Thursday, September 4, 2014

Summer trip was fun - now back to the grind - ***It's going to be a long post

I'm coming up to the end of my holidays. It was nice while it lasted. Going home to see family and friends recharged my batteries. I don't feel absolutely overwhelmed for this semester at least. For the summer one I certainly did, hence why I had to drop one of my summer courses. We're finding that the first month and a half is insane with due dates and such. I figure that they do this to overwhelm as many people as possible to have those who can't cope end up dropping the course.

I'm doing my core nursing course - nursing care of the adult II - and I get to do it at a level one trauma center. They have six helicopters at their disposal so ya, I'm excited to say the least. I finally got a hold of my preceptor (lets call her Anna, cuz I'm sure I'll talk about her again and it will make it easier - as you guessed it, not her real name!) with whom I was emailing back and forth with but needed to speak with over the phone. Unfortunately, I was having difficulty arranging this because I was on vacation and she was working a LOT - likee 52 hours a week or more! I left messages and she FINALLY answered just the other day. I was starting to get UBER nervous/anxious that I would have to ask for a different preceptor because I couldn't get in touch with her and there were forms that needed going over in order to be able to be granted permission to start my hours by my faculty.

When I finally did get a hold of Anna we talked for two hours first and my cell phone provider cut me off indicating that I had talked long enough and their policy indicates that at that point, they cut the call off. Thankfully she was a good sport about it when I called back. Then we talked about another 40 minutes!

We talked about the unit and what sort of things are seen, what I should expect as well as a little bit of homework - mainly meds that are used a bunch that I'm not familiar with. We talked about goals - Anna wants me to give CPR during a code a go and for me to learn to read ECGs and know what ones are important. On my unit we have the capability for tele but don't use it, for whatever reason. We did talk about the different things I am familiar with, being that I work in a hospital.

The only thing that's upsetting about this semester is that I don't get to do it with my friend. We became friends being that we were in the same beginning/graduation class and frequently interacted with each other and it just lead from there. A couple of months ago she told me that she started bleeding - she's post menopausal - so this abnormal. She indicated that she had a history of fibroids so I figured it was something like that. I was wrong. While on vacation she texted me to tell me that she was diagnosed with cancer, so of course I called her immediately - straight to voicemail (ARGH!), which I left one of course. Once at the hotel I called her again and got a hold of her. Thankfully she was only stage one (possibly two) but would need surgery ASAP to remove her uterus but that depending on test results may require radiation (but probably not chemo). Unfortunately, she would be out of commission for over two months recovering and such (if not more if she had to have radiation) and so she had to bow out for this semester. I'm so thankful that this was caught early but it's so crappy that she has to miss out on a semester because of it. She's come through a lot of things to even get to this point (hell, know the feeling!) so I know she can get through this - she's a strong, strong woman!

Another crappy bit was that we had arranged for our clinical to be at the same hospital and so we were going to share the cost of accomodations and such. Now I have to do this all by myself. A new city, new hospital and everything that goes along with these things. Such a bummers. I went into this thinking I would have a good friend to debrief about my experience with (maintaining HIPPA of course) and now I won't.... til next semester anyways. Plus this means that we probably won't graduate together which makes me really sad.

Speaking of school, while on vacation we stopped at the university and met my current prof, tried to brown nose a bit. We also bought some uni parphenalia as well as a pocket guide (extremely useful for this course - and the next course - which I found out should be critical care based) so this should be perfect. I got this pink hoodie that is really sweet and I can't wait to show it off. It will replace my current one that my MIL hates. I also got a coffee mug, T-shirt and a half zipper sweater (that I like the color of but not really the decals or the half zipper aspect - IMO it should either be a hoodie or a full zipper).

The trip was tons of fun - well except that around St. Louis there was new freeways that my GPS didn't know about (nor did it recognize the address of my hotel) - and hubby yelled at me because I listened to the GPS directions and not to his (he was the navigator - but it's not like he had a map that he was telling me directions off of) and so we had a huge blow out on the side of the highway until we figured our shit out and carried on our merry little way (an hour late we arrived at our hotel but whatever, it's not like we were in a hurry!).

We missed a couple of the BBQ places we wanted to go to, which was incredibly disappointing. But we made do and found some yummy foods. We went to the St. Louis zoo which was a LOT of fun, I highly recommend it! The only thing there that disappointed me was that the giraffes were penned into the barn area so you could see them closely, but couldn't touch them, whereas if they were allowed to go to their habitat area then you could potentially touch them (was really hoping I could!) - instead I had to be ok with just seeing them through bars. Another really cool part was that they had a ton of elephants (a bunch of baby ones too that were really cute) that were fun to watch. Lastly, a lot of their animals you could get really close to because they put glass close to the animals - case in point - the gorillas were a disgusting hoot - there was a husband and wife (the female was grooming the male so I figure that they were attached) that we checked out and watched for a bit and boy were we entertained!

First the female picked her nose (ok, ewwww), looked at it and then ATE IT!!!!!!!!!  ARGH!!!! Then two minutes later she vomitted INTO HER HAND (gross again) then ATE IT!!!!!!  OMG yucky! Then she went back to grooming her mate and eating whatever she found. Her mate had a wound on his shoulder and she stuck her finger into it and AGAIN proceeded to EAT IT!!! I couldn't believe it was happening. Again she went back to grooming her mate when all of a sudden he turned around and SCREAMED at her (I think she was a bit stunned), then he turned around and let her go back to what she was doing. So we moved on. Boy the memories tho!!! HAHAHAHA

It was a great trip - hopefully I can get the photos uploaded onto the computer and actually put some up. We'll see how busy keeps me!

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