Friday, September 28, 2012

My hot spot

Lately, I feel overwhelmed that I either:

 A., have nothing to blog about
B., have so much to say, and no idea where to start.

In the end, I write nothing, and as a result, I have not posted in months, as you all can see.

Let me break it down for my own (in)sanity:

We'll make this post about school and nursing:
Last month I began  a new semester taking, "Advanced Diagnostics and Procedures," and "Organizational and Professional Dimensions of Nurse Practice."

Both of them are going well, and although it is a lot of work, I am certain that when I graduate, it will all be worth it!

Yesterday, we learned to suture, so that was certainly something I looked forward to doing. At the beginning of grad school, we take a lot of theory-type courses, so to delve into the hands-on, and nitty-gritty aspects of being a Family Nurse Practitioner has been quite rewarding and exciting.

 We practice our suturing on pig's feet.  I practiced tying the knot and over and over until my hands just moved fluidly without thinking. In all honesty, as an RN, I've never been all that enthusiastic about little procedures/tasks, like IV insertions, phlebotomy, insertion of small bowel feeding tubes, etc., so I was kind of nervous about how I would do. I suppose you could say that my confidence was low! But, I believe that I did great and with practice I could even love suturing. It was definitely fun!

Next semester I begin clinicals, and I am nervous!!!

I know that once I'm with a patient that I am fine, calm, and natural, but the anticipation is killing me. In addition, just talking to classmates ahead of me, I know it will be a ton of time consuming work, especially with a full-time position. In fact, I may need to cut down my hours in the ICU, but it would only be to one less day per pay period. I can probably swing the minor pay-cut if it will save my mind and body the extra stress.

^^ Prior to my OSCE head-to-toe...attempting to "look like" an Advanced Practice Nurse. I did great, by the way, and my actor-patient dude told me that I did excellent, and he said that although he did not know how long I've been a nurse, that I seemed "very comfortable," like I knew what I was doing! Score.

The other day at work I was joking around with the pharmacist after he told me how much they make right out of school ($$$), and I said I might need to switch careers. Immediately, the ARNP in our ICU said something along the lines of, "No way, you love the bedside. I see how you interact and talk to your patients--you love it! Don't try to deny it otherwise." I smiled on the inside because it made me happy to think this is how I portray myself inadvertently to the world. I do like my job and I do have a passion for helping me, but oftentimes, during a long, 12 hour shift in the ICU, you don't necessarily feel all lovey-dovey towards everyone, or that you're actually even making a difference. However, he genuinely meant what he said, and that makes me happy. It also gives me the drive to continue on with school because it is a lot of work.

During this political season, I'm feeling especially fiery towards certain topics in healthcare, and I feel like I want to take action and be involved in organizations and legislation.

I am currently obsessed with what Jeffrey Brenner, MD has done in Camden, NJ with "hot spotting."  If you haven't heard about the Camden Coalition or Dr. Brenner then you definitely need to check out a few sources because I suspect that these types of programs/organizations will be popping up all over the country. Or at least I hope!

First, this video from Frontline 

and this piece by Atul Guwande from the New Yorker, "The Hot Spotters: Can we Lower Medical Costs by Giving the Neediest Patients Better Care?" 

When I read these articles, and watch these videos about the Camden Coalition, I feel a huge spark! I want to tell everyone what they're doing because I think it's the wave of the future. I seriously feel excited about what is going on, and this to me shows that I am in the right field...or should I say, I've found my own "hot spot." I LOVE being an ICU nurse. Just telling people you work in the ICU sounds cool in and of itself, I have to admit. But there's something calling from within me and that is primary care. I just know that I'm going to be doing some awesome work!!