When I mentioned this would be a hard semester, I was not kidding.
Unfortunately, the clinical group I picked has the most taxing schedule ever. We have already done 6/10 Advanced Med-Surg clinicals and this next Sunday we start our second OB clinical-basically, right after our 7 day spring break while everyone else gets 10 days. The other difficult thing about this group is that everyone in it is absolutely brilliant and I constantly feel as though I’m falling behind. Part of it is just that there is just so much to know about nursing..and anatomy..and each condition, that you feel like you’re missing information. Lab values don’t always correspond with symptoms. However, the great thing about my clinical instructor is that she writes a lot of comments on our patient care forms to help clarify misunderstandings. I’m certainly learning something, even though I feel like I don’t know enough. Gradewise, I’m keeping up with my B student status although I did fail my first test. It was a Med Comp test (medication computation test…in nursing school everything is an acronym or abbreviated..not sure why we even attempt to speak in full sentences). This was mostly because we had lab days 3 weeks in a row and I just ran out of “give-a-damns”…I just had too much on my plate and needed a break. Fortunately, I get to retake it in a few weeks. I plan to attend the review and actually study this time. I know, I know, what a concept.
Also, financially, this semester has just been awful. We can barely afford to pay for our bills. I was hired as a PRN employee this semester and I was getting shifts on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. I went to pick up my meager paycheck last week and I saw that they made an employee full-time and had him pick up my shifts. That means I really am PRN now-I get called when a full-time employee calls out or takes vacation. On Monday, I plan to call the Manager at our other location and tell her I’m available this week to pick up shifts.
Semi-available…if I work the night shifts, I can bring my work that I have to complete over spring break with me. I have 3 CPFs, a three-fold poster project (like the ones you did in elementary school..), 2 case studies, and a test to study for..not so relaxing but I’d like to get it done so that the rest of the semester is less intense.
On top of all this, I have not been taking care of myself. I’ve gained a lot of weight. On our second or third clinical day I was giving meds and my instructor pulled me aside to make me aware that my lower back was showing when I bent over and that I needed to buy a nurse jacket or new pants. So I went to the store and got new nursing MChammer style pants that look ridiculously big compared to my clinical top which I appear to be bursting out of. A larger size clinical top would have to be specially ordered and besides, I’m a little too stubborn to give in to that. I really, really need to make it to the gym more and drink more fruit smoothies…like bad. I’m out of my high voltage decongestants that I get from behind the counter for my allergies and I’ve just been taking the cheap loratidine ones. Thus, my nose is crusty and dry and I’ve been sneezing my head off. Also, I was having symptoms of a beginning UTI yesterday so I cooled it on the caffeine and starting up on more water. I can’t afford health issues or to change my entire wardrobe so something has got to give.
In other better news, we are going on a mini trip on Friday to get out of town and away from all this stress. We’ll be staying with B’s relatives in sunny Fort Lauderdale to relax. I don’t plan about stressing over anything-it’s only 2 days so packing should be easy.
I’m trying to remind myself that all of these things are a process, will take time, and need to be prioritized. Today, I am taking the day off to sit around in my pajamas and allow the brain to decompress. However, tomorrow I should go to the gym for a little bit and do my case studies and CPF for my OB clinical since it will be next Sunday. Also, I should probably pay bills tomorrow. Sunday night I work all night so I can bring some CPFs and studying with me. I will try to work for a few hours throughout the shift, go home and sleep, and then visit the gym. When I wake up, I need to call the other manager for more shifts. Then, I must start writing thank you cards for my wedding…yeah, over 4 months later. So basically if I just keep up this pattern of gym, homework, work, chores, some fun, I should have a productive and well-balanced spring break. It’s not enough days.