Thursday, November 1, 2012


My sister messaged me on Facebook tonight.  She noted that I have said so little about nursing school recently that she (almost) wondered if I had been going to classes lately.

Oh yes, I've been going.  I've just been hating it. 

It's not just about the subjects I'm taking this semester: pediatrics and obstetrics - but I'll start there.

I like little tiny babies who can't roll over, my friends' kids, and all adolescents.  The babies' heads smell good.  My friends' kids are prepared to like me (probably because their parents have told them that I am old but cool).  Adolescents are flat out fascinating because they're borderline adults and full of intense emotion.  But all that stuff about developmental milestones?  No thanks.  I have absolutely no interest in being able to rattle off at what age (in months, mind you) small people can swallow iron-fortified cereal, stand on one foot, or poop in the toilet.  I realize that some of my fellow students really like pediatrics and I thank God for that, because I just can't stand it.  I got my lowest exam grade ever on my last pediatrics test and I just didn't care.  I studied hard for that exam but I'm just not interested in the subject and I'm not good at it and I don't even care.  My worst nightmare:  the only job I'll be offered when I graduate is as a pediatric nurse.  I'd rather flip burgers.

Obstetrics is a little better.  It really is amazing that most women can grow a human being in their bodies, and even more amazing that they can squeeze that human out into the world through what is an impossibly small orifice.  Most amazing of all is that two cells get together and nine months later most of the time a baby is born with all its organs in the right place and working perfectly.  Still, I've just seen too many vajayjays lately.  I feel as though I'm being stalked by a giant vajayjay -it haunts me during my waking hours, peering at me from my maternity textbook.  The nights are worse.  I wake soaked with sweat from nightmares about being lost in a maze of laboring women who are all screaming for epidurals and I can't find the key to the medication room.  Mind you, I haven't begun my clinical rotation for obstetrics yet.  It's possible that when (if) I witness a birth I'll fall in love with obstetrics, but I doubt it.  Too many vajayjays.

As if that weren't enough, this semester has been chock full of faculty drama and disorganization.  Balls have been dropped, picked up, and dropped again.  Professors have resigned, clinical rotations have been rescheduled, most of the online video lectures don't play, and everyone is grumpy.

Still, there have been moments.  I started an IV on a classmate about a month ago.  That needle slid right into that vein and I felt as though I had just summitted Everest.  I literally felt high for several hours after that.  Sometimes in class a correct answer to an instructor's question will pop out of my mouth and I'll realize that I'm becoming a nurse.  I can look at blood test results now and know what they mean.  Those things rock.

I'm hanging on to thoughts of next semester.  My last semester.  Finally: psychiatric.  Ladies and gentlemen, I could TEACH that class.  Some of my classmates are already positioning themselves to line up behind me like ducklings.  I'm like, "Come to mama.  Mama will tell you all about depression and panic disorders and anxiety disorders and chemical dependency." And Adult Nursing II!  Emergency medicine and intensive care and REAL drama.  Back to livers and spleens and hearts and lungs and brains.

For now, though, I'll go back to writing this absolutely riveting paper I'm writing on teaching six year olds how to brush their teeth.

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