Month: March 2009

Better Off Ted

Not bad. Kind of clunky (stealing Brian’s words), kind of obvious at times. But fun. I like the pseudo-science, shiny feel of it, reminds me of Pushing Daisies. The music reminds me of Arrested Development, but that could just be because Lindsay Funke is in it.


Ben found this site called

It explains some of the biggest internet memes from the past 10 years. They’re all old to me (OLD!), but it’s fun learning the background. I feel like there is this rich, bizarre internet community that many people in the world are not even aware of. I suggest to anyone who uses the internet for anything besides email and shopping, that you watch the videos on this site to educate yourself. Then if I say o rly or post a lolcat, you won’t scratch your head.


Snowed out

Guess I’ll be home tonight on account of the snow that dumped on Denver. Regis says to stay home from clinicals, so I emailed my contacts and left a cell phone message with my preceptor. Haven’t heard back yet so I hope she’s not expecting me to come in a couple hours.

Somehow I’ll have to entertain myself all night!

We’ve started taking Jem to daycare again so I can sleep during the day. The new owners of the place we used to take her have a started a blog. You can see photos and video of her there. Ben says the owners seems like true dog lovers, and they are open early enough that he can drop her off on the way to work. Perfect!

Night Owl

I’m back from my second shift on nights in the MICU. My biggest fear is relieved: my preceptor is a very nice, competent nurse who was very excited (requested in fact) to have a student. She has been working with me on all levels- tasks, time management, and global care/pathophys. I’ve done new things already: put a foley in a man, heard rales, rhonchi, and wheezes, drew blood cultures, trach suctioning, and EKG interpretation. Our patients are REALLY sick and have a lot going on, both in terms of diseases and a mass of lines going into their bodies. They are constantly on the borders of their vital sign parameters, thus I have alarm bells ringing in my head right now. Our patient today was tachycardic all day, going from 115 to 125 every minute or so, setting off the alarm every time it pass 120. Ugh.

I’m doing eight hour shifts and at this rate I kind of like working nights.
1) no traffic on your commute
2) You don’t feel guilty for sleeping in
3) the gym is less crowded at 2 pm
4) fewer visitors/therapists checking on your patient
5) more attention from the single doc on call for your patient

We’ll see if I’m so enthusiastic when I go to twelve hour shifts, or after the adrenalin of a new place has worn off.

One thing that confuses me: the nurses have acting fairly horrified at some of the things I have seen in these two days. Deep fistula-like wounds between the scrotum and thigh, nasty diarrhea-like urine, booty stank, and fungal-like cellulitis head to toe with massive peeling. Isn’t this what they see all the time? Are they putting up a show for me? Or am I seeing a skewed sample of the type of skin and genital conditions that they normally receive?

Dead GPA

According to webct, with my 95% paper grade (that I think was unfairly docked too many points), my course grade is 92.26. In Regis grades that’s an A-, and is only worth 3.67 for GPA. So I lost my 4.0. On my last class. By 0.24 percentage points.


Roses and Cat barf

Two gifts from two beloved members of my household after a hard week. Of course, Ben received greater thanks for his gift 🙂

Yeah, it’s been a long hard week. I had a lot of projects due and a whopping final that I never felt fully prepared for. I had a couple meltdowns. Ben lovingly helped me deal with the stress. I wasn’t what you would call “nose to the grindstone” all weekend, but I studied a lot hard than I usually do and felt incredibly guilty every moment that I wasn’t studying. I hate that part of school life – you’re never done. I got through my final with the same grade as always, 89%. I studied differently for every test and never improved my grade. I still don’t know if I’ll pull an A with other contributing class points or if I’ll lose my 4.0. It’s bugging me not to know.

So Tuesday was my last “class.” The last test, the last paper, the last written assignment. Next in Senior Practicum we have mandated online discussions, but none of that other stuff. If only I felt more free, but there are still plenty of things to worry me.

Wednesday, my “day off” I put in four hours (mandated) service doing production line work. Horrible stuff. Gave me back spasms and sore fingers. Then I got to wait in a few small offices arranging paperwork and getting an ID badge for my practicum placement. Fun stuff. This is the same day Ben got hit on his passenger side door, you might have seen it on Shot-a-day. It looks like everything will work out fine with fixing it, but still, not a good thing. I decided the best thing for me to do was grab a cheap bite out, then watch America’s Next Top Model and spin yarn. Blissful mindlessness.

Today was more of the same at MedSurg II clinical. One patient with frostbite and ETOH withdrawal, the other with perforated diverticulitis. I spent the day hanging antibiotics and trying to control their pain. Not too exciting. I tried to put an IV in the first guy but his veins were so scarred from overuse that even the nurse had to try twice after I gave up. Hopefully our last day tomorrow will be both exciting and easy. The mantra that we all have adopted is “I’m done with this.” Once you have your next placement it’s a drag continuing at your current one.

Speaking of my next placement, it’ll be all nights. I start Monday. Class only on Monday, 8-noon at Regis, then go sleep, and start at 7:30 pm going until 4 am. Continue 7:30- 4 am T-F. Wow. The rest of the month will be sporadic blocks of 12 hour nights, 3:30 pm – 4 am. Weird. I’m curious how hard it will be to change my sleep-wake cycle. I hope I get to see Ben once in a while for the next month. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Like charting, blogging should be done ASAP after an event

And the event is . . . I put in an IV today!! DA DA DA DUMMMMMM!

This week’s clinical was way way better than last week’s. The main difference was my attitude. I adopted a lassaiz-faire approach to student nursing, since this hospital put so many restrictions on us. Oh, I see that I haven’t talked about this clinical yet. I’m on a general med/surg floor in a busy hospital. Their student policy is that we can’t do anything without our clinical instructor with us. We can’t even pass meds if the patient’s primary nurse is with us, if the instructor isn’t there. Everything is controlled by fingerprint and card access. They won’t give us cards or even a login password to check the computer for orders or lab results. So basically our hands are tied. I also felt that last week our instructor was babying us and not letting us do things ourselves, she kept stepping on our toes. We gave her a lot of feedback on that and this week she has given us a lot more control. It’s still hard to get your patient cares done when you’re on someone else’s schedule – hence my new attitude. If I had an 8 AM med and it’s 9:30 and she’s still busy with another student? Oh well. Not my problem, as long as I let her know I was waiting. If she wants to chat with her fellow nurses when I’m waiting at the desk for her omnicell access? Chat with them instead of sending darts with my eyeballs (oh, but you guys know me, I would NEVER do that 😉

I had two patients Th and F, one stayed the same and one discharged in the morning today. All my patients were Spanish speaking only. I used interpretors, fellow students who spoke spanish, the telephone interpretor, and a lot of charades and sound effects. I learned that they appreciate it when you use their phrases even though you can’t say anything else. I quickly incorporated senora, gracias, lo ciento, delora (for pain), mucho, grande, and counted uno dos tres before giving a shot. I did the admission interview for a patient and had to use the telephone interpretting service. It definitely affects your ability to connect with the patient and it takes twice as long as usual, but we got through it.

I haven’t done too many procedures yet. Lots of IV meds and boy, am I missing the syringe pumps at other hospitals. I had to sit and slowly push a medication over ten minutes! I do check a lot of urine and vomit, take a lot of vitals, do the assessments, and give heparin and insulin shots. I tried to start an IV yesterday but I was afraid to dig around too much, so I let the nurse finish the stick (which worked first attempt). Today though I did all the prep, got the flash, tested patency, and taped it down. The whole shebang. There are so many steps involved. I wish I had more chances to practice so I could remember all the little steps. I should mime it out in my free time.

Umm. I feel like I should summarize other things going on or write a nice conclusion. But I’m hungry and tired of typing, so laters!


I studied a lot for more this test and the material was more familiar to me, but I got the same grade, a high B. It’s bumming me out pretty bad. I really don’t want to lose my 4.0 during my last class. We also had a four hour class on job interviews in the afternoon. Hmm. Seemed like we could have covered it all in 45 minutes. Also, the morning’s guest lecturer on burns only gave us one break and went into our lunch hour 10 minutes. Come on. That’s just rude. She and my regular teachers and the job interview speakers kept saying things like “I know you guys have had a hard day, but let’s go over . . . ” Your apologies are FUTILE if you take up my lunch! Or only give us one break per 4 hour block! And make me come in 30 minutes earlier in the morning to test but don’t let us out early!

Ahem. Sorry. Mondays are rough. Only three more I guess.

Saturday I had fun teaching dance to the Achievement Girls (aged 8-11) at church. I taught them to cha cha, some charleston, then a short jazz routine. It reminded me that I really love to teach dance and choreograph. Maybe someday I can return to them.

Right now Ben is playing a GTA extension with headphones on. Jem is moping at me from across the couch because we are so boooorinnnnng. I have a stack of books to read about skin diseases and shock, which we’ll be lectured on tomorrow. The air smells like bacon because I made crunchy salty BLT’s (minus the T, plus cheese) for dinner. This is how we roll.

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