Wednesday, April 29, 2009

drama in the dugout

After the game ended last night the manager's mom, DH, and I ended up outside the door to the dugout. One of the kids' friends, ZA, was also with us as he was catching a ride home with DH. The manager, HH, hyper-extended her knee this past weekend while competing (cheerleading) at "Worlds" in Orlando, FL. The high school athletic trainer provided HH with crutches and DH wasn't sure if the trainer had instructed on proper use, so I told her I would. As we're standing there a couple of players wondered in and out of the dugout. One in particular, JB, ended up standing there with us, but not for long. It was within minutes that the coach had fervently instructed (yelled angrily) the boys to get back inside. We could here him yelling something to the effect that the boys should know better than to be standing around outside while their teammates are working to clean up the field (normal duties post-game).

Did I mention they lost 13-0?

We took that as our cue to depart and off we went. Being that the players have to tidy up the fields and then head into the locker room for further "coaching" and then to change, us parents are left waiting. For many of us this just becomes a continuation of social hour. So I went and got inside CB's car to hang out for the time being. She would be JB's mom. I, of course, took it upon myself to inform her of JB's encounter with the coach.

It doesn't help that it seems as if JB is not one of the coach's fave players. JB has seen little playing time over the past several games, although he did pitch a couple of innings in two separate, consecutive games. Oh, and he's been first base coach several innings. He hasn't really played though. He'd had a couple of rough games playing second base and making some errors, so he's basically been benched since.

This is all upsetting to a mother who has to witness and deal with a kid who's becoming jaded and bitter. What's a mom to do? This isn't Little League anymore, when you could go to the coach and ask "why" they do what they do. This is high school ball, when at the beginning of the season you attend the parents and players meeting for all of the season's sports. You're told that you have big kids. kids becoming mature individuals, now and if they have problems they should man-up and go to the coach themself. Ok, I'll agree--sometimes it isn't so easy and mamma bear instinct has you wanting to defend your precious cub.

If this isn't all bad enough, we soon learn there's more to the story. A while later up walks JB and the coach. Coach asks CB to get out of the car to talk to him. Well he doesn't so much ask as he actually signals with his finger looking straight at her within the confines of her automobile. She gets out. I take leave of the car as well, so as not to sit there and appear to be gawking. I go and talk to JB who informs me that Coach had grabbed him by the jersey and slammed him up against the wall.

Ahem. Oh boy.

Apparently Coach is letting CB know that he had grabbed JB. JB verbalizes to me that he wants a couple of the guys to tell his side of the story to his mom, fearing she wouldn't believe him. I agreed to stick around in case LB had witnessed the encounter. Another one of the players had come out by then and confirmed what JB had said was true. Within minutes LB has come out and also confirmed JB's story. So we waited for Coach and CB to finish their conversation.

We then go up to CB, whom I've asked if she was ok. At first she was, because at first it was a matter of her kid "should have known better". Then the boys told her their side of the story. After a few minutes of speculation, disbelief, and shock we depart the parking lot for our homes.

It wasn't too long after we'd gotten home, since we had stopped off at the DQ drive-thru so LB could get his nutritious (ha) after-game meal, that my phone rang and it was CB. By then she was extremely upset. She had spoken with her husband, who happens to be out-of-town and consequently has become angered, and her brother-in-law, who happens to be an opposing team's coach. He's advised her to notify our school's activity director (the person in charge of athletics) of what our coach had done. In case there's any confusion, you just don't put your hands on a kid, no matter what.

Did I mention Coach is a former police officer?

Now, that's all good and well. Of course it should be reported, but wait...we have to worry about the big "R" that being repercussions. It's not quite as simple as reporting a misdeed and then everything will be hunkydorey.

Have I mentioned the overly political nature of our school's, not to mention, county's athletic programs?

You report something like this and you could very well be messing with your kids future, at least in high school sports. Black-listed is where your kid will end up. To some this may seem incredulous that anyone would care about this when we're talking about an issue that is actually punishable by law.

Nothing's quite so black and white, not even police cars, anymore. We also have a coach who did disclose to a parent that he did put his hands on said parents kid. He could have not said anything and left it to a he said/he said scenario. No, he manned up and admitted his wrong-doing.

I told CB, after speaking with DH, to find out if she'd witnessed anymore than I had-and she hadn't, that this is something she and her husband has to decide what's best. That and to inform JB of what his uncle has advised and to put the ball in his-that being JB's-court. No pun intended. If we're expected to let our cubs make mature decisions than so be it. Of course she already had told JB and he told her not to go to the AD, that Coach was just really mad and he happened to be the one who caught hell for it. Well he didn't use those words exactly, I'm sure, but nonetheless, you get the picture.

I really can't tell her what to do. I've never been in her position. I told her to try and get some rest, that things may be clearer after a night's sleep--even if it's not the most restful.

I asked LB, and ended up calling Big B, about their thoughts. LB said the same thing his teammate did, not to go to the AD about it. Big B gave credit to Coach for admitting what he'd done and that he might let it rest with that, but it's a tough call to make. Indeed, it is.

If that's not all enough to sour a day, we had one of those family shootings right here in our own county! Now we're not talking DC or Baltimore. We're talking Podunkville. Alas, a man shot his wife and then shot himself, but spared their two children. Those poor cubs.

There's always something to make a situation you find enormous, insignificant.

Monday, April 27, 2009

otto giorni

eight days

That's all that's left until I become a second year nursing student. Of course that's all bearing on my passing my classes, which at this point isn't much of an issue.

Looking back, sometimes it seemed as if time was standing still. Other times it seemed to be rushing past like a marathon runner.

I still have a considerable amount of things to do to tie up this semester. I have to continue studying for my ATI tests. Then I take them this Friday. So far everyone is passing. Some are even getting really good scores back. Sixty-five is all that's needed to pass, and right now I'll be happy with just that. It would be nice to come away with a high score, but I'm not striving for it. That may sound bad, but it's more about the reality I am living right now. I don't have the time, haven't had the time, to study as much as would be necessary to score highly. Life happens, and let's face it I live with teen and pre-teen boys. If it's not baseball or some other activity, it's some new challenge we're facing with the need for wings to be outstretched and boundaries to be tested. I won't go into details of the latest trials and tribulations. Let's just say my skin should be as thick as an elephants by the time both my boys leave home!

I also need to finish up my careplan, and study for finals.

That mountain of mulch is still sitting on my driveway, even though I put a dent into it yesterday morning. I wont get to it this week as Big B is out of town, and I am therefore playing mom and dad. We have two home baseball games to go to, but as usual they'll be used as study relief. I also have to be the resident taxi driver from baseball practice/lacrosse games tonight.

I've been taking my antibiotics, so my sinus infection is resolved. The Prilosec isn't doing much for the suspected GERD/lump in throat feeling I have when I swallow. The referral for a barium swallow is still sitting on my desk, so I suppose I can always reschedule. I do go back for a follow-up to my PCP on the 6th, and will address the issue with her.

Our last two clinical days are this week. When I've gone to dress my resident I've always had trouble finding socks for her. Today I had to pick up a few things and bought a bunch of cute, and colorful pairs for her to keep. I meant to do her nails last week as they're pretty jagged and in desperate need of filing, so I also bought a 7-in-1 file that files, buffs, and does all sorts of good things. One of my nursing diagnoses has been social isolation r/t diminished mental capacity AEB limited social interactions, so I've been changing her brief, dressing her and assisting her into her geri-chair and then we head out into the halls. We visit others who happen to wonder by, and go and look outside or sit by the aviary and watch the birds. This week I'll do nail care, and then we'll venture out for some socialization. Thursday we'll be having a little get-together with the staff and residents to say good-bye. It'll be bittersweet since so many of us are so done with the semester, but at the same time we've grown somewhat attached to our residents.

back to work...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

now that's a big pile of...

mulch. Double shredded hardwood mulch to be exact. 10 cubic yards.

Normally by now I'd have been out working in my gardens, to include adding the Spring layer of mulch. Mother Nature helped ease my yearning to be out there, what with all the cold weather we've had. I have to say I appreciate her helping a nursing student out, but the time has come to get things done. Along with studying and baseball games this coming weekend we will be working on our front and back yards. Our backyard is pretty much a blank slate. Big B has dug up two islands and will finish the planned areas alongside the back of the house and patio. We only have a four foot farm-style fence so our yard is open to the world and I need to have a little bit of seclusion, besides landscaping adds value to the house.

These are some pictures I just took for "before" landscaping.

Yes, the girls just had to be a part of the photo session. They prefer action shots. You can see how they've added to the current landscaping. They'll have to find a new potty spot, since that's where I've planned to scape out a plot that goes flush along the back of the house, and patio.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

And it was not too much later before they were fighting as usual, yelling such obscenities as "screw you" and "I hate you!" That was all from AW. LB usually antagonizes AW to the point of total, and utter frustration.

brotherly wonders

As I was taking a brief moment of relaxation (very much needed after the mood I came home in from clinicals today) I happened to look out the back windows, from which we can see a good portion of our backyard and the common area beyond, and I caught a glimpse of something near miraculous. My two sons, who are two completely different human beings, were outside playing football together, with some other boys. I had to catch it on film, and even though the photos aren't of the greatest quality I wanted to share them anyway. I've also included two photos I took yesterday with my Blackberry. With all the rain we've had lately the clouds have been nothing short of amazing. I think one of the things I'd like to do with my free time once this semester is over, is to go out and spend some time just taking pictures of some of my favorite things

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This could be dangerous! It's too much fun.

I've been reading the chapter in my mental health book on dementia and other organic disorders of the mind. I do believe delirium is settling into my brain.

Two doses of amoxicillin down. Still feeling quite crummy--although I do know it's too early to feel better due to meds.

Just wanted to check out posting by text.

Thanks to all of you who've wished me well!

Monday, April 20, 2009

not just another manic monday

Lately I've been dealing with this feeling as if I'm swallowing over a pill that has become lodged in my throat. It's been going on for about a month now. Last week I went and saw a physician who then referred me out for a barium swallow. (As if I have time.) Friday I started feeling somewhat crummy and have since developed a nice little spring cold. So that's what that chapter was talking about as far as stress and its effect on the body! As if I didn't already have full understanding of that concept. This morning at about 3 I awakened with an excruciating pain in my head. You know the type, as if an icepick is being poked in and TWISTED! I took some Dayquil and was able to return to my slumber. I awakened at the usual time for the day and was still in a bit of pain. At this point routine ensues when I take the dogs downstairs for their morning kibble, and relief. Then I awaken the boys to shower and get ready for their day. I climbed back into bed and was able to get a little more rest. Off to class I went and sat like a zombie through lecture. Promptly as lecture ended I arose and left for the doctor's office. I was not seen until about 2:50 p.m. I had checked in at 12:12 p.m. I have a sinus infection and the workings of an ear infection.

While sitting in the exam room I witness this old, white oldsmobile pulls up. (I can see this from the window in the exam room.) Now, please take a moment to envision Randy Quaid and his family in the Vacation movies. The people that stepped out of this car made Randy and his movie family look like the Hiltons or the Trumps. I wouldn't usually think twice, as I wouldn't usually have needed to even pay attention to the people, but....the woman gets out of the car and she is screaming at the top of her lungs at whomever she was on her cell phone with. I could hear her through the window!

The man gets out and is, I don't know what, but then he goes to the passenger side and is speaking with whomeever is sitting there. It seems as if he's trying to persuade said individual into getting out of the car and into the wheelchair he's brought around. The second person, a man, gets out with some struggle and stands up and it looks like he refuses to get into the wheelchair. He ends up back in the car. A few minutes later everyone has climbed back into the car and they take off.

You have now entered the Twilight Zone.

Next I go to Rite Aid, after finally being seen, to pick-up my antibiotics and Prilosec. The physician didn't write a script for the Priolsec since it's now offered OTC. She's told me to take it to see if it will relieve what is possibly GERD, aka the lump in my throat. I'd read on the 'net that it was possibly due to GERD, and a friend's husband had the same problem. I'm hoping the Prilosec does the job and I can cancel the barium swallow. (I really don't have time for it anyway.)

As the pharmacy tech tries to ring up my sale the electronic keypad I'm paying on with my debit card starts to act up. Meanwhile there's this woman pestering the pharmacists about her prescriptions. Evidently she's a frequent flyer and makes whenever she comes in.

Ever have one of those days where you wished you would've just stayed in bed? If this makes no sense whatsoever it's because my head feels like it's filled with cottonballs and my nose is running a marathon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

may 6th, come on down!

Have I mentioned how eager I am for the arrival of that very date, May 6th? Let's take a walk up the path leading to the day I will shout to the high heavens rejoicing the end of this, my second semester of nursing school.

Today...must pay bills, gather stuff for the American Legion yard sale tomorrow, work on careplan, study, LB's baseball game at 5 (away), and somehow AW has to get to the local skating rink with his friends--and I'll be in a town, at the baseball game in the totally opposite direction.
Tomorrow...yard sale (o'dark early until I wanna leave), possibly nap, study
Sunday...need to get out in that garden and at least clip back perennials, LB has his driving test/last day of Behind the Wheel, work on careplan, write up case studies for Nursing P&C, study
April 20...class from 9-12, home to study, work on careplan in the morning, class from 1-3, LB baseball game at 6, away
22nd...clinicals 0645-1230, home to study, work on careplan (hopefully should be somewhere near finished)
23rd...clinicals 0645-1230, home to study, LB baseball game at 6 @ home
24th...Fridays are study days, maybe I can actually do some housecleaning....nah that's what May will be for! We keep the house pretty straightened up anyway (Big B has slight OCD issues), LB baseball game at 6 @ home
25th...nothing planned other than studying, and LB baseball game at 1, away--may or may not go....depends on how much studying I've done, and how I feel about it
26th...Sundays are usually pretty open unless we go do something like going to the mall, otherwise I have them scheduled for studying. The careplan is due Thursday and will make sure it's done, if it hasn't been finished already.
27th...class from 9-12, home to study in the morning, class from 1-3, LB baseball game at 6 @ home
29th...clinicals 0645-1230, home to study, LB baseball game at 6 @ home
30th...clinicals 0645-1230 (careplan due), home to study
May 1st...ATI exams, 1100 and 1300 , LB baseball game at 6 @ home
May 2nd and 3rd...nothing planned other than studying and the occasional family outing
May exam for NUR108, Nursing Principles and Concepts, study for Nur203, Mental Health Nursing final exam
May exam for NUR203, Mental Health Nursing
May 6th...wake up with the biggest grin on my face and shout to the highest heavens!!!!!!! and start cleaning, gardening, and doing everything else that I haven't been able to do!

Oh and how about let's rejoice at being a SECOND YEAR NURSING STUDENT!!! We have to get there first by way of passing ATIs and finals, so....

back to the books and all the regularly scheduled programming!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

dose of humble pie

As is the recent standard we have no sunshine in the skies above Virginia. You look out your window and all you see is gloomy gray ranging from slate to dove. It suits my mood right now. Today was hard, hardest yet. I had to witness an occurence report that I brought on to myself with shear stupidity.

In clinicals we're trading each others' residents to gain experience in skills we otherwise wouldn't get, at least in the near future. My one classmate, LW, and I swapped so she could administer meds via PEG tube, and I took care of her resident. Boy did I ever take care of her! It was horrible. I dressed, we'll call her Mrs. Doe in her gown (a pretty new thing she got for Easter--not one of those icky hospital types), and then proceeded to transfer her from her bed to her wheelchair. Lesson learned: do not forget to lock the wheelchair and make sure you have a second person to assist. If you don't follow these simple rules you may end up on the floor, as I did with Mrs. Doe. I actually couldn't tell you if her buttocks even touched the floor because I already had her under her armpits, with my arms to support her. One thing I remember from my days as a medic in the Air Force is how to go down to the floor with a patient. Recall from the depths of your memory can certainly come in handy!

One of my classmates was taking care of her resident in the next bed over and I immediately called for her assistance. She was there in a flash! We managed to lift Mrs. Doe into the chair. Schew! After getting Mrs. Doe settled in activities I promptly went to let my instructor know what happened.

She told me to tell the nurse, and so I did. The look that came across Nurse C's face made me get queasy, but she just said we'd have to fill out an occurence report. Along with the report itself she also filled out the physician notification and then I saw the spot on the report where it asks if family has been notified. Gulp. Nurse C called the family and that's when I lost it. All I could think about was if it were me on the receiving end of that call and how I'd feel.

After a few minutes in the restroom I gained my composure and went back out to the nurses's station and got the "everyone makes mistakes, and we learn from them" schpiel, along with reassurance that it was all going to be ok. The family member was at first horror stricken because evidently Mrs. Doe has had an actual fall that left her with broken bones. Fortunately there was no injury sustained today. I'm sure she may be a little sore under her arms. I know I supported her with all my might and adrenaline as I guided her downward.

If you do ever go through this horrid situation I hope you have someone react the way that Mrs. Doe did. Can we say "angel"? I, of course, apologized profusely, to which she gave me the "we all learn somehow" schpiel. The events of the morning along with the necessity to obtain vitals signs and blood glucose per the occurence report protocol, not to mention everything else the woman endures, left her very tired. When I went to go I told her how much I appreciated her patience with me, and she said, "That's alright honey". She was too kind, too, too kind.

Well if that isn't all enough to wear a woman down I just received the call from hospital #1 and got the "we decided to go with other candidates...there were so many great, experienced people....please apply next year as a new grad..."


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

let's go crazy

In honor of my last unit exam for Mental Health Nursing:

Lets Go Crazy - Prince -

That would be today. Here in a bit I'll go finish studying for the test and at 1 pm will commmence to taking it. I really, really can't wait for this semester to be over. This class has been the bane of my existence. It's boring, but not because of the content. At times, while reading, I thought for sure I would go crazy, but being in class was/is sure to be the final clincher in the armor of sanity. My armor is made of aluminum foil anyway.

I like psychology, I really do. It's the instructor. She read from the PPTs last semester, and this semester hasn't exactly done that. She's skimmed the PPTs, I guess you could say. She doesn't teach the material though. Really, we could do just as well reading, and rereading the text. That's what I've been doing. I was printing off the PPTs, but gave up on that in an effort to somewhat Greenish. The material was pulled directly from the text, so why bother? PPTs and lecture should add to the content. Ugh!

I took my last unit exam for Nursing Principles and Concepts yesterday and got an 89. I'd like to know how I got an 89, as it should be an 88 or a 90. Fifty questions, at 2 points a piece, you do the math. See...going crazy, because who really cares???

May 1st I go to take both of my ATI exams, one for Mental Health, the other for Fundamentals. I told a couple of my classmates that I was taking them on the last possible day, and got some interesting feedback from them. They think we should take the exams in plenty of time to retake before the end of the semester. I think you should take the time to study the material, and pass the first time around! A 65 is needed to pass. I'm using other materials along with the ATI modules, so I'm hoping for the best. I don't want to have to do remediation, which has to be done before you retake the tests anyway. I don't want to have to go back to the testing center if it isn't completely necessary. One of my classmates, the only guy, took his tests yesterday. I'll find out from him today how he did, and see if my plan needs adjustments.

May 4th (Nursing P&C) and 5th (Mental Health) are the dates of our final exams. May 6th I'll be able to wake up and rejoice that the semester is over! May 22nd starts summer semester, and I'm taking A&P II, Nutrition and Development, and Developmental Psych. I was going to CLEP out of Dev Psych, but need 6 credits to maintain half-time status, necessary to maintain deferment of my student loans. The first two classes only add up to 5 credits. Rather than taking an unnecessary class I'll take the psych class. All the classes will be online.

I should find out sometime soon if I got the externship from Hospital #1. At this point I have mixed feelings about it. I would love to do it for the experience, not to mention the income would be nice, but it may be for the best if I don't get it. We shall see.

Time to do some last minute studying! Huh, "last minute" almost seems ridiculous since I'll be studying pretty much straight through til May 5th!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter wishes

May your day be filled with joy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

we have sunshine!

I truly and without a doubt appreciate those of you who take the time to stop by and even more so the support you offer. From the bottom of my heart--thank you!

Today ended the third week of my LTC clinicals and I must admit, I am bushed! It was a great day. You could definitely tell there was a full moon recently considering how odd things might've seemed today, nothing major, just a couple of atypical occurences. My resident who has dementia, who is basically non-verbal, albeit she mumbles pretty well, and I can understand what she's trying to say sometimes, was a regular chatterbox, and it wasn't just me who could understand her! Classmates who came in to practice administering meds via PEG tube or other skills, also understood what she was trying to say. It was almost crystal clear verbosity!

I also got a hug! I had changed her brief, and was dressing her for the day and as I was tucking her shirt down behind her she pulled me close and gave me the best bear hug a slight person of less than 100 pounds could give!! It made my day.

Now it's on to a weekend filled with, drum roll....studying! Yippee! I'll probably be posting less over the next few weeks, but will check in every few days. We're in the downhill slide and gaining speed as the days race by!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

anything you say

You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can, and will be used against you...

In a job interview you don't exactly have the right to remain silent. What you do have is the right to say things in support of yourself. That being said, in an interview there are those instances where you can incriminate yourself as if you admitted to committing a heinous crime. Like when you're asked about teamwork, and you use an example of being the student who has been taking classes primarily online for several years, but when you started nursing school you had to work to reintegrate yourself in the classroom setting, you just might shoot your own self in the foot. Or say you're asked about disagreements with previous supervisors, and you give a real world example stemming from experiences with a previous supervisor (of long, long ago) being Korean-American, and one of the other medics you work with was also Korean-American. Nothing I did was good enough in my supervisor's eyes. I didn't work hard enough, or do enough, or anything....enough. I had to work under the umbrella of a sort of discrimination. I pressed on and did my job to the best of my abilities. Again, you shoot yourself in the foot. Your answers are used against you. You lose a job/externship opportunity because you thought you were giving honest, real answers.

You are thusly labeled "not a team player". How incredulous--in fifteen minutes you are summed up by isolated answers.

It doesn't help that "I actually have great news for you. They were on the borderline with you. They wanted to hire you, but..."

I'm the person who got together a group study session...who stepped forward to help a classmate study because she'd received one of those letters (the kind of letter that tells you to bring your grades up or you're out of this program)...who would be the first to stand up, volunteer and work with anyone to help them succeed.

Yes, Monday I received the email seen in the previous post. I texted or called some of my classmates to find out if they'd heard anything. No one had by Monday night. Yesterday morning people started getting calls...or emails. You see, there were six of us from my school, who interviewed in hopes of being one of the chosen five. Three were chosen and three were not, including moi. The three of us that were not chosen have all had some medical experience, on one level or another. The three that were chosen have not. It may be a big coincky-dink, or the elixir of justification I'm choosing to swallow, but I think that may have been a deciding factor.

I mean hello, if these people liked me so much why didn't they call my references? The other two girls thought their interviews had gone very well, and were just as shocked as I was to read their rejection email. Yeah, the ones who were chosen received phone calls, the rest of us got the form-letter email.

Being me, I couldn't let it go. So I emailed the HR rep the obligatory thank you and also asked for feedback. I just received the call prior to heading to Blogland, and well you know the rest.

Oh well, I still have the decision from Hospital #1 to look forward to, and tons of studying to do.

Monday, April 6, 2009

a slap in the face of sorts?

So I'm online trying to figure out summer class schedules in conjunction with externships, and decided to email hospital #2 to find out the schedule. This is what I received in reply:



It was great meeting you on Friday. I forgot to ask, what does the schedule look like for the externship program? Will it be a day shift position? I know at the meeting we had in our class you weren't completely sure. I'm flexible, but am in the process of signing up for a summer class and wanted to have an idea of my schedule should I be chosen to extern at Hospital #2*.


KLS, Student Nurse*


Dear KLS, Student Nurse*,

We appreciate your interest in the Nurse Extern position here at Hospital #2*. At this time the decision has been made to continue interviewing candidates for this position who more closely meet the skills and requirements of the unit.

We wish you every success in finding a position commensurate with your career objectives. Again, thank you for your interest in Hospital #2* as a prospective employee.


Human Resources
Hospital #2*

heroes and blossoms

Being prior military you could guess, and correctly so, I am pro-military. I'm also a bit of a history buff, having minored in it for my Bachelor's. Minoring in history enabled me to study certain areas of history that I find fascinating. The classes I took include Classical Greece, World War II, Pearl Harbor-Midway, Modern America: 1900 to 1945, and Europe's Bloodiest Century (this course detailed the 20th centruy, WWI, WWII, and the Cold War), along with a couple of prerequisite courses. I wrote my term paper in the World War II class on women in the military during that time. I have a special affinity for the subject, in particular in the field of nursing. In my complete ignorance I didn't even know that there was a memorial dedicated to women who served in the Vietnam War, until pretty recently.

Yesterday we went to Washington DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival. To the boys' utter and complete dismay (they were already pretty bent out of shape with having to go to the Festival) their father and I dragged them to see the Vietnam Women's Memorial. We also took in the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. If you ever have a chance to visit DC you should take the time to visit these very special works of commemorative art. Pictures do not even do them any justice.

this is from the WWII memorial

a section of the wall from the Korean War Memorial

statues of soldiers from the Korean War Memorial

Vietnam Women's Memorial

Saturday, April 4, 2009

of all the weird things

Yesterday I had my second nurse externship interview. Let's do a brief dissection of the two interviews and prospective employers, shall we?

First Hospital:

~about 15 minutes from home
~70 bed facility
~opportunities in ED, family birthing, ICU, stepdown, med/surg
~40 minute interview with 6 nurses including department directors, guy from HR, and education specialist
~asked questions about teamwork, problems/challenges and how they were handled,workload, etc. In other words they asked several regular interview questions.
~interview held in a ground floor, service hallway conference room

I walked out of the interview in good spirits, but unsure of how I actually did. I answered the questions authentically. By this I mean that I gave examples from my experiences, rather than robotic, "best" answers. I really hadn't taken the time to come up with manufactured answers, so they got me. good, bad, indifferent...

Second Hospital:

~about 15 minutes from home
~over 80 beds, Planetree Facility
~opportunities in ICU, med/surg, and a unit that is primarily telemetry (best way to describe)
~20-25 minute interview with 3 nursing directors
~they asked siilar questions
~interview held upstairs in a unit conference room

Yet, I walked away from the interview pretty unsure of the chances of me getting the position. This wasn't because of the interview itself. It's because of a request that was made by the HR person beforehand. After escorting me upstairs, she'd stepped into the conference room and then came out after briefly speaking with the directors about the previous applicant. She comes up to me, "Do me a favor. They're going to ask you a question about group projects, setting up a scenario where one of the people in the group didn't pull their weight. They are going to want to know how you would or did handle that situation. I want you to have been that person. I want you to say, 'Oh that was me. I was the slacker. I totally dropped the ball...' Only do this if you think you can. Do you think you can?"


I politely told her I didn't think I could pull it off. I wouldn't be comfortable doing that. Being the slacker in that situation is not in my nature, and if I wanted to become Julia Roberts I would have a long time ago!

In her defense...since that is in my nature-to give the benefit of the doubt...I can say this goes with this woman's personality. She seems like a very gregarious, slightly eccentric individual, who would love to play jokes on others. I can get in there with the best of them, I assure you. But during a job interview? Where you don't know any of the people sitting there and how they'll react to such a display?

uh, uh no way...not me, no can do!

One of my classmates, with whom I've become friends, was interviewing next and walked up as I was walking out. The HR person goes into the conference room in between the interviews, so while she did that I chit-chatted with my friend. Out comes the HR person and she makes the same request of my friend. My friend has a "WTF?" look on her face, but she was more willing to give it the ole college try. She said she'd do her best to do it, but didn't want to promise anything.

It had already been a troublesome morning as I'd watched the DVRed ER finale....bawling throughout (nope never got around to studying yesterday morning). After the show I intended to study for a bit, but by this time a migraine had set in. I decided to take the time to take my meds and lie down for a bit, hoping to relieve the pain from my being. The phone interupted my solace after about 20 minutes and never gave up. Between Big B and LB the phone rang about 5 times.

The boys had a half-day of school for exams yesterday, and LB had stayed after for a club activity. He was calling because he needed a ride home. By this time it was time to get ready for the interview, with about an hour to spare before I wanted to leave. I commenced to yelling at them ("them" because both Big B and LB called concerning this after I had deferred LB to his father...) over the phone. Sorry, not the most effective way to handle things, but I was in pain, the nerves were wracking up, and time was a tickin'!

And you want me to come get you???

Evidently I was his only option as Dear Ol' Dad was still up north, about an hour away. Now I had to rush through getting ready so I could go pick him up, and head to the interview. Luckily it's ok to leave a 16 year old out in the car. Can you imagine me walking into the hospital with my kid, and there stands the HR rep?

Who knows? She might have flirted with him!

Friday, April 3, 2009

what is it with April?

Seriously. I am saddened now after logging on to Facebook and reading a friend's status message. It said something about a shooting that happened yesterday at Radford University, only about two hundred miles from where I live. I hadn't heard about it, but didn't watch the news last night, and hadn't heard a thing during the day.

Isn't this the time of year where people should be coming alive with happiness since it's Spring? Instead they're coming alive with morbidity.

Radford University April 2, 2009

Virginia Tech Aprl 16, 2007

University of Washington April 2, 2007

Roosevelt High School April 5, 2006

Those are just of the recent school shootings. Here's a timeline for school shootings occuring since 1966. I'm not usually a big fan of Wiki-anything, after having it beaten out of me by numerous professors, but it does offer good timelines for events such as these.

One I will never forget is Columbine High School.

We were stationed at Langley AFB, Hampton, VA, at the time. We happened to be outside enjoying a warm Spring day. One of my friends came running up to me and asked if I'd heard about the shooting that had just happened in a high school in Littleton, Colorado. She knew that two of my cousins attended high school in Colorado, in Littleton. Panic set in. I had no idea what high school they went to so I immediately got on the phone. My fear was assuaged upon hearing that they went to a different school. They had friends attending Columbine though. My cousins knew people affected by this tragedy.

I can thoroughly understand the pent up frustration felt by this time of the school year. I know the feeling all too well. I just don't understand how people can resort to such horrible, drastic measures as taking another's life. There's no excuse.

Sad, very sad.

Now I really must get to workon my studies.

oh patriotic one am I

Not that I had time for it, but I attended my first American Legion meeting last night. Yes, you read that right. I am the newest, and proud to say, only female member of our local post. I thought I might be the youngest member, and may still be as far as active members go, but there was an active-duty marine present. His father is the post chaplain. He's not an extemely young marine, but I would bet I have a few years on him.

Admittedly it wasn't something I was looking forward to since I have so much studying to do. Do you ever end up enjoying yourself at something you completely dreaded attending? It occured to me that it would not only be nice to be a part of something meaningful, but who else can say she has multiple dads and grandpas? The meeting only lasted about 45 minutes and it was actually an awesome experience.

As official meetings go they had to discuss old and new business. They're an endearing bunch of old guys, and it was hilarious at times to watch them mull over their/our current goings on. They're planning on having someone come in and clean the post, and of course it took a motion and acceptance, and it's a done deal. They have a bunch of other things in the works. Two items of interest that I'll be directly involved in are the baseball team, since my son plays on it, and the upcoming yard sale.

So yes, to my post listing several of my own current goings on we may add this yard sale. It's actually a bit of a necessity though, since there are a bunch of things in the house that need to go. What better way to get rid of them? Whatever doesn't sell will be donated to the local Goodwill. None of the junk will return to the casa, that's for sure!

Have I mentioned I've also not had the time to go grocery shopping? It's part scheduling and part avoidance. I really don't want to go all the way to Quantico. Quite frankly there just hasn't been time to go lately. I'm thinking of shopping more locally at least until after the semester's over. Normally I'd go to Quantico on a day like today, when there's no class or clinicals taking up the better part of the day. Since I have my interview to look forward to this afternoon it's a no go, literally.

Is it May yet? Seriously. May 6th is the day I have determined to be my own personal Mayday! Finals will be over, as will my second semester of nursing school! It won't come soon enough!

back. to. the. books...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

come all ye faithful

Let's start off by celebrating my 200th post! I'd like to thank all you who stop by and read my blog. If you've been with me since the beginning and have read my whole blog, can you believe it's 200 posts long? I can't. It's great having the world-wide support from all of you!

It's also been a day, not only that, let's say a week, of firsts. Yesterday during clinicals I witnessed, sort of, my first "nurses eat their young" incident. I say sort of because I only caught the aftermath. It happened so quickly. One of the nurses stopped for one moment at the nurses station only to be chastised by another for "just standing there". The reason she was "just standing there" was because my instructor had taken her medicine cart and was passing meds with some of my fellow students. They had just taken the cart when the nurse stopped for a moment and was talking to some of the other students, and then bitchy-nurse, whomever she was, called her out on "just standing there". Just because the students took your cart doesn't mean you have to just stand there. There are other things to be done. True, very true, but come on. Let's retract the claws and not belittle someone for something you've probably been guilty of yourself! Puhleasse! Tears were shed momentarily from the nurse who was "just standing there", but she soon got over it and went on with her work.

So far I've done accuchecks, insulin injections, PEG tube care, a patient shower, charting, of course vital signs, pulse oximetry, bed-to-geri-chair transfers, unoccupied bed changes, assessments, adult brief changes, care planning, and today I passed my first meds! Because my resident has a PEG tube I have to crush the tablets, so that was fun. One of them didn't crush finely with the crusher so I had to break out the trusty hammer and bash away. Then it was onto the patient where I checked for placement and residual, and administered the meds by gravity.

I'm really enjoying clinicals. So far it's been a great experience. I actually find myself wanting to go back!! This actually astounds me since I was so nervous about not actually liking nursing, if that makes any sense.

Oh, today we had a couple of interesting events. The LTC I am doing my clinicals at has a locked down dementia/alzheimer's unit. One of the CNAs from over there managed to nearly become one of the resident's lunch since the resident tried to take a bite out of her! It was bad enough to where you could see a full circle of teeth impressions, and there was only the tiniest bit of skin breakage. They made a big deal out of the whole situation since they had us students as an audience.

I've been meaning to get over to meet one of my classmate's residents because this person has schizophrenia and bipolar. Evidently this person has been in a manic state. Just last night in the middle of the night she switched and is now delusional claiming that the FBI and others are out to get her. Although I don't plan to go into psych nursing, having a background in psychology, I am intrigued by mental disorders. Now I'm kicking myself for not taking the time to meet her. It would be fascinating to see the differences first-hand.

Well rather than spend anymore of my strained time blogging I should get back to the books!

Tomorrow's the next interview in my hopes of externing over the summer!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

caving in

Ever feel like everything's caving in on you?

Yeah, that's about how I feel right about now! For one, I've been awake since 0250. At this point in time we have just over four weeks left of this semester. I have the first components of my care plan due tomorrow. It's a matter of just typing it up, but I have yet to do that. Again...due tomorrow. We have ATI testing to do sometime before the end of the semester. This would include a proctored exam for fundamentals and one for mental health. And we're supposed to fit that into our schedules? As if! We have an exam left in both classes, not including finals, and we also have another assignment due for MH. Then we're supposed to study for finals!!!

My house could use a really good, thorough cleaning.

My garden's need to be opened up for the year, not that the weather has been extremely cooperative on that front.

LB has baseball games it seems like every other minute..

AW still beats away at his drums that we have yet to get him lessons for.

I have another externship interview this coming Friday.

I also have considerable amounts of reading and studying to do.

I feel like a mountain of stress is about to cave in on me! Help!

Merry Maids anyone?