Friday, July 31, 2009

Finally a Post!!

Somehow with being so busy in my summer classes, I have gotten behind in posting anything on this blog. I've been in New Orleans 2 or 3 days a week for clinicals at Children's Hospital, and the other days I have I'm either studying like crazy (since we have a test every week) or in class. My final is Monday, though, so hopefully I'll get to catch up after that!

I think I will end up with a 92 in my Pediatrics class. Unfortunately, I need a 93 to get an A. So I probably won't have an A, but I'll come close.

I have a cold right now and I have a bad headache and I can barely breathe. It doesn't really help me study for my final too well!! I'm also really achy from an especially strenuous workout I did on Wednesday.... It makes me kind of nervous to be sick and achy at the same time, especially considering that there are numerous Swine Flu patients at Children's Hospital! I'm sure I don't have it (no fever or anything), but it definitely makes me stop and carefully assess my symptoms!! haha

I really loved my pediatrics clinical experience, and I received a huge complement from my instructor yesterday in my end-of-the-semester evaluation. He told me that he thinks I do really well working under pressure! He said that if someone came to him and asked for a recommendation for an ICU nurse from our current nursing class (with 43 students) he would recommend me without hesitation! That was so encouraging after my past bad experience with instructors who like to intimidate their students. I really needed a teacher who was confident in my abilities. Since failing, I have had a hard time finding confidence if I make even the tiniest of mistakes--because that was why my teacher failed me (an automatic "D" because she wasn't happy with me)! But this teacher was great. Even when I had a bad day, he just took me aside and said, "We all have bad days, I know you will do better next time because you are a good nurse."

Praise the Lord, He has been soo good to me! He never fails to amaze me with His grace toward His children. I was laying in bed Wednesday night trying to fall asleep, and absolutely terrified of going to clinicals the next day. When I failed, it was on the last day of clinicals, so the last day of clinicals always makes me nervous. (If I were to fail again, I would be kicked out of nursing school--for seven years!) Suddenly a song popped into my head. It says, "Jesus' blood never failed me yet...He won't fail me yet." I knew everything would be okay. And it was!! :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

In My Heart

I have been so busy lately I haven't had any time to write a post. Hopefully when I finish up this class in 2 weeks I will be able to catch up on some posts!! I am doing really well in this class, though. So far I have had better grades in my Pediatrics class than I have had in any other nursing class!! (That really surprises me, since this is supposed to be one of the hardest classes.) I'm really praying I keep an A in the class.

I have been listening to a lot of praise and worship music while I'm studying, and I've been humming this modern hymn all day. I just love the words. It really expresses what God has been working in my heart the past few weeks:

In my heart there is a stirring
One that did not start with me
A love to worship my Creator
To show His love for all to see

I will worship

I will honor

I will exalt the Lord above

All my days
I’ll sing the praises
Of His great redeeming love

In my heart there is a treason

One that poisons all my love

Take my heart and consecrate it

Wash it in Your cleansing blood

Tie me to the Rock unchanging

Tie me to His wondrous Cross

I’ll fix my eyes upon the Savior

All other things I count as loss

Tie me to the Rock unchanging

And His great redeeming love

"In My Heart" by Eric Grover;
Sovereign Grace Music (this is a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries--Joshua Harris' church, for those who are familiar with him)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Giving Thanks

Wow, I haven't posted anything for a while! I have been so busy lately that I've barely even had time to think about posting anything on here. I actually started 4 different posts but none of them were finished. So since most of them had to do with nursing stuff, I thought I'd combine them into one big post. As I was looking through the different things I'd written, I realize that most all of it had to do with being thankful for what the Lord has given me. I think that is one of the best things about nursing; it constantly makes me aware of just how much the Lord blesses us every day.

I just finished my OB class. I've always been interested in labor and delivery, but I didn't have any idea just how much I would enjoy that class. I think I would really love being an OB nurse. It is just so wonderful to help a child come into the world! I cared for a teenage girl one day in my clincals. She was having her second baby; her first child was already 4 years old. That would have meant she was only about 14 when she had her first. The whole day I took care of her, I kept contrasting her experience with that of women around the world. I couldn't help thinking, "How do they do it?" I mean, birth is work. How in the world do some mothers do it without help? Here with our Westernized health care, we monitor the entire labor process with extreme precision. If one thing is off from what we'd like it to be, we know just what to do to get back to the "normal" range. It is so easy for something to go wrong! The same girl that I was taking care of was fine for this birth, but her last birth wasn't okay. She gave birth to a healthy baby, but she came close to dying after the birth due to seizures she had--a complication of her abnormally high blood pressure because of the pregnancy. I kept thinking of the hundreds of girls around the world that literally give birth at 14 on the streets. If she had been one of those girls, and she wouldn't have had a chance.

I started my pediatrics class this last week. I have been looking forward to this class for a long time!! Because of my previous experience, I knew I would love this class. Although I hadn't officially had pediatrics, I've already had a lot of pediatrics experience through my job. (When I started school I didn't expect to like it because I didn't think I could handle seeing sick children all the time. But at work, I realized one day that I'm always sad if I'm not assigned to take care of the kids!) Today in my class we were talking about the end of life care of children. It reminded me of the time about 6 months ago that I cared for a toddler (about 1 1/2 years old) who was dying because of the abuse he'd received from his parents. That was definitely the hardest case I have ever had. He had been shaken when he was 6 weeks old, leaving him so brain damaged he basically had no normal functions at all. The only responses he could give was to sneeze or cough. Other than that, he couldn't cry, move any part of his body, or even blink his eyes. At the time he was shaken, his parents were about 15, and the court couldn't prove that they purposely shook the baby (rather than just ignorance--the father claimed he shook him because he stopped breathing). So the parents took him home after the shaking incident. In the year since he was shaken, however, he has had both hips dislocated, legs broken, and obvious neglect. He was extremely underweight because his parents had still (from ignorance) been giving him the same feedings through his feeding tube that a newborn should receive. Because of technicalities in the social care system, we had to send him home with his parents again after we cared for him in the hospital. It was so hard to send him home. I struggle so much with anger in situations like that. But I think more than anything it's just sad. Sad that the parents didn't know how to care for their child in the first place. Sad that they are 16 and exhausted and clueless about how to care for this baby. Sad to watch a girl who should have been in school try to love her baby who couldn't even respond to her (she seemed so awkward, so lost--almost like she was just playing with a doll). And sad that there isn't really anyone who can help them. When I asked the social worker why we had to send the baby home with his family, why couldn't we allow him a better place to live, she said probably the saddest thing of all. Really, who would we have sent him to? No foster family would want him. Who else could care for him? The "best" thing was just to send him home to die.

I spent the 4th of July working a shift at the hospital. As is usual on holidays there were a few crazy cases down in the ER (some minor stabbings, etc...), but everything was mostly quiet up on the Med-Surg floor where I work. At the end of the day, however, we admitted one little patient that just gave me the chills. She was 3 years old, and had come in for a near drowning. Her family had all gotten together for the holiday and I guess they just weren't watching her closely enough. Somehow, when they weren't watching she got into the pool. They ended up having to do CPR on her and everything. Praise God she's fine now! By the time we got her up on the main floor, she was just there for observation. When I heard what happened to her I just went cold all over. I have seen a lot of things since I started working in the hospital, but I this one for some reason hit me really close to my heart.

God has really been reminding me lately of how much He has blessed us with modern technology. Almost every time I take care of a patient in the hospital, I think, "This person would most likely be dead right now if it weren't for _____". When I think about that little girl, I realize that without CPR she would not be alive right now. There are so many times throughout the day I have stopped just to thank the Lord that He has placed me where He has. Just last week I was able to use Skype twice to talk to friends in Europe. (I love Skype, by the way. It was so wonderful to be able to talk to family when I was working in Prague last summer!) I was reminded of the thousands of men who fought in WWII who would have done anything to be able to hear the voice of the people they loved. And I can click a couple of buttons and talk as long as I want. How blessed we are!!