The Neverending Semester

Is it really only mid-February? Looking back at my last post, I feel like it should be April already! All these snow days haven’t helped…the Southeast has basically been shut down for the better part of three weeks due to a couple of unexpected “blizzards” (and by blizzard, I mean 6 inches on the ground. It IS the South!).

This term has been interesting so far. Clinical has been super-interesting and it is honestly where I feel that I am learning the most from day to day. My preceptor is brilliant (I swear I’ll ask him a question and he’ll give me an answer that without fail turns out to be evidence-based and up-to-date. Every.single.time.). And his bedside manner never fails to impress me. It took us a few weeks to get me to seeing patients on my own, but one day he just turned to me and asked me who I planned to see first. And that was that. Giving verbal report is super intimidating even though he’s kind and patient, because (in true Nurse Teeny fashion) I expect myself to be a lot further along than I actually am. I will forever be my own worst critic.

School itself has been a mixed bag. My adult health class has been discouraging, to say the least. They expect us to watch hours of online lectures and take an online quiz two days before our class even meets. For those of us who work weekends, this gets complicated trying to fit everything in. Not to mention that our actual class time is spent discussing case studies with 70+ advanced practice nursing students, which feels anything but productive…the class time itself is kind of pointless. Hopefully the second part of the course this summer will be better.

Oncology, on the other hand, rocks my socks off! The professor is a hoot and I am learning SO MUCH. I am really looking forward to my first oncology clinical rotation this summer. Our little crew of 13 has bonded like you wouldn’t believe…we’re the annoying group in the adult health class who are always diagnosing patients with a chief complaint of “headache” with a brain tumor ;-). It’s been comforting and affirming to feel like I could perhaps actually be headed in the right direction.

Work is…work. Still frustrating. The migraines come and go, but are definitely less frequent and less severe lately thanks to acupuncture. I’m trying to make the best of it. I interviewed for a couple other positions, neither of which have worked out. But when I mentioned to my manager that I was interviewing for other jobs, my request for a reduced schedule, a request he had been sitting on for MONTHS, suddenly got approved. Imagine that. 😉 So I will be 0.75 FTE starting in March. Still technically full-time, but that one less shift a week is going to do wonders for my mental health (not to mention my marriage).

Speaking of which, S is rethinking his own future. I’m trying to convince him to write a post of his own about his current thought process, so no spoilers, but let’s just say he’s staying in the same ballpark, just looking for a different position… I’m excited for him, regardless of what he decides. He passed his EMT exam (with flying colors), so he’s looking for new jobs that will give him some direct patient care experience. Still taking prereqs four nights a week but we’re making it work.

We’ve actually been brought closer by a sticky roommate situation. We invited a friend of a friend to live with us when she moved across the country to attend nursing school here, but it’s turned out to be (another) failed experiment. Let’s just say I’m tired of being portrayed as the Wicked Witch of the East for wanting things like her laundry not to sit in the machines for three days straight. Apparently the “highly structured environment” I am seeking doesn’t jive with her lifestyle. She gave notice today. And I’ve felt a huge weight lifted ever since…

So that’s my life in a nutshell. Nothing too exciting. I’ll be crawling back into my hole as my hospital prepares to go live with a new health records system next month. Time to don my Super User hat once again. But oh, the sweet, sweet overtime…

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