Thursday, August 26, 2010

2 Days, 2 Good-byes

Over the past 2 days, I have had to say good-bye to 2 things.

Yesterday I said good-bye to my "PICU boyfriend"...something us PICU nurses always joke about with our kiddos that we've taken care of forever. Ask any PICU nurse and they'll rattle off several "boyfriends" or "girlfriends" they've had over the years. One of the many joys of working in a setting that allows us to take care of the same patient over an extended period of time.

My older of the two boys I've been taking care of went up to the regular floor yesterday. Great victory for him as it is one step closer to home...but sad to see him go : ( 5 months is a LONG time to take care of someone...

Hopefully he'll stay up there for a short time, and then make it home. Unfortunately there's already a bet among our unit as to when he'll be back. That's one bet I'm NOT entering!! (But, on a side note, I did tell the charge nurse yesterday to keep his room open for the next 5 days or so...just in case! Wouldn't want my 2 boys to be separated if they did happen to both be in the PICU again at the same time!)

And my second good-bye: PEACE OUT PHYSICAL EXAM!!! Well, P.E. class anyways!! I suppose my entire job is based largely around physical exam so I'm not kissing the concept good-bye....just the tests, the readings, the classwork etc.

I took my final today and was SO glad to be done. Interestingly, it was the easiest test of the 3 that we had....or so I thought....I did the worse on this one compared to the other 2. Oh well...apparently STI's (sexually transmitted infections), male/female genitalia, and musculoskeletal issues are not my thing. Not sad there!!

BUT- regardless of the exam, I rocked out another 2 A's this quarter. And a special thanks to my sister (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOO!!!!) who helped me get an A on the last physical exam video!! You made a great "18 year old college student with a wheeze and cough"- so believable!!

So 2 good-byes in 2 days.

Now, I'm getting ready to say hello to a full Fall semester...and probably a full room 219 in the PICU....and looking forward to seeing what adventures these "hellos" will bring.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And Another Health Fair

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I finished my last health fair of the summer, and tomorrow is my last day of work before VACATION!!!!


The health fair today was very different than the past 2. Rather than a majority of Spanish speaking families, this one was at the Polish American community building. And, the kids came by themselves. So, it made for collecting the history section of their back to school physical form near impossible...but quite enjoyable!!

Case in point: I asked one 9 year old if he was allergic to bees. His answer: Oh Yes!! So I asked, "What happens when you get stung by a bee?" His reply?... "I get swollen huge and die!"

I tried so hard to not laugh!! I wanted to say, "so this has happened to you before!?" but instead I asked if he'd ever been stung by a which he replied no. So then it was all about trying to figure out how or why he thought he was allergic to bees. Long story short (kinda!) he heard this information from someone at school. So scratch out my check mark on the YES box for "allergic to bees."

Another little girl I was examining asked if I was Polish. I said No. She said, Wow, you really should be. The way she said it was like "Maybe next Halloween you can become a Polish girl-it's the way to be...everyone around here is Polish!" Funny!

And lastly: I asked one 6 year old if she had asthma. She said "Uh-huh" ...paused for a few seconds...and then said, "Wait, what's that!?"

Yeah....trying to ask kids if they have hypertension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, a family history of diabetes mellitus or asthma can give you some really creative answers!! But it will definitely NOT give you answers to properly fill out the health history questionaire.

While these back to school health fairs have been a lot of fun, they have taught me that the adventure of a PNP (Pediatric Nurse in an office/clinic setting) is probably, scratch that... definitely not the type of adventure that I'm drawn to.

I'm in the acute care peds. nurse practitoner program (ACPNP-can work in a clinic, but usually specialized, and can also work in the hospital setting) for a reason...there is an adventure in the PICU that just cannot compare. So I will continue my journey in the fall seeing kids with sore throat, earaches, and runny noses at the offices...but I look forward to the adventure that follows the 3 quarters after!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Halfway there!

So I am sitting in my car outside of school SO grateful that it's Friday! My first week of putting in 70+ hours (not including any homework) is almost done! And just one more week of this craziness until I'm chillin' in the sun at the beach in NC!

SKIP TO SATURDAY: Ha- such is my schedule that I only had time to write 3 sentences before moving on!! Work and school this week were b/c I have taken on WAY too much "extra" stuff (go figure!!) and school b/c they decided it would be a good idea to cram all 3 health fairs AND school days into 2 weeks this summer...apparently they assume we don't have jobs...or lives!!

So Wed. was a 12 hr health fair that I have to say went WAY better than I thought!! Reason for apprehension??? Testicular exams for back to school physicals...on teenagers!! Awkward!! Jon's request was that I wear no makeup, pull my hair into a messy ponytail and "not dress cute at all."

In all honesty, it was only as awkward for the boys as the nurse practitioner (me!) made it, so it went fine!! Only once did a mom laugh as the poor kid was pulling down his zipper (don't worry, we take him to the corner of the room and face the wall, so nothing is exposed). But, hello, what mom LAUGHS at that???...the poor kid got SO embarrassed!!

The one funny part about is though was we were given a "necklace" of help us "stage" each of the kids (translation: feel the kids testicle, then find the bead/ball on the necklace to determine size...then look at a chart to make sure the testicle is not way too big or way to small for their age/maturity). And wouldn't you know, the ball necklace is blue!! Go figure!!
: ) Who comes up with these things...nice medical technology!

Other than that, it was looking into a TON of VERY waxy ears...and goobery noses! not too shabby! The cool thing was being able to work with normal, healthy opposed to super sick ones in the PICU.

And then the last 2 days I had my physical exam skills a bunch of listening to lectures on examining a particular body system, then going to practice the exam on a peer. Then we'd get a scenario of a patient coming into your office (ie: Hi, I am a 10 year old boy and I have had a sore throat and runny nose for 10 days)... I have to take the appropriate health history and then perform the exam for a grade.

It was actually pretty cool b/c my partner (the pretend patient) had a sheet of answers, but she could only give me the information to things I asked for. So if I forgot to ask about earaches and there was a bunch of information on the sheet stating he also had bilateral ear pain, I could easily miss something, or misdiagnose!! It was a great practice to make sure we're really asking all the history questions that would go with scenarios because a lot of times, patients forget to tell you the whole picture!

I had a great small group to work with...and my Preceptor was awesome, so the 2 days went really well!

Tomorrow starts another exciting 50 hr work/school week (excluding my lovely 12 hours of driving...and bazillion hours of homework!!) Wish me luck b/c I am finishing a poster presentation for a work contest...if I win, I get $1000 (or however much out of that my unit decides to give me, b/c some does go back to them!)

This week will just be go, go, go...but such is the Adventure of this PICU nurse!!