May 08, 2005

Putting Life Back Together

When I began nursing school, the instructors told us to kiss our children and husbands goodbye for a couple of years...to get ready to give up or lose all of our friends...and part of our family members that would not understand why we didn't have time for them. They told us to say goodbye to our social lives and promised us that we have very little time to call our own if we wanted to be successful. They told us to get used to B's and C's and worse even if we were used to A's....to get used to messy houses, dirty laundry, unmade beds...and to go ahead and start trying to recruit some help during the really tough times.

Of course, the majority of us were honors students. We were mothers, employees, students, had excellent GPA's and an ego the size of a blimp. They must be talking to someone besides me. I'll be fine. Yeah right!! It didn't take most of us long to crumble.Less than ten graduated with honors. :o) Not me! My GPA was slaughtered long ago....though I had a 3.87 upon entering the program. We were struggling and everything they told us was true. Our lives took the back seat if we wanted to stay in and keep going.

But now we have graduated. Yes, we are still studying and are to do five thousand NCLEX questions before taking state boards...so we are still busy, but are freed up a little. Suddenly, I am beginning to see things besides the next test and how much I need to study...,or the next assignment tht is due. I see the horrific state that my house is in....the mountain of laundry, the piles of everything, the dust, the weeds....it's horrible!! I'll never get caught up!! Oh my gosh! What will it be like to ssy, "Sure! We can come! Thanks for inviting us!" instead of "I'd love to but i have to study....maybe next time?" Heheh! Now it will probably be replaced with, "I'm sorry...I have to work!"

How awesome it will be though to weed the flower beds, clean (really clean) the car, keep the floors clean more often than once a month, clean the bathrooms and the refridgerator while they are still recognizable, and be able to open the pool this year! I feel so free! Ridiculous sounding, huh? :o)

Posted by Barbara at 04:09 PM | Comments (2)

Abuse-Who's Fault is it?

Several of my classmates and I were standing in line for graduation ceremonies and discussing the boy that was suspended for ten days for disobeying his teacher. He did not hang up on his mother in Iraq when told to..and he was talking to her during a time that was against the rules to do so. There were many different opinions. I can understand the vast number of opinions on this and see how each can be argued effectively from different viewpoints.

However, one person said that the kid should be shown no mercy for talking back and getting emotional with the teachers at all. This pushed me to point out how every person and every person's circumstances is different and that the boy may not have seen his mother for six months or talked to her for a month and had every reason to be emotional about having to hang up on her. (So many people are so quick to judge without giving it any thought at all!!) Then, he started saying things about kids needing to have control...because he did when he was growing up because his Dad made him walk a fine line. So I asked him about the kids that didn't have Dads and had crackhead moms or were abused by their parents, etc.

His reply left me momentarily speechless. (Now remember....this is a fellow NURSING graduate that is supposed to help these types of people!!) He said, "If they are being abused at home, then they should tell their teachers or authority figures. If they don't, then it is their own damn fault. It's just like the damn women that stay with a man that beats the shit out of her. She deserves it if she stays and puts up with it."

I became so angry that I saw stars and flashing lights. I remained calm and calmly asked him about what he had learned about the children protecting their abusers because it was all that they knew and that it was also their providers and the ones that kissed their boo boos and tucked them in at night. I asked him about the high statstics of murder of women that leave abusive husbands and about them being afraid and worried about what would happent to their children. He said, "That shouldn't matter! They should rather die than stay in that...and if they are dead, then they can't worry about it."

At this point, I became upset and more angry. I couldn't remain calm and not show emotion anymore. I tried...it just didn't work. I tried to tell him that he needed to try to look at things from a different perspective because he would not give good care to his patients or benefit them with an attitude like that. I asked him to educate himself some more on it. He informed me that he was educated plenty and that if I had persoanl issues with it, he didn't want to discuss it anymore. I told him that was fine, I didn't care to hear anymore of his uncaring comments either, but that I did want to say one more thing and plead with him to think about it and educate himself more on the subject so he could be a patient advocate when the situation arose because one out of every three women are abused.

An instructor told us that when we got into the field, we would find a hill that we would die on. I think that this will be mine. I am devastated that people have this attitude towards abuse, but am horrified that a fellow nursing graduate is so shallow.

Posted by Barbara at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2005

Graduate Nurse (almost)

I will be a graduate nurse this weekend. By the grace of God, I have made it! It has been, quite possibly, the hardest thing that I have ever done in my entire life.

When I began nursing school, I was so excited! I had been accepted into nursing school and that was a big thing! Many had not! I was thrilled! However, many nurses and others asked me if I was sure that I wanted to do it. They told me how hard it was and how I'd have to completely give up my life to do it. They told me of how it was nothing but school and studying for 2-3 years...and asked if I was willing to make that sacrifice. My thoughts were..."Why are they trying to talk me out of this?" "They did it and I can do it too." "Why do they want to keep others out of the profession?" When I would reply that I would never be happy until I tried and that it was what I had always wanted to do, then they'd say that I should go for it, but unless I really, really, really wanted it....not to waste my time.

Then, we started classes and the very first day one of the instructors told us to look at the people around us. Then, they said that half of us would never make it to graduation. We got a phone list with everyone's name and phone numbers on it. As anyone quit, got kicked out, or failed out.....I marked them off of the list. After third semester, I had to mark myself off too. MORE than half of that beginning class didn't make it to graduation....including myself.

Of the ones that failed out with me (out of more than fifty that failed out but I don't know how many re-applied), only ten or eleven got back into the program the next year. Of those, only five (that I can think of) made it this time.

Let me tell you something though. When you finish a program like that....ask any nurse....you are proud. You have studied like there is no tomorrow. You know some stuff! You may not know as much as you need to, but by golly you have increased your knowledge base by leaps and bounds since before you started. You have learned an entirely new vocabulary! You can read and understand things now that gave you severe migraines and caused you to take up hours and wear out a dictionary to read it when you first started. You can hear words that you've never heard before and figure out what they mean by breaking them down.

Also, some of those instructors will make you or break you. If you have low self esteem, you will either not make it, or you will have to find something within yourself really quick.'They ain't playin!' They mean business! You need to know your stuff or you can go home and come back the next day when you are better prepared. If you don't do that, then you can take an exit ticket out of the program after being put on probation....if you're lucky!

Needless to say, it has been an eventful few years and I am glad that it is over. I graduate this weekend and have begun a rigorous study schedule to pass state boards to get my lisence. I will probably be taking that test in June.

I guess it just goes to prove that you can do what you want to do even as an old thirty-six year old woman with lots of family things going on, if you want to bad enough and have the Lord on your side.

Posted by Barbara at 07:24 PM | Comments (1)