Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monster Truck Rally

So, here is my picture from the monster truck rally.

Not so monstrous are they?

So, as you can tell, I didn't quite make it to the Monster Truck Rally this year. I was disappointed, beleive it or not, because as crazy as it sounds, I really did have a lot of fun last year.

So why didn't I go? Well, last week I spent time with a pedaphile, a paranoid schizophrenic, and a lady with a diagnosis of incubus - all have incredibly interesting and at time humorous stories, none of which I will be relaying. I also worked roughly 15 hours and I needed a break. So, Friday, Chara and I packed up my car, and her baby, and headed out of town. We spent some much needed time with family and friends. I did no homework, watched 2 movies, went to a softball game, ate out a lot and just rested.

As a result, my homework schedule is incredibly hectic and I'm a little behind, but I'm rested and it was well worth the trip.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Psych-Mental Health and Chest Pain

Last week I started my Psych-Mental Health rotation at Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute. It was very interesting. My pt was an older gentleman with schizophrenia. He never expereinced any acute delusions or hallucinations while I was with him; though his chart indicated he has had many in the past. There were quite a few interesting characters there and quite a few interesting stories to go with them. There are 9 different units at MTMHI and I will get to experience most of them before the conclusion of my time there.

We also had our first test last week. I studied all weekend and did fairly well on it. Would have liked to have done a little better, but overall I was pleased. I debated a great deal over one particular question and did not go with my gut feeling - I missed it, my gut was right. Unfortunately, that one point would have made a big difference. Oh well!

Tomorrow I have to give a ~2 hour long lecture with two other students focusing on chest pain, indigestion, and nausea. The presentation is mainly focusing on the case study of a woman who is experiencing a heart attack and the treatment plan for her involving delegation, action, drugs, vital signs, etc. We have incorporated a lot of onlin videos into the presentation, so hopefully they won't be too bored and it'll work out well. We also have an activity planned where we are tying strips of fabric around their chests and then encouraging deep breathing. The restricting fabric prevents a full inhalation, thus leading to chest pain and mimicking the feeling of a heart attack. Of course I intend on having the students do jumping jacks after they take their deep breaths (I mean the shallow ones). The jumping jacks will further deplete their oxygen stores and increase the chest pain. I'm sure it will work out very well. (No, I'm not pregnant in the picture - the point is to pull the strip of fabric tight. And yes I know my clothes do not even remotely match - this is my "study" attire.)

I've worked A LOT the last two weeks and will this week also. Things at work have been busy and frustrating. I enjoy being there though and I find myself missing the people - the pts and the employees. I feel a lot like I have a place at work, that I can be busy and make a difference. I don't feel like that at school. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that this is all for the greater good. It was a good time to refocus. Sometimes I get so tied up into going to school that I forget the goal, the reason.

Well, I wont be too busy this week not to make time for a little fun. I will be headed off this Friday night to join a friend and coworker at our second venture out to the MONSTER TRUCK RALLY. Don't worry, I'll take pictures!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Irish Jigs and IV catheters

Classes have been different this semester. We have one main class where we get a great deal of information, the content's very intriguing, and we learn a great deal. Another class is comprised of our clinical hours and we are challenged, pushed, and forced to grow as nurses. But the other 3 classes have been somewhat uneventful, disenchanting, and laborious. That is not to say that all the lectures have been bad in those classes (though some have induced suicidal ideations), that is not to say that all the lectures have been a waste of time in those classes (though some have made me wish I had a DVD for my laptop), or that they are not important (though I really didn't need a lecture on how to be spiritual in an open minded, unbiased, all inclusive, everybody should be happy world). I can feel pretty confident in saying that my classmates and I are underwhelmed this semester. That is not to indicate however, that I have not already had a lot of homework in these four weeks, that I have not learned anything, or that I have not been challenged; it is merely to indicate that classes have been different this semester.

I did however have somewhat of an eventful week despite my aforementioned bemoaning. This week we had a lecture on the importance of nurse wellness and we discussed many of the factors that play into our own personal wellness, such as lifestyle, activity, diet, creativity, spiritual, and emotional. In order to relay the importance of personal activity, our lecturer for the day came prepared to do the Irish Jig (I didn't know there was such a thing either). She stood/danced on two tables at the front of the room that had been pushed together to form a dais. She then preceeded to dance, with very high kicks, on these two wobbly tables at the front of the class for approximately 90 seconds. No, she did not fall, though the potential was great. I thought, how ironic, we are talking about nurse wellness and in an attempt to illustrate activity, she potentially placed herself in a situation that could very easily lead to nurse unwellness. She was a very fine dancer and did an excellent job (not that I can truly judge someone on the proficciency of the Irish Jig). That particular class day was not uneventful.

Clinically, I had a somewhat exciting week as well. Thursday was my last day of my pediatric rotation and while I am somewhat happy about this, I am somewhat sad as well. My clinical instructor this time has been very encouraging and I have greatly enjoyed working with her. I felt that she did an excellent job as a clinical instructor and I greatly appreciated her time and support with us. As I said, Thursday was our last day of pediatric clinicals and our time at the hospital was cut short as we had to do some work in the simulation lab. Afterward we met for our weekly clinical conference. This is when we discuss our pt's, what we learned, what we should have done better/different, etc. This week I also gave a brief presentation regarding pediatric nutrition focusing on kcal needs, behaviors, addition of solid foods, etc. I felt that it went really well, but I really do enjoy giving presentations. Afterwards, the real fun began. We had an additional conference educating us on the technique of IV catheter insertion. We watched, we saw, we did. I gathered my supplies and was quite eager for my first attempt (I'm sure my recepient - the aformentioned appreciated instructor, was not quite as eager). I went for a hand vein. The truth is they are harder to stick, but it better to learn there as that should be the first site of IV insertion. Once you insert an IV in an arm you can't use a vein below the one you used, so it is best to go as low as possible to save more veins for later use (so if you use the hand, you can still use the cephalic, or the antecubital - but if you go straight to the antecubital, you can't go back down). So I attempted my first IV stick and I was doing well, that is until I blew out her vein. She was very gracious about the whole thing. Then, she let me do it again. The second time I attempted, connected, and got a beautiful blood return in the IV line I started.

I suppose it's going to take me 2 tries with all the catheters I try out for the first time. Lets just hope my 2nd attemps only take 1 try.