Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just Around the Corner

This semester, I have 6 weeks of community nursing and gerontology for rehab and it is intense.  I finally broke down and bought some Unisom to help me sleep and it's working, but the problem now is it is lingering and I am exhausted 24/7.  I fell asleep at the my gerontology clincial watching a video on dementia and alzheimers the first day and have been napping in my car on my lunch breaks.  I am so over the top intense and stressed all the time through nursing school I don't know what to do, except keep going until December when it's over.  If I take the pills I am tired.  If I don't take them I am tired.  If I quit the program, well that is not an option.  It is worse than it's ever been.  I have 35.5 hours of clinical and class time, combined with 12-15 hours of work and 14 hours of drive time, putting me at 60+  hours not counting all the time I need for projects and studying for tests. 

I feel tightness in my chest and my throat all the time. I don't feel like I am learning the material because it is so fast and I am just guessing at everything I do in class.  I am not doing anything I don't already know how to do at clinicals.  I am just killing time.  I am completing my degree to be an RN, not an LPN or an aide, yet at my gero clinical I spend my time bathing my patient, teaching her how to wipe herself correctly and washing her hair, because that is what my patient needs the most. 

I can't stand the smell of old people, but the thing is old people only smell because the people that are supposed to be taking care of them are doing a half ass job!!  Old people get fucked up feet to if you don't apply lotion and wash them appropriately they smell!  I don't want to change bedpans or wipe asses, but I absolutely refuse to have a stinky patient.  Needless to say, it seems healthcare professionals get lazy or burnt out and become a little calloused to caring for patients and when I gave my patient a foot bath and massage she ended up crying and telling me no one cares enough to do that for her and she was glad someone still did.  I left the room and told my instructor I couldn't deal with that and needed this rotation over.  She was proud of me, but I just felt sick.  I vowed that day I would take time off work to care for a family member before I let some half-ass healthcare people do it.  I guess what I am saying is there are shitty people working everywhere.  It's not the first rotation where I saw a lazy healthcare worker.

Community is overwhelming with the amount of paperwork.  I have a midterm on Tuesday and haven't studied yet, because I had to prepare for a population teaching project.  ML and I were told we had to each do an hour presentation on puberty to about a hundred 4th graders.  The words "oh shit!!" were flashing through my mind.  I hated going through puberty.  I hate my breasts.  I hate menstruating.  I hate having to shave.  I hate not being 50 lbs and being able to do an unlimited amount of pull-ups.  How am I suppose to explain to all these girls that becoming a woman isn't too bad?  Oh, and not cover the topic of sex, fertilization, STDs or pregnancy?  We were told the kids were too young and to tell them to defer to their parents with questions in those areas.

I am not a presenter.  I get nervous and shaky.  I would rather write a 50 page report.  We over prepped with our outline, transparencies of female anatomy, a powerpoint with topics to cover and I re-read all the basics of puberty just to make sure I hadn't miss anything in my three degrees.  It was definitely overkill, but I was armed.  I started off by asking the girls if they knew what puberty was.  I got some really strange answers like "red" and "hair" and "your hands and feet get bigger."  All of them were in a sense right, but they were avoiding the BIG answers, so I said "Come on guys.  What's the difference between you and me?" To which I got the response "you're old!" WTF!!!!  Ahhh, I should have known that would happen.  It did lead into breasts and growth eventually, but damn really, old? 

I introduced a video called "Just Around the Corner" which covered the growth changes, menstruation, ovulation and the importance of good hygeine.  I had two choices when the video was over.  I could re-lecture on the topics or I could do a more interactive Q & A.  I wanted to do the Q & A because the girls were nervous and had not been excited about this lecture today.  My outline had my objectives for my instructor to grade me on such as know the definition of puberty, identify the changes, understand the process of menstruation, understand what things good hygeine involves etc... But I had my own underlying objects to make the girls more comfortable with what was to come so they would make the best choices or at least be able to identify a trusted adult in their lives they could go to in the future for questions.  The only problem was if I did the Q & A I might lose control of the group, or miss covering an objective both which would lower my presentation grade.  I ended up choosing the Q & A.  I couldn't give the talk based on my grade.  I want to be a nurse.  I want to help people, even if my grades suck.  The girls started off asking about tampons.  I was told to cover pads and pass some around but to avoid tampons, because of toxic shock syndrome and that they had to discuss that with their parents.  I tried but their were too many questions...

"How do you know you put it in the right hole?"
"What if it goes to far in and gets lost?"
"How do you get it out?"
"Can you feel it and does it hurt?"

I finally gave in and pulled out a transparency of the female anatomy and explained how a tampon works.  They were way too curious to not cover the topic.  We had a few good laughs and I got more and more questions.  I would see 5 hands up and answer 1 and then 4 more would go up.  It was crazy.  I had won them group over and they were interested in my lecture!!  I had to defer a few questions regarding sex to the parents, but for the most part I was able to explain a lot and I concluded the conversation by explaining it was okay not to be embarassed and no one should make fun of someone regarding puberty.  When I was done I asked "how many of you feel much better now about puberty than you did when we started this?"  Every single hand went up!!!!  It was a victory.  I had done it.  I was super nervous and a hot mess by the end, but my instructor said I was getting no less than a  98%.   YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Perhaps, I would survive this semester afterall.  Four more weeks is just around the corner.


KimZepp said...

Nice work on your lecture. Pubery is such a difficult topic.
Also, you are (and are going to continue to be) such a wonderful nurse. I feel bad for the woman who said no one else cared enough to give her the foot bath and massage. You're just a great person Beth.

The Salty One said...

You weren't supposed to talk about TAMPONS? That is ridiculous. I hope you said vagina 9 million times. People are so ungodly uptight and prude!

It sounds like you did an awesome job and I'd rather have you as my nurse than any nursing school valedictorian. You rock and I am glad that poor old lady has you even for a short time!!!

TriEric said...

I love reading your posts. They are long but send me a clear were meant to do this.

I hope you still have some time to run and ride your bike. think of it as some mental health.

Janet Edwards said...

Haha...I can only imagine how entertaining your lecture must have been!

Take a deep breathe and know you are awesome and will succeed with all this just like your lecture!

Julia said...

Funny, I think of you as a great presenter. You may be nervous, but for those of us who have seen you - you are confident.

Like others have said, I would take you as a nurse because you are passionate about everything that you do. You will not fail because to you that is not an option. I love you so much for that!

Miss you girl - come swimming at Munroe Falls if you can sometime this summer!

Mnowac said...

Good job Beth! I can't believe all the topics you had to dance around. Crazy.

You are going to be an awesome nurse.