I started nursing school a month ago, and I have to confess: it's been a tough transition. It's an accelerated 2nd degree program, so it's only 11 months long, and this first semester is all about learning the actual "hands" part of nursing: foley catheter insertion, IVs, med administration, percussing abdomens, etc and so forth. Learning this stuff hasn't been the tough part; the hard part has been having to shift my brain away from soaking up physiological processes to getting the rote muscle memory in place. I will freely admit that I have to work harder at practicing skills than I do at sitting down and memorizing textbook material. When it comes to pathophysiology and anatomy (and more recently: pharmacology), things very luckily just click for me, and I get a thrill out of putting the puzzle pieces together. So when I went in for my first day of clinical this week, I had a difficult time. Everything seemed so rote: give meds, take catheter out, give more meds, chart. I went home discouraged, and did what I always do when I've had a bad day: I called my mom (who happens to be an R.N.).
Unsurprisingly, she had excellent advice:
1) There will always be days like that.
2) but not every day will be like that.
3) You will come to wish for days that are that boring.
4) You have to crawl before you run. (author side note: I'm not used to doing that)
4) You always get out of nursing what you put into it.
So. I'm tattooing those words o' wisdom on my brain (author medical advice side note: brain tattooing not recommended), and I have to say that my second day of clinical was already worlds better than my first. Rather than just dispensing medications, I started refreshing my brain on their pharmacodynamics (thanks, expensive and handy phone app!). And when I performed a simple and routine procedure on a patient, I researched her condition since I didn't know much about it. I know that once I have several patients under my watch I won't have time to do all of that, but by then maybe I'll be applying to graduate programs where I can whip my books back out and start the process all over again.
You know, not to mention the whole "being useful and alleviating several people's pain and brightening their days" thing.
Oh yeah, and here's a beautiful dress I'm obsessed with by Kaufmanfranco for Fall 2014. I mean, it IS almost Valentine's Day; I couldn't leave you with nothing but words: