04 12 / 2013
I realize that this post has absolutely nothing to do with nursing school but I’m putting it up anyways.
I was sitting on the subway earlier today and I heard two high school kids discuss what topics they were choosing to write for an English class essay they had to write with the prompt “what dictates respect?” That’s a great prompt and I’ve been thinking about it all day. A lot of excellent traits command respect but I think one of my pet peeves is actually what kills my respect for someone faster than anything else: LAZINESS. I can’t stand people who are lazy. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being lazy on the weekends, a day off, birthday, holidays, vacations, etc. In fact, that’s the PERFECT time for good R&R. What drives me crazy is when people are lazy with their DAILY LIVES. I’m talking about the person who’s “on break” for the third time in an hour, grabbing his 27th coffee of the day. I’m also talking about the student who doesn’t study (if you are a full time student, STUDYING is your FULL TIME JOB). But nothing rubs me the wrong way than a person who is lazy about just doing things essential to living life.
The person who grabs a taxi every day to class because he doesn’t want to “deal with walking”. The person who has her laundry sent out to a service because she doesn’t want to “deal with laundry”. The person who gets groceries delivered because she doesn’t want to “deal with groceries”. I get it if these people are super high-powered, $750/hour earning-potential executives who work more hours in a week than most people do in a pay period and barely have enough time to maintain personal hygiene and minimal sleep as it is. I get it. But these specific examples come from people I ACTUALLY KNOW. Full-time students like myself, are young (late teens to mid-twenties), healthy, and live in NYC. What has happened to our society that this Generation Y is so LAZY to “deal with things”, things that are very essential to daily life, that they’d rather throw money at every situation? When were we taught to believe that WALKING, doing your own laundry, and buying your own groceries is something we just shouldn’t need to “deal with” in our lives?
It sickens me every time I hear these examples and no matter how much I respected these people before, I can never look at them with the same respect I have before.
No matter what a person’s personal criteria for respect is, RESPECT IS EARNED. EARN IT. How can you earn someone’s respect when you are too lazy to work for it? And even worse, how can you earn someone’s respect when you are too lazy to even take care of basic necessities for yourself?!
WAKE UP GENERATION Y! Just because we were given more comforts and convenience of daily living than any previous generation does not mean we should embrace it to a ridiculous extent and forget how to take care of ourselves. If our forefathers were as lazy as we are in this generation, I can guarantee it wouldn’t even be possible to be this lazy today. See the possibility of having laundry dry-cleaned, chauffeured in a cab everywhere you go, and fresh groceries delivered to your doorstep as an occasional PRIVILEGE to be INDULGED in and not a substitution for daily living.
25 11 / 2013
"The practice of nursing affords nurses the privilege of entering the world of strangers who are ill, frightened, or broken in spirit and connecting with them to find healing."
03 11 / 2013
I’m eight weeks into my first semester of nursing school. And I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, a bit swamped, and a bit like I’m slowly sinking into a tarry bog.
A tarry bog that looks like melena and smells like C.diff.
I did great on my first four midterms (hooray), passed my blood pressure validation and my HAP return demonstration. But as I take a deep breath and look at the meager remaining four weeks of the semester, I’m not relieved; on the contrary the anxiety and stress is worsening. There’s a second round of midterms. There’s finals. There’s another return demonstration, this time for A&E 1. I have to pass my dosage calculation exam to be able to administer medications next semester. In the meantime, finish all my online assignments, pre-sim assignments, off-campus assignments, online modules, go to class, do the readings, volunteer twice a week, and work.
This is harder than my first baccalaureate degree. I’ve had one of my classmates tell me this program is harder than their masters program. I felt relieved for a second before the meaning of that statement really sunk in. Great.
I keep thinking about the video Dr. Butler showed us on the first day of Professional Nursing. I laughed inwardly then, thinking that school is always stressful, but there’s no way I’m going to have an actual breakdown like in the youtube video. Now I see that I’m about two bad days from having a breakdown moment in a random hallway on a hard Tuesday afternoon.
Nursing school isn’t tough because there’s no emotional support. It’s not tough because the faculty doesn’t teach. It’s not tough because exams are unfair. It’s not even tough because there is too much to learn. It’s tough despite everyone being everyone else’s best friend, best advocate, and best shoulder to cry on and commiserate with. It’s tough despite having the best faculty I’ve ever had the pleasure to learn from – faculty who are relevant, faculty who really care beyond the office hours, faculty who are passionate about their subject, and faculty who inspire me to absorb as much as I could possibly stuff into my brain. It’s tough despite very fair exams.
It’s just really tough because everything is overwhelming. I’m learning a lot about pathophysiology, clinical manifestations of diseases, how to conduct a head-to-toe assessment, and the hands-on skills of the trade. I’m learning cultural competency. I’m learning how to accept everyone as they are without judgment. I’m learning to listen actively. But most of all, I’m learning the enormity of this profession and what is expected of me now as a student nurse and what will be expected of me later as an actual registered nurse. This isn’t a normal job, where mistakes might cost me my job and my company some money. This is a life and death sort of job, where my humble mistakes might cost an innocent stranger his life. I’m only in my first semester and yet, already, every time I forget to check my simulation patient’s identifiers against his MAR or break sterile technique with a wound dressing change, I risk someone’s life. I risk that person’s well-being, the impact he has on his family, and the influence he has on his community. And right now, that kind of responsibility, that kind of pressure to achieve perfection is really, really overwhelming on top of everything else.
Needless to say, I’m counting on a good, healthy recuperation over winter break in just 5 long weeks. Get a chance to breathe normally again and just focus on de-stressing before jumping back into the fray again, renewed and rejuvenated.
16 10 / 2013
It struck me today: I want to be a nurse.
I was just tossing my pasta salad.
This is silly because I’m already in nursing school. I have been for the past 5 weeks. I’ve been memorizing my pathophysiology, practicing my assessment skills, encouraging health promotion skills to my friends & family, reading up on different kinds of nursing careers, and consistently drilling myself about pressure ulcers, fall risks, and medication administration reconciliations. I’ve already taken out that huge private student loan and paid my tuition, spent an extra semester completing prerequisites, and moved 2,500 miles from California to New York.
Now, I finally figured out that I want to be a nurse? That’s a scary thought! What if it was the opposite? What if instead of realizing I wanted to be a nurse, it struck me that I didn’t want to be one? I thought I wanted to be a nurse - what changed that made me know I wanted to be a nurse?
It struck me again. This time, it was 3 am and I couldn’t sleep because I was worrying about my blood pressure validation at 8 a.m.
I know I want to be a nurse because I want to be a patient advocate. It was like Professor Butler said in class: we are THE patient’s advocate. Call it a superhero complex, but I want to defend patients who are too weak to defend themselves. I want to defend patients who cannot speak for themselves, take care of themselves, or are simply too overwhelmed by society’s pressures to stand by their convictions.
It’s not that I like vulnerable people. I don’t. It’s that I want to extend that helping hand or voice when someone is at their most vulnerable and see them either stand tall and healthy again (metaphorically speaking in some cases, I suppose) or be able to pass away from this world with the dignity, peace, and serenity they deserve.
08 10 / 2013
Wish me luck! My first nursing school exam is Pathophysiology in 2 days. Eek!
26 9 / 2013
Today in my Professional Nursing class, my professor brought up historical figures who have shaped the profession into what it is today. One of the ladies she brought up is Margaret Sanger (better remembered as founder of the birth control movement and Planned Parenthood). And I love this empowering quote so much I’m going to share it on here:
"My fight is for the personal liberty of the women who work. A woman’s body belongs to herself alone. It is her body. It does not belong to the Church. It does not belong to the United States of America or to any other Government of the face of the earth. The first step toward getting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for any woman is her decision whether or not she shall become a mother. Enforced motherhood is the most complete denial of a woman’s right to life and liberty."
These words are from a hundred years ago (1914). Guess what politicians are STILL arguing about at Capitol Hill and in state houses across the nation? Women’s rights to their bodies. The woman’s body DOES NOT BELONG TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Why are we still debating this point a century later?
And on that note, this is a nurse who spoke those fighting words a HUNDRED YEARS AGO! This is when submission to authority was considered a good quality in a nurse. Penicillin wasn’t even discovered yet, nurses wore traditional Victorian garb to see their patients, and the world had not yet discovered the importance of personal hygiene, like wearing gloves or washing their hands. So you’d think with all of our progress in the last century, we could be a bit more progressive about treating women with recognition of their intellect and respect for their choices.
So as a future nurse, here is what I want to see when I’m old and gray one day - I want to see nurses advocating for the indisputable reproductive rights of their patients. Not just at the bedside, but in courthouses and in legislative bodies. I want my grandchildren to one day be shocked and appalled at the way the world “used to be” and how dare the government try to control as personal decision as childbearing in an woman’s life. I want my great-grandchildren to have no idea what a “back-alley abortion” even means. I want to see the day woman’s rights to reproduction are as inalienable as basic human rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
22 9 / 2013
Two weeks into nursing school. It’s so much work. The books are unbelievably huge. I have no idea how I’m ever going to learn all this stuff. And volunteer twice a week at St. Luke’s - Roosevelt. And work at Stern. Right now we’re learning on how to set realistic goals for our patients. So here are my personal ones for the semester:
1) Above 3.5 GPA
2) Become accustomed to working with/on actual patients.
3) Try not to have a meltdown like the one they showed us in that youtube video in class.
4) Apply for and get a job with New York Presbyterian as a nursing aide.
Anyways, I actually have written observation entries I have to write for Professional Nursing, so this isn’t a bad place to organize my thoughts.
08 5 / 2013
Just accepted a $6,000 scholarship to NYU. So that’s like 10% of the estimated cost NYU calculated for me. *sigh*. Signed up for the Federal Perkins Loan and Work-Study too. Going to have to figure out the rest of it by the end of summer. It’s been a long time since those accounting and finance classes in undergrad. Interest rates, deferred payments…trying to refresh my memory about all of it so it doesn’t all go over my head.
06 5 / 2013
After several years of using my tumblr as a place to re-post random photos of interior design, unique architecture, all things Disney and to complain about life, I think it’s time to re-direct the use of this blog. *drum roll* From now on, I will use this blog more directionally; it will be a collaboration of my little, tiny, human experience as a nurse (hopefully!), starting with my journey as a nursing student.
I’ll start this first post by saying how excited I am to start the journey!! I know this last summer will just blow by like a cool breeze, but right now, I just can’t wait to start nursing school!