Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas and all that jazz!

It's been a long time, I have been meaning to drop in and write a few lines but I have been giving all of my focus and dedication to being the best damn labor and delivery nurse to ever grace cyberspace. To A.H. and all my other loyal readers, here's what's happening in Diva's world.

Job Update
So far, no more bad news about my performance, knocking on wood! The big bosses had promised me around Thanksgiving time that I would be observed for five weeks to see if they could find out what my learning curve is. This is week 4 and I have yet to have a visit from the big bosses. I guess I must be doing okay. Especially since they have the nerve to schedule me to work overtime for three weeks in a row. I would be surprised to find a full term pregnant female in the city! And if you are trying to get pregnant be careful! People are having twins like there is no tomorrow.

I guess that I wasn't the only person who was having a hard time. Another new nurse quit after only working on the unit for 5 months. It is such a sad thing that nurses are not more open with one another about their weaknesses. I don't care if anyone knows that I don't know something. I feel that it is a learning opportunity for me and a teaching opportunity for others, the whole nursing cycle is complete. But that isn't the case. I feel like all of my positive attributes such as kindness, sensitivity, sharing and empathy are all good for dealing with patients, but bad when dealing with nursing peers. These bitches take my kindness for weakness. That day is over. I am about to bring my "innerbitch" to work and stop leaving her in the car!

The way I see it, they can't afford for me to quit because we have been slammed. And in addition to that, many people have quit that have been around for a long time. Makes me wonder what I have gotten myself into, but trust I am enduring. I spend all of my spare time memorizing the floor nursing manuals. I will know every protocol backwards and forwards and dare someone to mess with me! I double dare them! The transition from student nurse to real nurse is a slow and difficult process.

Family Update
Since I have started working, I haven't been spending any quality time with my children. Napping with them after school doesn't really count in my book. The man in my life and I pass each other at the door. I only see him on my off days and those are few and far between when I am working 48-52 hours a week. I was scheduled to work all the holidays. But I received a holiday blessing. When I arrived to work on x-mas morning, I was sent back home because I was not needed. My children were so happy. I baked cakes, wrapped gifts and spent time with my family. It was awesome.

My children got everything they asked for and I got what I wanted too. The only thing I wanted was to spend some time with my children. I thought that becoming a nurse would entitle me to spend time with my kids. And I do, I just have to budget my time better.

Well, I guess I had better take a nap before time for me to go to work. I promise to come back and share more often now that I have my performance issues under control.

Besitos y Abrazos,

NurseDiVa...Improving her performance, one delivery at a time!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Post-Thanksgiving Blues

I try my best not to write doom and gloom, doom and gloom. It is very difficult to accomplish this as a new nurse. The old adage "Nurses eat their young" is true. Some more than others, but they all eat their young. As always I share the good and the bad, it just happens that right now all I have is bad. Sorry!

Work
I felt like I had become the office gossip, ya know, regarding my mistakes and all so I was proactive and called a meeting with my big bosses and the nurse specialist over our area. Perhaps it seems a bit extreme, but I felt that if my actions were reckless and had a potential to harm patients that I should be the first to acknowledge a learning deficit. Before all that I spoke to the wonderful nurse who oriented me. She was insightful, but it is obvious that she feels no responsibility for any of my "problems" post-orientation. And so she shouldn't. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes the same mistake, just different scenarios. I swear these oversights are not intentional.

Speaking to the big bosses was very interesting. Based on the complaints, I knew exactly who came forward about me. I always had a sneaking suspicion about a few of my co-workers. I am mostly disappointed that instead of guiding me in the right direction, that they would automatically go the manager and report me, but not before discussing my actions among themselves and casting strange looks in my direction. In listening to my errors, none of them caused any serious harm. It was the "But what if?" In their defense, I take offense to criticism about my performance, especially if someone is questioning my skills as a nurse. Even though I feel that the intervention is supposed to be helpful, I can't help but feel that it is somewhat punitive. Whatever...

So now what do I do? Pretend like I enjoy going to work when clearly, I hate going in because now I have everyone, (even the other new nurses who were in orientation the same time as me), watching me? The last time that I went to work, I was so freaked out I performed my post surgical count so many times I scared the doctors. (That was not my intention, but God forbid another bad report come back on me or worse yet a sponge...I won't even go there.) I have a promise from a very senior nurse that she will help me get through this, I hope that she can, because right now I don't feel very confident.

Home
Thanksgiving was great. I probably gained back a few of those pounds that I lost. We had plenty of turkey. I did alot of baking this holiday and everything came out perfect. I made this chocolate cake with vanilla icing that everyone ate before my brother had a chance to get any. And my little niece loved my macaroni and cheese. I realized that this whole problem with work doesn't mean I can't do anything right. And it was very nice to have the support of my family. It made me feel alot better.

We have a new puppy. He is a Yorkshire terrier. We are still trying to name our little guy. We were thinking on maybe Baxter, or Santana or maybe even Mosley. I kind of liked Diesel, but what do I know? He is adorable. And so smart. Right now our big challenge is potty training the little guy. I am realizing that this whole puppy business is just like having a new baby in the house. My cat doesn't appreciate the little guy, but he is slowly warming up. He has his days and nights mixed up. Right now, he is on my night shift schedule. And that kind of works! For me anyway.

The children are fine, the house is still a mess. And I feel like I am missing out on everything. Working nights has me sleeping all day and working all night. I think I like working 8 hour nights shifts as opposed to 12 hours night shifts. And then with all the added stress of work, I have no patience for my children. I really need to work on that. Alright, time to pay bills and wash uniforms for another night of birthin' babies!

DiVa...In the valley of her nursing inexperience but will emerge a NurseDiVa before giving up!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How do they know...?

A few of my colleagues at the job seem to know that I am having a bit of a struggle with my new role as a OB/L&D nurse. Have they found my blog? I imagine not. Cyberspace is a huge place, right? Or maybe I shouldn't talk to my other newbie nurses about my insecurities and feeling just overwhelmed. They are just awesome, they never make any mistakes or forget anything. They always leave on time. They are just so organized. Or are they? I cracked the code on how everyone else manages to leave on time. Wow, I feel alone. I am not part of the clique. It is possible that those particular nurses have an understanding. Or maybe, everyone is in the same proverbial boat as I am in the role of the new grad. I am hoping that the latter is the case.

I must be the only person willing to acknowledge my feelings of inadequacy. Is it such a bad thing? Should I put on the poker face and just go about as though I know everything? I was taught that behaving that way is the most unsafe way to practice. Or maybe I should be bitchy all the time like some of my other peers. Nah, not me. I will need more time to figure out the relationship between myself and other nurses. I am becoming more comfortable with the whole nurse-doctor relationship. They are regular people. I guess I knew that, I just felt intimidated. I have a raging headache, and I don't even have to work tonight. Sigh...

DiVa...Is it really going to take a year for me to feel like I know what I am doing? I can't wait that long!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Inside the mind of this adorable cat...

Lurks a vicious killer!
The other morning, my daughter was waiting for the bus and she happened to see the cat carrying something in his mouth. It was a mouse, still alive trying its best to wriggle its way out of trouble. My daughter said she asked the cat what he was doing and before she could finish her sentence the cat snapped the mouse into three pieces. I heard my daughter scream and I opened the front door. She was standing there and the cat with sitting next to her looking as if he was expecting to be praised. I patted him on the head and he proceeding to bat the pieces of dead mouse around as if he was playing soccer.

For some reason, I expected him to eat it but obviously I watch too many cartoons. I feed this cat as if he were a member of the family, why on earth would he need to eat a mouse?

Monday, November 06, 2006

I'm not giving up dammit!

I wished that I could tell you that I am in love with my job or glowing stories of how nursing has changed my life. I will say that nursing has changed my life, but the in love with my job part is a "work in progress." I liken this whole experience to when I had my son, who was my first baby and is now 12 years old. When they handed me my baby in the delivery room I expected this immediate, glowing maternal moment like on television. That happened, but not right away.

As the oldest of five children, I figured that this motherhood thing was a piece of cake because I had been taking care of babies since I was eight years old. I was happy about being pregnant and the thought of labor terrified me because I had no idea what to expect. As soon as the doctors said "Mother see your son...?" I had this realization that this tiny little baby I held in my hands relied upon me to protect him and nourish him. I was all he had in this world. It was a bit frightening. I took him home from the hospital after one postpartum day and on the third day his father was holding him. I was thinking, "Ah, now I can go take a shower." I was gathering my things and I happened to notice that his father was wacking my baby on the back. HARD. I asked what was going on and he said the baby was choking on something. I snatched my baby from his fathers arms and the baby was purple. He was not breathing.

I don't remember how I had the calm to do this but I took the bulb syringe that was conveniently sitting on my night stand, plugged one of the babies nostrils with my finger, pushed the plunger and placed syringe into the unplugged nostril and released the plunger. Nothing happened. So I did it again and felt resistance. When I withdrew the syringe, there was a huge green booger stuck to the end of it. Almost as soon as that happened, my baby turned pink again and was crying. Then I freaked out and called the doctors office. I was crying and rocking my baby in my arms. Even though I started out my motherhood experience indifferent, if my baby had died that day I probably would have died with him.

Nursing is the same way. I had this expectation that I would have this Florence Nightengale experience. Nursing is so much more than that. It is a huge responsibility, like my newborn son. And at any time a situation can happen. I only hope I remember to do CPR!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Men are Stupid...

Lately, I have been having troubles with my FOB, (father of baby). My ex-husband is fantastic, but my ex-fiance leaves much to be desired. When I graduated from nursing school he became very jealous of my achievements, so he tried to make my life difficult. Long story short he left, I asked him back because I thought that we could work things out and now he has reverted to jack-ass mode yet again. Why won't I ever learn not to trust him when he says he has changed?

The most dishonorable thing about this man is that he uses God and his "spirituality" to make himself seem like this really great guy. To his family, I am the cunning little bitch who tricked him into supporting me as I went to school and better myself only to leave him with nothing. He does nothing to change that perception. As matter of fact, it is this perception that enables him to play me and then play his mother into letting him move back home and save his money instead of being responsible. I am so glad that I never discontinued my order of support because then I wouldn't receive anything at all to supplement my income. One would think that I wouldn't need child support monies, but I have these student loans to pay and it gives me extra money to save for a rainy day.

Anywho, I have devised a plan to get him out of my house for good. It isn't anything crazy, I would just have to try to work a little overtime and set up a strict visitation schedule so that he isn't able to trick me into letting him back into my life. I would also have to amend my work schedule which I am almost positive would take about a year. In a way I feel angry with myself for letting my guard down. I will be fine, but somehow I feel that he should have to suffer and struggle the same way that I have had to for so many years. In a way I was left with no choice because I didn't have anyone to watch my kids while I work. My mother, (who was recently declared cancer-free after her breast biopsy a few weeks ago), has health issues and I wouldn't think of giving her the added stress and responsibility of my children.

Speaking of my mother, we had a huge celebration the two of us on Friday. I am so glad that she doesn't have cancer. I thought we were going to be in trouble. But when her doctor turned the corner and gave us the news we couldn't get out of that doctor's office fast enough. My Dad was supposed to go with her to the doctor's office but when I called and invited myself to go, he dropped out. He is yet another man who is acting particularly stupid right now. Of all of the people in our family, he would suffer the most if we lost our mother. But at the same time he is the same ole jerk who refuses to provide her with financial assistance when she needs it the most. I wonder if there is any connection between the relationship between my parents and the problems I am having with my FOB. I don't think I will ever get married. At least not to my FOB.

The job is okay. I have my moments where I would rather fall into a hole, but then there are those rewarding moments that make it all worthwhile. Just when I thought that I couldn't speak Spanish, I got a Spanish-speaking patient. My general feeling about speaking Spanish is that I don't want my co-workers to know that I can because once they know it will become a requirement. Anyway, I coached this lady throughout her delivery in Spanish and I did okay. I can really speak Spanish after all. Last night I had another Spanish speaker and I made it through okay. Ha-ha! All those Spanish course paid off!

DiVa...Puedo hablar Espanol, muy bien!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A moment of self doubt...

Business

Gosh, no one ever told me that being a nurse made you go through so many changes as a human being. I go from feeling really confident to being afraid to touch another patient to just being a raving lunatic. Mixed emotions isn't even what I would call this, it is pure insanity. I am a good nurse, I know I am, but when something goes wrong, I find myself reviewing my actions and wondering what I could have done to change the outcome from a retrospective point of view. I have been trained, I know what I am supposed to do. Comfortable, I am not. In a way I don't ever want to be comfortable, I always want to have that little feeling of "What if?"

You know like, "What if my patient codes? Then what am I gonna do?" I want my response to a crisis situation to be a reflex. A knee jerk response. I am still waiting for that to happen. Alarms are constantly going off on my unit, but I need to train my ear for the alarm that means something bad is happening. My skills are tight, I can IV and foley with the best of the best. Everything else crisis oriented, I just feel frozen. And when I do move, I am a tongue-tied, bumbling idiot. I know what to do, but I don't know what to do first. Right now I am going to treat everything like an emergency, at least until I am able to discern a TRUE emergency. I have to learn when I can be therapeutic and when I need to be stern to a patient and tell them what they need to do to prevent a terrible outcome.

I was told by a seasoned nurse that it will be at least a year before I really feel like I know what I am doing but in the meantime, I feel like a total liability. I am being told that I am doing well. I know that I have horrifically low self esteem and that I can't take a compliment, but I just don't feel right. I need to do something extraordinarily good...Soon or I am thinking about getting a job in a doctor's office where the extent of my responsibility is taking vitals and telling people to change into a gown and pee into a cup. But I bet that people code there too. I just have to find my zone. And being the Diva that I am, it won't be long before I fond it.

Personal

The kids are well. My brother came home for a brief visit from the Marines, then he was shipped to Japan. I guess that is better than the Middle East, but I will miss him and worry about him just the same. My mother had a biopsy done recently. For the past few years she has been complaining about this pain in her left arm. Most recently she told me that she has had discharge coming from her breast. This finding concerns me as my mother is post menopausal. I hope that she will be well. The thing that bothers me the most is that she was not forthcoming about her condition to my brothers. In the worst case scenario, I think I would have liked them to know what is going on with her. My Dad, he is a complete wreck. He is a jerk, but he cannot live without my mother. I am praying that everything is going to be okay.

DiVa...Someone, anyone holla if ya hear me! Throw me a life vest, I am DROWNING out here!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Musings from my inbox...

Why I love my Mom...




Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said, "I'm tired, and it's
getting
late. I think I'll go to bed."


She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches.



Rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper
the following evening, checked the cereal box levels, filled the sugar
container, put spoons and bowls on the table and started the coffee
pot
for brewing the next morning.



She then put some wet clothes in the dryer, put a load of clothes into
the washer, ironed a shirt and secured a loose button!

She picked up the game pieces left on the table, put the phone back on
the charger and put the telephone book into the drawer.

She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and hung up a towel to
dry.

She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom. She stopped by
the
desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted out some cash for the
field trip, and pulled a text book out from hiding under the chair.

She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped the
envelope and wrote a quick note for the grocery store. She put both
near
her purse.

Mom then washed her face with 3 in 1 cleanser, put on her Night
solution
& age fighting moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth and filed
her
nails.

Dad called out, "I thought you were going to bed."

"I'm on my way," she said.

She put some water into the dog's dish and put the cat outside, then
made sure the doors were locked and the patio light was on.

She looked in on each of the kids and turned out their bedside lamps
and
TV's, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into the hamper, and had
a
brief conversation with the one up still doing homework.


In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the next
day,
straightened up the shoe rack. She added three things to her 6 most
important things to do list. She said her prayers, and visualized the
accomplishment of her goals.

About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one in
particular. "I'm going to bed."

And he did...without another thought.

Anything extraordinary here? Wonder why women live longer...?

CAUSE WE ARE MADE FOR THE LONG HAUL .... and we can't die sooner, we
still have things to do!

Send this to five phenomenal women today...I just did!

Then: GO TO BED!

Monday, October 16, 2006

My first incident report

Last week I had a little problem.

I work nights and on this particular night, I didn't get the rest that I am used to getting. I came into work, not feeling like I was going to have an great night. I had a choice of patients. The other more experienced yet still new "graduating in the top 5% of her nursing class" nurse said she didn't want the patient that I was getting because of her "poopy tracing" and God forbid she should get stuck with a potential crash. (Serves her right because her patient had an even "more poopier" tracing than mine!) I got report and coming in, this patient had already had one late deceleration on her tracing, which in my line of work is indicative of a non-reassuring fetal status. Also the baby had passed meconium that some consider to be indicator of non reassuring fetal status, (or possibly a mature digestive system, we are still waiting for the evidenced based explanation). Another way to say non-reassuring fetal status is fetal distress, but we NEVER say fetal distress because attorneys have a field day with that sort of thing in the event of a deposition.

So, her labor wasn't progressing. She had been 6 centimeters for almost 4 hours which can be considered arrest of labor and lead to a c-section. So it was my responsibility to increase her pitocin. The therapeutic benefit of pitocin is to generate contractions that dilate the cervix and facilitate the descent of the fetus into the birth canal creating a situation conducive to vaginal delivery. I followed the protocol, I assessed the fetal heart rate, I assessed the intensity and regularity of the contractions. The contraction pattern was irregular and non-functional, which justified my actions. The baby's heart rate indicated that he was tolerating the labor well. The patient's lungs were clear to auscultation and her blood pressure was within normal limits.

Our protocol is to increase the pitocin 1-2 milliunits every 15 minutes to a max dose of 36 milliunits per hour. At the time she was at 14 milliunits or 28 ml/hour based on the dilution of the medication in normal saline. My intention was to set the pump at 30ml/hour or 15 milliunits. The family was talking to me, the room wasn't lit very well and somehow I set the pump for 90ml/hour or 45 milliunits/hour. I walked out of the room to get ice chips for the patient. She had an epidural, so she wasn't giving me that "Oooo" that lets me know I did something wrong. It ran at the wrong rate for about 5 minutes when I noticed it and immediately changed it. I came out and told one of my nursing colleagues and she said note the chart of your error and monitor the patient. For 45 minutes nothing happened. Everything was normal.

Then the doctor went in to do a vaginal exam. All of the sudden, I looked at the tracing and noticed that the baby was having a little decel. I thought that the monitor came off so I went into the room to see what was going on. The patient was on an internal monitor. This decel was REAL! I was freaking out inside. I turned the patient from side to side and gave her oxygen. IT DIDN'T COME UP. The heart rate was 59 bpm. The doctor was still at the bedside. They gave her medication to stop the contractions and we turned off the pitocin. The heart rate finally came back up. Whew! I told the doctor of my error.

In that moment I was embarrassed because when something is going on everyone is listening and looking at YOU. Every doctor on the floor and ever available nurse was there. This is good because if you need help there is someone there. At the same time you kind of feel bad. If there was a bad outcome, it can be neither confirmed nor denied that it was a direct result of my wrong doing. I filled out an incident report. For the rest of the night I didn't want to touch her medications. Then the doctor said that I needed to give her more pitocin so that the patient could have contractions because her labor pretty much stopped. I did, but I was scared to death. I especially hate the fact that everyone knew about my mistake. I was the talk of the unit. I am sure everyone has made a mistake. Mine was minor, but I will have my eyes open from now on. Maybe someone will learn from it making my public humiliation worthwhile.

After that, one of the older 20 year veteran nurses walked me through each medication adjustment, which made me feel much better. The patient dilated to 10 centimeters and 100% effacement at the end of my shift. I imagine she delivered without too much trouble, except the fever that required antibiotics.

DiVa...Feeling not so confident but thankful for the angel over her shoulder!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Three days in a row...

And I don't have to work. Working is fun, but hanging out with my kids is funner. English skills declining. Need sleep. But adjusting to this nursing thing okay. Work is still fun.

Okay some weird stuff going on at the job. About 10 nurses quit recently. Makes me wonder what I have gotten myself into now. I am one of 5 new nurses on the floor, and one of three new grads. There are three new hires who haven't started yet are also new grads. Interesting no? And we will all work the same shift. Nights. We have a really great charge nurse who we affectionately call Abuelita. Abuelita has been a nurse for almost 30 years. She is really great. She knows what is going on all over the unit at all times. She is my role model.

We have a guy nurse that works in our unit. He is probably one of my favorite nurses. Anyway he was a little hyper about an alternative lifestyle couple that came in recently. Okay he was a little more than hyper and a lot of the girls on the floor were discussing his behavior. It made me realize something. If someone has it out for you, they can make your life a living hell. They ganged up and reported his behavior to the nurse manager. I think that someone should have talked to him first or the nurse manager should have handled the situation. They didn't, they went directly to the nurse manager. Ouch! When you make a mistake on my unit the whole world knows about it. I know I will make a mistake, but I wonder what it will be like to face my peers afterwards.

The other night I was about to have dinner with my kids when I got called into work. My kids were crying. I felt really bad because I had slept all day and spent no time with them. I really have to start making myself get up in the afternoons with the kids and hanging out. Well, time to get the kids ready for school...

DiVa...Starting to get the hang of this nursing thing!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A stellar first week!

This was my first full week out of orientation and I think I was alright. I still don't feel as comfortable as I would like to about reading the fetal heart rate tracings, but I know what a late decel looks like and I know what a deep prolonged variable looks like. If you struggle with fetal heart tracing here's a few links to give you an idea of what I am talking about

http://www.aafp.org/afp/990501ap/2487.html

http://www.obfocus.com/cme/fhr.htm

I will be spending some spare time studying. My days and nights are all confused like a baby. I stay up all night long, even on my days off and I sleep all day. I am still losing weight. Nursing is a very physical activity, I have built muscle and endurance from breathing with the patients and running back and forth to hike the pitocin. I find that I only really like to increase my pitocin when the patient has an epidural or when the patient has a good contraction pattern where I can see resting uterine tone in between contractions. Otherwise I need an internal monitor to assess the strength of contractions. I like to keep my patients comfortable and happy. I wonder how long I can keep this energy going.

As a new nurse I am so therapeutic. I imagine it must be sickening to my peers, but my patients like it. I wonder what I'll be like in a few years. Will I still go to work everyday with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step? Last night, one of my fellow nurses was being a little mean to one of the laboring patients. I felt sorry for the family because there really wasn't a good reason for her to be mean. She has only been out of orientation for five months and she is already disenchanted. This woman is the same lady who when asked how she felt about adjusting to her new role as a nurse said "I graduated in the top 5% of my class and I know that the knowledge is there, but everyday I feel like I am learning something new and with every challenge my confidence increases. I love my job and can't imagine working anywhere else." In addition, she passed on the legacy of the mean with the report she gave to the next shift. When I am in report and people say that someone a patient is an ass, I try to develop my own opinion.I try to find out why a person is angry. I dunno...

DiVa...Taking good care of my patients is part of the job!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tonight's the night...

Foreword
To everyone:

Thanks for stopping by, I am so happy to hear that my stories of triumph and (sometimes) defeat are inspiring. As I was going along my journey to professional nurse-dom, I often wondered if I was the only one going through some of the things I experienced. Thanks to all for your continued support and I wish you all the best of luck in your careers. You are always welcome to leave a comment or ask a question.

DiVa


And now today's news...

Tonight is my first night on my own as a labor and delivery nurse. I am scared and excited all at the same time. I am trying to do as much of my stuff for my kids' morning routine tonight before I go in to work. I live about and hour away from my job so I will be leaving shortly.

I received my student loan paperwork today and my monthly payment for my loans is $337.00 and that is not including at least two of my loans. I am out of grace in November. (Sigh...) I figured out when my loans would be completely paid off and realized that I will be 59 years old. 59 YEARS OLD! Damn. I will be eligible for retirement by the time my loans are paid off. The total amount of my loans, provided that I pay them according to the terms is $82,000. Imagine what student loans are like for doctors! If I were a professional athlete, I would make enough money in half a year to pay my loans off entirely. The priorities of our society are all jacked up!

To add insult to injury, I received my son's interim report and his grades are terrible. My old car pooped out on me and I had to buy a new one. I love my car, but my payments are going to KILL me. When it rains it pours. I am going to apply for this government program that will help me to pay off my student loans through HRSA and if I am approved I can get 60% of my loans paid. Light at the end of the tunnel. Okay, my daughter wants some attention so I gotta go.

DiVa...Wishing that she was independently wealthy!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Independent woman....

Thursday was the last day of new hire orientation. Now I am on my own as a professional nurse. To me, it sounds like the most frightening group of words ever uttered by man. I will be responsible for two lives now, mother and baby. Huge responsibility. I am up for the challenge. I think...no really, I am ready.

This week I had a mom who had a BIG baby and I was doing the delivery with an inexperienced physician. She thought that she shoulders were stuck and she freaked out. I followed protocol, but damn was that intense. Luckily, I had the whole floor of nurses backing me up. Whew! Then I was delivering a young single mom with a baby's father that was a huge jerk. I told him if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Let's be solution oriented. It did not help. Her mother was trying her best to disuade her from an epidural, which she ended up getting anyway. Then she delivered a beautiful baby boy with Down's syndrome. We have a lot of happy times, and our share of sad times too in L & D.

Right now I am supposed to be at my son's birthday party. I said I was going to skate since it is at a roller arena. Well, I'll be back later.

DiVa...blogging is my life!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mama's gotta a brand new bag...

With shoes to match!

I have only two weeks left until I get to work independently. I think I am looking forward to it. I can't complain so far, I work with a marginally decent group of people. My challenge is that I work with almost all women, even the men are woman-like. But during my training, I have not only learned how to be a nurse, but I have been socialized in the culture of nursing. I have come up with some hard and fast survival techniques for new nurses that I will share. Then I am going to take a nap because I have to work until 3 o'clock in the morning.

1. Avoid floor gossip at all costs.
This is probably the hardest of all because when there is a break in the day, every one gets together to talk about how "Nurse A" has migraine headaches and she calls off every week because she has a headache and how it is not fair that she can use FMLA to excuse her absences and how she coincidentally has a migraine on X-mas day, New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving and any other inconvenient time. If you find yourself talking about someone when they are not present, make sure you are saying nice things or things that you don't mind being repeated because trust me, it will be repeated and you might get confronted.

2. Get a tough skin and try not to go off in front of a patient even when "Dr So and So" is being a dick!
This has happened to me, and I act like I don't even care. Don't ever cry in front of an "authority figure" because then they know your weakness and you will get hosed every time. Sometimes, I will even laugh and say some crap like "Take it easy dude, even though I am a DiVa, I am still new." Save your crying for when you get home or in the bathroom or whatever. Personally, I went to school with a whole bunch of (pardon my saying so) Bitches (students and profs included) so I am almost numb to this sort of crap. And besides, they can't kick my ass anyway!

3. Even if you don't know what the hell you are doing, walk around with poise and confidence.
I call this my poker face. Inside I am a nervous wreck, on the outside I look like I have been doing this nursing thing my whole life. If I am confused about something, I ask a question in a way that sounds like I am confirming what I already know. I think it must be working okay because people have an awful lot of confidence in my ability to care for patients. Maybe I am better than I think I am, but I never make any assumptions.

4. Smile and say hello to everyone from the nurse manager to the environmental services personnel. Be genuine and nice. Help out whenever and where ever you can.
You will be surprised where the best help can come from when you don't know which end is up. I am always willing to help someone at all times and I have found that if I overhead page for help, not a code but just for assistance I have a team of people in my room and each one takes a job without even being asked. Seriously, it's amazing. If I feel uncomfortable with the way that anyone treats me I'll ask the person directly if they are having a bad day, or if I did something wrong. Mainly I address the behavior by saying something like "When you speak to me that way, it feels like you are yelling at me" or "Can you show me the proper way to do whatever" and I find that people give me good feedback. If there was a misunderstanding, it is okay. We talk it out like adults. They didn't beat me up or cuss me out or anything.

5. Be prepared to get crappy work schedules as a new employee. Don't complain or whine. Just smile and say something like "Those are the breaks" and move on.
It is just a fact of life. Nurses with seniority get whatever they want and new nurses have to earn their way. But there is always a nurse on the floor who knows how to work the schedule. Find that person and ask them to teach you how to make out your schedule. You'd be surprised how far creative scheduling can get you.

*Bonus! Try to have fun and remember that your job is all about taking care of the patients. If you make a few friends along the way and it is all fine and good, but if not remember you're a nurse!
You can transfer anywhere you want. We are one of the few professions with the versatility to work in any clinical area. I am giving this job two years to happen for me. After that I will re-evaluate my career and make a decision about where I want to go next. I have the ultimate power over whether or not I am going to have a good experience or a bad one. I leave my home life at home and my work life at work. And besides, my personal life is none of their business anyway. And believe me, they will want to know your business. Have a little mystery about yourself. It is fun. None of those people HAVE to be your friends, they are co-workers. The less people judging you the better.

Alright, enough wisdom for today, I will be back soon.

G'night!

DiVa...A nurse with the moxy to keep it real!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Playin' catch-up

I am excited about my new career. As a matter of fact, I got my first raise. Seeing my paychecks give me a sense of hope for the future of my family. Yeah, I know I sound crazy, but I have made some observances about making enough money to take care of my family.

1. I don't have to borrow money to take care of my kids. I spent almost $600 on my kids for school uniforms and supplies and my bank account was not overdrawn. And I still had money left over to pay my bills and put gas in my car. Wow!

2. My ex-fiance and I have been getting along a lot better lately. (Big Surprise, no?)Recently, he has been helping me out with the kids. And he realized that he needed a car to do this with. I was the designated co-signer, but I declined because I don't think he deserves it. Why the hell should I co-sign for him. I guess the most amazing thing is that the banks will actually let me, ME have a new car.

3. I buy lots and lots of pretty clothes and shoes for myself. I have better clothes than I had even when I was in high school! And I have money left over to go out to dinner and pay for my meal without taking $20 off of each bill to afford to go and have fun with my friends. I just went out this weekend and spent $60 dollars and my lights and gas are still on! My rent is paid!

I know I am silly, but I can afford to enjoy life. I have to get my credit in order and start saving now because I plan to get a new house. At least a bigger house where all of us have our own bedrooms. I am thinking of moving a bit closer to my job. The schools closer to my job are having problems with finance and quality of education. The town where I live right now are building brand new schools that will be done in 2008. I think I should stay here, but I have to drive at least one hour to get to work. I have a huge decision to make.

I know it is too soon to say this, but I think I love my new job. I especially LOVE working in the OR and triage. I know you must be thinking, are you really a OB nurse? Yes, our OB is a high risk OB. That means we are prepared for anything. We take all pregnant with things as simple as a toothache or as complex as a placental abruption. They only rule is that they have to be at least greater than 18 weeks pregnant. I think I'll be okay working unsupervised. And the people on nights are fun!

Since I am a new grad, I am going to get hosed on the holidays. I will probably be working Thanksgiving, X-mas eve definitely, x-mas day and New Year's. But since I work nights, it shouldn't be so bad. I hope.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

With less than a month of orientation left...

I am doing remarkably well.

I can birth babies with minimal assistance. I can circulate and scrub in obstetrical and gyn procedures, I can triage. I am almost working independently. The funny thing is, I am already teaching student nurses. Today was a day that I could have choked a few student nurses. I always wondered what it was like on the other side of the fence. Now I know.

Most of the student nurses that I have run into were cute. The reminded me of myself. Inquisitive, helpful and focused. They ask really good questions. I am impressed. But there are a few student nurses that make worry for the future of nursing. Case in point. Today there was a group of student nurses in the OR observing C-sections and things of the sort. It was my second time scrubbing in by myself and I was nervous! I memorized all the instruments, and I am working on anticipating the doctors need, so I was rehearsing the procedure in my mind while I was setting up my sterile field. I don't know about you, but when I was in nursing school, I was taught two things about being in the OR, 1. Don't touch anything! Especially anything or anyone dressed in blue, and 2. Keep your hands in your pockets and stand up against the wall that way if you faint you won't hurt yourself.

I don't know what this guy was looking at but he was standing behind me. The patient wasn't draped, there were no doctors in the room. I think the nurse was placing a Foley or something. The all of the sudden I felt a bump. In my mind I said "Shit!" Out loud I said "He bumped me! Ack! What do I do?" I know full well what I had to do, I had to re-scrub all over again. I told him it was okay. It really was, because ya know, it could happen to anyone. I guess it was partially my fault because I should be aware of my surroundings, but whatever. I re-scrubbed and went back to setting up my sterile field, but then I was REALLY nervous.

My mask and shield fogged up and I was sweating like crazy. In my mind I am playing the worst case scenarios, me knocking over the entire Mayo stand with surgical instruments all over the floor. One of the doctors yelling at me like "Get this incompetent nurse outta here and get someone who knows what the HELL they're doing!" I couldn't see a thing. Fortunately, I could see the tips of the surgical instruments and I memorized where I had everything set up. All of my counts were correct in all three cases. Once I thought I had lost a Kelley clamp, but then I realized it was on my placenta. Oh, and I dropped a pair of pick-ups off the field. Simple job, HUGE responsibility! The doctors seemed to be impressed. The DiVa still can't take a compliment.

After the case, I was scrubbing my instruments and I happened to track blood on the floor. At the moment, I had an unlabeled placenta that needed to be stored properly before it got mixed in with all the other placentas and I was going to call environmental services to help me with my bloody footprints. One of the nurse assistants (i.e., student nurse that works on the floor until they graduate and take boards) called me on the carpet about the bloody footprints. Now, They were not like a forensic crime scene, just light pinkish-red smears of blood. I didn't even leave the footprints unattended. She is always screwing with me. Student nurses have some BALLS nowadays! When I was a student nurse, I respected nurses (experienced or not)and I wouldn't DARE try to say something that would piss them off. I have already said something to her about her saying, "I WOULD help you BUT YOU'RE the NURSE-IN-TRAINING and you need the experience." or "I would have started that IV differently than that, I would have went for the anticubital but do it your way." Or my personal favorite, "Hmmm, looks like you have five minutes to get dressed and get into report! Better hurry up!"

Other than that, all is well. I think I will be okay. But I just know, my first week out of orientation will be all the worst OB cases every known to man.

DiVa...The girl who went to the club this weekend and found out just how fierce she really is!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Why I oughta...

Today has been the most frustrating orientation day to date. I am pissed off at the residents right now. While I understand that they are students, I also need them to understand that I don't know everything there is to know about being a nurse. I have a few choice profanities on my lips at this moment, but my level of professionalism won't allow me to type them. I digress...

Today I attempted to do my first delivery by myself. This is the second time. The first time I said screw it and let me preceptor take over. At most facilities there are two nurses that handle deliveries, the baby nurse and the mom nurse. At this facility I AM the baby nurse and the mom nurse. I have two preceptors. One lets me do whatever I feel comfortable doing and the other doesn't seem to trust me enough yet. Since I attended a very pretensious university in my area, I am reluctant to step up and say "Get back, I think I can handle it." I don't want people to say, that DiVa is a snobby bitch but in a minute, I am gonna let my nuts hang. Screw em!

In L&D, we have these tracings that represent the fetal heart rate. My preceptor was in another delivery and she was attempting to let me handle it, which I must say, I was kickin' ass. So I noticed that the fetal tracing was sucking really bad and decided to tell a resident. The first resident said, just turn her over and give her oxygen. I did that and the tracing was still not so good. So I asked a second resident what I should do and she pretty much reamed me out. And then was a little pissed off because I wasn't running through the halls like it was a full code situation. The DiVa just doesn't freak out like that, mainly because I didn't want my teenage patient having her first baby to freak out. Long story short, she was ready to push.

So then all the residents were in the room, and my preceptor told me to coach my patient while pushing. Here I go..."Take both arms and reach around your thighs, curl your body around your baby, take a deep breath and push down into your bottom like you are having a bowel movement." I practiced saying that 1,000 times so that I could sound like I knew what I was talking about. Before I could try it out, the resident takes over. This made me feel like she thought that I didn't know what I was doing, and I thought it kind of gave my patient the impression that I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I was cool.

Then the attending physician came in and reprimanded me about the way that I was holding the patient's legs. My patient wasn't complaining. The baby crowned and It was time for my "wonder twin" nursing powers to activate. While I was tooling around the birthing suite, running back and forth between mother and baby, the attending decided to ask me if I had addressed the mother's positive chlamydia test that was done on the 28th of July. Of course it was done by a resident, but not documented. Again making me look like an idiot in front of the patient. My preceptor was silent. So I assumed that I was doing okay. Then I guess I was moving too slow. I don't know, I guess I am still trying to find order in chaos.

I had extremely low confidence today. After that whole encounter, I wanted to walk out. But then , my preceptor told me I was okay and that I shouldn't feel too discouraged because I am cut out for this job. I felt a little better. I was supposed to leave at 11pm but I stayed until 3am because I am not going to let this job beat me. I am tired, so I think I am going to call it a night. Besides tomorrow is another day.

-DiVa...Birthin' babies with attitude and latitude

Friday, August 04, 2006

Long time no blog

I have been busy. It is time for the kids to return to school. Time for me to return to school. Time to get this job thing happening. I have seen some craziness these past few weeks. Babies born in the bed, women with infections so bad that a bath doesn't alleviate the vaginal odor. Kids born with congenital anomalies. Last week I had my first run in with a fetal demise. Yeah, what you want to hear I'm sure.

From what I was told, the young lady (age 16) called the hospital on a Sunday, complaining that she hadn't felt her baby move since Friday night and fluid was leaking from her woman parts. She was 37 weeks gestation, never had a baby before but she new that something wasn't right. So she came in and she was given an ultrasound. There was no amniotic fluid, which generally means the baby is no longer living. So her labor was induced. When a person is as far along as this young lady, she has to labor and push the baby out, even if it is dead.

The baby came out looking like a typical newborn, except not alive. I was sent back to look at her because they thought it would be better for me to see one before I actually had to take care of one. By the time I saw the baby, she had started to change colors and the head had become gelatinous. She was dressed in a onesie and had on a little cap. I asked how they thought that the baby had died and the said that it probably got tangled in its own cord. It was delivered with the cord wrapped tightly around the neck twice. I felt sick after observing this baby. I had a bad day after that.

On this particular day, I had an alternate preceptor, she was such a bitch. Thank God I only had to be with her for only one day. She was so mean to the patient's family it was embarrassing. When she found out that it was the family of the fetal demise, she felt bad, but she didn't apologize. My preceptor spent the whole day yelling at me for a variety of things. It took everything to remain professional. She observed me as a performed an IV stick. I have to do a pre-determined number of IV's and blood draws while I am in orientation.

She directed me to find a bifurcating vein and insert the catheter between the area where the two veins intersect while threading the catheter into the lumen of the vein that is straight. She also wanted me to anchor the vein above the sight which I am totally uncomfortable with because doing this increases the risk of needle stick injuries. I had never done an IV this way before and I was not wanting to experiment on the patient. The patient didn't want me experimenting on her either. The whole time she was saying, "You're gonna miss. "I know it." "I hate needles." As I am sure you could probably guess, I missed it. I felt defeated. At least she apologized for that.

Right now I am trying to treat me house for fleas. My darling kitten has them and now my ankles are getting bit the hell up. I set off a flea bomb while I was at work and my ankles are still itching like crazy. Aw hell. Gotta get ready for work tomorrow.

DiVa...Why won't these damn fleas DIE?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Down to the nitty gritty...

I am finally in my clinical area. Today I received my first paycheck and I must say, nursing school has certainly paid off. I am in orientation, and will remain in orientation for the next 11 weeks. The upside...I have two awesome preceptors that love their job and are excellent teachers. The staff is an interesting cast of characters that support each other the way that nurses support each other in hospital utopia. Keep in mind, all this is coming from an observation period of approximately 4 days. Case in point.

On my third day as a bonifide nurse, I had a patient that had been pregnant 14 times with 4 living children and 10 miscarriages, one of which was induced. (For those who follow the OB short hand that's gravida 14, para 4, T=4, P=1, A=10, L=4) She was an interesting case with a history of cocaine abuse and a laundry list of sexually transmitted diseases. The funny thing is that she REFUSED to sit on the toilet. My nurse said the toilet seat should have been afraid of her ass instead of the other way around. Anyway, after her delivery, we were preparing to send her to post partum. She was in her wheel chair and everything when she decided she had to go to the bathroom. Her estimated blood loss was 150cc. Which is unusual for a multipara. I assessed her before multiple times we put her in the wheelchair and each time her uterus was firm, except for one assessment where I kinda thought she was a little boggy but even then my preceptor went behind and re-assessed the uterus which was firm and at the umbilicus.

So the patient was in the bathroom, squatted over the toilet looking at her butt as she was peeing, leaking blood etc. She said, "I want to get out from over the toilet, but I am still bleeding." At the moment, my preceptor was at the nurse's station giving report. I re-assured the patient that some blood loss was normal. I asked her to stop looking at her crotch and put on her mesh panties/pad and return to the wheelchair because the way she was bent over looking at her crotch could cause her to become lightheaded and faint. She finally sat down and then she started complaining about the bleeding again. She complained and I checked her, she complained more and then I went to check her for the 10th time and she was gushing a little blood around her pad. I thought perhaps it was because the blood was pooling from the way she was sitting so I walked to the nurse's station and asked a few of the nurses to come and take a look. They asked her to return to the bed and palpated the patient's fundus/uterus.

*This is the point where you would want to stop reading if you have a weak stomach!

As the nurse rubbed her abdomen, about four to five very large clots shot out of the patient followed by a very large volume of gushing blood. It was like a horror film. The nurse said, "Go get one of the attendings." At that moment, my preceptor turned the corner and she took over. I was so glad, because I had no idea what to do next. I was so glad that the other nurses were able to jump in and help with my patient in the absence of my preceptor. What happened when the attending physician arrived was something I have never seen before in my life. The doctor put on a rubber glove and inserted her entire hand almost up to the elbow inside the patient and proceeded to perform what I imagine to be a manual D & C.

They were pulling stuff out of the patient and pulling it apart in an attempt to assess what is was. The placenta was expelled hours before, but they thought that perhaps there was more tissue inside of the patient. The patient was sitting in a pool of blood and other miscellaneous stuff. The patient thought that she was dying, her blood pressure was 67/25. So then we gave her a huge bolus of lactated ringers. Then they gave her a bunch of pills rectally. I left before they decided what to do next.

*The gross stuff is over now!

There are a lot of sad stories on my unit. Women laboring alone. A 250lb 14 year old in active labor with chronic hypertension, type 2 diabetes and a 23 year old boyfriend who gave her trichomoniasis and genital herpes. A 16 year old having a baby with a 17 year old boyfriend who has a 2 month old daughter with another girl. These kids are too young to be having these sort of problems, but this is only week one. I am sure that the stories get even more astounding. Everything is going well. I guess it is to early to say for sure, but I think I am really going to like my job.

DiVa...surprised that she is adjusting to work so well!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

This was too funny not to share...

Foreword: I can't take credit for this, my aunt sent it to me today!


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint it goes like this:

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then:

H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%



and


K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But,

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

And,

B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that, while Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top
Don't you just Love it!!!

Three down, two to go!

I have been pretty busy here the past few days, so I'm gonna get ya up to speed. I have found out some very interesting and exciting things about all the new training that I am about to receive, but nothing gets to happen until I finish this dreadful orientation. My initial thoughts were, "Ahhh, orientation class shouldn't be too bad. I am getting paid to listen to lectures and such, how could I miss?" Oh yes, I can miss, I miss being busy on the floor.

Yesterday
We sat through about 6 hours of lecture. Because we were a mixed group of aides, techs, supports, LPN's and nurses our training was remedial. When I say remedial, I mean like "Intro to Nursing" simple. We talked about HIPAA and patient safety and stuff like that for hours and hours and hours. The delegation lecture was pretty informative. Everything else is a huge blur. After about the first three hours of lecture, our manager came down from our respective units and met us for the first time since the interview. I thanked my manager for hiring me and she told me what to expect and what I need to do to prepare for my first day on the unit, which is next week.

She told me about my training. I have to renew my adult CPR, take a neonatal CPR course and a Code Pink course where (get this!) I learn how to run a code on a preemie and they will be teaching me how to intubate a neonate by practicing on a real live CAT in the lab. That's right. A feline. My Auntie told me I better hope it's declawed. I am hoping that the cat will be sedated! Then I have to take classes on perinatal loss and become a lactation consultant. I am going to be so well trained that the NICU that turned me down before will be dying for me to work for them. In this moment, I can't imagine working anywhere else. Our unit is required to wear navy blue. After school/work I went to the uniform store and bought myself pretty new scrubs for my first real day. I can't wait to wear them.

Today
Mundane is putting it lightly. I feel so bad because there were people in our class that probably never did a blood draw before that had to pass a proficiency after only watching a demonstration ONE TIME. They didn't even get a chance to practice. This part of the orientation has been like the abridged version of nursing school. All day the teacher talked, and talked, and talked. I am so happy I am home because here, there is peace and quiet.

I took my med math test and passed it 100%, which means I can pass medications. I passed all of my other competencies 100% as well. I wasn't so lucky with my test on restraints. I'll be honest, I didn't really read the material. There, I said it. It was a very dry read, and you know I am suffering from that "Nursing School Induced Anhedonia" which I really gotta do something about. I brought the book home and perhaps I will read it while I do laundry and then take the test first thing in the morning. Then I have a few more independent studies and a class on the hospital computer and then I am free to go onto my unit. Thank God!

Well, that's about all.

-DiVa...Tired as hell from doing nothing at all!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Orientation

It is the middle of the night after my first day of orientation. Why am I awake at 3 o'clock in the morning? I am washing an outfit for today. My first day of orientation was great. I was on time, which is a huge feat for me. I arrived early enough to get my fingerprints and ID before going to the classroom. They offered a breakfast of pastries, muffins and bagels. There was also coffee and juices, which was very nice. There was a mountain of paperwork regarding benefits and at least 8 speakers.

I learned that ANYTHING can be misconstrued as sexual harassment. I am not going to tell anyone that they look nice, I am not going to look at anyone for longer than 2 seconds or read any magazines because God knows that Louise or David might see a picture of a swimsuit model or bodybuilder and feel uncomfortable enough to report me. I was wondering why this guy one time when I was working nights looked at me so strange when I said his aftershave smelled nice. They were saying that even a glance that makes someone feel uncomfortable is sexual harassment. Two employees sharing a dirty joke amongst themselves in the break room is sexual harassment. Kicking the vending machine and saying F---! is sexual harassment. I was sexually harassing him! Sexual harassment is EVERYWHERE. Watch out...

Besides that everything was okay. The rest of the week, the hospital has devised this mini-skills lab that will teach us everything we ever wanted to know about nursing but was afraid to ask. Our first lessons include delegation (that we never really covered in nursing school and I needed for the NCLEX), customer service, and skills (which are my favorite). Just when you thought that nursing school was over, they bring it all back with your first job. We are re-learning phlebotomy, body logistics for turns...Everything! They are teaching us how to order things in the computer and a have to take a med calculation test. (Yay?) I get to meet my boss today (for the first time since she hired me), and my preceptor. (I am trying to stay optimistic!) I don't get to dive into the REAL nursing stuff until either later this week or on Monday. But I will be back to tell you more about that. Alright, I am going to put my clothes in the dryer, pack my lunch and go back to sleep.

Until next time...DiVa!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Pre-employment and such

Today, I had to go to the hospital to complete some pre-employment screening type stuff. Even though my drug test is going to be negative, I still worry a bit. I was at a party near a window where some guys were smoking weed outside. I was freaking out. I hope that second hand smoke doesn't generate a false positive. I wasn't like concentrating and inhaling or anything, I just happened to notice an odor of burning marijuana leaves. I should be fine because that was over a week ago.

Then I had to get a TB test. No big deal. I have to get another one done next Friday because the hospital needs to have a history of one negative test within the past year. No prob. After that I had to go to the lab to have blood work done. As I was instructed by the Blood donation people, I extended my right arm. The tech couldn't find my only two good veins. She decided to go for one of the faint blue lines on my left arm. She had to go deep to hit it and she used a butterfly needle. She made it on the first stick, which is good, but now I have a bruise the size of Texas on my arm.

Then I had to go get an ID made. It was a great picture, amazingly. Then I needed to get fingerprinted. I gave my driver's license, but the officer needed an ID with my social security number on it. Since I don't carry my social security card, I was out of luck. After that I decided to go home. Today, I had my daughter with me and she was so spoiled. Everyone couldn't stop telling her how cute she was and the gave her a light lunch, candy and coloring books. She said, "I like your job!" I wonder why.

So I start my job on Monday. I am not ready. I can't believe I am using this combination of words together in a sentence, but I would almost rather write a paper. I hope that I don't disappoint the unit, or screw up something. I mean, I don't worry that I will kill anyone, but I am more concerned that I will not be what the nurse manager expected. That is really silly, but that's my big fear. I wanted to ask the nurse manager why she hired me just so I could try to meet her expectation, but I thought that was kind of weird. So I will just do my best to be a good little DiVa.

I know I am probably not going to like everyone that I work with, but I hope that I work with marginally nice people. I am also hoping that work will be nothing like nursing school at all. My biggest weakness is time management, so I hope that I will be able to make it to work on time everyday. I live almost an hour away from the hospital and I have to get dressed in the facility because they don't allow you to wear your scrubs or shoes in from home. I imagine that all of my questions will be answered soon enough. Well I have a huge stack of papers that have to be filled out before my first day.

DiVa...I don't wanna let em' down!

P.S. I got a new microwave for $40 at Best Buy.

Monday, July 03, 2006

You never know how much you need your microwave...

Until it breaks down. I NEED my microwave. If you want to skip the updates, scroll down.

Updates
For the past few weeks the kids have been at Grandma's, which has been a great thing because I have had some time to myself. Saturday, I made an appointment to go to the salon and got my hair trimmed and dyed this amazing shade. Later I will get more highlights. I spent the whole day with my son and his Dad. His new girlfriend can't stand it that we don't hate each other. I don't know what these ladies need to hear to reassure them that I do not want him, for nothing! I think he should try to make up with his current girlfriend because I really like this one. She is always polite and she doesn't try to replace me. The last one thought for some reason that my son needed another mother. Sigh...

We went to see the movie CLICK. This movie was a surprise. It was really a good movie. I highly recommend it. While I was at the movie theater, I noticed that a few guys were checking me out. It has been a long time since a guy has expressed an interest in me. I liked it. After the movie, my son's Dad decided that he wanted to go out. So I stayed to babysit. Ha-ha! I babysat my own child. I realized that I could never be a weekend Mom because my son said he wanted to come home and I said okay. When he got home he didn't know how to act, he was all over the place. Fidgety, I wish I had energy like that. And then it happened.

Microwave Malfunction
I was taking a nap, when my son decided that he wanted to make a bag of microwave popcorn. He woke me up because the microwave was making a weird noise. I came in to check it out and smelled a burning, electrical-mechanical smell. His bag of popcorn was half-popped. I thought no more of it. Then later I was trying to heat up a Lean Gourmet entree, it didn't heat. In fact it was still frozen. The microwave is the center of my cooking life. Everything in my freezer, with the exception of the ice cream, is microwaveable. I take that back, I once put the ice cream in the microwave for about 15 seconds to soften it. I know I am crazy, but I need another microwave. A good one. One I can rely on. The last one was either a Sharp or Panasonic. It's going on the curb.

DiVa...going shopping for new appliances!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Approaching my last week before REAL nursing

In eleven days I will be a REAL nurse. I must say I have experienced a whirlwind of emotions between school, graduation, not getting the job, studying for the test, taking the test, passing the test, and finally getting the job. I'm DiVa, the labor and delivery nurse. It sounds sort of funny. I am finally a professional something. Now it is time for all of the concepts to come together. I am approaching this new experience with a little anxiety, which I imagine is better than cockiness. I am going into this experience with my eyes open.

The name of my blog has changed. A day in the life of a student nurse, (which after much consideration I deemed to be lame), then NurseDiva extraordinaire...in training! Which I found to be more fitting. I am a DiVa, despite all the whining I do, and I am extraordinaire because I am just so cute. But the one thing I that I think I am and always will be is "in training." As a nurse, I never want to get beside myself and think I know everything. To be honest, I don't know a whole lot. But I will always be bettering myself and striving for excellence. I don't ever want to be unapproachable or snobby. I am the same ole' DiVa that had to get public assistance because clinical was too demanding for me to work and go to school at the same time. The same ole' DiVa who had to give up housework for almost three years because she wanted to graduate cum laude. I don't ever want to forget my struggle. I am glad it wasn't easy, because I have a greater appreciation for where I am in my life.

Anywho, I am going to look at a house today. I want to rent a place that is closer in to the hospital I will be working. The public school system is really bad near the hospital, so I am looking at places within 20 minutes of the hospital. There are relatively good public schools in the suburbs, which we really need for my son's special needs. I imagine this would be the best time for me to move since my son is not quite in high school yet. Another reason for my move is because I think I need to get away from my family.

It seems like since people know that I am going to be making a pretty decent wage, they want to ask me for money. And they expect me to GIVE it to them. I feel bad saying no, but where the hell are they when I need a babysitter? Busy. And when I need money? Broke. I have goals. I have two children to put through college. They need things. School clothes, supplies and other life necessities. I am planning to go back to school here in about a month. Things are going on, and I don't want to GIVE anyone ANYTHING. Nobody GAVE me my college degree. I am paying for it, and those payments start just in time for Christmas. So hell no, get a job. I can't do nothin' for ya man!

I would like to get a nice PDA as my new job gift to myself, but I don't know where to start. I am also buying my own malpractice insurance, just in case. I have already bought myself two pair of nursing clogs at allheart. I couldn't pass them up because they only cost $10. They should be here just in time. I am going to get myself a new pair of glasses. Our unit colors are navy blue, light blue. So some new scrubs are in order. I am going shopping!

DiVa...It is important to accessorize!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The results of today's interview

Well, I don't remember if I told yous or not, but I accepted the position in L & D and I am supposed to start there in a few weeks. While I was waiting for the outcome of the interview for the L & D position, I received a call about a peds position. This peds position is at a prestigious hospital. They have state of the art gadgets and all of the sexy technology crap you learned about in healthcare informatics. I accepted the interview, and then the recruiter called and offered me the L&D job. I messed up the interview. I was early, which is always a good thing. I knew I was going to decline the job even if they had offered it to me for two reasons, 1.) I hated this unit while I did my clinicals there as a student and 2.) I already have a job and I was going to the interview just to be polite.

She began asking all those typical interview questions, you know the ones that start off like this: "Tell me about a time...(blah, blah)" "What are your strengths? Weaknesses?" "Why peds?" "Why our unit" "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" and I was like YAWN...(creativity?) So then she asked me something like what do I least look forward to about the job. I should have said wearing white all the time, but instead I told her that I least looked forward to being attached to a homing device (that's how they keep up with their nurses, seriously!) because it makes me feel like I am being micromanaged. She was pissed. Then she started saying things like "If I were a professional, such things wouldn't bother me and that it is used as more of a communication tool than anything else." So then I asked why does it tell you how long a person has been wherever they have been. Boy, I was really rubbing salt into an open wound. I stopped listening after a while because I felt like she was feeding me a line of crap and I was getting a little insulted. That was the last question. So then we went on a unit tour, and I suddenly remembered why I didn't like that unit. I guess I don't have to worry about it because by the time I got home, I had an email in my inbox saying that they were not going to be hiring me at this time. Whatever...

My L & D interview was really cool. I mean, the nurse manager asked me questions, but they were good questions like, "What do you know about OUR hospital?" "What inspired you to become a nurse?" "How would you like us to arrange your schedule when you return to school?" (without my bringing it up, they assumed I would be continuing my education.) "How can we better accomodate you as a new grad?" The nurse manager did most of the talking. She educated me about HER hospital and HER unit. She told me all the bad stuff UPFRONT. She challenged me, and how could I pass this opportunity up. Furthermore, this hospital insists that the nurses work as a team, and the physicians really value the nurses input. The nurses are included in rounds and they actually ask for your feedback on what you think will improve the patient's outcome. Incredible. The nurses have a voice, and that is what magnet status is all about. I HAD to be a part of this. (I know what you're thinking. You always get so optimistic and then something happens to let you down. Not this time.)

I am approaching this new job not to make friends, but to develop skills and settle into my role in the clinical setting. If I have associates with whom I share certain commonalities, fine, but I am not going to be trying to be lunch buddies with these people. I don't want to get caught up in the UNIT DRAMA. I just want to work, learn, develop therapeutic relationships with my patients and go home. Easier said than done, because we all know that some veteran nurse is going to do something to piss me off. But I am ready.

DiVa...interviews suck!

Monday, June 26, 2006

DiVa's latest adventure

While I was waiting for the results to post on the board of nursing's website, I decided to so something I had never done before. Sitting in front of the computer was making me crazy and I needed to get out of the house. I decided to go to Wendy's to get something to eat when I saw a sign that said blood donation today. So I said, Why not?

I went into the center, signed my name on the list and read the mandatory literature. I would say within about a half an hour, the blood tech came out and called me and the others back to do the interview. The first thing they did was get a set of vitals. Despite the fact that I was waiting for the results, and I was terrified of getting stuck, my blood pressure and pulse were normal as were my temp and respers. So then the tech poked my finger with the lancet and placed a drop of blood into a solution to see if I was anemic. Of course I was, but she was determined to get blood so she had to stick me AGAIN and put my blood into a centrifuge to double check. My H and H was 40, making me clear to donate. I had to answer questions about whether or not I have been exposed to Malaria and such. She asked me if I had ate anything, which I had not, so I had to visit the cookie and juice table before giving blood.

So then, I was really nervous. I made a trip to the ladies and returned to the room and reclined on a cot. A different tech placed the tourniquet on my arm and began to palpate for a vein. I am the WORST stick in the county. She was having a hard time finding a good vein. This is a common occurrence for me so I wasn't surprised. She called in back up. The other tech checked my right arm and found two veins. He asked the original tech if she felt comfortable sticking me and she opted to go on break. Fine by me. So I gave him a look that said "Please don't miss," and extended my arm. He warned me and inserted the needle. Not too bad. The blood began to drain down the tubing and into the bag. I was instructed to squeeze a red ball during the donation process. He said I could donate 600 cc's which seemed like a lot of blood! It took about 15 minutes to fill the bag. Afterwards I re-visited the cookie and juice table, filled out a questionnaire and left.

I felt pretty good about my day. In an hour's time I saved three lives. i would probably do it again and highly recommend the experience if you have the means.

DiVa...Conquering her fears one at a time

Friday, June 23, 2006

Contact Info

My email address is nursediva06@yahoo.com

Let's talk!

-DiVa

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I passed...

I was about to die. I can't believe it. Stunursedayton, I need you to tell me how to have this cyber party because I am officially a registered nurse. I can't believe it. All the crying and studying and just everything came together in one moment. I feel like I won the Grammy's. Now for my acceptance speech.

First and foremost, I would like to thank God, who is the center of my being. Even thought I forgot all the words to the Lord's prayer when my first question popped up, You still saw me through the end. With God all things are possible.

To my Mom

You always listen to my whining phone calls when I am unsure. You are my role model. It was your example that led me to nursing in the first place.

To my Dad

Thank you for being my father and giving me the extra cash when I was short. It is hard for you to understand the importance of education because you had a family to support, but I hope that you and Mom can experience this gift vicariously through me.

To my Children

You guys were my shining beacon of hope and my inspiration throughout the whole school process. People think that it is impossible to finish school with kids and even though we've been through alot, I will always be there for you. As long as I live. I love you more than life.

To my Ex-fiance

You are a bastard. There is no two ways about it. But you will eventually grow-up, I just can't wait. Anyways, thank you for watching the kids for me and for listening to me complain about the mean girls. Too bad you aren't standing by my side in this moment.

To my Ex-husband

Despite the fact that we are no longer together, you still rolled up your sleeves and helped. You have always believed in me and for that I thank you. I am so glad that you are still a part of my life.

To my friends and family

I did it. But it was not possible without your loving support. For all the times you kept the kids or listened to me cry, this is for you.


To my readers

This whole experience is surreal. I know that you guys don't always have alot to say, but I know that you are there. I know what it is to not know what to do next. When I lost my job in 2002, I thought that it was the end of the world. It was only the beginning. Stay true to yourself. Don't let anyone get in your way. And never give up on your dream. If you want to be a nurse, do it. If you want to speak Spanish, learn it. Don't let nobody or nothin' stand in the way of your dreams. My high school GPA was 1.6 and here I am a graduate of a 4 year nursing school. Living proof that it can be done.

I passed! I passed! I can't believe I passed! I didn't spend $400 dollars on a review course. I bought $30 flashcards and went through the deck once. I passed!

I love you all!

DiVa...BSN,RN

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I took NCLEX

That test was amazingly hard. I saw stuff on that test we never talked about in nursing school, at least not that I remember. Okay here are a few pointers.

1. Know your lab values by heart
2. Try to relax
3. Review the drugs, side effects and desired effects
4. Work on priority questions
5. Get a good night's sleep

Sigh...I feel like I failed. I got somewhere in the neighborhood of about 100 questions. Only one math question. (Thank God!) I had so many questions about communicable childhood diseases that I could have died because peds is not my strong suit. And that's crazy because I am a mother. I heard that they throw out 15 questions because they are experimental. How true that is, I don't know, but there is one thing I do know. I can find out whether or not I passed in 24 hours. Tomorrow cannot come quick enough.

A few hours later

I am back again. I am nauseated with the fear that I didn't pass. I have become a maniac. I am tired, but I can't take a nap because I am amp'd. I really need to chill out. I have already taken the test, it is beyond my control. I keep reading things on the internet about people who pass the test after only 75 questions and then I read stuff about people who pass after 265 questions and then people who fail after 92 questions. Questions, questions, questions. Then I read "I passed", "I failed", "I failed again". I am seriously freaking out. Damn if I had only studied a bit more. Why couldn't I remember that it is important to monitor urine output? Ack! Thanks to everyone for their support. I am going to keep you posted on my progress, cuz I ain't moving until I know one way or the other.

In the middle of the night...

It's two o'clock in the morning. I can't sleep because I am too worried. I should be able to relax, but I just can't. I spent the afternoon at my mother's house drilling her on the questions that I thought I missed and even some of the ones I got right. She's an LPN. Man I tried everything during that test. I even tried the Lord's prayer, then I realized that I was wasting too much energy trying to remember the words so I started answering questions instead. Ugh. This process is crazy. When my Mom NCLEX'd (yes, it is a verb) she had to wait two months for the results. It's a good thing that I live in a state that does quick results. If I fail this will screw up my timeline. I need to make some money, soon. And if I fail, I have to pay another registration fee. I hope that I am wrong about that. By the way, while I was lamenting over my responses on the test another hospital called to invite me to interview for a position in Pediatrics. Since I haven't officially received an offer from the L & D, I am going to interview. Better to have options I say. Alright, I am going to try and lay down. It is raining here so sleep should come easier.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The DiVa has found her place

It is looking like I am going to be a night-shift labor and delivery nurse. Who knew? I had an interview and it sounds like it will be a good fit for me. During the interview she actually asked me when I wanted to start working. Someone actually wants me to work for them. I am taking the big test really soon and I am ready, I think. Everything is going okay. I feel like I know what direction my life is going. The kids are spending time with grandma this week so I am feeling lost because my children have become a huge part of my daily routine. I'll be back to tell you about the big test in a few days.

DiVa

Monday, June 12, 2006

I scheduled my test

Ha-ha! I scheduled my test and I will be taking it next week. Ready or not. I am a little nervous, but I think that my schooling prepared me well. Now I will put it to the test. Nobody seems to feel like I won't be successful. The kids are out of school and enjoying not having to wake up at 7am. I too am becoming complacent. The house is coming along, slowly.

I put in a few more applications. I thought that it would be a good idea to jump right back into things with a new outlook. By the way, sorry if I am repeating, I found out that you can never tell a potential employer that you are returning to school in an interview. Unless of course you don't want the job. I could probably wait a while before going back to school, but then if I did I probably would never go back.

I have been trying to follow this routine to help me get my life in order. It is the flylady. (http://www.flylady.net/index.asp) I receive daily emails to remind me of what to do each day and how to keep my house clean and organized. Right now I am in the babysteps phase. I am also trying to incorporate the kids into the routine because my graduate studies will be nothing like my undergrad. We will be better and this house will never get like this again. Well, I had better get back to work, visitors at 4:30.

Always,

DiVa

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I didn't get the job...

Will return later with specifics...

Back!

So I got impatient with waiting and I called the recruiter at the hospital and she told me that she would find out what happened as it has been about 2-3 weeks and I was told that I would hear something the end of this month. I said, "So I didn't get it?" And she said no and she would find out why. She told me that they decided to go with a more qualified candidate. Then she started trying to pawn off other areas in the hospital to me like I was hard up for a job or something. I felt like such a loser. Sigh...

I guess I waited too late to be thinking about finding a job. I was expecting a more secure financial situation at this time. Now I am a bit worried. If I wasn't good enough for them, how could I possibly be good enough for anyone else? Ugh! I don't want to settle, I refuse to settle. I have worked too long and too hard to just take what I can get. I have earned the right to pick and choose. I had just talked myself into the concept of being able to do this job. I took myself to the semi-annual sale and bought my favorite shower gel for $3. It can't hurt, I am already at the end of my money. I refused to cry and be depressed anymore. It could be worse.

Diva...Studying like a mad woman for NCLEX.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Officially authorized to test!

I received my letter that says I can sit for boards. I decided instead of taking the review course that costs $400, I am going to study with flashcards and schedule my first attempt in about a week. I bought the Springhouse NCLEX RN review cards (Third Edition). On one side they have the questions and possible answers, on the other side are the correct answer with rationales. In my studies I find that I am doing okay with the exception of the fact that I second guess myself. Or I find two really good answers and choose the one that is wrong. Same as in nursing school. The crazy thing is that according to the letter, I can get my results online in 24 hours (for a fee), but they won't be official for FOUR WEEKS!

Since graduation, I haven't heard from my so called "peers". I suppose that what they say is true about friendships forged in nursing school. They end in nursing school. I have been too busy wallowing in self pity anyway. About the middle of this week, I had an epiphany. Life changes are in order. I read a book about nursing school that I wished I had read before I went to nursing school by Kelli Durham. It explained so many of the issues that I struggled with, and one of the most interesting things that this book discussed was this mini-depression thing that I went through this week. It explained that after one graduates from nursing school, there is a period of time where the student processes the experience. Hmm, I am more normal than I orginally thought.

I went to visit my mother this week. She is in a really bad mood. I am tired of talking about my retarded auntie who came to visit for my graduation. My Mom is still dealing with the aftermath of the drama that she started before she returned to her home state. It's like, "Okay Mom, she's gone home and now we can all go on with our lives." I have already put that experience behind me. I am looking forward to the future. I am done grieving over my Ex. I am excited about my future and what it holds. For the first time in my life I have the golden ticket. I have a career, and the credentials to back it up. So, nah-nah! I still haven't heard anything about the job. I was a little anxious at first, but now I am just going to chill out and wait. If it is meant to be, it will be. If not, I will find my place. The kids will be out of school for summer in a few days. In the meantime, I will be enjoying my kids and cleaning my house. Hakuna matata...What a wonderful phrase!

DiVa...I have a career and a future!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hoy es un poco mejor

Yo necesito a practicar español otra vez. Mi prima que usa drogas tiene un prueba de SIDA este fin de semana pasado. Ella tiene miedo que el prueba es positiva, y su hermano darle. ¿Como? Su hermano tiene dientes que sangre y ella cree que el hermano pone el virus en la comida y otras cosas que contaminada la casa. ¿Loco, no? Pero no creo que mi familia entienda como el virus es propagada. Estoy enfermera. Necesito compartir la manera que el virus funciona.

El virus es solamente propagada en relaciones de sexo y compartiendo herramientas de drogas como jeringa hipodérmica y otras actividades que intercambiada de fluidos del cuerpo. Si ella tiene SIDA, es desde sexo sin protección. Otros miembros de mi familia creen que ella es sucio. Ella es chistosa, salvaje y una ladrona. Ella es un tramposa. Pero todavìa, mi prima. Da igual que alguien diga.

Todavía, estoy enojada con mi Ex. Ayer fue un día malo, pero hoy es mucho mejor. Cambio mi mente, yo puedo hacerlo. Yo preguntarle a regresar a mi casa y llevar sus cosas. Él diga nada, y no viene a mi casa a obtener sus cosas. Quiero a venderlo y usa el dinero a pagar mis obligaciones. No quiero Él a visita con nuestro hija tampoco, pero yo conozco que no es justo. En mi mente, Él no es justo tampoco. Pero, uno de nos debe estar el adulto.

DiVa...el adulto!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Men just don't make no sense...

I am convinced that some men are the most pig-headed, stupidest, selfish, dishonest beings on earth. In this moment, I can't stand my Ex. I wish that I could just tie him down and poke his eyes with stick pins. Why am I so angry? He decided not to bring my daughter home this weekend after visitation. Meaning she missed another day of school for no good reason. He isn't helping out the way he said he was either. Should I be surprised? I guess I have to act like a high-riding bitch now. In the words of Dolores Claiborne's employer, "Sometimes being a bitch is the only thing a woman has to hold on to.

Being
In
Total
Control of
herself

I spent the holiday with my ex-husband's family. I had a great time, until I got sick from the heat and liquor and lost my dinner all over the front of my blouse. How embarrassing. It happened in front of my Ex-husband's new girlfriend. (What a first impression!) She must think I am some kind of alcoholic or something, but to be totally honest I wasn't buzzed. At least I didn't throw up on my mother-in-law's white carpet. I would not be able to forgive myself. The upside to that is that his family is so positive, I hardly had any time to think about the fiasco that I call my life at the moment. I wish that my ex-fiance and I could get along as well as my ex-husband and I. We have our moments, but for the most part, we get along just fine. He pays his child support and we take turns with the visitation schedule without court interference. Ah well...

I had to get away from my mother. She was driving me crazy with her doom and gloom. I know that our grandmother (her mom) just died and I am trying my best to be supportive, but there is only so much I can take. Between her and my ex-fiance, I feel like I am losing my mind. It's a good thing I have this blog to maintain my sanity. I am supposed to be the happiest person in the world right now and everyone around me is determined to steal my joy. I think things will be better once I find out whether or not I got this job and once I pass boards.



DiVa...I wanna be happy dammit!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Back!

The DiVa has returned. Graduation is done, the out of towners have returned and life is going on. I have my pin and I am officially a BSN, whatever that means. I have not lost any contempt for my schoolmates. Graduation proved to be an occasion where all the phonies were in overdrive. It was nauseating.

It was great to see my family together and happy. My aunt came in from out of town and I wanted to put back on the next flight to wherever she came from. She brought her granddaughter and she was allergic to my mother's cat, and regular milk and the air in our fine state. My aunt's purpose was to come here and find out if I was indeed graduating from college and if my academic performance was indeed what my mother said it was. Haters...

The pinning was emotional. I had my kids pin me, and they were excited to be part of the whole celebration of my induction to the nursing society. We have had such a difficult time these past three years. School was so demanding. I am glad that we crossed the finish line and they aren't too damaged. My mother insisted that I take my aunt to the senior reception. My aunt insisted that her 2 year old granddaughter come. I had to pay $50 for each guest and my aunt offered no financial assistance. She let her granddaughter play in a $50 plate of food. The baby threw food and cried throughout the whole reception. I was embarrassed. The graduation ceremony was very long and dry. There were a few really great lecturers and tributes. Then we went to dinner as a family and it was really fun, but it would have been more fun if my aunt hadn't came here and started a whole bunch of drama.

Now it's time for real life. I am trying to get things together for the big test. I am studying and entertaining the idea of taking one of those review courses. Some of them are pretty expensive. I was thinking on studying independently. But I did an outstanding job on the predictors. I can't even begin orientation at the hospital that I want to work at until I pass boards. I haven't heard anything about my job yet. At the second interview we discussed salary, and for those who are curious, beginning nurses start somewhere between 47K-49K annually on my side of the fence. Not as bad as I thought. The benefits are great too. My schedule would be two 8's and two 12's. The schedule is going to be challenging with a family. I can't work from 0700-1900 because I have to find someone to put my kids on the bus in the AM and take them off the bus in the PM. If I work 1900-0700 I would never see my kids because I would have to sleep until 5pm to be safe for the patients. 3-11 would be somewhat okay, but I would have no day. 7-3 wouldn't be too bad either.

So why am I up at 3am? I am alone. The kids are at grandma's and I am having a mini-celebration. I have free time. For the first time in three years, I can sleep. My little brother asked me how it feels to be done and have bachelor's degree. In this moment, I must say that I feel the same. No real change yet. I think maybe I will feel different after the NCLEX. Alright, I think I am going to take a short nap.

-DiVa...Finally able to relax!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I am a thrill junkie...

It must be true. I love the challenging areas of nursing and I love to wait to the last minute to try things that seem impossible. Here I go yet again.

I waited until three days before graduation to dye my hair. Blonde. Yes I did, I went DiVa fabulous and went blonde. My sister hates it, my Mom loves everything I do. What do I think? I think it's the new hotness. The house is a catastrophic mess. It got really bad over the past three years. Worse than I ever thought. I am seriously entertaining the idea of calling a cleaning crew to help me. My family from out of town will be here tomorrow. And I am blogging.

Okay, back to work...

-DiVa...still doesn't know where to start

Friday, May 12, 2006

DiVa will graduate Cum Laude!

The grades were posted today and I received my 4.0 for this semester, which makes my GPA exactly 3.58, in other words high enough to graduate Cum Laude. I am so happy. I expected to be happier because almost all of my blog posts make mention of me graduating with honors and now that it is here...I don't know, I guess I was expecting fireworks or something.

Over the past two weeks my fiance decided that my bachelor's degree makes me no longer on the same level as him and that it would be best to dump me before I dump him. I was actually going to try and make things work but he has given up. I am a little hurt, but I'll be fine. His sudden exodus makes things have to speed up a bit more than I had hoped. My ex claims that he will continue to offer financial support until I find a job, but I can't trust that. I have money saved up to take the kids to Disney for standing by while I was in school, but I might actually have to spend that on living expenses.

I have a few offers cooking up. I applied at a hospital that I had pretty good experiences with during nursing school. I had an interview this morning for a position in their NICU. I think that neonatal nursing sounds interesting. I answered all of the questions relatively well, (I hope). I don't think I did too bad considering that I last interviewed for a job 10 years ago. I also spoke to the recruiter about a position in the pediatric emergency room as well. Both positions are stressful, but if I had to choose one, I would probably want the peds emergency nurse. Next week they want me to come in for an observational day in the NICU. This means I get to spend four hours on the floor watching a nurse in action. While I am watching her, they will be watching me to see if I freak out and run away screaming. If I don't, they may possibly offer me a position. I will keep you posted.

My kids and family have been so supportive of me since all of this has been going on. My son is doing his homework without prompting. My mother has been coming over everyday to try and help me get things straightened out because my aunt is coming in from out of town to attend the graduation ceremonies. The house has three years of filth-flarn-filth that needs to be eradicated. We painted the kitchen this bright shade of DiVa pink. I adore it. The bathroom will be sand colored and have a beach theme. The dining room is Africa and the living room is Chinese. We still have a lot of painting and cleaning to do, (and here I am blogging!).

I am planning a small celebration with my family. Right now we are working out the menu. There will definitely be cake and champagne. I look at this celebration as the wedding I never had. It will be fun and cozy. Just family and the people who stood by me throughout school. I still can't believe I did it!

Always,

DiVa...amp'd because she made her goal of graduating Cum Laude!