Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Nurses never rest...we just keep going and going and going!

Last year was my first year of nursing school. We learned to give baths, proper body mechanics and other basic nursing skills. I think that I am probably the best in the industry at assessment, bathing, and dressing changes....really! It's like an art. I have my entire morning routine done my 10:00am, which leaves me plenty of time to research my patient's pathology and write the infamous nursing diagnosis and care plan. Okay, okay I only have one patient to be responsible for, so that makes it pretty easy. Besides my nursing classes, I also have to take humanities classes, and English classes and history classes too. I don't mind, it is a labor of love...it's what I signed up for. And as if that isn't enough I also have community service hours to complete. I decided to be a nurse because I wanted to make a difference. I want to do meaningful work that did not go unappreciated like the general customer service jobs that I did in my early adulthood. I have been told many times to "try and enjoy nursing school", but how can that be when I have so many things to do?

Last year in the fall I took 18 credit hours. In the spring I took 14. Totally my choice I know. In an effort to lighten my fall schedule I took 2 classes this summer, and even still I had to take 17 credits this fall so I could graduate on time/not take classes next summer. I was very pleased with my Fall schedule, no classes on Friday....evening clinicals...just beautiful. And then I received an email asking me what I had planned for Wednesday morning. Since I have clinicals on Monday and Wednesday from three to eleven at night, I planned on doing some reading/studying on Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning would be the day that I have a relaxing cup of coffee and review my bills. Wednesday morning had such potential, that is until I received that email asking me to forfeit my Wednesday morning. And they wonder how it is that nurses become burned out or co-dependent. It would be more fair if you told me, hey...we need you to select a time to do (insert activity), these are the days and times we have available. At least fake me out and make me think I have control over my life, make me think that I have a choice,even though I don't. Make me think it was my idea.

Non-traditional students have different challenges than do the traditional 18-23 aged students. We have jobs and bills to pay. We have families to take care of. Some of us are taking care of aged relatives. Some of us take care of our children. I have some ideas about how we can fulfill this service obligation. I believe everyone would be happy with this one. How about I spend time with my kids helping my son with his math and my daughter with her reading. How about I give my children a loving, supportive environment to grow up in so that they don't become sociopaths, thieves, porn stars or serial killers. Now that is a service to the community. When I take my mother to the doctors and we come back home, why can't I use her medical history to write a comprehensive care plan and come up with different way to promote health. Or possibly have a high blood pressure/diabetes screening at a church in my neighborhood complete with physician referrals and pamphlets highlighting the warning signs of both diseases and nutritional/fitness guidelines to help prevent disease. Now that, is community service! I realize that it seems as though I am complaining. I really do love nursing...in the meantime, I will need to do an internet search on energizer bunny training. By any means necessary...

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