Friday, June 29, 2007

First Day at Clinicals

REFLECTING ON: First day of clinical rotation of first quarter at UCSF, written to fellow classmates...

Just got home a second ago and this is where I am at: I feel tired before I've even begun. Thoughts started percolating about this whole experience so I thought I'd share...please feel free to chime in and reflect too.

As the scrubs hit the laundry basket, the gargantuan-ness (I made that word up) of what I've/we've chosen to take on hit me like an anvil. Despite the fact that I got this week's "to do" lists almost done, I've got my PDA crammed with our schedule to keep me on point, I got books (and even feel like I really dig Patho), and maybe I've got some knowledge about some things in the past, really, when I stop to think about where I'm at right now, I have got no clue.

Clinicals really brought home the reality of this situation.

While on the oncology floor this morning, immune-compromised patients strolled by us, each with about fifteen IV bags filled with chemo, I became pretty damn humble. One patient shuffled on by with her nurse and managed to wave and smile at us. Yeah, I've got good intentions, but I felt like an impostor in my scrubs. You know, kinda like dress up or Halloween. No matter how I try to build myself up in my mind right now, somehow I cannot believe I'm going to be a nurse!

I also can't believe I'm seriously considering buying a fanny pack. Seriously. Though it's ridiculous, the whole fanny-pack thing is an appropriate metaphor in this whole MEPN situation. Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have ever thought that I would DREAM of buying a fanny-pack. I have never liked fanny packs. Even in the early eighties, when I was like five, and fanny packs were considered semi-socially acceptable, I thought fanny packs were silly. Now I think I need a fanny pack and what's worse: I want it to match my scrubs.

I left the comfort of my previous identity and hung it up on the coat rack as I walked into UCSF.

Yes, I know there's a learning curve. And yes I get that I'm really only expected to be a glorified volunteer in the beginning. But that somehow doesn't change the fact that I am really starting to realize the gravity of our work. It's simultaneously intimidating and awesome.

Some part of me keeps on reminding me that starting from scratch is good. You know, like doing pull ups or eating Brussel-sprouts. Builds character--or so I'm told.

I guess that's just it: I thought I was done with my character. I thought I knew who I was. I was competent at what I did--some might even say good. Now I know nothing. Now I am rebuilding my character, or more appropriately put, adding on to what I once thought was finished.

This will be good. Just not always so comfortable.

I am humbled and honored to be in this program with all of you. Truly.

Have a good weekend.

1 comment:

kelly c. said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I am just starting nursing school and my instructor mentioned that if we wanted to look "silly" we could get a fanny pak to keep all the glorified nursing quip. in one convenient spot. I am all for it and just ordered one (sorry I am seriously an organized person-why fight it?) and know I can expect a few chuckles and looks at the clinicals. Reading your blog made me smile and feel better about my purchase. And yes, mine matches too!
kelly c., ponte vedra beach, fl