Wow, another five weeks almost done and gone!! It's hard to believe that as someone who loves writing, reflecting, and getting my thoughts out, that I haven't really had time to sit down and really think about much, other than the next exam or figuring out what class I need to be in.
This past five weeks has been even crazier than the previous five, though I at first didn't think that was possible. I just finished my Foundations of Nursing Course, and I'm pretty positive I aced it. I'll find out my grade later. Just finished my last test in there so I have to wait for a few class things to be graded.
I have a few more exams this week, but they are all bench-marking exams, called ATI Testing. It's a way for us to find out where we rank in our testing skills to all the other nurses in the nation.
It's all smooth sailing from here.
However, the more I go on in this program, the more and more my perspective is beginning to change. It's very easy for one to get caught up in the rigors of the program and start to alter one's perspective about what is "right" and "wrong" is nursing. What constitutes a "good" or "great" nurse and so-on and so-forth. It's easy to get caught up in what is the evidence-based practice standard of providing care and what is "wrong", etc.
I have realized that though I love the clinical setting, and I love the critical care aspect (and fully plan on being immersed in that sort of nursing for awhile after graduation), that it isn't the only form of nursing out there. I temporarily forgot how huge of a proponent I am of holistic medicine, of the body's ability to heal itself, and of the importance of balance. I temporarily forgot a lot of what I stand for and believe.
(Funny I should mention balance when I'm not exactly practicing that for my own health!)
The more I go on in this program, the easier it is for me to just sit back, relax, and enjoy it and get back to my own beliefs and ideals about health care and providing quality nursing care. I'm becoming better at reconciling what I'm learning now and how it will influence my nursing practice as I go forward.
My classmates are also becoming constant reminders of what I don't care about and what I don't stand for.
Our generation and society is marked by comfort and materialism. Being surrounded by this every day stands as a sharp reminder of things I honestly don't give a shit about.
The majority of my classmates are wrapped up in getting that oh-so-coveted "A", and everything surrounds their grades, and doing a skill "correctly". If we aren't following that, or if something isn't allowing one their "A", it's a constant freak-out and bitch fest.
Now I'm not always the MOST laid-back person though I do pat myself on the back for being able to pretty comfortably flow with the ebbs and detours of life. However, a good grip of my classmates make me feel like I am as peaceful as Ghandi himself (that should be saying something). And as each day, each freak-out, each bitch session comes forward, I am becoming more acutely aware how ridiculous life can be sometimes.
It's so hard to take that seriously when there are much bigger problems happening each and every day around the world. There are children starving domestic and international, there are needless and mindless wars all over the globe, homeless families who simply need a break, people dying of cancer, etc. And there are people around the world who are doing things that are actually making a huge difference, not just in the "gold-standard" way of properly inserting an NG tube into the next patient but people who are fighting for peace, justice, and health. Those who are out there quietly scrapping all means possible to help in areas of public health and injustice to fight the bigger battles of life. People who are donating time, money, and possibly various body tissues to help others. The nurses around the world who are for the young, old, and special needs are the ones who I take seriously.
I don't want to be a nurse who sits in a comfortable hospital and caters to the comfortable health of those here, who simply are having appendectomies. I want to help premature neonates have a chance at a healthful life. I want to work with kids with special needs and cancers who need a quiet strength. I want to work with those around the world who don't have access to the same healthcare we have (where things such as sterile insertion of nasogastric tubes aren't such huge matters....but rather simply getting the proper vaccines is the battle of life and death). That's where I want to be. That's what matters to me.
No patient is ever going to look at me and ask whether I'm a 4.0 nurse, a 3.6 nurse or a 3.0 nurse. They are simply going to know that I've had the proper training, done well enough to get my nursing licensure, and am now there to practice to the best of my abilities. My abilities that include perseverance, hardwork, dedication, caring, humor, strength and compassion. Not my ability to get an A in a class or my ability to memorize every line of information in a book.
So this is where I sit today. I'm getting ready to start the first clinical rotation..med/surg. I'm a little bit anxious and a little bit excited. The sun is shining, I'm wearing my trusty flip-flops, and have a full belly. I have some wonderful people in my life and an excellent God by my side. And that's really all that matters right now. Nursing school is important, and huge for me right now, as it's the foundation for my nursing career. But it's not the only thing that matters, and it's not the end-all of my life right now.
So with that, I'm onto take another exam, and I'm going to crush it ;-)