May
12

That Whole “Self-Care” Thing

As I’ve gotten deeper and deeper into school, my self-care practices have been … well, lackluster (and that’s a generous descriptor). I pointed out in my 2013 year in review post that self-care got replaced by survival because I had little energy to do much else. But my pea brain has started figuring something out: the less I take care of myself, the less energy I have, which leaves me little energy to take care of myself. It’s a vicious cycle. (Yes, I know that this realization probably occurred to you already…probably years ago.) I’m sure I’ve heard multiple times throughout my nursing career (and before) that exercising/eating right/sleeping well/making time for leisure is key to a happy, healthy life. But what I know intellectually to be true has been harder to come by instinctively. I’ve fallen prey to the myth of self-martyrdom – I’m too busy caring for others to care for myself. It’s a common mistake.

image_nursing

(Source)

It’s also the reason why nurses are overwhelmingly overweight, why more than 50% of us suffer from low back pain, why we suffer from levels of exhaustion and fatigue that should be sounding alarm bells, not only for our sake but for the sake of our patients’ safety. It’s ironic that the professionals who work the hardest to promote healthy living are so bad practicing what we preach.

I’m the typically well-intentioned woman who says “I’ll start this journey tomorrow”. Today is my last hurrah, so I’m gonna eat that cheeseburger/pizza/ice cream and veg out on that couch for one more night. Trouble is, “tomorrow” quickly becomes “today” and we live a series of last hurrahs that never turn into action. It’s easy to make goals for tomorrow when it’s always one day away.

yesterday_tomorrow

(Source)

Since I went back to school, I’ve promised myself that when this is all over, I’ll get back on the wagon.

nursing student

 

(Source)

Trouble is, the light at the end of the tunnel is faint. And knowing my addiction to school, who knows when “this” will all be over. I’m turning 34 in less than six months and if I keep putting the rest of my life on hold, I’m going to end up looking back and wondering what I was waiting for.

So today is today. I’m planning to share this journey with you for three reasons:

  1. Accountability. Making it visible takes away excuses. I can keep moaning about how stressful my life is or I can buck up and own it. I choose to own it.
  2. Realism. There will be ups and downs. That doesn’t mean I’ll be making excuses (see #1). But it means I’ll have moments of self-doubt along the way. I won’t pretend otherwise.
  3. Walking the walk. I’m a nurse and I am ROTTEN at this self-care stuff. Time for a new path.

So, there you have it. A new series…or perhaps a continuation of The Holistic Nurse, just along a slightly different wavelength. I’m still formulating how it will look on the blog, but I’ll keep you in the loop as it comes together in my mind. One thing this site will not do is become a healthy living/cooking/fitness blog. There are plenty of good ones out there and this is about nursing. But if part of being a good nurse is being good to myself, then hell yes, I want to share the journey with you.


May
07

Badge Blooms: An Update

Over a year ago, I posted a review about my lovely “RN” badge holder obtained from Badge Blooms. I thought it might be time to update y’all on the condition/status of my adorable Badge Bloom.

BadgeBloom

I am happy to report that 15 months later, we are still going strong! The clip is still intact, the badge reel still retracts like it’s supposed to, and I have lost none of the decorative adornments. In short, I am one happy customer! And I continue to receive compliments about it on a daily basis.

I’ve been staying in touch with Melissa on and off and watching her Etsy shop like a hawk, and I continue to find new designs that delight me. I fully intend to buy out her supply for graduation gifts as friends and colleagues start becoming nurse practitioners over the next year. I also intend to collect some of her holiday-themed badge holders to increase the festive factor. And since it is National Nurses Week, I should also mention this is also a great and affordable gift for your employees or co-workers.  We’ve been working on a personalized bloom for a good friend, and she has always gotten back to me within 24 hours (usually less). I’ve been nothing but pleased with her good-natured professionalism!

If you’re looking for a personalized badge holder to spiff up your professional wardrobe, I highly encourage you to check out Badge Blooms! Tell her Nurse Teeny sent you. ;-)


May
06

Nurses’ Week Giveaway!

I may have been off the grid lately, but I would never neglect wishing you all a

HAPPY NURSES WEEK!

I hope your workplaces and nursing schools are giving you some love this week. Our hospital has some activities planned, although none during night shift (again).

Oh well, another discussion for another day… This is a week to be celebrated for all of the ridiculously hard work y’all do every day and every night! Whether you’re at the bedside or teaching the next generation of nurses or engaging in the front lines of nursing research, you are leading the way in making our profession the most trusted in America.   We all know we don’t do this work for the kudos. But it’s sure nice to be recognized.

nurses_week_2014

In honor of Nurses Week, I have a fun giveaway planned!

The folks at CharMED (see my original review here) have been continuing to roll out new designs to “bling” out your stethoscope. Their latest and greatest is a stethoscope charm made especially for RNs.

 

Nurse Teeny wants one BAD!

And to celebrate nurses, one of you will be the lucky winner of this oh-so-coveted charm!

To enter the contest, leave a comment below in response to the following question:

What do you love most about being a nurse (or nursing student)?

Deadline is next Monday, May 12 at 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be randomly chosen from among respondents.


Apr
28

One for the Books

Semester #2 of my career as a  nurse practitioner student is a wrap! I turned in my clinical paperwork yesterday, which was my final step. I can’t decide which semester was more hellish – #1 or #2. To be sure, I worked my tail off for both of them.

I have three weeks off before we start up again. I honestly have no idea what to do with myself. We still have TONS of unpacking to do in our new place, but I can’t motivate myself to do much more than lie around and watch HIMYM on Amazon Prime. I figure I’m entitled to a few days of absolute nothingness, right? S and I also have our long-awaited weekend in the mountains coming up. On the agenda: relax and spend some much needed time just the two of us, sans books, dogs, and responsibilities.

Summer term will feature two courses, both of which have clinical requirements. My second adult health class is focusing on management of chronic disease (this spring we emphasized acute treatment in primary care). The clinical for that one is THREE.HOURS.AWAY. But I’m told it’s worth the drive, because the site and preceptor are supposed to be amazing. Another student is also placed there, so we’ll be carpooling out every other week and doing two days at a time. As much as I dread the drive, at least I will have company and we’ll be near the ocean!

My oncology clinical is the one I am really jazzed about. I’ll be working with an NP in an outpatient bone marrow/stem cell transplant clinic. This is an area that I don’t know much about, but the idea of it fascinates me. We got to practice bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures in our learning lab this spring, and it sounds like I’ll get to do my fair share of actual procedures during clinical.

And since I’m “only” taking two classes this summer, I signed up to take a review course for the OCN exam at work. The class will meet every other week until late August, and then I’ll plan to take the OCN exam in September. Assuming I pass, that’s a $1000 certification bonus headed my way. The jury is still out on whether I go for the next Clinical Ladder step. I have a project idea in mind for improving outcomes, but I just don’t know if I have the time or energy to follow through. Although the additional bump in pay for my last 6 months as a bedside nurse wouldn’t hurt. We’ll see…

We’re already registered for fall semester as well. In addition to my last required course and my oncology residency, I’ll be taking two electives: one on HIV management in primary care, and one on genomics in medicine. I have to say I’m pretty jazzed about both. After December, all I have remaining is my adult health residency and then I will be qualified to take my NP boards. Eeps.


Apr
02

Home Stretch

I swear that I have every intention of updating this blog more than I do.

But you know what they say about good intentions. So I’ll keep doing my best and ask those of you who have stuck around to have continued patience with me.

Spring semester is winding to a close and I couldn’t be more ready for a tiny break. Pharmacology class alone is enough to kill a grad student. Our exam today covered the following: antibiotics (enough content for one test by itself!), seizure meds, headache meds, weight loss/smoking cessation/erectile dysfunction meds, thyroid meds, GI meds (GERD, PUD, nausea/diarrhea/constipation), oncology meds (“just the basics”), AND medication safety. No big deal, right?

To celebrate the end of this cognitive torture, S and I are going to the mountains in a few weeks. We were supposed to go over Spring Break, but then we had to move.

Yes, the dreaded “M” word. We were doing a rent-to-own arrangement at our previous house but decided for a multitude of reasons not to exercise our option. We felt like jerks for doing it because the owners were fantastic people, but it just didn’t make financial sense. So they invited us to stay as tenants indefinitely but also made it clear that they wanted to sell. We spent the better part of January and February deep cleaning the house on a regular basis for showings (in the middle of a less-than-desirable roommate situation), and they got an offer in late February. We scrambled to find a new place, signed a new lease and two days later found out the buyers had backed out. Too late now. We moved two weeks ago. Which threw my life into a tailspin until my amazing mom flew out to help (Moms = Superheroes).

There are still boxes and suitcases everywhere, but my commute to work has been cut in half, while my commute to school is only 10 minutes longer. S works close enough that he can come home for lunch and let the dogs out. The owners of our new place want a long-term tenant. So hear this…until we leave this state, we.are.staying.put. Do you hear me, universe????

Work has been…odd. I was out of regular staffing for almost three weeks to help with “Go Live” on our new records system. Then my migraines took a turn for the worse (midterms + Go Live + moving = BREAKING POINT), so I was out of work for another week. Goodbye, remnants of my PTO that I was just starting to rebuild…it’s been real. The good news is, my manager approved my request to reduce my schedule to 0.75 FTE, which basically means I will work five shifts per pay period instead of six. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a huge mental break. And mental breaks are key. Especially when HR still considers me “full time” and doesn’t take away my benefits.

In the past three weeks, I have also registered for both summer and fall semesters. I really feel that I’ll be diving into the meat of my program over the next several months. Hopefully with good results. Plus I’ll have time to take some neat electives. Only one more year until I’m done with this part of my studies and studying for boards.

That, my friends, is a terrifying thought.


Feb
17

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…


Jan
27

Brain Overload

If you’ve read my blog lately, you’ve seen that my work life has been a … challenge of late.

(I wanted to say clusterf*ck, but I was attempting diplomacy. That lasted for about a sentence ;-) )

Fortunately for me (and probably for you), school is another story. Despite ongoing insecurity about where exactly I fit into this profession, I’m actually enjoying my semester so far. I’m learning so much already, I’m taking my first oncology-specific class, which is so gratifying, and I’m in my first clinical course! It’s terrifying but in an awesome way. Some days I feel like my brain is going to explode from all of the knowledge I am trying to cram in there.

My cohort-mates and I have been placed in a variety of primary care and urgent care settings. Given the two-to-three hour drives some of my peers have to make, I’m feeling very blessed that my commute is exactly 25 minutes. And my placement happens to be less than a mile from my husband’s office, which means we get a lunch date every week. Bonus!!!!

My preceptor owns and operates his own practice and he is an excellent doctor. I don’t know if it’s his personality or if it’s because he works for himself and can somewhat make his own rules about how many people he sees every day, but he really does take time with his patients. And they appreciate it. He is kind and gentle and thoughtful. Which also makes him an excellent teacher. Every decision he makes, he explains his rationale to me. When I pepper him with questions, he answers them patiently and/or helps me look up the current evidence. And when I almost passed out assisting with an I&D (incision & drainage of a cyst – I swear I’m not squeamish, I was just hungry ;-) ), he didn’t blink an eye and immediately told me a story about when he almost fainted as an emergency room doctor. He has a way of putting people at ease. It’s a gift and I’m lucky to see him in action.

My only complaint is that he doesn’t push me hard enough. Since I tend to get timid and a little gunshy in new situations, sometimes I need a little nudge. So I’m having to learn to push myself…which I’m also thankful for, because assertiveness is not my strong suit. I had to speak up after a second full day of shadowing him (because he didn’t want me taking my own patients until I told him I was “comfortable”). I told him that comfortable or not, I needed to dive in and start seeing patients on my own. Which he immediately agreed with. The most easy-going doctor I’ve ever met.

I know he’s not perfect but I still count myself fortunate that I’m being introduced to this new role by someone who loves what he does and obviously loves teaching. I don’t know if primary care is for me, but it’s gratifying to learn in a place where I will be nourished.


Jan
26

Honeymoon. Over.

My first year back in acute care was anything but easy. However, I was so enamored with the fact that I could not only survive, but actually thrive, in such a challenging clinical setting, that I let many potential annoyances roll off my back. I felt like a new nurse again (in the best way possible), idealistic about my potential to make a difference. And the snarkiness that I heard was part of every nurse’s DNA? You would never have heard me complain. Compared to my first acute care job, it was the ideal place to re-ignite my love affair with bedside nursing.

Six months since then, and I am singing a different tune. Not only have my migraines returned with a vengeance, but I am tired. And I feel myself becoming cynical. The lack of support from management is getting to me. The lip service we get for our “great work” feels more and more hypocritical as our staffing gets tighter and we get unjustly raked over the coals for nitpicky issues while our leaders never seem to be held accountable. The Magnet status our hospital brags about feels empty when the educational funding they promise disappears (the funding they dangled in front of us as the reason we get paid less per hour than other hospitals); the boasting they do about supporting their nurses’ going back to school feels hollow when my manager won’t even let me cut back from 0.9 FTE TO 0.75 FTE.  The Clinical Ladder process that so inspired me when I started here revealed a uncomfortable truth – play the game or get left behind.

~

What has really stung is the evolution (or should I say regression) of my relationship with my preceptor (the nurse formerly known as  “Favorite Nurse Ever”). She has always been smart as a whip, and she is an excellent nurse (and cool as a cucumber under stress), but I have started to sense a whiff of arrogance, as if she could do no wrong. As I have started to assert some independent thinking and demonstrate my capabilities, she’s seemed to dislike me more and more. When I use my critical thinking skills, she gives me zero credit. But I do something she doesn’t like and she can’t wait to call me on it. Case(s) in point…

SCENE: 1:00 am, patient has just called me to the room, feeling jittery and sick. Patient received bedtime insulin. Immediately checked pt’s blood sugar, which was in the 30s. Gave patient orange juice juice and rechecked two more times in the next 30 minutes. Blood sugar improved, patient felt better. Not the most clinically exciting scenario, but it could have had a much worse outcome.

While I was rushing to get a second round of juice for the patient, my preceptor (who was charge nurse at the time), called me over and asked if I had been to see the patient (the CNA had told her the patient wasn’t feeling well). I said yes and told her my assessment.

Charge: Well I just noticed you gave insulin at bedtime. You need to check blood sugar.

Me: I already did and it was in the 30s. We gave OJ and it came up to 78. We’re giving a little more juice and will check blood sugar again in 15 minutes.

Charge: Oh, okay.

No “Good thinking, Nurse Teeny” or “Nice catch!” or even “I’m glad I taught you so well” (hell, she was my preceptor, I’ll share the credit where credit is due).

Contrast this with a crazy shift that saw us get three admissions in the first hour (I got one of them). Fortunately for us, we had two nurses finishing up their orientation periods and their preceptors consequently had some free time. They offered to pitch in and help with admission tasks. My admission was extremely complex and so both preceptors ended up helping me with two different tasks at the same time. When they came to give me updates on what they were doing, my preceptor/charge nurse happened to overhear.

Charge: What’s going on here?

Me: This admission has a lot of moving parts so “T” and “M” are helping me with a couple things since they have the time.

Charge: Well there are two other admissions that just rolled up. How come they are only helping you? (Categorically untrue – they had already done another patient’s entire admission history for another nurse before coming to me.)

Me: Well it’s a little bit messy and they offered to help.

Charge: Well if they all converge to help you, then they’re not available to help anyone else. And if they’re doing all of Nurse Teeny’s work for her, Nurse Teeny might as well not even be here. (Not sure why we moved to the 3rd person here…)

Me: Actually, Nurse Teeny is busting her ass and they’re being team players.

I mean…

And then there’s tonight. Tonight just sealed the deal in my frustration with this whole situation. Nurse Teeny, in her ever graceful ways, took a little tumble down the stairs Friday night. It wasn’t pretty. I have the bruises to prove it. And a doctor’s note that says no work until mid-week. After I got home from the doctor on Saturday, I called work and asked for the day shift charge nurse (as we are supposed to do). I explained what happened and said I was scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday and would have to call out for both, given the circumstances. Day shift charge nurse said no problem, she would note it. Fast forward to tonight (Sunday), when I had an angry voicemail at 7:15 pm, telling me I was on the schedule and where was I? I called back immediately and asked for the charge nurse, and the following ensued:

Nurse Teeny: I’m not sure what happened, but I fell over the weekend and have a doctor’s order not to work. I called out yesterday for both last night and tonight.

Charge: Well you’ve just created a mess here. Who did you speak with?

Me: [Day Shift Charge's Name - I tried not to throw her under the bus, but I also needed to make it clear that I spoke with the nurse in charge that day]. I told her exactly what I’m telling you. She said she would note it.

Charge: Well you were only marked off for last night. I don’t know what happened here.

Me: Neither do I. I apologize this happened but I do have a -

Charge (cutting me off): Well that’s just great. What a mess. Thanks for calling, bye.

No “Sorry you fell down the effing stairs, Nurse Teeny. Are you ok?” No “Feel better.” Just “You’ve created a mess.”

I’m a charge nurse too. I know how stressful it can be when your staffing gets screwed up for any reason. But I didn’t create the mess. I did what I was supposed to do, per unit and hospital policy. No need to get snippy.

END SCENES AND RANT

~

As you can tell, there hasn’t been much positive to post about (hence the lack of conversation). I feel disheartened when this blog turns into a bitchfest. I still love what I do, I just don’t love doing it all the time. Usually there is enough of the good to get me through the bad. And I am still struggling to figure out where I fit into the bigger picture. I not an overtly religious person, but I have always thought of my future in terms of a “calling”. It’s not just supposed to be about me. That’s usually what keeps me going through all the bullshit.

Unfortunately the shitteth hath hitteth the fan-eth.

And it’s become a big mess.


Jan
16

Ode to the Needle

One of my unspoken resolutions for 2014 was to tackle these migraines.

Why unspoken? Because announcing my goals tends to have the opposite effect for me that it does for others…rather than hold me accountable, my spoken resolutions cause me to rebel against them completely. I think I subconsciously start believing that I don’t have to just because I told someone else I would. Picture my inner toddler stomping her feet. ;-)

Anyhoo, I did silently resolve that enough was enough with my headaches and something had to change. I ended the year in a pharmaceutical standstill. I had maxed out my prophylactic med dosage, switched to a new rescue med and was taking the maximum number of “extreme” rescue meds I could every month. I had PRN meds for mild headaches (Aleve) and extreme anxiety (Xanax – thanks, grad school), had started a new supplement to help my mood/anxiety levels, and was still calling out from work at least once a week. Basically, my bathroom now resembles a pharmacy. It ain’t pretty, nor do I want to depend on meds for the rest of my life.

Enter the needle. The acupuncture needle, specifically.

acupuncture

(Source)

Unlike my last employer-sponsored health insurance, my new benefits do not cover a lot of the complementary treatments I was previously exploring for stress and pain management. But my health savings account does reimburse for it. So I decided to max out my savings account contributions this year in the hope that I could afford returning to acupuncture.

Last week was my first appointment. It.Was.Glorious.

I sat up at the end of my appointment and my head throbbed for about five minutes. Then the headache went away completely for over 24 hours. For the first time in weeks, I was able to work all three of my shifts. When I did have them, my headaches were milder and went away more quickly when I treated them with meds. I finally felt like I could participate in my life again. Good timing too, because the new semester just kicked off.

I went back this afternoon and the same thing happened. Slight headache during and after the treatment. And now I am clear and pain-free (knock on wood). I’ve always been a believer, but these small victories make me want to holler from the rooftops that acupuncture is sent from heaven to put our tired, angry, painful bodies back together. I exaggerate not.

It is worth every penny to feel human again.


Dec
31

2013: One Day at a Time

If 2012 was about big changes, 2013 was the year of buyer’s remorse. If you can have such a thing for life decisions.

I started the year looking forward to the career opportunities ahead, anticipating more school, and feeling quite confident overall that I was headed in the right direction. I am ending the year on the flip side: burnt out and wondering every day if I (we) made the right decisions.

I’ve spent most of my life looking ahead to the Next Big ______. Not content to rest on my laurels (or for that matter, to rest at all), I graduated with my Master’s in 2012 and immediately asked “What’s next”. I told myself this time it was for S, but we all know that this move benefited me just as much as it did him (if not more so). We left stable jobs and a city we loved to put 3,000 miles between us and our family, forcing S to wait a year to establish residency in a new state before we could afford for him to start PA school prereqs. I dove headfirst into a program that I am busting my a$$ to succeed in, and still wondering every day if it’s putting me in a professional place I actually want to be. S and I are like two ships in the night between our work and school schedules.

Rather than hitting the pause button and taking time to enjoy life-as-it-was, I forged ahead and pushed us headlong into life-as-I-thought-it-should-be. And I’ve never felt more lost. Irony of ironies.

Nonetheless, I did set a few goals for myself this year. Let’s take a look at how they fared in the midst of my self-induced guilt-o-rama…

  1. Walk the walk. Ha. We won’t go there. Anyway, The Holistic Nurse (and every other blog series) are on hiatus. Self-care has been supplanted by survival…for now.
  2. Get certified. I did complete the Med-Surg review course at work but when I found out the cost of taking the test (Hint: $$$$) my eyes bugged out a little bit. Instead I’m going to sit for the oncology certification course in the Fall of 2014, after I’ve completed my oncology NP classes. I figure they’ll prepare me just as well for the exam and I’m paying for them anyway. Any certification counts toward a bonus at work…this one will just take a little longer. I’m hoping to take those earnings and treat S and I to a much needed vacation.
  3. Get credentialed in chemo administration. Done. Did the class, got signed off at our cancer center. Dread giving chemo. I’m just full of irony today. ;-)
  4. Pursue clinical ladder. Also done. I’m a “Clinical Nurse III” as of August (and a charge nurse and a preceptor). The whole experience was quite eye-opening. But at least my paycheck thanks me. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll have it in me to go for Clinical Nurse IV. Maybe.

In other news, I’ve decided not to make a “New Year’s Resolution” post for 2014. For one thing, I’ve neglected this blog far too often and I don’t want to make content-related promises I’m not sure I can keep. For another, I’m hoping that by not concentrating on the future, I can better grab hold of (and appreciate) the present. Even if the present is going to be tough.

Thanks for sticking with me through a tough year. May 2014 be full of moments to celebrate!

 

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