Thursday, April 28, 2005

Nursing makes you lose weight...who knew?

Today I climbed up on the scale to find, (to my amazement), that I have lost ten pounds. I thought I'd check it out because one of my peer thought I looked slimmer. I'll take it and somehow try to keep it going. My critical care exam went relatively well, but it appears that I won't be getting my sparkling "A". Ah well, perhaps it was meant to "B"...no pun intended. Tomorrow's presentation is set and ready to go. I am presently working on one last project and then, I have an online exam and then two more in-class exams and the summer school. You see, it never ends.

I am going to study abroad despite the advice I have received telling me I shouldn't. I think that I will learn more than I ever could because I can focus and I am out of my comfort zone. I am hoping that this will instill a sense of independence in my son as an added bonus. I guess we'll see about that. Shhh! I'm not telling him until July, that way he will focus on more important matters.

We had a lot of fun today. We went out shopping for a bed for my daughter, then we stopped by my Mom's for a quick visit. Then, our little family went to the Chinese buffet with my kids, my fiance and my two nieces. Everyone had a really great time talking and trying out different foods that were on display. Our family is pretty well known at this establishment because I find that cooking is a pain in the butt when you have 1,000 other things to do. And besides, no dishes for me to wash.

After reading over my blog, I realize that I do quite a bit of complaining. Despite appearances, I must honestly say, I do enjoy nursing. I think love is a better word to use to describe my relationship with nursing, but I genuinely feel that there should be some sort of people skills class included in our curriculum. Just because I have noticed (from reading other student nurse blogs) that we nurses have a tendency to take feedback more personally and some of us need some help on giving feedback more constructively.

Anyway, I will enjoy learning Spanish this summer. I hope that I find it to be useful in my travels as a professional nurse. I have always wondered if having a 4.0 GPA is important after graduating nursing school. I guess as long as you pass the state boards you will be okay. I should probably sleep a little before the morning chase begins.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hey, even the DIVA makes mistakes

I know I am not perfect. When the DIVA is wrong, she is wrong. And I can humble myself and apologize. I am immature. I am childish, but hey isn't that part of growing up? Learning from your mistakes and moving on? At times we are all childish, I won't take it personally. I overreacted once again and hurt the people that I have come to know as my friends. But in the midst of all this "honesty", I must confess that the true colors of people have been revealed and sometimes roses really smell like doo-doo! Let us not forget, they had to do SOMETHING or the DIVA wouldn't have been mad in the first place.

Here's what I learned:

At the time that our group was working on the project, I did feel as though there was a total lack of consideration for my contributions. Instead of talking to people face to face, I sent emails. Even though emails are the wave of the future, it isn't necessarily the best way to communicate. Moving forward, the DIVA will make arrangements to meet with, or talk to people on the phone. Even if that means that I have to leave messages every hour until I get what I need.

There was a meeting with the group and my instructor. She opened the door for us to talk about what happened in our group, and ways that we could improve for future group assignments. The one person of my group whom I thought I knew pretty well, pretty much made me to be the culprit, or bad guy if you will. The thing that confuses me is that when the whole project was going on, she agreed with me. In front of the professor, she turned against me. She even brought up personal phone conversations that we had. She turned that meeting into a personal attack against the DIVA. Moving forward, the DIVA will not be confiding or trusting anyone with anything! If I have something to say, I will say it to the person directly.

In groups, there is always that one person who never does anything, but collects the "A" with all the other group members. You know who you are. You're always sick, or busy. WTF? Sometimes the DIVA is busy, but I still pull a late nighter to get things done. What makes you any better than me? This is a touchy thing because even if the DIVA only does her part and the group gets a bad grade, no matter how hard I work on my part, I still share the bad grade. I have a tendency to spread myself thinly for the benefit of others. Let me tell you, it goes unappreciated. Moving forward, the DIVA will to her share of the work, and that's it. If there is a problem with sharing the workload, the DIVA will notify the prof immediately to intervene. When people need me,I will selectively help people at my own convenience.

Any who, my presentation was awesome. I think that might have been an attributing factor to my group's resentment. But hey, if someone hadn't had a power surge, we would have had an awesome presentation too. My goal was not to make anyone look bad, it was to clear the air and see if we couldn't start over. I think if anything, the fact that they did the presentation without me made them look bad. My doing my own presentation was my feeble attempt to save face in front of my peers. Will I be friends with these women ever again? I don't know, but I know things will never be the same. My closest friends asked that I don't let this situation harden my heart. I will do my best.

Finals are almost over. (Thank God!) I don't think that I did too bad on the critical care exam. (Fingers crossed) I feel so goofy because I totally forgot about a presentation that I had due. I never forget usually. Luckily my prof is going to let me do it on Thursday. I guess I will get back to studying...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

You know that saying...

Things get worse before they get better? I sure hope it's true.

I have had one hell of a semester, and thank God it is almost over. The group project is a fiasco. It has turned into mutiny. Now I have to defend myself before the prof so that she doesn't fail me. Things are about to get dirty, because if I fail...everybody is failing. Nurse Diva in full effect. I am really disappointed in my teammates and former so-called friends. I guess I am also a little surprised that they turned against me. But hey, I'm not perfect and neither are they. I am taking no prisoners. Everybody's going down.

Clinical was a little better yesterday. It's amazing, one day everybody is mean to each other, the five minutes later or even next day they are best friends. I think that nurses as a whole are bipolar. I don't really know if I am cut out for this. I am a person who is compassionate and thoughtful. I think that giving a person a cool drink of water or holding their hand is a simple gesture of care. If I care for you, I will give you the best I have to offer. I don't have to be your best friend to do it, I do it because it's who I am. You don't have to ask, if I see that you need something I just jump in and try to help, instinctively. I don't want any noteriety, I do things because I can. I wish I could be different, because when people let me down, I feel so hurt.

Despite my recent disappointment, I believe that I will rise above adversity. The rose that blooms in the midst of adversity is the most beautiful of all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Lately...

I have been doing a lot of reflecting. The last time I wrote about a group project that went awry. I did a really aggressive thing and I told the culprit of my agony exactly how I felt. I guess sometimes things are better left unsaid. I removed myself from the situation and frankly, now I am pondering how one knows if a person is truly a friend. I have been in nursing school now for two and a half years. Because I attend such a pretensious school, I never really felt that I belong. I feel that intellectually, I can match any twenty-something any day of the week, but the social strain is becoming more than I can bear. And the main thing that bothers me the most is that the woman with whom I had my disagreement is closer to my own age than anyone in the group. Maybe the Nurse Diva is not as together as she thinks.

When I started nursing school, I wanted to be a totally different person by the time I graduated. I thought that having a bachelor's degree would give me more confidence and higher self-esteem. And I must say, I do feel a little more confident, but I am constantly doubting myself. I know that my experience in this group project was bad, and when the others talk to me, they agree that it was bad. But now I find myself on the outside of our once cohesive group. The person responsible for my disenchantment wants to talk to me. I am too angry for that right now, and furthermore, I feel that the damage is already done. I know that I am an excellent writer when it comes to schoolwork. I have the compassion that is required to successfully become a nurse, but I have problems with conflict. When I take the high road, I feel lousy because I feel like the whole world is stepping on me. And when I let people know how I really feel, I feel like a bitch. Is there a happy medium?

There was an incident in clinicals the other day where I felt one of the nurses was being particularly rude. I told her about it, and now it seems that everyone on staff in the unit is making my final days a living HELL. Now, had I been rude, someone would have conveniently told my clinical instructor and I would have been in BIG TROUBLE. Had I took the high road, this person would feel that I am just someone that can be walked all over because I am a student nurse and she is a big time, seasoned professional nurse. This is evidenced by the fact that a few of the nurses were in the lounge telling these "How can you tell a student nurse" jokes.

So, the group did the project without me. It kind of makes me seem like a huge jerk. I had a family emergency involving my kids and I needed to be late and they started without me. The instructor acted as though I did nothing to help the group. I did edit the final copy and format the APA. I also devised the discussion questions. I offered to do a power point but it was felt that it was "un-necessary". It's probably a good thing since I missed the presentation anyway. I am tempted to tell the instructor the problems that our group had and offer to do another one by myself. Maybe I'll just wait.

I guess from now on I will go to school. I will keep my head down and do my work. No more worries about social stuff. Pure academia.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Today the Diva is PISSED OFF!

Okay, I am sharing with you all today because I am mad, and I can't say exactly how I feel to the party that I am mad at until I get this off my chest.

This whole thing starts off with a class that we are taking in nursing school. The assignment was to find a nursing procedure, take each step and find the evidenced based rationale and then come up with two discussion questions for a 10 minute presentation. Simple, right? No! This is a group project. I and three other of my esteemed classmates are working together. I thought that I would be proactive and start looking for articles. I found ten. One day after class, we were all talking about how to proceed with the project, our topic was indwelling urinary catheters. I suggested that our class discussion questions pertain to infection control and rationales for catheter use because most of the articles talked about these two topics at length. Most of us are in clinicals for 12 hours at a time or everyday for 8 hours because we have to complete 150 before the end of the semester. Everyone was in agreement with the plan.

They asked that I forward the articles that I found so that we could start working on the project, which was fine with me. I chose the longest article which was 50 pages in length. One of the members of the group had a problem with my work because she is a "perfectionist". She had to send and email to the professor to clarify the terms of the project, this I have no problem with. She re-did all of my research and disregarded anything that I contributed to the project. She accused me of taking over the project. Needless to say, I am pissed off. Why wasn't my work good enough? These aren't women that I am working with for the first time, this one woman (in particular) is one that I thought I was very close to. We are the oldest students in the class, we are the most consciencious. The other two women are also wondering what the hell is wrong with this lady.

My feelings are hurt. Even though I am a Diva, I am very sensitive to other's feelings and I never had any intention of taking over. I share and give of my self without reservation. She said that it's not like she doesn't think that what I have is not good, but that she really needs a good grade. I guess the Nurse Diva is going to have to be a Nurse Bitch and let this person have it on Monday. She is guilty of what it is that she is accusing me of. I am not a bad student. For the most part I have A's and a few B's, but hey I'll be the first to admit that I am not perfect.

I had 12.5 hours of clinical today. I had a patient who was 51 years old and a victim of diabetes insipidus. She was blind, had renal insufficiency and an insulin drip. That was loads of fun. I am a little disappointed because that I thought that I would get to take care of patients on a respirator. You know, the non-communicative patients that are very, very sick. But since cold and flu season is over, there aren't very many people on the vent. It is now GI bleed season, and of course MI season. I guess I'll get back to work on this stupid project, I hope that this lady thinks that my contribution is acceptable.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

And now...a word from the DIVA

Hey!

I know it has been a while, but here I am again. I have been so busy. I don't know where to start. Well, I passed my arterial blood gas exam. I am preparing for the ECG interpretation exam. ECGs are as easy to interpret as differentiation between breath sounds. What sounds like crackles to me is simply clear throughout with diminished bases bilaterally. I am in the ICU for clinicals. I never realized this before, but most people in the ICU die in a very organized fashion. Irregular tachycardia, tachypnea, low sats, bradypnea, bradycardia, v-fib, apnea, asystole. There it is. I think I am enjoying my experience, but I haven't really had the opportunity to take care of patients on the respirator. The semester isn't over yet. I still have 33 hours left to complete.

About the whole CPS investigation, I am learning a lot about the process. As it turns out, I was not reported for abuse or neglect. I was reported for suspicious marks. Hmm...interesting. This woman who has been our caseworker has been so annoying. I have to hide from her so I can get my homework done and make it to class on time. She comes over at least once a week and calls no less than twice. When she comes over, she tries her best to impress her values on me and get this...she doesn't have ANY kids. And yet she is in a position to tell me how I should go about taking care of my business. She tells me that I should MAKE people help me. I am curious to know what she can MAKE her husband do. I finally got the official report from the pediatrician confirming my innocence, so it should only be a matter of time. Needless to say, the house is still a mess. This is to be expected when you are a single mother and a full-time student. I have a few weeks before I start summer school, and I plan on re-doing the arrangement of my house to facilitate easy cleaning. I am going to move to the basement and give my room to my daughter. That way, my son will have his own space, and my daughter will have her own space. I plan on letting them pick out their own paint and decor. I am getting rid of all my big furniture and scaling down to just a futon, a coffee table, a jute rug and a papasan. This should be pretty interesting.

Spanish is coming along very nicely I must say. I didn't feel very prepared for my most recent exam, but I did pretty well. To enhance my Spanish, I am making arrangements to travel abroad for the fall semester for eight weeks. I talked to the kids about it and they seem okay with it. My son isn't all that thrilled because I will be away on his birthday. I told him that if he has good behavior while I am gone, I will give him a big party with whatever he wants to eat. This summer I am taking both intermediate Spanish classes intensively. I can't wait!

And now back to your regularly scheduled program