Office Space

Cleaned up my office yesterday…filed and everything. (I absolutely hate filing. Seriously…worst chore EVER.) I still have a bunch of stuff to shred, but I’ll get to that one lazy afternoon when I have nothing better to do than to watch ER. 😉

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I ordered my books for my Community Health class, but I still don’t have a book list for the rest of the classes. 😦 I also still have no idea what my schedule will be for the first few weeks of school…which is crazy considering the fact that the beginning of the semester is only a little over 3 weeks away. EEK.

I also do not know yet where I will be precepting within the VA Hospital. My instructor asked if I had a preference for critical care, ER, or med-surg; I of course answered that I’d prefer to work in critical care but I haven’t heard back about that and I’m not sure when I’ll know. It’s frustrating when I don’t have any answers because it’s harder to prepare myself…but such is the way of things.

I seem to be consumed lately with the thought of applying to jobs and I’m trying to imagine myself getting call backs for interviews. The nerves are building and it feels much the same way as it did before I was able to apply to nursing school. The ANTICIPATION!! I’m not quite ready to apply because I don’t have any cover letters made yet (need to do that SOON!) but I’m mentally ready to get this show on the road.

And that about sums up my thoughts for now! I think I’m still in denial that this semester starts so soon…

 

DR Trip Recap!

As mentioned in my previous posts, this summer I was fortunate enough to go on a medical mission trip with a bunch of my classmates and some of my professors to the Dominican Republic. It was SUCH an amazing trip and definitely not an experience I’ll ever forget. For anyone who’s ever thought about doing medical mission work – I’d HIGHLY suggest it. I’m hoping to be able to go again either next year or the year after that if possible!

Our whole goal for the trip was to be able to set up and provide “clinics” for the poorer communities in and around Piedra Blanca. After months of fundraising and gathering/buying supplies, we were finally ready! We left early in the morning on Sunday, June 1st (when I say early – it was a 5:45am flight!) and arrived in Santo Domingo after a layover to Atlanta at around 1pm. We were there for 10 days; somehow those 10 days were simultaneously the longest and shortest days ever!

We had five clinic days in which we, the nursing students, got to act as nurses with the supervision of the nursing team leaders. We assessed patients, diagnosed them, and then prescribed them medicine to hopefully help their ailments. We did a lot of teaching as well, especially on cleanliness and hygiene. I’d say the ailments we saw the most were “flu-like symptoms” – or gripe, as known to them – which were cough and runny nose (essentially a cold), and parasites. A couple of patients had staph infections, there were plenty of patients with decaying teeth, patients with sore and achy muscles, those who needed glasses (we set them up with readers), fungal infections, yeast infections, and many who came just because they wanted to stock up on vitamins for themselves and their families. One of my patients we actually advised to go to a hospital right away because she had tachycardia ranging from 140 bpm and up with a fever of 102.

We also had an opportunity while there to visit a local hospital, talk to local nursing students (they were so young!! The youngest was 16), visit an orphanage/childcare center for neurologically disabled children, go shopping, experience a local church service, visit the Colonial City, and suntan on the beach (twice!).

I really think that being able to be in control of assessing the patients and diagnosing them was extremely beneficial to my learning and my confidence as a soon-to-be nurse. I’m really hoping that this experience will be invaluable once I begin my preceptorship in the fall and especially once I graduate and begin a nurse residency.

I could go on and on and on about being in the DR and the various experiences I had…but somehow there aren’t even words for it. So I shall conclude this post with pictures – after all, who doesn’t love pictures? 😉

Stacy and I after we took off from DFW!

Our first sight of the caribbean ocean!

Our first sight of the caribbean ocean!

First meal in the Dominican Republic; CORN pizza! I'd never heard of such a thing.

First meal in the Dominican Republic; CORN pizza! I’d never heard of such a thing.

The mountain river basically right in the "backyard" of the location we stayed at.

The mountain river basically right in the “backyard” of the location we stayed at.

Partnering up to help take care of patients! :)

Partnering up to help take care of patients! 🙂

How our "pharmacy" was set up one of our clinic days.

How our “pharmacy” was set up one of our clinic days.

Our "clinic" area.

Our “clinic” area.

He was so adorable!! The most serious baby ever.

He was so adorable!! The most serious baby ever.

The group.

The group.

One of our clinic days we went door-to-door in the local community...it was the best clinic!

One of our clinic days we went door-to-door in the local community…it was the best clinic!

A rather large family we saw when going door-to-door.

A rather large family we saw when going door-to-door.

Such cuties!

Such cuties!

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Those are cocoa beans in that bucket! So awesome!

Those are cocoa beans in that bucket! So awesome!

Visiting the local hospital.

Visiting the local hospital.

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In Spanish.

In Spanish.

The hospital's medicine pyxis.

The hospital’s ONE medicine pyxis.

Labor and Delivery Room!

Labor and Delivery Room!

Relaxing in the pool after a long clinic day.

Relaxing in the pool after a long clinic day.

group photo of us!

Out on the town and look what I find!

Out on the town and look what I find!

Columbus' House in the Colonial City!

Columbus’ House in the Colonial City!

Our last group picture in the DR, the morning we left. It was such a great experience!

Our last group picture in the DR, the morning we left. It was such a great experience!

Summer Updates

Well I can’t believe my summer is almost over!! As of yesterday, only 5 more weeks until my “last first day of school” – at least for my undergrad! 😉

My summer has simultaneously been busy (aka it’s gone by super fast) and very relaxing. I went to the Dominican Republic for a 10 day medical mission trip almost right at the beginning of my summer – which I’ll post about later this week – and then to Alabama for a week-long family vacation only 3 weeks after getting back from the DR. In the meantime I’ve been working working working (I’ve gone part-time over the summer!) and hanging out with friends as often as I can before school starts up again. I’ve also read an insane amount of books that aren’t school-related. 🙂

I must say I am SO thankful that my last summer while in school came after my S1 semester! I really, truly needed this break after that craziness. I can’t imagine if I’d only gotten winter break after S1 before diving right in to S2. Even though I thought I would’ve rather started nursing school a semester earlier than I did and graduated this past May…I have to say that all things work out just the way they’re supposed to.

So, ready for a couple of exciting updates?

First, June 26th I APPLIED FOR GRADUATION!!!

It’s just so hard to wrap my mind around the fact that after being in school for 5 years – I’m almost DONE! I have actually reached the point where I can apply for graduation…and I can plan for my graduation party in December. INSANE!

Second, I asked my manager at work if she could give me any advice/tips on how to apply for the residency program that my hospital has for graduate nurses and if there was any way that I would end up on the floor that I’m already working on (a progressive cardiac care unit – basically a telemetry step-down from ICU). She told me that I just need to let her know when the residency program started releasing jobs to apply for and she would create a position for me on the floor. WHAT?!?! My jaw literally dropped right there in her office and I was speechless for a moment. She would really do that?! She said that she doesn’t hire nursing students as PCTs without the possibility that they stay on the floor as graduate nurses – as long as she feels like they do a good job, will be a great nurse, and fit in well.

Of course there’s still a possibility that I won’t get it…I think that even if she created the position with me in mind she still has to interview about 10-15 people for the job and she might think that someone will work out better. And I’m still going to be applying for ICU and ER positions at other hospitals as well. But it makes my heart glow to know that she values me to the point that she would create a residency position for me when I graduate.

Speaking of applying to other positions, that brings me to my third update: I finished my resume a couple of weeks ago and I think it looks FANTASTIC. Now I haven’t had anyone professional look at it yet (I’ll do that when school starts back up and there’s a workshop on campus), but I really love the look of it and the fact that I said EVERYTHING I wanted to say on two pages without it looking cluttered and “busy.” Now I just need to write cover letters for each of the hospitals I’ll be applying to (another thing to finish before school begins again) and I’ll be ready to apply as soon as positions start opening up!

Well I think that’s about it for now…things are going to start heating up within the next few weeks as I start to get ready for this last semester!! For now, I’m going to go get a workout in and then hang out with my brother for the day. 🙂 Audios!