12 days straight of school was not the best idea. Some how I thought it was important to take the 16 hour doula class last weekend in between my regular class schedule. The doula workshop normally is a $700 class that was offered to us for free. I haven’t processed or read all the material that was presented, so I will report back about the experience in a few weeks, after finals when I have more time.
From the training, I did walk away with an incredible admiration for my clinical instructor. Her life time of work supports the well being of the mom and baby. She is well respected in the field of women’s health and everyone thinks very highly of her. When I become “older”, I can only hope to be like her. She is kind, generous and so willingly to share her knowledge. Thank you Barbara!
This week was the last week of clinical for the semester and I am glad that things are ending. I’m not sure how much more emotional work I could keep giving to the oncology patients. I thought of my mom often these past 5 weeks in oncology.
My patient on Thursday was in the hospital for a variety of things, but what confused me, was that they smoked 1/2 a pack a day, for the last 9 years – that’s like 10 cigarettes a day. They were in a lot of pain, but as soon as the pain was tolerable (managed by pain medication), they wheeled themselves outside for a smoke break. I was dumbfounded by this policy at Duke. Other interesting things I was able to observe a G-tube – a feeding tube directly inserted into a patient’s stomach for feeding and the IV team inserting an IV into a patient using ultrasound to locate the vein.
In one of our classes, we had a panel of previous graduates/alumni talk to us about their jobs and careers. I learned the ICU is not a place I want to work. The patients are very sick in the ICU and usually this unit has the highest mortality rate at the hospital. The nurse who spoke about working in the ICU spoke about compassion fatigue and how emotionally draining it is to work in this unit. She said some of her patients are there 6 months to a year, while others might not make it through a shift. She also spoke about how she works night shifts because there is a better support system and it pays more than the day shift.
Another nurse spoke about how he was formerly in the marines, and after graduation he worked for 6 months in Sierra Leone on the Ebola crisis. After, he spent some time back in the Emergency Department, then worked in research and now he is moving towards a degree in Global Health/Public Health. He said it’s best to work on a floor for a minimum of two years before moving on. You then have the skills to go anywhere.
Another interesting theme that was presented on the panel was the idea that you work 3x a week and have the rest of the week off – you should do something with those days, activities that you enjoy. I’d like to stay on the East Coast and close to New York, maybe for the first two years to hang out more with my nephew. By the time, I finish my two years on a hospital floor, he’ll be ready for school and then I’ll too be ready to move on too. I can be a travel nurse or go abroad.
I recently came across a Glamour article that I thought was interesting:
“What can I do with my time that is important?”
“What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle?”
“What makes you forget to eat and poop?”
“How are you going to save the world?”
“Find a problem you care about and start solving it.”