Planning Fail

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Well, I did it again. With the best of intentions, and plenty of time, I was down to the wire in completing my homework. I had a paper due to an online drop box and got it submitted with maybe a second to spare last night. I do better work under pressure, but I never like cutting it so close, and I get so frustrated with myself every time it happens. Make no mistake, it happens often.

My procrastinating behavior hearkens all the way back to my elementary school days when we diagnosed my learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. I have learned over the years how to work with my learning style and lack of focus to be the best student I can, but it still gets the best of me at times. It’s aggravating at best. I am not going to make myself promises I can’t keep about never doing that again. I know it will happen again, more than once.

The good news is that in just a few short months all these assigned papers that I never seem to know how to write will end. I will get to rejoin the multitudes of people who work for a living. My day-to-day challenges will shift from homework due dates and NCLEX prep back to job related stresses, matching work schedules to the kids’ schedules, and other “adult” problems. (well, that is the plan, we are praying I find work soon after graduation!!!) It’s helpful to remember,but doesn’t make these late night rushes to finish any easier right now. Well, we all have our own unique challenges. I seem to have scraped by once again. I hope you are rising above your own challenges more successfully than I. Happy Monday!

Happiness is doing what you love

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I had my first clinical with my preceptor, and I couldn’t be happier with where I am! I am actually on the same unit that I spent 6 weeks on in my Junior year for my OB clinical. The result means that I feel like I have an idea about the way things are run and how to find what I need already. Better than the floor it’s self is the nurse who is mentoring me on the home stretch of my education. My favorite part is that it’s so obvious that she loves what she does. Not the money, the hours, or the location. (yes, those are good too…) but she loves her WORK. I see a person nearing retirement who still has the same passion for maternal newborn nursing that I feel, and it makes me hopeful, excited, and self assured.

I hope for myself, that I can navigate my career with the same dignity and grace, and with the same love of the job that this person has managed. I have so much to learn from her, and I am excited to be starting our work together. She will be helping me master my assessments of C-section incisions, newborn vitals, and computer charting. But, she is also mentoring me on frame of mind, involvement in professional organizations, and work/life balance.

Right now, I love what I do. I know if I am mindful of my family and my career, I will still be loving it in decades to come. Happiness is seeing a glimpse of your future and being excited for it.

Narrowing the focus

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January began with a flush of excitement.  The fun was being home to walk my daughter to school, have time to make a nice dinner, and even learn a new hobby. I have been teaching myself to crochet as part of my master year-long plan to make small positive improvements and changes in my life.  However, with all the hustle and bustle of finishing up the holiday season and starting my little girl back to school, and finding time and resources to start her in gymnastics, and also keeping my little man in soccer, the start of my own final semester has brought reality crashing back down.

I have left my perch in the clouds where I could daydream of the year(s) ahead and now I am trying to narrow my focus so I can accomplish the daily tasks at hand.  It turns out my 2 credit course is going to be more work than the university definition of a 2 credit class load.  My 6 credit clinical focus class is going to be just that, 6 credits of work with 180 hours of immersion style clinical.  I am not done yet, my work is laid out for me, and I am working to fill in my planner with all the due dates and work plans to fit it in and keep my sanity in tack.

I am chugging along at the end of the track, but if I want to walk the stage and accept the diploma I have worked so hard to get, I have GOT to come back to earth and focus, focus, focus.  Day dreaming time is over.  It’s time to go to work.

The year ahead.

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I haven’t written is quite some time.  It’s been so busy!  I took a big break from any  activities that took time from either my school work of my family this fall.  As a result, I had the highest semester GPA of my entire time back to school! 3.6 never felt so good.  I was extremely excited, but man, I have never worked that hard for class in my life.

I only had one writing intensive course, but I did more writing for all my classes than I had done to date.  I know that this semester will bring it’s own unique challenges and stresses,  but I hope that the majority of my undergrad writing is behind me now.  I wrote a large final paper for my anthropology class which was worth 70% of my grade (how was this NOT a writing intensive class?), I created my senior thesis, and I wrote extensively for my 6 credit clinical course as well.  Those 13 credits felt a lot more like 18.

Next week, I begin my final semester of my BSN program, and I couldn’t happier.  I will be taking a leadership course, as well as my second 6 credit clinical.  The nursing department was able to place me in my dream clinical, a birth center in a large hospital that has both Midwives, and high risk antapartum.  I should get the chance to be exposed to the full gamete of birth experiences from very healthy and totally natural, to emergencies, special circumstances.

I feel that if I apply myself and put my best foot forward, I will be well prepared for the work that lies ahead.  I am hoping that come May (yikes!) I will be a attractive potential employee candidate for any labor and delivery department in the state.  Along with working my butt off on my classes this semester, the terrifying job search will begin.  By the end of February, I plan to have my resume edited to my satisfaction, and a handful of references to be proud of.  Then, it’s application time!

It’s a big year ahead.  Graduation, employment (hopefully!), baby???? (God willing), new house???? (new to us anyhow).  The future has never looked brighter, or foggier.  It’s exciting, terrifying, unpredictable.  Happy 2013 everyone.  Thanks for coming on my journey thus far!

Sunday fun day.


Here at camp Sunday is of course check in day for the weeks campers.  I arrive Sunday afternoon by 1, attend all staff meeting, remind the counselors of any health alerts and then I wait…  For soon, the campers pour in. 

I sit at my lunch table and receive all the medications that come from home, all the health forms, and all the authorizations to distribute my own stock of the over the counter meds for just about every girl.  I review all allergies and food restrictions, and ensure the kitchen staff is alerted to all the incoming dietary needs.  During the busiest times, some one else takes forms from girls who are coming without meds.  Then, my paperwork evening begins.

I create medication administration forms for every girl with meds, match health forms with the medication authorization forms put in alphabetic order and file, sort forms filled out by guardians with helpful information about each girl by counselor and create a cover sheet for each folder with a summary of important need to know highlights.  I distribute those folders to counselor mail boxes, and then, I can breathe.

At some point in this process I eat dinner and attend opening camp fire and distribute the scheduled evening medications.  Ah, Sunday.  Took me six hours to do these tasks the first week because it was all so new and I had to learn as I go.  Yesterday was a small triumph because I did all the paperwork for over 80 girls all before campfire! (under three hours of just this work)  Oh the little joys, seize them while you can.  I love my job.

Happy summer everyone!

Of Butterflies and Heat Waves


I can’t believe it’s already the first week of July.  The camp season seems to have gotten off to a slow start compared to the schedules I have worked in the past.  The summer feels half gone, but we are hosting only our second week of campers. 

This camp.  Oh my, how different it is than the one I went to a small girl.  I actually got to spend some time at my childhood camp during our all staff training.  All the staff from our 5 counsel camps converged on one property for a chaotic week of training.  It was fun, exhausting, and had its own challenges.  But this camp, I am still getting to know.  I don’t have the trails memorized, and I still can’t believe the girls live in “dorm” buildings instead of outdoor based units. 

There are aspects of this place I am already finding myself attached to however.  Every piece of wilderness has its own personality and characteristics that make it identifiable and unique.  One trait that stands out is the hundreds of butterflies.  From the first time I turned down the dirt drive and saw blankets of small butterflies lift in to the air all around my car, I began to love this place.  The butterflies really are everywhere.  It’s common to walk down a sand and dirt path and suddenly be enveloped by them.  Magical.

This week is a hot one, so I am working in concert with the rest of the staff to keep our resident campers hydrated.  Summer heat waves and soaring humidity are here to stay for the summer.  Well, back to work.  Campers are calling.

Trip photos


Here are a few picture from our trip.  I can’t believe how big the kids are getting!

Vacation Glow

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This is my first “real” post vacation day, and I am still glowing.  I am in the strange part of my summer now between finishing the semester and starting my summer job.  Make no mistake though, it’s a busy time.  I have to finish making summer daycare plans by Little One and Little Man, finish my on-line job training, get a couple big home improvement projects done, and make general preparations for starting work.  I finished the semester on such a good note, that I am down right giddy about being a senior student and envisioning graduation this time next year.

One of the best parts of vacation was getting some actual face to face time with my best friend.  She opened her home to the whole family, and let us run amuck.  We were talking one evening about transitions and changes, she has a couple big ones on her horizon as well.  Once I started talking about finishing school out loud, I realized how fast it’s going to come.  This time next year, we may be moving!  Who knows!

Ahh, the future.  It’s full of promise and mystery.  Well, for today, I’ll enjoy the present.  I’m finishing my veggie garden planting and unpacking our suitcases.  I’ll try to get a couple of my favorite pics posted for sharing tonight.  So hard to pick when we did so much!  The best two places for me were just being at home with my friend, and Niagara Falls.  Hope you have sunshine and joy in your life to today.

Exhale, Scream for Joy, Repeat.

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That is it.  It’s over.  Junior year is officially over, even if I am still waiting for one final grade.  I was really worried about two exams going into finals.  I had a big final for my advanced medical surgical adults class, and an ATI exam that had a very small impact on my grade, but mattered an awful lot to my ego.  I came through with both meeting my expectations.  The most important fact is.  I PASSED EVERY THING!  I AM A SENIOR NOW!  It is impossible to explain the weight lifted from my shoulders, and the relief I feel over all.

The ATI exams I take are from an online resource for nursing students.  The material and exams are ment to specifically prepare the student to take and pass the NCLEX certification exam.  At the end of each large class, we take the ATI that matches the closest, and see how we are tracking for the NCLEX.  Please note, my teachers do not “teach” to this exam, but we have the resources needed to study for it on our own.  The grading is also a little strange.  You can get a 0-3.  Three means you are going to pass this section of the NCLEX no problem, a 2 means you will do well, a 1 means study hard, a 0.. well… NOT GOOD.  Up till this semester I have gotten a 3 in fundamentals, a 3 in obstetrics, and a 2 in pediatrics.  This semester I had to take Public Health, Adults (could the topic be any broader??), and mental health.  I was worried about all of these, but I came out with a 2 in every category!  I am one supper happy Mama.  I proved to myself that I can do this, I know this, I am going to pass the NCLEX.  Sure I need to study my butt off, but I have a good foundation.  I will be OK.

Yep, I am going to be OK.