Oh where to begin...the time is just flying by. We have just wrapped up our eighth week of classes and fourth week of clinicals. This semester our clinical situation is similar to last semester. We have a total of 9 weeks of clinicals and 3 of those weeks we have to spend on campus in a clinical simulation. So lucky me...my on-campus time is right in the middle of my clinicals...meaning I spent three weeks at my clinical location (healthsouth) and I'm now on campus for 2 more weeks and then I'll go back to healthsouth for 3 more weeks! :)
I've really tried to go into the campus-clinicals with a positive attitude but this past week was torture! We do a lot of acting out situations and it's really hard to take the scenario serious when others are laughing and joking about the situation. I think the instructors get overwhelmed sometimes or run out of activities for us to do and try and use up as much time by asking questions like, "so how did this situation make you feel?" or "tell me what you think we were trying to get you to realize..." Hahaha...for all you nurses/nursing students out there...our instructors do a great job at coming up with open-ended questions (aka therapeutic communication).
Well that's enough complaining about campus clinicals because no matter how much I want to fight it or talk about how much I don't like it...it is what it is and there's not any chance for us to get out of it..so I suppose I'll suck it up and be as great an actress as possible ;)
Actual clinicals are great! I love the place that I'm at and I've had the opportunity to work with some interesting patients and some really great nurses. I think one of the most accurate and funny things I've heard is a nurse share with me what she felt it was to be a nurse. She told me, "I'm a jack of all trades and master of none!" Initially, I just laughed and thought nothing of it; however, as the day continued on I'd to little tasks that I'm good at, but not great at...and I heard in the back of my mind, "jack of all trades and master of none." In a strange way that bothered me, for those of you who may not know I tend to struggle with perfectionism. Nursing is the type of career that you never perfect...you always learn, change and grow. This is something I'm finding to be truer with each passing day and something that I'm working on accepting.
I had a patient that was labeled a difficult, rude, unpleasant patient. I was worried about going in to meet this patient because of the comments that had been made from the other staff. I reminded myself though that that was their own assessment/opinion and I needed to enter her room with an open mind...as far as I knew she had a clean slate. At first she did seem a little standoffish but the more time I spent with her and the more I showed her that I really cared about her and wanted to offer (as little as it may be) as much help to her as I could, she started to open up. I think what she wanted was for someone to take a little time and actually talk to her and hear her out. I like to take people that have been stereotyped and labeled as a rude patient and prove it wrong. I think the biggest thing is realizing that this person has more to their life than whatever illness has brought them to the hospital. I don't know exactly where this woman has been or how she has been treated..and regardless of what she may, or may not tell me, you never know how much of it is the truth. So the next time someone tells you to avoid "so-and-so" because they're in one of "those" moods...try and remember that maybe their situation isn't what we may think it is...we haven't walked in their shoes...
Now that I'm done preaching I just wanted to share one last quote that I heard this past week...and I don't remember exactly where I heard it so I can't give the person who said it credit but it was this, "Hard work beats talent and talent doesn't work as hard!" So I'm going to work harder at having a better attitude with my campus clinicals. I'm going to work hard at becoming the best jack-of-all-trades that I can be. And I'm going to work hard at going into each patients room with an open mind and allowing them to show me who they really are...or who they aren't!