The Life and Times of a Busy Woman

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Night Shift

So tonight is the first night shift that I've worked since August ... I work in an ER.  Put 2+2 together and you (may?) figure out that it's a creepy place to work at night.  Especially a Friday night.  I *LOVE* it when the night starts out with people strung out on [whatever drug is handy].  If you didn't interpret that statement as sarcasm, you've got issues.

My shift was brightened, though, by a fellow blogger JSchro who decided to honor my recent clinical experience with her skills in MSPaint.  I laughed so hard that I cried ... she's AMAZING!! 

After I wrote my nursing diagnoses for my most recent care plan, I've been reading through her blog history to see what I've been missing.  Her post about bacon is hysterical.  I know my male co-workers enjoyed her suggestion for the "best way to a man's heart."  My co-workers already think I'm odd, but my sudden outbursts of laughter throughout the night have increased their suspicions.  Of course, I am doing my job as it's presented to me (I answer phones, page doctors, and deal with charts), but I'm definitely not as busy as everyone else.  This allowed me time to peruse all the other blogs I've been introduced to by Jen's blog love.
FYI, JSchro, that is a CODE Cart.  It's a cart they use in real life, that is depicted in shows like Grey's and ER as the only equipment for to save a life.  "Charge to 200!  CLEAR!"  In reality, there's a lot more to it than just the paddles ... but I have to admit, your "Emergency Box 'O Supplies" sums it up quite nicely.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Escape From the Psych Ward

Ok, so today was not as bad as I thought it would be.  This is typically the case, but it WAS the first clinical day jitters, so of course I was nauseated.  Plus, this clinical is Psychiatric/Mental Health ... and I have an aversion to that WHOLE topic.  I've had quite a few experiences in my job that make me uncomfortable with this population.  Luckily, today was a success!

First, we have badges and keys to enter/exit the facility.  When I heard the click of the door behind me, I had to remind myself that I had the key to exit - I was NOT a patient.  I found my way around pretty easily, I've always had a good sense of direction.  We met our instructor, went over guidelines, were divided up into groups, and were sent on our way.  The staff was really welcoming and helped us with our scavenger hunt ... ("Where are the fire extinguishers?"  "Hmmm, hopefully we don't need the CODE cart, but at least we know where it is!")  Then it was socializing time ... [insert awkward silence here]

Patients did eventually approach each of us after they became accustomed to our presence.  I sat in the day room and appeared to be watching TV, they came in and started conversations with me.  NCIS was a good ice breaker.  It was an old episode ... gotta love Gibbs and DiNozzo, McGee as a Proby, but I like Ziva better than Kate.

Luckily, our instructor let us out early since it was the first night.  I packed my bag so fast and was practically running for the elevator.  It was a relief when my badge worked for the exit.  They hadn't turned it off to keep me committed - this time ....

I can only imagine what JSchro's pictorial representation of my night (from nausea to exit) would have been.  It makes me smile. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Yes, I have found a new addiction ... blogs.  Omigosh, I have not had so much fun perusing the 'net in a LONG time. 

Admittedly, I used to like fb ... not so much anymore.  Being a wife, mom, FT college student, and working really puts a damper on my social activities.  Especially last summer, I got jealous seeing all my friend's posts about the beach (etc) while being stuck working. nights. every. weekend.

Today, Jen suggested blog love.  Oh, how I have loved.  I have been exploring blogs all day and have hardly made a dent in the people that have left their links in her comments.  I cannot read just one entry, I keep going (and laughing), and going (and almost crying - from laughter).  Of course I knew online communities and blogs existed (I'm not from the Stone Age), but I've just never really explored that realm.  Plus, I hadn't shared the existence of my blog with anyone until today, at Jen's suggestion. 

I am thankful that I did not know what an "Elf on the Shelf" was and that I had to Google it.  Without that Google search, and subsequently stumbling upon Jen's blog, it may have taken me much longer to stumble upon all the wonderful blogs I've read today.  This year is already going better than it started!

A Momentous Occasion

I. have. a. follower.  [dramatic pause]  WOW!  As I expressed (today in fact), I had never put a link to this blog anywhere.  Plus, their blog is hysterical.  I love pictures and their depiction of day-to-day life makes me smile. 
This is one of their drawings from their relationship with IT 

I did that kind of jig when I found out I had a follower.  My hair is a lot shorter, but still.  I'm new to this blog stuff and I'm learning as I go. 

Glass Half Full

Admittedly, I stole the title of today's entry from my friend's fb status.  I actually have grown to detest fb, but I just cannot seem to stop stalking my newsfeed for status updates.  I definitely do not log on as much as I used to (nor post), but today I caved.

This friend is a fellow nursing student ... I'm pretty sure she's referring to her day as it relates to certain lab activities.  There's a certain class, with a certain lab, during the first semester of Junior year that is a REAL kick-in-the-pants.  That class alone sorts out who truly wants to be a nursing student.  The next semester after that one also has another similar class, plus adds Pharmacology.  That second semester of Junior year is the make-you-or-break-you semester.  Some students pass, some students don't but they retake that semester, or others change their majors.  My thoughts are with my friend today ... anytime I get frustrated with my current school situation, I actually use thoughts of that whole year to make me feel better - it was definitely worse then than now.

Good news, we finally got a Psych clinical instructor.  Bad news, it's the husband of the instructor for that Pharmacology class.  She's already put her nose where it doesn't belong, and we haven't even started the actual clinicals yet.  I see how this is going to go ... but I'm choosing to look at it optimistically.

Med-Surg clinical day one is complete ... 10 more to go.  The actual clinicals are fun and fulfilling.  The 3-hour lecture that is also required is torture.  The time is spent telling us stories about past experiences, rather than actually teaching.  I've learned more from my NCLEX-RN books (and included CD's) than I have from her.  It's convenient that we can use laptops in class, so I haven't lost a complete 3 hours of my life that I will never get back.

Today, a blog I follow suggested we share our blogs in the comment section.  I started reviewing my blog posts.  Do I really want to share these?  I really only started this blog as an outlet for my day-to-day frustrations as a mom, wife, and non-trad nursing student.  I have never published a link to it anywhere.  Plus, my first posts are rather ridiculous since I wanted to be completely neutral (and unidentifiable).  Then I gave that up since it was more frustrating to try and write that way.  But as I contemplated it, I realized that having people I don't know reading it could offer perspective.  I wouldn't be uncomfortable having them read my rants since they do not have a physical connection to my life (and potentially report me to my nursing school for "bad-mouthing").  Yes, that's happened and though the school wasn't able to actually do anything to that student (they wanted to expel), she's fighting tooth-and-nail for every grade - cause the faculty are petty like that. 

Won't know until I try ...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The New Year

I can only hope since 2011 ended sucky, and 2012 began in that continued manner, that it can only get better from here.

December 31st was the last day of work for a co-worker.  She was a co-worker that I was actually close to, enjoyed working with, and even periodically called mom.  She had resigned due to finding work in a less stressful, more appreciative environment.  As happy as I was (and still am) for her ... it sucks that she's gone.  I couldn't even say good bye that night at the end of my shift, I snuck out like a coward.  Mainly because it would have required hugging and hugging would have led to crying.  She lives somewhat close by, but our schedules conflict completely.  I cried myself to sleep at 2200 that night.  Totally slept through the midnight ball drop.

January 1st only brought more distress.  My daughter had gotten herself grounded prior to Christmas, and considered herself ungrounded at one point.  Enough to watch movies and play video games.  Unfortunately for her, the wii has a daily usage log.  Can you say, "CAUGHT?"  As I was prepared to wipe her slate clean at the beginning of the year, I ended up grounding her for another week.  That also got extended a couple days when she neglected to do her daily duties.  Try to call me a bad mother ... I dare you.  Children need to learn responsibility and she happens to be old enough that she also needs these life skills to prepare for college/adult life.  My college student's whites will NOT turn gray since I actually taught her to separate her laundry colors.

This week has been the first week of classes.  I have all my books, I'm all prepped to go ... but I'm almost the only one apparently.  Some of my classmates are on the same track, but the college isn't.  My group no longer has a clinical instructor since she resigned prior to the start of classes (for the second semester in a row).  Can you say, "No more chances?"  So we're waiting for someone to step forward and adopt us as a group.  We have two weeks prior to the official start of clinical.  We still toured the facility that we're having our clinicals at ... FREAKY, but I'm trying to be optimistic that it won't be a complete waste.
This semester also involves a lot of group work.  I. Hate. Group. Work.  I'm way too OCD to have someone else have partial control of an assignment that is a substantial portion of my overall grade.  I understand the point of group work is to learn to function as a group.  Sure, I function well in a group ... on a CODE ... this Assessment paper may be important, but I do not feel it has the same amount of importance.  I will be making sure my classmates pull their own weight without negatively affecting the overall group grade.  I have no problem telling a person that they need to step up.

I do not make resolutions, like the blogger Jen has set forth.  I just try to make it THROUGH the year still alive and in one piece (and my family in the same condition).  Reading her posts have been somewhat therapeutic in the fact that I'm not the only mom who believes life is not all unicorns and rainbows.  My school schedule sucks, but that is out of my control.  My daughter knows that I love her and I support her talents and achievements.  I finagle rides to/from events for her if I cannot be there (again, schedule).  We have daily briefings/debriefings in the mornings and evenings.  My husband works to support us all while I finish school.  I talk to him daily ... if all goes well.  This is my senior year (December Grad) ... the light is visible at the end of the tunnel. 

Here's to hoping it ends better than how it started ...