Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nurses eat their young

Their are certain animals in the world known to eat their young. Monkeys. Kitty cats. Hamsters. Spiders. And finches, to name a few. Chomp Chomp! Nurses are no different. 

I am a new nurse. Three months off orientation. All the beginning whirlwind bliss of formal introductions is over. With my 90 day evaluation in tow, I am on my own. I am left to bridge both the doctrines of nursing held steadily over generations (and generations...) of seasoned nurses before me, with all the rules and regulations of a unit breathing new life from ambitious young nursing grads. In some respects, life as a nurse is incredibly good. There are so many great nurses in the world to learn from. The depth of intelligence, the scope of clinical expertise, and the grace of a tenured hand eludes me. I can only wish to be such an extraordinary nurse one day. But for now, I learn. 

If only all wonderfully experienced nurses could see themselves for who they really are. If only all wonderfully experienced nurses could step back and imagine themselves at the beginning of their own learning curve. If they could do just this, they may learn to reserve judgement and give new nurses the opportunity to learn from their practical knowledge. At best, this would be the most optimal environment for everyone. A nursing utopia! In the end though, more positive nursing relations would create better clinical outcomes for patients, and optimal communication for the entire medical team. I know this not because I have numerous years of experience on the hospital floor, but simply because I can understand the nature of what it takes to make people work effectively together. Moreover, I've seen first hand what can happen when nurses treat each other disrespectfully and communication falls apart. 

I must admit though, being a new nurse is terrible at times. Just dreadful. I hate being a "newbie". I just want to embrace my new life as a nurse, but I am constantly being put back in my place. To be exact: 169 on the seniority list, with apparently very little movement upwards once you reach about 59. This is really not something I am used to because my life before nursing offered me continuous opportunity to launch forward. I was once the best at everything I took on. Always excelling and always taking on ambitious endeavors. Nursing, as a whole though, jerked me into new reality. The same ambitions you take on in regular life, don't translate the same in the medical world because it involves the well being of other people. I find that my old perfectionist ways now translate into, at times, overly-cautionary acts on my part. And in turn, judgement on my competency level by others. Although, if I wasn't so cautious then my clinical judgement would be questioned in that case as well. You're basically smoked either way. Cautionary examples I can think of- checking with another nurse on a med I haven't given in awhile or asking someone to double check my nursing notes on a particular incident. To me, this is how a competent new nurse should operate, but to others who may have brief encounters with me in the med room, a slightly different interpretation could potentially occur. Potentially. In my defense (as if this whole blog isn't in my defense), I'd like to point out that I have seen on more than one occasion some of these very same nurses become extremely flustered by their own patient assignment. It seems as though, there is a general acceptance that if an experienced nurse gets overwhelmed it's because she is really overwhelmed, but if a new nurse becomes overwhelmed it's because she must not know what she's doing. Anyway, I could be completely wrong in thinking this, but I'd like to revisit this idea in about 5 years and see how I feel.

It may take awhile, but I'm finding my balance. Everyday I am becoming a better nurse, and I immensely appreciate the nurses that take the time to be genuinely good to me. One day, I will be able to take on more. The sickest patients on my unit, if need be. That will be a great feeling. Until then, I begin my passage from novice to expert here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

from sea to sea

the world is braced!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

toys without homes

Dear Misfit Toy Lovers Of the World,

This is the 2$ doll I bought at the antique faire last month. I only bought her because I felt bad for her. I found her laying on this table, amongst some dirty tools. The seller tried to sell her for 3$ and I said I'd give him 1$, but we settled on 2$. She's creepy, vinyl, and she has one lazy eye. She's dated 1964. Her dress is bright orange. This isn't the first thing in my life that I've purchased because I've felt bad for it. I own a lot of ugly toys. That's my secret shame. That and the fact that I love having my coffee at the bar at Pancake Circus.

Posted by Catharina

goodnight nurse

Last night, around 1 in the morning, I snuck out of my house in my bare feet and tip toed around the sycamore tree to record Brown Thrasher singing.

This is what it sounded like based on some of my recordings:

Roo roo roo roo rooooo
twit twit twit twit twit
roo roo roo
zzzit zzzit zzzit
tick, brrrrrrrrrrrr-too-too
tick, brrrrrrrrrrrr-too-too
tick, tick, tick, tick,
root root root
tick, root, root
tick-tee, tick-tee, tick-tee,
tick, tick, tick
twit, twit, twit
roo roo rooo
brrrrr-zzzzit, brrrrrr-zzzzit

Alright, I don't do it justice, but trust me when I say it was the most exquisite sound. It never ceases to amaze me the intricacy and variety of song this one bird has. The company of this bird alone is enough to make this old sweet bungalow, and all its old trees, worth it's hefty price. I wish I knew what Brown Thrasher was saying keeping me up at night like that. It must be something incredibly important.

So, I had the oddest experience yesterday. While walking downtown, I harvested an old table out of the garbage. It is dark brown and etched with flowers and with curly legs and a glass top. I figured I could clean it off and maybe use it for my plants when I start my container garden. (Oh, I should not forget to discuss the article I read on the importance using the proper "fillers" for container gardens.) Anyway..that's not the odd part...so, with Keith's help I carry the table over to my friends house so I don't have to carry it all the way home, and I knock on her door and this unknown person answers the door from behind a white metal screen which cannot be seen through, and this is what happens next....

Me: Hi, is Betty home?

The door opens and the smell of old alcohol emerges. Without ever seeing his face a low, trembling, creepy troll voice with a slightly muddled English accent comes out from behind the metal screen and literally sounds like something out of the underworld. He says to me in this thunderous voice:

My name is not Betty..............my name is LAAAAAAARS........I... live... in the back. (but he might as well of said that he lived underground with hobbits and unicorns)

Me: Oh. So is Betty here?

Troll: No.... I do not know where she is...NOOOOOOR do I ask those questions.

Me: Oh.. well... I am Betty's friend and I just harvested this table you see here and...

Troll in creepy english accent: OOOOOoooooooooooo, what a beaUtiful table....why would someone ever throw that out?

Me: Uhhh, so can you tell Betty that I am dropping this off and I'll come back for it later today?

Troll says: I just came over to pet the dooooooooog.


Me: Okay, well I'll come back for the table in a few hours. Can you tell her I came by?

Troll: Unfortunately nooooo, I must go back the read the newspaper now. But I came over to pet the dooooooog.


Troll says: Who should I say I have met today?

Me: Oh I'm Kate, Betty's best friend.

Troll: Oh yes, Kate. And you? (turning to Keith)

Keith: Keith.

Troll: Ahhhh yes… Kate and Keith. Keith and Kate.

Me: Alright. Thanks!

door closes.

Seriously, I don't fucking know, but when I finally got ahold Betty she said, "Oh yeah that's Lars. He always smells like alcohol, but he's great with the kids!"...yes. Lars. Great with kids. Lord of the Rings. Dog sitter.

So I had chilaquiles for dinner at Zocolo. It was delicious. I give them an A across the board for the atmosphere (giant open air doors instead of windows and a great patio), for food-mmmm yeah, and for service. The bean dip and salsa was not bad either.

I don’t have any plans tonight. I haven’t slept well lately. I’ve had the most horrendous dreams. After the one about the 1950’s housewife that when on attack with a turkey dinner in fast motion, I had one the following night where I was this person who performed autopsies in some ancient ritual which helped release spirits from dead bodies. At one point I was in an underground burial parade and there was a choir singing the phrase, “It’s alright, it won't be long, you’ll soon be dead” Totally creepy. So, basically sleeping doesn’t provide me with the restful sleep I need these days, therefore I prefer to stay up real late doing things like painting or other such things some might consider counterproductive. If I can tiptoe around my neighborhood recording bird songs long enough I will likely work off enough energy to sleep without dreaming (which is exactly what happened).

Posted by Catharina

goodnight nurse


Posted by Catharina

how not to patch grass

Note to self: SCORE the dirt, before you lay the grass on.

Posted by Catharina