Deer in Headlights

So orientation is complete. We have a day off tomorrow, then the weekend, then our Clinical Skills class begins Monday afternoon. We got our syllabus today – 17 pages long for a 4-week class. Apparently the skills we’ll be learning are typically covered over an entire semester. Holy sphygmomanometers, Batman!

A lot of time was spent discussing stress and anxiety – with current students, with instructors, and with each other – and the common theme that emerged was this: Nursing school is hard as hell. Wherever we might have gone, we are in for a doozy of a reality check over the coming months. Strangely comforting but also completely terrifying. What am I getting myself into?

I am having a really hard time sorting through all of my emotions and thoughts about this experience so far. The good news, my classmates seem wonderful and everyone has been very open about their own journeys and doubts and fears. So I think we’ll make a good team – we’d better, because we’ll be spending a lot of time together!

Also good news: as terrified as I am about the skills I am about to learn and use, as nervous as I am about making mistakes or unintentionally hurting someone, I think this will be really good for me. I have historically hated being wrong or weak (also known as being horrifically stubborn and proud), and being served a bit of humble pie might actually help me learn to ask for help more, in all areas of my life.

Being the klutz that I am, you’d think I’d worry about my dexterity (or lack thereof). But in taking care of my father, I observed that my fine motor skills are actually intact. So I may trip over thin air on the way to my patient’s bedside, but once I get there, I’ll be able to start an IV with the best of ’em. And the rudimentary experiences of flushing my dad’s central line, preparing his TPN, and programming his morphine pump, will give me the itty bitty ounce of confidence I need to believe that I WILL eventually catch on. 🙂

So tomorrow’s agenda includes: continuing to settle in (how many boxes can one really unpack into a 600-square foot apartment anyway?), figuring out the public transportation route to school so I can take advantage of it as much as possible, and … wait for it …. STUDYING!!

Yes folks, that’s right, we have homework for Monday! Welcome to nursing school, biatch!

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