Nursing school this semester has been a challenge for me. It is no secret among those who know me well that I am more of a sprinter than a marathon runner when it comes to tough things in life, and I am having to face some of those issues within myself. Right now Christmas of next year seems a LONG way off.
The semester was set up oddly and it is taking a toll in terms of my internal anxiety and sense of well being. We all do a six week rotation through psychiatric nursing this semester, and I drew the straw that had me there doing it first thing. So basically I have not even been to my regular hospital or clinicals yet other than at orientation six weeks ago. I start this week. There have been horror stories pouring out of the group left and right regarding the depth of paperwork this new clinical instructor requires, that humiliation is used in teaching and that the nurses on the floor of that hospital are evil and mean and eat students for lunch. All of this is workable to me - I have always been the type of person who can get along with the crotchety provider etc. It is the massive paperwork that has me most concerned. The rumor mill holds that people are staying up until as late as 2 AM to have this stuff completed in time to turn in at 6:30 AM to the instructor at the clinicals site. Since I am not sleeping particularly well as it is, the thought of my very interrupted sleep schedule going off the deep end that completely has me totally freaked out. I generally am falling asleep around 9:30 or 10 at night, then wake up around 2:30ish and can't get back to sleep. Cumulatively I am starting to see myself suffer from this, both in terms of motivation and confidence, not to mention just an inner sense of discontentment that I cannot put my finger on.
I am anxious to get back on the floor at the hospital. Psych was interesting, but it doesn't give me the same internal sense of fulfilling something I am supposed to be doing as being at the bedside does. I am missing that aspect of my education. I have not been back to my externship since school started. Starting clinicals this week will get me back doing hands on care, and that always does a lot for my weary spirit. I need it.
We have our second exam today. I am not sure I am ready - attempts to study felt largely unsuccessful due to anxiety and fatigue. My last exam was fine, but not nearly good enough of a grade to carry me if this particular exam doesn't go well. We have so many extra projects and papers and side bars of activities going on. I will be super glad when the end of October arrives and most of my "extra" stuff has been accomplished and all that is left is to just go to lecture, to clinicals and do my lab skills. The boys have a ton of stuff going on too, and Stewart (their dad) has started back to school as well. Joe is semi-retired at this point and I find myself very relieved. I go to him for hugs, for reassurance, for loving, for my regular kicks in the ass that push me toward where I really wanted to go anyway. He cooks for me and helps around the house and takes care of our finances so that we stay on course through my schooling, things that get hard to pay attention to when in a program this intense, but that also contribute to the middle of the night fretting I seem to be stuck doing. It is impossible for me to fathom right now how I would be coping if I didn't have him for support.
I am hoping I get a chance to start an IV on a real person soon. I am doing well on the rubber arms in lab, but I can't tell if that really means anything when it comes to a flesh and blood vein.
So this week is going to be a humdinger in the sense of starting regular clinicals with an instructor who is now used to students being six weeks along. It will be good to get that over with. Saturday night Joe and I are attending a fundraiser gala and get to be all dressed up. I am vascillating between wearing my wedding gown (which was really just a while evening gown) or wearing a little black dress. We shall see which makes me feel most goddess-y that evening. My sister in law and I have tentative plans to get mani/pedi's that day, which at this moment sounds decadent enough to bring tears to my eyes. I am just so stressed out inside. Let the next few days go smoothly. Please let me not let myself down on this exam.