I don't really even know where to start. This week has been trying. Monday was a holiday (Labor Day - and don't say it is the end of summer, Sept 21st is the end of summer, I will mourn then) so the week began Tuesday, and once Tuesday started so did the OMG!
Tuesday began with my Pediatrics Medication quiz. Each clinical rotation has a medication quiz at the beginning to be sure that we understand dosage and calculations. We are required to score a 90% or higher to "pass" this quiz. Truthfully, in my opinion, we should be required to get 100% because who wants dosage mistakes! Well to make a long story short I did not "pass" the medication quiz. I scored an 85 because I made a dumb mistake on the first part of a three part question (each part was worth 5 points) so I lost 15 points on one question. When all was said and done, I was not upset about the "failing" part, I can take the quiz again -- I was upset that my error was enough to potentially kill a child. This is what upset me! I will retake the quiz next week and hopefully "pass" with flying colors, but I can't move past the part about making a potentially fatal mistake. I can tell you for sure that I will be the crazy nurse who is constantly making someone else check my drug calculations before I hang that IV bag!!!!! So that killed Tuesday.
Wednesday was not bad, I spent it READING which seems like the only thing I do anymore. I am through 8/13 chapters in my Pedi book and through 3.5/5 chapters in my med/surg book. Let me tell you, this is not like reading Fifty Shade of Grey!!!! It is involved, heavy, you-gotta-know-this-stuff reading. It makes my vision blurry and my brain fuzzy.
Thursday was the day of days. Basically, if it could go wrong -- IT DID! I will spare you the nitty gritty details of my "Murphy's Law" events. I had my first information collection for med/surg clinical prep. This means we travel to our agency (the hospital) and use our patients chart to formulate a care plan for the following day. This info collection requires a user name and password to get into the system. Well I was trying to reach the professor all day to confirm that the logins were ready -- but had no luck getting a response from her. This contributed to my angst of the day. All patient info is protected by HIPAA (if you have been to the doctor you know all about the "privacy statement") which sets down rules of confidentiality -- including "no marked information being allowed to leave the unit in the hospital" (this means any paperwork with our patient's name on it). So we have to sit at the hospital and write down what info -- it took about 90 min to collect this info (part of this was just decoding the information in the rounds report -- this should get easier with practice). I left the hospital just before 9:00 pm -- hadn't eaten dinner yet. Got home around 9:40 (after a mishap at Wendy's AND the gas station) and started eating and went to grab my care plan to put the finishing touches on it and IT WAS GONE!!!! All I could think was that before I left the hospital, I took the rounds report on my patient and threw it in the "to be shredded" bin at the nurses' station. OMG I THREW MY CARE PLAN IN THE SHRED IT BIN WITH THE ROUNDS REPORT!!!!! Now, one would think that this would be enough to send me into a sobbing, wailing, bawling frenzy but the day had been so bad and I was so tired that all I could do was laugh hysterically. My poor husband had no idea what to do beside offer to scour the car looking for the paperwork. Finally, after a second meticulously thorough search I found the care plan. PRAISE JESUS!!!! I was able to finish it up and got to bed around 11:15, with my alarm set for 5:00AM, needing to be back at the hospital this morning for 6:30.
We all gathered at the nurses station, more than on-time and waited for our professor. And waited, and waited and waited. She called to say she'd be there by 7:15. 7:15 came and went -- no sign of her. Finally at 8:00 she shows up. Now I am doing my best to not be judgmental and to understand that her circumstances may have been out of her control which is why she was late. Let's just go with that. Luckily, the day improved! I had a wonderful patient who just had major surgery for bladder cancer. I fell right back into the swing of patient care and had a great day with my patient and my nurse. The nurses were FANTASTIC - so helpful and explanatory. I have a feeling this is going to be a wonderful learning experience -- even if it got off to a VERY rocky start. I am exhausted tonight but tomorrow is Saturday so I can sleep in and recover. One more week down.
My reflection on this week became clear this afternoon as I walked back to my car with a classmate (just met her last week) and we chatted about our husbands and their jobs. I come to find out that her husband is in the coastguard with my good friend's husband. Small world? Or God telling me I am following the right path? Additionally, my patient was from Wickford (the village in my town). The way I see it is -- I started off the week questioning my ability to be a nurse after I didn't pass the medication quiz. I questioned my integrity and my ability to provide the highest standard of care to my patients. I second guessed myself and was feeling full of self doubt. All the reading, the clinical preps, the medication doses & calculations, the care plans -- I wondered if I had what it takes to complete it all. Looking back on the week, I got it all done (with the exception of the med quiz -- but I will pass that next week!!! I will!!!!). I have to focus on each stair, not the entire staircase. Baby steps. One task at a time. With God's hand upon me as I go, I will take each step not thinking about how many steps remain. I spent most of this week feeling totally overwhelmed, but today I had a "peaceful easy feeling" that I am in the right place and that with God's help I am going to do this. I am going to be a good nurse.
And just an aside for you faithful followers -- others may not "get it" -- my patient today had BiPolar disorder. Ha ha! Psych and Med/Surg cross paths before my eyes!!! And I will leave you with that!