Thursday, September 28, 2006

On The Right Path

I have awesome exciting news! I was offered a job today! It is a shadow LPN position that will have me operating as a treatment nurse, then when I obtain my licenser, I will be allowed to pass meds and be a "real" LPN.

I am so anxious to get started. The position is in long term care, yes thats right...a nursing home. I am actually one of the few nursing students who actually wants to work in this field. I have a long history in LTC and I feel so wonderful when I have made the life of an elderly person more full. No, its not the high-glam world of ICU or labor and delivery, but for me it is exhilarating. My long-term goal is to become an FNP, and work with the elderly. So today, I accepted a job that has me pointed in the right direction.

What an exciting time, to begin working with the population that always seem to give me more in return that I provide to them in terms of healthcare. I have been enriched so deeply by the intriguing stories of times gone by. I sit in awe as I listen to how the world used to operate, long before I was born. This population has so much to offer and Im honored to use my skills to provide care for them.

Maybe someday I will collaborate on a book about "old school" nursing. Something along the lines of Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Back to Nursing

Friday: clinical day, end of the week, lets order pizza because Im too whipped to cook. I stayed an hour past end of clinical to finish birthing with my patient. Well worth it, but I was exhausted.

I helped deliver two baby boys yesterday. One was GA of 35 weeks, weighed 4lbs and was out in one push. The baby was grunting, retracting, getting more and more pale with every passing minute and after 5 or 6 minutes was sent up to NICU for some help with respirations. Great experience, and I also learned I will never work in this hospitals NICU. Man were those women witchy. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
I did notice, however, they most of those nurses had BSN after their RN on their badges.

Second delivery was a post dates induction. Routine labor and delivery. I had the chance to straight cath (sterile technique is tough enough but when the baby started having variable decels from mom being on her back, the beads of sweat were breaking out on my brow.)I also held her leg back and counted with her as she pushed. It was her 4th baby. It was occipital posterior (doc didn't mention left or right.) I was shocked to watch a big strong doc try and turn the baby to anterior and he was obviously using a ton of arm strength to complete the task. But he was successful and as soon as baby flipped, baby crowned.

When baby was out, it was then I realized I had been putting a lot of energy into holding up and back her leg for about a half an hour..and boy was my back killing me by the time I was home.

I think I cried as much as the mom did when it came out. This family was young, mom and dad still starry eyed-in love and this was her fourth baby. I sent them a plant today as a thank you for allowing me to be a part of their birth experience.

A few observations: I don't want to be an L/D nurse. Its a high glam, high energy job, but there is too much sitting around. I felt the phrase hurry up and wait would have been appropriate for describing how yesterday progressed.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Just because she's Katie Couric...

Dear Katie,

I have been watching the CBS evening news since I was a small child. "Dan", as Mr. Rather was affectionately called in our home was welcomed in our home each night after dinner.

As an adult, he was welcomed into my home each evening as well. I was saddened to see him go but was thrilled with Bob's appearance in his place. Bob was the quintessential newsman. He was professional, serious, asked questions of his correspondents that were not canned and predictable. He had a wonderful sense of humor and I laughed as hard as he did when he interviewed the professor from England with the monocle.

Having said that, I know the bar has been set high for you and some would even say the deck is stacked against your success. I was hoping the following suggestions would be helpful in making your transition to the evening news a successful one.

1. The evening news is not the time to grab the first thing you find out of your closet and throw it on, as it appears that is what you've been doing. I have one word for you...color. Im certain you're being adequately compensated to hire a stylist if you need one. White just washes you out honey, and its time to admit that and move on.

2. When you do choose to wear a white silk blouse, you simply must wear a camisole over your bra. I learned that in middle school. Besides, something about being able to see the hardware that holds your bra together detracts from the beauty of silk charmeuse.

3. Yet another lesson I learned early in my career....NEVER sit on the desk. It looks terrible, and although you seem to want to unprofessionalize the evening news, it just rubs professional people who have spent all day sitting BEHIND their desks the wrong way.

4. While we are on the subject of the newsdesk, why is your chair up so high? It looks awkward. I want someone to reach down and pull the little lever that brings the chair down. Don't you feel up on a pedestal, especially when you have correspondents who have their chairs properly adjusted? Or is that the point? To look like your higher than they are?

5. Make-up is essential. Consistently wearing it is even more essential. They have amazing creams now for dark circles. Throwing on your favorite cardigan sweater and putting on a head-band just isn't professional. I mean, Walter freakin Cronkite is introducing you each night. Step it up girlfriend!

6. As a healthcare professional, I was deeply offended that you fired the longstanding CBS medical correspondent to replace her with your own personal physician. I was hopeful you would be above the good ol'boys network, but it appears otherwise. I was especially shocked at this move as it does not portray the unbiased nature that any good news anchor should have. Just in case no one filled you in, Dan lost his job for unprofessional behavior...

7. Finally, have you read the statistics that have been published? They state that America is watching you for the everyday news, but when something serious is happening, they are turning the channel. This does not bode well for you.

When I turn on my television to watch the news, I want Steve Hartman to be lighthearted and funny. I want to see my anchor be professional, wearing make-up, a nice suit, and appropriate undergarments. I want to see them on a chair, behind the newsdesk, a chair that is appropriately adjusted to the height of the newsdesk.

Come on Katie, your not getting a free ticket because of your success in daytime. Step up and act like a professional. Your certainly being paid like one.

An observant nursing student in the Midwest.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Whats on My iPod? More than 7 songs...

Tagged, for music preference this time...

I own an iPod nano 2GB. I never in a million years thought I would be able to fill it, as it holds over 500 songs. With head hung low, I must admit I have filled it, and now the iPod video 30GB is on my Christmas list.

Needless to say 7 songs is a harder request than it seems. I like everything, including Opera (although I would enjoy it more could I understand Latin).

Here is my list, organized by the activities that seem to occupy my time the most.
1. Morning routine, i.e showering, primping. (afterall, nothing gets the blood flowing like belting out a tune in the shower)
The Proclaimers, 500 Miles

2. Studying
Aaron Copeland, Rodeo and Billy The Kid

3. At the Gym
50 Cent, In Da Club (I like Hip Hop when its not too offensive-50 would have to be the top of my "offended" threshold.)

4. Road Trips, Driving
I LOVE Jazz and Blues. Anything by Harry Connick jr. or the new old stuff re-mixed by Rod Stewart

5. Kids are with a sitter and the candles are lit
Norah Jones, Turn Me On

6. Playing with the kids on the floor

7. Cooking
Dixie Chicks or Bob Dillon (his new CD is really good)

As for passing this on, most of the bloggers I read or who read me have already played. I guess the buck stops here. : )

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Go State!

Michigan State University 38
University of Pittsburg 23

MSU is now 3 and 0, and thank God, because in the next four weeks they will play Ohio State, Michigan and Norte least they got off to a strong start...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Clinical #3 Tomorrow

Im hoping I will feel like less of a voyeur at clinicals this week and more like a student nurse. I am getting the sense that this area of nursing can be a bit territorial. The nurses consider the babies their own, and they guard the new moms like a cat guards her new kittens.

Today is my day off. I spent it getting my daughters ears pierced. I've worked very hard with her on saying please and thank you, so when the nurse finished her second ear, through her tears she managed a thank you. I felt a twinge of guilt. But, hey, she's polite...

(our pediatrician's office offers ear piercing...very good idea!)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hail in August!

I must be better if I can sit through a 4 hour lecture and not have hot flashes and cold spells...I wish I could say the same about my nausea, but I am having a hard time talking about postpartum perineal lacs and lochia consistencies without feeling queasy. I guess my stomach will toughen up eventually.

Ok, so I passed my math test, missed a 4.0 on my first lecture test by 0.7% (I guess I should have actually been serious about studying) but I still have no clue what the heck Im doing in clinicals. I feel like a gawker. Standing just far enough behind my nurse so as not to annoy her, but close enough to see what I need to see.

Last week we had a hail storm. It was actually pretty severe. I lost all the petals on my flowers and the amount of hail that fell in 20 min was astonishing. It also decimated my tomato plants. The pictures posted are from my front porch and front yard. The "pile" of white stuff is hail that collected in this weird pile where the buried downspout opens up in the yard. Im bummed I lost all my summer color, but now I can start decorating with colorful mums and Halloween garb. I love fall.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Always a new challenge

Last semester during the first two weeks of nursing school my 3 month old was hospitalized with RSV and my grandma passed away. This semester Im off to a similar start. Last weekend my entire family had the stomach flu, this weekend its my turn.

I am cold, hot, nauseated, achy in places I didnt know could ache (like the palms of my hands...) and I am so sick of lying in my bed. I should be too sick to feel bored, but alas, its the final insult...Im sick and bored.

Ok, so maybe the final insult is that Im blogging about this. Im not using my energies to shower, or to rest...nay, I blog! God help

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A meme from Moof-Are you next?

What is a "meme"?
meme n (mëm): A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. From the Greek mimëma, something imitated, from mimeisthai, to imitate.

Definition: In the world of blogs and bloggers, a meme is an idea, question, statement or project that is posted in one blog and answered to in many other blogs. Memes are used to propagate ideas in the blogosphere. Some blogs or web sites post memes on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

description taken from:

1) Are you happy/satisfied with your blog's content and look?
I like my look, for a newbie-I subscribe to the mantra, Keep It Simple, Baby. I would like to add some more non-blog related links...I have a few but there are so many more out there.
2) Does your family know about your blog?
Yes. I wish they would read it more often though. Occasionaly my hubby posts a comment or two, like when he gets jelous of my admiration of Hugh
3) Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog?
No, in fact I wish more would read it, because they would discover all the good nurses out there who blog.
Do you consider it a private thing? I haven't really had an experience I wanted to blog about that would need to be kept private, so no.
4) Did blogging cause positive changes in your thoughts? Not really, but I am now always thinking how an experience could be a good post or thinking about the catch phrase for a blog story that would interest readers.
5) Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or do you love to go and discover more by yourself? Im always looking for new ones, medical and non-medical alike. (I will say, however, there are some WEIRD blogs out there...cue Twilight Zone music)
6) What does a visitor counter mean to you? I have yet to decide if that many people have actually looked and read parts of my blog, or if the site counts spammers, etc. Do you like having one on your blog? I will admit, part of the reason I blog is to get interaction with others, so I rely on the counter to reassure me Im not a lone voice in the wilderness.
7) Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?Uh, no. Thats a little weird for me. If a doc leaves a comment I picture a guy in a white lab coat, if a nurse comments, I see someone in scrubs, unless its Kim from Emergiblog, then I see I nurse in all whites with a gleaming white nurses cap on...(shameless aren't I?)
8) Admit it. Do you think there is any real benefit in blogging? I am so excited to answer this...YES YES YES! It has been a huge force in empowering me to see physicians as approachable, witty, and down-to-earth. It has also given me a real-life peek at what real nurses do for a living, and given me a chance to elicit valuable and applicable advice.
9) Do you think that blogger's society is isolated from the real world or interaction with events? No in fact if the model works correctly, it can offer more sides to a topic that one would normallyexposedosed to.
10) Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it's a normal thing? Hasn't happened yet, but I can take it on the chin and assign value as its appropriate. I am my toughest critic anyways.
11) Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them? I avoid them completely. Im not strong enough in my own political belief's to be reading those and then able to sort out quality from junk.
12) Were you shocked by the arrest of some bloggers? America may have the illusion of free speech, but I have never thought it was unfettered. There are always people watching and reading, and there are always lines that can be crossed.
13) What do you think will happen to your blog after you die? not sure. I hope someone will at least sign me off from it officially.
14) What song do you like to hear? I personally was in awe of Grand Rounds when it was hosted by, MexicoMedStudent the background classical music completed my reading experience. Unfortunately, because I have been known to read said carnival during lecture, (hence-incognito) the music is a treat I could only seldom enjoy. What song would you like to link to on your blog? like the pics on my blog, it would have to change for each post.
15) The next victims? Originally, I told Moof that this meme is for the seasoned blogger and I would like to see some of the doc bloggers respond to it, so...

Would you be so kind FatDoctor, SurgeonsBlog, and GruntDoc?
You too Kim!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Im Hooked!

OB rocks! As the mother of four kids with healthy lungs, I rather enjoyed leaving the nursery of screaming and fussy babies today, knowing I would get a full nights sleep tonight, scream-free.

I was able to do a newborn assessment.
Coolest part: all the intact reflexes. I felt like I was in a lab experimenting with a really cool toy....I must have done the Babinski Reflex 3 times, because the toes looked so cute when they splayed apart...

A gracious new mom, 8 hours post partum allowed me the chance to palpate her fundus. It was firm and one fingers breadth below the umbilicus.
Coolest part: she was a nurse so she helped me find it.

And finally, the icing on my cake today, my own personal obstetrician noticed me, pulled me into the treatment room and had me assist with a circumcision.
Coolest part: it didnt really bleed all that much and baby hardly even fussed.

Healthcare is cool. Im hooked. I feel such a sense of confirmation that I am on the right career path.