Here’s a photo of my white nurse shoe on my way to the last day of my med/surg clinical. This is what I saw over the ten weeks I spent in the hospital:
- A dead body
- A heart attack
- A stent placed in a beating heart
- Inmates (shackled to the bed) seeking drugs
- Regular folks seeking drugs
- A stroke with hemiparalysis
- A GI bleed
- Irregular heart beats
- People with end stage kidney disease who don’t get dialysis for months because they don’t have insurance (that’s like not peeing for months).
- Alcoholics detoxing
- Poop. So much poop. The indignities we all will face as we get older. Nothing like having someone help you poop. That someone who is helping you is me. And someday it will be me needing help pooping. Don’t think it won’t happen to you. Stool softeners are your friend.
- Bariatric patient – took 6 of us to move him.
- Kindness and unkindness
- I got to stick tubes in every orifice. Oh, kind of not fun. I hope that I get better at that.
I loved most of all my clinical instructor, Alex (amazing and brilliant, I’d bypass the doctor and just have her treat my congestive heart failure) and our little group of nursing students. One of the many things I love about nursing is the diversity of my coworkers. Look at this (youngest to oldest):
- N, female, late 20s, BS Biology, Pakistani, phembotomist
- D, male, late 20s, BS Information Technology, African-American
- A, female, late 20s, BS Public Health, African-American
- V, female, late 30s, personal trainer, Ukrainian, mom
- M, male, late 30s, ex-military – can drive an aircraft carrier, Caucasian, dad
- S, female, early 50s, middle school math teacher, Jewish, mom
How cool is that? Totally cool. And we were tight. So tight. That doesn’t often happen in randomly assigned groups.
At lunch, on the last day, Alex spent some time sorting us into the specialties that she thought we were best suited for. She thought carefully and I felt like it was the sorting hat in Harry Potter. People got placed into ICU, ER, shock trauma, and psych. When she got to me – she thought for a moment and said: pediatrics – and not only pediatrics, but a subspecialty within peds. Hmmm. Not what I had been thinking, but it’s what so many people have been telling me for years. I’ll have to do my peds rotation at Children’s to see if they are right.