We made it through week 6, which is the half way point of our fall semester. I canceled my participation in the fall break canoe trip because I felt I could not devote 4 days (Sat-Tues) and needed to focus on my catching up with my studies. I’m sure that means I will not be a participating as a future guide with the outdoor program. However, I have other things to look forward to in the spring. I was selected for the Tanzania Global Clinical Immersion program. In April, for our clinical assignment, I will be going to Tanzania for two weeks.
A classmate asked me what type of nurse would I like to be? I answered, I would like to be on a mountain search and rescue team, or as a flight nurse on a mountain like in Jackson Hole/Grand Teton, Wyoming or work in Alaska and fly in to rural communities to provide care. She said it sounded like an adventure nurse. It made me think a little about post graduation plans. I will need to work one year as a registered nurse before I am eligible to apply to graduate school. I am thinking about living in Philadelphia (Penn), Baltimore/DC (Hopkins), and Duke/Durham. I could see myself going to all those schools and I think if you work at their hospital you are eligible for some tuition reimbursement. I’d like to get my Nurse Practitioner license/degree so I can provide further care to communities in need. It made me also think a little that I would like to have somewhere, someplace in the world to call my own. A place where I have a bed and address that is not a storage unit. I can continually travel but it would be nice to not have to buy pots and pans every time I move. I think Philadelphia/DC/Denver might be affordable places, but I hold out hope for the dream of living in Vancouver/Canada, with a big home in Whistler/Squamish, British Columbia/Canada – with a home large enough for guest bedrooms, skis, bikes, and a 4×4 off-road car.
Photos – bathroom in 21C – cool historic hotel in downtown Durham, that has a bank vault – the bank vault is used as a lounge. The glass doors in the bathrooms at this hotel are transparent, but when locked become opaque. The sign was interesting to me, because North Carolina is home of the HB2 legislation/”bathroom bill” that mandates transgender people use the bathrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. Other photo – Duke Gardens – not as wonderful as I hoped. It’s 5 miles of green space on campus, but it made me miss the Golden Gate Park, where I would visit the Botanical Gardens any time, ride my bike past the bison on my way to the archery range.
This week’s highlights:
1. workshop on inclusion – I liked how the facilitator reminded us to move back/move up – instead of step up/step down – and wait 7 seconds before speaking again to allow time for someone else to speak.
2. spirituality and dying patients – I will not answer the hard questions, but ask “what can I do for you today?” or “what is important to you when you make decisions?” Stay humble and curious.
3. Diet and Diet plan – I don’t think I learned anything from this workshop, but I loved the free dinner of soba noodles/green beans/tomatoes/tofu. I shared with the group of soon to be health professionals my eating habits are focused on the principles of eating locally and sustainable. I meal plan every week so my fridge looks like a Tupperware take out container fest and I have nutritious meals and won’t be hungry. I made a rule of not spending money on take out food unless it was a social activity with a friend. (i.e. you cannot buy a pumpkin scone unless it is an activity with a friend.) I felt everyone looked at me like I was strange, and a girl in the group said I should mentor her.
We have to write a paper soon about ethical dilemmas and our future practice. I am thinking about writing about the difficulty of providing objective standard of care to all patients, regardless of your thoughts/values on (for example, addiction).
Next week, I have my head to toe assessment, then the following week, I am assessed on this skill in clinical with my a oncology patient. I’m a little scared as we have only 6 weeks of school/training. I am not yet ready to take small responsibilities away from a nurse, with a real patient. Our professors say we are ready, and maybe that is enough.