Friday, March 18, 2011

Week 11 - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Wow, it's been a while since I posted a new update. We just finished week 11!

So, what's been going on?

Well, A LOT!

The Good

Let's begin with the good stuff! We started to learn injections. I was so frightened when I pulled out the needles in my injection kit for the first time. I basically stared at the needles in awe and fear. I hardly wanted to touch them.

"Do you feel the power?" my classmate asked me. I guess she felt very powerful to be holding a needle in her hand that would puncture skin to inject medicine. I don't know if I felt powerful. At the time, I just felt fear that I'd be poked. I hate getting needles!

I practiced relentlessly in lab using the practice pads provided. They are soft and squishy to simulate fat, or rubbery and filled with gel to simulate skin and muscle. I wanted to be an expert at giving injections because I wanted to cause as little pain as possible when giving a real injection.

Well, today I got to give a REAL injection! They call it a "subcutaneous injection" because it goes into fat tissue under your skin. I had to take a big pinch of fat and skin on the side of the belly and quickly poke the needle in (like a dart) and inject the medication. When I was done, I was surprised to discover that the needle wound didn't bleed. Also, my patient claimed that it didn't hurt! What a trooper! I could have hugged him! He made my first injection experience a walk in the park.

I walked out of the room with a gigantic grin on my face and my teacher, who had supervised the entire process, congratulated me on my first injection. It made me feel like a real nurse to be giving needles! Go figure :)

The Bad

Before my positive clinical experience, I had to go through Hell. We had clinical feedback sessions and my clinical teacher gave me feedback on how I had done for the past few weeks. I was feeling especially scatterbrained the weeks before this so I was expecting the worst and GOT the worst! My teacher was not impressed with my performance and questioned whether I was well-suited for the nursing field. She thought that I was too slow and too disorganized. She said a lot of other things that made me feel sadder and sadder. After a while, I believed her and wasn't sure if nursing was right for me either.

I went to the school counselor to talk about whether nursing was really the right choice for me, and he said the most interesting things. He told me that I needed to understand the culture of nursing. "Men have the military," he said, "and women have nursing. Both justify their tactics based on the fact that lives are at stake."

He told me that telling the teacher about my worries and pointing out my weaknesses was like painting a red bull's eye on my forehead. He advised that I start pointing out my strengths instead and to act confident even if I didn't feel confident. "Fake it 'till you make it," he said, "except you're not really faking it because you actually CAN do it, can't you?" I knew he was right, so I started to be more focused on what I COULD do instead of what I couldn't.

Surprisingly, it worked. I still studied hard and did all the usual homework, but I found that I was able to be less focused on me, and more focused on just doing my best and reporting to the teacher some of my achievements. She slowly had less complaints and I even got a smile in there once in a while. I got all my assessments done early, did good charting, and reported in to her regularly to check on my progress. Now her complaint is that I don't go on break on time.

The Ugly

I'd say that the ugly is what goes on inside of my head when I don't believe in my own ability to do something. It sabotages me so that I end up failing when I could have actually passed with flying colours. I thought I couldn't be a good nurse, and the teacher agreed with me. Who's going to defend me if I don't even bother to defend myself?

The counselor told me to hold onto the comments that my patients say to me, to use them as fuel for me to move forward and to stay focused. My patients say wonderful things to me. They tell me that I'm a great nurse, that they want to have me care for them again, and that they think I took really good care of them. Last week, a sweet lady told me that I was an "Angel of Mercy". I wasn't sure what an angel of mercy was so I just smiled at her. She could tell that I wasn't really getting it so she added, "... and that's not a light compliment!"

Her compliment made me feel like I had done something really important that day.

Anyways, I better get back to my studying, but I wanted to share this with you. I hope you have a wonderful day :)
My Nursing School Diary

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