{What a Year!}

Sunday, December 16, 2018


This year I took nine classes and quit nursing school at least once a day in my mind. Never before had I done something so challenging and beautiful in my life! Everyday I made mistakes. I failed two exams, tried to plug in a Dinamap into an oxygen outlet on a patient’s wall ... I even hit Tim’s Jeep at 2am while trying to park after studying for finals (insert humble pie here). That said, I also got to do things that made me feel alive. I flushed my first IV, removed an epidural catheter from a postpartum mama, and got to sit with a patient who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I learned a lot from my classmates and professors, but mostly from my patients. They were gracious, hilarious, and reminded me often not to take my health, education, or family for granted. Each day after clinical I’d write down a lesson they had taught me ... They reminded me to make sure the diaphragm of my stethoscope was open before declaring a patient had a bowel obstruction. They showed me the absence of caring family members can be more painful than packing an unstageable pressure ulcer. They taught me not to take it personally when a patient calls you a $2 whore and to instead tell them you don’t do favors for less than twenty. They taught me I can learn more about a person by spending time with them in their room than I can from studying their file in Epic— that sitting with them for 10 minutes will feel more like 45. They taught me that one of the best things you can do for a patient who gets diagnosed with cancer is to offer them a ride to their chemo appointments. They taught me that sometimes you get to wake up new baby daddies on the couch only to discover they’ve been sleeping on half a sandwich and a handful of mayonnaise packets. I could go on but I’ll sum up the past 12 months by saying true growth happens when we do the things we’re terrified of failing at. Oh ... and remember the sweet 96 yr old named Shirley who emailed me back in August and was part of the reason why I decided to stay in nursing school? Well, my first patient was also 96. Bet you can’t guess what her name was.

Here’s to another semester of growth.
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