little. So please don't flame my post. I'm just a little stressed and tired...but will keep on keepin' on cause I'm not a quitter. If I can do this then anyone can. Once this nursing school is over I'll be in a different world. Of course I'll still be my worrying little self, that's just who I am and yes I'll be laying in bed at night wondering if I did all I could have done for my pt's that day, but atleast I won't have to do all of this while studying for exams, doing care plans and spending every ounce of free time with my head in a book and raising a family. What a marvelous time that will be.

Oh yeah....I also wanted to mention that I ordered a new stethescope and I'm excited to get it. I have a Littman lightweight now and it's fine, but the acoustics aren't fantastic or anything. I saw this one http://standris.com/stethoscope_3mlittmann_breast_cancer.cfm and I just had to have it. I got the tubing engraved with my name on it...so no stealing people!!! It's the Littman limited edition breast cancer awareness SE II steth in baby pink and it's so cute. $5 dollars of your purchase goes to the cause too. My friend has the SE II and the acoustics are a lot better. I could actually hear the chambers fill and squeeze. If you're going to get a steth get a good one off the jump, otherwise you'll be like me and waste your money.


Drofen said...

I think I like you better with hair.

Just sayin...