Friday, April 18, 2008

Halfway there!

I am almost halfway to my RN license! I am so proud and excited about my personal and professional growth throughout this year. I can't believe how much things have changed since I first started this blog -- about to move to Atlanta. It was really hard to uproot my entire life and change scenery. But I've slowly adjusted to my new life, added new friends, and really enjoy living in Atlanta.

On the school front, we're in our spring semester until the first week of May. Then I have a week off. Then I start back for three weeks for my community health class. I applied to participate in our Migrant Farmworkers Family Health project and was accepted. We then travel to South GA and provide care to their migrant farm worker population. It's a really awesome project! I'm glad I was chosen to participate. We will be in South GA for 2 weeks, then return home. After that, we have a take home final or something of the sort, then I'm finished! (Probably sometime around the end of June...) I know it sounds time-consuming, but doing it this way, I will get 4 weeks off at the end of next year's spring semester. So I think it's a fair exchange. Plus some of us may rent a condo in FL during the weekend between our two weeks in South GA. And that would be fun! Also, all of my good friends in the program are going.

My pediatric rotation has been surprisingly easier (emotionally) than I had thought. In general, I really enjoy working with children and their families. Of all of the places I have been thus far, I feel that pediatric nurses really advocate for their patients. Also, the nurses on my clinical rotation are amazingly bright and wonderful. I had a really awesome patient this week -- Spanish-speaking only -- so I really worked hard to communicate effectively with her. I even called Beloved's mother to learn a nursery rhyme in Spanish. (Beloved's entire family is Puerto Rican -- her mother has been delighted I'm learning Spanish and will answer any questions I have.) So I learned "Que Linda Manito" to sing to this little baby I had this week. It goes like this:

Que linda manito (what a cute little hand)
Que tiene el bebé (that the baby has)
Que linda, que bella (how cute, how beautiful)
Que bonita es (how pretty it is)
Pequeños deditos (small little fingers)
Rayitos de sol (little rays of sunshine)
Que gire, que gire (that go around and around)
Como un girasol (like a sunflower)

My patient really enjoyed it. Her mother was very patient with my Spanish. At then end of my shift, she asked if I was coming back tomorrow because she liked me a lot. Clinically, I did a lot of patient advocacy for this patient. Because of the difficulty communicating, there had been some miscommunication about the patients immunization status. So I was going to talk to the mom about the importance of vaccinations, but lo and behold, my patient was totally up to date on her vaccines. It was just poor communication! She also was breastfeeding and had no standard tray of food. So I had that changed immediately. A breastfeeding mom *has* to eat! Because she was unable to ask for things (again, communication) and no one offered assistance. So I helped out a lot with that as well. I showed her how to order, gave her a menu in Spanish, and hassled her until she ordered some food.

In other news, I just purchased a bicycle from a local bike shop. We get a pretty good deal from the school. If you purchase a bike, they throw in a lock, helmet, lights, and water bottle in for free. They also put it together for you. So I've been riding 9-10 miles/day back and forth from school. The weather has been beautiful (save the horrific, awful pollen) and I've been enjoying learning new appropriate "bike routes" to school. On my first trial run, I thought I would follow the main roads I would use to get to school. Very. Bad. Idea. It was awful. I like to arbitrarily decide to take an alternate street contrary to my previously outlined meticulous directions. Getting lost on a bicycle is a totally different story than getting lost in a car. So I've now found a very specific route consisting of cut-thrus, residential streets, roads for alternatively fueled vehicles (that's me, right?), and a nice path through our Lullwater Park. Overall it takes about 40-45 minutes. Not bad, eh? For the rest of the school year, I will ride about 3 times a week to/from school. After that, I expect I will ride every day during my 3 weeks of class prior to our going to South GA.

Since I was accepted into the summer class, I wasn't able to get an externship so I've been thinking a lot about money. I haven't worked -- really -- since I left VA in July. And I do need to work. As a result, I've been maniacally searching for and applying to jobs. I think I'd like to work as a tech in one of the very close hospitals. I could ride my bike and would get some additional clinical, direct patient-care experience. I'd really like to work at the children's hospital I'm at right now (just because kids are so much fun) but I heard they wouldn't be too keen to hire me because I'm not growing up to be a pediatric nurse. ((Sigh)) But the floor where I had my very very first clinical (general surgery) is hiring a new PM/weekend tech. I think I'd love to do that as well. I already know the floor, where everything is, am approved to work in that hospital (with their immunization, background screen, HIPPA, and OSHA requirements) so I asked my former clinical instructor (who still works on that floor PRN) if she'd put in a good word for me. It seems as if with these clinical jobs, you've got to know someone directly. But she did recommend me and I am to call the floor director.

And finally, Happy Birthday to my baby, Emmie Monroe! She's one year old today. Pictured above is her very first car ride with us when we brought her home. And next to it is how big she's gotten. In that picture, she's giving Graisen doxie kisses. To celebrate we're going to FL for a few days to spend some time in the sun by the pool at Beloved's parents' house. I'm excited!