Slowing Down

My summer semester turned out to be the hardest one yet (despite having the fewest number of classes). I won’t even begin to rehash the gory details, but let’s just say it was an exercise in learning to say “No”. Any activity or responsibility that turned out to be bullsh*t, I wouldn’t/couldn’t do. Which meant not going to one of my classes for the majority of the semester. Waste.of.time. And if that’s a step toward better self-care, then I’ll take it. Because unfortunately, that was the only step I took.

The highlight of my summer was far and away my oncology clinical in the bone marrow transplant clinic. I am IN LOVE with hem/onc … it just blows my mind. I feel like I learned a whole new language, and I want to keep speaking it. I also got to assist with (and perform) bone marrow biopsies and aspirations. I’m not a nurse who gets her jollies from procedures, but I have to say it was a pretty incredible experience. Especially when my biopsy produced the biggest marrow core my preceptor had ever seen. What a rush! Definitely an area I could see myself exploring professionally.

My oncology symptom management course was my saving grace. Not only is my cohort full of incredible, amazing friends who have kept my mind and heart intact, but our instructor has been equally supportive and has created a safe haven in the midst of a very difficult term. There is nothing better than having a community like that.

Another lesson learned this summer… Attempting to do 400 hours of clinicals this fall so that I could finish my NP training by December? Not worth it. Between the grief I got at work over my schedule, the anticipatory anxiety about balancing everything, and the continued migraines, I knew I was not setting myself up for success. So I shifted some things around and will now complete my NP training in either May or August of next year. I won’t re-start my DNP classes in earnest until Fall 2015 anyway, so there’s really no rush.

By spreading out my clinical hours, I was actually able to create a fall semester that I am really looking forward to:

  • Oncology Residency Rotation – In inpatient palliative care! Woot!!!!!
  • Genomics – I’ve been looking forward to this class since I saw it in the course catalog. The geek in me is doing a happy dance.
  • My first nursing education class (my doctorate is being paid for by a federal loan that requires electives in nursing education – in exchange I have to find a job as full-time nursing faculty within a year of getting my DNP. No problemo – I would love to teach.)
  • An elective in HIV (either pathogenesis or psychosocial dimensions) – Want to take both, but I’m waiting to hear when they’ll be offered in the future, so I can plan for one of them in a place where I need another elective.

Sorry I haven’t been great about updating this blog lately…I’ve been so burnt out this summer, and I really didn’t want this to turn into a giant bitch-fest. So I hunkered down, made it through, and emerged on the other end thankful that I haven’t completely lost my mind. 😉

So 2015 has turned into a year of examining priorities and making changes. More news to come soon…

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