Friday, June 18, 2010

Getting over the 90s

Last night, coming home from school around 9:30pm and hoping to catch the last bit of the Phillies/Yankees game, I drove past the elementary school a few blocks from my house. The neighborhood had that just-dark feel to it, like even though the sky was black, I could swear I detected a faint light to it.

The scoreboard on the ball field was lit up, a numerological beacon. I kept thinking that it must be some kind of sign, those numbers. But what? I like the idea of signs, that someone much larger than us has something to say, directly, and so you suddenly feel spotlit and special. God says, Hey you. Listen. But for the life of me, despite my relatively new-found baseball fandom, I could not figure out what 0-5-8, 0-0-2 would mean for me. So maybe God was just saying, Hey you. Or, vastly more likely, maybe someone simply forgot to turn it off post-game.

It gave me this great pleasure to see it, though. Inexplicably. Lit up numbers in a dark field on a dark night.

Guess what?

I've been suddenly infused with a burst of confidence. I'm really tired of doubting myself. Doubting oneself is like so 1990's or something. I'm going to make a good nurse. Maybe even a great one. Maybe even a fucking great one.

Maybe when I enter patient's rooms and do my stuff and then leave, people will look at each other and say, "Who was that woman? That is one damn good nurse."

Okay, now I'm getting crazily ahead of myself. Because if you know anything about me, I'm a first-class waffler. I know the doubt will creep in again, when I'll start worrying about making mistakes or having to treat someone high on PCP. Or being faced with a spinal surgery. There is something about the spinal column that makes me feel faint. I actually feel a little queasy right now, just pondering it.

Whenever I visualize myself as a nurse, I always place myself right in the middle of something hard. I never visualize myself sitting on a stool in a fluorescent-lit room asking a teenager about their acne patterns. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But I wonder why my fragile mind goes to hospice care or oncology or, like most recently, the burn unit. I even ordered a book on burn unit work.

I mean, really.

Sometimes I also visualize Ricky Gervais getting right in my face and saying, "Oh come off it!"

(This is what I picture. Ricky as David Brent looking at me just like this. Except without that corporate seminar guy looking over his shoulder.)

There has to be a happy medium. Maybe I could handle those things. Maybe I couldn't. Most likely I couldn't. Oh boy, there's that self-doubt again. Circa 1996.

I wish the light on the scoreboard spelled something out for me. Like, Kelly, you'd make a damn good cardiology nurse. Or, because there isn't enough room for all that: try some heart.

Though because the scoreboard is only numbers, the best it could probably do in terms of messages is 80085. Which would be BOOBS.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weeeeee.....Summer Classes!

Things I'm learning in my medical ethics class:

Amputating the wrong limb is bad.

Leaving surgical instruments in a patient, also bad.

(Also, if you leave instruments in a patient, in the future, those x-rays will be passed around a medical ethics class and the students will all laugh at what an idiot health care professional you are.)

If your medical co-worker is doing drugs, and you shun your responsibility to get that person some help, that is bad.

If your co-worker comes to work reeking of Red Bull and vodka, and you let that co-worker give a 90-year old man a tub bath, this is bad.

Over a dinner out with friends, do not name your patients and state all the crazy VDs they're currently in treatment for. This is bad.

Even if your patient is Johnny Depp, and it's his birthday, and all he wants for his birthday is you, sleeping with your patients is bad.

Even if your patient is George Clooney, and he looks at you the way he looked at Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight, and he insists that all it will take for him to get better is to spend some quality time in a locked car trunk with a naked you...resist, because if you don't, this is bad.

Even if your patient is Channing Tatum, and he comes in with nether regions scalded in an on-set accident, even if he professes to harboring fantasies of nurses in their mid-thirties, do not, I repeat, do not sleep with this patient. This would be bad.

Do not squirrel away Percocets for yourself. Also goes for Stadol, Demerol, Propofol, and a host of other pain-relievers that, in general, make the world a more hospitable place if only for a moment. Because this is bad.

Do not ignore a patient's head wound, resulting in flies laying eggs in that wound and then resulting in maggots in that wound, and then attempt to falsify documents to show that you did actually take care of the wound and oh my God, I have no idea how the maggots got there Your Honor. This would be bad.

(Also, a medical ethics class will then pass around newspaper articles detailing the charges against you and shake their heads collectively at what a horrible person you are being responsible for the vulnerable elderly and not fulfilling your charge. Jerk.)

Do not specialize in ENT and then bill yourself as a plastic surgeon and actually operate on people's faces and bodies. You will screw something up, perhaps kill someone, be sued, lose everything. And this is many, many layers of bad.

If you are an 18-year old, please rethink your decision to get liposuction. Because you might end up in the office of someone without the proper precautions and monitoring in their recovery room, who might not notice you turning blue and dying of a pulmonary embolism. In a doctor's office. Unbelievably. This is so horribly bad it's painful to think about.

Some people shouldn't be responsible for plants, much less human beings. This is frightening, and bad.

Perhaps for my own future well-being, I should reconsider my medical vocation, and instead focus on getting a job in Happy Kitten Sunshine Rainbow Land.

Template by Suck My Lolly - Background Image by