Monday, September 9, 2013

July in the PICU

July was a big month for me in regards to my career in the PICU.

I didn't work for 2 whole weeks!! 

And while that sounds counterintuitive as to how that could be huge for my career, it truly was.  Because while I wasn't physically working in the PICU, I was working in Prague, Czech Republic.
That's right...July was the BIG Noise Study Poster Presentation at the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Research Conference. I'm not going to say too much about it in this July recap because I will have a whole post on it, but it was an incredible experience!

I was able to meet a lot of great people, from a lot of different countries.  I was able to get my feet wet with poster presenting.  And hello, I was able to go to Prague!

After Prague, Jon and I headed off to Italy where we were able to spend about 2 days in Rome, and a week in Cinque Terre.  We stayed for 3 nights in Vernazza, and 3 nights in Monterosso.  All I have to say about Cinque Terre now is if you haven't been, you MUST go.  It needs to be on everyone's top 3 places to visit before you die list!
Outside of traveling, there were some other highlights of July.  But let's not kid ourselves...nothing that could compare to Prague and Italy!
We started the month by spending a relaxing 4th on a rooftop in the city with some good friends, a once in a lifetime view of fireworks from about 45 towns all at once  (unless of course, we go there next year!), an amazing homemade rubarb pie, and a few glasses of good wine. Now that's a good 4th to me!

I then went on the next week to participate in the 4th Annual Critical Care Bootcamp.  It was my second time participating, and let me tell ya it was about 1000 times better this year!  Myself and one of my co-workers who started about a year before me were initially signed up to learn how to be instructors for upcoming years, but we were signed up too late. So we went as participants.  And while we were both initially dreading it, it was actually a fabulous learning experience.

As uncomfortable as Simulation Labs can be (who wants to pseudo-take care of a manequin that talks to you while the rest of the class is watching you through the one way mirror!), they take you so far outside your comfort zone that you truly remember those lessons! 

And it was also very exciting to see how far I've come in the last year.  I've grown in my confidence, in my knowledge, and in my patient care overall.  Since the rest of the group were brand new APNs and fellows, for the first time ever, I actually felt like I had a bit of a leg up.  It was a short, small...very small, leg, but I'll take it.  That never happens, so yes, I relished in it just a bit : ) 

So there ya have it.  PICU in July.  You know, a little bit of Bootcamp, a little bit of holiday partying, and oh a little trip to Europe!!
What crazy, fun, memory making things did you do in July???

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The PICU in June

I figured since I'm so behind on my blogging, I'd do a few summer recaps on the PICU. And maybe include a few personal things because really that's what keeps a PICU Nurse Practitioner sane...the things outside of work!

So today I invite you to revisit June.  Because really, who doesn't love June!?  It's probably my very favorite month of the year!  It's the first month that truly feels like summer to me (at least where we live).  It's the month I was married in.  It's just a great month!
My mom has been asking for about a year for a picture of me in my lab coat at my there ya go mom!  I absolutely LOVE having my own desk, with my own pictures...and my own phone extension! So much fun!
Highlights of June:
-Jon and I celebrated our 8th Anniversary on June 4th...hello, am I even OLD enough to be married for 8 years!? What!?
Mmm, what better anniversary dinner than
lobster tail, scallops and risotto with great wine!
And what better way to celebrate than in PJs,
no makeup and glasses...classy I tell ya!

-I took a couple of days of PTO...just because : ) now that's nice! And it allows time for things like farmers markets, long bike rides, and runs with my hubby who swears he's not a runner...but I'm slowly convincing him otherwise : ) 

-I did my first educational session with a group of nurses at a pediatricians office with one of my old co-workers and great friend.  While I have always known that I love...LOVE...teaching, this just reinforced it!  It was so much fun being able to teach "Pediatric Emergencies" to a group of nurses, through a little bit of lecture and a lot of interactive games, a scavenger hunt, and a cut throat relay! What a great evening!

-I started precepting...again.  This time as a nurse practitioner.  I remember after being a nurse for a year and being asked to precept for the first time, I thought "Are you crazy...I've only been a nurse for ONE year!? I'm not smart enough to precept!!"  And this time around as a nurse practitioner I thought "Boo ya, I got this!'  BA HA HAAAAA...NOT!!!! I actually thought the exact same thing as the first time around! But it turned out to be a good in which the orientee and I both learned a lot! And once again reinforced how much I love teaching.

-And June ended on a very dirty note.  Literally.  At least this time it was dirty mud outside of work...and not the many types of "dirty" that the PICU can (and has!) bring!

A few befores..while we were still clean : )
And after...just a little dirty : ) Stef and I have been besties since I was born.  Meg and I besties since, well highschool...and frenemies for 6 years before that : )  Oh the memories we've made, and are still making! I love it!

So that was my June.   How was yours??