Storms, summertime, and women’s health clinicals

There’s a big storm brewing outside this morning and the inside of my living room feels just about as ominous as it looks outside. We haven’t quite got our lighting situation under control, so when it’s dark outside, the front half of our apartment feels sort of like a cave you’d find in an Indiana Jones movie.

It’s actually quite a lovely setting for buckling down and doing some school work. When my sister and I were younger, daytime storms would always send Fain into organization mode. Something about the dark skies, the sounds of raindrops falling against the house, and the smooth rumbles of thunder gave her the urge to work, clean, and rearrange. I think I still feel that way a bit when a storm rolls in before noon.

School work has been slow so far. Let me tell you, it is difficult to sit down and get coursework done in the middle of summer. Jeremy comes home for the weekend tonight and we’re having all the TFA peeps working at his school this summer over for a BBQ. Tomorrow some of our dearest Chicago friends are getting married at our gorgeous church in the city.

The reception is going to be at a boathouse in a beautiful park near our old neighborhood, one of our best friends is going to DJ, and it’s probably going to be one of the best times we’ve ever had in Chicago. See what I mean? Who wants to sit at a computer and spend the day on blackboard when this kind of stuff is happening.

My strategy for getting into school mode is always to start with my clinical assignments because they make me so excited about school. As I mentioned in my last post, I am pretty much always unreasonably nervous for clinicals the evening before going. And I have to say, each time I go I am encouraged and put at ease. First off, I got so lucky with my preceptor. She’s an extremely knowledgeable, experienced nurse practitioner, but even more than that she is a great teacher. I continue to be amazed at how great she is at facilitating my learning. What a huge blessing.

My day on Wednesday (which I was so worried about on Tuesday) was really great. For the first time, I had a patient whose visit I was mostly responsible for. My preceptor asked me to develop a plan for the patient, and I was able to come up with most of what we ended up doing for her. We talked through some differential diagnoses, and [to my great surprise] I was able to come up with the differentials my preceptor was trying to get me to consider. I performed my first two pelvic exams/paps on REAL patients (all you non-nurses out there are probably thinking “ick–how is that an accomplishment?”) which went totally smoothly. And I started taking responsibility for the vast majority of charting on each of my patients. It was a successful day, and I left feeling totally blessed and taken care of.

The other thing about my clinical rotation is that I am really falling in love with my clinical site and the patient population it serves. I’ve been excited about working as a nurse practitioner in an underserved area for a while now, but this rotation has been my first opportunity to really see what that is going to look like as I move into a new role as a practitioner in this setting. The time I spend talking with and providing care to patients has confirmed my excitement for being a healthcare provider in an area where healthcare is not easy for everyone to get. I’m so thankful to be in school. So thankful to be working in women’s health at Lawndale. Can’t wait to see what the future holds.

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