Walk with me – So close, and yet so far

MN_shoesEditor’s Note: Today’s story continues with the tenth installment with one Mighty Nurse as we walk with her through her nursing adventure. The entire series can be found here, Walk with me.

Last exam of nursing school completed.

Checked that box. But … The end is so close, and yet so far.

39 days left, and I sit today in a leadership class that seems to reiterate common sense concepts ad nauseum.

This class is only three days spread over the next 5 weeks … just enough to be annoying.

And my preceptorship starts in two days, but is only 15 days spread over 5 weeks.

The agony of having so little to do before I get to fly home is a special kind of torture.

I am missing several beloved summer traditions back home to basically sit here in a room twiddling my thumbs.

I have made attempts to arrange shadowing opportunities; however, at this point, unless you have a vested interest in obtaining a job in certain hospitals, they are unable to accommodate this.

I have resigned myself at this point.

And you might well say, “Enjoy the city for the last bit of time you are there!” Well, sadly, I don’t enjoy cities in general.

I am a country girl, and if there was any doubt about this prior to my coming to Pittsburgh it disappeared quickly and completely.

The traffic is prohibitive, it is now hot and stinky and crowded, and almost everything costs money.

And that’s really the main issue … my family has provided me with so much assistance throughout the last year, the last thing I want to do is spend any more money.

So I take deep breaths, cross off the days, and try not to worry too much about several things in Portland that I hope won’t change too much before I can get back and tend to them. Much much much easier said than done.

So I welcome my first precepting shifts on Wednesday and Thursday nights hoping the time will pass more quickly with them.

In a comparatively large victory,  and a complete stroke of luck, I did fall into a preceptorship in the emergency department of the hospital down the street – stress level cut in half!

I feel like I have come home being in the ER

Seven of my shifts will be overnights, and the rest are later daylight shifts – all 12 hours.

This is par for the course as far as I’m concerned, and I am more than content.

However, many of the younger people in my class are swooning from the marathon! “Do we REALLY have to stay all 12 hours? Can we just do 8 of our nurse’s 12 hours?”

What has happened to people?

“This is life and death, and if you’re not passionate about it, you are a liability.”

My mother (who worked in and managed the cardiac cath lab which served all of Eastern Oregon) worked 18 hour days and/or 5 days a week frequently, was called back in to work sometimes twice a night, and still cooked, cleaned, and managed to spend time with the family.

My father helped around the house, too, and so did I.

But she loved her job, and knew that she signed up for this life.

So, what … these kids will have less time to spend on Facebook or drinking or napping during the day?

They will be working three days a week and will be off for four!

I don’t want to hear it. As a dancer, I danced 9 hours a day SIX days a week, and performed several nights a week and sometimes four times on the weekends.

If you want to be lazy, nursing doesn’t want you

Go be a secretary in an office that is so slow that you can file your nails at your desk and talk to your girlfriends on the phone.

This is life and death, and if you’re not passionate about it, you are a liability.

And at this point in the program it is a little late to have that entitled attitude.

However, this is not my problem, and I am just trying to stay focused enough each day to not run and jump on a plane … that is still 39 days away.

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