This week was our first week at our clinical sites. We’ve been practicing skills in the lab at school for weeks, and now we’re finally using some of them!
Monday morning I woke up at 5 am (which in my mind is technically still night time) and with some apprehension and some excitement headed off to Landis Homes! Our clinical instructor gave us lists of the medications of several of “our” residents. Since we’re new nursing students, we don’t know much about specific medications yet, so we had to look them all up and write med sheets on them. (It’s never a good idea to administer an unfamiliar medication.) Writing med sheets took up most of the day. After our lunch break from 11-12, we met some of the residents, helped feed them lunch, and then assisted them in getting back to their rooms.
Wednesday we were at Landis Homes again, and we really got to take care of our residents! We were teamed up for most of the day (Laura and I make a really good team!) and assigned a specific resident to provide care for. Once our resident’s care was complete, we were free to look for more people to assist.
My imagination is very strong, and sometimes things feel more real when I anticipate them than when they actually happen. I was a bit worried about that on Monday. While I was driving home, I kept telling myself that this is real! I’m in nursing school, working with real people, finally! But it didn’t feel one bit real, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself. And I was worried that I had imagined for so long what being a nurse would feel like, that I had ruined what it would actually be like when the time came.
After Friday though, my perspective changed. True, on Monday we did some nurse-ish things, like looking up medications. But Friday, we were working with people. I can’t logically understand how, after a day of simply helping a few people with the basic needs of life-eating, bathing, taking walks, etc-I feel so completely satisfied and happy. It’s as if I’ve finally found my niche-what I’m meant to be doing. It’s like a confirmation that all of these years I’ve been dreaming of what it would feel like to be a nurse-I barely scratched the surface of how fulfilling it could truly be.
And yes, I know that there are going to be plenty of days when it doesn’t feel like this, and when I just want to cry and give up, but for right now, I want to bask in the satisfaction of a really, really good day in nursing school. I brought smiles to a few people today. I rubbed lotion on a sweet lady’s hands. I walked several people back to their rooms. I helped a few people get dressed. I took someone to bingo. I told funny stories. I listened to funny stories. I heard some sad stories. All little things. Some more pleasant than others. Some seemingly more meaningful than others. All fulfilling, because I know I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing.
This picture was taken on Friday. I don’t relish the idea of posting selfies on my blog, but we don’t have other pictures from the nursing home. Monique and Deana, we missed having you with us on Friday! Mrs. Clark, we will miss having you as our clinical instructor!