Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Zoey's Pops

This past weekend our niece, Zoey, was baptized. For her baptismal brunch I made chocolate cream cheese cake pops! Always a hit! I ordered these super cute tags from Etsy and had them personalized just for her day. My sister, Kristel, and I stayed up late the night before baking the breakfast casserole & working on the pops. 

I have fallen in love with these tags! They are just too cute!
Jesus loves you Zoey girl!!!! May you always keep Him in your heart and His light shining through you!

So long Kindred!

9 weeks at Kindred felt like an eternity while in the midst of them. Looking back now, it feels like they flew by! Our last day at Kindred was the best and worst clinical experience I have had so far. Here are the highlights:
  • We arrived at 6am.....we left after 7pm. This qualifies as the worst because on our last clinical day of the year we were kept 13 hours. Other groups finished up half days and were sent home to study. The following morning, those of us who had to retake the HESI that we missed would be rising early to do so. Tired from a 13 hour clinical is not the best way to do that.
  • I was chosen to give medications. This was a good and bad thing. Great for practice and becoming more familiar with meds. But I have given them more than anyone in the class so of course I took it as I'm not doing well and need to work on my med administration. I was scheduled to start my morning off with a 7am accucheck and from there on out I gave all the meds to both of my patients.
  • I loved my final patients. One was this older Hispanic lady who didn't speak English and I sure don't speak Spanish. I wish I could spit out a few words but having Trav around with his "fake" Spanish I have now completely confused the real words with his Spanish lingo. She was really sweet. Although we did not speak a common language we made do with hand signals, facial expressions, and attempting to say words in English or Spanish. My second patient was this pleasant man, mid forties, who was a chatty one which I love. I really enjoy interacting with patients and being a student means I am able to find time to talk away! We had great conversations about his faith which is really neat because  I love finding ways to use nursing as a way to show Christ to others.
  • I started an IV on my lil Spanish lady. I tried to avoid it. I know....so awful. But with my instructor leaning over my shoulder and the way she intimidates me I really didn't want to on our last day. But it bit me in the butt because we went in to hang her IVPB and I couldn't flush her line due to the fact it needed changing. Since I was there with my instructor there was no way she was letting the RN do it instead. But it was a great experience and I buckled up and did it!!! She told my teacher in Spanish that I had 1 try and than she wanted her nurse to do it. I made a #1 sign and than a thumbs up to let her know I only needed one try. The way she was sitting meant I needed to be on the knees on the ground to get her IV in. Awkward? Yes. Needless to say I got it in on the first try! My hand was slightly shaky and it wasn't perfect from start to finish but I got it and it felt good!!!
  • I hung a flawless IV piggyback medication. Remember back to that awful day where I held my first one and shook non stop while she criticized me? This time i walked in with confidence and she said," You should be a pro now." In my head I responded with," You bet I am!". It felt wonderful to have mastered that task over those weeks. Fear faced!
  • I was able to do patient teaching to my male patient. It's hard to do that when your patient is comatose, like most of mine had been. But while I gave him each medication I explained it and what he needed to notify me for if he experienced something. He threw some questions towards me that I was not expecting but I was able to answer them and show my teacher that I do indeed know my meds!
  • I served. One of the greatest things about being a nurse is the "customer service" part of it. We are there to provide care and to serve these patients. They are the ones bedridden, deprived of their abilities and regular activities. So, I was happy to serve my male patient. He needed cranberry juice, his oatmeal heated, more ice, his protein shake, and more. He kept me busy and on my toes. I know he was thankful to have a student nurse who was tending to just too patients because when you are a RN and have 5/6 patients, it's hard to be constantly running "errands". We had great conversations throughout the day and I loved hearing him and his roomie chat between the curtain about football, their families, and more.
  • I got an A!!!!! Yup! An A!!!! The only one in this clinical group. I've never been more proud of something before. I worked my butt off. Each week I challenged myself and overcame new fears. My professor challenged me and pushed me to give more than my best. It all paid off. Waiting to receive my evaluation I was nervous, thinking I would get ripped apart. But I walked in and she said," You were my only A. " and I just about fainted. She let me know that the nervousness would go away. It's always harder having someone stare over your shoulder intimidating you. She also told me that she used to be like that too. She said my skills had improved greatly and she had really seen me grow over the 9 weeks. My careplans had kicked butt all term which was awesome as well. I was not expecting that. I could not wipe the smile off my face on the way home.....no matter how tired I was!
Those 9 weeks were long and Kindred was not my first choice for a facility, but it ended up being a surprising blessing. Here's to another term down!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Goodbye Med-Surg!

This week was a stressful one for my med-surg class. On Monday we had our HESI, an exit exam. It basically is a mock state board but only in the content material of our Med-Surg class ( plus everything we learned in LVN school & what they think we should know). It was only 55 questions, some weighing higher than others, which leaves no room for error. The score needed to pass was a 800 raw score. If you don't pass the first time a retake is given only once. 

I studied hard. The house was empty this weekend so I gathered my books and made studying fun by laying beside the pool! I would take breaks to "cool off" and take a practice exam online. By the time Sunday night came I was feeling confident but my nerves were still there. I talked to my AZ family as they were having a BBQ together and it made me really sad. I miss my parents. I miss my dog. I miss my sisters. And man, I miss my nieces and nephews. Trav and I had made plans to drive out to AZ on my week off but if I didn't pass the HESI I wouldn't be able to go since the retake was scheduled for the following Monday. I started panicking that I wasn't going to be able to see them. I was panicking that I wouldn't pass the test. I was doubting myself, my knowledge, abilities, and confidence. My dad sent me a reassuring text that I definitely needed to see. His text said, 

" Remember why you are studying. There are some special kids out there who need & want a nurse like you. Do this for them. Be excited about helping them."

Dads always know what to say! And guess what?! I passed the HESI...with flying colors! When my screen popped up that it was tallying my score, I almost went into cardiac arrest. Literally. I was sitting there telling the screen in my mind that I just wanted to see my dog and praying for an 801. And what do you know, it pops up that I scored a 1050! Wooo!!! Passed! Done with Med-surg!!! Thank you Lord! What a great feeling that was! 

Yesterday was my last med-surg clinical at Kindred. I will write about that in a minute though because it was a great day and I just can't leave out any details :-) Until than, thank you for all who were praying for my test!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Where did time go?!

I will start by recapping last weeks clinical at Kindred. Overall, it was a really great day. I decided to make sure I chose two patients that were alert & oriented. Sometimes it is nice to be able to converse with my patients instead of talking to them while they are comatose and unable to response as I jabber away. I was assigned to give my pre-breakfast, 0730, medications to this adorable lil French woman. I just know that back in her younger years she was a feisty, french gal with an attitude and a style to turn heads. She is 91 and four foot nothing. I headed in to perform my initial assessment and she was sleeping....let me rephrase that: She was out cold! I could not wake her up. My response was to panic but her vitals were fine, so I tried not to. When my instructor came in to give the medication, I still was unable to wake her. I mean, I was in her face saying," Goodmorning! I need to have you wake up for a few minutes! Rise and shine!" We were rubbing her shoulders and everything. No response. After a good 15 minutes, my instructor smiled at me through her eyes and said, 'Well, keep trying" and left the room. I know she was laughing inside trying to think of how I was going to wake this lady up. Eventually, I did.

My second patient was this pleasant older man. He recently had a gall bladder infection, with stones present, and had a t-tube in place that drained from the site. I know this is going to sound sick so bear with me but the bile that was draining was really cool. Gross, I know. I usually don't like the whole bodily fluids, blood & guts deal but I was really excited to drain his tubing. He was sweet to talk to and he told me all about his six kids. I enjoyed the day with him. And, I hung an IVPB in the afternoon and nailed it. Whew! It felt good.

Tomorrow is my last clinical day at Kindred. I was bummed to originally be placed at this site but I've learned alot and grown even more as a nurse, all because of the people I encountered there. The nurses are great and I will truly miss them. Janet, one of the favorites, had Vanessa, Gem, and I pose for a picture on her camera so she would remember us. If only they knew the impact they have had on our lives and how much they have taught us in these past 9 weeks.

Tomorrow will be my last day to show my teacher I am skilled and competent at passing meds. She will observe me performing a head to toe assessment in under five minutes. And, at the end of the day, she will give me my one-on-one evaluation. Weird to think tomorrow is the end of this clinical term for Med-Surg but very thankful for these past 9 weeks. I can only hope I made a difference in someone's life at Kindred.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Two weeks ago I had my regular Thursday Med-Surg clinical. ( I know, I am WAY behind on writing about it! I tried to block the day out of my mind) I made the mistake the day before of not preparing. You see, not all of us were going to be assigned to pass meds on our clinical day. Since I have passed them every week, I naturally figured I would not be chosen. Therefore, while I briefly looked my meds up, I did not prepare for giving them that day. 

Go figure that the first name called to pass meds was me. Awesome. Not only that but all of my medications were new. Sweet. Great way to start a 12 hour day. I had IV piggybacks to hang for both patients (which I have never done before), an IV push for each patient ( again, something brand new), 2 sub-q injections ( drawing up Heparin, which yes, I had never done before), and care of a PICC line. My friend Lillian, who is a superstar when it comes to the clinical setting, came into my patient's room with me to walk through the steps of hanging an IV piggyback. I was nervous. I mean sweating, nauseous, and unable to decide if my nerves would be coming out the rooter or tooter. ( My stomach was churning) I finally felt prepared and I went into my patient's rooms with all my supplies to wait for my instructor. Since I was giving Bed 1 a dose of Digoxin, I needed to check his apical heart rate for a minute. I was taking a good listen when I noticed his under arm was wet. I checked closer, thinking it may be sweat, to find that the bed sheets along with his gown were soaking wet. I called the RN in because I had a hunch his PICC line was leaking. And it was. 

This is where it all began. Now I was assigned to give meds at that time but we needed IV access to a patient who had a bad PICC insertion. My teacher had to wait while the RN discontinued the PICC and found a new IV site for a peripheral IV. By the time my teacher came in to pass meds, I was a bundle of anxiety....a pure hot mess. I fumbled through my preparation with extremely shaky hands. I could barely get the needle into the Heparin bottle to draw up the amount. While preparing my first IV piggyback, I was shaking so bad she commented on it saying, " You are really nervous today. This is unlike you. I hope you're not planning on injecting the patient with those shaky hands." Awesome. How did my body react to that? I shook more. My only response was, " I"m very nervous." She told me to take a deep breath and I responded with," That's fine, but it's not going to stop my hands from shaking."

I was set up to give meds to Bed 2 first who was a feisty but tiny Vietnamese man. And, I do mean feisty. He had already hit me twice that morning when I was performing his initial assessment. So naturally, when he saw me walking towards him with two needles in my hand he started yelling out loud in his language. Did my instructor help to hold him down for me? Nope. But she did comment that I needed to move fast with him. Yea, not happening with these hands. After injecting the meds he continued yelling at me. I may not have been able to understand what the words were but I know he was saying some not so nice things about the blonde, white girl. Hanging my IV piggyback could have gone alot smoother but my anxiety along with nerves clouded my thought process. Lesson learned there!

Both beds required that their tablets be crushed and given via G-tubes. When I reached this part on Bed 1, I figured it was homeward bound from here. I love giving g-tube meds. I'm quick and good at it. I feel totally comfortable. Except for that day. Go figure. I was fine until my tubing clogged. I could not get it unclogged and had to step back so my instructor could step in. Of course the flush went right in for her making me look like an idiot. As I was drawing up the meds and inserting them, she commented on my technique while insinuating I do it a different way. Well, you really shouldn't have someone change what they are used to when actually inserting the meds. Do you know how tricky it was for me to attempt to draw up the meds the way she recommended? It took me forever and I couldn't figure out my fingers. Again, looking like an idiot. I was given a response of ," Wow, you are really right handed!" Yes mam but I will get to work on my ambidextrous skills.

After my awful medication pass, I was down, beating myself up for my mistakes. I wanted to dig myself a hole and crawl into it. Or go to bed and wake back up with a fresh start. Oh well, you live and learn. I learned alot from that day. Plus, a lot of nursing is trial and error. Will I ever make the mistakes I did that day again? Sure won't. The day finished out with being evaluated on assessments. I was taking my time, trying to make sure I remembered everything, when, as I was listening to lung sounds, my instructor says, " Stop. Time's up." What?!?!?! Well, you see, she wanted a complete head to toe in 5 minutes. Strike three for Emma....she is out of the game! At least I now know what to work on for next time. 

It was just one of those days. Early in the morning I hopped on a train, headed downhill with no brakes and there was nothing I could do to stop it. But, a day like that was bound to happen. And, I know I will nail my IV Piggybacks next time as well as perform an awesome assessment in under 5 minutes. Days like this one keep me on my toes and from becoming too relaxed with my skill.s

Friday, August 13, 2010

Park Vista at Morningside

My next 8 hours of community observation were spent at Park Vista in Fullerton. It is an assisted living facility and let me tell you, this place is nice. It exceeded my expectations. Usually when you think of assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, you picture the worst. But Park Vista really encourages that their facility feels like a home to each resident. 

I spent the majority of my day in the "special care" unit. Here reside those who are suffering from dementia, Alzheimer's, and other disorders of that sort. The residents watched "Singing in the Rain" and I gave hand massages during it. It's amazing how something as simple as that is just what they need. A little comfort, human touch, and attention. I observed some therapy classes including music therapy which was very interesting. I enjoyed walking by the different rooms and popping my head in to say hi. There was one room I stopped by but refrained from going in because I had mistaken it for an office. As I was leaving I saw the patient's info outside. Wait, this is a patient's room? I knocked and went back in to see him sitting on this huge flat screed computer typing away. The news was playing on his tv that was hanging on the wall. He had a massive cherry wood desk set up. He had transformed his room into his office with his bed off in the corner. How sweet is that!?! And, it allows them to feel like this is their home.

I had another great community observation experience. At first, I was bummed to have to find the time to fulfill these hours but I have learned so much for these days. Plus, I really do enjoy just taking the time to hang out with the seniors around here. They truly are wonderful!

Labor and Delivery

Last Saturday I was assigned to the Labor and Delivery unit at UCI. Excited? Yes, extremely! I woke up ready to assist with some deliveries. Vanessa and I had joked that when it was our turn to be in L&D, there would be no births. I didn't think it would actually come true!
After being assigned to our nurses we were informed about the patient load only to be surprised to hear that every labor room was filled along with the OBER and the recovery rooms held laboring moms. I was assigned to a great nurse, Linda. She briefed me on our patient and we headed into the room. Our patient was an `18 year old primigravida mom....meaning it was her first pregnancy. She had a history of PIH, pregnancy induced hypertension, and was on a magsulfate drip. While Mag prevents her from having a seizure, it slows contractions as well as there is a potential for toxicity. Her deep tendon reflexes, respiratory rate, and urine output needed to be monitored frequently. She was on a pitocin drip that we increased every hour. While her membranes had been ruptured for hours, her labor was very slow to progress. 

Linda wanted to make sure I saw a epidural so she sent me to the recovery room where a laboring mom was patiently waiting for hers. I was instructed to hold the mom in my arms during the insertion. Her anxiety spiked as she watched the anesthesiologist set up his sterile field. He was an intern and his attending was there to supervise. After trying the first insertion it was not in the right location. So, he tried again on the opposite side of the spinal cord. I got a little light headed but it ended up being ok!

Reading a fetal heart monitor and contraction strip is new to me. Linda sat down with me and broke it down. She was a great teacher and I learned alot from her that day. By the end of the day not one of the patients had advanced in their labor. Seriously?! Yes, no lying here. Go figure it would happen on my day! But I did get to help my patient as she went through her epidural. Although this time I had to hold the fetal monitor on her belly while she was hunched over on the side of the bed. There I was for 20 minutes in a squatting position with my hand holding the monitor on her belly. Needless to say  my hand fell asleep and it was numb up to my shoulder!

Although I did not actually see a birth that day, I walked away with more knowledge than I had learned in lecture that week! That is the best part about UCI being a teaching hospital. Vanessa and I will be back in L&D next Saturday.....pray we can see one birth!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Orange Senior Center

For each clinical rotation my school requires a certain amount of hours for community observation. This term, for geriatric focused Med-Surg, I had 15 hours due. This needed to consist of two separate days at two different places to get a feel for what services are available to geriatric patients, differences between assisted living and skilled nursing, and more. For my first day of observation my friend Vanessa and I headed over to Orange Senior Center, not knowing anything about it.

I have grown up in Orange, even going to school right by the circle, and in all those years I never saw the senior center. We were greeted with a warm welcome and saw the daily schedule. Man, they pack their days full. It's really great how they offer a variety between games, educational classes, movie day, outings, social time, and specialty classes i.e. line dancing.  We waited as seniors were beginning to arrive and chatted away with those that were there. One man was too cute for words. Everytime he walked by us he had a joke to tell. " You are looking good....almost human!" or "So you are a gal and a qt.....does that make you a gallon and a quart?" Ah, that one took me a minute to figure out but he did have me laughing.

We were encouraged to just "observe" their Bingo game. Apparently they get a little intense so the director thought it would be best for us to sit off to the side. I'm glad we did! Their Bingo is hard!!! All these crazy lines they have to make and it's a whole different lingo....bingo lingo ;) I really enjoyed watching them play ...they were having a ball. The prizes were pretty awesome. Fresh fruits, veggies, flowers, and pastries. For some seniors they may not have the funds to purchase fresh food, so how great that they offer them as the prizes. After Bingo we helped set up for movie day. Can you guess the movie? Sister Act.....on VHS! Woooooo!!! Vanessa and I were pumped since we haven't seen it probably since 6th grade or so. There was a group of Jr High kids who were volunteering for the day and not one of them had heard of the movie. Seriously?! Wow, I just aged myself.

After the movie was their lunch hour so we snuck out for our own. The afternoon for them consisted of bridge, chess, and pinnucle games. Followed by line dancing lessons if interested. I was put to shame in that class. Let me tell you, they are good! I mean I hope I can move like some of those woman when I am 65 and older! We were able to have some great conversations in the afternoon too. I met the sweetest lady only to find out she was a young nurse in World War II! And, her family was Jewish. She even spoke to us in Yiddish as she told stories of things her mom and grandma would say to her. She told stories of being a nurse through the years. How changing beds they would drop a quarter on the sheets and if it didn't bounce back up, they needed to be re-done. She also told us how she had polio as a young girl and scoliosis set in her spine. The doctors did not know how to treat it, so they put her in a full body cast for 5 months. They noticed it helping so repeated for another five months. 5 years later, she was done with a full body cast and fully able to walk with a straight spine. Amazing.

I went into this community experience just wanting to have my hours done so I could finish my homework. But I had a wonderful time. I learned from their experiences. I loved hearing their stories. And I now plan on going back there on my own time just to spend a few hours with them. If you are looking fr volunteer work or a chance to give back to the seniors in our community, swing on by the Senior Center!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just my thing

To some, a hospital is a scary place. They don't like walking through those big front doors into a place of such uncertainty. They don't like the smells or the atmosphere or the "what ifs". But to me, hospitals are magical. I know, crazy but true. When I walk through the front door of any hospital it is an incredible feeling. To me, they portray a feeling and enviroment of healing and great things. I love walking through the halls, the shiny floors that are always glistening, the sound of beeping IVs and machines, and the hustle & bustle of Drs and nurses running around as they provide care. 

That being said, I love visiting new hospitals. Buildings are inspiring in general. Architecture can be a pretty fascinating thing. Football stadiums and baseball fields are must sees when on vacation, but I also have Trav make one more stop: the biggest hospital in the area. I have a list of hospitals I love and hope to see one day. I am well aware that I am probably completely crazy but I truly love them. I love the helio pads and knowing that they provide an entrance for organ transplants to make their way to their recipients & for emergency cases to have a fast way of transportation. When I worked next door to CHOC, I had a view of their heliopad. Every time I heard the rumble of the helicopter in the distance I would open my blinds all the way so I could watch them land, the medical team prepared on foot for them, and the rush as they unloaded and hurried inside. Most would think it's really sad because it means someone is really sick, and yes, that is true. Those helicopters do transport critical cases but, magical things happen in hospitals. God gave Drs, nurses, researchers and more great technology, knowledge, and skills so that they can take these tragedies, act as His healing hands, and provide healing. It's incredible.

Here are just a few of my favorite hospitals. Some I have set foot in. Some I will see soon. Others I hope to visit one day.

 Phoenix Childrens, AZ
( New building)

Barnes Jewish, MO

Siteman Cancer Center @ Barnes Jewish, MO

Boston Children's Hospital, MA

Cardinal Glennon, MO

( building in progress)

City of Hope, CA

Denver Chlidrens, CO

SSM St. Mary's, MO

Rush, IL

Texas Childrens, TX

UCI Medical Center, CA

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Servant's Heart

The Simple Truths of Service | The Simple Truths of Service Movie

This movie was shown to us during our clinical post conference today. I love inspirational stories like this that grab at your heart. A servant's heart is a wonderful gift to have.


The Unknown

It can be so nerve wrecking. A little frightening. But at the same time, really exciting. The unknown is what Trav and I are headed into. Come next February I will be done with nursing school and a licensed RN. ( fingers crossed!) However, were I will work, what will Trav's career entail, and where we will live is unknown to us. We have been praying for the past year for the Lord to open doors for each of our careers as well as the best place for the two of us as a family. We've prayed that we will have opened minds and hearts to follow where He leads. We know in the end, it's His plan for our lives and we are along for the ride. He is the author after all. It's taken this past year for both of us to come to peace with the unknown and the many possibilities that we have for next February, but we have reached it together and are pretty excited to see what God has in store for our family.

Today was a rough day at clinical. After sending out a text asking to be covered in prayer before beginning some new procedures, I assumed it would make the day better. Wrong. I was discouraged thinking that if everyone was praying, why was the day so hard and why did I feel so down!? But, once again I am reminded that He works in marvelous ways and I sould never doubt. I ended up learning alot from today and I wouldn't have should it have gone any different. Those prayers that were lifted up for my fears ended up being an answer to prayer, it just took me a little bit to see it. Same goes for after clinical. I don't like to use God as a genie but sometimes it's nice to see a sign to know that you are hearing what He is saying or where He is leading. Trav and I had an extra long prayer last night as we have felt pretty confused this week about next spring and in my mind I was thinking, " Please give us a sign. Put a road sign out there so we know where you want us to be." Well, on my way home from clinical today I received some unexpected news that knocked me over my head. Completely unexpected. Totally a sign. And an exciting possibility. Only the Lord could have had His hand in this to present it to Trav and I. We had a fun time talking through it at dinner and how incredible His timing is sometimes.

So, if you could keep us in your prayers over these next few months we would be forever grateful. Great things are coming our way! Please pray for patience, guidance, and that we are able to stay open and focused on His plan.

"Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know! "Jeremiah 33:3.

Another Sister!

Why stop at 5 when one could have 6!!! That's right...Trav's twin, Trent, proposed to his girlfriend, Teri! After flying up to NorCal for one of their visits he popped the question and she said yes! Which means, I officially now have 6 sisters....does it get much better! I always felt blessed growing up with three. Thank I married into the Hardemans and was blessed with two more. Now Teri will join the pack and we are all so excited!

Trav and I prayed hard for Trent to find someone amazing to spend his life with and Teri is even more than what we all prayed for. We can't wait to celebrate their marriage next summer! Ok, and of course help with the planning this year! Yay for weddings! :-)

Congrats Trent & Teri! We love you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cake Pops!

I love love love to bake. It completely relaxes me. Sometimes after a long day of class or when I'm stressed over something I find myself in the kitchen ready to try something new or an old fave. When my parents moved, baking/cooking became my coping mechanism. Poor Trav would come home to muffins, desserts, appetizers, and you name it.

I love the site Bakerella and visit it daily. She has the cutest ideas and even her ordinary cream cheese brownies or sweet rolls are delish. My favorite item to make though are cake balls.You can leave them as plain old cake balls, turn them into cake pops, or cupcake pops. Flavors can range from red velvet, to chocolate, to lemon...you name it. Let me tell you though....they are sure to be a hit. There is just something about them that is so scrumptious and savory you can't just eat one.

This past weekend I had the joy of making another batch. I often find reasons to make them and this time I had a pretty good one. Katie was throwing a baby shower and wanted to serve them as dessert. I was thrilled to have an excuse to whip up a batch. She asked me to use a lemon flavor which would be a new creation for me. But they ended up tasting great. Cream cheese + lemon = fabulous! I'm looking forward to Zoey girl's baptism coming up so I can have an excuse to make more!

Lemon Cream Cheese Cake Pops

Post Partum

For clinical two weeks ago I was placed in the Post Partum unit. I really didn't know what to expect but I figured I probably would not be doing much. I was wrong. It was a wonderful day and I wished I could have stayed even longer. 

Vanessa and I were both assigned great nurses to work with. L & D was busy that day and as we were arriving two babies were just about to be born. Meaning......new admins in post partum! My first patient was in the antepartum unit, considered a high risk pregnancy. She was only 28 weeks prego but her amniotic sac, "her water", broke at 22 weeks. Because of this she will have to stay in the hospital until the baby is born. She is bedridden and has non-stress tests performed daily to make sure the baby will be able to handle labor. Because her membranes ruptured prematurely she is at a high risk for infection and will be treated with antibiotics. She was an absolute doll. She was young, probably my age or a year or so older, and had an 18 month old who came to visit. I can't imagine what it is like for her to be cooped up in a hospital room with a toddler and husband at home.

Another patient I worked with was s/p c-section and ready to have her staples taken out. You can only bet Vanessa and I jumped to take them out. Neither of us had ever removed staples before but it was incredible to say the least! We each did half of the removing and half of applying steri strips. Our instructor made fun of us for treating it as artwork since we were making sure each steri strip was the same width apart, same height, and perfectly smooth. What can I say, sometimes these anal tendencies come out! The new mom let me snuggle her baby boy and he was just too cute for words. Did I ever snuggle him! She wanted to shower so I sat in her room and rocked her baby so she could freshen up. Yes, I was in heaven.

 Throughout the day I performed multiple newborn assessments....checking reflexes, fontanels, heart sounds, suture lines, hip placement, and more. It was such a blessing working with these sweet lil lives and the excited new parents. I snuggled, rocked, and soothed newborns. I talked with new moms and comforted their concerns. It was an absolute joy to work in this unit and I love love love being around babies! 

To others, that day was just another day of class, but to me it was a treasured gift. I can't wait to be in the labor and delivery ward this Saturday!