Sunday, October 10, 2004

When you ask a question, don't be angry at the answer.

This is not the glowing story of a student nurse. Perhaps I am not a typical student or even a typical nurse. But wouldn't a world of typical people be less interesting? I made a promise to myself a long time ago, when I was a child that I would be anything but ordinary. "To thy own self be true." No one really wants to know the truth. Everybody wants your edited reality. They want you to tell someone else's story when yours is not the one they want to hear. Case in point:

Since I have been taking this Pediatric course we are supposed to write a journal. In my journal, I take full liberty to write exactly how I feel and what I think I have learned. In my journal entitled Learning Suspended I reveal that this particular round of clinicals has taught me absolutely nothing. This is true. I feel like I have learned that parents stand in the way of recovery. I found that the children are victims to the limitations and guilt of their parents. No one sits down with the parents and really tells then what is going on. No one has time. Can you really blame the parents if they haven't been told that the q4 vitals are performed to keep a pulse on their child's well being, and that vitals signs are a barometer that lets the medical staff know whether or not the treatment is working. The parents are just as much a part of the clinical team as the doctor or nurse. How dare the clinical instructor get mad? She is the guidance counselor of students on the floor. In my journal, I never blamed her entirely for my lack of enlightenment. I admitted that I haven't approached the clinical area as aggressively as I need to. I committed to developing nursing diagnoses and interventions. That wasn't enough. Why? Ego.

My instructor gave me the absolute worst midterm evaluation that she could. She said that she wanted me to make friends with the other students and kiss their butts even though I don't like them because that's how you get people to help you when you need them to. I refuse to be something that I am not. I will be civil when I work with them but I will not be phony. I am having a hard time understanding what she wants from me. She is always ready to tell me that I should consider another career. Just because Peds hasn't been my "Florence Nightingale" experience, doesn't mean that nursing is not for me. It seems to me that every semester I have to give my "I didn't chose nursing because" speech to the instructor so that they understand that I want to make a difference. That nursing is not just a job for me, and is an opportunity to use all of my passion to help people. I was meant to help people. It is my divine purpose. How dare she dash my dreams in a few words?

This educational experience has been a very hostile experience. I have never been in a class where you cannot ask a question. And if you do, it should be well thought out because you will be made aware of your stupidity by your fellow classmates. I have never been in a learning atmosphere where everybody already knows everything, so they want the teacher to tell the shortest version of whatever it is she has to say because they need to hurry back to their dorm and call their boyfriend. Everyone wants to leave class early. Damn what you want to know. Leaving early is paramount. The stress level is so high. Everyone clips the head off of one another because their patience is so short. No kinds words of encouragement. You can't let anyone know that you got a bad grade, because then everyone knows and you will be burned at the stake. We are all part of a clique. You cannot just join a group, you should be invited. So when the class has group projects, you are forced to go around and ask "Can I be in your group?" How lame. I feel like the kid who gets picked last in gym class. I don't claim to be the most astute individual, but I feel like I have something special to bring to the table.

I promise, the next entry will be more positive. My clinical instructor accused me of having a bad attitude and called me a pessimist. Gee, I can't even begin to imagine why.