I have never ever ever done anything harder than nursing school. Keep in mind I have a master of oriental medicine. And moved across the country with an 18 month old. And pushed a giant watermelon out of my coochie. So I speak with a bit of authority when I say that.
This week has been especially arduous (and sadly it is only week TWO of 2,238).
The week opened with a two hour math test covering all kinds of med dosing, metric conversions, needle gauges and such. People scoring below a 75 would not be permitted to start their clinical rounds. Yikes.
OK Phew! I made a 94! 75% of the class did not pass :(
Then there were two quizzes, one on pregnant ladies and the other on neurology.
Wednesday brought a three hour cumulative exam that included most of what we learned last semester. This was a computerized, standardized test. Once again scoring below 900 would get you on a remediation track...and scoring below 800 would mean even worse.
Once again I did fine, scoring a 960. Even fewer of my classmates passed this exam.
Thursday was my first day in clinicals - a ten hour rotation through the neuro floor at the hospital. What type of patients are there, you ask? Very very sick folks. Sick folks who have something wrong with their brains. They are sick and sad and usually waiting on surgery.
I hit the floor and get my patient. At this stage we just get one and the care we give is basic. We bring ice chips, help them get to the potty, or reposition in the bed. We also do a general assessment of vitals and practice figuring out the kind of nursing care we would give when we are all grown up.
After my ten hour shift I went home to complete four hours of paperwork - and on Friday I was back at school first thing in the morning to turn it in and have class. After class were competency exams in the lab where an instructor watches me stick a fake arm with an IV and get fluids going.
At this point my body feels like a big nerve ending...
And I have spent more time crying than smiling...
But the thing is...the thing that keeps me going...is the patient that I had on Thursday. A brave older woman facing down a terrifying prognosis...her faculties slipping each hour I was on the floor. She was surrounded by family and friends who adored her and ached to be there watching her decline.
All I could do was stand with them, tell them how brave they were. Offer coffee and blankets. I asked to hear stories of my patient as the wonderful mother, sister and wife she clearly had been. It was an amazing day. I left the hospital feeling like the luckiest woman on the planet for walking just a half a step in that family's path.
So yep, I wanna be a nurse. Let's see if my old body can hang on and get me there :)