Sunday, April 02, 2006

Do what you have to do...

To get where you need to go.

That's what my preceptor said yesterday when some of the other nurses at clinical were commenting on my lack of activity. DiVa is finally having an Aha! moment with this whole prospect of senior practicum. This is supposed to give me a good taste of what it is like to be a nurse...for real! Not just how to write care plans or how to provide nursing care, but how to work with other people who are jack-asses.

In my management class, we had to work in random groups to complete projects. One day I was in a group with almost ALL of the people at my school that I don't like. Amazing how I managed to do what I had to do to get what I needed to get done...which was a completed project and an "A" in management class. In clinical, there have been times where I had to bite my tongue so hard I swear I could taste blood. This week, there was a nurse that was making fun of one of the aides who is an older black lady. When I say older, I mean old enough to be my grandmother. We were in the break room talking about pregnancy cravings and the lady said something about craving starch and drinking three beers a day. Why did she do that?

Most of us who completed OB know that the starch craving is condition is called pica and that it results from a deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. Eating starch or clay is a cultural thing that is typical in the south and among African Americans. Anyway she was riding this lady until the cows came home about whether or not she received prenatal care, how irresponsible she was and how she probably messed up her kids, who are now well into their forties or almost fifty. In the early sixties, people didn't know about fetal alcohol sydrome. The lady was obviously offended and she got up and left. Did that stop her? Hells no.

So yesterday, this same nurse was getting on my case about me sitting at the nurses station. I had nothing to do. All of my ADL's were done, all of my meds were passed, the patient had been suctioned, all of my patient education was done, vitals...Everything. No one else needed my to do anything, so I decided to look over my notes for my test on Wednesday. Someone was talking about doing the 4pm assessment at three. Since I only have one patient, I thought I could wait until 3:30. It was then that the other nurses advised me that I can do somethings early because when you have two patients in the ICU, anything can happen. I said something like that is good information to know because soon I will be taking two patients and I said that I didn't think I was ready. The same nurse who was harassing the old lady about prenatal care said, "I don't see why not, everytime I see you all you're doing is sitting around."

To my surprise, the other nurses who happened to hear what was said turned around to her and said that what she said was rude and uncalled for. She said, "That is just how I am. In the beginning, people are offended by my directness but later on you'll thank me for it." I will reserve my comments. I asked my new preceptor if she agreed with her statement and her response was basically, "Do what you have to do, to get what you need to get done. Don't be bothered by what anyone says, me included." At first I thought she agreed with what the nurse said. And she must have sensed it because she followed her statement with the fact that all of the other nurses on the floor have been student nurse assistants for at least six months before becoming a nurse and that since I haven't had the same level of experience I can't expect myself to perform at their level. My focus at this time should be to primarily finish my hours. So I guess I had better get ready to go back to clinical...

DiVa...Doing what she has to do, to get what she needs to get done which is graduating from this wretched clinical experience in May.

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