Monday, November 15, 2010

The Last Day of my Twenties- a pre-birthday thought

By no means it is a rare event when someone turns thirty, but it feels like a milestone nonetheless. I woke up today with the biggest smile on my face, I mean literally I felt like I was smiling the whole time I was slowly slipping into consciousness. Today is the last day of my twenties and I'm feeling a million things, but the one thing I feel the most is gratitude. Looking past all the material things, I've been blessed with so many friends- my closest high school barkada,
my UP Arki friends,my call center buddies especially my beloved former team,
and my Nursing school comrades, and of course there's my family and my partner.
I'm so lucky :->
I laugh when I remember my antics, the rebelliousness of my youth, my little projects, I remember my mistakes, troubles, and hardships, and that it was all worth it. Life is indeed a wonderful gift, and before entering another chapter I look past to the past twenty years since my preteen years and I wouldn't change a thing. I realized that the bad things, the sad things, the happy events, triumphs and tragedies are all part of growing up. I lived my youth exactly the way I wanted to, and now I feel ready to move on. I know whatever comes my way, I can handle it with God's guidance and love.
A few days ago, I found myself with a spatula in my hand, in front of the stove and I thought: whoa, this is me, cooking on a weekday, managing my time. Hey, I'm all grown up! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Weak Moment and A Prayer

One of the primary reasons I blog is having a venue where I can express myself fully without having to worry about people judging me (insert a snicker here). Though I know my entries are public, in a way, I go ahead and post them in exchange for turning my anxieties and worries into nothing more than bytes posted on a silly website. The second I hit the publish button, I feel myself purged of these emotions- so allow me to rant.

It is 43 days before the Nursing Board exam, and everyone in our review center is feeling the pressure. Being neurotic allows one to feel this a little bit more acutely- but allow me to expound why this is so. My last entry described how our batch had difficulties finishing our cases and thus filing at the PRC, I do not have the exact figures but I'm willing to bet a large percentage of our batch Chrysoberyl 2010 were not able to make the deadline for filing. Being among the lucky ones proudly bearing the Notice of Admission, we began to review for the board with our undivided attention starting last October.

Way back before review classes started, we were made to take a 500 item Diagnostic Exam (having been busy the entire summer designing a calendar, co-designing a Balinese house, and helping a friend in Butuan with an ad campaign- I had no preparation so I took the exam with just a devil-may-care attitude, I thought anyway school is over so this score won't count), and a month or so later they announced the results. Out of about less than 200 graduates/reviewees from a handful of schools here in Leyte, I got the top score with a good 20 or so points raw score lead to the next highest score after me- I kind of thought this was pretty cool so I vowed to study at least 2 hours each day and never miss a review class.

I thought I may have gone a bit over-the-top with the way I pushed myself, reading seven books cover to cover: Fundamentals of Nursing by Kozier (with more or less 1,500 pages), Mastering Fundamentals, Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology for Nurses, Maternal and Child Nursing by Pillitteri, Medical Surgical Nursing, Mosby NCLEX reviewer and a couple of local review books for good measure. I also did a couple of self-testing, and made sure my scores in the review exams are consistent and improving.

I may be self-motivated most of the time but may I just say this? I'm exhausted! I'm so tired of pushing myself to do better, to consistently want that thrill of being number one. Even with the preparations I'm making, it's still hard to even admit to myself that I really want to be among the topnochers in the December Nursing board exam. It's terrifying you know, when you really work your ass off and never knowing if indeed it will pay off. I philosophized that the best thing is that I do my best in preparing regardless of the result, but heck, I want my efforts to bear fruit! While I was thumbing through a reference book this morning, I looked enviously to the girl sitting a few chairs away from me who was engrossed with her cellphone, texting someone and laughing without a care in the world. Her scores are average and she doesn't give a damn, man what I would give for an attitude like that :-) Why can't I be not crazy for just a second?

Come what may. Rumor has it that the Board of Nursing who are on their last term will make the exam a tough one this December, and I know of the hundreds of Nursing schools in the country there are also hundreds of honor students all aiming to be in the "tough ten". There are a lot of factors that could affect scores, I mean I've heard of Cum Laudes flunking and that sounds a little scary.

I want to do well for many reasons- number one, the board rating is permanent and will haunt one's professional life forever, number two, I want to do well for my late mother who was a nurse- a great inspiration to me and to the people who supported me in this endeavor, and number three, I want to do well for myself because I really work hard. I have a couple of references more to go on Nursing Law and the practice of Nursing in the community, Psychiatric and Nursing Leadership... Whew! It's so easy to freak out right now, but I guess I should just keep on moving forward. And the weak moment is over.

In the end its really just a matter of faith- in God, in myself, and that my preparation was enough to pass this test with flying colors. Yes, it could happen, but in the end His will be done. St Anthony of Padua, St Jude Thaddeus and Our Lady Manaoag, pray for us all who will be taking the December board exam.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blood, Needles, and Vajayjays

I acted like a complete ass (or as the British would call it, “arse”) during my first time to assist a delivery.

There I was, looking so important in my grass-green scrubs, gazing intermittently at the glass partition between the delivery room and NICU, making sure my hair was in place. The clinical preceptor was giving an orientation and final instructions, and I just nodded my head and joined murmurs of “Yes, Ma’am!” We were finally out of the classroom and laboratory, away from plastic mannequins and simulated environment. We were finally let loose into the clinical area.

“Gravida 2, 5 cm, her bag of water ruptured already!!” An orderly was wheeling in a pregnant woman in labor, her face contorted in pain.

“Vital signs and FHT now!” Barked our preceptor.

I felt like I was in the middle of Grey’s Anatomy episode (or Scrubs, more like it) as we scrambled to assist the woman to her bed in the labor room. One student took her blood pressure while we get a blanket to cover her lower extremities so we could expose her swollen belly to do Leopold’s maneuver. I could finally hear the baby’s heartbeat through the stethoscope; I counted, then marked the spot for future monitoring.

“BP 130/80 mmHg, the FHT is 130 bpm, contractions regular.” I said, wiping my brow.

“Another patient for C Section! I need two of you to scrub now!” Another patient came in a stretcher, and two students from our group scrambled for their OR gowns and start preparing.

Just as we thought it couldn’t get any worse, our preceptor screamed again. “Multipara, 10 cm already, I need you (pointing at me) and you (pointing at a friend) with me at the delivery room NOW!” The rest, stay with the other patient and monitor the progress of her labor!

“, Ma’am she’s not my patient, my patient is the one at the labor room.” I stammered nervously.

She just glared at me and walked hurriedly to the delivery room. I followed.

“Where’s the whiteboard marker for recording the time of delivery at the whiteboard?” She asked loudly while the patient was being assisted into the Lithotomy position.

My classmate and I looked at each other. “You didn’t tell me about any marker!” I hissed.

“Where is the Methergine ampule? Where are the sutures for the Episioraphy? Where’s your BP ap?”

“Uhmm.. ah.” I looked around in panic.

“Prepare those things NOW!”

And off we went. “Where were you during orientation?” My classmate demanded. “Oh shut up let’s just find those things.”

“Crowning!” The midwife and our clinical preceptor were instructing the mother how to push. Then the midwife did something that would take weeks to disappear from my mind: she took a sharp Mayo scissor and cut the woman’s perineum to widen the birth canal. The woman screamed in pain. Blood oozed.

I felt faint, I thought I’d collapse into the big bucket where they dumped the placentas. I wanted to slide the woman to the side so I could lie down for a while. Kidding.

The baby came out faster than I expected. No observable “internal rotation”, “extension” and all that cardinal movements we memorized in the classroom. The birth itself took no more than a few seconds. Just like that a person was born into this world.



“Inject Methergine 1amp.”

I prepared the medication and administered it via intramuscular route. The woman was almost delirious; she did not even notice I stuck a big needle on her arm. The neonate was brought to the NICU for cord care.

We assisted the woman into her clothes and did the after care. As we watched her being wheeled away in a stretcher, my clinical preceptor asked me:

“Ok, so did you learn anything new in this exposure?”

“Yes Ma’am,” I said as I fanned myself.

“…Listen to instructions.”


I never thought I'd say this, but I miss duty days :->


Related Posts with Thumbnails