Posts Tagged ‘Nursing’

…. you spend the last forty-five minutes of a decidedly long and arguably boring six-hour nursing meeting passing notes with the most feared and formidable teacher in the nursing program.

Yeah—for those of you who know Mrs. Harris, pathophysiology and acute medical-surgical professor extraordinaire, that’s who I’m talking about. The whole time I was waiting either for my alarm to go off and wake me out of a very strange dream or for the earth to split open and half of us to fall into hell and the rest of us to drift up through the ceiling.

(Though that sounds kind of bad, like I’m implying something about the moral status of our nursing students. It’s just an illustration, guys.)

This morning I actually got up and exercised, if riding your bike for 40 minutes can be called exercise, which in my book definitely is. (As opposed to sleeping another hour, anyways, which is what I wanted to do.) I’m pretty pumped to have a bike, because in my mind’s eye it looks like losing the seven pesky pounds that have rather stubbornly attached themselves to my personage since I started college. We’ll see.

Also, as I was walking across campus today in a rather hungry, sleepy, dizzy daze of having just sat through too many hours of presentations and inductions and other nursing what-not, I spotted my friend Meagan walking towards me. No one else was around, which becomes important in the story. So I waved really big and said, “Heee-eeey!” in that extremely too-many-syllables Southern way. But instead of responding, she just stared at me. At which point, of course, I realized that the girl I’d accosted was, ah-hem, not Meagan at all, and I didn’t know her from Adam.

I’m pretty sure she was a freshman, too, because she had that totally freaked out, why-didn’t-I-just-go-to-the-state-school-with-all-of-my-high-school-friends look. Oops.

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“Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.”

—Friedrich Schiller


…. you go to Kroger, select what you need, get in the check-out line, purchase it, take your receipt, and walk away.

Specifically, without what you went in to buy. And the cashier lady has to yell after you, “Ma’am, you’re a complete bass-ackwards idiot and forgot all of your stuff!” Or something to that effect, anyways.

Marvelous. This is what the first day of school, not enough sleep, too much humidity, an unfilled prescription, and too little chocolate will do to you.

But other than this rather embarrassing faux-pas (which I’ve also done embarrassingly often), today was a pretty exemplary first day of class. I stayed awake in all my classes (chapel does not count, because Dr. Burks says the same thing on the first day of chapel every year), actually used some of my groceries, kept my room clean, took a shower, and managed to make myself utterly detestable by channeling my inner Hermione in my ethics class by being totally unable to stop answering questions. Over all, the perfect beginning to a semester, even if the humidity was typically Arkansian (or whatever) in its dependable way of hovering around 113% and slowly expanding my hair to the size of a small asteroid.

And even if every time I have used my groceries I have been faced with Murphy’s Law Subparagraph 2.3 Phrase 0.3: If your mother is not present with you in the kitchen, whatever you are cooking will explode, overheat, catch fire, run over, or do other inexplicable things that would not have happened if she were with you, even if you were doing seemingly the exact same thing. (Needless to say, I ruined boiled eggs today….)

Additionally, I would also like to point out that I have already started on the mountain of homework that is vaguely reminiscent of the workload Harry and Ron and Hermione experienced during their O.W.L. year. Which is pretty good, considering how much I really just want to curl up and sleep.

I have to admit, I think this is going to be a good semester, even if I do spend a lot of money on things I just leave at the cash register.

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“It is not my fault that I never learned to accept responsibility!”


So….. It’s been a while.

Basically, I’ve been very, very busy.

First, I volunteered as a counselor at Camp Clot Not. Besides having a really gross name—I mean, the word “clot” just kind of makes me want to take a bath in hydrogen peroxide—Camp Clot Not is a week-long annual camp in Alexander City for kids with hemophilia and von Willebrand’s disorder, both of which mean that your blood doesn’t clot correctly.* In a word, it was awesome. I won’t even try to explain it to you, but I will tell you this: that week, I absolutely fell in love with those kids, and I miss them every day.

Also, it didn’t hurt that I was the only female counselor under the age of 40 and there were four extremely attractive male counselors all of college-age with whom I got to practice Being Normal Around the Opposite Sex, something I don’t usually get to do. It’s a necessary casualty of being a nursing major.

Then I got home Thursday, and at 7:00 Friday morning we were driving to Bentonville for Ben and Rachel’s beautiful wedding. Also I got to ride a horse while I was there. No big deal.

Then I had Monday to recuperate, Tuesday to do… something, I don’t even remember… Wednesday and Thursday to work, and then immediately after work on Thursday I headed to Lisa’s house for an incredibly fun, wonderful, and ridiculous weekend of making obnoxious Facebook videos, shopping, Stone Mountain, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and the FREAKING GEORGIA AQUARIUM, MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD. On this side of the world, anyways.

Also, I think it is worth mentioning that I had the plague while all of this was going on, too. Think sinus infection from hell, plus sore throat, hacking cough, and some freaky heart stuff. Well, the heart stuff really isn’t related, and I got a Z-Pack to clear up the sinus infection, and I’m going to St. Vincent’s in a week to have an echocardiogram. Go figure.

All of that to say that I haven’t blogged or worked on Snell or done much of anything. Except read, of course. I’ve got one book to go until I hit the twenty books mark, and even though I now know I’m going to fall shy of fifty, thirty won’t be bad, either.

Anyways, that is really all I have to say for now, so that this blog post doesn’t get too long, and because I’m getting a slight computer-headache, and because I followed my brother around the golf course in 236% humidity with a literal-not-exaggerating temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit today, and… well, I want to read my latest book.

So Honey Nut Cheerios for now.

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*In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t mean that if you get a papercut you bleed to death and die. It means that you get bleeds in your muscles and joints and other internal sorts of bleeding, and it can be really hard to stop. Therefore, these kids have to be given daily or bi-daily intravenous injections of “factor,” which is an unbelievably expensive kind of medicine that attempts to replace the missing protein in your blood that helps to prevent uncontrollable bleeds by causing your blood to clot. Now that is bravery. Imagine getting IV push meds every single day for your whole life. And by the time these kids are in their early teenage years, most of all of them will have learned how to self-infuse. Incredible.

Since I have nothing coherent to talk about during this blog post, I’ll just tell you what’s been going on in the world of me.

Tomorrow, I have my official training session at the Birmingham Humane Society, which means that I will finally, finally, finally get to play with some dogs. I don’t think that I can verbally express how much I miss having Merlin around, or how much I just want to be with dogs. Please, let me get covered in dog fur and slobber and dirt for a couple of hours. Please, let me get dragged around a trail with a wag-tail high energy fuzzy demon on leash. Please, let me get to carry a plastic bag around while walking said demon to pick up his poop. Seriously. I just want to have some dog time.

I have officially read nine books so far this summer. My goal is to get to fifty, which is kind of a tall order, but if anyone is up to it, then I am. Also, one of my library books kind of exploded the other day. It was completely unnecessary and I have no idea how it happened. One minute, it was sitting in the car seat next to me while I was texting Lisa whilst waiting the the Humane Society parking lot for part I of orientation, and the next second, over half of the pages were splattered across the seat. Not really sure how I’m going to explain that one.

Just in case you’re wondering, I’m currently in the middle of four books, some fairly inane fantasy fic book called Atherton: House of Power, a decent Diana Wynne Jones called House of Many Ways (which I’m still waiting for to get interesting), a rather typical teen drama called [Insert Typical Teen Boy Name] and [Insert Typical Teen Girl Name]’s Epic Road Trip (which I’m not even sure I’m going to finish), and the old classic Ender’s Game on audiobook.

Today I cleaned my room, because last night Mom told me she was ready for me to go back to college so my room would be clean again. This made me sad, so I’m going to try to keep it cleaner.

Tomorrow is also the first-half-of-the-season sort-of-almost finale for Doctor Who, which will be on hiatus until enough time has gone by for my hysteria to die down, or something. So basically, tomorrow is going to be an awesome day.

Because I literally am just rambling on, I’ll tell you about my new favorite game to play. It is called, Pick A Place to Live in Different States for After I Graduate and Work Out All the Necessary Parts, Like Where to Live and Where to Work and Does It Have a Nurse Residency Program and Where to Go to Church and Are There Parks Nearby Where I Can Walk My Future Dog. I mostly play it at work when there are two and three hour stretches where consecutive patients decide not to show up for their appointments.

In general, here are my criteria:

  • Needs to not be in Alabama, Mississippi, or Georgia. Tennessee might be acceptable.
  • Needs to be somewhere interesting topographically, as in mountains, lakes, or desert.
  • Needs to not be too big. Smaller is better.
  • If it’s got to be big, then it needs to offer some pretty awesome stuff in the other categories. Also, the crime rates shouldn’t be outrageous because I’d really prefer to keep my car and not walk out of my apartment one day and find it gone.
  • Needs to be relatively warm. Like, imagine an equator drawn from about the middle of Virginia across the nation. And nothing in Oklahoma or Kansas. Yuck.
  • Warmer is better. Just thought I would point that out.

Here are my first couple of options. I’ll even let you vote on them. Where do you think I should live if after I graduate?

Any other suggestions would be welcome. You’ll be saving me from endless hours of staring at the wall at work… trust me.

I have one word to say to you all:


Today, I had my first horseback-riding lesson. As literally all of my knowledge of equinery… ah-hem… and horseflesh literally comes straight out of the mountains of books I’ve spent my life reading, it was pretty much the best experience ever MOST AWESOME THING I’VE DONE SINCE ITALY. Because now all those words became real, and all of the different bits and pieces that I’ve known from books assimilated themselves into an overall picture.

I worked with a fifteen-hand brown quarter horse (a hand is approximately four inches, so you can do the math) named Tank, which I’m assuming is because he’s big and stolid. Very big. That always surprises me, how big horses are. I learned which brushes to use and how to use each of them, and how to get him to pick up his hooves so you can clean them, and all about how to put on the saddle and bridle and all that good jazz. Oh and most importantly—how to walk around behind it without getting kicked. That’s pretty important, you know. Then I got to mount! It was brilliant. All of a sudden you’re every bit as tall as this huge creature, and then just by adjusting the way you sit and giving a little squeeze with your legs and making this little knk-knk-knk sound that I totally failed at, you can make it move. Just like that. And tell him which direction to go with the reins.

Mostly. Until it decides that it doesn’t want to, and then you have a fun little power struggle. I mostly lost, but it got a little better towards the end.

But it was so much fun. Honestly. I am getting all excited just thinking about it.

And my teacher, Anna, told me that I was going to do really good. Yes, really good, because this is the South, y’all.

Here is a little grammar for the different words I learned today, if you care, which you should, because have I mentioned that all of this is AWESOME? But feel free to skip to the end of the grey section if you don’t care. Even though you should.

Tack: all of the equipment used to care for the horse and make it do what you want

Curry comb: a brush with large plastic bumps on it that gets the dust and dirt up out of the horse’s coat; brush in circles with the lie of the horse’s hair

Hard brush: a brush with wiry bristles to get the dust and dirt off the horse’s coat; brush in quick short strokes

Soft brush: a brush usually with bristles of horsehair to get the finer dust off and to make the horse shiny and pretty; brush in long strokes

Halter: the strappy thing that goes over the horse’s face when you’re not riding it; usually, a lead rope will be attached to this

Bridle: the strappy thing that goes over the horses’ face when you are riding it; includes the following:

Bit: the metal bar that goes into the horse’s mouth and which directs it where to go

Reins: the things you hold in your hands that connect to the bit

Crown strap: a strap that goes on top of the horse’s head behind his ears

Throat strap: strap that goes under the throat and hangs loosely, with about a hand between the strap and the horse’s throat

Cheek strap: strap that, um, goes over the cheek

Saddle pad/blanket: the rug-looking pad that goes under the saddle across the horse’s back

Saddle: what you ride on; includes these parts:

Horn: only on Western saddles; the sticky-uppy part at the front of the saddle

Pommel: the part of the saddle at the front that the horn sticks off of

Stirrups: where you put your feet

Girth: the strap that goes underneath the horse to hold the saddle on him

Withers: the high part behind the horse’s head… not the horse’s butt, which was what I had always though

Forelock: the little bit of mane that falls down between the horse’s ears

Star: if a horse has a little diamond of different color on its forehead, that’s what it’s called

Strip: if a horse has a little, uh, strip of color running from the diamond down, that’s what it’s called

Blaze: a really wide strip

Sock: white coloring that goes up to the ankles

Stocking: white coloring that goes all the way up to the knees

And… that’s all I can remember. And probably way past your attention span anyways.

Did you know that horses have no nerve endings in their manes? So you can yank on them all you want and use them to get up into the saddle and all that and it doesn’t make a hill-o-beans difference. When Anna told me this, I could hardly even believe it, and I have to give a few experimental yanks on its mane before I believed her.

I would also like to point out that I got to the Hitchin’ Post where I’m taking the lessons without using my GPS or written directions or anything, and I took no wrong turns.  I consider this to be pretty exciting.

Next lesson next Tuesday. Get excited, because I am.

Yesterday, I got the second part of my tuberculosis skin test, and… I kind of think it might be positive. It’s all red and raised and it hurts occasionally. I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I would be if I actually got a positive result. I absolutely love infectious diseases. There is nothing that excites me more than that sort of thing. My microbiology class just about sent me over the edge of ecstasy I loved it so much. And for those of you who think I’m being sarcastic, I’m not. I should also probably explain that being TB positive doesn’t mean that I actually have tuberculosis… it just means that my body recognizes it and has seen the bacteria before.

And just in case you were wondering what a quarter horse is….

Even though this means absolutely nothing to anyone but me (and my mother), I would just like to announce that I am finally done with the unpacking process. All of my school items have been unpacked, sorted, resorted, thrown all over my room, buried me alive, been pushed off, sorted again, shoved into boxes, put onto shelves, hidden under beds, and piled in some resemblance of organization in (a very small) corner of my room.

I feel a little like a catepillar coming out of a cocoon. Or maybe a polar bear coming out of its winter den. And let me tell you, there is nothing like that first breath of fresh air and the feel of wind on your face—or the way you don’t fall on your face in the middle of the night tripping over some godforsaken container trying to get to the bathroom.

Have I ever mentioned that I generally drink four to five liters of water a day? Yeah—just try lasting the night when your appetite for water rivals that of camels and elephants. I dare you.

Today I finished my fourth book of the summer, a really awesome novel by Louis Sachar, known for Holes, called the Cardturner. It wasn’t as good as Holes—once you win a Newberry, it’s kind of downhill from there—but that didn’t stop it from being a lot of fun either. It involves family and friends and growing up… and channeling… and the card game of bridge, but don’t let that put you off, especially the bridge part. The narrator always warns you when a complicated section is coming up and then, if you don’t want to try to boggle through it, there’s a summary box at the end. I have to admit I appreciated this a lot because I got lost past the first explanation.

And I know—just the fourth book? I am just a little disappointed that I’ve been out of school for a week and a half now and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Granted, I have two audiobooks that I’ve been listening to (or, as Lisa calls them, Little British Men, even though half the time they aren’t British or men), but still. Hopefully now that my room resembles a junkyard where college possessions come to die, I’ll be able to be a little more… productive.


I’ve officially started real work, not just orientation. Here’s the funny thing—the summer aide program at Children’s as a rule does not allow us to do vital signs. The specific people I’m working with, God bless their souls, found out that I’m in nursing school and have done clinicals, so they’re letting me do them. But I’m just curious—why not? It’s really a simple process with the automated machines they use now: 1) Attach cuff to patient (strategically labeled “This side to patient” on the side that, um, goes on the patient). 2) Push the little blue button to blow the cuff up. 3) Record the numbers that pop up when the machine beeps.

My second-grade cousin Caleb could do that, really. I just find it rather amusing that after a semester of cleaning central venous lines and starting IVs and drawing blood and giving shots I’m barely even allowed to read numbers off of a screen.

But I’m really not grousing. It’s great experience as far as patient interaction goes because, since I’m working in a clinic, I get to see tons of patients rather than the one or two that I work with in clinicals. I’ve learned how to use a data entry program (mostly) and I’m starting to figure out the overall system. And all of the people are extremely nice, even if only two are even remotely close to my age. I like that, people being nice.

Also… can I just say… get ready for this… I AM TAKING MY FIRST HORSEBACK RIDING LESSON ON TUESDAY. I went through a stage around second and third grade when I wanted a horse almost as much as I want a dog now and read every book that even pretended to have the word horse in its name (which is how The Horse and His Boy was the first Narnia book I ever read, and how I got into the series). But now… no more books. This is real life. Real live breathing horses that are always bigger than you expect them to be and which can be ridden and pet and have carrots fed to them.

I am so freaking excited.

Doctor Who is tonight, but I think I am going to spare all of you the Who Review this week, I think, since it’s really the lunatic fringe that watches the Doctor anyways. (I’m not going to follow that to its logical conclusion with you.)

But I am going to point out that I found a Dalek alarm clock that beams the time onto your wall and wakes you up by hollering “Exterminate!” in its singularly horrific droid voice loud enough to break the sound barrier. And probably rip a hole in the time-space continuum, too, at the times I have to wake up for morning clinicals.

I can’t decide if that would be cool or just plum terrifying.

So last night I was stupid and stayed up way too late finishing the second book of the summer, Dragonhaven. Yes, it was awesome. Yes, I’m a nerd. Yes, I absolutely regretted it when I had to get up in the morning.

I had orientation for my new job at the Children’s Adoption Clinic, and they told us all about how we would get to wear scrubs that weren’t white, and that my job probably wouldn’t involve mountains of paperwork so I could wait until my next job to reconsider slitting my wrists, and that HIPAA would still continue ruining interesting blog posts. Just like a viral STD, it never goes away.

There were about thirty or forty other girls there, and one very cute boy named Maurice. All of them were nice—especially Maurice—and unfortunately, I will probably almost never see them again—including Maurice. That’s because I’m working off in the Timbuktu of the south campus of Children’s, which is cool but rather away from the rest of everything else. And gas. Let’s not even talk about gas. But the good news is that I will be having patient interaction! Hooray! With happy patients who are either getting adopted or doing the adopting! Whoopee! And I won’t be doing loads of paperwork! *BRAIN SHORT-CIRCUITS*

Also, two things that I thought you guys might find funny:

  • We had a drug screen today as part of the orientation process—surprise! Glad I didn’t eat that poppy seed chicken. But here’s the best part: they hand you that wonderful little clear cup, send you off to the bathroom, and then you come back. Holding your nice little clear cup in front of everyone. Full of your urine. So nice. And they don’t even let you wash your hands. The sinks were literally taped off. But the worst was just showing everyone your lovely amber peepee. A toast to the renal system, everyone! A toast!
  • Also… my zipper broke. In the down position, of course, just like the perpetually gaping crotch of this guy in my high school English class. Most fortunately I was wearing a long shirt but… jeez. And these pants were the retarded kind that weren’t very discreet about it either. I felt like a kindergartener who’d peed her pants and didn’t want anyone to see, keeping my jacket clutched in the essential position.

Additionally I performed splendidly in a nice episode of my favorite reality TV show, Awkward Interactions with People, in which I kept trying to get this girl’s attention to tell her something and she kept not hearing me/feeling me tapping her on the shoulder, so that by the time I had her attention it was no longer important and the rest of the group was staring at me instead. Every time I tried to tell her said increasingly unimportant thing I felt more and more ridiculous but felt unreasonably compelled to continue on my quest to impart my information. It was sort of retarded.

But despite this, Maurice still came up and talked to me afterwards, asking me What School Do You Go To and What Are You Majoring In. Since most of the time it’s me asking the questions to the males, and as they’re usually just male patients and I’m trying to find out things like How Has Your Condition Affected Your Sex Life, it was pretty exciting to have a Normal and Mostly Unretarded Interaction With A Boy.

Then I went to Walmart and this old man told me I was a beautiful spring flower. Go figure.

And here’s a Dalek made out of a pumpkin, just because.