Friday, June 1, 2012

The First Time

Today's my first shift for the nurse extern program. I'm writing this post the night before, contemplating what tomorrow means.

Up until this point, nursing school has seemed like just another thing. I mean, I did four years of an undergrad degree that turned out nothing. In a way, I have the same mindset about nursing school. Yes, I'm studying hard. Yes, it's one of the most difficult things I've done. Yes, it encompasses pretty much every waking moment of my life (and even some sleeping moments).

But it's not felt real. Even when I've gone to clinical, had patients, made care plans and diagnoses, it felt like I was playing pretend. "Ooh, look at my shiny stethoscope toy! Sure, it cost almost a hundred bucks, but it's a toy!"

Sure, I know more about prescription drugs than I ever thought I would. I know about every system in the body, what signs and symptoms might mean, and I'm even starting to get names for the various bacteria that grow in my fridge and bathtub (the red stuff around the faucet? Serratia marcescens. It won't hurt you. But I wouldn't lick it or anything.)

I know all of that, but I still hadn't quite made the connection of "nurse knowledge" with "self."

It's weird, you know? I'd lived my whole life self-identifying as someone who did stuff in the Humanities. Writing, reading, talking about literature, some sprinkling of theatre and music. Yeah, I always liked science. Yeah, I started college thinking I'd major in Biology and become a hotshot primatologist (true story).

But I didn't.

And yet, here I am, eight years later, eight years wiser, back in science. Halfway through my nursing degree. About to start an externship that was extremely competitive--yet I got in. How does that work? Don't these people know I'm just playing? Shouldn't they have given it to someone who really feels like a nurse on the inside? Someone who's wanted to be a nurse their whole life? I'm just playing.

Until I'm not.


Sarah Ahiers said...

I'm so proud of you and excited for you! You are going to rock it out today, i just know it. And if i wasn't so sure that you were going to cause the zombpoc ;-D i'd want you on my pocy team for sure

Stina said...

I went to nursing school after high school. I know what you're talking about. I felt like I was playing dress up. I ended up quitting because it wasn't for me. I still stuck with science though. I just went for a different degree. One that didn't involve people puking on me. :)

Anonymous said...

Just keep breathing, keep your hands warm, and listen to your patients. You're going to do just fine.

Old Kitty said...

They recognise super duper talent and commitment and total awesomeness to be a nurse in you! Yay! take care

Linda G. said...

The best jobs are the ones that feel like you're playing. That means, deep down inside, you think they're fun. :)

Joan Crawford said...

Someone who's wanted to be a nurse their whole life? I'm just playing.

Until I'm not.

This is the exact reason you will survive and not burn-out in 6 months :) That, and you're funny. Great nurses are always funny.

Good luck to you, Boss Lady!

Claudia Paiva said...

How to live in this world and not leave the system dominate you?

God Bless You!



Stephanie said...

That is so awesome. Good luck.