Living The Dream

So technically my capstone hasn’t started yet. But I have a really good feeling about this experience after meeting with my preceptor (“C”) this morning.

For one, she loves to teach. She appreciates what it’s like to be a newbie and doesn’t turn up her nose when nursing students make silly mistakes. I told her the story about taking a patient’s pulse with my thumb (big no no, seeing as your thumb has a pulse of its own) on my first day of peds, because I was so nervous.  She just laughed and told me about a new nurse who forgot to put the blood pressure cuff on the patient and couldn’t figure out why the reading was so off.  That made me feel so much better!

I mentioned earlier that there was some confusion about whether I would be in the clinic or on the inpatient unit. I WILL be inpatient, which I actually prefer as far as developing my skills (and nurturing a possible job offer if all goes well). We are going to see if I can shadow another nurse in the clinic a couple of times, just to see what it’s like. But I’m much more likely to get hired onto a unit than a clinic right out of nursing school, so making those connections is going to be critical.

C also has big plans and high expectations for me, which is a good thing! Before the end of my rotation, she wants me to be comfortable with a standard patient load (3).  We’ll technically share the assignments, but she wants me taking the lead on all three and delegating to her. During my orientation shift, we’ll be doing a lot of skills practice – accessing ports on “Chester” the training torso ;), playing with the IV pump, calculating meds, etc. She’s even going to let me practice blood draws and IV starts on her!

We discussed my interest in peds end of life care, and we decided to focus on developing my knowledge base in this area. She’s going to see if I can sit in on some consults with the palliative care team (with the families’ permission of course).  It was so refreshing to tell someone my goals and NOT have them look at me funny. When I explained why I wanted to do peds hospice, she said it was “beautiful.”

Which brings me to yet another reason I really like her. We get along famously so far. Our meeting this morning lasted almost three hours, although neither of us noticed.  It was so comfortable and I felt that she respected me as a person, rather than viewing me as an ignorant student. She’s still my teacher but it’s helpful to know that she thinks I have something to contribute too!

Orientation is a week from today and then I jump in headfirst the next morning. Let’s get this party started!

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