The last day of our acquaintance

So the odd thing is that I have been waiting for my last day of work for more than a year. Some might say obsessing over it.

But today it actually came. And while I really wanted to jump for joy as I walked out of the building, what I found myself doing instead was crying.

Because even though this place has driven me crazy at times and made me steaming mad at others, its also been my home. And the people there, even the crazy ones (and maybe especially the crazy ones) have been my family. And it’s hard to walk away from your home and your family without at least a few tears.

So many sweet people had such kind things to say to me as I packed up my things and got ready to move on. And of course we all promise to keep in touch. It’s hard though, because we always say that. Usually we even mean it. But only rarely do we do it. I wonder, can you still hold on to the value of a friendship, even after you say goodbye for what turns out to be the last time? Too melancholy? Probably.

Anyway, this was the gift that they gave me at my goodbye party:

I and the Village

Its a framed painting done by one of our students. It’s called “I and the Village”. It means more to me than anything money could buy.

Boy, good thing I get to start nursing school next week or I might get super depressed!

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What do you do after everythings done?

School starts in 10 days.

On Wednesday my nursing shoes arrived.

On Thursday I bought a computer.

Friday my digital voice recorder was delivered.

This Tuesday the first 20k disbursement of my giant student loan is made.

I got my haircut, and my backpack, and my new school email address. I’ve bought my books, and completed the required reading, and next Wednesday my roomate will be moving in.

I’m not actually sure what to do with myself now that all my list items have checkmarks. Maybe I should lay out what clothes I’ll wear for the first day, and plan what I’ll pack for lunch. I’m really really really eager to get started.

Can you tell?

Poetry for Motion

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?

The main event of the month is Poem in Your Pocket Day. I work in a school currently which means poem in your pocket day is a pretty big event and you better be prepared. Kids will walk up to adults in the hallway and demand to see our poetry papers. All through the halls you can hear people reciting favorite verses. It’s a pretty heart warming event.

This year poem in your pocket day fell on April 17th which also happens to be my birthday. This is the poem from my pocket. It was written by Cortney Davis a Nurse Practitioner and writer. I found it originally in a book conveniently titled, “So you want to be a Nurse?” Turns out, I did indeed. I read the poem again and again as a primer for what it would be like to go into nursing. I read each line as a test. This is what the nurse likes. Is this what I like? After awhile it became a wish list. Turns out, dreams can come true. (and I know, I know, be careful what you wish for. sorry, just cant turn down my personal pollyanna)

Poetry had a lot to do with me deciding to actually take the steps needed to go back to school for nursing. I was sitting in my parents living room talking with my cousin who is a state trooper. Someone close to all our hearts had just died in a pretty horrific car accident. My cousin started telling me about his experiences as a trooper coming upon highway accident scenes. I guess from a certain perspective it was a macabre and inappropriate topic. But for me it was very interesting and somehow helpful. I remembered my early experiences working in an animal ICU (not the same thing I know) and how my favorite part was when the emergencies came in. Long ago I had wanted to look into emergency med and then I’d started college in a different field, and moved, and just sort of forgot. That night I remembered. Still it seemed like a sort of wild and far off dream for a gal who’d spent years working in theater. So I said,

    “huh. maybe I could be a nurse. I think I could do it.”

and walked casually out of the room.

My cousin (another of my heroes) followed behind me grabbed me by the arm, turned me around, and said

There is no maybe. If you believe it and want it, you do it. That’s it.

He then proceeded to recite, from memory, a poem by Rudyard Kipling that had gotten him through his training at the academy. He would recite it to himself when his body wanted to give out from the rigorous training. It was and still is one of the most inspiring moments of my life. Also a bit surreal. Here was this very stoic looking young man in a state trooper uniform passionately reciting poetry in my kitchen. It worked. You read the poem and tell me it wouldn’t convince you that you can and must do anything your heart calls you to do.

Happy poetry month everybody. May you find a poem in your pocket and a strong wish in your heart.

My Grandmother/My Hero

So my very sweet grandmother just keeps pitching in left and right to help me get ready for school.

She significantly subsidized my purchase of a higher end stethoscope (not that I know how to use it yet).

She is the reason I was able to get my $500 deposit in to School Of My Dreams in time to keep my spot.

And now she is buying me the backpack of my choice for lugging books while preventing crippling pain and looking pretty hip (I hope!)

I went with an eBags Router Wheeled Laptop Convertible. It rolls which is good for school. And I can carry it on my back which is good for not begging to be mugged when walking home at night.

Thanks Grannsie!

Happy People are Healthy People

Today I went to a doctor’s office and waited

and waited

and waited some more

For an hour I waited standing up because there weren’t enough seats in the waiting room for all of us. At one point, there were so many of us waiting that there was no space for the technician to even open the door and call out our names. Which she did in the quietest possible voice, a whisper really, before quickly retreating to the warmth and safety of the exam area, where we were forbidden to enter until called.

I listened to the 3 receptionists quibble about what they would order for lunch. I heard each of them place their order and watched each order be delivered. I saw two women just miss getting into a fight over a seat and then saw them settle into an uncomfortable truce all while speaking in a language that was greek to me but also, I think, actually was Greek. I watched people get angrier and more frustrated and finally defeated as they waited for this agreement they had made, this covenant of the appointment time, to be honored by their doctor.

And then finally, after 2 hours, I was let into the back area. You would think after all that waiting, I would have been PISSED OFF. And I guess I sort of was. But the truth is, once I got past the seventh circle of waiting room, I was very pleased with the care I received. The doctor was kind and attentive and erred on the side of precaution. She answered all my questions, she offered different solutions based on my personal situation and most importantly, she never made me feel rushed.

So is this the trade off? Do we have to wait 2 hours and suffer a less than stellar front office staff in order to see a kind and caring clinician? Do we have to become infuriated and give up all hope of rescue before we can be redeemed in the hands of a doctor? Do they set it up this way? I wonder if I would have liked my doctor as much if I’d been led right in within 15 minutes of my appointment time. I mean she was nice enough, but she was HEAVEN compared to that waiting room.

I happen to believe that when you’re happy, you are more likely to be healthy. I’ve also watched how anger can make people sick. It seems to me that the way this place ran their waiting room was making people sick. It was certainly making them angry. Although, I guess the doctor’s office doesn’t really have a reason to exist without the sick people. Perhaps they have their priorities straight after all. They certainly seem to know how their bottom line is buttered. bleh!

Of course, some day in the not too distant future, I will be on the other side of this equation. I will be walking past the long suffering waiters and breezing through the forbidden door to the exam areas in order to go to work. I make this promise now, I will be as caring and kind and conscientious as my doctor was today. So that the patient feels the wait was worth something. And if I’m assigned to go to the waiting room to call the next patient, I will walk to the center of the room, lift my head, and speak out the names in a loud clear voice.

it’s the least I can do.

H.R. Crap n Crap

I’m gonna get all kinds of crap for school! I gotta get shoes and uniforms and Medical Utensils!!

medicalutensils.jpg

And I get to wear scrubs to work!! And when I arrive at work, it’ll actually be school. Ok I gotta calm the heck down, I think I may sprain a bliss muscle.

When I was working at the animal hospital I used to get to wear scrubs everyday. I L-A-Z-Y loved it. They had a laundry service so you just came in, grabbed some clean scrubs and maybe a jacket, and then dropped it off at the end of the night. You only had to wash your real life clothes like every 3 weeks if you planned it right.

. . .does that mean my real life got less wear than my scrub life?

woohoo!!

Scrub Life hear I come!

Allow myself to get ahead of myself

2 years and 1 month ago I decided that instead of doing whatever the hell it was I was doing with my life, I was going to be a nurse. An emergency room nurse. Even though the only failing grade I ever got was in chemistry (it was a fifty, bet ya didn’t know they gave fifties), even though I had spent the last however many years making theater or art or sort of anything but real money AND! even though I’d finally landed a job I didn’t totally hate and which paid me very well, well not very well but better than ever b4. That’s right. Screw all that noise, I’m gonna be an RN!

So I powered through, and got the info and the game plan and the pre-reqs and the grades. I had a long dark, obsessive affair with the GRE but finally realized that you can’t try to change people, you have to accept them for who they are.

And then I managed to get myself into a very prestigious and overall freakingly awesome nursing program that offers not just the RN, and Super Quick I might add, but also the masters as in “hi there, i’m your Nurse Practitioner, would you care for some primary care?” If I want I can apply to extend the program to 5 years and then I become. . . ladies and germs. . . a doctor of nursing. that’s right. all while getting to go to school! with a bunch of nerds like me!! at a fancy pantsy schmantz school!!!

guess which one I picked?