Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sunny Days

So, it's the last week of school. We've already finished our clinical finals, although we have clinical days on Thursday and Friday- which are simultaneously torturous and wonderful: torturous because, well, it's Labor Day weekend and we all want to leave early... and wonderful because it's always cool to spend time with patients and be there for them.

This quarter has been a whirlwind. I feel like I've been in school for a year, not just 10 weeks. Our class is constantly being told how "collegial" we are, which I would certainly agree with- people are so *nice* and it really makes a difference.
Pathophysiology is over for those of us who are satisfied with our grades. Pharmacology final is today, only 50 drugs, our teacher ROCKS, and then we're done with lecture. Our Fundamentals of Nursing final is next Tuesday, but can be accessed online anywhere, so that gives us a lot of freedom.

It's almost over. I can smell a break coming... and I need it, desperately.
Quick synopsis of what's going on right now: the gym is closed, which is driving most of us insane since we have a workout group, and during our "finals" week, we'd love to be exercising consistently.
I'm looking forward to the next quarter. There's a possibility that my clinical instructor will change, which would be fine- either way I'm happy.
I had the opportunity to shadow in the ICU yesterday afternoon, which blew my mind- when they say "intensive," they're not kidding. The woman I was shadowing won the CCRN award of the year, is a very experienced nurse, and had the most complex patient on the floor. I didn't even know such a thing as an EVD existed. Needless to say, it was an afternoon of learning. I ended up meeting someone who was quadriplegic, helping a doctor translate for a Spanish-speaking patient, and just bumbled around in awe of the care provided in the ICU. I saw a few doctors from the transplant floor I'm on, and remembered that the liver/kidney transplant patients usually spend some time in the ICU immediately post-op.
It was wild.
It was the extreme of nursing- if nursing were an extreme sport, then ICU care/Critical Care is akin to dropping waterfalls in a kayak. You have to know exactly what you're doing, and even then, things can still go wrong.

I also got a call from SFGH for volunteering in the ED. I figured it would be an excellent way to figure out if being in the emergency department is what I really want to do. It's only 5 hours/week, although I say that now and I know how precious five hours to myself are. I need to call them back and schedule an interview at some point this week.

That's the news at this point. There's a very mild possibility that I'll be paddling in Argentina on November 25th this year with my old rafting team. I had a healing discussion with one of my friends on the team, and felt like I was listening to myself a year ago. We'll see what happens, but the opportunity to compete internationally really calls me. This next quarter is a bit less strenuous time-wise, so I'm thinking I'll have some time to paddle outrigger canoe. It's all up in the air.
More later this week! Week 10! Yay!

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