I've made it to my fourth semester! Am I scared? You betcha! Am I tired? Better believe it. The studying is tedious and there's so much that I had forgotten over the summer break. Lectures are more like class discussions because there's a lot of self teaching. The tests are no longer just knowledge based; you have to apply what you know to that patient. The hours are long, the material is tough, and everything else in your life goes on the back burner.
The one thing that I've noticed is that I really love clinicals this semester. I believe that it's because I feel more like a nurse and less like a CNA. Now, when I found out who my clinical instructor was, I was excited. Ms. Grace, as we call her, is brilliant. Funny, too. More importantly, she makes you really look at your patient, their disease process, and the effect it has on their life. She cares so much for the patients when she tends to them and puts her heart into it. I'm determined that I will be that kind of nurse. No patient is going to be just a body to me. Ever.
The other thing that surprises me is that I'm tougher than I thought I was. I always said that I don't want to see blood and guts and slime, etc. I was determined that I never wanted to see a bedsore or suction snot from a person's trach. In my mind, it just wasn't happening. But...this semester, I'm on a respiratory floor and I can suction and clean a trach with the best of them! My stomach doesn't even try to flip anymore. I'm way better at assessing patients and recognizing when something just doesn't feel right. My heart is on a hospital floor and if I had a choice in the matter, I would stay there all day. I just have this need to try to solve problems and care for people.
I was thinking today that God has given me the most amazing gift. Besides my children that is. I didn't grow up in the best circumstances and was left feeling unloved and unwanted almost my whole life. I still have days. But, I think that all this only made me a more compassionate person overall. I know that I care way more than I should and I'm unbelievably sensitive but it's ok. I finally accept those flaws and truth be told, I think they're blessings.